finding happiness in everything

Posts tagged ‘dog’

Bad Dog Park Etiquette


We have a 50 pound Labrador-Shar Pei mix pooch that we rescued almost 2 years ago from a local shelter. Since she’s a house dog we feel often times like she needs more exercise then what we are able to give her daily, so we frequently take her to a dog park or on outtings with us. Why do we go to such lengths? Because we love her, like a child… as one of the family.

IMAG5222 (Here she has new fallen show on her back.)

We were driving almost thirty miles or so to take her to a dog park on the opposite end of town until we discovered back in the fall that there is a good-sized well kept dog park that’s only about 5 minutes from home. We have frequented several times a month now and each time we go, the experience is a little different.

When we first started going to dog parks we had to learn some of the rules of etiquette. Just like any beginner would. We learned about picking up our dog’s poop, maintaining her composure and control, and appropriate social interactions. And I have to say that most dog owners on the opposite side of town were very welcoming, understanding, and congenial. We also learned that taking your dog’s personality and how they react in different situations into consideration is a must. I mean, this should be obvious to the average person with common sense, right?

Alright, that’s enough history for you. As with any other place there are regulars that come daily or weekly. Their dogs know each other and have developed some sort of friendship or acquaintance. Since the pet owners are regulars, I recognize them from time to time. We may not be on a first name basis but there is a familiar between all of us. It’s a beautiful Park, well kept and maintained. There are waste receptacles and poop bags readily available on every section of the park. It’s fenced in and there’s an awesome swimming pond on one section. Teeny tiny dogs have a lot to run in, medium sized dogs have a lot and really large dogs do as well. Medium and large dogs tend to mingle with each other and get along pretty well.

Occasionally you have that owner of a tiny dog who will try to bring their itty bitty dog into the big dog arena. It’s generally peaceful for the first five minutes. Then suddenly the teeny tiny dog will try to attack a huge dog and the owner of that small dog will get upset that the large dog defended itself. This is a pretty common thing. People who own small dogs know this but for some reason fall into the belief that their tiny dog will be well behaved around a huge dog. It is what it is. That’s not what this story is about.

Yesterday while at the dog park our 50 pound fixed female Labrador / Shar-Pei mix dog was attacked. Not by a tiny dog but by three dogs her size and a little bit larger. They were intact males. They were all curious about her one at a time and played with her one on one for a while. It was when they were all interested in her at the same time that things became volatile. One of these dogs was a pit, the other was a boxer, the other I have no idea.

The owners of these aggressive dogs were female. They stayed huddled around on the other side of the park, hands on hips, laughing and conversating with one another. Their dogs had been pooping everywhere and none of them bothered to stop their conversation to clean up. Their conversation continued completely uninterrupted as their dogs were beginning to growl and get aggressive with our dog. They couldn’t be bothered with something so trivial when their conversations were so important!

Now, just to be clear, this was happening literally at my feet. My dog came to me for comfort and protection because she was fearful. We were probably 25 to 30 feet away from the owners of the other dogs. They were looking in our direction but did not intervene. My husband, who had cleaned up after our dog, was walking back to the area where we were to intervene. Needless to say he was pretty angry. I had already been attempting voice commands to intervene but those aggressive dogs were not heeding my voice.

My husband tends to bring with him some amazing energy and it was obvious that he was not happy. The largest of the three ladies decided to waddle in our general direction to get her dog. She did not help or intervene though. She just stood there watching. My husband took control of our dog’s harness and led her to the gate to take her to another section of the park. Basically we were removing ourselves from the situation peacefully to protect ours. The boxer & the pit became increasingly agitated and the largest of the dogs that belonged to the largest of the women got on top of ours. Still this lady did not intervene or attempt to help. Bad etiquette indeed.

The owner of the two most aggressive dogs was smaller in stature and thought she could control them. Through verbal commands she attempted but failed. Her dogs made it through the fence with my husband and our dog. She was yelling and cussing & was obviously mad at us.

Now understand that we know it’s bad etiquette to allow another owner’s dog through the gate. We also could not control the situation and she wasn’t helping, so it was more an accident than anything. I even apologized to her when she should have been the one apologizing to me for neglecting her animals and allowing the situation to escalate.

My husband said some not-so-nice things to her as she was retrieving her dog. As she passed by me she gave me a hard stare eye to eye. The three ladies were obviously upset that their conversation had been so rudely interrupted and we continued to be the topic of their loud conversation as they pointed at us on the other side of the fence. More people with even larger dogs converged around them and began talking. While all these dog owners were conversating about how horrible we were, the original three aggressive dogs broke out in a dogfight with the other people’s dogs. I’ll admit, I had to snicker a bit.

The craziest thing was that I recognized the smaller, more petite lady who was trying to control the two most aggressive dogs. I know her. She dated my brother. I went to school with her. We are friends on Facebook. She didn’t recognize me. I didn’t care. I did not have a high opinion of her when we were young. Obviously I do not have a high opinion of her now. Isn’t it funny how the world goes around?  I’ve always thought people could change, but the more I consider it, I am second guessing this idea now. And on the off chance she may ever read this article, here is a link about Dog Park Etiquette. Oh, and this is a great article too!

 

Old Man Puddy


In several articles, I have mentioned my feisty long time companion Puddy. Mr Puddy is a special breed of kitty. He’s the kind of cat that thinks he is human…seriously! He also thinks that we are the dumbest owners on the planet. He shows his frustration more and more as he ages. In this past year, he has begun to lose patience with his stupid owners (or servants in his mind).

Since January, his aggression has grown and he shows his frustration with us in new ways leading up to present day. I’ll try to sum it very briefly. After the new year began Addy, our dog, was missing for a few days. We received a call from a neighbor that she had been hit by a car. We kept her inside the house while nursing her back to health and continued therapy. Puddy was not happy. He would pace through the house and hiss. He would sneak into the sick room and stare at the dog and growl. He decided he would begin marking his area inside the house (something he had never done before). So basically, he started peeing on anything that was laying in the floor.

I know that there are “cat people” and “dog people”, but I have always been both. Mr Puddy has been with us for over 8 years now & he was an adult when we got him. He was a rescue in 2007 from a veterinary office, where he had lived in a 2×2 crate since he was a kitten. He was neutered and had never “marked” anything before.

Back to the story, he marked Addy. The poor little doggy who could no longer walk was peed on by the cat! It was sad, Puddy was scolded. As the dog healed and went to live back outdoors in March, one of my grandbabies came to spend the weekend with us. The cat was angry and promptly went into the laundry room and marked all the clean clothes in a basket. He was scolded and not happy. On the 3rd day, his behavior was better because my grandbaby went home. He strange behavior continued throughout the year. If his water bowl or food dish was getting low, he would leap out from behind a piece of furniture and attack anyone walking by – then go mark something.

He had a love/hate relationship with my middle son. He would pee on my son’s belongings if he left them in the floor (which he did regularly) and then purr loudly and then compete for his attention when he’d get home from football practice each day. My son would yell at him, scoot him out of his room, and then I’d catch them sleeping together or loving on each other.

Anyway, the strange marking activities continued. He used every opportunity to mark something. He was slowly becoming a markaholic. He was happy, he’d pee on something. He was mad, he’d pee on something. Someone has a birthday, he’d pee on something. Someone knocked on the door, yay – he’d go mark something!! It was a holiday, he’d pee on something. Each time was the same…there was an event to celebrate or be upset about, he’d sneak off & mark something. Then filled with regret, he would come to one of us with a sweet meow, begin meowing, purring, and loving on us. I began to wonder if he was suffering a bi-polar condition.

He was always a very clean kitty, never messy. A couple of months after the strange markings began, he started kicking all of his litter out of the box and carelessly slinging his food all over the floor. All cleanliness had left him and it seemed as though he became a different cat. It was sad, frustrating, and we were all perplexed. His attacks were becoming more vicious and he was dangerous to live with. After eating one tiny piece of cat food, he would demand more be poured in his bowl or risk meeting his sharp blades (claws). His weight increased to 14lbs. He had always carried extra weight, but he was eating non-stop! His addiction was controlling him. I searched online for a resolution and found many possible reasons for his behavior, but none of those fit. It got worse. He stopped obsessively cleaning his fur and began to stink. I called the vet and was told it was a phase that would pass. “But,” I exclaimed, “this he’s addicted and we don’t know how to help him!” This occurred for months and then the worst thing happened.

We woke up one morning and he was laying in the floor covered in slobber. I freaked out! He was sick…very sick. An intervention was imminent and no longer could anyone tell me this phase would pass! We rushed him to the vet and there he stayed for a week while they performed multiple procedures on him to save his life. The vet advised me he was near death.  He had an IV, a urinary catheter, antibiotics, and I’m not sure what else. His diagnosis: stones. He had urinary blockages that he couldn’t pass and his bladder had filled up inside his body to the point of bursting. They put him on a special food and I warned them that he wouldn’t eat anything different. After a self-imposed starvation strike of 5 days, he finally began to eat the prescription food. During a lengthy recovery, he was the sweetest kitty 🙂 $880.00 later, we thought we had a new cat – but with no warranty expressed or implied!

Once completely healed, he resumed his natural personality traits and begun the hateful-old-man-Puddy traits. The Vet reminded me that he is 10yrs old & much like someone with dementia, I needed to have patience with him. After several months had passed, his marking was much better. He now only sneaks to his addictive behavior rarely and has almost completed his recovery program.

I never in my life would have thought that I would help a family pet through addiction recovery, but now I can say I’ve seen it all…nah!

Our pets?


Many people enjoy the company of their loving & loyal pets. The term pet is also loosely used to describe just about any type of life form we hold captive. Ex: cat, dog, fish, turtle, lizard, bird, & many other lifeforms.

In our home, we have a community loyal, not owner loyal dog who loves our neighbors the same as she loves us. She requires no feeding because she will not eat dog food under any circumstance. She is a hunter and feeds herself off the land. She requires very little maintenance because she merely wants to be recognized about once a day by someone calling to her. She’ll wag her tail and then off she goes…into the neighborhood to scavenge.

We have a loyal (as long as he gets his way) cat that requires a great deal more than just once a day maintenance. He requires his litter box to be cleaned more than once a day or he will attack your legs, multiple treat snacks in a day, and recognition by anyone entering a room he is in.

There are also several dozen territorial loyal crawdads that live in our back yard. I’ve decided to claim these crawdads as pets because they have lived here longer than I have & no matter what we do to them, they won’t leave our back yard. I’ve read a few articles online describing people keeping them as pets. The way I see it, we’ll call them pets, but they’ll require no upkeep or cost (like the dog). They don’t want to be petted, only come out at night & require no maintenance. Oh what perfect pets they seem to be 🙂

So here’s our pet collection:

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