Trained?

Growing up in India I had a love-fright relationship with dogs. (Pick your jaw up. We all grow up only at 30, and sometimes never.) These changes were not frequent, but depended on those around me, and of course on the dog itself. (No matter how much you love them, always make an informed approach, or no approach.) If there was a person in my close and constant surroundings that was extremely scared of dogs, somehow being the fool that I am, I would be scared too. Remove this person from my surroundings, and this would eventually change to my default state – I love you dog. I don’t care what flea bitten, diseased situation you come from – you must be loved.

Anyway, a question I heard a little too often (I attribute some of these occurrences to myself too), was “Is he/she trained?”.

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Who’s askin?

Now as a pet parent my instinct lies in responding with “to/for?”. Until I raised my very own bundle of crazy I never realized that maybe what the people in my land are trying to ask the dog community in general every time they stop of their members is, “Is he/she tame?”

A dog can be trained to Sit, Stay, Hug (yes, my fabulous boy knows how to Hug is parents), Roll over, Search and to Rescue. Which subset of these is the right answer to “Is he/she trained?” When is a dog considered “trained” enough for that answer to be “Yes”?

But is he/she tame?  India has a lot of stray dogs. They are much less now since awareness about Spay/Neuter and Rescue is very prevalent, and many groups are working tirelessly to increase this awareness, and to increase adoptions. So it is most likely that a dog on the street who has a human leashed to him/her is tame. He/she may or may not know any commands, in which case yes maybe some training is in order, but this dog is tame. And I think this is where the confusion of tame/trained stems from. It’s even more confusing that many strays are tame. Many strays are also “trained” meaning they know one or two commands atleast.

Is your dog child “trained”?

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Adopted, Tame, Trained, Spoiled, and Loving it!

Fun little confusing question! I have to say we humans sometimes are neither tame, nor are we trained to do anything useful. In Dwight Schrute’s words “We need a new Plague.”

 

No Shit! {Reasons to Pick up after your Dog}

Have you read that funny bit about how if aliens were watching us and saw us humans lift and bag the excrement of our dear dear fur children they’d think that they’re actually the superior species ? News Flash! They are the superior species. In every way. This shouldn’t be reason enough to leave it lying around.

Green Bag image courtesy http://notesfromadogwalker.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dog-poop-bags.jpg

Green Bag image courtesy http://notesfromadogwalker.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/dog-poop-bags.jpg

So, why deal with this crap on a daily basis ? I have a few theories!

Dogs eat each other’s output materials. And that is how most diseases are transmitted. Virus, bacteria, intestinal parasites and other worms jump from pup to pup through the poop. It is cheaper and less painful for everyone to just invest in some bags and pick up after our dogs. Pick up bags are easily available at most pet and home stores. If not, your grocery store shopping bags will suffice  too. If you are more of a paperbag person, that is great, but one odd large shopping trip can be done using the plastics to load up on your pick up bags. Now, if that has not scared you enough, you know the disease transmittal and all to your furkid, and you’re usually more frightened by things that can harm you as opposed to those that can harm your pup then we can’t be friends and why are you reading my blog, but there are “crapbourne” diseases  that are contagious to you from you pup too. All ears? Read up on Giardia.

Sidebar: I realize that it can be argued that I’m being environment unfriendly by encouraging the use of plastic bags to pick up droppings that are perfectly biodegradable and natural and all that other good stuff- but those droppings contain microbes that will eventually result in heavy water pollution and cause disease like I’ve already explained. With Florida’s rains and flash floods, it is not uncommon for  water bodies to be contaminated by pet waste run off. So recycle extra or do whatever you need to do including purchasing biodegradable pet waste bags if you can afford to, but pick it up.

Your daily bag of crap can tell you if your dog needs medical attention. Inconsistency, presence of foreign materials or blood, odor etc.. It’s all there. Pay attention  to this $hit! It can tell you about your dog’s health. Many vets will accept these as fecal samples. So if you notice anything strange, be sure to drop some off at your Vet’s office the same day. (Some tests need to be done within a few minutes and this won’t work.)

Next – just plain civic sense. Would you want to step in something? No? Others don’t either. Nor do their dogs. Well.. that might be questionable but really how would you feel if your dog went and rolled in another dog’s output and then you had a stinky mutt you needed to wash right before you had to go to work on a hurried weekday morning?

{That ain’t enough – give me more.} Well – you can be fined.  And why shouldn’t you be? Practically every place that you are allowed to take your leashed, well behaved dog, and also the local dog park is equipped with pet waste stations. Your tax dollars pay for all this. Use it. As for apartment complexes – these too have waste stations. Your pet fee funds these. Use them.

Leon County’s Animal Control Ordinances have a specific mention of waste removal

Sec. 4-43. Removal of animal waste.permanent link to this piece of content

(a)

It shall be unlawful for any owner of an animal to fail to remove any feces deposited by his or her animal on public walks, recreation areas, public streets, or private property other than the premises of the owner of the animal.

(b)

This section shall not apply to disabled persons accompanied by a service animal used for assistance in accordance with the law.

Penalties for violations, as per the ordinance are $50,  $100 and $250 for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd violation respectively. Please look up your county ordinances for these numbers but these should give you a general idea.  Just to put things in perspective,  a box of 700 pick up bags costs on amazon costs $14.99. These are not biodegradable though.

That is all I have but I hope it is enough.

My quest for the image of a big green bag brought me to this wonderful article on being a dog walker. My favorite line is “Bad moods evaporate on impact.”.

Bonus for making it through my very pedagogical, self righteous rant – Snag some fun tips for a vacay with your furkid in Florida!

We made one such trip yesterday. Check out adoptable Debow enjoying the beach with his beach buds!

Debow's first trip to the beach. Will you be his forever home that takes him to more ?

Debow’s first trip to the beach. Will you be his forever home that takes him to more ?

Born to retrieve (Melon and KMan are already in their forever homes)

Born to retrieve (Melon and KMan are already in their forever homes)

Trick for Treat

Our friends over at Marking Our Territory never fail to bring a smile to me everyday, but their post Hide and Treat stuck with me longer than usual.

I think Eko is so perfect at finding the treat! Look at the gif in the very end. Perfect! Will says most pups are naturals so I decided to see how much of a natural our very own Kahlua is.

Head over to youtube to see our very first attempt (Sorry to re-direct you, but we did not want to pay for Videopress for one video and we tried converting this to a gif, but it is much too large for any of the free converters – if you have suggestions for this please do comment!)

As you can see, Grumps has some work to do. I plan to do this with him everyday! Even if he doesn’t really ever get it, we have fun playing this game and bonding.

Will, if you’re reading this, may I ask how you taught Eko to put his paw on the cup once he’d found the treat;  as opposed to knocking it over and helping himself?

Happy weekend everyone!  If you want to try this and tell us how it went, we are excited to know!