Archive Page 2

They actually wear doggles

I’ve always wondered when dogs would actually need Doggles. If sled dogs can go without on the glare ice of the north, why should a city pooch require shades? Well, this weekend at a walk to benefit the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (aka PAWS), I got my answer in a pair of Basset Hounds who require protective eyewear — for riding in a cart pulled by a motorcycle. In fact, they seemed not merely content but self-consciously stylish in their canine specs.

New tricks

I got word — and awesome video — this week from Buddy the surfing dog. I met this canine master of the boogie and long boards while writing Unleashed: Climbing Canines, Hiking Hounds, Fishing Fidos, and Other Daring Dogs. I am thrilled to see he’s still shredding the waves in Ventura. My big takeaway from time spent with Buddy and his surfing pal, Bruce Hooker, was that some “tricks” aren’t achieved through training or coaxing with treats. Plenty of dogs like Buddy will join their people in surprising adventures when they see there’s fun to be had.

My Super Model Dogs

I’m a total stage mother, and say, without hesitation, that you should check out my pups in the September issue of Sunset Magazine. (Sneak a peek at Lulu and Renzo online by scrolling down at Sunset traveler.) Aren’t they the bomb? Many thanks to awesome photographer Annie Marie Musselman and her adorable canine grip, Chicken, for memorializing my hiking buddies.

Tick-tock your way to dreamland

Losing sleep to a young pup who whines and barks in her crate? Here’s an idea: Put a ticking clock under a blanket in the crate — maybe even a blanket or T-shirt that smells like you. Apparently, this is something rescue folks do with orphaned pups to simulate the comforting sound of a heartbeat. I can’t guarantee the strategy works, but it’s got poetry and logic going for it.

Tough choices: safety v. freedom

Thanks to everyone who attended my Hiking with Dogs presentation at the Washington Trails Association TrailsFest. It was a wonderful event, and I was honored to be a part of it. One of my topics — a perennial topic — was whether dogs should be off-leash in the backcountry. While most of my advice suggested erring on the side of a leash, I know that there are times when a well-trained dog is so good it hardly seems necessary.

Today, I learned the sad story of Casey, a 12-year-old Labrador/Shepherd mix, who was euthanized after suffering severe injuries as the result of a fall during a hike in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. The announcement came to me from DoveLewis, an awesome 24-hour Emergency and ICU Animal Hospital in Portland. While it’s fuel for keeping dogs tethered, my first reaction was not: Why wasn’t that dog on a leash? My first reaction was those poor people; this is going to haunt them for a very long time. A few hours later, DoveLewis sent out a follow-up press release that put the guardians’ grief and guilt in a considered and compassionate context. I thought it was worth a read.

Advice for flying canines

A writer-friend of mine, Susan, recently adopted a retired service dog, Joplin, from an organization in Toronto. Another friend, Harriet, who writes about airports for a living, agreed to collect the dog — and in the process, check out at least three airports. It turned into a 24-hour planes-trains-and-automobiles epic, which I won’t relate here since I’m guessing at least one of them will squib about it somewhere, but I did glean a fairly excellent bit of flying-your-dog advice from a kennel north of the border.

When you load up your dog, include a bowl in which the water has been frozen, so that it melts during the flight and is less likely to slosh around during the early loading phases. Also, create a bedding of shredded paper on top of a rubber mat: It’s soft, absorbent and disposable. One other thing, and I hope I’m not giving too much away here, be sure you’ve got a regulation travel crate held together with metal fasteners!

Check out Harriet’s blog: Stuck at the Airport.

The sweet smell of fur?

In Dog Park Wisdom, I related the advice of adding a tea bag to your vacuum bag to fight against the smell of hot fur bunnies. I recently demonstrated this kernal of housekeeping wisdom for the folks at Evening Magazine using Seattle’s own MarketSpice Tea. The aroma of orange and cinnamon is a big improvement on dog fur. Bev Sparks chimed in an alternative for tea-free homes: dryer sheets. She’s right; it works like a charm. I haven’t calculated which is more economical.