Mom loves our vet, me, I’m not so sure…

image-27

It’s never a good thing when you find yourself sitting in the car in the Vet’s parking lot after your folks forgot to feed you breakfast!!!

image-23

Wait, what just happened here? A very nice lady was giving me a hug and now I can’t feel my face!

image-22

Really folks, it’s just a limp, I feel fine, can we stop this crazy ride now???

image-24

Lovely bones! My 8 year old bones & joints are aging very well, no arthritis, and more importantly, NO bone cancer!!!!

image-21

I am quite adorable, even when I am drugged!

image-20

Even my bones are cute, don’t you think? Digital radiographs are really quite amazing! And my wonderful health care team took terrific care of me. I forgive them for their weird drug hugs, but hope they don’t ever do that again!

image-25

Mom tells me the vets says I have to take 4 months off of any physical activity so my shoulder injury can properly heal. That’s a lot of couch surfing! But with enough cookies, I think I can do it. Mom & Dad were very happy, they apparently were very concerned about me. I am happy to be home, where’s my breakfast!?!?!?!

DSC_0030

What it’s like to walk in Butters paws- Reactive Dog bloghop!

This post is part of a WOOF Support bloghop!

Here’s a little more of my story from my owners point of view, http://thedailybutters.com/?p=530

DSC_0033

What is it like to walk in my paws? These days it’s pretty darn easy, 99.9% of the time. Ok well actually for me it’s always been easy, but the folks on the other end of the leash they would like to say I have not always been so good at it. So we have come to some agreements. First, we have agreed if I sit quietly and politely while looking at her when she asks me to, I will get lots of wonderful tasty treats, so long as I ignore the dogs I wish to demand take their business elsewhere. The .1% of the time this falls apart is when a loose uninvited dog comes rushing up into my face, my face, uh hello, I am Butters, you may NOT rush up into my face uninvited, I will smash you. I have learned to temper my impulses and try my best to hold it together, but sometimes, well sometimes I really need to let those dogs know they have come barking up the wrong tree.

DSC_0030

You see, my particular type of *reactivity* they tell me it’s called, is not the fearful anxiety based issue that many dogs face, I became this way because I do not like to share. What’s mine is mine, and I grew tired of having other dogs jumping all over me and my Lady leash handler, holder of the tasty goods, when we went out for walks. For a very long time I suggested politely that these dogs leave me and my stuff alone, but being a Golden Retriever everyone just assumed I wanted to meet them, their dog, their cousins, their cousins dogs. And while I am all packaged up like a fluffy I want to meet you, your dog, all your cousins and your cousins dogs, golden retriever the fact is I don’t. You are fine, just leave the dogs who might want to eat my goodies out of this, I don’t want to know them. So having failed to politely suggest to all of these dogs to leave us alone, I found roaring in their faces made their owners promptly whisk them away. I have a big roar, it works rather well at getting other dogs to get away from my stuff.

November

The leash lady and I have also agreed that since I already have my canine friends and family that I can trust won’t steal my goodies to socialize with, I really don’t need to spend a lot of time getting to know other dogs. I’ve learned to leave it up to the leash lady to inform folks to keep their dogs out of my face and if I wait patiently while she does so I get even more tasty treats! Have I mentioned I like tasty treats? And man I tell you, she is VERY good at dishing those suckers out in a timely manner that makes it very worth my while to watch her closely!

DSC_0010

I’m not gonna lie, it hasn’t been all roses and sunshine rainbows. I had so much to learn, it’s not easy to concentrate on the leash Lady when another dog is shouting in my ear. It was not easy for her to change my mind about assuming all dogs anywhere at anytime needed to be warned with a roar that I am not to be mucked with. We spent many months and to this day continue to learn and practice fun things like sit stays, walking politely on a loose leash (man she walks slow, so this is not always easy to do), laying down and staying, walking by things and not looking at them, all these things she insist I know, which I am happy to oblige because she is very generous and fun to learn things from.

And since food and resources are so very important to me, I had to learn how to control myself around the tasty things I adore so much. Here is a little more about that:  http://thedailybutters.com/resource-guarder-resource-sharer/

IMG_5464

I’m also not going to lie and say I am perfect. I still sometimes forget and let a few roars fly. I still have my limits and if a dog is pushy and all up in my business, I do have something to say about it. But I quickly regain my composure and am able to let it go and move on. I am a much happier dog now that my leash lady has learned how to relax and not be so worried about what might go wrong, and instead just tells me what I should focus on in exchange for happy smiles and tasty goodies. I am happier now that I understand more of the things she is telling me and she is happier now that I do more of these things instead of roaring. So to all my reactive friends out there, keep working hard, it can get better!

Thank you for joining Butters, this is a Bloghop for WOOF SUPORT GROUP

WOOFBlogHop1_150

Pet Care Planning

DSC_0003Next month we are heading off for a vacation without taking our pets with us. It’s been over a decade since we’ve left the household for more than a long weekend! There are so many preparations to be done so I thought I’d take a minute and share some ideas with you about preparing to leave your pets and to ask for any tips you may have as well.

First of course is the decision kennel vs pet sitter. This is always an easy choice for us having chickens, rabbits and outdoor kitties, we really do need someone available to come to our home. Personally I have always been more of a fan of having someone stay in our home as we do seem to always have older or immune compromised pets when the need for pet care rolls around, and at Ricky’s age a kennel is not the best environment. Boarding kennels certainly do have many advantages if you just have one or two pets to find care for so I am not knocking them by any means.

There are pros and cons to both options so in the end you have to make the choice that makes the best sense to your situation. Things to consider; a young active dog may not do well-being left for long periods of time and may become destructive or perhaps even escape your home or yard in your absence and while boarding kennels are no guarantee from escape they are certainly in general a bit more secure. Young puppies and older dogs maybe stressed by the unfamiliar kennel environment which with the higher numbers of dogs together may put them at a greater risk for illness.

Once you have made your choice, how do you go about finding the right kennel or pet sitter? My first resource is always asking my Veterinarian and other local pet care professionals; groomers, trainers, as well as other dog owners for recommendations. There are professional organizations and listing sites you can use to get some names and numbers, but it is always good to see if you can get some insider recommendations as well. Sometimes you maybe surprised to learn some of these dog folks you already know offer sitting or boarding services.

For many, once they have completed the step of choosing their sitter or kennel all of their pet care planning is complete, but at that step I have only just begun! I provide an instruction sheet for each pet, that lists their feeding routine, medications & supplements, any allergies, the commands they know, favorite toys or types of play, things  or situations I know which may cause my pet stress or may present a challenge for the pet care provider, such as fear of fireworks, thunderstorms, etc.DSC_0008

I check to make sure all my contact information is up to date with the microchip registry, that their ID tags are current and the little ring holding them on is in good condition (you’d be surprised how many dogs I’ve cared for that arrive with tags barely hanging on). I contact my Veterinarian to see if they need any special forms filled out to allow my pet care provider to authorize treatment on my behalf, do they require a credit card or some other form of  advance payment? Having an older pet, I discuss with my Veterinarian and pet care provider what my wishes are should the unthinkable occur while I am gone and difficult decisions need to be made.

It is never fun to think about, but what if we were to be injured or worse, not ever make it home? I discuss these arrangements with those I choose to be my pets guardian should anything happen to me, and am sure those caring for my pets know how to reach these guardians should an accident occur.

I make sure I have provided the proper amount of food for my pets for their stay or the resources for my pet care provider to obtain more so they can stay on the food they are accustomed to. I take the care to have all their medications and prescriptions filled with easy to understand instructions. If they going to stay with their pet care provider I see if they are able to have their own beds & toys and choose those I will not be worried about being destroyed and are safe for them to be left unattended with. If the pet care provider is coming here I prepare things to entertain and provide my pet with supervised enrichment, like interactive food toys, stuffed kongs loaded and in the freezer for easy use. DSC_0004