A Better Person

Every so often, while walking my dog, I look down and think “I can’t believe how much love this scruffy little being has brought into my life”. Not only love, but he’s made me a better person and that is, perhaps, the best gift of all. Since adopting Nicky, I can no longer be completely self-centered and focused only on my needs (as I had been for pretty much ever lol). His needs now comes first. I have to admit at the beginning, there was a slight adjustment period, with me having moments of thinking, “What have I done. This is too much responsibility!!”.Happily, it has all become just a part of life and not so difficult at all. If I’m going out during the week, he goes to daycare. If he’s been at home all day then I take him for an adventure walk after work and play fetch until he flops down on the floor, panting.

I often hear people talk about their dog having to fit into their lifestyle. I agree that you shouldn’t get a hunting or herding dog unless you can fulfill his or her needs for activity and challenge but I also believe that we have to shift our lifestyle to fit our dog too. When you think about it, we steal them away from their doggie family and make them live with us humans, expecting them to easily and fully adapt to a life that can be quite unnatural for them. The least we can do is put in the effort to give them a fun, full life with lots of socializing and adventures.

I find it heartbreaking to see dog owners forcing their pack animal pets to live a solitary existence. Remember, when you bring a dog into your life, you become the dog’s guardian/parent/pack leader, in other words, their everything. Make sure you give him or her the love and life they deserve. Not hard to do when you think of all of the amazing gifts that they give us every single day.

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Daily Smile

DOGGY DICTIONARY

LEASH: A strap that attaches to your collar, enabling you to lead your person where you want him/her to go.

DROOL: A liquid that, when combined with sad eyes, forces humans to give you their food. To do this properly you must sit as close as you can and get drool directly on human.

GARBAGE CAN: A container which your neighbors put out once a week to test your ingenuity. You must stand on your hind legs and try to push the lid off with your nose. If you do it right you are rewarded with food wrappers to shred, as well as beef bones and moldy crusts of bread to consume.

BICYCLES: Two-wheeled exercise machines, invented for dogs to stay fit. To get maximum aerobic benefit, you must dash out, bark loudly and run alongside. When the human swerves and falls into the bushes, your job is done and you can prance away.

THUNDER: This is a signal that the world is quickly coming to an end. Humans remain shockingly calm during End of World storms, so it is necessary to communicate the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, barking, rolling your eyes wildly and following at their heels.

BATH: If you find something especially good to roll in, humans get jealous and they use this degrading form of torture to get even. Be sure to shake only when standing next to human.

BUMP: The best way to get your human’s attention when they are drinking a fresh cup of coffee.

LOVE: A feeling of intense affection, given freely, wildly and without restriction. The best way you can show your love is to wag your tail. If you’re lucky, a human will love you in return.

Treat Time

With so many treats being recalled for causing illness or worse, pet owners have to be extra careful these days about what we feed our furry friends.

Below are some tips to keep your pup safe and healthy.

Avoid generic-labels. The food is probably from bulk suppliers and may have ingredients from China. Unfortunately so many poisoned pet foods have come from China that any product from there is now suspect.

Don’t buy products that have unidentified meat or bone meal. Make sure the label specifies the protein(i.e. chicken, turkey, salmon). There are stomach turning ingredients in some dog food containing by-products.

Avoid preservatives that are controversial. BHT, ethoxyquine, BHA and propolyneglycol. Those are things you don’t want to see on the label. Other Ingredients to avoid are wheat or wheat gluten, BHT, Ethoxyquine, BHA, and Propylene glycol.

Read the small print. So many products labelled “All Natural” say packaged in USA or Canada but you may find Made in China in very small print somewhere on the package. It’s best to stick to locally produced treats and food if possible.

Following these tips will help keep your doggie healthy and out of harm’s way!

Dirty Sea Dog

If you have a dog that loves to roll in mud, bird poo, and other smelly, smelly things, then this product is for you!

Ever since I stumbled on Dirty Sea Dog at Coal Harbour Florist & Green Design a few weeks ago, my dog’s fur has never looked so shiny and clean. The soap is handmade in Comox, BC, has all natural ingredients and it smells divine. Next time you’re out of dog shampoo, check it out. Fido will be smelling like a flower and humans can use it too!

Dogz in the Woodz

Off-leash hiking with your dog is such a fun, bonding experience and a great way to keep fit for both humans and canines.

Make sure your pup has good recall, bring along some water and snacks for him or her and you are good to go!

Below are some of Vancouver’s best dog-friendly hiking trails for you and your furry companion to explore:

http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/?sort=&filter=dogs#list