It’s Collar Safety Awareness Week!! Did you know that most collar accidents occur in even the most careful of circumstances, and in the safety of the home or backyard? Check out this handy infographic and share it with your friends so we can help prevent more accidents from occurring!
No doubt about it: For those of us who love dogs, the joy of living with a special pet is unparalleled. And at the same time, the grief of losing that same dog is unbearable. Recently I had to say goodbye to my “heart dog” of nearly 13 years. I wrote about Denver’s last days in my blog, “Gratitude in My Grief.” My experience generated several emails from readers who wanted to know how I knew when it was time to say goodbye. The stories and emails I received were all variations of the question “How will I know?” It’s a question I have asked myself every time a dog I loved has neared the end of his life. It’s a question I asked my veterinarian several times in the past few months. It’s a question I recently had to answer for myself, and for Denver. I thought I would provide my thoughts on how I managed to answer this dreaded question about how to know when it’s time to say goodbye.
A week ago I had to say goodbye to Denver, my Labrador Retriever. He was a special dog to me and my family. He and I had an amazing bond, forged over the nearly 13 years I had him. Some dogs are just like that. If you’re reading my blog, you probably already know these things and know exactly what it means to have a “heart dog.” In trying to work through my own grief over losing him, I thought it would help to write about some of the things I’m grateful for during Denver’s last days.
If you’ve spent any time around me you have heard me say something to the effect of, “Arousal and aggression are linked.” It seems to be a mantra that is one of my soap box issues and I say it at least once every time I give a seminar.
- It’s the reason I don’t want to roughhouse with dogs too much.
- It’s the reason I don’t want play at the dog park to go uninterrupted for too long.
- It’s the reason I stress that daycare staff need to supervise the dogs.
- It’s one thing I want everyone who deals with dogs to understand.
Arousal and aggression are linked! But what does it really mean?
Just this morning, my husband asked me, “What’s wrong?” To which I replied, “Nothing.” I was just thinking about my work, but the fact that I wasn’t showing much behavior caused my husband to wonder if I was ok. As I thought about this seemingly innocent discussion, I wondered why this same concern about lack of behavior doesn’t happen when dogs get quiet and seem fine. When dogs are doing nothing, most pet parents assume this is a good thing. They often don’t stop to consider whether the dog is ok. Many times, lack of behavior is viewed as the goal of training. But it’s not…or at least it shouldn’t be.