Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tackling ticks

I am the girl who runs from bees, screams at spiders and will avoid the great outdoors when the biting flies become overwhelming.
But more than anything else, I am scared to death of ticks.
I count my blessings for the fact that I have never seen a tick, never had one on me or a loved one, including my dog. We’re lucky for that and I hope our luck continues.
I like to be armed with information to deal with the worst case scenario, though, so an email forward this morning about an easy way to remove ticks piqued my interest.
First, know that the proper removal of a tick is extremely important. If you grab a pair of tweezers and yank a tick out, its mouthparts or head could get left under the skin. And if that happens, you open yourself (or your pet) up to a host of medical conditions.
“Tick borne diseases are a major concern,” said Dr. Stephen Steep, my veterinarian from the Oxford Veterinary Hospital.
The email I got said to soak a cottonball in liquid soap and press it against the skin where the tick is for about 20 seconds. The tick is supposed to remove itself from the skin and you can simply pull the cottonball away with the tick in it.
“I can’t substantiate whether that works or doesn’t,” Steep said.
He did offer another solution, however.
“What I usually do is, I’ll use a flea spray with pyrethrin and soak a cotton ball,” Steep said.
He holds the cottonball against the affected area and said the pyrethrin temporarily paralyzes the tick, causing its mouth to release its hold on the flesh. Then, the tick can be pulled out without worrying about leaving its head or mouthparts still in the flesh.
“If you can get a tick to release, it’s always better than trying to pull them off,” Steep said.
A challenge to both methods are when ticks are located near a pet’s eyelid. Ticks are naturally drawn to the area because of the high blood flow. Because of the sensitivity of being near the eye, though, methods that use chemicals are not advised.
Steep also advises people to be careful in how they dispose of the tick — don’t let it go or crush it, he said.
“Ticks are notoriously hard to kill,” Steep said. “I put them into a glass jar filled with alcohol and within 24 to 48 hours, they’re usually dead.”
What a resilient little pest.
Yuck. I hope I never have to deal with a tick.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Let’s all thank a dog today

Humans domesticated the dog a long, long time ago, right? Well, maybe not.
According to Temple Grandin, the idea that we domesticated the dog is really only half the story.
I recently finished reading Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation, which I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in learning really awesome things about animals.
Grandin says there’s scientific evidence that dogs and humans came together at the point where humans had just barely evolved into homo sapiens — possibly before humans had language, definitely when we had only a few tools and at a point when we “weren’t any more socially complicated than a band of chimpanzees,” Grandin writes.
“This means that when wolves and people first started keeping company they were on a lot more equal footing than dogs and people are today,” she added.
To get the full effect of her argument, you’ll just have to order the book. But basically, she then explains that in all animals, domestication causes the brain to shrink, usually by about 10 percent.
Oddly enough, at just about the time wolves are considered to have been domesticated into dogs — this is about the time researchers found wolves buried with humans or under human settlements — both of our brains shrank.
The dog’s brain shrank about 10 percent and so did ours, Grandin said. We lost our brain capacity in different ways — humans holding on to the center for intelligence in our frontal lobes while that shrank in dogs, and dogs held on to more of the brain that handles sensory stuff and emotion than we did.
She also makes a compelling argument about primate species versus canines. Primates don’t generally have monogamous relationships, they don’t usually make same-sex friends outside of their family members and they don’t hunt together.
But humans do. Putting all the stuff about evolution aside, humans are a primate species. And we happen to be the only primate species with dog-like characteristics — monogamy, friendships, strong family bonds and a tendency to work together to get things done.
So Grandin concludes that idea that humans domesticated the dog isn’t entirely accurate.
Rather, humans and dogs co-evolved and each benefited from the arrangement. And, the saying “Dogs make us human” might be literally true, she adds.
After all, it’s our social nature that makes us human, right? Our compassion for others, our desire to be social, to help people who are down and to love and be loved — it’s all a part of what we consider to be our “humanity.” Maybe we should call it “doganity” instead.
Because, the argument is pretty compelling that being social is not actually our nature, but our dogs’ nature, and we adapted it into our own.
Let’s all thank a dog today for making us into better humans!

Learn more about Temple Grandin and her book, Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior, by clicking here. The book was published in 2005 and is co-authored by Catherine Johnson.
See a variety of prices for new and used editions on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

First one home gets all the lovin’

If my dog is biased as to which one of us, my husband or I, he loves more, then it all comes down to whoever walks in the door first.
For almost all of his life, I’ve been the last one home at night. I didn’t even realize what I was missing out on.
Lately, Brent’s been working long hours and they keep getting longer and longer. For the first time I can remember, I’m now the one who walks in the door first.
Sensi is there waiting for me, his tail thumping the wall with every excited wag. He prances around excitedly, licking at my hands and knees, until I kneel down to greet him. Then he climbs up my lap, his heavy front paws balancing precariously on my thighs, and proceeds to lick every inch of my face for as long as I’ll let him.
The greeting isn’t done there, either. After Sensi’s doled out all the affection he can muster, he runs and grabs whatever toy has his fancy for that day and jovially teases me with it.
I like to think that he believes playing is as important to me as it is to him, so he’s being a good friend by trying to welcome me home with a good play session.
More often than not, I’m tired as can be and dreading the cleaning, cooking and more cleaning that awaits me. But I indulge him anyhow and usually find a quick game of keep away or tug gives me a little energy boost.
When I’m the second one home, on the other hand, I barely even get greeted. I’ve turned the corner into the kitchen before the dog even realizes I’m home and I’m usually setting my stuff down in the office before he slowly stretches his way off the couch and meanders over to me.
I might get a cursory hand lick, but Sensi’s only motivation to do that isn’t actually to greet me, but rather to begin begging for dinner.
This whole realization has made me think that if Sensi is biased about which one of us he loves more, at least we know it’s a pretty thin line. Whoever gets home first gets all the loving and that’s fair enough for me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The dog that dries himself

I wrote recently about leveraging the oft-dreaded dog roll for something positive — read the full blog here.
Basically, Sensi has learned that when wet, it’s perfectly fine and even praise-worthy to roll around in a bunch of towels to dry himself off.
It started simply enough — a towel left on the floor after his bath time was over and Sensi spotted it as he tried to rub himself dry on other things, like the sides of the couch and his dog bed. He threw himself onto the towel and we watched, amused and pleased and encouraging him to continue.
Nowadays, the after-bath dog roll is part of the whole bath routine. If I didn’t have three towels ready for him to roll on, he’d be lost.
It’s a natural behavior for him — think rolling in yucky stuff or squirming around on the grass — and it has the added benefit to both him and me that when applied after the bath, he’s actually drying himself off.
One of the cute things I’ve done is to wave the towels around like a bull fighter. Sensi charges into them and I’ll let the towel go when he does. He then dives into the floor with the towel all around him and starts squirming around.
It’s adorable.
And since it was time for a bath last Saturday, I thought I’d take a little video to share with all of you. Our friends are always amused with his after-bath antics and I hope you share the sentiment!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pepsi, PAWs and PSAs

Last week, a gorgeous golden named Ginger helped us start off our Monday with a good laugh. This week, she’s back again.
Ginger, I found out, is actually from Canton, Mich. Her owner, Barb Withers, contacted me after seeing Ginger’s video show up on the blog.
“We recently became aware of a Michigan-based cause from the PAWs of Michigan group to fund a low-cost neuter/spay clinic and Ginger did a PSA for them,” Barb wrote. “They are trying to win funding from a Pepsi campaign.”
Indeed they are. I looked into the campaign a bit more and here’s the gist of it — Pepsi is offering a voting contest for people who have good ideas on giving back or improving their communities. A grant of $50,000 is available to the winner.
PAWs of Michigan — which, from what I can gather, appears to be a foster-based rescue out of Wayne County — has entered the contest. You can learn more by clicking here, but it looks like the group is seeking the grant so it can begin leasing a facility to host more low cost spay and neuter clinics.
One of the things I found interesting is that people who care for feral cat colonies can apply for these spay/neuter procedures. I like that idea — feral cats are generally too wild to adopt out to homes, so whenever feral cats wind up in shelters, they face euthanasia. This way, the cats continue to live as they do, only they’ll stop producing more cats.
That’s a good thing, because feral cats aren’t all that bad. They take care of problem rodents and are pretty successful predators in the wild. The problem is how quickly and how much they reproduce, and this is a solution to that problem.
To win the $50,000 grant, PAWs needs people to click on this page and then click to vote for the project. My understanding is that you can vote once a day through May 31.
The projects are ranked by how many votes they get, and so far, PAWs is doing pretty good — it’s ranked 34 out of thousands of projects. Number 34 is not good enough, however, to get the money. In order to get the grant, they need to place in the top 10.
So, get out there and vote! It’s a good cause and it's local, right here in Michigan.
Also, check out Ginger’s public service announcement encouraging people to vote for PAWs below.
By the way, Barb said she and her husband had seen a similar video with a dog online and thought they’d give it a try themselves. Ginger’s videos have been such a hit that they’ve even been contacted by a talent agent!
“We haven’t pursued that route yet for Ginger; she already is spoiled enough ... not sure what being a celebrity would do to her!” Barb wrote.
I think Ginger’s reached celebrity status by now anyhow, she just doesn’t realize it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dog Days

The calendar of events for dog-related activities continues to grow.
The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend — perfect for watching the bassets waddle down Woodward!


Birmingham — Hundreds of short but stout dogs will take part in the Basset Waddle, part of the Celebrate Birmingham Parade, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, on N. Old Woodward by Booth Park. Proceeds from the Waddle will benefit the Michigan Basset Rescue from Waterford Township. Owners of basset hounds can also take part in a basset picnic on Saturday. Go to the Michigan Basset Rescue website for more information.
Farmington Hills — A low cost vaccination clinic will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pet Supplies Plus, 31130 Orchard Lake Road. Rabies vaccines will cost $10 and other low cost vaccines will be available, as will heart worm tests and microchips. For more information, call Vet Ex Mobile Veterinary Services at 248-683-5005.

Waterford Twp. — For a suggested donation of $40, vaccinate your dog against the canine influenza virus H3N8 while also raising money for a worthy organization. The event will be held at the Pet Authority Animal Hospital, 4588 W. Walton Blvd. in Waterford Township. Proceeds will benefit NEADS, a nonprofit organization which trains service dogs for deaf and disabled Americans as well as for combat veterans. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are appreciated. Call 248-673-1288 or go online to www.petsloved.com.

Clawson — The fifth annual “Claws & Paws Dog Jog” will begin will registration at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, in the Clawson City Park. The event features a fun run/walk at 10 a.m., a pet care fair and adoptions. Advance registration for the walk is $20 and includes a commemorative t-shirt and pet bandana, or $25 the day of the event. There is no fee to attend the pet care fair, which follows the walk. For more information, go to www.clawsonclawspaws.com or call 248-435-6500. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit the Troy-based Guardians for Animals, a group that assists no-kill shelters.

Rochester — Donations and sponsors are still being sought for the “Rescue Walk” benefiting Greyheart Greyhound Rescue. The walk is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 23 at Paint Creek Trail. Meet in parking lot of 4480 Orion Road near Gallagher Road in Rochester. For information, call 248-363-1343 or visit www.greyheart.org.

Auburn Hills — The “Hunting Dog Rescue Day” will feature a variety of adoptable hunting breeds from local rescue groups. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bass Pro Shop, 4500 Baldwin Road. The store is attached to Great Lakes Crossing mall. Organizations that will have dogs available for adoption include the Oakland County Animal Pet Adoption, Michigan English Setter Rescue Center, Michigan Hunting Dog Association and Greyhound Expressions. Adoption fees vary by rescue group. For more information, call Bass Pro Shop at (248) 209-4200 and ask for Shannon Meek.

Grosse Pointe Shores — The 22nd annual “Mutt March” will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. starting at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road. Several course lengths up to five miles are available and include break areas and refreshments along the way. Walkers who raise $150 or more will receive an event t-shirt and those raising $300 or more will receive a custom set of Michigan Humane Society water bottles, including one for you and one for your pet. All canine walkers will also get a Mutt March bandana. Proceeds benefit the Michigan Humane Society. Get more information and set up a personalized fundraising page online at www.michiganhumane.org/march.

Metro Detroit — Photos are due for any pet owners looking to get their dog or cat in the Michigan Humane Society’s 2011 pet calendar. Cost is $20 per entry, dogs and cats wearing collars and ID tags and cats photographed indoors will receive the best consideration. Photos must be in color, contain only animals and be no larger than four inches by six inches. Other guidelines and restrictions can be found at www.michiganhumane.org. Mail entries by June 15 to Michigan Humane Society, 2011 Pet Calendar, 30300 Telegraph Road, Suite 220, Bingham Farms, MI 48025.

Auburn Hills — The 9th annual “Pet-A-Palooza” will be at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25. The largest adoption event in the state and one of the largest in the whole country, Pet-A-Palooza will feature entertainment, contests and on-site vendors. Businesses can contact Marie Skladd at (586) 914-1623 and rescue groups can contact Joe Sowerby at (586) 469-8888. Go online to www.michpetapalooza.com.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The tides are a changin’

“Hey Karen,” said our online editor, Steve Frye, to me this morning. “You’ve got to check out this story I’m posting about this new pet poll.”
The poll was conducted in April and asked more than a thousand pet owners from across the nation whether their next pet will come from the pound or from a store. (See the full story here)
More than half the people said the next time they’re in the market for a new pet, they’ll be heading to the pound, shelter, rescue, etc. to pick out their new pooch.
This is fantastic news.
I am not one of those fanatics who protest at dog shows and think buying a puppy is all together bad. I bought Sensi from a breeder, after all. If you’ve done your research, have your heart set on a specific breed and really want the puppy experience, there’s nothing wrong with buying from a reputable breeder.
On the other hand, I encourage everyone to never, ever, in their whole lives even think about buying a puppy from a puppy store.
I don’t care what someone tells me — to me, a puppy store is the equivalent of a puppy mill. If you don’t think those doggies in the window came from a horrible, miserable existence where their parents are abused and neglected, then you’re just naive.
A lot of people like to think they’re “rescuing” these poor puppy mill dogs when purchasing them from the store. I’d like for people to stop thinking that way and start thinking of the impact of their puppy purchase.
When you purchase a dog from a store, all you’re doing is providing more income to puppy mills and making it possible for another abused and sickly mother dog to give birth to another litter of unhealthy puppies which will go on to perpetuate the cycle.
Honestly, I’m not sure why we haven’t made puppy stores illegal.
And it’s not like these pet stores need to go out of business. They’ve got lots of cages to showcase dogs and God knows that rescue groups are constantly fighting overcrowding.
Instead of selling puppy mill puppies, these stores should just offer up their cages to local rescue groups. It might not be as profitable a business, but I bet the quantity of business they’d get would skyrocket.
Puppy mills will never go away until pet stores stop selling puppy mill dogs.
The best way to affect change is not to buy future puppies from pet stores. So in that regard, it’s wonderful news that this message is beginning to sink in with pet owners all across the United States.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Monday

It’s another Monday morning and to get the week started off with a little humor, I thought I’d post this adorable video.
One of our freelancers emailed me this link to a youtube video called “Breakfast at Ginger’s.” Ginger, I assume, is the precious golden retriever starring in this short comedy.
Golden retrievers are notorious for their “will work for food” attitude. They are bottomless pits. With that in mind, I imagine this little set-up was easier to train than it looks.
In fact, I bet the toughest job in this video is being the person under the table. It’s not so easy to coordinate your hands to a dog’s movement when you can’t see what you’re doing!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dog days

Lately, I've been receiving more and more notices of events for people and their dogs.
I think this great.
So, I've begun compiling a calendar that I'll post once a week to let all my local readers know about dog-friendly and dog-focused events taking place here in Oakland County.


Davisburg — A one-day training class for puppies and adult dogs will be from 11 a.m. to noon at Mill Pond Park, 495 Broadway. Fee is $20 for residents per dog or $25 for nonresidents. Call in advance, (248) 846-6558.
Holly — The Village of Holly will host a low-cost pet vaccination day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fire department at 315 S. Board St. Any pet that may not be socialized or is intimidated should remain in the car and the vet will come to the pet. This is to be a low-stress event for you, your pet and other animals present.
Clawson — The Pug Rescue Network is hosting a Charity Pug Picnic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at The Clawson Park. The “Pug Picnic” will have events for dogs and owners alike, including a variety of dog related vendors, as well as giveaways and prizes. The cost of the event is $7 for adults and $5 for kids younger than 12, pugs are free. Price includes entrance to the park, as well as lunch and dessert. For more information, call 248-432-0102.

Birmingham — Hundreds of short but stout dogs will take part in the Basset Waddle, part of the Celebrate Birmingham Parade, starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 16, on N. Old Woodward by Booth Park. Proceeds from the Waddle will benefit the Michigan Basset Rescue from Waterford Township. Owners of basset hounds can also take part in a basset picnic on Saturday. Go to the Michigan Basset Rescue website for more information.

Clawson — The fifth annual “Claws & Paws Dog Jog” will begin will registration at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, in the Clawson City Park. The event features a fun run/walk at 10 a.m., a pet care fair and adoptions. Advance registration for the walk is $20 and includes a commemorative t-shirt and pet bandana, or $25 the day of the event. There is no fee to attend the pet care fair, which follows the walk. For more information, go to www.clawsonclawspaws.com or call 248-435-6500. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit the Troy-based Guardians for Animals, a group that assists no-kill shelters.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Consider the whole picture

Key to successfully communicating with your dog is the ability to look at the whole picture.
Over time, our dogs get in routines and form ways of communicating to us what they want. Standing by the door means he wants outside, whining by his food bowl means he thinks it should be dinner time, etc.
But what happens when your dog is trying to communicate something new to you?
Perhaps he whines and you think, “He always whines when he wants dinner, so that must be what he wants. Too bad — he’s already had dinner and he doesn’t get a second one.”
In those situations, you have to take in the whole picture to get the message.
A perfect example was Sensi’s behavior last night. I could tell he was bored and he’s been so well behaved lately, I wanted to give him something enjoyable.
For months now, most of Sensi’s toys have been locked up in his cage (which we never use) because of his allergies. Last night, we walked back to the extra bedroom where the cage is and I let him take out a stuffed animal. He was thrilled — he pranced around the house, tossed it up in the air, chased it around and then promptly destroyed it.
Then, he walked right in front of the TV and just stood there, staring at us. Eventually, he sat down — his eyes still burning holes into us.
“What is he doing?” I asked my husband. “Do you think he wants to go outside?”
“I don’t know. He isn’t sitting by the door like usual,” Brent said to me.
With no response from us, Sensi began whining. In no time, he jumped up on the couch and sat down in front of us, still staring at us with great hope in his eyes.
“Do you want to go outside?” Brent asked him.
If the answer was yes, Sensi would’ve jumped down, done a little a circle dance and raced to the door. But he didn’t. He just cocked his head and looked at us.
“What if he’s trying to tell us that he wants another toy from the cage?” I asked my husband.
“Get up and see what he does,” Brent suggested to me.
So I did. I stopped in front of the foyer and asked Sensi again, “Do you want to go outside?”
As soon as I said the word outside, his tail stopped wagging. That’s a pretty solid “No, I don’t.”
I turned and started heading down the hallway, at which point Sensi began running toward the bedroom with a grin on his face and his tail in full wag.
I opened up the cage for him and he promptly reached in for another stuffed animal, then took off back down the hall.
Brent and I effectively figured out what our dog was trying to tell us by taking in all the little details of the situation. First, the circumstances came into play — Sensi had just gotten a toy out and played with it vigorously. Maybe he wanted another one.
Secondly, everything about the way Sensi asked was different. It might’ve seemed similar to what he does when he wants outside, but it was very different. He stood in front of the TV, not in front of the door. He did not react with excitement to the word “outside.” We watched his tail wags and lack thereof to help determine what he could possibly want.
So the next time you’re wondering what your dog wants, remember to take it all in — from the circumstances to the body language to even the geography (is he standing or sitting where he normally stands or sits?).
Remember, your dog is always trying to communicate with you and you can learn to decipher those communications.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Waddling down Woodward

Between 400 and 500 basset hounds will take to the streets of Birmingham on May 16, waddling their way to raise money that will save more of their own kind.
“This whole waddle idea has literally saved thousands and thousands of basset hounds,” said Melissa Fenchel of Waterford Township, the president of Michigan Basset Rescue.
This year will be the 15th year that the “Basset Waddle” will take part in the Celebrate Birmingham Parade.
The story of the Basset Waddle goes back to when Fenchel’s previous dogs, Old English Sheepdogs, were getting old in age.
“I think there’s a basset hound gene that some people have, because I was just drawn to them,” Fenchel said. “Whenever I happened to see one in public, I’d kind of freak out and say, ‘Can I pet your dog? He’s so wonderful.’”
When her sheepdogs died, Fenchel said she was ready to make the switch.
“Bassets aren’t small dogs; they’re pretty big dogs on short legs,” Fenchel said.
Years later, Fenchel started the basset rescue thinking she would take in a couple dogs a month, rehabilitate them and find them permanent homes.
While the rescue group was still in its first year, Fenchel’s mother suggested they take part in the Celebrate Birmingham Parade as a way to get some exposure.
The bassets turned out to be popular with the crowd, the media and especially other basset owners.
The Basset Waddle was born, along with the idea to have people pledge money for each block their basset successfully waddled through.
“One year, we got featured in LIFE Magazine and that’s when it really grew,” Fenchel said. “It was completely insane, our phone was ringing off the hook.”
Basset owners now travel from all across the nation to take part in the Basset Waddle.
In addition to that, Fenchel has advised other basset rescues from New Mexico, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Texas and more on how to set up similar waddles in their communities.
“And people will bring their dogs out just to watch the bassets,” Fenchel said. “We’ll look along the sidelines and every breed, size and shape of dog you can think of will be sitting there.”
Fenchel said the event is critical to supporting the rescue and its veterinary bills. She hopes to raise $50,000 this year.
“And it doesn’t take long to go through $50,000,” Fenchel said.
For instance, a dog named Sophie recently came to the group covered in ticks and heartworm positive.
“Her vet bill will total about $1,000,” Fenchel said. “Our vet bills average between $2,000 and $3,000 a month.”
The group now takes in five or six dogs a week, placing all of them in foster homes until an adoptive family is found.
“It’s amazing, still. When I first started rescuing bassets, I thought it would be one or two a month,” said Fenchel. “We never dreamed it would be anything like this.”

Got a basset?
The Michigan Basset Rescue is hosting a picnic in Waterford Township for basset hounds and their owners on Saturday, May 15. The Basset Waddle is part of the Celebrate Birmingham Parade, which begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 16, on N. Old Woodward near Booth Park. More information on the events is online at michiganbassetrescue.org.

Want a basset?
The basset rescue certainly has plenty of 'em if you do. In fact, four of the photos in this blog are of dogs currently up for adoption through the Michigan Basset Rescue — learn more about them by clicking here.
Be aware, however, that basset hounds are not lazy little dogs.
"A typical basset is a scent hound, when they put their nose to the ground they tune you out," Fenchel said. "They're very independent thinkers and they don't want to please people, they want people to please them."
Fenchel said bassets are very active until about the age of 3 or 4, when they begin settling down. Even then, however, bassets still need regular exercise to keep their muscles strong.
Because of their long body and spine compared to their short little legs, bassets can also injure themselves when jumping down from places like couches or beds. Ensuring bassets are not overweight can help prevent back problems.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Leverage the dog roll

Dogs like to roll in stuff, right? And it’s never good.
Goose poop, deer droppings, doo-doo of whatever kind they find or worse yet, anything from flesh to flowers that is in a fragrant state of decomposition.
“No!” I’ll yet at Sensi as soon I see him drop his head down, preparing to roll right in the yuck face first.
I usually say it in just the nick of time to avert a dog bath. Lucky for me, Sensi listens.
There is a way to leverage the dog’s desire to roll in a way that isn’t horribly disgusting and also serves a benefit. Though, I’d say its more akin to a dog rolling playfully in the grass than squirming around in some foul smelling piece of doo-doo.
Because of Sensi’s allergies, he’s had a lot more baths in his life than most dogs. I used to bathe him once a week. That’s a lot of practice to make a routine perfect, and we’ve got it down pat.
He’ll stand nicely in the bathtub while I get him wet, lather him up and then rinse him off. Once I’ve pulled the curtain close on the tub, I tell him to shake and he obliges. Then I reopen the curtain, towel him down pretty good and invite him out of the tub.
This is the part he likes — it’s his towel time.
At some point in our bath routine, a towel used to dry him off was left laying on the carpet. This is how towel time got started. He took it upon himself to roll on the towel — nipping it with his teeth to move it around, diving head first into it and squirming around on his back like he’s Zest-fully clean. (Not that we use Zest on him — we don’t.)
Everyone gets a kick out of watching him do this. He’ll spend a good 10 minutes drying himself off.
Last night, he refused to go outside while it rained and poured. Hours after his normal potty time had passed, it finally let up a bit for him to go out.
He wasn’t out but for a couple minutes until a big boom of thunder sounded, cueing up another downpour. Sensi got caught by surprise and was drenched, poor thing.
He came in, looked around for something to dry himself off on and finding nothing, peered up at me for help. I headed to the bathroom, grabbed a couple towels and what do you know? He was practically begging for me to throw those towels down.
So there you have it. The often dreaded dog roll can be used for some good.