Take a Dog to Work? Maybe, Maybe Not.

ginger 2

Friday June 24th has been designated "Take Your Dog to Work Day" by Pet Sitters International. Begun in 1999 with a goal of encouraging adoptions, Pet Sitters Int'l suggests that we all take our dogs to work to emphasize the human/animal bond, and indirectly encourage people to adopt homeless dogs. This could be a great thing to do; many of us take our dogs to work regularly.  If you work in the dog world, it's almost a gimmee, and one of the perks that I love about my job is that I can take Willie to work whenever I want (except, of course, when he is recovering from surgery). However, there's nothing like being an Applied Animal Behaviorist to stimulate the waving of red flags when we read about something that, in some cases, could also be described as "take your dog into a completely Read More

Love Has No Age Limit is Here!


If you've written a book, you know what it's like to hold the final version in your hand for the first time. Love Has No Age Limit, the book I co-authored with Karen London about adopting an adolescent or adult dog, was delivered yesterday morning at 8 AM. I pulled up just after Denise had spent heaven knows how long carrying boxes from the truck into the office. (The delivery man's comment, while first refusing to unload the boxes, was "Do you know how many books there are in that truck?!" That's a line that will live forever in our office as "comments never to forget." As will Denise's answer: "Yes, I do. I ordered them.") But thanks to Denise's herculean efforts, there are now thousands of copies of our new book sitting in our office. (But a lot less than yesterday, we've sold Read More

Can Animals “Blame” Others?

twins 6-7-2011

As many of you know, when I went to pick up Willie after his surgery, he walked past me, greeted 4 other people, and would not make eye contact with me. This continued for 2 days after his surgery. It did not appear to be a consequence of the anesthetic or pain, in that although he was clearly a bit dopey, he enthusiastically greeted everyone else. The morning after surgery, as I sat beside him on the living room floor, he refused to lie down next to me, turned his tail to my face and lay looking longingly up the stairs toward my friend Meg. This continued, full throttle, for two days. Gradually he warmed up to me, and I'd say we are now back into the relationship we used to have. He loves me, I love him, and he loves everyone else just about as much. I say this because he greets me Read More

All Exercise is Equal, but is Some More Equal Than Others?

W in crate

So many great points being raised in the comments to my last post! One thing I want to be sure I am clear about: I am NOT suggesting that we should advise people to cut out neighborhood walks or giving their dog enough exercise to 'wake' them up. I hope it didn't sound like that was implied in my comments. Rather, I think we need to make the general public aware that the exercise they do give their pets is often not enough to satisfy the dog’s exercise needs, and help the owners figure out what type and level of exercise the dog needs, as well as what they are able to provide. As I mentioned in the first post, my favorite solution for the owner who can't manage more than a thirty minute walk is to add in lots of mental exercise for the dog through trick training. The comments to the Read More

Just Enough Exercise to Wake Up Our Dogs?

sun up hill

This blog is inspired by Willie, and all dogs who are recovering from injury or surgery, who are on total exercise restriction programs. Willie spends about 20 to 22 hours a day in a crate, 1 to 1.5 hours doing passive physical therapy and the rest lying down beside me getting his belly rubbed. He goes outside to pee and poop, and otherwise I do everything I can to keep him immobile. We'll be doing that for about 5 more weeks, and then can begin, slowly and gradually, adding in movement like 5 minutes of leash walking, or very gentle exercises that target the right muscles. He's expected to be able to have some off-leash freedom about three and a half months from now. That's all background for those of you who haven't followed the story, and it's important because his behavior is Read More