We deserve this super summer in September

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MIKE RAINONE

Hammertime

It did take us a few months but last week we were basking in the 30 degree C plus temperatures during this glorious “summer in September.” What  a perfect opportunity for some extra rounds of golf, to get out and enjoy nature’s finest without mosquitoes, and hopefully to gather a bountiful harvest from both our farmers’ fields and our very own gardens.

Now that the kids are all back in school there should be a little more time to plan and prepare for fall/winter activities, to re-arrange the garage and the house, and to have a few more precious moments for ourselves, each other, and our pets!

How to pamper and understand your pets

Whether a Heinz 57 or purebred variety, we should always pamper and be very proud of our puppy, despite their looks and their occasional bad habits. Although I am not a dog owner anymore, I ran across an interesting article this summer explaining the loving relationship between pet and master, with a few tips about understanding each other, and making it all work for a lifetime.

• Basic dog instructions from the puppy stage should stay strict and simple, and usually include: pee outside, stay off the bed, don’t chew slippers, and don’t bite the neighbours. Responsible dog owners will hopefully always carry a ‘doggy bag’ on their enjoyable walks together.

• One of the best books ever written on the subject of dog tricks and behaviour was written by Alexandra Horowitz, is entitled Inside of a Dog’ and became a New York Times best seller.

• Some dogs don’t learn tricks well, but some of the outstanding exceptions of course were Lassie, the Disney movie dogs and Rin Tin Tin. Then there was a genius Border collie named “Rico” who if asked could select any one of more than 200 assorted toys spread around the house by name. On the other hand it’s hard enough to keep up with all the kids’ stuff, let alone having a toy box for the doggie.

• Most dog tricks or requests are awarded with all sorts of doggie treats and hugs, and ear rubs, which are vigorously returned by a wagging tail and tons of wet kisses. Dogs do not comprehend language or mathematics as well as most humans, and while some-times frustrating, your patient training process finally brings results, a great companionship and obedience that will last for life.

• What a great treat it is for dogs to plant a wet kiss on their owners when they return home, which is indeed a sure sign of welcome, never-ending love, and emotion. Horowitz explains that this mushy habit actually originated in the wilds, where hungry wolf cubs constantly licked their mother’s mouths when she returned home to the safety of their lair. This is an age-old cue to stimulate the mother to regurgitate the tender morsels of partially digested goodies that she had collected for her young family.

• Most dogs bark and jump up at the window when they hear a car door slam or voices from outside the house. This could come from their guard dog or protective instincts, but usually is from excitement because their family is coming home. Did you know that dogs with short noses are not blessed with high quality vision, and although they may not see us coming up the driveway, they will likely recognize the voice if we yell loud enough. Please be kind and don’t toss the stick or ball too far for your short nose pet, while the ones with the long snouts will sniff out anything for you, including hidden treats and skunks under the shed.

• Dedicated dog owner and trainer Karen Douglass informed me that there are more than 150 North American canine breeds available for prospective pet owners and families to choose from. Experts claim that individual or families should try to choose the dog that best suits their own personalities such as being laid back, rambunctious or fun loving. In many cases the wild, wonderful, and weird behaviour of a dog has likely been inherited from the everyday antics of their masters.

Whatever the case, your special pooch will become a part of you and your family for many years, so please keep them happy and healthy, and pamper them just a little each and every day.

Have a great week, all of you!

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