Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

Spoiled but not Spoiled Rotten

August 8, 2014

Big Bone Jones Natural Chews 003

Do people tell you your dogs are spoiled? I hear it so much that I’ve actually told people my dogs are spoiled. But I think the word ‘spoiled’ when referring to our pets can have two different meanings. The Google definition is to “harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent.” I imagine that this is what some people mean when they tell me I spoil my dogs. But when I say it, I simply mean to care for in a generous way. And I think this less harsh (albeit incorrect) definition of spoiled is what most people mean. Here’s why.

By the standards of many non-dog-lovers, it can certainly seem that I go overboard with all the things I do for my dogs. Maya and Pierson have lots of dog toys, nice plush beds, get quality food. They get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation with learning tricks. And I buy lots of dog products to promote their health and safety.

Dogs Maya & Pierson on Pet Dek in Car

This kind of treatment is easily perceived as spoiling by those who only get their dogs the basic supplies. But I am not lenient or indulgent with Maya and Pierson.

Spoiling My Dogs with Food?
For one, my dogs are not overfed. They have set meal times and are only fed a certain amount. They get treats ever so often, but I don’t overdo it. Sometimes I give treats to be indulgent. But most other times, Maya and Pierson get treats when we do fun training time.

Spoiling My Dogs by Training Them?
That’s right, I train them. It can’t be called spoiling by the true definition if I’ve taken the time to train my dogs manners. Maya and Pierson don’t get to run amuck. They are not allowed in certain rooms. They sit and stay in certain situations. And they come when called.

I can be lenient (or lazy) when it comes to certain training aspects. I am terrible about being consistent with leash walking habits. While I do cross the street when we see another dog in order to help with Maya and Pierson’s leash reactive behaviors, I do not make it a point to specifically train for modifying leash behaviors on a daily or even weekly basis. Because I still try to be responsible about their behaviors, I do not see this leniency as spoiling my dogs.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Allowing Dogs on the Furniture?
Some people believe that allowing your dogs on the furniture is spoiling them. They say this could lead to certain behavior issues. I’m not going to dispute that here. While Maya and Pierson are not generally allowed on the furniture (a personal preference), I’ve allowed it in the past and on some special occasions. And it certainly hasn’t harmed their character.

Spoiling with Love?
Perhaps allowing my dogs to live in the house where I can pet them every five minutes if I want can seem indulgent. Maybe it is, in a way. But this action does not harm their character. It is actually a benefit for both of us. They get to relax. I get to relax.

Maya Getting Nails Cut

Cutting doggy toenails.

Spoiling with Care?
While I do spend a lot of quality enjoyment time with my dogs, I also do things to them that they do not enjoy. Things like brush their teeth, cut their nails, and comb their hair. Is this spoiling? I think not.

Dog Toys All Over the Floor 001

Spoiling with Lots of Dog Toys?
When I buy Maya and Pierson a bunch of toys it can be perceived as spoiling. I beg to differ, though. Having toys to stimulate the mind and to get exercise is not going to harm their character. It’s going to help it.

Spoiling with Dog Clothes?
If your dog wears cute clothes, people will probably stop and tell your dog in a cooing voice that he’s spoiled. But they certainly couldn’t mean spoiling as in harming their character because how can dog clothes harm their character? Dogs don’t get the uppity attitude that some people can get regarding attire. They don’t think, “OMD, that dog looks like she’s wearing a hand-me-down. What a loser.” Right?

Buying the Best for My Dogs?
Spending money on quality dog food, safety gear, and veterinary care can be seen as spoiling a dog by people who do not do these things for their own pet. But it’s not spoiling them if these things are beneficial.

So if someone tells me I spoil my dogs and they mean I spend a lot of money on them, then yes, I do spoil my dogs. But if someone tells me this and they mean I overdo it to the point of harming my dogs’ characters, then I completely disagree. Maya and Pierson have their faults (who doesn’t). But overall they are very good dogs. Pampered, yes. Spoiled, perhaps by my less harsh definition. Spoiled rotten, no way!

What do you think most people mean whey they say your dog is spoiled?

Poor Maya – Sometimes Stuff Happens with Our Dogs

August 1, 2014
My Sad Dog Maya in a Cone

Poor sweet Maya. She had to wear this cone for a few weeks. You’ll see why below.

Stuff. I’m putting it nicely here because I don’t like to curse. If you have dogs, you understand what I mean by stuff. It doesn’t matter how much preventative action you take, how much training you do, or how responsible of a pet owner you are. Stuff happens. And it happens when you least expect it.

Let me tell you about the bad stuff that happened to my poor Maya during her first couple of weeks in our new home in Iowa. Maya was attacked on two separate occasions by two different dogs and two different owners. Sounds terrible, right? It was traumatizing for us both, especially Maya.

The funny thing is, we don’t live in a neighborhood of irresponsible pet owners. Our neighbors don’t let their dogs run loose. There is almost no trouble here. It just so happens that Maya was in the wrong place at the wrong time… twice.

The first incident was when we were on a walk. And it was as a result of a pet owner who had a momentary lapse of judgment. She went from the back yard to the front in order to put something in the trash. It was only going to take a few seconds so she didn’t close the gate. A few seconds was all it took. Maya and I happened to walk by at that moment and her dog ran out the gate and attacked Maya.

It happened so quickly. I was too shocked to react. Thankfully, the owner reacted right away. Maya’s feelings were hurt, but she was otherwise unharmed.

The woman was very apologetic. I didn’t lose my temper or give her a lecture about how she should have known better. The truth is, it could have just as easily happened the other way around. I get complacent with how well my dogs behave and sometimes I don’t think. Seriously, what are the chances of another dog walking by in that less-than-30-second span?

In the second incident, a Jack Russell Terrier let himself outside when he saw my dogs. Jack Russells are extremely intelligent… and devious. Although the owner knew how smart her dog was, the act of him opening the door like that took her completely by surprise. The Jack went mostly after Pierson and it was an ugly fight. But Pierson has thick fur and he defended himself, so he was fine.

The other dog owner and I struggled to get everyone separated. It wasn’t easy. Jacks are fast and agile. Pierson would not back down but I managed to grab him and get him away. When I did, the Jack went after Maya. Maya didn’t fight back. Her skin is thick around her neck, but the little dog got her around the leg and tore off a quarter-sized patch of skin.

My Dog Maya and Pet First Aid Kit

I used the pet first aid kit from Kurgo for the first time when Maya was injured by another dog.

The owner was extremely apologetic and took full responsibility. She helped me tend Maya’s wounds and took care of her medical needs. The injury on Maya’s leg looked terrible. But no arteries were hit. There was very little bleeding. Her hair will probably never grow back in that spot.

Maya limped badly for the rest of the day. But by the following morning, she was back to her chipper self. She wore a cone for a while, took some antibiotics, and had some nice pain relieving ointment. Her wound is now healed nicely, although scarred.

I know my Pierson is dog aggressive. And as such, I am very careful with him. But stuff can still happen. I can see the possibility of Pierson getting out or getting away unexpectedly and going after another dog. It has actually happened once while on a walk. He jerked the leash right out of my hand. We were very fortunate in that I got a hold of him before he could do anything to the other dog.

If Pierson had done what these dogs did to my Maya, would that make me an irresponsible dog owner? Would it label Pierson as a vicious dog? If it had been Pierson who had done these things, how would I have wanted the other parties to react? Angrily? Accusingly? With hostility?

Let’s face it, sometimes dogs do doggy things. It could be easy to judge these other dog owners and their dogs. And I think sometimes we tend to do just that, especially when we are the victims. But it is important to look at the entire situation. We are not perfect. Our dogs, angels though they might be most of the time, are not perfect either.

This article is not to say that being responsible doesn’t matter because stuff is going to happen anyway. Always be responsible with your pets. Never be careless. Because that one moment when you’re not is when stuff will happen to you and your dog too.

Maya Under My Desk

Maya loves to lay under my desk when I’m working. If you look at her front left leg, you can see her injury.

Wordy Wordless Wednesday – Celebrating 41 Years with Dogs

July 30, 2014

Did I say ‘wordless’? Okay, so it’s not completely wordless. Today is my 41st birthday. I do not dread this day (nor did I dread the big four-o day). These are the happiest times in my life. There have been a lot of bumps in my early years, but one great thing has been constant for all 41 of them and that is dogs. Let me share them with you.

I showed you a photo of this dog last week. Wendy wasn’t just special to my mom, she was special to me because she was the first dog I was ever exposed to.

Spaniel Mix Wendy

My mom was worried about how Wendy would react to me as a newborn baby. Luckily, Wendy adored me and she was very protective of me. She would sleep under my crib and she’d watch me carefully whenever anyone held me.

I showed you this photo last week too. While I was growing up, my mom had a number of dogs, but Cassie was the first dog that was considered my dog.

Cassie - Shetland Sheepdog

When my mom took Cassie in, I was just 10 years old. Cassie immediately attached herself to me and would only sleep with me in my room, even when it was my sister’s turn to have her.

After I moved out of my parent’s house I, of course, took Cassie with me. Cassie was getting older and I thought a new puppy would liven things up a bit. Cassie wasn’t as thrilled about Smokey as I was, but they did play from time to time and Smokey did put a bit of a spring into her step.

Me and My Dog Smokey at Georgetown Lake

My dog Smokey was my hiking buddy. We spent three days roughing it as we hiked around Georgetown Lake in Texas.

My Border Collie / Shepherd Dog Smokey

Here’s a better photo of my dog Smokey, also taken at Georgetown Lake.

More of My Dog Smokey

Smokey and I did a lot of outdoor things together. Swimming was one of his favorites.

After a year or so of getting Smokey, I started working for the animal shelter in Austin, Texas. Since then I adopted and fostered a number of dogs (and cats). I don’t talk about them as much as the others because I had to leave them with my ex after we got divorced. The divorce ended badly so I do not know what became of them. I can only hope he cared for them or gave them to good homes.

Beagle Mix Huckleberry Hound

Huckleberry Hound was rescued from the back of a Uhaul truck with 50 other dogs. The dogs were all sick with Parvo. Huckleberry was the only one that pulled through. He lived at the shelter for three months before I decided to take him home. Huck lived with me for four years before he got out of the fence one day and was struck and killed by a car. :(

My Dogs and Cat Huckleberry Grady Scrapper

Huck with Scrapper and Grady. Scrapper is the cat and he loved to walk on a leash outside. Grady was my dad and stepmom’s dog. They gave up Grady because they couldn’t train him. They do not have the dog-sense that my mom has.

Cats CleoPatra Scrapper Dillan

Patra (short for Cleopatra) is the tortoiseshell cat and is the first cat I rescued from the animal shelter. She was a stray and was in rabies observation for a week for scratching a child. She was going to be euthenized but I didn’t let it happen. I don’t remember how I got Scrapper, the white with gray kitty. And Dillan, the all gray kitten, was rescued from the jaws of a Doberman named Dillan.

Golden Retriever Molly McButter

I fostered Molly for a few weeks, during which time she earned the nickname of Molly McButter.

Foster Pups Skittles Max Puddles

From left to top then bottom right: Skittles, Max, and Puddles. These were foster pups I had for a few weeks.

My Black and White Cat Spider

I honestly don’t remember how I got Spider (so named because he often climbed the curtains and walls). He is one of the ones I was forced to leave behind when I got divorced.

Dogs Becky Anne and Sheba

Becky Anne, the G. Shepherd-colored Whippet mix, was going to be put to sleep because she wasn’t cute enough. Yes, it’s true. The man in charge of the shelter I worked at decided he didn’t like me and immediately ordered the dog to be put to sleep when he found out I took interest in her. Sheba is the Rottweiler mixed that was abandoned in front of my house. I guess her owners decided that since I already had five dogs, I wouldn’t notice the sixth! I had Sheba for two years before she got out with Huckleberry and was never heard from again, even though she was wearing her tags. :(

My Chow / Shepherd Mix Achilles

Achilles came from a box of pups that someone was giving away in front of Walmart. I had him for almost three years before he escaped from the yard and was never seen again. He had tags, but I lived in the country so anything could have happened. :(

If you’ve been following this blog, then you remember this dog. Like my dog Achilles, Sephi was named from Greek mythology (short for Persephone). My ex gave Sephi to me because he felt guilty for cheating on me. Of course, I didn’t know this at the time. Sephi was the only dog I was able to keep from the divorce. I couldn’t keep the others because I wasn’t working and so my ex got to keep our house.

My Chow Shepherd Mix Dog Sephi

Sephi was my sole companion for many hears after my divorce. She passed away at the age of 11 in November 2011.

My two current best buds are Maya and Pierson.

My Dogs Maya and Pierson Having a Ball in the Fall

Maya was adopted by a family with two toddlers and an infant. After one week, they posted her on Craigslist and I was the lucky responder. Pierson was rescued from Pierson Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

That’s all the words I have on this very special Wordy Wordless Wednesday. For more doggy fun, check out the blog hop link below.

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My Mom is Amazing

July 25, 2014

My mother is amazing! She took a turn for the worse a couple of weeks ago but is determined to still live her life with a smile. She is so determined that she wants to get up and do things. In fact, she is actually doing much better right now. This past weekend, she went to check out the neighborhood garage sales. She loves garage sales. My stepdad says she was wide awake at about 5:30 am Saturday morning ready to go! Thursday, hospice arranged to get her a ride into town. Mom really wanted to go to Walmart. Here are a few recent photos of my amazing mom.

Mom and silly mask

My mom loves to laugh. She got a kick out of this silly mask my stepdad got for her.

Mom at a Garage Sale 7-19-14

My mom loves garage sales. This was taken on July 19, 2014.

 

Mom Mandy Casper

My stepdad and the friend they are staying with, Bill, each bought my mom a stuffed animal, which my mom named Mandy and Casper.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I got my love for dogs from my mom. When I was a girl, my mom was the town’s unofficial dog rescuer. Wendy, in the photo below, was initially a stray. My mom got her exactly one year before I was born.

Spaniel Mix Wendy

There was a Collie my mom had before I was born. I think his name was Ranger. When he was was given up by his owners he was covered in mats. I have a photo of Ranger, but the scan didn’t come out well. In the photo, he has a luxurious coat, all thanks to my mom’s loving care. Squash was a Mastiff mixed abandoned by our neighbors. He was tied on a short thick chain in the back yard and left there. Squash became a loving family member who later returned the kindness by protecting my baby sister from a pack or a pair ( I can’t remember) of aggressive dogs.

Cassie was a Sheltie given up by her family. My mom took her in, but Cassie attached herself to me and became my dog.

Cassie - Shetland Sheepdog

Rocky is the dog that recently passed away just before my mom was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was posted on Craigslist as a dog “free to a good home”. Luckily, he found a great home with my mom.

Rocky Standing Over Mom

My mom recently lost her dog Rocky. This is him standing on the top of her chair. Rocky was a very lovable dog but he loved my mom more than anyone.

Solo was also a “free to good home” on rollanet in Rolla, MO. She came from a terrible dog breeding situation that got way out of hand. Before my mom saved her, Solo lived in a small cage full of dog crap with two other dogs. Solo came with a ton of issues including extreme shyness, fear aggression, and just plain aggression. Today, she is by my mom’s bedside and living the high life. Her shyness and aggression is mostly gone, although she still dislikes other dogs. She is a much different dog than she was when my mom first got her. Love can do that.

Solo the Border Collie Mix

My mom survived lung cancer a few years ago. This is her after recovery and with her dog Solo.

There were so many other dogs that my mom rescued. I remember Max, Lady, Lips, an Afghan Hound, and so many more that I don’t recall the names of. With her generous love, my mom has changed the lives of so many animals. And it is obvious animals have had a positive influence on her. She doesn’t let her illness get her down and the smallest things make her happy. She is truly amazing and I am so proud to have her as my mom.

Mom with First Daughter Dawn

This is me and my mom.

 

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday – My Mom and the Dogs

March 26, 2014

My mom is doing well so far with her recent diagnosis. She is tired often but is keeping a positive attitude and living life as best as possible. It’s amazing how happy she is staying despite the adversity. She has been staying with my husband and I for the past couple of days. Here is a photo of her with Maya and Pierson.

Also, while she is here I have been drawing her beloved dog Rocky who passed away in January. This is what I have done so far. I should be finished with it later today. And around 2pm today, I will be taking her to the airport. She is going to Oregon to be with my sisters and brother and her numerous friends.

Before moving to Missouri a few years ago, my mom lived most of her life in Oregon and is excited about going back. After my stepdad is finished taking care of selling their belongings and property in Missouri, him and I are going to drive to Oregon with their dog Solo. I will be in Oregon with my mom for a couple of weeks or so. Don’t worry, I will still be taking care of business for PetAutoSafety.com.

My Mom with Maya and Pierson

My mom with Maya and Pierson. Pierson can sometimes be shy with strangers, but not my mom.

Rocky Small Drawing Almost Done

My mom’s beloved dog Rocky passed away in January. She wanted me to draw him for her so I have been working on this while she’s been visiting me.

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How Bad Would My Health Be Without My Dogs?

January 23, 2014
Maya on the Couch

When I’m not feeling well, I put a sheet over the couch and call the dogs up. Maya loves to cuddle with me. Mentally, it really helps me feel better.

Did you know about 1/4 of people with fibromyalgia are considered disabled? I do not consider myself disabled. Over the years I have learned how to manage most of my symptoms. Maya and Pierson help a lot. I imagine that without them, my symptoms would be far worse.

I wrote a post in November about how I was starting up a treatment that was supposedly going to cure my fibromyalgia. Well, it didn’t. I did everything I was supposed to. I did not have the support of a doctor, but that is only because there are no fibromyalgia specialists in my area. I did, however, buy a book that explained the treatment in detail. It required an over the counter drug, so I was able to implement everything to a T.

Anyway, since it didn’t work, I have to continue to manage my symptoms. This is where Maya and Pierson come in. Most days are pretty good, but I still have some bad ones. Yesterday, for example, I had to go to the emergency room. Before you worry, I was okay. I went at the suggestion of my doctor even though I was reasonably certain it wasn’t serious. It was my fibromyalgia acting up again.

Yesterday, I had an unexpected and terrible pain in my jaw and my mouth started to feel tingly. I was in extreme pain for several minutes before the pain slowly started to dissipate. This pain was unusual for me so I called my doctor and she told me to go to the emergency room.

Apparently, the painful jaw and tingling of the mouth is a symptom of a stroke. So when I got to the hospital, they immediately checked me in and began running a bunch of tests. All tests came up normal. They didn’t find anything wrong. Whew!

When I got home, I did my own research. I searched and searched about jaw pain until I finally found one that sounded like it could fit my situation. It said about 1/4 of fibromyalgia patients experience jaw pain. And the pain is more in the muscles than in the jaw. So there it is folks! I wasn’t having a stroke. It was just yet another symptom of my fibromyalgia. Ugh!

By now, it is well known that there are several health benefits to having a pet. I wholly believe this to be true. Sephi, Maya, and Pierson have been wonderful blessings in so many ways, including my health. Regular exercise is one way I am able to keep most of the fibromyalgia symptoms at bay. Maya and Pierson are great at helping me with this. We walk and play together all the time. Stress can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms as well and my dogs are great at helping me to alleviate stress.

Pull No More dog harness

Walking makes me feel better, and Maya too! :)

If you ever tell anyone you’ve heard pets provide health benefits and they don’t believe you, tell them you know someone who knows it is true. Attribute it to the placebo effect if you want. Whether my dogs are the sugar pill or the medicine, the fact remains that they are still a real remedy. They provide not only health benefits, but they hold the key to happiness. I don’t even want to imagine what my health and my life would be like without them.

Pierson and Mr. Monkey Dog Toy

Pierson’s cuteness helps lighten my mood whenever I’m not feeling well.

Thank you, Amy Shojai, for letting me reference your article about the health benefits of dogs.

Wordless Wednesday – Snow Face & Snow Tussle

January 8, 2014

We missed our first winter show because we were in Texas for the holiday. But the snow we got a couple days ago made up for it. My dogs Maya and Pierson had a brawl… I mean ball!

Dogs First Snow 2014 007

“Yes, mommy. I do want to play in the snow. But let’s have breakfast first, k?

Dogs First Snow 2014 009

“Since we can’t have a snow ball fight, let’s just have a snow tussle.”

Snow Brawl - A Tussle of Two Dogs

Dogs First Snow 2014 006

Snow Beard

Dogs First Snow 2014 018

Snow Face

Dogs First Snow 2014 013

The result of trying to catch snowballs.

If you think these pet photos were cute, you should check out the fun on these other blogs:

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Tis the Season to Cuddle

December 18, 2013

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

My dogs Maya and Pierson are generally not allowed on the furniture. However, there are days when I’m not feeling well where I just want to cuddle. Maya and Pierson really look forward to these times. They know exactly what it means when I start putting the blue sheet on the couch and they get so so excited. Here are some photos from our most recent cuddle time.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 1

I love cuddle time as much as Maya and Pierson do.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 2

Cuddle Time! But wheres mom? Cuddle time just isn’t the same without her.

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 4

Yin Yang

Maya and Pierson Cuddle on Couch 5

Maya makes a nice pillow for my dog Pierson.

Maya Cuddling on the Couch 1

Maya loves to rest her head on my lap. She always gets the “shotgun” position on the couch next to me.

Pierson Cuddling on the Couch 1

Pierson likes to cuddle, but he gets hot easily and so eventually scoots to the end of the couch.

For more great pet photos, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

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Also, join me on Meet the Blogger on my other blog for pet car travel.

DOGTV May Help Some Dogs with Separation Anxiety

December 13, 2013
DogTV

Does your dog watch TV?

Someone shared an interesting and very informative article with me, so I thought I would pass it on:

Nothing is worse than leaving for work or to run errands, only to be mournfully followed to the door by my dog’s heartbreaking puppy-dog eyes pleading for me to stay. Saying goodbye to my pup even for a few hours may be hard on me, but more importantly, and as other dog owners would agree, we worry about how hard it is on them.

According to the AAHA, about 10 to 15 percent of dogs experience some sort of separation anxiety. Unfortunately, when pets feel abandoned they may lash out by misbehaving, whether it’s peeing in the house, chewing on furniture, or partaking in other forms of destruction, or even just barking incessantly.

There have been previous attempts at aiding separation anxiety in dogs, including the Thundershirt, calming collars and simple training methods. Now, a recent digital option to help these anxious pups has appeared in the form of a new DirecTV channel, DOGTV. The channel was created by a group of leading dog experts, including scientist Prof. Nicholas Dodman and dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, and broadcasts 24/7 programming scientifically designed for dogs.

But what does “scientifically designed for dogs” really mean? The main features seem to be that the programs are color-adjusted for dogs’ eyes, and feature 3-6 minute segments meant to relax, stimulate and expose dogs to situations familiar to them from everyday life. It all sounds great in theory, but many owners will still question is if DOGTV actually works.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has stated that any relaxation and stimulation for pets is good, but has also cautioned that dog television may not work for every dog. There may be critics of DOGTV — pet owners who say it has no effect on their pets, that dogs won’t be interested in the visuals TV can present, or that their dogs simply bark at the screen. However, a poll taken by the American Kennel Club revealed that 60 percent of dog owners said their dog watched TV for short periods of time fairly often. So, if the channel can help relieve even some dogs who suffer with separation anxiety and boredom behavior, you may find, like me, that DOGTV is worth investing in.

As absurd as TV for dogs might sound, I must admit that my own dog, Oliver, seems to love it. I already knew he was intrigued by the television — whenever I turned on a movie, he stared at the screen until the movie finished, as though he was truly interested in what he saw. So I tested out DOGTV, and although I don’t have a camera to monitor his activities when I am not there, I believe the television shows distracted and/or entertained him enough to stop chewing my pillows. It provides him with the mental stimulation that I cannot give him while away at work, when he gets tired of sleeping and starts looking for something to entertain him. Instead of just looking out the window each day and then eating a pillow, Oliver has something to keep his attention and calm him down.

So, for pet owners who spend the majority of the day out of the home, and for dogs who suffer with separation anxiety, DOGTV may just be the solution to help not only keep your pet calm and entertained, but also your home in order and your favorite pair of shoes safe. I would suggest reading up on the science behind the new channel and the opinions of experts before investing in DOGTV yourself, but I think overall that the new channel is a great idea.

(The above was written by someone else. I have not used DOGTV for Maya and Pierson, but I can see how it could be helpful for some dogs. I’ve seen studies of how music can sooth a dog, so why not TV? It has sound too, plus visual stimulation. When I worked at a boarding kennel years ago, we had special “rooms” with TVs that dog’s parents could pay extra for. Some of our customers were certain the TV helped soothe their dog because the TV was on for them every day whenever they went to work. I imagine the voice of Rachael Ray and the voices of the characters on soap operas provided a familiar comfort for these dogs when their parents were out of town for several days.)

What do you think of the idea of DOGTV?

Wordless Wednesday – Drawing Zipper

December 11, 2013

Zipper was one of those very special dogs that stay in your heart forever. He was the dog that no other dog will ever compare to. As such, my friend asked that I draw Zipper for her fiancé as a gift. Here is a work in progress of Zipper:

Zipper the Dog Photo

My friend only had a few photos of Zipper to draw from. This one is a bit dark, but it was the best I could work from.

Zipper the Dog Sketch 1

First, I do some sketches. Zipper’s face isn’t quite right in this one, but the body looks right.

Zipper the Dog Head Sketch 2

Since only Zipper’s head needed to be fixed, I redrew the head. The ears are a little bigger, the face isn’t as long, and there are a couple of other subtle differences.

Zipper the Dog Final Sketch

When I felt I had all the shapes right, I did a final sketch and emailed it to my friend for her approval. She said it was perfect, so now for the next step…

Zipper the Dog Drawing 002

I trace my sketch of Zipper onto pastel paper.

Zipper the Dog Drawing 005

I always do the background of my art work first. I generally try to keep the background simple so as not to take away from the drawing of the dog. In this case, I chose green grass because I thought it would be a nice contrast to Zipper’s black and white coat.

Zipper the Dog Drawing 010

The next thing I do is the hardest, and for me, also the most fun. I draw Zipper’s eyes, nose, and mouth. Because this is not just a portrait drawing, these parts are smaller, making it difficult for me to add detail. But it came out pretty good none-the-less.

Zipper the Dog Head 001

Next, I add more detail to Zipper’s head. Trying to get the shading just right is difficult since the photo of Zipper is really dark. But knowing the shape of dog heads, I think I got this right.

More Zipper the Dog Art 06

Almost done! I’ve colored in Zippers body and begin to add shading.

Final Art Work of Zipper the Dog

Ta da! I emailed this to my friend and she absolutely loved it. She said it brought tears to her eyes. That, my friends, is one of the reasons I love to draw.

Visit the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below to see more great pics of pups and other pets:

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