The Dog Blog


Old Dog

The Final Walk —by Dog Star Daily’s international roving reporter Roger Abrantes

My walk home from the pier is one of life’s small pleasures. It’s normally a 20 minute stroll, but it can often take up to an e hour or sometimes even two, as I have to stop and chat with everybody on the way, from merchants to people I know by sight, or even complete strangers. This is the Thai way and the way of my village in Southern Thailand where everybody smiles and talks to you.


How to Rule Your Dog's World

There seem to be a lot of dog owners out there who are worried about being pushed around by their dogs. Clients come to me all the time asking for reassurance that they are not somehow being drawn into total control by their canine companion.

Here’s how I determine who is in charge. If you were trapped in your house with your dog, and the only thing to eat was a can of beef stew, who would open the can? Whoever opens the can is in charge. (If you're thinking your dog would simply eat you instead of waiting for beef stew, you have a bigger issue than we're talking about here!)


Tails of Devotion

I just bought my fifth copy of a book called Tails of Devotion. Why, you may ask, do I need five copies of the same book? Do I keep losing it? Am I daft? No and no.


Gimme A Break!

Okay, so we all know that the average dog is overweight and under-exercised. This is a fact that just can’t be disputed. We also know that many a behavior problem could be resolved by providing more exercise, mental stimulation and training.

However, in my own practice, I often come across dogs who have been swung all the way to the other side of the pendulum. They get lots of exercise, attend classes, go to daycare, frequent the dog park, go everywhere with their owners and participate in at least one sport. I call them the over-achievers.


Puppy Prodigies

I am blown away. I have just come from visiting a web site that showed videos of very young puppies being trained. You’re probably thinking “young” means four months old, maybe even three. But nooo! These puppies started their training at the age of 20 days. For those of you just waking up and not wanting to do the math, that’s just under three weeks!


Saving Ollie - Part 2 in a series about a shelter dog with serious behavior problems

Click to read part 1
Ann and Meredith returned Ollie to the shelter soon after our visit. AAF’s Executive Director, Eric Johnson, asked my advice about how to proceed. In other shelters I had worked with, the answer would have been obvious: euthanasia. At AAF, however, that option would not be considered before making every effort to improve Ollie’s behavior.

For now, I’ll dodge the question of whether committing resources to dogs like Ollie, rather than euthanizing them to make room for more “adoptable” dogs in need of scarce shelter space, is good policy. I’m hoping to clarify my thoughts on that issue with this series of posts. I’ll start with the first issue that any shelter considering keeping a dog like Ollie must evaluate: risk.


Finding the Time to Train

Most tasks must be scheduled and planned, as we all have very busy lives. Like any dog owner, I’m sure that you’ve had difficulty finding the time to do the training you’d like to do. There’s work, the kids, the spouse, the house, the garden and more!


Your Dog is Barking -- Are You Listening?

Two years ago on a bitterly cold February night, the terrier across the street from my father’s home began to bark uncontrollably, much to the puzzlement and consternation of her owners. In an attempt to determine what was bothering Winnie, they opened the door and let her outside, where she promptly raced across the street to my father’s garage (something she had never done before). When her owners went to retrieve her, they found my father lying on the garage floor with a broken leg.


The Outermost House

You’ve flipped through all the magazines in the waiting room, and heard the stories of countless animals as they filtered through the veterinary clinic with their owners. They arrive and leave again, bidding you good luck, and yet breathing a silent breath of relief that it is you who remain. The hours of waiting grow long when your pal of fourteen years is in the throes of an uncertain surgery. And so, you find yourself wandering the hallways, reading the numerous memorials, awards, and diplomas that paper the walls – anything to take your thoughts somewhere else for a few minutes.


The Dune Chronicles (second in an ongoing series)

It was 4 pm on a sun-drenched autumn day. The sun had begun it’s descent, making the temperature perfect for a four-mile trek in the Northern California hills. The dusky sky was ripening into a mottled rosy-violet curtain that would gradually darken to a deep blueberry hue. Flecks of silver stars dotted the atmosphere and a sliver of silvery moon was making an early appearance on the horizon.



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