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Everything posted by Karen

  1. One good thing about Seattle is that almost every medical practitioner does some degree of integrated medicine. Our vet is pretty 'holistic' already!
  2. Hi Denise! You are describing exactly what my dog was like. Like Allison, we gave up the dog park for a while. After a long break we tried again and all of a sudden I was seeing the dog park differently. I don't think the whole scene was a good fit for her; in every other situation she warms up a little slower than most dogs, she likes to take her time. And she had no choice about what dogs she interacted with - the obnoxious, aggressive dogs with terrible owners were always there. It was stressful, which made it even harder for her to come to me, which was a challenge even in no-stress si
  3. It's been so long since I've visited! Life got busy and I got out of the habit of checking in on the wonderful AID world. We're still in the forest East of Seattle. 9-year-old Danza has been our only dog for a few years, and she lives a pretty quiet country life, surveying the woods from her perch on our deck, 30 ft over everything. She also tries to keep the cleared areas rabbit-free and her favorite snack is rabbit pellets, which are everywhere right now. She's always been spectacularly healthy but started slowing down and then suddenly got very picky about her food. As it turns out she has
  4. Hi folks, I haven't been around much, but my AID Danza and I have developed a nice routine that you might enjoy with your own dogs. I decided a few years ago that every time my dogs stretched, so would I. With 2 dogs, that's a lot of stretching! Now it's just the one dog, and we stretch together. At the start I made a big show of joining in with the activity. "Oh, we're stretching, are we?" and down I'd go with my hands on the floor. When Danza stretches I'll mention the word to her. Now, if I start to stretch she runs over to join me. She has learned the exact best way to 'help' me
  5. Chickens are run of the mill in the Pacific Northwest - my neighbor has some and we get a dozen eggs a week from her. You can have them in the city, you don't even need a rooster unless you want more chickens. I would hesitate before I asked my dog to guard the thing she eats, but I'm sure it's possible.
  6. What a great photo of a beautiful dog!
  7. Wow, you've got a lot going on! It sounds like you are just the person for the job, Roger is a lucky dog. I wanted to give you something to look forward to - rather than thinking about adding a pup to the mix as a challenge, try to see it as a perfect opportunity. You are doing lots of basic work with Roger, and we all know that it's hard to overdo that but dogs get bored. But when you've got a puppy and you are starting from square one, you'll have two dogs to run through their paces and it will be a whole new experience for Roger. He'll get to be the older, wiser dog, and he might just l
  8. Wow, it really does look like Snake (who is Danza's male look-alike!)
  9. Karen

    Raw Salmon/ Trout?

    I won't even let the dogs go into the woods during spawning season (we live on a salmon supporting creek). It was interesting reading about it, though, I didn't know what carried it or that it was fatal to dogs but not other animals.
  10. I never dreamed I'd see the day when Allison is a rare visitor to the forum. Hi Allison, if you are reading this!
  11. Wow, what a picture. Now I have to ask Kim if Peter would mind me sharing it.
  12. How old is Selma? Your situation actually doesn't sound much different than mine - that bark is always so close to the surface, close enough that it just comes out of her without her even thinking about it. It's the getting her to think about what you care about that is the challenge. We use the word "hush", which I like because it sounds so little like a bark on its own. You don't want to do this: Selma - Bark! Bark bark bark!!! You - Selma, don't bark! (which sounds a lot like barking. Even the word "quiet" is kind of harsh.) I've found that not every barking situation is the same,
  13. Oh, wonderful post! So many great photos and it's a heartwarming story and now I want to get an older dog for Danza. (Don't tell anyone I said that.) I'm glad you are all doing so well! Karen
  14. Sherab, I'm so sorry. It's so hard. We're hearing too many of these stories lately, it must be the increased activity of the forum (at least it feels like there are a lot more people contributing here.) Chinatola, I agree that beating yourself up over your care of Ida is unwarrented. Every animal has its own challenges and personality, and just like with our children we need to find ways of being with them that suit them. And we can't prepare for that, no matter how hard we try. I feel that one way I can really help my Danza deal with her fears is to just help her handle the emotion -
  15. Everyone seems to use the same basic approach, which works for us, too. Dogs don't get pet or greeted until I am upstairs and everything is put away or otherwise dealt with, which makes coming home much nicer. (It also might help a little bit with separation anxiety.) I aways use the knee-up technique for getting dogs to not jump, and Danza always sit-stays at the top of the steps when someone is at the door. (If she starts up with barking she has to sit far from the door, where she can't see the action.) Tried and true stuff.
  16. Karen


    It's kind of a "this is what you are missing!" message. Which, look at them! Who would want to miss out on those two?
  17. Danza is a fool for fetch - she's so compulsive about chasing things down that she will eventually take the ball away and lie down on it so I can't throw it for a while while she catches her breath.
  18. Here is an update - It's been a little more than a month since I started this topic, and Danza has made great headway on reacting less to alarming stimuli. We did work our way up to Ben Franklin, which is a crowded, brightly lit, noisy place with people using rolling carts and other dogs and kids running around and lots of people wanting to pet her. I didn't plan it this way, but we went there on black Friday (not my choice). She did great! After she'd had a chance to settle some, she was down-staying in the aisle, heeling in the store and letting people pet her and give her treats. I was
  19. Karen

    Goodbye Drogon

    This thread is an emotional roller coaster that raises far more questions than it answers. I can't imagine what it must be like to be in the middle of it. Obviously, communication from the vet's office was shockingly terrible. But I can understand accepting their word for it - it's so heartbreaking and traumatic that I can see not thinking straight. I'm eager to hear more, and to know how the miracle pup is doing.
  20. I'm among the ranks of the mouning, too. The sense of loss still overwhelms me sometimes, but we'll all eventually get to the point where the thought of our loved one will make us smile rather than cry.
  21. I think that if someone who wants to steal your dog gets close enough to shake paws, the dog is as good as gone.
  22. Perhaps! I meant to add the likelihood that it was my fault. If anyone is going to change, it will be me.
  23. Hey party people, I have a question. Long ago we taught Danza to give us her paw, probably like every dog owner here. We'd say 'paw' and she'd give us her right paw. It comes in handy, but only half the time because she always gives us the same paw. So I'm trying to teach her to give me whatever paw I ask for. I use the words "paw" and "other" (for her left paw). After working on this for two weeks, with the aid of shaping and a clicker, she doesn't seem to be getting it, she just guesses. Which is progress. Before we continue working on this, I'm wondering if I'm just asking too m
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