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Woof Wednesday: Water Works & Writing Ahead

 7-22 magic water 3

It’s only March but here in Texas we’re already into the 70s. By July, temperatures will reach triple digits.  I swear my GSD, the Magical-Dawg (above), must have Labrador in him because he loves water so much. He’s already begun to stop by the outside faucets and look with doggy lust at the unattached hose coiled on the ground. He loves water so much, you’d think bathing would be a breeze. But it’s nearly impossible to bathe him because his fetch-the-water game prevents a good rinse cycle. And he’s too big to stuff in the washing machine.

We don’t have a swimming pool. According to friends, they’re a money-sink but I gotta tell you, I’d take chlorinated water over stinky-parasite-infected tank. “Tank” is Texan for man-made mud puddle for livestock. Magic thinks it’s his personal playground, perfect for floating balls. Last year he contracted powerful projectile diarrhea from imbibing, so I’m not a fan–and use the hose and wading pool innovation to keep him away from temptation.

Dogs don’t think ahead, they live in the moment. I know spring has barely sprung, but writers live 6-12 months in the future. I’ll be interviewed this Friday by Family Circle magazine for a feature on aging dogs and aging cats scheduled for their August issue, yee-haw! And I just turned in two articles for Catnip and Your Dog magazines (published by Tufts University) on summer pet concerns, including pool safety. While writing for the Internet can mean more immediate publication, writers targeting print should be pitching Fall topics by now. 6-16 swimnymbus

Most cats don’t care for water but a few like Turkish Vans and Bengals may jump right in. Pets are natural dog-paddlers (even cats!) but easily drown if they can’t climb out, get caught in a rush of water, or get too tired to float. Puppies, kittens and small dogs are at highest risk for drowning. Their inexperience, curiosity and fearlessness prompt them to explore. Certain dog breeds with very heavy coats become weighted down when wet, while Bulldogs and similar pooches simply aren’t built for effective swimming. The steep sides of backyard pools, hot tubs, kiddie wading pools or even toilets may prove particularly dangerous, depending on the size and age of the pet.


Most backyard pools have steps to get out along with a shallow end. Teach your pet how to find these easy exits. For instance, place a large visual marker such as a planter near the shallow end or steps. Then when King does his doggy dive, or Sheba leaps into the wet, lure the pet to paddle toward the planter and demonstrate how to climb steps. Praise him when he finds the way out. Never leave pets unsupervised around the pool.

Are your dogs (or cats) water-babies? Do they chase the hose like Magic, or shun the tub like my Seren-kitty? I would LOVE to see how Magic reacts to a real pond or even the seashore. I’ve heard of some dogs who try to “herd” the waves. How do your dogs react?  I must admit, I admire pets’ ability to live in the moment. I’m stuck in the future, channeling Thanksgiving and snowstorms.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe this blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thoughtful Thursday: Miracle Survival, Million-$-Dog and More

Million dollar dog–oh, really?!

Today’s blog is short and sweet—and sort of a mashup of a number of items that make you go,

Holy Crappiocca!

I had a migraine all day yesterday and about the only thing that helps is a nap with my fur-kids around me. But I had to work. Many of y’all know I’m on the Internet quite a bit. Okay, I’m online nearly 24/7! Anyway, I put off looking at several emails until late last night and this one blew my headache all to heck. It’s footage of two dogs abandoned when their owner had to get outta dodge due to the Tsunami…AND—THEY—SURVIVED!

On to another HOLY CRAPPIOCCA! moment, this one not in the same league, clearly. I love my dog (and my cat). I know that you love your fur-kids, too. Heck, the blog yesterday had nearly 900 visitors (was emailed more than 2000 times, yikes!) so I know people worry about what pets think of us. This short article makes me wonder, too, how much would YOU pay for a pet? How about–$1 million. I—kid—you—not!

Do you dress up your pets? The closest I could get to this with my pets is providing them with sparkly toys or plush beds. But I have no doubt we’ll see a flurry of “green” wearin’ non-Irish-pet-pictures flooding the internet today. Even cats get into the act! I recently filmed “Cheddar” the Siamese at a cat show wearing his “grinch” costume and the cat’s owner said the 16-year-oldster feline has more than 60 outfits and loves wearing them. Judge for yourself—but to me that “love” looks more like “too tired to care.”

National Pet Parent’s Day is April 17, sponsored by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI). They’ve partnered with American Greetings to offer a free customizable Pet Parent’s Day e-card. Beginning March 15 and extending through the month of April, visitors to can send an American Greetings e-card to the pet owners in their lives who consider four-legged friends a part of the family. Okay, gang, is this something that you’d do? I probably would. But then I’ve been known to wear my rhinestone #1-Bitch pin in public.

So the burning questions today: How do you express your pet love?

Woofs & purrs,


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