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Moby and Summer at Paws in the Park

There was a doggy-themed event called Paws in the Park held last Sunday at the Greenfield District. It was a good thing that we brought along both Summer and Moby to the event — each dog had highlights to their afternoon while we were there. Our dogs met a couple of new friends i.e., Cymer’s doggies. For Summer, she also met a lot of familiar faces. Her friend, Walt, was there along with his humans and they introduced us to ice cream for doggies. Joy from Pawsitive Education was there and, as usual, Summer was very excited to greet her. Kris gave her a box of treats.

As for Moby, we met some of the core volunteers of Help MAS by chance. I think the last time they saw Moby in person was at the six-legged walkathon event nearly a year ago. It was a nice reunion. They saw how handsome Moby has become, and I guess seeing rescue dogs doing so well after they’ve been adopted is something that validates the work they’ve put in.

One of the things we gave feedback on about the event is how much we liked the selection of booths that were available. There was a lot (for humans too), and there was variety! There was a mobile grooming station parked right near the entrance. Karen of The Dog Park and Joy of Pawsitive Education both had booths to promote their services. EzyDog was there. There was a photo booth and a pet portrait booth. CARA and PART were also there to rally support to their causes.

And knowing how food-driven our doggies are, of course, there were booths that sold dog treatsWhole Pet Kitchen was there so we grabbed the chance to buy some ox chews for the doggies, and those liver muffins that my dogs find so yummy. One of the booths was selling some Blue Dog Bakery products. (We gave the doggies the Softies (peanut butter flavor) that we got from Kris when we got home, and the dogs love it!) Ice Cream Pups was also there selling ice cream for doggies. Summer shamelessly devoured her share, and also the left over ice cream of Moby and Cymer’s doggies. With all the treats that came their way, I’d say it must’ve been a pretty good day for our doggies!

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Beach trip with the doggies

It’s Summer’s third time to go to the beach, and Moby’s first time with us. We decided to go to La Luz Beach Resort where we’ve gone the past 2 times. We weren’t sure how Moby would react to the beach setting, so we opted for this tried-and-tested place. They do have a PHP450 per dog per night charge, which is just fine and is better than having them sleep outdoors or in some “luggage” area.

Here’s a video of Summer (sorry, WordPress doesn’t automatically allow embedding of tumblr vids), and below that are some lessons learned from past beach trips.

Swim whenever possible. Summer absolutely loves swimming. But just being on the beach doesn’t allow us unlimited swim time. The waves could be too strong, or it may be too hot. Best times are very early in the morning and late afternoon.

Life vest for the doggies. For safety most especially when you’re unsure of your dog’s swimming skills, your dog can wear a doggie life vest. Summer has an EzyDog DFD (dog floatation device) which we bought from Pet Express. Moby has a life vest (although untested since he didn’t swim) from Japan Home in Eastwood.

Leashes. Hands-free leashes are most convenient since you might have your hands full from carrying loads of other stuff or even when you’re just eating. They can also be useful for tethering your dog in place in case you need to make a quick run for something. Long leashes (we have a 30 feet leash) allow your dog more room to run or swim if you worry about your dog’s recall.

Clean, fresh water. Summer tends to drink seawater while swimming especially on the first day. This causes her to throw up and have really soft stools. This has happened in each of our beach trips so it doesn’t give us too much cause for alarm anymore. We don’t let this be a spoiler to her fun. As much as we can, we try to keep her from drinking seawater by asking her not to (hey, that works sometimes) or by lifting her head whenever she starts drinking. We keep her hydrated with with clean drinking water. We skip a meal or reduce her servings to give her tummy a break.

Too much playtime in the sand can hurt the paws. The sand can get abrasive and your dog might end up with wounded paws. Be on the lookout for any signs of discomfort, and have your dog take a pause from playtime. The sand can also get too hot. Try to feel the ground with your own bare feet. If it’s too hot for you, it’s going to be too hot for them. One thing we’re considering for our next trip is doggie shoes.

Sun protection. Their noses can get sunburn. So when we dab on some sunscreen, we also put some (very little) on Summer’s nose. We also got some doggles (sunglasses for dogs) with UV protection for Moby. It’s also protection against the other elements especially since he recently got an irritation in his eye.

What else… Of course general reminders still apply… Have the dogs wear their collar with ID tag. Keep your pet dog away from stray cats and dogs. Pick up after your dogs (even if it’s frustratingly soft poop). Etc.

Most importantly, have fun.

 

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Moby’s day out

In a separate post, I wrote about our second time bringing Moby along to BGC. But tonight has so many highlights:

  • Moby being evidently excited about going out (he seemed so happy about our walk)
  • Summer leading us to Eat Well for dinner, and then to Pan de Manila for the doggies’ pandesal break
  • Getting to promote adoption of shelter dogs in our own very little way
  • Moby and Summer being so nice towards kids who requested to pet and feed them
  • Moby getting a new Lupine harness (which we can be replaced for free in case of damage) after we found out his EzyDog harness has a tear (and we bought it last month!)
  • Moby trying out frozen yoghurt for the first time, and liking it!
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Moby: mixed breed and adopted from shelter

Last week, we took Moby out to BGC for the first time. It’s a long story how that happened, but with that walk we realized how well-behaved he is outside. We had been hesitant about bringing him along for the longest time since he is not well-trained (we can’t make him sit or stay on cue), and we didn’t know how well he’ll react to other people. We had taken him along before to the six-legged walkathon for a cause, and we’ve brought him several times to Summer’s day care. At those instances, he’s pretty much generally a gentleman and our walk in BGC confirmed it all the more.

So today, we took him along with us again to BGC. He seemed quite excited about it — even rushing to the door after we put on his harness. There was a bounce in his step, and he seemed very energetic as we were walking (at least at the early parts, before he got tired).

During our walk in BGC, we came across a group of folks at the Mind Museum. One of them had a camera along and I saw that she took a nice shot of Moby (too bad I can’t get a copy). They asked what Moby’s breed was, and they seemed quite surprised when we said he’s an “askal” (since that’s the more familiar term) who we adopted from the shelter. Later on, while I was buying drinks at Jamba Juice, there was a couple of kids who approached Pam, Summer and Moby. They asked if they could pet and feed Summer and Moby. Pam obliged, and happily shared to me later on how the doggies — yes, even Moby — were very well behaved towards those kids. And much later, we met a couple of folks who were walking their dogs. They asked whether Moby’s a border collie. We shared that he’s a mixed breed who we adopted from the shelter.

I guess we often tend to bring up that he’s a mixed breed and adopted from a shelter whenever there’s a chance. He looks rather good (looks matter to a lot of people), he’s generally well-behaved, and he’s even well-socialized (deals well with both dog and human strangers). He really makes quite a fine example for an adopted shelter dog! And we hope that in seeing him, people’s perception of shelter dogs or of mixed breeds are improved.

Some photos:

Moby's first time in BGC

Moby’s first time in BGC

Excited about pandesal

Excited about pandesal during our stop at Pan de Manila

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Summer in the looloo weekly

ImageOne of the iPhone apps we’ve been using is looloo which is like Foursquare but with more localized content. When we’re feeling foodie or would like to do a quick check on what a restaurant has to offer, we look it up on looloo to get suggestions on what to try. Their weekly newsletter is something Pam looks forward to since it often shares restaurants to check out.

With the recent opening of Whole Pet Kitchen: Pet Deli & Bark-ery, Pam made a request to have the place added into looloo. We put in the first couple of reviews, and of course we just had to post a photo of Summer there.

Then earlier this week, I found out from WPK’s Instagram that the dog cafe has been mentioned in the looloo weekly. And I spotted Summer’s photo that went along with it! ❤

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Whole Pet Kitchen dog cafe is finally open!

I recently had my birthday, and what better way to celebrate it than by dining out with a couple of my BFFs. The newly opened Whole Pet Kitchen Pet Deli & Bark-ery let me do just that since they welcome dogs into the premises. Typically, when you eat out with dogs, you’re resigned to being seated outside where there’s no AC and where smokers are also seated. As far as pet-friendly restaurants or cafés go, this place is tops!

Mr Jack, Gianina’s handsome golden retriever, is there to welcome you. Once inside, they’ve got doggie treats on display. And if you’re dining in, they’ve got a menu for both the humans and the dogs. And yes, they have brewed coffee! We ordered Jack’s Lasagna and the Veggie & Beef Meatballs for Summer. Eating out with Summer isn’t entirely new for us but it was one of the few times that she tried to snoop in on what’s at the table, so I think she definitely liked the food that we ordered for her. To make it all the more dog-friendly, they’ve got a box of doggy toys that Summer was quick to pounce on. There’s a bowl of water within the dogs’ access to keep them hydrated. The chairs and couches aren’t off limits to visiting doggie guests. They have a doggie gate at the door as a precaution to keep the doggies in. There’s a washroom for the humans, and there’s a small patch of grass outside in case your dog needs to potty.

Whole Pet Kitchen Pet Deli & Bark-ery is located at 349-D CM Recto cor. P Guevarra St in San Juan (near Cafe Ysabel). They’re open Tues-Sun at 10AM-6PM.

Photos to follow later…

[Edit] Couldn’t embed a flipagram here in WordPress. You can check out the montage of photos here: http://flipagram.com/f/QpeLzzho9z or in our Facebook album.

[Edit2] Pam requested for the place to be added in Looloo, and the folks there were very prompt to respond. She got an email notification telling her that the place was added, and so she was able to post a review. We both gave it 5 stars. 😉

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Goodbye, Summer’s Heat!

Summer’s spayed! We went through 2 heat cycles of Summer. That had meant bloody (and supersmelly) discharge — a lot since she’s a big dog, no doggy daycare, no trips to BGC, and extra vigilance whenever she’s taken out on walks. Well, goodbye to that! 🙂

Prep.
A week before the procedure, we took Moby to the vet for his annual shots. We brought Summer along for the prescreening blood tests. She had erlichia a few months back and so we weren’t so sure whether she’d be fit for spaying. The blood tests turned out ok — her platelet levels were good, liver was ok. So we set a schedule with Doc Nic to have Summer spayed the following week.

Spay day.
March 10 was the day. In prep, we didn’t give her breakfast that day. We took her to the vet and waited with her for as long as we could. We left around 11AM, and she was ready for pickup around 4PM. As expected, she was groggy, but she managed to walk to and get in the car herself. She didn’t have an appetite, so Pam gave her canned dog food which is more enticing than her usual dry kibble. She wasn’t her usual self until the following day.

Routine changes.
We got her a cone but she didn’t have much need for it. Whenever she’d try to smell or lick her stitches, we’d ask her not to and she’d obey. As a precaution, we asked Amy to put the cone on (on Summer, of course) whenever Summer was to be left unattended like when she had to walk Moby or go down to buy something. For most of the time, Summer had a shirt on because she lies down just about everywhere in the condo.

Aside from the meds, we weren’t asked to do anything else special to treat Summer. Just no bath for her while the stitches haven’t been removed. Then bring her back after 10 days to get the stitches removed.

Just to play it safe, we reduced her physical activities. Typically, she gets walked regularly to potty and for a little exercise. We asked Amy to just bring her down to potty while she still had stitches. No doggy daycare for the meantime. And no rough play with Moby (something he was probably pleased about).

We weren’t instructed to clean the wound or put any medication on it. There were occasionally some traces of blood which we just gently dabbed with a clean, moist cloth.

Stitch removal day.
We took her to the vet to have the stitches (sutures) removed. There was no need for anesthesia. The vet and his assistants just got Summer to lie down on the table, the vet did his thing, and it was over in under 15 minutes. We celebrated by having breakfast with Summer at UCC. 🙂

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Canine Good Citizen

One of golden retriever owners I follow on Instagram shared that they’ve failed an obedience assessment and wouldn’t be able to progress onto the next grade. That kinda got me thinking. Summer is generally very nice and all, but how well would she fare in that sort of test?

I did a bit of googling and I came across something called “Canine Good Citizen” (CGC) which involves a 10-item test to see if your dog has basic good manners. It’s a program of the American Kennel Club (AKC) but I haven’t googled far enough to find out whether we have something similar here in the Philippines (so far, I checked PCCI’s page and we don’t).

AKC’s page linked to a blog post featuring a good video demo (about 7 minutes long) of the test. The video gives an encouraging message to not treat missing the test items as a failure but rather an indicator for what you and your dog needs to work on. I’ve listed out the 10 tests below.

Test Description Summer Moby Comments
1. Accepting a Friendly Stranger Evaluator shakes hands with handler; dog should remain calm and under control OK OK Seems doable enough.
2. Sitting Politely for Petting Dog may stand but should remain calm and under control OK Needs work Summer pretty much has this in the bag. This often happens when we go out with her at the local pet-friendly places.
3. Appearance and Grooming [Evaluator checks dog’s ears, brushes the dog] Dog should remain calm and under control — can’t pull away or be too wiggly Needs work Needs work Summer’s cool with brushing and petting, but she might be hesitant when it comes to her ears. Moby will pretty much just stand it for as long as his paws are left untouched.
4. Out for a Walk Instructor will first demonstrate the walking pattern. Leash should be loose for most of the walk and dog should be attentive to the handler. OK OK I think we can pull this off but I’d feel more comfortable if we can give treats (which you can’t use in the actual tests).
5. Walking through a Crowd Dog may show interest in people but may not attempt to make contact or jump up on them OK OK We live in a crowded city, so walking through a crowd isn’t new for Summer. With Moby, he doesn’t make contact or jump on strangers so I think we can pull this off.
6. Sit and Down on Command and Staying in Place Dog should sit and then down on request. Dog should stay as handler walks away 20 feet and returns. OK Needs work Moby doesn’t know sit, down and stay.
7. Coming when Called Dog should come when called OK Needs work In a lot of instances in agility class, Pam asked Summer to stay and then later on called Summer to come to her. Her come in agility class is pretty reliable, at home too especially when there’s food involved. But of course we still want a more reliable come.
8. Reaction to another Dog [Dog and handler walk together, meet another dog-handler pair, and the handlers say hi to each other] Dog may not cross over to greet other dog — Dog does not have to sit Needs work OK Summer might want to approach the other dog. This’ll work if we can ask her to sit-stay during the test.
9. Reaction to Distraction Dog should remain under control; one bark or two, a slight startle or curious investigation is ok. Dog should not try to run away or cower. OK OK I’m assuming though that the evaluators won’t be so extreme as to use fireworks or anything that loud/scary.
10. Supervised Separation [Handler leaves the dog with another person, and is gone for 3 minutes before returning to her dog] Dog should remain relaxed and quiet. Dog should not show extreme stress: panting, heavy breathing, constant vocalization. Needs work Needs work With Summer, if we’re in an unfamiliar area and we do this, I think she’ll try to follow us. If at home or at Joy’s doggy daycare, she probably couldn’t care less if we leave. With Moby, he can get whiny/noisy but we haven’t really tried this yet so I don’t know how he’ll do in this test.

Clearly, we have a lot of work ahead of us. -_-;

But what might not be clear to some is what the importance of these tests is. They might think “Why bother?, “I can just carry my dog away anyway”, “We keep him on leash all the time anyway”, etc. I don’t think it’s the tests per se that is important. But rather it’s the training and getting your dogs accustomed to certain situations. In doing so, you teach them how to behave better, how to deal or handle things better, and with that you prevent them from getting too stressed out or from harming themselves and others.

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Ken’s Happy Animals Club

I follow a lot of dog-related feeds and get to read about a lot of heartwarming stories. But this one I’ve heard of recently is definitely close to home. There’s this redditor who is currently here in the Philippines. He’s a dad who noticed that his son, 9 year-old Ken, would  bring a backpack along in his walk. When he tagged along, he found out that his son had been feeding a family of stray dogs (here’s their album in imgur: http://imgur.com/a/QaQov).

At a very young age, Ken has shown such compassion towards those poor dogs. What’s even nicer is how his dad is very supportive, and how they’ve teamed up to continue to help the dogs. With the help of his dad, Ken set up a website called the Happy Animals Club where they post photos and updates. From what I’ve read so far, they’ve converted their garage to a shelter and they’ve taken in Blackie, Brownie and White Puppy. They’ve also sought vet care for the dogs and are treating the dogs’ mange.

Below is an adorable photo I grabbed from their album. Apparently, White Puppy knows how to high five! Do check out Ken’s website:  http://www.happyanimalsclub.com. You can also offer support through PayPal to help feed the dogs through the PayPal Donate button they’ve set up in their website.

Ken and White Puppy highfives - Photo by his dad (redditor i_believe_in_pizza)

Ken and White Puppy highfives – Photo by his dad (redditor i_believe_in_pizza)

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PCSA event at Angelfields

Pam, Summer and I attended an event organized by the Phil Canine Sports Alliance (PCSA) which was held at Angelfields Nature Sanctuary, Tagaytay last Feb 16. There was a dog show for Labrador Retrievers for which the PCSA conducted a flyball demo. Afterwards, they had a basic flyball and agility workshop at a closed off area which gave the dogs quite a big space to run off leash.

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Summer sure had a field day! She met some sheep (or really furry goats) that were held in an enclosed area. She got excited and tried to engage them to play but they didn’t really give her any attention. She had zoomies when we let her off leash and she probably realized she was free to run around. She ran in circles, sniffed around, and basically kinda forgot all about her humans. It was also a first for us to have Summer chase after a ball and actually retrieve it. She can do this reliably indoors at home. We tried doing it outdoors (at home) but ended up picking the ball up ourselves. And that was pretty much how it went at the start. But when Eddie and Jen also started playing fetch, Summer joined in and chased after Eddie’s ball and she eventually started fetching/retrieving even without another dog.

Months ago, Summer seemed to have lost interest in jumping. We’re not sure why but what would happen is that she’ll stop in her tracks when it was time to jump. We’re guessing she didn’t like having to jump several hurdles before getting a reward. While in her weaving class, we tried to get her to jump, and she obliged but it took some coaxing. So when faced with hurdles at the PCSA event, we were a bit anxious that she might not want to jump. But surprisingly, she jumped over the hurdles whenever asked to. Her favorite was the tunnel, but then I think if there had been an A-frame at the event that would have been her favorite. One highlight for us was when Summer ran out of the tunnel, looked for Pam (who was handling her), and followed Pam’s cue. Summer could have made her own course after the tunnel, but she looked for her handler (yay!).

Afterwards, it was a long drive back to the city, but we’re happy with how the afternoon turned out and how Summer had so much fun running and playing around.