By Monica Collins
Dear Dog Lady,
I've heard Donald Trump does not have a dog. He's the first president in my memory not to have a pet. I also hear he doesn't like dogs. I further understand, much to my horror, that he's appointed a man to be the Agriculture Secretary who believes in farming animals and is a defender of puppy mills. What's your advice about how to keep our dogs safe during a Trump administration?
Don't feel helpless and hopeless. Give to an organization fighting puppy mills - to wit, any animal welfare organization such as the MSPCA, the Animal Rescue League or the Humane Society of the United States. Grab your doggies and hold them close. Stay sealed into liberal Massachusetts, which just voted overwhelmingly for a farm animal welfare proposition.
Geez, what can "Ask Dog Lady" say about this revoltin' development except to try and keep a sense of humor about everything, although it's so difficult. The Trump minions have much bigger fish to fry than animal issues, although you never know what the man will do from one moment to the next. This is one incoming president whose empathic response could be helped by the company of a pet.
Dear Dog Lady,
I have a one-year-old Shipoo. Normally, she is a loving, goofy, puppy. But when you give her a certain kind of bone and you try to go near her, she growls and will show her teeth. Last night, I tried moving her while she had her bone and she bit me and broke the skin. As soon as the bone is removed, she is back to her old self.
It doesn't matter whether a dog is a cute Shih-poo (Shih Tzu/poodle mix) or a large Akita, the dog's primordial instincts can flare in an instant when protecting food.
Please don't make light of the bite. Whenever our dogs draw blood, the situation is serious and the need for training becomes urgent. You have to live with your puppy for many years to come. You should never feel intimidated or fearful of this hairy heap - as cute as she may be. Tell your veterinarian what happened and ask him or her for a reference to a trainer. Your dog is "food aggressive" and professional training could benefit both of you.
Whatever you do, you have to always let her know who's in charge. When you give her regular meals, hand out the kibble and canned meat in controlled dollops. Make her sit, stay and focus on you before she gets anything.
Dear Dog Lady,
I have a pug (one year, four months) named Clara. I enjoy walking her and having one-on-one time with her. But I'm not a sit-and-pose kind of guy who enjoys the doggie park scene. We share quality time together walking, playing and occasionally seeing other pugs. The problem is that I have a friend who has Clara on the weekends and he is more into the park scene. I feel like I'm being judged for not taking Clara to the doggy group.
Dear Clara's Daddy,
Do not worry what others think of you because your pug certainly doesn't care. She's not into "scenes." If anyone asks again why you avoid the park, assure the snoopy one that you and Clara create magic together.
Visit askdoglady.com and read the new blogs, "Shorty Knows" and "Dex and the City."