By Monica Collins
Advice on Pets, Life, Love
Dear Dog Lady,
I live in a condominium and residents share a common laundry area. In the basement, we have three coin operated washers and dryers. It's not as convenient as having a washer and dryer right in my condo, but handy all the same.
One day, I brought my laundry downstairs and ran into a woman from the third floor. She has a Jack Russell terrier named Elvis. I was glad for the chance meeting except when I saw her transfer Elvis' soggy Polarfleece dog bed from the washer to the dryer. Yuck. Later, I had the distinct displeasure of my own damp laundry following Elvis' bed into the dryer. (It was the only one free). My clothes came out dry but covered with little dog hairs.
Should I have suggested to this woman that she take Elvis' fleece bed out of the building to another Laundromat?
This woman seems typical of many dog owners (Dog Lady does not excuse herself) who forget about the lines of decency between their animals and other people. Because they live with their pets every day, dog keepers can forget about the lines of decency and limitations. Not everybody loves dogs as much as they do.
Elvis' owner may run her undies through the spin cycle with her dog's bed, but that's her choice. She shouldn't foist it upon everyone else who uses the washers and dryers. If she had her polite priorities in order, the dog owner would launder Elvis' dog bed in her own bathtub or kitchen sink and not in the machines used by her neighbors. Problem is she doesn't realize it's a problem.
You could say something to her. But even Dog Lady, an in-your-face kinda gal, concedes such a confrontation would take uncommon bravery and could spoil a neighborly rapport. You might complain about the situation to the manager of the building or to your condominium's Board. But this expends a lot of sour energy. Why not take control of your own laundry? Go shopping for a sleek, energy efficient stackable washer/dryer combo for your condo.
Dear Dog Lady,
I have a four-year-old hound/pointer mix, Keyto. He is always very hyper, loving-licking and playful. During the past few days, I have been sick with flu and cough. Yesterday I started feeling better but my Keyto will not leave from my side. He even followed me into the bathroom and he usually hates the bathroom. What does this mean?
Your dog is concerned about you in his unique canine way. Your behavior has obviously changed enough so Keyto is more vigilant and protective. He doesn't want to lose you. In your sickness, you must smell differently so your dog picks up on that clue too. You don't say whether you've varied your routine during your illness but there must have been fewer walks for Keyto. This hyper dog has had to squelch a lot of energy so he follows you into the bathroom.
Monitor his behavior after you fully recover and return to your healthy ways. If your dog still watches you vigilantly and seems out of joint, take him to the veterinarian for a check-up. If there are no organic reasons for concern, be assured absolutely that Keyto loves you.
Dear Dog Lady,
My wife and I just got a new puppy. Her name is Izabell, Izzy for short, I love her dearly but she likes to nibble the hair on my arms, and if I am lying down she will go after the hair on my head. her nibbling the hair on my arms leaves small red spots at the hair base on the skin. She pulls the hair and makes my arm look like I have flea bites. I love her dearly and want to develop a close bond, but gee, I work with the public in sales and it makes me look like I have something like fleas. Please help.
Why do you allow Izzy to nibble on your arms? This seems crazy to Dog Lady. We humans have the power to give rules and limits to our companion animals. You must train your new puppy to nibble appropriately - indestructible toys, treats and canine chews. Create boundaries between you and your dog so the pet knows what's hers and what's not. Your arms are off limits. Chewing you, munching on your arm hair is bad, bad, bad. Pull your arm away and say, "No!" Immediately give her something appropriate to gnaw on such as a Kong toy or a bully-stick (both available in any pet store). Izzy will get the message quickly.
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