Ask Dog Lady
Dear Dog Lady,
I know my dog Garfunkle can be a little crazy at times but I hope that’s not reason he was disinvited from our neighbors’ annual summer cookout. It’s a big bash and we go every year with Garfy but this year the invitation says: "Hot dogs only. Please leave your pets at home."
I would love to ask what prompted this new policy. I hope it wasn’t Garfy knocking over the bowl of fusilli salad at last year’s picnic. Would I be impolite if I asked the hosts?
Yes, such a query would be rude and unwelcome. If Dog Lady attended a picnic where Garfunkle knocked over a bowl of cold noodles, she would join the ranks of the canine dis-invites. Dogs do not belong at summer picnics where other picnickers might be put out by tails tipping over salads, slobbery mouths working overtime and pleading eyes begging for dropped morsels of meat - not to mention every other inconvenience caused by dogs on the prowl amongst people. The name may be Dog Lady but the game advocates proper boundaries between people and pets. You were invited to a summer picnic. Have fun, eat well, and be happy you have a dog to welcome you back home.
Dear Dog Lady,
A group of us take our dogs to a city park where we let them off the leash. One day, a friend of mine saw a pile on the field and she picked it up even though it did not come from her dog. She said she did this because she wanted "poop karma." Please explain.
Your friend sounds like a wise monk in the mutt world. To those who do not keep dogs, this phrase may sound grossly scatological. Dog people are not offended. As responsible owners, they are constantly on guard for their pet’s bodily functions.
"Poop karma" is what comes back to you in the form of good will and clean shoes. Poop karma makes the world safe for dogs and clean for humans.
Dear Dog Lady,
I live with my daughter. We just put down her golden retriever and are devastated. How do I get over the grief? I am 81 and he was my daytime buddy. I feel my purpose in life is gone and my other children and families live out of state so there are no hugs available. My daughter is not a hugger and has chosen to isolate herself when home. Non dog lovers cannot understand the grief we feel. I’ve lost my best friend.
Your overcome grief by seeking new opportunities to hug fur. When you have a loss in your heart, think of creative ways to fill the gap. Consider becoming a daytime dog sitter for a single older dog. Watch over a new daytime buddy while the owner is at work. Devoted dog keepers are always on the lookout for a sensible, humane daycare solution. Nothing makes more sense than a seasoned minder such as you watching out for a grown-up, well-behaved dog. You could advertise through the local pet shop, veterinarian, or ask your daughter to help you make a connection through neighborhood contacts.
Dear Dog Lady,
We have a beagle hound mix named Tank whom we love. He is seven-months-old and already has had emergency surgery to empty his stomach of five pounds of junk such as three pounds of grass, carpeting, a ceramic tale of a dolphin, stuffing from pillows, etc. Four months after surgery, he is still eating everything including the wood panel of the walls and carpeting and pillow stuffing. He even eats the foam stuffing from his bed so now he sleeps in his metal cage with no bedding because he has eaten three different beds. What can we do before he literally eats us out of house and home?
Goodness, Tank earns his name - a munch machine. The first question, of course: Are you feeding him enough? The second question: When he had his emergency surgery did you at least speak with the veterinarian about how to control his need to eat everything. This is either extreme puppy chewing behavior or a medical condition (tapeworm farm in his stomach?).
Load up on safe chewables for teething puppies such as Kong toys, bully sticks, frozen marrow bones. Do not restrict Tank’s access to these, although you should supervise. This is a dog with a mighty jaw and whenever he chomps, you must monitor. Consult catalogues that sell dog beds: Drs. Foster and Smith, Orvis and In the Company of Dogs are three. These emporia do sell beds guaranteed to be indestructible and you should find one. Considering you are already spending money on emergency surgery and home repair, you should think of money spent as an investment in Tank’s survival. And it’s not such a bad thing he currently sleeps in a metal cage because confinement is the best way to stop his dangerous chewing if you can’t supervise.