It’s been a long time since I’ve seen my owners. They say it was 17 days and I have no idea how long that is but while these temporary minders are kind enough, they aren’t my regular peeps. I have been patient and mostly well behaved and it’s been a learning experience for all parties in this house (you know I am a party too). I will keep my exit blog brief for I am a dog of few words. I have three recommendations as a result of this visit (I believe in following project management principles, including looking back when the project is over and making recommendations for the future)
I recommend some clever thinker should invent affordable, warm, easy to put on, non slip winter boots for dogs. Believe me, there is a market. Dogs and owners would thank you.
Evidence based veterinary medicine
If there is a raft of evidence based veterinary medicine available, it’s hidden. Pet owners who are interested should be able to find that information on-line. I recommend a grad student or an information specialist put together a list of good places to look for trials and studies on animal care and treatment. I am sure some owners would pay a fee to access such information.
Pet minder course
It clear to me now that being well intentioned and being good at something are two different things. There are babysitting courses. Why aren’t there pet sitting courses? I recommend (it’s a business opportunity) someone offer a course that would help familiarize people with animal behaviour. These people here would have benefited from such a course. I would have given some of my treat allowance to pay for their enrolment.
It’s good-bye to you all from me now. I have really enjoyed meeting so many of you on-line. It’s a whole other world I did not know existed. You’ve been very kind and supportive during my hour of need when I asked you some difficult questions.
I was thinking of asking my owners if I could have my own blog site but I hear it can take a lot of time so it’s probably best to let sleeping dogs lie.
Thank you to everyone who sent in suggested answers to my riddle. I was going to post the solution last night but time got away on me. First there was a round of fetch and other rambunctious activity and then a nap and then the huge rigmarole to put on my boots and have my last walk of the day. By then I was pooped and just wanted to watch Poirot and then head to my kennel. I thought I’d need a clear head to explain this routine.
Thank you to everyone to tried to figure out the riddle. Unfortunately there was no one who was able to solve it but there were many creative responses. No matter, you are all winners and I will still ask my owners if I can come meet you some time. I’m sure they will oblige.
I’m not complaining but stating a fact that I had to live through 14 of my 17 days with poor boot putting-on technique. Fourteen days where I was very likely to blow a shoe and have a very cold paw or paws before getting back home. No wonder I don’t always want to go out. But now things are better. It eats into my nap time to get ready but things are better.
We are using the PAWZ booties. For a small dog it takes two humans to put them on, really and if there’s only one human available then it’s almost impossible. The boots have no insulation but at least they stay on and protect me from salt, ice and snow. (I bought a smaller size and that’s been helpful). Here’s what we do if there’s only one person around.
My minder cuts 4 rings from a cardboard tube and covers them with duct tape. (credit to YouTube videos for most of this idea) She used duct tape thinking it would give the tube more strength but it’s only been marginally helpful. They collapse after a number of times of being used. The next version might be little sections of PVC pipe or something else (got any ideas?). She stretches each of my four booties over one of these rings. They hold the boot open.
When walk time is nigh, my minder puts two towels in the dryer to warm them and starts telling me a bunch of hokum about how going outside is fun. She warms the towels because she thinks I like it. She picks me up and puts me on my back on a towel and covers my tummy with another. It’s warm and I lay quietly.
With less than remarkable dexterity, she puts my leg in and pulls the tube up and the boot is then on my paw. She slips the tube back down and off.
And finally I’m ready to go. I’m not really excited about it however I seem to forget all the preparation once out in the snow.
Well, it’s almost the end of my time here. I think I have one final blog in me. It will contain a few observations and recommendations based on my experience during my pet stay-cation. Is there anything in particular you think I should include in my exit blog?
I am nearing my last article as a guest blogger. I understand variety is important in keeping an audience interested so I thought I’d pose a riddle to you. Since the whole thing is pretty bizarre and you’d likely not believe it (I have trouble believing it and I’m in it), I’ll give you some clues along with some background.
If you’ve read my blogs during my stay-cation here you may have gathered these temporary minders are well-intentioned but not always adept. I hear they have gone to school and so they should have learned many things but you wouldn’t always know it. Especially if you were a pet staying on a holiday in their home. One of the things we’ve all struggled with is my winter boots. They thought they started to get the hang of it only last night when my stay is pretty much over. But it took two of them to get them on so they would stay and now one of them is gone for the rest of my stay here and I thought ‘Oh boy, we’re hooped!’ but then the remaining minder turned to some of her go-to invention building blocks. Usually she uses duct tape and a coat hanger and sometimes an empty tin can but this time she only used duct tape from that trio. It doesn’t always work though. Has she ever told you about the time she tried to devise a temporary plumbing fix with balloons and duct tape at her cottage. It didn’t end well. It was funny though.
Here is the riddle. It’s a picture of the components of what has been a successful (so far) method of one person putting my boots on and having them stay on for a whole walk. There is a prize for anyone who gets the right answer!! My owners will either drive me or fly me to your house and I will do there what I was put on this earth to do, be very happy to meet you, be petted and be your shadow. My owners haven’t been consulted yet as to this prize but I am a mixed breed and as the vet said last week ” Squidge knows how to get what he wants”.
Here’s the picture. I am very excited to see how many entries there will be!! The contest closes at 8 PM EST on January 15th. Oh, and there’s one thing missing from the picture-the clothes dryer. Good luck!!
It was a busy day today. Not so much for me as the humans here.
I might be only 10 lbs but I punch way above my weight. The humans in this house are very surprised at how much of their attention I take every day. This blasted winter weather adds to it all too. Today there were calls to check about my new food and dog booties and then there’s the time it took to dress me when going outside. Which made me wonder why I was born and live in central Canada and not in Florida. I bet small dogs in Florida don’t have to stand still to put on a winter coat and four clumsy plastic boots to go outside. Dogs in Florida don’t slip and slide on the ice with those booties making traction and balance near impossible to the point where I had to pee like a girl. I just knew the three-legged stand wouldn’t do it. Let me tell you I don’t stay outside one more minute than necessary. It’s minus bloody 30 out there!!
Even now I am demanding attention. The man in this house has some sort of male gathering upstairs this evening and I am stuck in the basement with her. It’s all fine and well that they are drinking beer and scotch up there but it’s the food. I can smell the meat they are eating! AArrrgghhhh! I am penned down here and longingly looking upstairs. The only thing that helps is if I lay down on the sofa right next to her and get petted. She is, therefore, one-handed blogging on my behalf.
My biggest accomplishment today was chewing the nose off my pet dragon. The stuffing started coming out and then it got taken away. The dragon supposedly had “Chew Guard Technology”. Told you I punched above my weight.