Please protect your pets. Don't leave them outside without shade and water. Keep them in during the heat of the day. And NEVER leave them in the car during warm weather. A car becomes an oven.
I just called the neighbors to warn them that a coyote was in the yard. My dogs had been outside, Bella barking incessantly which probably kept it at bay until they came in. Then it came within feet of the house. It ran off though when I went outside with a baseball bat. Mom 1, Coyote 0.
We have had problems in the past with coyotes in our neighborhood. We alert each other to watch our dogs when we see one of these predators about. We also have installed an electronic deterent which emits a mechanical "cougar hiss" after dark.
But in recent weeks, the coyotes are on the prowl. I've seen them come through our backyard. I also one night flashed a light in the back and found two sets of eyes at the far end of the backyard. I had thankfully taken the dogs out on a leash to do their business. But wanted to scout the yard when the dogs kept looking and sniffing in a certain direction. The direction of the shining eyes.
Then the next day, a neighbor called with this warning. She had let her beagle out but was watching due to the coyotes. As she watched, in mere seconds, one coyote came up to the dog acting like another dog to meet it. They were about to the sniffing stage when another was coming up from behind the dog. Her teenage son ran out screaming and chased the coyotes away. Although she said, they left in more of a leisurely walk than a frightened run. What cunning these predators had to imitate the social behavior of another species. Granted coyotes are canines too and may greet each other similarly, but do they really greet their next meal in the same way? And then the two-part attack, obviously coordinated between the two coyotes.
The problem is that the coyotes are protected and nothing can be done. Which is ironic since they cull the deer herd regularly because they eat our flowers, but not the coyotes which eat our pets. I've said it before, some day they will attack a child. Will anyone buy their excuse then that we are in the coyote's habitat? Sorry, humans rule. Higher intelligence and opposable thumbs and all that. It can be the coyote's habitat when they pay real estate taxes.
It has been a very late start to summer here in Chicago this year. Very cool and rainy. (Think Seattle.) But Summer arrived in earnest this past weekend. While I had been enjoying lower heating/cooling costs, I finally had to relent and turn the air conditioner on Sunday. Bella and Chief really appreciated it. Through out the heat of the day on Saturday, they stayed inside, under the ceiling fan on the cool hardwood floor. By Sunday evening though, they were back on the couch, laying in soft pillowed comfort.
Just goes to show that dogs like it cool in Summer too. So remember to keep in the cool areas, shade, and have plenty of water to drink during the hot summer months.
Does your dog ever stop at the door and change his mind about going outside if it's raining? My dogs, Bella and Chief, do it nearly every time it rains - hard or light. I thought they were wimps. Instead, I just learned that the rain, being water of course, amplifies sounds and can hurt their very sensitive ears.
Amazing! Unfortunately, it doesn't explain why Bella's barking doesn't cause her excruciating pain.
Barney lost his hearing as he aged. Like most things, it probably started gradually until I think he lost nearly all of his ability to hear. The first signal was that he didn't come when he was called. But then Barney always showed hound stubbornness and didn't always come when you called him. Over time, the signs became more obvious until you could walk right up to him, say his name, and he wouldn't react until you touched him. Then, he jumped as if someone had visited him on a deserted island: "Where the heck did you come from?"
Everyone learned to adjust. It never seemed to bother Barney too much, but then with three growing children, including two rambunctious boys, he may have considered it a blessing! We learned that if Barney was sleeping, you stomped on the floor before you touched him. He felt that and instantly awoke. If we did touch him, we did it very gently. He started not to go too far away or stay outside too long, so calling him no longer was a problem.
When he got sick, and then of course at the end, perhaps he couldn't hear our words of love, but I know he felt them in our touch, soft caresses, and gentle petting.
We learned this the hard way this past week with Chief. Most people know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Lately, awareness has grown that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs (even a few). Also, onions. Of course, this is an addition to poisonous plants and flowers.
But sugarfree gum and candy can also be poisonous to dogs. The artificial sweetener xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Chief got a pack of gum off the table that belonged to my son. He ate about 12 pieces - wrapper and packaging included. Fortunately, I found the evidence of the crime shortly after he did it. At first I was worried about what all that gum would do to his digestive track, but I quickly learned in my Google searching that the xylitol was the more urgent danger.
I called the vet who confirmed that the Orbit gum he ate had the sweetener. But since at that time, I didn't know if Bella, Chief, or both ate the gum, I had to bring them both in.
Vomiting was induced and Chief named the culprit. His blood was checked for any signs of problems, and fortunately, none were found. I believe quick action combined with reduced absorption because of the wrappers, prevented any problems. The vet did say that he had consumed enough to cause severe damage to his organs.
Of course, at this point, Bella was mad that she had to throw up, and it was all Chief's fault. <smile>
For links to lists of substances poisonous to dogs, go here.
Because I have nearly a one acre lot, I have had an electric fence. Barney was able to tell when it wasn't working. Chief has the same ability. Bella, on the other hand, has mastered the psychological barrier concept and won't cross it. But this weekend with the recent thaw and re-freezing apparently, a wire broke, breaking the fence. An alarm sounded on the unit, but the fence guy wasn't able to come until Monday. I left their collars on, hoping for the best. Bella, good girl that she is, never tried to leave. Chief, yep, after 24 hours, he figured out that the warning sounds weren't sounding, and sure enough, he cross the forbidden line into freedom. In the 2 minutes I wasn't watching him, he made his break. I searched the yard and the neighbors' yards. My youngest saw paw prints in the fresh snow going around the house. I asked him to get his brother to help. While I ran around the other side, my oldest son spotted Chief out the front windows strolling down the street. He ran to the door and called him inside. Saving me from further anxiety as I cried, running down the street, calling for Chief. Fortunately, the fence was fixed today. Now Chief doesn't need to go out on a leash each time to do his business, and I don't have to tramp through the snow to take him. Crisis averted.
So while an electric fence is not fool-proof, it is effective on nearly all dogs who are properly trained, and who have working collars and fences. It actually is the best option for Bella who is a big digger and would probably dig under a regular fence.
Today Bella and Chief got their teeth brushed for the first time. Bella responded positively to cajoling of "Pretty girl, want pretty white teeth?" She opened wide and let us scrub away. Chief, on the other hand, took the whole experience as an invasion of his personal space. He responded by trying to bite the brush. "Who needs white teeth? What even are white teeth?" seemed to be his attitude. But it's actually pretty important for Chief to keep his teeth clean since one of his upper canines is crooked and overlaps other teeth. I'm sure at some point, it will need to be pulled - especially if he keeps this uncooperative attitude. Imagine if we had to floss!