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Posted by: Mysti in The Dog Blog Comment (1)

I consider myself blessed to live in a very pet friendly community, with many great dog parks. Most beautiful weekends are spent with one or both dogs having a fun time and running off some pent up energy at their favorite park. Bella has always struggled with a fair amount of anxiety, but she can usually overcome it at the dog park if one of us is relatively close by. Not today. Today will go down in my mind as possibly the worst day at the dog park ever.. my poor Bella was terrified and miserable the entire time, the second we got in the gate all the way up until we got back home.


Anyone that has spent any time at a dog park knows that you will occasionally run into a less than well behaved dog. There was one of those dogs today (although it arrived AFTER Bella was already terrified) This dogs owner was holding the dog on a leash (at least he did that much right!) When Bella and I walked even remotely close by the man said to me "Be careful, he will attack!" I was completely dumbfounded.. while the obvious reaction would be 'So why is he at the dog park?!' I was already more than a little concerned about my Bella so unfortunately I was unable to find those words, until well later when him and I were both long gone from that moment.


Another dog that arrived AFTER Bella was already terrified was a Saint Bernard, now most Saint Bernards are about equal to 6 or 7 Bella's.. unfortunately for this Saint Bernard he was only equal to about 3 or 4 Bella's. This poor dog appeared to be at least 50 pounds under weight, and a good portion of his ribs were clearly visible.. and by far the most disturbing was that he had very little to no hair on the lower half of his body, including most of his back and his entire tail. Obviously he had some medical problems, and if I had to guess was not being adequately cared for by his owners either. I did talk to them, asked them if he was okay, their answer.. 'He's just old.' One of my dogs is old, she can't hear well or see well, and certainly doesn't move very fast.. but she is not skinny and she definitely has every ounce of  her hair and then some. I try to not be judgmental, but both of these dogs were more than a little disturbing to me and I find myself struggling to get the thought of them out of my mind. I still had no idea what happened, why Bella was so upset when she has been fine many dozens of times before. I found myself wondering if possibly a storm was coming in that I was unaware of, but not a cloud in the sky and an absolutely beautiful 77 degree day.


Well she made it very clear to me she was ready to go home and I leashed her up and we were on our way, I couldn't bear to see her miserable any longer. Happened to check the weather report when we arrived home.. I was stunned - Tornado watch until 9 pm. I can only assume that my Bella sensed the bad weather moving in and wanted to be home where it was safe. Well, she is now.. curled up next to me and definitely much happier.


Maybe next weekend will include an enjoyable trip to the dog park! We can hope. :)

Puppy cuddles to all your FURfriends ~ Mysti

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Posted by: PAWSTOPLAYINC in The Dog Blog Comment (0)

Toby and the Pool

It was just another Monday, but I did have a very busy week ahead of me. At least 50 walks to do and I was on my own this week. And YIPPEE , it also happened to be my birthday. But since I have passed my 20s…30s…and (YIKES) the dreaded Uh-OH- 4-0 mark, I don’t care much to celebrate and was more than happy to share my special day with my loving, wonderful pet clients.

I started the day out early… way out west. I love it out there when the morning is so quiet that all you can hear are the animals, both domestic and wild, already at work and play. Roosters crowing, donkeys braying, horses neighing, birds chirping, dogs barking and….well you get the idea. I arrive at my first stop and as I unlock the door I was greeted with a concert of barking… this happens when six rescued dogs of varying breeds hear me but cannot see me entering the house. Rocky, the puggle, is the bellower; it’s the beagle in him. But Cheyenne and Shane (the enforcers) give him a run for his money. I quickly free everyone from their crates and/or play pens and we quietly file out of the back door in an orderly manner (then I wake up) ok…truthfully – everyone plays “Last man out is a rotten egg” …. and I try to not get tripped or maimed in the process.


The back yard is GINORMOUS (that’s a word right?  Well, it should be!) with one area that is fenced around the pool and then another, much larger area of grass, that is also fenced where all the dogs go to graze, nosh on fallen mangoes, bark at the neighbor’s dog … and do their business. Toby (don’t tell the others that he’s my favorite) loves to play fetch with me, however, the others don’t always let us play alone and well that just makes Toby sad. So I try to play with him as soon as we go out because the others are too busy checking things out to notice our game of fetch. Now, for a girl, I can throw a mean ball, but, on occasion I have accidentally thrown the ball awry and it’s ended up in the pool. No problem, Toby can usually paw it to the side for a quick pick up or even a quick jump in to refresh himself and then he scores the ball on the way out. On this day, however, there was a problem. Toby jumped in and the ball sank to the bottom of the shallow end.

He started swimming in circles and I started to encourage him to the side with another ball, an identical ball. How smart can he be … I don’t actually have to jump in to get THAT ball do I? Shane and Rocky came over for a look-see. The circling continued and he drifted to the deep end … I was starting to get very concerned and was yelling for him to come out. It was like he was in a trance, he would not listen or even look at me … just kept circling. I had been taking photos of him just a few minutes earlier so I quickly threw my phone down and jumped in after him, fully clothed. Now, if you have ever been in the water with a panicked dog you know how their claws just come for YOU … I scooped my arms under his belly and swam us both to the shallow end where I could stand and I picked him up and put him down on the patio. By now all the other dogs had made their way back into the pool area to see what all the fuss was about. I barely catch my breath and there he goes … in the pool again! I yell “Goodness Toby! I will get the dang ball … give me a second”. So I follow Toby in, and now Shane, Rocky and Buddy (all the boys) jump in as well and they are all barking mad! The girls stood on the sidelines like Lifeguarding cheerleaders showing their support …. but NO WAY they were getting their hair wet! Down under the water I went to the bottom to retrieve the ball. I pop up right next to the propeller of claws and show him the ball. I am certain we are good now. I get the other boys to settle down and we all come out of the water again! Now, I already told you … I am old … and even older yet today! So as I am bent over … trying to get my breath … and trying not be too upset …

SPLASH!! Toby is back in for the third time. *&%$@# TOBEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I fling my soaking wet, tired, old body back into the warm water again. I would never let harm come to any of these pets … even if I die trying to save them, I will keep trying. Again with the circles …. I could not understand what had him crazed like this. I wasn’t taking any more chances; I grabbed the tired pup and trotted him into the house where we created a puddle the size of a small lake right there in the kitchen. I didn’t care, Toby was safe and I did not have to jump back in the water. We both fell on the floor… and laid there as the others stared at us quizzically through the French doors …


As you may have already guessed, Toby and I survived that crazy day. As with many rescued dogs, they have pasts that we know nothing about and have to piece together little by little. When his owner returned, I sheepishly asked her not to let her kids put the security camera video of my Toby ordeal on You Tube (yes, there is such a thing as bad publicity). She then explained that Toby was found after Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida and she thinks that he was caught in storm waters or perhaps a canal. We will never know … but next time I just may put life jackets on all of the dogs before we head out back to be safe …. I won’t be be getting any younger!

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Posted by: Mysti in The Dog Blog Comment (0)

My husband and I recently took a few days off for an anniversary trip, after much debate we decided that the puppies would be happier staying home and having their grandma come and take care of them. As the day we were to leave got closer and closer the more anxious I became about leaving them at home. Sure, Ive left them before and the same thing happened to me each time.. and it never gets easier. I start really dreading having to leave them and say goodbye, even if only for a short period of time.

We were only gone a total of about 3 days. By the end of the first day I missed my puppies so much, that I had to call and "talk" to them on the phone. During our trip every time I saw a dog, a pet store, anything about dogs I found myself talking about them and missing them. By the end of the 3rd day I was so ready to come home and see my puppies, I had missed them more than anything else, even missed them more than my own bed!

We have taken trips both with and without the dogs, each way has its own benefits and drawbacks. The whole thing got me thinking.. what do other dog owners do when they travel? Pet sitter, boarding, or do you plan pet friendly trips? Share your solutions with us.. what works best for you?

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