Talk­ing dogs

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - LISA MOORE

Q Now that sum­mer is hit­ting its peak, do you have any sugges­tions for ways to keep my dogs cool and happy? I am on a lim­ited bud­get. — Mary

A I do a lot with ice dur­ing the sum­mer, Mary. Ice cubes in wa­ter bowls, ice cubes along with wa­ter in a des­ig­nated kid­die pool, etc. You can toss some treats or kib­ble into the pool to en­cour­age your dogs to get in. One of my fa­vorite things to of­fer my large and smaller dogs is a pre­vi­ously emp­tied plas­tic bot­tle (think empty soda type con­tain­ers), filled par­tially with wa­ter and frozen. I put out a num­ber of these at a time.

Some­times the dogs will sim­ply lay next to them to take ad­van­tage of the ex­tra cool­ness; other times they will roll them around and chew on them. If your dog wishes to chew on it, it is best to put him out on the pa­tio or in a laun­dry room with tow­els to deal with the melt­ing of the ice. Just be sure to re­move and dis­card the bot­tle be­fore your dogs are able to chew it to bits.

I turn on the hose and move the stream of wa­ter around for my dogs to chase and catch. They get a good soak­ing this way, along with a good amount of ex­er­cise. If your dog isn’t into chas­ing wa­ter, he’ll likely just en­joy get­ting drenched with the hose. Keep his head and ears dry, but wet the rest of his body and en­joy his an­tics as he shakes off and dries him­self.

Q While walk­ing my dog on the side­walk last week, we were ap­proached by a lady push­ing a stroller who also had a small dog. As we got closer to each other, both of our dogs got ex­cited. No one was hurt, but both dogs were out of con­trol, and my dog briefly got her leash tan­gled in the stroller. What can be done to make sure this doesn’t hap­pen again? — He­len

A I’m not go­ing to an­swer your ques­tion from a dog train­ing stand­point, but rather from a “guide­lines for walk­ing your dog in public” per­spec­tive. If dog walk­ers would unite and fol­low a gen­eral code of con­duct when out with their dogs, I think many mishaps would be avoided. Whether your dog is friendly with other dogs and peo­ple, well trained or not, these guide­lines would be ben­e­fi­cial to us all.

First, yield to other pedes­tri­ans, whether they are walk­ing a dog or not. By do­ing so, you are pre­vent­ing your dog from hav­ing con­tact with a stranger and/or an un­known dog, whose be­hav­ior to­ward your dog may or may not be friendly. If you are ap­proach­ing one an­other from op­po­site

di­rec­tions on the same side­walk, walk up onto a drive­way to al­low the other per­son to pass on the side­walk, keep­ing your dog at a con­trol­lable dis­tance.

If need­ing to pass some­one walk­ing the same di­rec­tion as you, cross the street or move into the street to pass them, mak­ing a wide arc to keep plenty of dis­tance be­tween you.

Some­times even the nicest, most friendly dog will come unglued when out in public. If your dog be­gins to growl, bark or lunge at a per­son or

other dog, that is not the time to stop and scold or cor­rect it. Most im­por­tantly, keep mov­ing. As the dis­tance in­creases you will be able to gain bet­ter con­trol and aid your dog in col­lect­ing and qui­et­ing him­self. An­other pos­si­bil­ity is to get your dog be­hind some­thing to block his view, such as a parked car or fence.

By be­ing po­lite and man­nerly, you can help ev­ery­body avoid pos­si­ble con­flicts, as well as set­ting a good ex­am­ple. Maybe it will catch on, and your neigh­bors will em­u­late you.

Con­tact Lisa Moore in care of Life­Styles, The Modesto Bee, P.O. Box 5256, Modesto, Calif. 95352.

Spe­cial to the Demo­crat-Gazette/DUSTY HIG­GINS

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