Ode to the dog

I think I may have written the world’s first-ever positive reinforcement dog training poem. Published by Pedadoggy for the first time. Enjoy!

Ode to the dog

 

Isn’t it a little treat

To have a dog rest at your feet.

Deeply gives a contented sigh

And so past the hours fly.

 

But all is not right with this pure scene

For how do these two make a team?

One so tall and standing on twos

The other takes great joy in smelling poohs.

 

To really understand this anomaly

Let us review the family tree.

Visit scenes from long ago

Before human beings grains did grow.

 

So cast your mind to years have gone

When camp fires through thick forests shone.

Safety, warmth, water and food

Were priorities of the human brood.

 

But in that dark lives wolf – big and scary,

Fiercely proud and extremely hairy.

Who made the first move by that camp fire,

Who overcame fear with their bold desire?

 

As the humans camped and sang and clapped

Fed and laughed and took their naps.

Wolf was curious and could smell their cooking

Stole some pieces when they weren’t looking.

 

So was it man who threw a spare bone

Without following it swiftly with a stone?

For with this creature he could connect

As its priority was to defend and protect.

 

Or was it wolf in a moment of need

Traded fear in return for some feed.

Learnt to hang out with the human pack

No teeth bared in exchange for a snack.

 

 

Perhaps one day a hand leant out to touch

Standing still was wolf, it wasn’t too much

For following quickly was the prize of a bone

Isn’t this a place you’d want to call home?

 

Now generations of wolves and human kind

have passed since that first meeting of minds.

Today with humans dogs do stay

Eat and sleep, run and play.

 

Around us the dog’s shape takes many forms

And between the two a new bond has been born.

Whether labrador, malamute, pekinese or poodle

Staffy, whippet or even cavoodle.

 

They’re part of the family, a member of the house

Except for the time when they bring in a mouse.

Man’s best friend became their name in time

And so these two creatures live lives intertwined.

 

So next time your doggy is pulling on the leash

Be kind to them when manners you teach.

For inside them still lives the wolf who is strong

And to punish them at all is so very wrong.

 

Remember the campfire and what it did show

That food helped the wolf learn new things and grow.

Let them catch flies and chase smells that allure

As their happiness will be yours too for sure.

 

 

 

 

Written by Grazia Pecoraro

Sydney, Australia

 

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Fast ways to create fun for a slowed down dog

My energetic, ball-chasing, beach-digging, vivacious little jumping bean of a Staffy has a very sore leg. He can’t bear to walk further than 200 metres and mostly only wants to spend his time sleeping in front of the heater. He is obviously in pain and uncomfortable. That he took chase after a cat skulking across our front lawn just as I was bending to put his lead on in the pre-dawn dark of Friday morning, has only worsened a situation which was already painful.

Invest in some new chew toys to entertain a dog that has to take time out from exercise due to an injury. Zac loves those that squeak - this is a stuffling-free duck being given a test drive.

Invest in some new chew toys to entertain a dog that has to take time out from exercise due to an injury. Zac loves those that squeak – this is a stuffling-free duck being given a test drive.

The vet is treating possible arthritis and a potential injury of his front elbow with painkillers and anti-inflammatories before we head down the x-ray investigation route. Patty from Healthy Pets Naturally has also prescribed Rosehip joint support which we’ve now started. While I try to remain positive about an eventual recovery and frankly want to cry (and have) to see him in such pain, I’ve had to find new ways to keep him entertained without any leg action involved.

Here’s my plan for brain and body games that we can do for enrichment and burning off energy while he’s lying down on his bed in front of the heater to keep the leg warm and still. These can also work equally well for rainy days, for entertaining older dogs with limited mobility or when you are sick and can’t go outside with your dog during this time of winter colds and flu bugs.

  1. Zac has become a self-appointed squeaky toy tester. I’ve stocked up on new toys to put in the toy box. He gets to choose a toy during every play session and afterwards the toy and box are put away so that the toys remain interesting. I hold the toy and he gets to chew on it and make it squeak. This can go on for quite some time before he tires of the toy and also creates an interesting background soundtrack as I make my way through watching the Breaking Bad series on DVD. Will be sharing more about our testing results soon.
  2. I hide chew treats on and in his bed. Either use little dry treats or break up bigger ones into tiny pieces and hide them under the blanket on his bed to find. Zac doesn’t need to move his body, just his head and neck. One hand distracts while the other hides the treat. Shezam, it works every time!
  3.  Practice the ‘watch me’ focus exercise. I bring a treat up to my nose, he has to “watch me” and keep eye contact with me for longer and longer periods – working his way up from a second or two, to about half a minute or longer, then he gets the treat. If he looks away, the clock starts again and I ask for a shorter attention span before he gets to eat the treat.

I’ve found that even though he’s not active, he’s still hungry. So remember to take the calories being fed through treats out of the next meal, as weight gain won’t help with joint support and healing.