Friday, June 29, 2012

Take Care of Your Doggies This Fourth!!!

Ten Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household: 
(Please note that some tips require purchasing items ahead of time.)

1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.
2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it's hot, air conditioning will help. Bringing your dogs to a fireworks display is never a good idea.
3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can't orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.) If your dog is comfortable in a crate, that is a good option.
4. If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed.
5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)
6. Leave your dog something fun to do - like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.

Using sensory enrichment to calm dogs:
7. Sound Therapy: Play Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 1, 2, and 3 by Through a Dog’s Ear. It is most effective when you first play the music well before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is already feeling peaceful and relaxed. He will begin to associate the music with being calm and content. Then play the music a couple of hours before the fireworks start and continue to play through bedtime. The music doesn’t need to be loud to be effective as it has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Listen to free sound samples
8. Sound Therapy combined with Desensitization: The Canine Noise Phobia series (CNP) consists of four CD’s that can be used individually or as a set: Fireworks, Thunderstorms, City Sounds, and Calming. CNP is an innovative desensitization training tool that combines three distinctive elements for the treatment and prevention of sound-sensitivities and noise-phobias:
    • progressive sound effects (distant/close)
    • specially-designed psychoacoustic music (Through a Dog’s Ear)
    • reward-based reinforcement protocols (Victoria Stilwell)
9. Tactile: There are two canine wraps on the market that reportedly help sound phobic dogs. The original Anxiety Wrap was invented by professional dog trainer Susan Sharpe, CPDT-KA. The patented design uses acupressure and maintained pressure to reduce stress. The thundershirt is also a wrap for your dog that provides gentle, constant pressure. Their website reports that over 85% of Thundershirt users see significant improvement in noise anxiety symptoms. Most dogs respond with the very first usage; some need 2-3 usages before showing significant improvement.
10. Scent: Canine Calm, an all-natural mist from Earth Heart™ Inc., can help dogs relax and cope more effectively with loud noises and other stressful situations. Directions on their website say to spray Canine Calm onto your hands and massage the dog’s outer ears or abdomen. Or lightly mist the air behind your dog’s head, inside the travel crate or car, or directly onto bedding or clothing.

Do you have any additional tips for helping keep dogs calm and safe on this noisy holiday? 

Train with counter classical conditioning. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, has a very clear definition and tips here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crochet and All That Stuff...

It is taking me a bit to get back into crocheting again.  I am making a second monster for an exchange to send off on Monday.  I had ordered a book for the monster and it never came, so made one up. Didn't like it.

The book arrived, and did not find the monster in there that I had thought was so cute! So went on line and found one like the one I really wanted...have one more leg and two arms to go and will then be ready to send it off, too.  The other "stuff" already left.

So, now I might join a swap.  Easy access to yarn and the post office, so might as well! Plus I have lots of time on my hands. Have already finished three projects since opening the store!

Saturdays seem to be especially quiet here in town.  I will keep open during June, but if it doesn't pick up any I think I will be taking 3 day weekends. :o)

I found this photo - may have already posted it.  I took it a week before my husband passed away...I like to think it was more like a pathway to heaven for him.  We do have spectacular sunsets here!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cat's Crochet Corner

So the new store now has a sign on the window, in the doorway, and a lovely sandwich sign to put out from on the sidewalk.  Boy, is that heavy!

Sorry the glass reflects so much, but you get the idea.

Stop by and have a cookie!

Cat's Crochet Corner - check it out! Order some yarn!