Sunday, 25 March 2007


Photo: Patch.

We are looking after two dogs this week. Like most dogs, these two visitors have their own personalities. Patch, the older dog wags his tail and looks at you expectantly (for food) and is always happy. He has a habit of cocking his leg on the furniture when he comes to visit as well (it’s a male dog thing). The puppy, a whippet called Rosie jumps up on the table and the bed like a cat (she co-habits with three cats which probably influences her behaviour). Because Rosie is young she has a tendency to chew anything. She was happily eating a box of washing powder and sucking on a used herbal tea bag today. She’s toilet training at present so we have to keep an eye on her and have the access to the back door clear at all times. Should either of the two dogs decide to relieve themselves on the carpet I have a few cleaning solutions at hand.

If a dog makes a puddle on the carpet, slosh soda water over the area. Soak up the wet with a clean cloth and repeat the procedure. If the puddle is caught before it dries there shouldn’t be a stain. To get rid of the smell you can dab the area with ammonia. This is a bit harsh but will stop the dogs from doing it in the same place because of the offensive aroma. A less harsh method would be to dab the carpet with a cloth and white vinegar. Test on a hidden area first though in case the colours run.

If soda water isn’t at hand, use fizzy mineral water; it will do the job just as well.

Puppies tend to cut their teeth on anything they can get hold of. Many people loose at least one shoe and a bit of furniture as the puppies grow up. We lost the interior of our car when Max was young! If you want to keep the pup from destroying your family heirlooms get a bottle of Oil of Eucalyptus or Oil of Cloves and spread a few drops around the area. . Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell and find these so offensive that they will stay well away. On the other hand if you want to give them a treat get some aniseed. The dogs love it and it is helpful when training a dog to follow you.

The best thing to do when dogs start fighting is to keep well away from the area. If you do fear for the life of one of the dogs then throw pepper at them. The dogs will pay more attention to their noses than the fight and should give up. The pepper sounds harsh but it is safe enough to use for this purpose.

The larger dog, Patch has a thick coat of white hair. He only has to brush up against something and handfuls of his coat fall off. You could fill a vacuum cleaner bag every week with the stuff. This is why it’s important to brush the dogs regularly so the hairs don’t cover the front room carpet. If you do want to bring a shine to the dogs’ hair then run a piece of clean silk over them after brushing. Its well worth the effort and the dogs love the attention.

If you have to give your dog tablets for any reason, then there is no easier way than to push the tablet inside a soft centered chocolate and hand it to the eager hound. Don’t give them too much though as chocolate can be poisonous to dogs.


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