Apr 212012
 
Calming Jimmi Part 2: Why Calm Reassurance and Support are Critical Skills for Canine Guardians

The value of being able to calm my anxious dog Jimmi, was far more important last Saturday than it was a few weeks ago during our dog agility trial in Kelowna. That was a voluntary exposure to stress; at least it was my choice to put that pressure on her and a very good reason to know the result of that pressure and to help her deal with it as part of my responsibility. In this case; however, it seems she had [More…]

Mar 232012
 
Big Hugs and Positive Karma for Muay: Fight on Great Soldier

I hate writing about life and death of dogs, but once again this subject is occupying all my thoughts as my friends John & Lisa struggle with the recent diagnosis of inoperable liver cancer in their beautiful Pit Bull rescue, Muay Tai. This is basically the same kind of cancer that likely killed my first dog Jagger. Getting this news this morning is especially hard as it is 1 year to the moment that my oldest dog, Dog Dylan, lay on my [More…]

Mar 222012
 
Dealing with Ring Stress in Dog Agility for Bullseye Performance

One of the most common problems I see with all dogs in general and certainly many who compete in dog sports is the lack of skills to deal with stress and the lack of ability in people to recognize and understand their dog’s reaction to stress. I am not sure if they have ever thought about what it is like for their dogs going from a practice with familiar dogs and familiar faces and zero traffic to a dog agility trial. I [More…]

Mar 202012
 
Why Do the Little Things Matter in Your Dog?

I had a productive day yesterday despite several intense flashbacks and emotional moments thanks to the 1 year anniversary of Dylan’s Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA) diagnosis. It sure was an intense roller coaster ride of emotion and certainly life changing for both of us. I am so glad for each good day and every great moment. Soft and cuddly Dylan, and certainly happy. I love her her dearly! Today I started experiencing panic attacks as I get vivid, extremely real flashes of [More…]

Dec 272011
 
For the Love & Death of our Dogs

Since the death of my friend SallySue’s dog Bentley (affectionately known as “Mr. B”) from Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA) and my Dog Dylan’s subsequent attack of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA; a specific form of IMHA), I have been unable to write much about anything, so I thought that maybe writing about Mr. B. and his struggle for life and SallySue’s struggle for love and some of the choices we all go through, might help me understand why. There is no doubt [More…]

Dec 272011
 
My Guide to Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia/Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia - Draft

First, let me qualify this guide. In its current state it is a document in progress and has been written solely from my own experience with Dog Dylan and discussion groups I have been involved in since she was diagnosed. I would like any comments, additions, suggestions etc. There is still a lot to be added in areas that impact others in which my Dog Dylan had no experience. This is important for you to remember when reading, as there may be [More…]

Nov 132011
 
Dog Dylan: Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia - The Battle of Prednisone!

What a tough situation we find ourselves in during this fight for life. We are pretty much at the mercy of our vets when we start this journey. Having to put full trust in them immediately. To diagnose the condition and explain it to us and treat it appropriately. All sounds very easy, but with AIHA it is not. There is a tendency for this disease to strike fear in the hearts of those who treat it and that fear is easily [More…]

Sep 262011
 
Using Desensitization to Overcome Fear of Strangers

Is your dog afraid of people?  Afraid of men, or maybe men with beards?  How about men or anyone wearing hats?  Experience with  people is often neglected with young dogs.  Maybe they grew up in isolation at a breeder’s, or at a previous owner before they were rescued.  We often wonder why dogs have issues with strangers, but they may truly lack any experience and have had to deal with strangers and the situations they present, completely on their own without guidance.  [More…]

Sep 142011
 
Dog Dylan: Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia, The First Battle to Save Her Life – Riding the Roller Coaster

Dog Dylan’s story continued with us riding on the hard rails of her roller coaster, headed directly and most surely for her first brush with death.  Anxiety and uncertainty reigned in my head and followed a night without sleep with all kinds of thoughts racing thorough my head.  Life with a very sick dog, life without Dylan, could I make a tough decision, did I have the energy for this?  What could “I” do, what did I need to do, did I [More…]

Aug 282011
 
The Use of Fear Flooding in Dogs and Dog Training

We face fear flooding all the time in normal life as people.  Every time we do something new.  Maybe it is the first time you take your new puppy to puppy class, or maybe that first Dog Agility Trial.  How good you are at handling stress of this nature will certainly impact how easily and quickly you adapt to the circumstances around you.  This is also true of your dog and in fact, if they sense the apprehension in you, it will [More…]