WONDERFUL THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR DOG IN 2001
Elaine W. Gewirtz*
been feeling guilty lately about all the things you wanted to do with
your dog last year and never got around to it, now's the time to start
making plans. Giving your dog more activity and challenges than he has
had in the past will make him happier. He'll probably like you even
Here are 10 easy ways to keep your dog's tail wagging in 2001:
1. Take Your Dog to One New Location a Week - That same walk around
the block gets BORING. Your car needs washing? Have to drop off clothes
at the cleaners? Your dog will love the short jaunt. Take your dog along
to mail a letter at the post office and take a short walk around the
outdoor shopping center. He'll have lots of new faces to meet and greet.
2. Picnic in the Park - With a bowl of fresh water, a lunchtime supply
of kibble, and a blanket in the park, have dog will travel. Lots of
new sniffs and sounds will spark his attention.
3. Brush Up on Your Grooming - Dog brush a little dusty? Revive that
dedication to regular grooming by a weekly nail trim, a bath, ear cleaning,
and some good ol' coat brushing. Short-coated and long-coated breeds
will relish the right to rejuvenate.
4. Visit a local children's hospital or senior center - Ever made a
hospital visit with your dog? Call ahead to these facilities to make
sure they accept canine visitors. Of course your dog has to be stable
and calm enough to greet strangers but even a walk through the halls
will bring a smile to patients' faces and to his too!
5. Walk on the Wild Side - If you've never taken your dog for a trek
on a nature trail, experience the joys of the scenic life. You don't
have to climb rocks or hike far-even a short trip in the wild will invigorate
you both. National and state parks require dogs be kept on leash. Be
sure to take along some fresh water in a canteen.
6. Play the Mad Hatter - A dog in a hat is a joyous thing to see! There
are several available that will show off your dog's natural talents-a
sailor's cap, a firefighter's helmet or a gentleman's chapeau, will
remind your dog how regal he can be. Teach him it's OK to wear a hat
indoors and make a fuss over him when he doesn't try to paw it off.
7. Jump Through Hoops - It's amazing what fun little tricks like jumping
through a hoop, climbing over an obstacle or crawling under a tent can
be. These do not have to be elaborate sets to build - just some old-fashioned
fun you can teach your dog to do.
8. Paint Your Pooch - OK, you're not an artist but your self-painted
portrait of your dog can't look THAT bad. Besides, you're not going
after museum-quality work here. This is just another way for you to
picture your favorite pooch and to express yourself. First, teach your
dog to sit and stay on a chair. Next use some inexpensive water colors
to find that inner canine.
9. Read to Your Dog - When was the last time you recited poetry to your
dog? If you've always wanted to catch up on your prose but didn't want
to do it alone, now's the time to practice your iambic pentameter with
a pooch in the audience. Besides, he can't laugh.
10. Garden Jobs - Who else but your dog loves to work in the garden
alongside you? He'll help with the digging, move the manure, and carry
off the cuttings.
Gewirtz is a writer who specializes in dog topics and lives in Westlake
Village, California. She breeds, owns and trains her Dalmatians in conformation
and has recently written a book on Yorkshire Terriers for pet owners:
Your Yorkshire Terrier's Life, published by Prima Publications. Elaine
has also written for Dog Fancy, Dog World, Popular Dogs, and is the
Dalmatian breed columnist for the AKC Gazette. She reads Edgar Allen
Poe to her Dals on Halloween!
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