Archives for September, 2012

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

Hello Everybody,

We have had some much needed rain in San Antonio: just shy of 6 inches in the last week.

I’ve been working with our 13-year-old Roxie to learn a new game: the “find” game. Roxie is a determined fetchaholic and will play way too long if we don’t stop her. The “find” game is a way to slow her down and teach her something new at the same time. I will ask her to sit, and then stay, while I hide her squeaky toy in a place out of her sight line. When we were first working on it, she would follow me to see what I was doing, so she didn’t exactly understand the spirit of the game! But now, she is so cute. She sits and stays, and then enthusiastically takes off when I say “find it!” She seldom is unsuccessful, and she looks so proud of herself when she comes back with her toy and I tell her “good find!” Here is Roxie after a successful “find.”

It is so much fun and satisfying to work with our dogs like this. They seem to enjoy it also!

Thanks to our friend Val Heart, for telling us about the “find” game.

Sending out love to you and your dogs,


Sep 20, 2012 | 2 | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Home Health Care for Dogs

Pet Euthanasia: 10 Points To Help You Decide

Hello Everyone,

Here is an excellent and heartfelt article by Dr. Andrew Jones about euthanasia. Rick and I have had to make that terrible and extremely difficult decision twice: for our poodle/terrier mix Cubby, who had liver disease, and then again for Skittles, our corgi/terrier mix who had throat cancer. With Cubby, I feel we held on too long and she suffered needlessly, whereas with Skittles, we may have been too hasty. I hope with Roxie and Gypsy we will be smarter pet parents and make the decision, if necessary, at the best time for each of them.
Pet Euthanasia: 10 Points To Help You Decide

By Dr. Andrew Jones

There were many months at the clinic I have had to euthanize far too many dogs and cats.

They generally were all been for very legitimate reasons..Cancer ( 4 patients), Paralysis, Bleeding Disorders, End Stage Kidney Failure..etc..

It seems that more of this happens during the Holiday Season.

I’m not sure if that is true, or if it had more of an effect on me.

Most clients make the decision in a very thoughtful, sensitive and respectful way- they weigh out the quality of their pet’s life, with their own needs to keep their pet alive.

I was often asked if now is the time..I always then asked my clients questions regarding quality of life, pain or discomfort in their pet and how they are feeling.

It’s not easy.

If any of you have gone through this, you know just how agonizing and difficult it is.

I am honored that we have this option with our dogs and cats- I watched my Grandmother waste away from Lung Cancer, only to be given narcotics for the last month of her life to keep her comfortable.

But the point is to respect this right- AND not treat it frivolously.

Here are some things to consider to help you make this serious decision:

1. Eating and Drinking. Is your pet able to eat and drink normally. My dog Hoochie ( a Lab cross) was a food hound, so when his appetite ended, I knew it was time soon.

2. Pain. Is your pet in pain often? ASK your Veterinarian this. Does the pain control medication help?

3. Activity levels. Can she still go for walks?

4. Housetraining. Has your pet lost bladder or bowel control?

5. Senility and aging. Does your pet enjoy interaction with you, or could she care less?

6. Does your pet have a terminal illness such as Cancer?

7. Are you willing to explore ALL the options for treating their disease OR do you want just palliative care?

8. Are you keeping your pet alive for your own Issues around death..or is this in the best interests of your pet?

9. Have you asked a friend if you are making the right decision? It helps to have a 3rd party.

10.Discuss and be aware of what euthanasia is, HOW it will happen, What will happen with your pet afterwards ( ie burial or cremation), and How you will get support to deal with your grief. I have NEVER felt so low and such a deep sense of loss than when my last dog Hoochie died.

I hope this helps some of you.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew J

Here is the link to the original article: Dr. Andrew Jones: Pet Euthanasia.

Take Care, and please give your dogs a hug for me,


Sep 14, 2012 | Comments are off | Animal Communication, animal welfare, Dog Behavior, Holistic, Home Health Care for Dogs