Ace and I had a visitor over the holidays — a highly vocal, but not too demanding 12-year-old mutt named Gracie.
My cousin and her husband in Charlotte were headed off on a cruise and they were having problems finding a petsitter for Gracie, who has never been kenneled. So I volunteered.
It wasn’t my first adventure in petsitting. I’d had a handful of canine guests in my home in Baltimore, and served as wrangler for three more while housesitting in Santa Fe. I’d learned, both times, that most issues that come up can be easily worked out, usually by the dogs themselves.
I decided they should eat in separate areas, just to be safe, so I’d fill one bowl, and call one dog. Both, because their names rhymed, came. When I said “stay,” both stayed. When I attached their names to the commands – ”Ace stay, Grace come” — that didn’t work either.
Finally, I got one to the porch, and fed the other inside, confusing them both in the process.
On day two, Gracie stopped eating entirely. Even blobs of liverwurst — in which her pills get hidden — had no appeal to her. Wanting her to get at least a little nutrition, I smeared peanut butter on her nose and let her lick it off.
Eventually, I broke out the most special of my special dog treats, and after a good sniffing, she decided to try one. On day three, she was eating normally again, and I’d figured out that feeding them both at the same time in the same place worked best.
By the second day, I’d noticed Gracie, who spent the first night on an extra dog bed, was eyeing mine. It’s only a foot off the ground, but she just stood by it, put her head on it and looked at it longingly. Being old and arthritic — her, not me – I gave her a boost and she spent almost the whole day there.
I worried that Ace, who likes my bed too, would take offense at her occupation of it, but, once I told him it was OK, he just jumped in and joined her.
If they were positioned right, there was plenty of room for both. With only minor repositioning, I could fit in, too.
For walks, I’d take them both on a short one, then give Ace a longer one. That seemed to suit them fine.
What I never totally figured out was Gracie’s whining/singing. She whines when she’s happy, she whines when she’s not. She whines when she wants something. She whines, I think, when she wants nothing at all, except maybe to hear her own voice.
Ace, puzzled by that behavior, quickly got used to it. At first, he’d rush to her side, but eventually — as I kept saying, “What is it, girl, what do you want?” — she became background music to him.
Just about every worry I had, when it came to the two of them, turned out to not be worth worrying about. As long as I supplied the food, water, walks and love, they’d easily figure out the rest — the less help from me, the better.
It’s us humans who make things complicated.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 8th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, animals, attention, beds, behavior, complications, dog, dogs, elderly, feeding, grace, gracie, guest, humans, old, pet sitting, pets, petsitting, visitor, walks, whining, worries
Just when you thought the pet gear market couldn’t get any more precious, Martha Stewart and Crate & Barrell have launched new lines of upscale doggie products to further spoil our pooches.
Crate & Barrel is offering “a colorful pet gear line, which includes toys, beds, collars, leashes and more — all under $70,” according to PeoplePets.
It reports: “While we love the patterned cotton bones and catnip-filled mice, our pets are drooling over the dishwasher-safe porcelain bowls ($6.95-$14.95) adorned with conversation bubbles that say “Woof,” “Ruff” and “Meow.” Porcelain treat jars ($14.95-$19.95) are another charming accent for your kitchen. Dog jars feature a black-and-white fire hydrant motif and a bone-shaped handle, while the cat ones have fish and mice graphics and a fish-shaped handle.”
The new line is available in stores and on the Crate & Barrel website.
Martha, meanwhile — shown above during the taping of a commercial — has teamed up with PetSmart to premiere her Martha Stewart Pets line, which includes bowls, feeders, tote bags, toys, collars, leashes, beds and grooming accessories, all “designed with dogs and their owners in mind.”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accessories, animals, beds, bowls, collars, crate & barrel, dogs, grooming, industry, leashes, marketing, martha stewart, merchandise, merchandising, ohmidog!, pet gear, pet products, pets, petsmart, products, sales
We’ll call this one, with apologies to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ”The Case of the Pilfered Plaid.”
If you, like me, aren’t on top of the fashion world enough to know that plaids could actually be copyrighted, it might surprise you to hear that Burberry, makers of the famous Burberry check, is suing the retail chain Pets at Home, claiming material they used on items such as dog coats and beds is highly reminiscent of Burberry’s patented plaid.
Burberry is claiming copyright infringement.
Burberry, it seems, is making a comeback.. It made a “triumphant return” to London Fashion Week last month, the UK Guardian reported. And last week, Burberry revealed six month revenues were up 14 percent.
This comes after the signature check – an emblem for the fashion house for almost 100 years – suffered some image problems due the high number of counterfeiters and the design being linked to “hooliganism and “chav” culture, the newspaper reported.
Given that, the company isn’t about to let sleeping dogs lie on what they consider a copy of their pattern, or wear it.
The Guardian reports that Pets at Home has pulled the items in question from its shops, but the dispute has yet to be resolved.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 19th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, beds, burberry, check, clothing, coats, copyright, design, dog, dogs, infringement, jackets, material, patent, pattern, pets at home, plaid, plaidgiarism
Half of all American pet owners consider their pets as much a part of the family as any other person in the household, according to an Associated Press-Petside.com poll released this week.
Another 36 percent said their pet is part of the family but not a full member, according to the Associated Press.
Most pet owners admit to feeding animals human food, nearly half give the animals human names and nearly a third let them sleep in a human bed. While just 19 percent had bought an outfit for a pet, 43 percent felt their pet had its own “sense of style.”
Singles were more likely to say a pet was a full member of the family than married people — 66 percent of single women versus 46 percent of married women, for example. And men were less likely than women to call their pet a full member of the household.
According to the survey, slightly over a quarter of pet owners celebrate their pet’s birthday or the day it came to live with them, and a third have included a pet’s photo or name in a holiday card.
About one in five respondents take their pets to work, and 42 percent of pet owners have taken a pet on vacation, usually the family dog.
The AP-Petside.com poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media from May 28-June 1, 2009. It is based on landline and cellular telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,110 pet owners. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 24th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: associated press, beds, cats, children, dogs, family, household, members, names, owners, pet, pet owners, pets, petside.com, poll, relationship, survey
The bedding industry has been raising the height of its products, satisfying customer desires for thicker mattresses, the Wall Street Journal reports — and that may be creating a hazard for dogs, especially small ones.
Anecdotally, veterinarians across the country report a rise in such doggie disorders as elbow and shoulder arthritis, hip dysplasia and degenerative disk disease, often caused by dogs leaping into, our out of, the bed.
“For a little dog to take a flying leap off a bed that’s five to six times higher than he stands is an act of courage, and a recipe for injury,” says Stephen Crane, an academic animal doctor and diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
While scientists have yet to tackle the issue, the marketplace has, and several companies are now offering pet stairs designed to help dog from floor to bed.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 16th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accessories, animals, bedding, beds, dog, dogs, dogs in bed, furnishings, furniture, hazard, health, high, injuries, mattress, mattresses, pet products, pets, safety, sleep, thicker, wall street journal