Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, May 9, 2011
Hello everyone! Sorry for the long months of silence, but we are now back and very eager to introduce you to another wonderful angel in our pet community.
Gidget would like to introduce you to Ada Nieves. I met Ada in 2004 when this column was with The New York Dog and The Hollywood Dog magazines.
Ada is a renowned certified FIT pet fashion designer, gourmet treat baker and successful pawty planner. She runs the largest Chihuahua group in the nation, hosts her Pet Life Radio talk show: Vida Doggie, writes for the Examiner and is a collaborator for FIDO FRIENDLY magazine.
She and her five professional pet actor Chihuahuas (and now also a rescued cat), have appeared on many national and international shows, such as, the Animal Planet network, BBC London, ABC’s The View, NBC Today Show, Canida Oscar/Italy TV, Woef/Dutch Puppy TV, Pet Dish/MSN, Puppy Weddings/WE TV, Sabado Gigante/Univision , Mike & Juliet Show, The Martha Stewart Show and Conan O’Brien late night show, to name a few.
You can contact Ada by visiting her web site at www.adanieves.com
It is my pleasure to know Ada. She is an incredible, warm spirit, humanitarian and artist. I respect her and love her sense of humor and caring personality.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Greetings and Happy New Year!
Gidget would like to introduce you to Robyn Arouty Photography in Houston, Texas. I had the pleasure of meeting Robyn on Facebook through many mutual pet lovers. I am a firm believer in banding together for common causes because the power of numbers can create great awareness. I felt a lot of positive energy from reading her posts and felt her presence strong and heartfelt. She does a lot of good for the animals of the world and helped a lot of people in the process. Check her out and band together by joining her fan page or acquiring her services.
Robyn Arouty, a woman who "specializes in pets and their people," not to mention, she's a great photographer!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Ok, I'm going to admit it here and now, this little dog named Mia is absolutely the cutest! She reminds me of my Gidget. Just look at this face! Below is an email I received from her "mom" and I have some tips that may prove helpful to this issue:
I just came across your site and I was so happy. I was wondering if you could tell me why my Mia barks so much. There won't be anything around and she barks. Every little noise... even if she sees the leaves falling she barks. Also, my doll, fell on her once when she was sniffing at her and ever since she comes into the room where the doll is and barks at it. I even changed the dolls clothes and she still barked at it.
Otherwise she is a very happy little girl who loves her toys and is very crazy about her Dad. Thanks for your time and your gift. Sherry
There are multiple reasons why a dog barks: attention, boredom, frustration, hunger, happiness, breed genetics or simply we have allowed it to happen and not put a stop to it. There are a couple of methods dealing with positive re-enforcement to modify and change your dogs behavior. But,no matter what you do, you and your entire family must be consistent with these methods or all your work is for naught.
1. Pick a code word to use to change the behavior. Victoria Stilwell of 'It's Me Or The Dog' uses 'Stop'. Find a food based treat that your dog loves. Three times a day do the following exercise, you may want to keep a plastic bag filled with treats or belted treat/training bag (available at pet stores) with you:
Bring the dog next to you. Say the word you choose and give the dog a small treat. Do this 5 or 6 times. Make sure your dog equates the word with the treat. After a couple of days, when your dog barks, say the word, when he stops barking, give him a treat. Do this every time he barks around you. You are teaching your dog that when you say the word and he changes his behavior by not barking, he gets his favorite treat. As he gets better and better with this, introduce new triggers, like a doorbell ringing, someone walking by the house, a friend coming into the house. Keep the treats with you to help with your code word and expected non-barking response. Eventually, you can start to take the treats away and replace it with another positive response on your part like a belly rub, scratch behind the ears, etc.
2. Never respond to the barking. If your dog barks and you respond by yelling, he is getting your attention. Try standing quietly if he barks. Be calm and patient. When your dog stops barking, reward him with a treat, a 'Good Dog!' or give the dog her favorite toy. Pick a toy that is only used for this exercise. When he/she has received it as his treat, played with it for a bit and moved onto something else take the toy away.
The key to either method is consistency from the entire family. You must all do it. Once your family and your dog are all on the same wavelength, quiet will reign supreme.
Good luck and God bless!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I have attached pictures of my best friend and companion, Kona Blue. He is 12 ½ yrs. young. My late husband insisted on getting him declawed (front paws), which I was not certain should be done. I now have a biter. He has gotten better because he knows I don’t like biting. He has bitten visitors, and me. People want to pet him, but he does not always want to be touched. He hates his tail or feet touched. He can be loving, and has learned to endure all my kisses and hugs. I have deck trained him so that he can enjoy some outdoor time, yet stay contained on my decks. I’m very proactive with his health care – except his weight. He loves to eat and I indulge him more than I should. Can you tell if he is happy, bored, has any health issues that I might have missed, would welcome another cat (when he was two, he made it very clear to a pet psychic who came to our home, that there was no room for another animal).
San Diego, CA
Kona Blue is beautiful, but may also be in intense pain. The procedure of de-clawing is very painful surgery and can lead to the animal to experience lifelong pain. So, from a physical standpoint, you need to take that into consideration with your approach. It is also important to note that once a cat is de-clawed they have no real defense mechanism. It is very likely that Kona Blue is not able to tell you “no, please stop,” especially if his paws are still painful.
Just like a human, animals have different sensitivity to touch. The tail holds a cluster of nerves and as Kona Blue moves through the day, he uses his tail to communicate. That will make him ore sensitive to touch.
I know you love your pet, so “indulging” is never a good idea because it robs your pet of a quality life. I say quality, not quantity. We are not talking about years on earth, but the quality of those years. So many pets suffer physical ailments because of indulgence. It is something to think about.
I would suggest you feed him vegetables like lightly steamed broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or zucchini. He may also enjoy some fresh fruits such as apples, pears, and watermelon. Always start with a very tiny portion to see how he will react to the new foods.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: Never feed you cat (or dog) onions of any type, tomatoes, raw potato, chocolate, grapes or raisins. Always consult with your vet before changing their diet.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I was wondering if you would be able to provide some insight into our dog, Jack. Jack is about a year and a half old, and our vet thinks he is a husky, sheppard, and a bit of a terrier mix. My husband and I adopted him in July of 08 at 3 months old from petfinder.com. We drove over an hour to the town to pick him up, and it wasn’t until we were driving home that we realized something was wrong with him. He was extremely lethargic, and covered with fleas and ticks. After getting rid of the ticks and fleas, we took him into the vet two days later, and he was diagnosed with distemper and bronchitis, and had ring worms, hookworms, roundworms, ear mites, and three impacted teeth that needed to be removed. The vet gave him only a 30 percent chance to pull through even with medication, but he thankfully pulled through.
We absolutely love Jack and he’s a relatively happy dog, but it almost feels like there’s a disconnect between us. Jack is afraid of being held or confined, and runs if someone tries to hug or cuddle him. He is so friendly though and will go up to a complete stranger and make friends with them and loves to be petted, but not cuddled, which isn’t bad, but I feel sorry for him because I don’t want him to be afraid of something like a hug. I guess what I’m asking is if you can tell what Jack thinks of my husband and I from his picture. Because sometimes it feels like he likes us, but doesn’t love us. Regardless, we love him no matter what :) - Lauren, Internet
JACK OF HEARTS
We are talking about energy here, and animals sense energy in as many intense ways as we do. Stepping back, his first experiences with you were at a time he was in an unhealthy state. You did what you could to comfort him when he was so ill, including cuddling and hugging him.
He may never have been shown much attention or cuddling when he was a puppy, so he may not understand that. He was brought to the vet within 2 days, where he was was held by the vet techs, their arms were over and around over his body as they needed to get blood, give shots, and medication, etc. As he was held by technicians in a 'cuddle' he may not associate that experience as a pleasant memory. So, you will have to make the cuddle pleasant. Start moving your fingers on him very slowly, talking softly and telling him you love him while you pet him. Move your hands ever so slightly over the spine towards the other side of the body, if you need to,move inch by inch. Every time he allows you to pet him more, give him a treat, or a favorite toy or a play session for further loving enforcement. Let him learn to enjoy and accept the feeling. After a time, he may move to trust you and may be more open to being cuddled.
Keep in mind that if he was confined in a crate/cage as a puppy prior to you getting him, he may very well not be comfortable in that type of environment. Some pets simply hate to be confined, no matter how comfortable. If this is the case, you may have to accept that.
I wish you luck!
Monday, January 4, 2010
These are my best friends Finnegan (black & white) and Stella (gray & white). Both were rescued from shelters at around 5 months of age so I know very little about their backgrounds before they came to me. I was wondering if you could tell Finnegan that he should never run away from me or the house when off leash because it is dangerous?
Stella always seems very nervous and sometimes tinkles in the house. I would like to know if there is something I could do to make her feel more secure & happy? And you probably get this all the time but....do they know how very much I LOVE them?
Best Wishes, Lianna S.
I’m getting a very strong feeling that when Finnegan runs when he is off leash, he may think you are playing a game. Try not letting him off leash unless he is in an enclosed area and/or use a long line leash (some are 15-20 feet in length). It would be a great idea contact a trainer in your area and work together so Finnegan understands and learns the command 'come' as a game, but with a reward.
Stella and her excitable urination is something that can happen for a number of reasons. I’d strongly suggest that you first find out if there is a physical problem by taking Stella to the vet. Once it has been determined that she is physically ok, you may need to use lots of positive reinforcement. Try to remain calm around her, especially when greeting her, and always reward her when she responds without urinating. When greeting her, keep it low key, or take the greeting outside. A fun thing to do with her to build up her confidence is agility training or fly ball classes, and that can be as much fun for the family as it is for Stella!
Finally, please know that they both love you very much and they are fully aware that you love them! Good luck!