Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dealing with separation anxiety

A Twitter tweet yesterday by @sarchet62 (Pills for your pets OMG inspired me to finish a blog post I started two years ago describing our experience with Sassy, our rescue boxer, and her severe separation anxiety. My non-professional writing efforts often bog down, ending up in my drafts file never to be revisited. I dusted this one off today, updated it to reflect time passed and a some references, and have posted it to my blog [link]. Sassy died in 2006 – I miss her to this day – so writing about her keeps her alive in my memory.

The blog post is long – too long for this space – so head over to my blog, meldinme, to read it. It describes our experience and the help we received from the boxer world. I've included some additional references at the end if you want to read more.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Boxers and the heat of summer

Every year at this time, I worry that there's something wrong with our boxer. It's happened with all three - their breathing becomes laboured, their tongue is hanging out more, and they're just plain sluggish. Toys aren't all that interesting, even treats are sometimes turned down. Now that we're on boxer number three, before panicking, I sit back and remember that this has been going on since 1993 and that it's just the change to warmer weather that our boxers are having problems with. It's the time of year when the mid-day walks have to be reconsidered in favour of early morning and late evening. We train outdoors in group classes on Saturday mornings and it can get pretty hot on the field. Last summer, we bought a "swamp cooler" vest to help Freckle (aka Lexi) deal with the heat. I'm going to have to dig it out and have her wear it soon, along with a wet bandana. For information about dogs and heat, check out Summer Health Tips for Dogs from the University of Minnesota - it includes information about assessing and preventing heat stroke.