This gives me the giggles, but it’s also got some fun ideas. Crafting With Cat Hair, by Kaori Tsutaya has been translated to English. I think I like the finger portrait puppets the best. They’d make cute Christmas ornaments!
Here’s one of the projects—How to make a bookcover with with a cat fur kitty.
Too much cuteness to show you. First there’s Dethan (pronounced day-ton) the Newfie and his new water bowl. Be sure to watch for what he was doing 3 mos. ago. Think he might be a water dog??? Then there’s feline planking. Lots of people have tried their hand at it, but no one compares to this kitty—he is a master. I love his giggling people filming him! And lastly, there’s some serious toe sucking. So cute it might melt your brain! And the mew at the end? You will be toast after watching. Behold!
Check out this fascinating video analyzing what makes up a good play exchange between two dogs. One of the things my parents are encountering with their new pups, Bart & Sadie, is knowing what is healthy play and what isn’t. It’s not always easy to tell, but in this video, Cristine Dahl, shows us what is going on in this play exchange between Truman (9 mos old) & Puff (7 yrs old).
Cristine is an incredible dog trainer, educator, and dog behavior expert. She was a great help with transforming Saffron into a well adjusted dog. Cristine wrote a wonderful book Good Dog 101 that is really well written, accessible, and useful—a lot of dog trainers are not good writers, but Cristine is great! She graduated from the Academy for Dog Trainers at San Francisco SPCA where Jean Donaldson, author of Culture Clash, taught and opened her own dog training studio, Seattle Dogworks. Cristine then went on to found her own school for dog trainers, Seattle School of Canine Studies. And yes, this is a total plug for her, because she really is outstanding, and I don’t recommend anything or anyone lightly!
I was in Texas recently for a business meeting and the same day I arrived at my parents’ place, two black puppies also showed up at their doorstep. Lost or stray dogs always seem to appear wherever I am, so it figures I travel halfway across the country and end up dealing with stray puppies. We figure they’re about 3 mos. old, 1 male, 1 female and were probably dumped by someone. They were malnourished and dehydrated. (My parents are in a rural area and lots of dogs get dumped or are just allowed to roam.) I figured I’d be helping my parents get them to a rescue group so they could be adopted. I think it had maybe been 24 hrs after they showed up that it became clear Bart & Sadie, as they are now named, had already found their new home with my parents. Yea!
Now the process of integrating Bart & Sadie into their home started. My parents aren’t really dog people—they have 4 cats. They have inherited my grandmother’s Yorkie, CoCo, but she is nothing like these wild, semi-feral puppies. So I had to get those rusty dog-training gears going again in my head and fast!
One of the most important things you need to do when you have a dog is manage their environment. This is especially critical when you’re teaching your dog what they can and cannot do. Dogs are explorers & opportunists and once they’re “rewarded” by some behavior, they’ll tend to keep doing that behavior as long as they get the “reward”. In this case the word ‘reward’ means anything the dogs really like—chasing cats, eating garbage, stealing dirty clothes—not a treat that you give them. So don’t lay out a banquet of temptations and expect your dog to resist. Manage their environment and set them up to succeed.
For example, your kitchen trashcan holds awesome smells & tasty scraps, which your dog is likely to explore. If, in that exploration, your dog tips over the trashcan and gains access to those smells & scraps, your dog is “rewarded” by that access. The best way to keep your dog from learning they can get to the smells & scraps by tipping over the trashcan, is to prevent them from doing it in the first place by managing their environment. The level of management depends on the dog. Our dog, Saffron, gets spooked by things tipping over and loud noises, so our management strategy for the kitchen trash was a metal step-can with a close fitting lid—it’s heavy so less likely to tip over unless she’s really trying, the lid has to be lifted so she can’t just stick her snoot down in the can, & a close-fitting lid means enticing odors are less strong. Other dogs may need to have the trash behind a closed door. When it comes to managing a puppy’s environment, I think it’s best to assume the worst! They’re likely to get into everything.
Here’s how we managed Bart & Sadie’s environment to get you thinking about strategies for your own dogs or if one shows up on your doorstep:
No matter what your situation, you can take steps to manage your dog’s environment. It takes some thinking, but managing like this makes teaching a dog so much easier. My parents won’t have to unteach chasing the cats or chewing up shoes, because the puppies aren’t having these unwanted behaviors reinforced and “rewarded”. I’m so happy to say Bart & Sadie are well on their way to becoming wonderful members of the family—they couldn’t have found a better home!