Tag: The Dodo

Socialising one’s darling dog!

It is easy for us to consider this a minor issue!

We are so used to having so many dogs and with more than one in a household socialising becomes simple; assuming they all get on with one another.

But many kind people have a single dog and, especially, when someone goes for a new dog then socialising becomes very important.

The Dodo recently had an article about this and it is shared with you all.

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How Can I Socialize My Dog?

Set her up for success 🏆

By DANIELLE ESPOSITO

Published on the 26th April, 2021

Did you just adopt a new dog and now you’re super excited to introduce her to all the awesome people and animals in your life?

While you might want to bring her everywhere you go right away, it’s also important to take the right steps in order to set her up for success — especially when it comes to dog training and socialization skills.

To understand how to socialize your dog, The Dodo reached out Juliana Willems, head trainer at JW Dog Training in Washington, D.C., for some insight.

What does it mean to socialize a dog?

Socialization is the process of helping a dog enjoy and feel comfortable with people, other animals, places, novel objects and environments.

It means bringing your dog out into the world and introducing her to various kinds of people and situations — which helps to make sure she learns how to be a happy, friendly pup (with manners!), and can reduce fear in unknown situations.

It also helps to give your dog the skills she needs to learn about boundaries — meaning she’s not running around and bulldozing other dogs who clearly just want to sleep whenever she’s around them.

What’s the best age to socialize a dog?

According to Willems, the best age to socialize your dog is when she’s a puppy — because there’s a critical socialization window in a dog’s life between 3 and 16 weeks.

“This is the age where puppies are like sponges, soaking up information and using the experiences during this time to determine how they feel about the world later in life,” Willems said. 

Experiences — or a lack of experiences — during this critical socialization window can have a direct impact on a dog’s behavior as an adult.

So what happens if you adopt an older dog outside of the socialization window?

Unless you adopt a puppy who’s 4 months old or younger, Willems said that the dog you’re bringing home is well outside the critical socialization period.

“What this means is you won’t be able to undo what did or didn’t happen during that window when they were a puppy,” Willems said. “That being said, a goal with newly adopted rescue dogs is always to introduce them to new people, animals, places and activities in a positive way.”

Of course, there’s a good chance your pup was already socialized, especially if she was living happily with a foster family before she went up for adoption. But no matter what stage she’s in socially, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of what to look out for.

As with puppies, being exposed to people, animals and places isn’t enough if you’re hoping to get your pup to truly love and be comfortable with these experiences. You should be paying attention to how she’s reacting to these situations as well.

According to Willems, simple exposure without looking at if your dog is having fun, feeling comfortable and enjoying herself leaves the door open for a negative experience.

That means it’s important you don’t overwhelm your dog by going to too many new places — or meeting too many new people — when she first comes home.

How to socialize your dog

According to Willems, the best way to socialize a new rescue dog is to go at her pace, use treats and always pay attention to body language.

“When you let your new rescue dog approach situations at their pace — allowing them to approach or retreat when they need to — you’re giving them choice in the interaction and you’re decreasing the chances that your dog will feel overwhelmed and scared,” Willems said. 

And make sure you have some of your dog’s favorite treats ready to go during the process!

If you give your dog high-value treats when she meets new people or new animals or goes somewhere new, you’re increasing the chances that she ends up really liking those experiences. Why? Because she’s learning that new people, animals or places equal tasty treats!

While you’re keeping her happy with yummy treats, make sure you’re also paying attention to how she might be feeling in this new situation — and always give her the opportunity to take a breather if she needs one.

She should always have the option to leave a new situation if she’s uncomfortable — especially when it comes to meeting new people and dogs.

How can you tell if your dog’s uncomfortable?

According to Willems, your best bet is to look at your pup’s body language — and it’s helpful to be able to understand what certain signals mean.

Obvious ones include:

  • A tucked tail
  • Trying to move away
  • Avoiding interactions
  • Growling or barking

More subtle stress signals include: 

  • Lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Ears back
  • Stiffening

If your dog exhibits stress signals like these, it’s important you advocate for her and move her out of the situation.

What should you do if your dog’s uncomfortable?

If you find yourself in a situation that’s making your dog uncomfortable, you’ll want to get her some relief by moving away — and you can also try adding something your dog loves to the equation. 

“The most effective tool here is high-value treats — something squishy and stinky that your dog really enjoys,” Willems suggested. 

Keep in mind, though, that you won’t want to give your pup a high-value treat or toy around a dog she isn’t comfortable with, to avoid sparking any possessive aggression.

Take your time — and socialize her slowly

It’s definitely worth it to put in the work with your new dog to help her get comfortable with her new life — but make sure to resist the urge to take her to tons of new places or introduce her to a bunch of new people or animals right away.

Aggressive behaviors are rooted in fear, so all the more reason to be very intentional, patient and positive in your socialization practice to help your dog learn their world with you is not a scary place!” Willems said.

Your new dog has been through so many changes — so let her decompress and get acclimated to her new home, routine and family.

All those couch snuggles will be worth it.

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I don’t know about you but I found this article very useful and very informative. Now many books have been written on the subject and the odd blogpost or twenty.

But I hope that some readers found it informative. It would be lovely to hear from you if you are one of those people.

Another loving dog story!

It just goes on and on!

Here’s another article by Lily Feinn about a rescue dog. Once again it was on The Dodo and once again I am republishing it.

I make no apologies for doing this as we can’t have too many stories of loving dogs in our lives. So without further ado here it is.

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Abandoned Dog Has The Best Reaction To Finding A Loving Family

He slept right in between us the first night we got him, and from then on, we knew in our hearts he was our dog.

By Lily Feinn

Published on the 1st July, 2021.

Mikayla Sengle and her boyfriend, Anthony Noto, weren’t planning on adopting a dog. But when Wylie suddenly came into their lives, it seemed meant to be.

Last month, Noto was on his way home from work when he passed by a dog park near an apartment complex. In the back of the park, a white and brown pittie sat all alone, looking confused. 

As Noto approached the dog, he noticed that he wasn’t wearing a collar and looked a bit banged up. 

“He looked lost, but at the same time, he seemed like he was on a mission to find something,” Noto told The Dodo. “When I walked over towards where my work truck was, he came up [to me] all innocent with his head down, seeing if I’d accept him.”

“Maybe I was what he was looking for,” he added.

Noto slipped a loose rope around the pup’s neck and walked him around the area trying to find his owner. But when no one recognized the dog, Noto put him in his truck and drove him home.

The pup didn’t seem to want to upset his new friends and was determined to show Sengle and Noto that he had the best manners.

“With people, he would wait for them to give the OK to lick and pay attention to people,” Sengle told The Dodo. “He seemed extremely relieved and happy. He got a bath and some treats as soon as he came home.”

“He instantly would look at my boyfriend for permission for everything,” Sengle added. “When he got home and ran in the yard, he was thrilled. It seemed like he never experienced the opportunity to be free and fun.”

The first night, Wylie slept in bed between his rescuers, as if to make sure they wouldn’t leave him. And he’d never been more comfortable and happy in his life.

Sengle posted on social media searching for the dog’s family, but when she finally received a response, it broke her heart.

“A young girl reached out to us and basically said that it was her friend’s dog and [her friend] had seen the post and said she no longer wanted him anymore because he was annoying,” Sengle said. “She even begged us not to give him back if they did reach out to us because they used to hit him and were not nice to him.”

Sengle and Noto kept Wylie for the five-day stray hold, giving the owners time to claim him. But when the week was up, there was no question that he was staying with them — forever.

Sengle and Noto thought their family was complete, but now they can’t believe that they got so lucky.

“He is a very sweet dog and a great companion,” Sengle said. “My boyfriend and him grew a bond almost instantly. He slept right in between us the first night we got him and from then on, we knew in our hearts he was our dog.”

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All photographs by Mikala Sengle.

It shows again how quickly a dog can open up the heart strings of us humans. As Single and Noto remarked above, they now can’t believe they were so lucky. It’s how we feel about our dogs. It’s how countless others feel about their many, many four-legged loved ones!

Dogs too can form perfect friendships

Dogs are such a special species!

I know this has been said before and no doubt I will say it again many times but dogs frequently bond closely with other dogs. There’s no knowing, frankly, what triggers the friendship but we humans can see it so clearly.

Take this recent article published on The Dodo about a dog and his sister.

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Dog Knows Just How To Help His Anxious Sister When She Gets Carsick

Dogs are too pure for us ❤️

By Lily Feinn

Published on the 25th June, 2021

Meet Eddy — a dog who knows exactly when his family needs a little extra help.

Ashley Karlin adopted Eddy, a black Lab, from a shelter two years ago as a companion for her senior dog, Daisy. And since that day, Eddy and Daisy have been inseparable.

“Eddy and Daisy play like siblings. They egg each other on and run around in the backyard together,” Karlin told The Dodo. “They sleep next to each other and sometimes on each other.” 

The 95-pound cuddle bug is also extremely perceptive. Eddy can sense immediately when something is off with a member of his family — and he hops into action.

Eddy uses this skill frequently when traveling with his sister. Daisy has always had car sickness and gets anxious when it’s time to go for a drive, but Eddy is a pro when it comes to soothing her.

“When she lies down in the back seat and starts to drool, Eddy lays the opposite way so he can rest his head on top of hers,” Karlin said. “If he doesn’t do this, Daisy constantly gets up, lies down, gets up, lies down on repeat until she vomits.”

“I think Eddy just has a sense of when others aren’t feeling well and he’s always there to comfort her,” Karlin added. “We’ve noticed every time they lie down together like this, she doesn’t puke and usually will fall asleep.”

Eddy also monitors his mom to make sure she’s OK and is always the first to know when there’s any change. 

“My husband and I recently found out I’m pregnant, and one of the signs that tipped us off was that Eddy constantly would put his head on my tummy,” Karlin said. “Eddy has [also] on numerous occasions woken me while sleeping to alert me that I was going hypoglycemic, even though he’s not trained to do so.”

Eddy is always there when his mom or sister needs him — and they can’t picture their lives, or car rides, without him.

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All photographs by Ashley Karlin

This is yet another example of the caring and bonding that dogs make. Make with many other dogs and many of us humans.

They are an example to all of us!

And another case of ex-rescue dogs bearing no scars!

Will it ever be normal again!

These are strange times!

We made a plan for evacuation but just a plan.

We are relying on a Level One call, a Be Ready call, to finish off the packing. Of course we hope that never comes but at least we have done the planning.

The Dodo had a great article the other day and I wanted to share it with you all.

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Dog Refuses To Eat Snow Cone After Mom Orders The Wrong Flavor

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Published on the 11th June, 2021

Lola’s story started when she was taken in by a local shelter, but when she was spayed she experienced rare complications that left her unable to walk. She started to recover very slowly, and after a few months, she was taken in by Big Hearts for Big Dogs. The rescue found her a foster family who could commit to taking her to physical therapy every week, and they fostered her for two years — before deciding they couldn’t pretend anymore and officially adopted her into their family.

ANNIE BELANGER BURLEY

Now Lola lives on a farm with her forever family, where every other animal has a rescue story, too. She’s blossomed into the weirdest, most personality-filled dog her family has ever met, and they wouldn’t have her any other way.

Annie Belanger Burley

“We have had her for six years, but she’s been ‘ours’ for four,” Annie Belanger Burley, Lola’s mom, told The Dodo. “We have no clue how old she is, but she literally doesn’t age. She has the most amazing temperament, but she’s a total weirdo! She requires being tucked in at night. She’s goofy, she snores when she’s awake, other dogs think she’s growling, but she’s really just breathing. She has looks that could kill. Sometimes her happy face looks like her mean mug.” 

Annie Belanger Burley

Lola’s family loves her so much and loves to spoil her whenever they can. One of her favorite activities is going out for snow cones, and she always gets so excited, even if she’s not always sure how to show it. 

“We go to Pelican Snowballs in North Fort Myers a few times a month,” Burley said. “Her favorite flavor is chicken broth served with a Milk-Bone on top … When she gets excited, it’s usually with her eyes. She has a grumpy face the majority of the time.” 

Annie Belanger Burley

Lola and her mom were getting snow cones recently, like they always do, but this time, Burley decided to order Lola a plain snow cone because she’d had an upset stomach the night before and she didn’t want her to overdo it. She figured Lola would still enjoy a treat even if it wasn’t her normal order — but she was wrong. 

Annie Belanger Burley

Lola sniffed the plain snow cone, then stared at her mom and made it very clear that she had absolutely no intention of eating it. It wasn’t the right flavor, and she refused to compromise. 

“She refused to eat it the entire way home and glared at me in her usual side-eye,” Burley said. 

Annie Belanger Burley

Instead, Lola let the snow cone melt right next to her. She decided it was better to stand up for what she believes in rather than eat it. She’s strong in her convictions.

Annie Belanger Burley

Even though Lola didn’t get her snow cone that day, there will be many, many other trips, and hopefully, her mom can redeem herself in Lola’s eyes by ordering her the “correct” thing again next time.

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To be honest if it were not for our dogs (and Jeannie) I don’t think it would ever be normal again.

But one can stroke and cuddle a dog or six and cuddle up to Jeannie and forget about the outside world for a tad!

And it’s a lovely story!

 

Having a dog in an apartment.

Lots of people who don’t have a yard still want a dog!

We are incredibly lucky in that we have many acres for our dogs, and our horses, to play in. Mind you, it is at times like the present where our acres are not such a brilliant idea. Times in the Summer that bring drought and the ever-present risk of a fire storm.

But taken in the round we are grateful that we ended up living in this property.

Not all people are as lucky as us but for them a dog or two is just as important. So what is the truth of having a dog in an apartment.

That is why I am so pleased to share this recent article from The Dodo with you.

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How To Make Your Dog Happy Living In An Apartment

No yard, no problem!

By SAM HOWELL

Published on the 1st March, 2021.

So you’re dying to have a dog, but you’re worried he won’t be happy in your apartment.

Do you really need a giant house with a big yard to give your dog the best life?

The Dodo spoke with Mikayla Park, director of adoptions and education at Wags & Walks, to bust that myth wide open.

Is living in an apartment worse for your dog?

Great news! The idea that a dog can’t be happy in an apartment is totally a myth.

“There is no one perfect environment in which to introduce a new dog,” Park told The Dodo. “Everyone has the ability to give a dog a happy and fulfilling life regardless of the size of their home, and the presence of an outdoor yard space.”

If you’re waiting to adopt a dog until you have your own yard due to personal preference, that’s totally understandable.

But the only real requirement for having a pup of your own is a willingness to love and take care of him — even if that means getting creative about outdoor time.

“Adopting a dog is about making a commitment to give that dog everything they need for the rest of their life,” Park said. “It might be a bit more work if you don’t have the ability to open a door and let your pup go outside, but it is by no means impossible, nor does it make your home any lesser a home in which to have a dog.”

Getting your dog outside when you live in an apartment

Going out to do his business, soak up the sun or just run around and smell all the smells is super important for your dog.

But just because you don’t have a backyard or live in an apartment, that doesn’t mean your pup can’t get that quality outside time.

“Outdoor time is a vital part of this daily routine, but it’s more about the way you spend that outdoor time than the mere presence of it,” Park explained. “Dogs thrive on having jobs, on pleasing their humans, on working their brains! Challenge them to work while they are outside with you.”

So instead of just idly letting your dog get his zoomies out when you pop outside, you can actually use this time to engage his brain — such as by slipping some training time in on your daily walks.

“Don’t just let them wander at the end of a leash,” Park said. “Practice your commands, work on eye contact [and] run them through sits and stays and recall. Buy a treat pouch and take it with you when you go, so that you can reward for good behavior and mark victories!”

This will help tire him out so he’s not bursting with energy when you return to your apartment. And with enough active walks or dog park trips, any pup can be happy (regardless of where he lives).

Things that’ll make your dog happy inside an apartment

While your dog definitely needs outdoor enrichment, there are plenty of things that will help keep him entertained while he’s inside your apartment.

“There are lots of wonderful products out there to help you in maintaining a happy and balanced dog without a yard,” Park said. “Brain games like treat puzzles and Kongs are fabulous ways to create some mentally stimulating entertainment.”

Plus, believe it or not, your dog’s bed can even help with that indoor enrichment.

“Buy a raised-place bed and practice having your dog stay there while you cook dinner,” Park explained, noting that this can actually be a fun mental game for some pups. “If they get up, lead them right back onto the bed. They cannot move until you give them the signal to do so. Sound boring? You would be surprised how hard it is for some dogs to make their bodies sit still for 20 minutes.”

So, there are plenty of ways you can give your dog a happy life with lots of enrichment while living in an apartment.

“Not having a backyard is certainly a bit of a challenge, but one that any adopter is capable of rising to meet, with dedication and time,” Park said.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.

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As was said earlier on in the article: “But the only real requirement for having a pup of your own is a willingness to love and take care of him.

My experience is that huge numbers of people are really committed to loving their dogs. Simply because a dog offers in return unconditional love. It’s a short statement of just two words. But it is a profound quality of our dogs and one that at frequent times has Jeannie and me, and tons of other people, lost for words!

What is it that some dogs think of?

I love this item from The Dodo.

There are many things that we do not understand when it comes to dogs. Of course we love them but often we have no idea what they are thinking of.

That was accentuated in this recent story published by The Dodo.

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Dog Gets 350 Tennis Balls But Will Only Play With One Of Them

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Published on the 18th December, 2020.

She was so determined that there was something amazing at the bottom of the box, and couldn’t get to it quick enough.”

While Noora is a lazy bulldog at heart, she’s grown up around a bunch of Labs, so over time, she’s slowly become more and more fascinated with the concept of tennis balls.

“Noora has almost always had a tennis ball-obsessed Lab in the house with her, and while the concept of repetitively chasing a tennis ball makes no sense to her, she’s intrigued by the obsession with something she can’t eat,” Katie Swartout, Noora’s mom, told The Dodo.

 

Katie Swartout

Noora’s family definitely goes through a lot of balls, so when they recently found a great deal on a box of 350 tennis balls, everyone was pretty excited — including Noora. 

“Noora LOVES when packages come,” Swartout said. “It started with BarkBoxes coming to the door, and the queen of the house deciding that every box that comes must be for her! When this box came, Noora immediately started crying for joy, and doing everything she could to get into the box!” 

Katie Swartout

As her family opened the box, Noora got a little overexcited — and quickly dumped the entire box all over the living room floor. 

Instead of excitedly playing with every single ball, though, Noora dug her way to the bottom of the box, and found the one ball that she had apparently been looking for.  

“She was so determined that there was something amazing at the bottom of the box, and couldn’t get to it quick enough,” Swartout said. 

Katie Swartout

Once Noora had picked out her ball, and subsequently spilled the rest of them onto the floor, she refused to play with any of the others. Out of the 350 balls, there was only one that was meant for her. 

“For a few hours, Noora wanted nothing to do with any other ball or toy,” Swartout said. “She was very protective of ‘her ball’ and if any of the other dogs would come near, she made sure they were aware of who was boss!” 

Katie Swartout

For some reason, that one ball at the very bottom of the box was the only one Noora wanted, and she was completely confident in that decision. 

Eventually, though, Noora got bored of her coveted chosen ball and went on with her life — until she rediscovered the box. Then she got excited all over again. 

Katie Swartout

“Noora has moved on to other toys, demonstrating she has the attention span of a 3-year-old, but when she sees the bin of tennis balls in the garage now, she still gets as excited as she did when the box first arrived,” Swartout said.

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You see! We don’t really know what Noora is thinking of but that doesn’t take away for one moment the joy that Katie gets from Noora’s behaviour!

Dogs are such wonderful creatures!

This heat wave

It has broken records here in Southern Oregon.

We had a high of 112 deg F. (44.4 deg C.) here in Merlin on the 27th June, 2021. That is hot in anyone’s language.

Fortunately first thing in the morning it was cooler, down in the low 60’s (F), and our dogs were alright with that. But in the afternoon it was too hot for them.

So it seemed like a good idea to republish an article from The Dodo about walking your dog in this heat.

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How Hot Is Too Hot To Walk My Dog?

How to keep those little paws safe 🐾

By DANIELLE ESPOSITO

Published on the 20th August, 2020

Have you ever felt like it was just too hot outside to walk your dog?

To make sure you’re keeping your dog safe — and his paws free from burns or irritation — it’s important to know how to tell when it actually is too dangerous to take your dog on a walk.

The Dodo spoke to Dr. Jessica Romine, a veterinarian at BluePearl Pet Hospital in Southfield, Michigan, to get some answers and tips to make sure your walks are always safe — and fun — for you and your pup.

How to test if it’s too hot out to walk your dog

According to Dr. Romine, there’s a simple test you can do to check if it’s too hot out to walk — and all you need is your hand.

“A good rule of thumb is to place your hand on the sidewalk or asphalt for 5 seconds; if it becomes uncomfortable to the touch, it is probably also uncomfortable for your dog to walk on,” Dr. Romine told The Dodo.

Signs your dog is uncomfortable

If you do need to take a walk on a hot day — or if it starts to heat up after you’ve already left home — keep a close eye on your pup.

“Dogs can suffer burns from very hot surfaces, usually in direct sunlight,” Dr. Romine said.

Signs to look out for include your dog starting to slow down or limp, or not wanting to keep walking.

If this happens, Dr. Romine recommends “checking their paw pads for tenderness, redness, or erosions and try[ing] to get them into the grass or at least shade.”

Tips for walking your dog in the heat

If you live in an area where hot concrete is unavoidable, you can try a paw wax to protect your pup’s paws. If you’d like to try one, Musher’s Secret Paw Wax is highly recommended by one of The Dodo’s editors, who uses it on her own pup.

“If you dog tolerates them, they are a fine option,” Dr. Romine said about protective products, “but remember that prolonged contact can still cause damage, and dogs still need to be monitored for signs of overheating.”

So in general, try to stick to the grass or at least the shade on your summer walks — and going out in the morning or evenings, when most surfaces aren’t in direct sun, will be much more comfortable for your dog.

(We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.)

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I must say that is a good piece of advice about placing one’s hand on the sidewalk.

We are lucky here because there is only grass to play on but not everyone is so fortunate.

Our dear Brandy!

Yet another dog lover!

The Dodo has a brilliant story.

There are so many kind people across the world and so many of those people are kind towards dogs.

Take this story for instance. It is about a Canadian woman who had placed dogs at the top of her care list and had been doing it for a number of years.

It was an article recently published in The Dodo and republished here.

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Woman Builds The Most Adorable Café For Her Neighborhood Dogs

“This is something they can do to bring a little joy to their day” ❤️️

By Lily Feinn

Published on 23rd April, 2021

Kaya Kristina lives right next door to High Park, one of Toronto’s most popular public gardens. Six years ago, the animal lover noticed that many of the pups in her neighborhood looked like they could use a little pick-me-up after running around outside. 

“On hot days, I noticed some of the dogs coming home from the park looked thirsty and tired,” Kristina told The Dodo. “I thought I should put out some water and a sign that said, ‘For thirsty dogs.’”

INSTAGRAM/HIGHPARKPUPS

Her act of kindness didn’t go unnoticed for long. “One day, I got a card from someone in my mailbox,” Kristina said. “It had a pic of their dog on the front and it was written from the point of view of the dog saying thank you for the water. I put the pic up on my fridge and it made me really happy.”

INSTAGRAM/HIGHPARKPUPS

For years, Kristina continued to supply local dogs with water and she continued to receive little messages in return. Then, when the pandemic struck last year, Kristina decided to up her game. She decided to leave some treats on her front lawn for all her furry neighbors to safely enjoy during lockdown.

And StarPups Coffee was born.

INSTAGRAM/HIGHPARKPUPS

“I made a bunch of mini treat bags, made a little menu so people knew what they were giving their dog and put a little stand out with options,” Kristina said. “It was so cute seeing the dogs go by and pulling their owners to my house to go get a snack.”

Kristina provides water, Milk-Bones and specialty all-natural treats made in Canada. And the parade of dogs enjoying them has provided hours of entertainment for her while being cooped up inside.

INSTAGRAM/HIGHPARKPUPS

Regular visitors began swinging by the café every day, so Kristina started an Instagram account as a way to build a little community around the watering hole.

“I thought of all the people living alone during COVID and how their mental health was suffering,” Kristina said. “I thought, ‘Most people are complaining about their husbands and kids driving them nuts being home all together. But do they think about their single friends who only have pets?’ I wanted to give those people something to look forward to and make them feel special.”

INSTAGRAM/HIGHPARKPUPS

One day, Kristina went outside and found that her entire café setup was missing. Someone had stolen StarPups overnight, and Kristina was heartbroken. She posted about it on her Instagram — and, to her surprise, the community she had fostered over the months and years stepped up to help.

“That evening, when I got home, my mailbox was full of cards, notes, photos of people’s dogs, Pet Valu gift cards and even a sweet drawing of my dog,” Kristina said. “It turned out to be a good thing, because I had felt so isolated all year with COVID, and now I felt like I had an army of friends.”

INSTAGRAM/HIGHPARKPUPS

Encouraged by the show of support, Kristina built another StarPups Coffee for the neighborhood dogs to enjoy. And Kristina is currently working on building a more permanent setup on her lawn, which will be weatherproof so that no dogs will have to walk away disappointed when it rains or snows.

Now that Ontario has entered back into lockdown, the little front yard café is doing more business than ever before. “One of the few things that’s still allowed is walking your dog,” Kristina said. “So many people are struggling mentally and physically, so this is something they can do to bring a little joy to their day.”

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This is a very beautiful story and just goes to show that Kristina rose to the occasion with returns and rewards far beyond what she may have anticipated. I have said it many times before but nonetheless will say it again: Dogs are the most delightful of animals. They form bonds with us humans that is unmatched by any other animal. Let’s just let this story above sink into our deeper selves.

More than that, they bring out the very best in people!

A Reunion to break one’s heart.

Tyler is reunited with his dog.

I have a folder where I put items that I think would make a good post. I have 1,139 items at present. Now many of them have been shared with you but by no means all of them. They are a constant reminder of the many ways in which the dog has, and is, the perfect companion for us humans.

Take this story that was published in The Dodo in March.

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This Boy’s Reunion With His Dog Will Totally Make Your Day

They never thought they’d see each other again ❤️

By Lily Feinn, Published on the 26th March, 2021

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old boy named Tyler Bandy got the best present he could ask for. As he walked in the door, he was immediately overwhelmed by love and kisses from an old friend — his dog, Bruiser.

STORYFUL/JAMIE BANDY

In January, Bruiser, a gray and white pit bull, was on a walk when he ran after a rabbit and got lost.

The Bandy family did everything they could to try and locate Bruiser. They posted fliers around their Florida neighborhood, posted on Facebook, put out old clothes in front of their home so he could smell them and repeatedly checked their local animal control.

FACEBOOK/JAMIE BANDY

But as the weeks passed and no leads were found, the family was “starting to lose hope,” according to Tyler’s mom, Jamie Bandy.“

That’s when the phone rang,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “Turns out their dog had been picked up by somebody on their way to Highlands County and, after a couple of months, it wound up in the hands of our animal services folks.”

STORYFUL/JAMIE BANDY

A staff member at animal services thought the pup looked familiar and, after some digging on social media, she found out why. Bruiser was returned to his parents, but they kept his arrival secret so that they could surprise Tyler.

“To say Bruiser had a joyous homecoming would be putting it lightly,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said. 

You can watch the emotional reunion here:

Tyler was shocked when he came home and saw Bruiser, and both were overjoyed. Tyler immediately started sobbing and hugging his best friend, while Bruiser showered him with licks, wagging his tail as hard as possible.

“[Tyler] was simply overcome when his parents surprised him with his best friend,” the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office said. “The two have been inseparable since.”

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Just another account of a young boy reunited with his dog. But then so much more than that. In this young man’s mind he had lost the one dear creature in his life. Perhaps made worse because Bruiser just disappeared one day. It was what we adults call unfinished business.

Then after a number of weeks fate stepped in and Bruiser was returned and Bruiser and Tyler were reunited. I am going to repeat that sentence towards the end of the piece which shows the response of Bruiser and Tyler. It just doesn’t get any better. “Tyler immediately started sobbing and hugging his best friend, while Bruiser showered him with licks, wagging his tail as hard as possible.”

Beautiful!

This is very sweet!

There is something about a baby!

I must admit to leaving preparing a post until late in the day. I was going to leave it blank but then decided that this was such a sweet story that it had to be shared with you all!

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Dog Loves Listening To Her Baby Brother In Mom’s Belly

She won’t stop wagging her tail ❤️️

By Caitlin Jill Anders

Published on the 16th April, 2021

Avon has always been a very hyper dog, but recently she’s gotten a little calmer — and that’s because she suddenly realized that her mom is pregnant. 

“I think she first noticed I was pregnant when I was around 14 [to] 15 weeks because she would normally jump around so much, but she started being more gentle,” Shea Haugen, Avon’s mom, told The Dodo. 

SHEA HAUGEN

Now, Avon loves to rest her head on her Mom’s belly — because she loves listening to her baby brother moving around inside. 

“She definitely lays her head down to listen to him and she gets really excited when he kicks,” Haugen said. “Typically that’s when her tail starts wagging uncontrollably.”

The dog who used to be so hyper and moving around all the time could now lay with her head on mom’s belly and listen to her baby brother forever, and that’s what true love looks like. Avon can’t wait to meet the newest member of her family, and her mom has a feeling he can’t wait to meet her, too. 

“Funny enough, my baby boy seems to like [giving] her a good kick whenever she lays her head on my tummy,” Haugen said. 

Very soon, Avon is going to be a big sister. In the meantime, she’ll keep following Mom around and laying her head on her belly, proving to everyone what an incredible big sister she’s going to be.

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There’s no question at all that the bond between dogs and humans is so, so special.

I’m sorry but I have to dash now!