Labrador Lessons

Author: Getting Your Dog Through Fireworks & Storms🎆⛈️

It’s the Labrador here, taking over the blog for a moment to introduce the article I had my human write. Between the lighting, thunder and those strange boom-booms that come once a year, I’ve had it up to here with the weather and you humans making things explode into funny smells. Lucky for me, my mom understands me pretty well when I’m scared. Here’s some things she does for me when the scary stuff happens. Use this with your companion and I’m sure it’ll help them like it does me.

And remember–we want to please you. We’re just scared. Please be patient with us; we need love all the time, especially when we’re frightened. Don’t you?

Continue reading “Author: Getting Your Dog Through Fireworks & Storms🎆⛈️”

Brief Humor & Check-Ins, Labrador Lessons

Author: Method #491 of Calming the Labrador (Sing Elvis)

Our dog (who, by chance, is the inspiration for a character in my book) greatly dislikes thunderstorms. It could be just heat lightning; it could be only remnants of thunder. If it’s both, it’s all over. Let the shaking, pacing, panting and anxiety begin.

Thundercoats only take the edge off for the Labrador; treats and toys are but momentary distractions. One boom-boom and we’re off to bury ourselves behind the couch cushions.

But recently, I had a breakthrough. And it’s Elvis. I began to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” to the Lab, and then played the song while singing. After about fifteen renditions, I had a calm dog ready to go sleep. The storm was also done by then, but the singing helped her to stay by me during the storm. Instead of pacing, she sat by me and eventually laid down. Her panting and anxiety decreased, too. I call that a win.

So here you go. Let me know if this works for you the next time your animal kingdom companion builds up anxiety. The king would be proud. 🎤

Our lab, looking majestic. Thanks for reading.
Labrador Lessons

Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)

There are gulpers and there are chippers in this world. I am a gulper. There are no stages, no stepping stones of graduated achievements with how I proceed. There is simply the goal and myself, whatever it may be. Everything between me and the goal must be overcome. And now, today, this very instant in fact! Definitely not tomorrow or a wishy-washy “sometime later, honey.” I will stay the course, finish strong, even if doctors and nurses hurry behind me with a crash cart and tranquilizer darts. Reality be darned!

All this I thought today during my first 10k, walking at a steady pace with my saintly husband* and tolerant Labrador. And then my Lab, during mile six, laid down in the middle of the road during a water break. She peered up at me and my so-called goals.

“Go ahead–try to move me, human,” my Labrador taunted me from the ground. “But you’re going to carry my 55lb butt back to the air conditioned car. And then I’m gonna pee all over your azaleas you just planted so lovingly…”

Continue reading “Labrador Lessons III: Pace Thyself, Human! (Our First 10k)”

The said Labrador Retriever.
Labrador Lessons

Labrador Lessons II: Bark at Suspicion

We’ve owned our Labrador Retriever rescue mix for about a year now. We will celebrate her adoption day soon. During our time together she continually developed her resume and list of self-appointed duties. These duties culminated into a steadfast guarding of her people who feed her and take her on patrol marches around the parameters of her territory. Our Lab is a gentle soul, but grows protective and suspicious of the outside world. It is a scary time, after all. She reads newspapers; she knows. Continue reading “Labrador Lessons II: Bark at Suspicion”

Labrador Lessons

Labrador Lessons: Lesson 1

I own a Labrador Retriever mix, a dog who is the inspiration for a canine character (or two) in my new novel. When the real dog barked in the middle of a sentence tweak or the fiddling of a paragraph, the fictional dog barked, too. When one spied a dastardly preschooler circling our block on a tricycle, pig tails a flyin’ without care, honor or worry, both dogs raised their hackles and the barking commenced. When one had to pee…well… One must have a sense of humor in these things. Continue reading “Labrador Lessons: Lesson 1”