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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:15 pm 
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Okay, I am qualifying this as a first time dog owner question--I really want to share pics of my pupper with the PPK but everywhere I upload images I can't embed from!! I've tried Google Drive, my Box account... Where does one store pictures to be able to share them on the PPK?! Y'all need to see this doggo!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:31 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:07 pm 
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I don't post pics often but when I do it is photobucket

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:40 pm 
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Thank you all! :D

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:04 am 
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I've been thinking of getting a dog,* so this thread is super helpful. Thanks everyone. paprikapapaya, do you mind if I ask some questions here too?

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*For like a year, during which time I've been compulsively reading dog care and behavior books, watching training videos, taking a canine cognition coursera course, reading about dog health, and just generally obsessing about the issue.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 11:54 am 
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Yeah of course, no problem! Any questions you might have could be helpful to the rest of us future dogsters.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:50 am 
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I'm gonna temp hi-jack this one for a minute, because there's so much good advice going around on this thread.

Mavis will NOT poop on a leash or on her chain in the yard. I have to take her to the dog park for her daily poop, and so far that hasn't really been a huge problem because she has so much energy, I am usually taking her to the dog park anyway. But on days when the weather's bad or I'm just too tired to take her, THEN it's a problem. She ends up going on the concrete floor in the basement rather than on her chain in the yard or leashed on a walk. Even this isn't really a big problem for me. It's a concrete floor that floods every time it rains, so who cares?

But. I'm going to visit my dad next month in Arkansas in the middle of the woods, and while Mavis miiiiight be okay off-leash, I'm still nervous to let her. I've GOT to teach her to poop on a leash or chain, like NOW.

Current plan is to keep her leash on her at the dog park, where she's used to pooping, until she does it. Use a key phrase like "go poop," then give praise/treats and un-leash her. Going to take her at lunch (because I have to run to the city after work for a stupid fantasy football draft that I'm super salty about not being done online) and test it out. No other dogs will be there at that time, most likely, so it should be distraction-free.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:22 pm 
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Hollie wrote:
Mavis will NOT poop on a leash or on her chain in the yard. I have to take her to the dog park for her daily poop, and so far that hasn't really been a huge problem because she has so much energy, I am usually taking her to the dog park anyway. But on days when the weather's bad or I'm just too tired to take her, THEN it's a problem. She ends up going on the concrete floor in the basement rather than on her chain in the yard or leashed on a walk. Even this isn't really a big problem for me. It's a concrete floor that floods every time it rains, so who cares?

Dogs see spaces differently than we do. We have our "comfort zone" with other people which you can discover when you hold your arms directly out and bend your hands in at the wrist. Everything from the palms of your hands to your body is your subconscious "personal space". Every single person who reads this forum and has a reasonably normal skeletal structure and basic ability to extend their arms out can test this. It's subconscious and it's very very real. We know when someone enters this subconscious "personal space" and we know when someone remains exactly 1 inch outside of it.

I'm trying to relate what Mavis may be experiencing to something you can relate to. It's very possible that Mavis may consider this backyard of hers her personal space and not want to poop there because of that. Dog logic will always leave us stumped in any case.

The verbal cue of "go poop" is a good one. I suggest have a few training treats and give one to Mavis every single time she poops on your walks or at the dog park, along with that verbal cue and some clear praising and perhaps even petting or neck scratching. When you take those treats out and go stand in front of your house for a few moments with Mavis, or perhaps even one very specific corner of your backyard, Mavis will know EXACTLY what you are waiting for. I had much more success in training with that same verbal cue "go poop" after I introduced treats in conjunction with the cue. And later on the treats weren't necessary. But then Beagles do LOVE food so that's kind of an unfair training advantage!


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:34 am 
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It took my beagle Winston years to poop on a leash and it is still a rarity for him. My guess is that when he is on a leash, he is 'on the job' and therefore must concentrate on doing things that Beagles do. I am betting that fencing part of the yard will fix this problem.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:41 am 
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Hollie wrote:
Current plan is to keep her leash on her at the dog park, where she's used to pooping, until she does it. Use a key phrase like "go poop," then give praise/treats and un-leash her. Going to take her at lunch (because I have to run to the city after work for a stupid fantasy football draft that I'm super salty about not being done online) and test it out. No other dogs will be there at that time, most likely, so it should be distraction-free.


Start with a super long, super light leash, praise after she goes, and then release her. After she has done it there a few times, on leash, move to just outside the dog park gate.

My MIL's old dog didn't poo on leash until he was about 6, so for some dogs this is a tough thing.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:02 am 
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Moon wrote:
Start with a super long, super light leash, praise after she goes, and then release her. After she has done it there a few times, on leash, move to just outside the dog park gate.

My MIL's old dog didn't poo on leash until he was about 6, so for some dogs this is a tough thing.


Well, I tried it yesterday at lunch, but she didn't ever go, even on the extendable leash in the spot where she ALWAYS goes. I was going to be late getting back to work, so I unhooked her, and she pooped the SECOND I took the leash off. Like she was punking me or something. Jerk.

Tofu wrote:
Dogs see spaces differently than we do. We have our "comfort zone" with other people which you can discover when you hold your arms directly out and bend your hands in at the wrist. Everything from the palms of your hands to your body is your subconscious "personal space". Every single person who reads this forum and has a reasonably normal skeletal structure and basic ability to extend their arms out can test this. It's subconscious and it's very very real. We know when someone enters this subconscious "personal space" and we know when someone remains exactly 1 inch outside of it.

I'm trying to relate what Mavis may be experiencing to something you can relate to. It's very possible that Mavis may consider this backyard of hers her personal space and not want to poop there because of that. Dog logic will always leave us stumped in any case.

The verbal cue of "go poop" is a good one. I suggest have a few training treats and give one to Mavis every single time she poops on your walks or at the dog park, along with that verbal cue and some clear praising and perhaps even petting or neck scratching. When you take those treats out and go stand in front of your house for a few moments with Mavis, or perhaps even one very specific corner of your backyard, Mavis will know EXACTLY what you are waiting for. I had much more success in training with that same verbal cue "go poop" after I introduced treats in conjunction with the cue. And later on the treats weren't necessary. But then Beagles do LOVE food so that's kind of an unfair training advantage!


Yeah, I've pored over training methods and read everything I could find on the subject, even bought some series of training videos that mostly just led to a lot of spam in my inbox...but they all seem to assume that at some point, one's dog is going to actually poop while on a leash so you can reward the behavior accordingly. ...But, seriously, when I say Mavis has never pooped while being walked on a leash, ever, I mean not even once. I guess the only solution is to not give her an opportunity to go anywhere else BUT on the leash, and that's what I'm going to work toward, but that's easier said than done. She's not very treat motivated, either. She'll do what I ask her to for treats up until the point where she decides she'd rather just not have the treat if it means she has to do whatever it is I'm trying to coax her to do. She's a stubborn little girl.

linanil wrote:
I am betting that fencing part of the yard will fix this problem.


The problem is that we're going on a long road trip that requires an overnight hotel stay, then a week in a place with nowhere to let her off leash (unless I'm feeling real brave).

Thanks for the advice. ...And we will continue to work on this one tirelessly. Raaarrrgh.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:24 pm 
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I am quietly starting to lose my mind and panic that we're going to have to re-home Finn.

There are only three times he doesn't bark--when he's touching me, when we're on walks, and when he's in his crate.

This means that if I want him to not bark, I have to leave him in his crate A LOT more than I am comfortable with. In the evening at home, I bring the puppy playpen to different parts of the apartment (we have a huge open floor plan loft, so I can't just give him a room or two and gradually introduce him that way) where I am, but even in the pen, with me just a foot or two away, he loses his mind. My gym is dog friendly, and if I bring him there and leave him at the front (inside, with a bed and water) he'll start freaking out as soon as I leave and I have to ditch my workout.

So I'm unable to workout. I'm unable to cook dinner. I can't do anything because I have to be standing in the pen with him all the time. I did a bunch of training with him where I would give him a treat and then leave, then later come back and reward him for being good. And that went so well! But now we're back to constant meltdowns.

The weirdest part is that this behavior has only developed since about Saturday (and I got him on Tuesday evening). I assume it's because he's bonded to me more? But I don't know what to do, because I can't keep him in his crate all the time because that's just awful. But I can't take him to places with me that I thought I could, like the gym, so I have to leave him in his crate while I do that. Then leave him in his crate until the walker comes while I'm at work, then back in there... Then I get home, we go for a pretty good walk (20 minutes or more), I give him dinner and play a little... and the second I walk away, the barking is back.

The terms of my landlord letting me have a dog is that there are no complaints from other residents (I rent a condo in a small building from the condo owner; everyone else in the building owns their units). Although I let people know that he's in training and they've been kind, there is going to be a limit to people's tolerance. I don't know what to do. He's so good the rest of the time, and I REALLY want to have him hanging out with me when I'm home so that I can pet him and play with him when I pause stuff I'm doing, but if he's going to be barking and melting down the whole time, I can't.

Heeeeeeeellllllllllppppppp I don't know what to do :( I love him and he obviously loves me, but if this is what the situation is going to be, I'm going to have to re-home to a place where he can be vocal and get the amount of attention he seems to need. :'(

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Can you get into a training class asap? Or look at a book on clicker training, basically you need to reinforce the good behavior of not barking.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:59 pm 
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oh no, sorry DC. If you read the Bigby thread you'll see a very similar trend. No real issues initally, then the issues started to develop after about a week. You CAN make it through this. I'd call a trainer or get into a class as soon as you can. Clicker training is magic. Here are Kikopup videos specific to barking. I know how scary and stressful it is. I lost 10 pounds when we got bigby because I couldn't eat. Once we found a trainer, it was so much better. It will be well worth the money and time and it WILL get better, I promise! He's adjusting and every day is going to be different in the beginning and you will feel crazy for a little while, but then you won't. and you'll have an amazing pal!

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We are your cheerleaders! PM me any time. seriously. I'll give you my email address and we can talk. We went through so much with Bigby in the past year and a half and so many others on this board have gone through so much when they first got their dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:02 pm 
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another thing that REALLY helped Bigby's separation anxiety is this relaxation protocol. It takes you step by step at getting your dog used to you stepping away from him. We had to do each "day" a few times, but it really helped a lot. Basically, you practice taking tiny steps away from your dog and giving treats each time he doesn't get up or bark. It starts off so slow and progresses to you standing outside the front door and your dog sitting on the mat.
http://championofmyheart.com/relaxation ... mp3-files/

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:17 pm 
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THANK YOU! We are in a training class with the SPCA, but their next class with openings doesn't start until October 2, so we're registered for that one, but I don't know if we'll make it :(

I've been doing clicker training for sit/come/his name/potty outside/going to the right place when we come home, but I haven't been able to figure out how to do it for barking. I will watch the videos and totally try the relaxation resources! I'm just worried that with my work schedule, I can't give the time to training him that is needed--my heart is willing, but my schedule is hard :( I'm terrified that I was wrong about thinking I could carve out time for a dog. But I also desperately want to do right by him, and if it turns out that re-homing will give him the best doggo life, then that's what I'll do. I hope I don't have to, though!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:24 pm 
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For a quick start for clicker training with barking, the trick is to catch him SUPER quick before he barks and click and treat. Also finding treats that are super high value to Finn is important. We had to give bigby a lot of chicken and cheese as sad as that made me because he likes those WAY better than regular treats. Just plain cut up chicken and low fat string cheese.

So basically take a step back from him and click and treat really fast before he barks or has a chance to react. He's a pup, so i bet you'll start seeing at least some results quickly.

You're doing the right stuff and if you do have to rehome him, it'll be the right thing, but you've definitely got some things you can try.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:33 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
For a quick start for clicker training with barking, the trick is to catch him SUPER quick before he barks and click and treat. Also finding treats that are super high value to Finn is important. We had to give bigby a lot of chicken and cheese as sad as that made me because he likes those WAY better than regular treats. Just plain cut up chicken and low fat string cheese.

So basically take a step back from him and click and treat really fast before he barks or has a chance to react. He's a pup, so i bet you'll start seeing at least some results quickly.

You're doing the right stuff and if you do have to rehome him, it'll be the right thing, but you've definitely got some things you can try.


Thank you!! I'll work on this tonight.

I've been using chopped up hot dog (sad as that makes me) for a treat when working on tricky stuff like coming when called, etc. I'll use that for this, too.

Last night once he mellowed after I took him out for his after-dinner pee, I went into the pen with him, brought a pillow for me, and we curled up together and napped all snuggled and it was just... MY HEART. I love him so much! I want to help him be his best pupper self!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:53 pm 
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Oh yeah, I should have mentioned the other thing that really helped Bigby's separation anxiety was giving him a kong filled with wet food (frozen wet food takes even longer to get out) when we left the house or a treat toy/puzzle with kibble. Now when we start getting ready to go out, Bigby is actually excited because he knows it means food.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:48 pm 
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Yeah, I kong him up a lot, haha. I think I'm going to buy a couple more kongs so I can have some freezing, some in the fridge, some in the dishwasher... Make my mornings a little more efficient! And make the kongs more interesting and diverse!

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:54 pm 
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Kongs are great. Also, my favorite time-consuming dog toy is to give them the last of the (plastic) jar of peanut butter when I'm done with it. They get the sides clean pretty quickly but their snouts are too big to reach the bottom and they can just barely reach it with their tongues so they'll spend a good half hour trying to get that last little bit out that they can just barely reach.


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:28 pm 
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Sangria wrote:
Kongs are great. Also, my favorite time-consuming dog toy is to give them the last of the (plastic) jar of peanut butter when I'm done with it. They get the sides clean pretty quickly but their snouts are too big to reach the bottom and they can just barely reach it with their tongues so they'll spend a good half hour trying to get that last little bit out that they can just barely reach.


I am not only going to do this, I'm going to take freaking video. This sounds DELIGHTFUL.

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:16 pm 
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How's it going??

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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:41 pm 
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I have a few really weird very beginner questions and also some very general questions.
General questions:
1. What dog thing was harder than you expected/totally unexpected for you?
2. What were you worried about that turned out not to be such a big deal?
3. What do you think most prospective/new owners underestimate in terms of work/time commitment/etc?
4. What do you think prospective dog people overlook in considering getting a dog?
5. What are the biggest unexpected costs other than unanticipated vet care?

Specific weird questions:
-How do you deal with dog care (esp walks) when you are super, super sick? (Assuming you can't transfer that duty to another family member.)
-How do you manage walks and stuff when it's super cold/icy/awful out? (We've been snowed in a bunch the last couple winters. Plus polar vortex.)
-How do you get a dog to the vet if you don't have a car?
-How do you move a sick or injured large dog if you are alone?

Gross questions:
-How do you clean up diarrhea? Like if it's outside?
-Is there a back friendly way to pick up after a dog that doesn't involve bending over? (Assuming elimination is put on cue.)


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 Post subject: Re: First time dog owner tips
PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 12:36 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
How's it going??


We had a really great weekend! Then this morning I went to shower after his walk and he started barking again :( But the biggest, most important thing is that he's making progress!

We walked two miles to the park this weekend, then played a lot, and he was really good with the fact that we were picnicking with friends--the only time I had to REALLY hold him back from food was when someone sat down with a burrito. And, like, I can't criticize--my reaction to burritos is to rush for them also. ;) He's still learning not to jump on people when he meets them (everyone is always like "aww, it's cute, he's a puppy, don't worry about it!" and I'm like "yeah, but I am training him, so please don't undermine that???"). He's doing SO GREAT with his potty training! I had a key emergency on Friday so I took him about 40 minutes later than I usually do and he was trying SO HARD to hold it in till we got outside and then he peed for like two minutes straight. I think we flooded the street. I was very proud of him, really, because he DID hold it! Good good boy :) His willingness to ignore distraction and pay attention to me is still highly dependent on the quality of treat that I have for him, haha. But we snuggled A LOT this weekend and that was just wonderful. I never get tired of cuddling with him on the floor, or in a car, or on the couch. He's such a lap dog, and I love it beyond reason!

Paperweight:
I can't super help with this since I"m still really new but here's what I can provide!



paperweight wrote:
1. What dog thing was harder than you expected/totally unexpected for you?


Separation anxiety! I didn't realize that it wouldn't necessarily be easy to just let him hang out while I do other things around the house.

Quote:
2. What were you worried about that turned out not to be such a big deal?


Getting up and walking him in the morning. I am NOT a morning person, but I just throw on cozy jammies (I have a couple of onesies, and HELL YES I walk around my neighborhood bleary-eyed in the early morning with a dog while I wear a onesie. It turns out that when it comes to taking care of a beloved baby, I can get up in the morning. On the weekend I just give him a stuffed Kong after the walk and then go back to bed. Not a biggie. Meanwhile, I'm having WAY lower stress mornings because I'm waking up on time, getting to not rush like a crazy person getting ready for work, having some coffee, petting the dog, petting the cat, and getting to work not only on time, but sometimes earlier than usual! It's actually been great.

Quote:
3. What do you think most prospective/new owners underestimate in terms of work/time commitment/etc?


Training. I know dogs are eager to please and take to training, but I didn't realize how hard it can be. Particularly things that seem intuitive like getting him to respond to his name. It's been more frustrating and demoralizing than I expected, even though Finn is really responsive to training and wants to be good.

Quote:
4. What do you think prospective dog people overlook in considering getting a dog?


IT IS LITERALLY LIKE HAVING A TODDLER I DID NOT REALIZE HOW REAL THAT IS

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5. What are the biggest unexpected costs other than unanticipated vet care?


Toys, treats, good food... I'm having to purchase many more accessories/things than I anticipated. That will probably decline once I'm set, though, but I think there will still be a higher cost of consummables than I expected.

Oh yeah, and paper towels while house training and/or laundry fees.

Quote:
-How do you get a dog to the vet if you don't have a car?


Uber and Lyft will take dogs at the discretion of the driver. I've found that as long as I hold the dog on my lap (as much as possible--he's a big pup) and bring a blanket/towel for him to sit on so that he isn't dirtying the car/leaving paw prints or fur behind, they tend to be nice. However, they have the right to refuse your ride, so just re-request and you'll get someone who likes dogs :)

Quote:
-How do you move a sick or injured large dog if you are alone?


Take up power-lifting? ;)

Quote:
-Is there a back friendly way to pick up after a dog that doesn't involve bending over? (Assuming elimination is put on cue.)


Same as boxes--squat, get your arms around it, and make sure to keep your chest up and back straight then push up with your legs. It feels weird at first, and your legs probably aren't used to it, so they'll get tired, but if you keep with it, you'll stop feeling weird/tired really fast and your back will thank you!

I am only 50% kidding about taking up power-lifting--I've gotten into that in the last nine months and lifting my dog, as well as most anything else up to 150lbs, is nice and easy, and I no longer strain my back because I know how to hold the form. So, uh, there's an only kind of dog-related thing. ;)

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Keep loving, keep fighting

Be the trouble you want to see in the world.


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