Christopher Aust, Master Trainer
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I am keeping the Drool section short today as the rest of this issue is a little long. I do want to cover a couple of things.
First, I am dedicating this week's issue to Keesha Goodwin who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this week. Keesha was a wonderful dog that was fortunate to be rescued seven years ago by her mom, Cathy. This wonderful rescue couldn't have asked for a more loving person to care for her. Keesha, you will be dearly missed.
This got me to thinking about what everyone else buys for their pets. So, here's what I want you to do. Send me some of your ideas for presents for our pets. Whatever it is, let me know. Then, we will share the ideas here and maybe help another reader who has been stumped trying to figure out what would be the perfect gift for Fido.
Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!
Dog Chewing the Sofa? Puppy Eating Your Shoes? Or WORSE?
I know you have seen the posts recently about "how to deal with losing your dog" but I seem to be having a real problem with this. Here's how it goes.
I have had only two dogs in my life. One, when I was very young, and another named Sasquach. He was a massive black lab with enormous feet, thus the name. He went everywhere with me, even to work, and was my very best friend. He saw me through a divorce, the loss of my parents, two jobs and everyday life. He seemed to know what I needed and when to give it too me.
He didn't sleep in my bed, but we went to our own beds at the same time. We had our meals together and I even took him car shopping with me. Needed to make sure he would fit! lol He just seemed to know everything!!
Now he is gone after a long battle with cancer. He lived a wonderfully full life and, even at the end, never seemed to act like he wanted me to worry. He was always a trooper who was more interested in how I was, than the pain he must have been feeling. He was so considerate and loving. (Can you tell he was my everything?)
What I now worry about was did I wait too long, because of my own feelings, to have him put down. I also find myself wanting another giant Lab like him to take his place. Am I setting myself up for disappointment? What do you think?
At the same time, he was a lover. I never worried about him around my kids and I could take him to any school to do dog demonstrations, and never worry about him biting a student even though he had just bit an "intruder" in the demonstration. He would sit there and be tolerant of the petting, hair pulling and all the other stuff kids do to dogs. He just didn't care ... unless I told him too. At the end of the day though, you could tell he was tired and ready for bed.
At nearly twelve years old, he was retired as the rigors of police work had become too much. He had developed arthritis from an injury when he was young and could no longer run fast or do the obstacle course without the risk of injury. I was going to give him the splendid retirement this wonderful dog deserved though. He liked my dog, another German Shepard, and I knew he would be fine. He would finally be able to just relax.
I guess it was less than two months later when I saw a problem. He wasn't happy. Keep in mind, this dog knew nothing other than being a working kenneled police dog his entire life. All his pleasure derived from this. He knew nothing else. I figured, as did the vet, he was going through an adjustment period and would come around soon enough.
He didn't like his walks as much as he was only walking, not patrolling. He didn't enjoy barking at the door anymore as a knock meant a friend, not intruder. He missed his obstacle course and doing retrieve exercises. He missed competing. He missed his life.
At nine weeks in the house, I came downstairs and saw him asleep on his blanket in front of the radiator. He didn't look right, but I let it go until morning. I didn't try to wake him or anything else. I just figured, "He's okay."
The next morning, when he woke up, he was disoriented and unable to stand up. I took him to the vet and they determined he had had a stroke. They said it wouldn't kill him and he might be able to walk around in time, but even that was a long shot. She told me I should consider putting him down and was patient as I grilled her about treatment options.
I had to walk out of the exam room as I thought I would just lose it. This was my partner. He would have given his life for me, no questions asked. How could I take his life from him without trying everything? I felt like I was letting him down. Violating the trust. I went back in the exam room determined to do whatever it took to save him.
When I walked back in he was whimpering, but stopped once he knew I was back. I know he knew I was in pain, and I realized at that moment he wasn't whining because of his own condition, he was crying because I was in pain, and there was nothing he could do about it. That's when I knew what I had to do for this selfless, beautiful creature.
I laid down next to him, rubbed his head and told him how much I loved him. The vet did her thing and just before Sandy passed, he licked my nose. I stayed with him for some time, just to make sure he got off on his journey okay.
I had him cremated, as burial just didn't seem appropriate for him. I spread his ashes across the parade grounds at RAF Newton in Nottingham, England, the home of the Royal Air Force's dog school.
When I finally decided to let Sandy go, it was because the vet was pretty clear there was little in the way of treatment that could be done for him, and, chances were, he would have a poor quality of life. He had had a full and active life and had already been showing signs that inactivity was affecting him.
Additionally, we would never have known whether he was, or the extent to which, he would be suffering. For an animal who had served so faithfully, I felt it would have been an injustice to keep him around simply because I didn't want to let go.
If the veterinarian is sure there's nothing they can do to return a dog to a point where they can have a fulfilling and pain free life, I feel as though making the decision to say goodbye is my obligation to the dog. I know I wouldn't want to be in that position, so the least I can do is return some of the many favors my dog has given to me and say goodbye.
[I'm not sure who wrote this but I thought it fell in line with this week's article. ~C]
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.
We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
BREED OF THE WEEK
The Neo was bred by the Romans for use in combat, and also to participate in arena games. According to tradition, their ears should be docked short and their tails docked by one-third. Fortunately, most enthusiasts have broken from tradition and are leaving the tails and ears natural.
Their bodies are extremely muscular and should be well defined leading to an enormous head and wrinkled face. The wrinkles often continue down their chin and neck. Their teeth should meet in a well defined scissor bite. Their dense coat can be solid or brindled with the most common color being blue and then black. A small amount of white is permitted on the chest and toes, but overall is discouraged.
Now, I told you they were big and I wasn't kidding. They can range in height from 24- 30 inches (60-75 cm.) at the withers and weigh up to 165 lbs. (75 kg.) Some of the larger males can reach 200 lbs! (90 kg.) There may be heavier or taller breeds, but a Neo has a stature that almost makes them larger than life.
Like all breeds out there, the Neo is not for everyone. This is particularly true of the Neo which will really do best with someone with at least a moderate amount of dog experience. I don't say this because of any behavioral issue present in the breed, but because of their size. Before getting a Neo, one must be sure they are prepared to establish a proper pack structure so the dog, because of its' size, doesn't ever try to challenge the structure.
Do not let the young, Neapolitan Mastiff run and play too much. Limit its exercise because it must on no account be over-tired. Avoid rough games in the growing stage and ensure that all its energy is available to make healthy bones and muscles. Special care should be taken in a home with a Neo puppy and small children so the children don't accidentally injure the animal.
Once a Neo is between 18 and 24 months they can be exercised more vigorously. In fact, not providing a Neo enough exercise will create a frustrated animal which will be more likely to become destructive or aggressive. They should be taken on long walks twice daily.
Ask anyone who has ever owned a Neo and they will tell you how
people will literally cross to the opposite side of the street
when they see a Neapolitan Mastiff coming down the sidewalk
towards them. I kind of think that's a shame. The Neo is a
big teddy bear that makes a loving, comical and intelligent
companion for the individual or family. Their desire to
please, be loved and dedication to their owners is unlike any
other breed in the extra large category. Next time you see
one, don't cross the street. You will miss the opportunity to
meet an extraordinary beast.
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FOR EXAMPLE: One evening last week, my wife and I were getting into bed.
Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says "I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me."
I said "WHAT??!! What was that?!"
So she says the words that every man on the planet dreads to hear... "You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man." She responded to my puzzled look by saying, "Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?"
Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.
We went onto the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you...she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn't even know how to play tennis.
I think I threw her for a loop when I said, "That's fine, honey." She was nearing satisfaction from all of the excitement. Smiling with excited anticipation she finally said, "I think this is all dear, let's go to the cashier."
I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, "No honey, I don't feel like it."
Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled WHAT?"
I then said "honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman." And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me, I added, "Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?"
Apparently I'm not having any tonight either ...
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Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
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Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
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Newsletter Archive: Master-Dog-Training.com/archive/
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