Postcard #13: Good Dog

Posted on April 24, 2011. Filed under: Dogs, Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , |

Dear Anne and Frank,

 Congratulations on the new member of your family, Ruby Begonia is one lucky pup! I am certainly not a dog expert, but I have learned a few things being on the end of the leash that I would like to share with you.

One of the best things we ever did was to crate train Lucille. I thought that it was mean to keep her in a box, but I learned that it becomes their own little cabana where they feel safe and secure. Fleecy blankets, a soft mattress, and toys help to make it even more comfortable. When Lily came to live with us, the only thing she knew how to do was crate up, so we have to spell c-r-a-t-e when we’re talking about stealing milk crates or how a crate of oranges is on sale because she will run to her crate and jump in and it’s hard to get her to come out. The dogs are also fed in their crates and this to help make it even more of their own space. It’s a little known fact that dogs like a little bit of pizzazz and one way is to Bedazzle the outside of their crate to make it fancy, but that’s totally up to you.

 The next lesson I learned is to keep my shoes or anything I really cared about in a safe dog-free zone. As I’m sure you know puppies have razor-sharp teeth and they will gnaw on anything they can get their paws on. I learned this the hard way when one of my favorite pairs of shoes was sacrificed to one of Lucille’s chewing tangents. Toys are good alternative to shoes, but the only downside is that you’ll most likely trip over them in the middle of the night when you get up to let Ruby out, but at least you’ll have shoes to wear in the morning.

Now that you own a dog, you can hang out in your neighbor’s yard without looking like a weirdo. I know that I have spent at least 100 hours of my life hanging out in my neighbor’s yard while my dogs sniff the lawn, trees, and bushes looking for the perfect place to do their business. When Lucille finds the absolute best place in the yard (usually in front of a picture window), I like to pretend that I see an airplane or an interesting bird to look at so I don’t have to watch my neighbors watching my dog funk up their lawn. I always clean up after Lucille, so make sure to bring lots of bags with you. The great thing about Lillian is that she doesn’t go to the bathroom while she’s on the leash- I think she’s shy and values her privacy.

Find a dog park that you like so your dog can meet and greet with the canine elite. When Lillian came into our lives she wasn’t socialized so I took her to the dog park to sniff, run, and play with dogs other than Lucille. Sometimes the other dog owners can cliquish, but don’t worry if you’re not one of the cool kids. All they’re talking about is how many pounds their dogs weigh or what kind of cookies their little dogs like to eat (boring!).

Remember those toys that you’ll be tripping over in the middle of the night? You may find yourself buying toys for Ruby when you go on trips. It will be because you want to, not because you have to. Portland and San Francisco have some stellar dog toy stores and I always make it a point to bring something back for the Ladies.

 Best wishes on getting a loyal friend- there’s nothing better than a dog! There’s something very special about dogs; the companionship and love they provide is priceless. When I see you, let’s mix up a batch of vodka tonics, pull up a chair and you can tell me all about Miss Ruby B.

Love,

Cindy

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