Dog Breath

Raud Kennedy - Dog BreathWhen my dog, Wyatt, was dying of kidney failure, there was a distinct odor to his breath that my vet said was due to his failing kidneys. His breath had always been unique to him. None of the other dogs I encountered had his distinct odor of breath and I encountered a good many through work in the four years I had him. Early on I didn’t think much of it because he had a penchant for eating poop and I associated it with that and it wasn’t until the end that it became noticeably strong.

Recently, while playing with my five month old puppy, Fleegle, I smelled this same distinct odor on his breath. Fleegle is related to Wyatt. He was sired by one of Wyatt’s littermates and as I remembered my vet telling me there could be a genetic component to kidney disease in dogs, I began to worry. Continue reading “Dog Breath”

Fat Shmat

Raud Kennedy - gnawing the bone - sadieI talk to my dogs. Anyone who has dogs talks to them. Even people without them talk to dogs when they meet them on the sidewalk or in Home Depot. When I talk to my dogs, I answer back for them in my dog voice.

“Do you want to lick the bucket?” I ask Sadie, my golden retriever, after finishing a tub of yogurt and setting it on the floor.

“You really need to ask that after all these years?” Sadie answers back in my dog voice. “For a dog trainer, you’re not very observant. Maybe we should practice. Go get some more buckets, ask me if I want to lick them, then put them on the floor.” Continue reading “Fat Shmat”

Walking with the Dogs

As a dog trainer these past ten years, I’ve walked a lot of miles with dogs of various shapes and sizes and if they’ve taught me anything it’s that sometimes things need to be peed on twice. If the first squirt doesn’t get it, double back and tag it again.

Then there are times when just going through the motions of lifting the hind leg and squirting nothing, not even the smallest dribble, works just as well as the power shot.

And water. Drink it every chance you get, no matter what the source.