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Kitty will be up to scratch after training
This letter comes from young Kristel in Elkton, MD. I only know she is young by the appearance of her very nice handwriting. On pretty stationery which reads "All things are possible with God," she writes: Dear Mr. David Spiegel, My cat Snowball has been acting as if our living room carpet is a scratching post, but the weird thing is she has two of them! Do you know why?
Dear Kristel, Sounds as though Snowball prefers the carpeting of your living room to the scratching posts (wherever they may be). This could be for a number of reasons. It could be because she likes the feeling of scratching carpeting better than scratching posts. It could be because she prefers to do her scratching in the living room rather than other places. Or she may not like something about the scratching posts. Set the scratching posts in the living room -- one lying flat on the floor, the other standing up or on an incline. The standing one should be tall enough or placed high enough so that when she stands up on her hind legs stretching her front feet upwards, they should land about 3/4 of the way up the post. Play with her in the area of the posts. If she stands on or uses the posts, pet her softly along the middle of her back and up her tail. Occasionally give her cat treats when she does. Do not let her into the living room at any other time when she cannot be watched or played with for two weeks. When watching her, the instant she starts to scratch on the carpeting, surprise/scare her by hitting her with the stream from a water pistol. The desired result is her getting startled and running out of the room. Keep this up and she'll quickly learn which are the appropriate things to scratch on and which are not.
Dear Dr. Spiegel, Our dad's dog has been kenneled since last summer when he was hospitalized and then admitted to a nursing home. In February of this year Daddy died... and still "Lady" waits to go home. Unfortunately we cannot bring her into our respective homes. We desperately want to place Lady in a loving home. She is an eight-year old blond lab/shepherd mix. She is protective and loving and crazy about ice cream! She is neutered and up to date on her shots. Can you help us? The Children of WR; NY NJ and DE
Dear Children, As you have found in your efforts, placing an eight year old dog can be a difficult task. She is about halfway through her life expectancy, and this means different things. Many people prefer to start with the joys and mishaps of a puppy or younger dog. But if you don't have the time or patience or energy to exert in raising a dog, here it has already been done for you -- A loyal and loving dog that will be happy just to be by your side enjoying your companionship. I know that most of my readers are caring, loving, and compassionate people, some of which would surely want to help you in finding a home where Lady could be enjoyed and loved as your father did. And now, a News Release: DogGone's Five Rules of "Petiquette" "It's frustrating to see ?No Dogs Allowed' signs at parks, beaches, and hotels. Sadly, it's for good reason: inconsiderate pet owners." By following the rules of travel petiquette, DogGone publisher Wendy Ballard hopes mannerly pet owners will help turn the tide on banning dogs from public places. 1. Do, Do Pick Up The Doo-Doo. Carry plastic Baggies, and use them! 2. It's The Leash You Can Do. Leash laws are not the only reason to use them. It provides control and puts other people at ease. 3. Avoid "Faux Paws." Do not allow jumping on strangers. Wipe off wet, sandy or muddy paws before entering people's homes and motel rooms. 4. Don't Bark Up The Wrong Tree. To keep from disturbing neighbors, train your pet to stop barking on command. One or two watchdog barks are acceptable; yapping is not. 5. Provide Creature Comforts. Bring chew toys when traveling. If your dog gnaws a dresser leg, fess up and offer to pay for damages. Every other month, DogGone, the newsletter about fun places to go and cool stuff to do with your dog, features pet-friendly vacation destinations and travel tips. Additional coverage highlights activities dogs can enjoy with their owners, both away and at home. For subscription information call (407) 569-8434 or write to DogGone, PO Box 651155, Vero Beach, FL 32965.