Adventures of a dog Walker

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I won my case against my neighbor!

Posted on March 31, 2019 at 6:31 PM Comments comments (69)
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My business has been saved by the ZBA , clents and friends!

Posted on March 31, 2019 at 3:41 PM Comments comments (55)
I run my business out of my home.  Almost 2 years ago a new neighbor called code enforcement to complain that I was was running a business out of my home. 

 Luckily one of my dog walking clients is an attorney and he was able to advise me. Long story short: here in this town one is allowed to operate certain types of non retail businesses in an area that is zoned residential. There can be no exterior evidence of the business such as signage.  Also in my town there is a very specific "dog barking" law.  Dogs cannot  bark continuously for more than 20 minutes.  I have never received a barking violation as I do not allow my dogs to bark for long.  Of course dog barking is unavoidable if the ups driver comes to the door for example but that is short term barking.  However anyone who owns dogs in a residential neighborhood may have barking dogs. So my neighbor's complaint about barking dogs was unfounded.  He lives across the street and down the road by the way.  I can't wait for someone to move in next door to him with 5 Yorkies, karma is a bitch.

I have linked one of the articles from the local paper about my saga below.  The bottom line is this: if you are running a pet sitting business out of your home, learn your local codes, keep noise to a minimum and don't be intimidated by your neighbors, hire an attorney.  I have a great one.


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Playing with a ball can be fun, but there are downsides

Posted on November 11, 2017 at 12:32 PM Comments comments (76)
Some of the dogs in my pack really like retrieving balls, especially from the water.  There is nothing more joyful than watching dogs charge in to the waves after a ball and then surf out.  I never get tired of watching that. 

However some of these dogs that enjoy ball retrieving take it to unhealthy level.  The ball becomes their heroin.  They cannot function if there is a ball in their vicinity that is not in their mouth or under their control.  They jump all over the human trying to throw the ball and get into resource guarding fights with any other dog that comes near their ball.

 These dogs will go after that ball until they are literally crippled.  They practice no self regulation so it is up to their humans to to regulate them. I have witnessed quite a few dogs injure their legs badly enough to to require surgery from  excessive ball play.  In hot weather these dogs will go after that ball until they collapse from dehydration.  It is completely up to their humans to regulate their behavior.

I understand why dog owners get into the ball retrieving game; it is a quick easy way to exercise your dog without actually taking them for a walk.  One of my clients  has one of these nut cases. He is 80 something years old and has a young energetic golden retriever. He more or less stands still and throws the ball for her all day everyday.  As a result she has become progressively more neurotic and less comfortable hanging around with other dogs and seems to be somewhat confused on hikes without her ball.

In conclusion, my feeling about ball playing is that it should be done in moderation as part of your dog's playtime  if he or she enjoys it.  Ball playing should not be your dog's only exercise. Regular walks without the ball and socialization with other dogs is also critical to a dog's well-being.
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What constitutes a good walk with your dog?

Posted on May 3, 2017 at 12:28 PM Comments comments (82)
I often hear my clients say that they are afraid to walk their dogs off leash in an un-fenced area. They fear that their dogs will run away.  Mind you we live in an area with miles of beaches and trails that are open to unleashed dogs, basically dog heaven.  Meanwhile, I walk these same dogs off leash very happily with a few caveats. 

The biggest mistake people make with their dogs on walks is not walking far enough.  Most dogs are energetic and adventurous, they can easily walk/run a mile or two.  It should take you about 45 minutes to an hour to walk 2 miles at a reasonable pace,  If your walk is too short for the energy level of your dog than the dog is likely to extend their walk on their own by disappearing for a while as you approach your car.  If this occurs don't panic, just calmly wait near your car.  The average time for a dog to disappear I have found over the years is 20 minutes.  You will most likely catch a glimpse of your rebel nearby within that time.

Another strategy to counter act end of walk disappearing is to bring treats and stop and give your dogs treats when you are about half way back to your car and leash him then to prevent the dog from running off when they catch site of the car.

Another important strategy is to vary the locales of your walks. The more familiar a dog is with the locale, the more likely they are to go off from you to explore. As they feel confidant that they will be able to find you.

Dogs love to explore new places and run free, so skip the gym and get out there and walk your dogs!
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Warm winter warm noses

Posted on December 14, 2015 at 6:49 PM Comments comments (42)
What a difference a year makes!  We are having 50 to 60 degree days here on Long Island so clearly the dogs still need to have flea and tick preventatives.  I put preventives on year round, I think that there are some outdoor places where the fleas never die.  This is not scientifically based just based on personal experience.  Warm winter weather can be helpful to fleas.

Another thing that has been on my dog walker mind of late is the brevity of a dog's life.  I have been walking and boarding dogs full time now for 5 years and some of my "clients" are starting to show aging.  It honestly brings me to tears.  Please kiss your dogs today, take them for a long walk and remember how little time we really have..
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The weather is perfect for dogs walks!

Posted on May 28, 2015 at 1:21 PM Comments comments (40)
Well folks thankfully the winter is long gone and the dogs and I have been enjoying our walks on the beaches and trails. This is the payback season before it gets hot.  However, due to the fact that the snow was on the ground here for a solid 6 weeks, the blizzard of January 28th never really melted, the ticks were strengthened by their snow blanket.  This happy news was reported in our local newspaper here in East Hampton.  Although it seems counter intuitive, apparently snow is an insulator for ticks.  As a result we are having a horrible tick season out here.  Be careful in any wooded or grassy areas and mark your calendars every 3 three weeks to re-apply your dog's flea and tick repellant.  Enjoy!
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The war has begun!

Posted on May 4, 2015 at 5:51 PM Comments comments (40)
Ok this season I am determined to win the war against tick diseases. I have taken a 3  pronged approach:

!. Applying Advantix every 3 weeks instead of every 4.
2.Putting on Preventic collars on my dogs as well.
3. Putting Daminix tubes all around my yard.

I hope this will prevent them from getting sick this year.  Wish me luck!
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Skip the gym and walk your dog!

Posted on March 22, 2015 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (27)
Spring is here ( maybe)

The long period of icy cold, snowy weather has finally abated here on Long Island.  The dogs are just as antsy as we are and are much more prone to lose themselves in scenting and hunting.  All of those smells that have been hidden under the snow for 2 months are filling the air for the dogs. As a result there have been many reports of lost dogs .Dogs are taking it into their own paws to get out and about. I believe that the spring weather and smells really inspires dogs to move around more.  The best strategy to combat this urge to hunt and move is take longer, more sniff filled walks.  Skip the gym and go walk your dogs!  Also start putting on topical flea and tick repellant yesterday!
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I found some great treats for training!

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 12:17 PM Comments comments (152)
One of my oldest friends sent me a great gift for Christmas, some dog treats. I love these treats for several reasons: they are all natural, made by a small local business in Chadd's Ford, PA, they are small in size and have a smooth uncrubbly, ungreasy (you can put them in your pocket without creating a  mess ) texture, there are different flavors included in each package and finally most importantly all of my dogs like them, (even the picky eaters!)

I will be ordering them from now on.  the company is called Bruno Bits and their web address is www.brunobits.com

Thanks Deb for sending them to me!
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I found a great comfy sweater for my dogs.

Posted on February 1, 2015 at 1:22 PM Comments comments (23)
Winter is fully upon us here on Long Island.  The temps have been consistently below freezing now for about 3 weeks.  During my lifetime of caring for dogs I never used much doggy apparel so to speak, but now that I have 2 short hair dogs and a standard poodle whose hair is periodically short, I have noticed that my dogs get cold during the day in the house.  They let me know they are chilly by trying to burrow under sofa cushions and bed covers. 

I have found a great product for chilly dogs in the house.  It is a light weight stretch fleece sweater made by a company called Gold Paw, here is their web address: http//:www.goldpawseries.com.  The sweater comes is many great colors and it is easy to size if you follow the directions on their site. I do not recommend that you allow your dog to wear this sweater on a walk outside where he or she could go under bushes etc.  The fabric is not tough enough to withstand prickers

But my dogs seems comfy all day and evening when they are lounging around the house. They do not roll around trying to remove this sweater.

Stay warm!.
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