Snuffly Sleeping Beastie

Furry fluffy beastie

snuffles softly in her sleep

one paw waves in the air

she stretches

her paw falls slowly

i watch her

in the dim room

lit by an outdoor light

i do not control

sleepless

i envy her

oblivious

she snores in gentle waves

my favourite sleep story

 

❤️ Sisterly love ❤️

Diana often drives Daisy crazy. Diana is quite frisky and more interested in wrestling than napping most of the time.  When two large Newfs play, the whole house shakes and conversations are impossible!  Then they sleep…and they hold paws…and hearts melt.  😍

Daisy and Diana sleep holding paws most of the time. 💖

In service to others

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Daisy waiting for her next reader at a recent R.E.A.D. session.

Daisy and I qualified as a therapy dog team just about a year ago. She mostly visits senior centers and special events such as college exam stress relief sessions.  We are also a R.E.A.D. team which allows us to visit elementary schools weekly so that reluctant readers can read stories to Daisy.

Daisy loves her visits and gets excited when her vest comes out. Going to new places to be petted and loved on by strangers is her idea of a perfect day.

If my Furry Beastie and I become a therapy team, does that mean my dog can go to restaurants and on airplanes with me?

No, therapy animals are not service animals or emotional support animals.  They are amazing, wonderful creatures who have undergone training with kind caring handlers, but they do not get special privileges.  A good comparison chart is below.  You and your Furry Beastie will not receive special privileges reserved for service dogs, but you likely will feel privileged to be able to help those in need of a furry friend.

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Note – I did not create this image. It seems to be all over the place online so I am not sure who deserves the credit, but it’s definitely not me!

Could any Furry Beastie be part of a therapy team?

If your Furry Beastie loves being with people and is comfortable in a variety of situations, a therapy team might be right for you.  Start off with making sure your basic obedience commands are solid. Then contact your local therapy animals organization and see what your next step would be.  Many organizations offer their own training or at least can recommend a trainer or group class to help your dog practice skills such as moving through a large group of people, how to become familiar with walkers and wheelchairs and so on.

Not all therapy teams involve dogs either.  There are also therapy cats, therapy rabbits, even therapy horses and therapy donkeys! Regardless of your Furry Beasties species, you may find that being part of a therapy team is immensely rewarding for both of you.

 

Travelling in Cars with Furry Beasties

Mother Nature may not like it, but we are getting close to summer, and with summer comes road trips!  Full disclosure, I am not an animal behaviorist or a dog trainer.  I have travelled a lot with a vehicle full of Furry Beasties and kids, and I’ve found a few things that work for me.

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Road trip!

Hotels

Definitely pre-plan your stops.  Not every hotel will take dogs. Some hotels that accept furry guests will only take dogs who are below a certain size and some will have limited rooms available for pets.  Worth checking too is how much the hotel will charge for your furry family member as some hotels charge nothing at all, and others can charge $25-$100 dollars.  Personally, I try to look for La Quinta hotels (not a sponsor of this blog!) because almost all of their properties accept dogs of all sizes for no extra fee.  They are not five star hotels, but they are generally bright and clean and very pet-friendly.

Hotel tip – If possible, try to take your dog on an elevator a few times beforehand.  You don’t want your pet to get nervous or scared at the end of a long day when you are trying to wrangle suitcases and possibly kids at check-in time.  If you know your dog is nervous in elevators, try to book a ground floor room if possible.

IMG_1376Warning – If  you don’t restrain your dog in the car while traveling, you could wind up with a lap dog when your Furry Beastie decides they want to look out the window!

Restaurants

The system that has worked best for me is to get up early and have a quick breakfast at the hotel before leaving.  If your hotel has breakfast, try to take turns walking the Furry Beasties and getting breakfast.  A good walk in the morning sets them up for a nap in the car once you start out for the day.

At some point, we stop for the healthiest drive thru lunch that makes every one happy.  That’s a post for another day because I usually travel with four kids and multiple Beasties! We’ll take our drive through lunch to a park or rest stop and eat outside while the Furries get some fresh air and another walk and then we are off for the last driving session of the day.

I try to stop for the day by late afternoon.  Everyone is tired of the car at that point. Once we are checked in to the hotel for the night, we try to find a local restaurant to get dinner delivered. The Furry Beasties can roam the hotel room while we eat something that reminds us we are traveling through a different area!  BBQ in the south, Pizza in Chicago, whatever works.

Please plan to bring enough of your Furry Beasties regular food as you will need for your entire trip.  Your Furry Beasties food may not be available at your destination and a vacation is not the time to try out new dog food.  Upset tummies and road trips do not mix well!  Always keep extra water for your Furry Beasties in the car and a water dish for when you stop.  I like the collapsible water dishes because our vehicle is usually crammed full.

Why not take your dogs to restaurants?  If your dogs are great on dog-friendly patios, by all means, give this a try too.  For me, I think my dogs are out of their routine when we travel, and I always want to set them up for success when they are out in public.

Why not leave the dogs in the car and run in for a quick lunch?  Obviously, if it’s a hot day, this is extremely dangerous for your dogs.  Even if it’s not super hot, cars heat up fast and your Furry friend does not do well in the heat.  Sure you could leave the windows down or the a/c running but there are safety concerns there too.  You also may have a well-meaning passerby try to rescue your dogs if they feel they are in danger or may call the police to rescue your Beastie.  Even if your Furry friend is perfectly safe in your opinion, you could find yourself in a difficult situation.  Chances are you have many other opportunities to go for lunches without Furries. Why not embrace this time with your Beasties instead.  Which brings me to…

Why travel with Furry Beasties at all? Certainly, not every trip is going to be ideal for your Furry Beasties to join you.  Consider how long the trip is and what your destination plans are before deciding to bring your Furry Beasties along.  Sometimes it may be better to send your Beasties to a kennel or a bed and biscuit or hire a pet sitter to come to your home.  If  it is possible with your timeline and vacation time, take your Furry friends and have fun with them during your road trip.  You may need to stop more often for potty breaks or walks. If you look for interesting places to stop along the way,  you may discover some hidden gems you would otherwise have missed.  You will literally have the opportunity to stop and smell the roses and that can make for a wonderfully relaxing trip.

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Daisy at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Do you have any great tips or advice to share about your experiences traveling with your own Furry Beasties?  Feel free to share in the comments section!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furry Beastie Tails

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I have been blessed to have several Furry Beasties in my life.  They have taught me much about the power and comfort of unconditional love.  Currently, I have two Newfoundland dogs and one wee white rabbit.  The fun never ends…

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” Eden Ahbez