Monday, July 4, 2011

Fireworks. 4th. July and Pets. Door Dasher. Sunscreens. Carport Pool.

If fireworks are banned in your area, as they are in ours, here the big one.

NYPD Video: Bomb Squad technicians destroyed approximately 5,000 pounds of confiscated fireworks at the NYPD firing range in the Bronx, on July.1st.













5 Tips To Help You With Your Dog On July 4th

As many of you know I ran a kennel for a lot of years and July 4th was always a stressful time for me because of the fireworks.

A lot of dogs were dropped of to stay at my place to get through the holiday safely.

It really was sad to see some of these dogs around loud noises. With training, some dogs got much better. Some of them never overcame their fear of loud fireworks and loud noises though.

Here are 5 tips that can help you with your dog:

1. Use an Ace bandage. I know this sounds funny and the first time I heard about it, I was very skeptical. I once interviewed Linda Telling-Jones, the creator of TTouch. She said wrapping the dog in an Ace bandage will help the dog feel more secure and calm them. I didn’t really believe it until I tried it a few times and saw HUGE differences in the way the dog behaved around fireworks,

2. This tip is very hard for many dog owners to follow.

Don’t pay a lot of attention or try to calm your dog when there are loud noises. The dog becomes frightened by the loud noise and the owner rushes over and hugs the dog. By giving attention to the behavior, you actually make it worse.

Typical scenario: Loud noise, dog gets scared, owner runs over and wraps their arms around the dog and starts to saying things like:

“Poor Fluffy, you poor, poor dog. It’s going to be alright. Don’t worry I’m right here you poor little thing, I won’t let anything hurt you,” as they continue to pet and hug.

Repeat this a few times and you have a dog that is going to be petrified every time they hear anything that even resembles fireworks or thunder.

3. Act very matter of fact. My little 8 pound mix breed dog can handle the loudest, most disturbing sounds. Ever since she was a little pup, I never made a big deal around sounds. Just last week, someone lit off some very LOUD fireworks in our backyard and she barely flinched.

When a loud noise happens, it’s best to walk away from your dog or say something like,”You’re okay, come here and sit.” Giving a command is good to do because you focus your dog’s attention away from the loud noise.

4. Remember that it is best to leave your dog home when you go to the fireworks show. I am amazed by how many people bring their dogs to fireworks shows.

5. Make sure your dog has identification on their collar if they are nervous around loud noises. Some dogs will run blindly when they become scared.



Fourth of July Fireworks Are No Picnic for Pets

"Since I've become a responsible pet parent, my love for fireworks has waned. When I was kid, I loved the 4th of July almost as much as my favorite holiday, Halloween. My dad would buy tons of fireworks. We'd invite all the neighbors and their kids for a cookout. My friends and I would run around with sparklers, oblivious to the panicked pets around us. As soon as it got dark, the ka-booms and oohs-and-ahhs began. We didn't see the pets cowering in the dark or running away from home.

The 4th of July is the nadir of every year for animal shelter staffers. When you visit any animal shelter the week before the 4th, you can sense the dismay and frustration. Caring shelter workers know the reality: Pets are going to panic and end up in here. And because of the increased volume in lost pets, more dogs and cats will die, even in good animal shelters.  Microchipping would help reduce the deaths, but unfortunately few folks microchip their pets.

I was lucky enough to visit Salt Lake County Animal Services this week. They are a great progressive animal shelter, who has partnered with Best Friends Animal Society to start the Salt Lake County Pit Crew to increase American Pit Bull Terrier adoptions. They have free cat adoptions, hoping to reduce the number of wonderful cats and kittens that perish simply because they don't have a home. But when I was there, the air was palpable with dread that the 4th was coming.

The shelter's average intake is five dogs a day; by stark contrast, last year during the weekend of the 4th, they took in 73 dogs. With such a dramatic increase, it's easy to understand how the staff can get overwhelmed.

My husband and I have had our own direct experience with the terror that fireworks can induce in pets. One of our first dogs, a gregarious Lab mix named Trotsky, hated fireworks. Cliff and I didn't realize the extent of his fear, however, until we left him alone in our house with access to the yard during the festivities. We came home to a bloody dog and a demolished house.

A fellow blogger had similarly horrific experiences on the 4th. When I told her of my fireworks-frenzy topic, she recalled spending an entire 4th of July evening in a closet with a dog that she was petsitting at the time, trying to calm her down. She also knew of  a friend's dog that got so excited it had a seizure and died during the 4th.

So during the 4th, let's all do our patriotic duty for pets and celebrate at home without the loud hoopla. Our loyal best friends need us. by Ledy VanKavage · June 25, 2010

Fourth of July Safety Tips from the ASPCA

"For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home."


The Door Dasher and Gate Crasher

Fireworks can make your dog a door dasher, so keep him safe.

"Does your dog watch for the slightest opportunity to squeeze through the tiniest gap and squirt out the door or gate, hitting the ground running?   It's time to start Boundary Training and get a little door control!

Why do dogs want to dash out the door? The biggest reason is boredom and lack of exercise. His own house and yard are boring and his need for mental and physical stimulation is strong. He needs to stretch his legs and go investigating new smells. Take him for more walks, on your terms! Sometimes it's simply the challenge of beating the system. Implement a little leadership and work to earn.

It's FUN! Bursting through with your people hot on your heels, taking them on a fabulous adventure, far and fast. Dodging, dashing, being faster and more agile, outsmarting the hollering humans at every turn. It's worth chancing a scolding at the end.

He's so hard to catch! Even when he's seen enough and is ready to come home, he still comes just close enough and then dashes off again. Why? Because he's learned that being caught is sure to be punished. Getting grabbed and dragged and scolded is certainly something to be avoided for as long as possible.

NEVER PUNISH THE DOG FOR COMING! The infraction happened when he rushed the door. Now that he is out and he's trusted you enough to allow you to take hold of his collar to take him back home, PRAISE HIM! If you punish him now, it's not only too late, but it will make catching him next time even more difficult. Put on a happy face and say your mean things in a happy tone of voice, all the way home. You can't punish him for door dashing blocks away and many minutes after he crossed the threshold. Consequences are only effective within seconds of the infraction. The only association he will make is the behavior he performed right before the punishment: allowing himself to be caught.

It's time for PRO-ACTIVE training! Teach door manners. The following should become cues to your dog:
  • The sound of the doorbell
  • Reaching for the door knob or gate latch
  • Turning the knob
  • The door or gate opening
Each of the above should be a cue to your dog to
  • Get back
  • Sit
  • Wait

Create a paired association and a strong behavior sequence:
Spend plenty of time at each step until the dog is proficient at that level before moving on.

Implement 100% management from here on out - there should be no chances to practice door dashing!
  1. Teach "get back" - shuffle into the dog's space so he backs up a step, mark with a "yes" or "click" as the dog moves away, deliver reward by tossing *BEHIND the dog - cue "sit" - mark and reward the sit - release (give permission to move).
  2. Repeat. This time cue "get back" > shuffle til dog is the distance from the door you are aiming for > cue "sit" > mark the sit with a "yes" or "click" as his rear touches the floor > release "ok" and toss the reward BEHIND the dog.

  3. Jackpot if dog moves back before you shuffle or sits before you ask. The long term goal is for the dog to eventually "get back" and sit automatically as you approach the door, without being told. You may choose to provide a target to "go to your place" and sit on - like a bed or rug.
  4. Add "wait" in varying lengths between the sit and the release.
    *NOTE: Tossing the reward behind the dog strengthens the dogs desire to stay away from the door. The dog will gravitate to the point of food delivery. You might also use a ball or favorite toy.
Pair the new behavior with the door as the cue: Approach door - "get back" - cue "sit" - mark and reward the sit - wait - release.
  1. Approach door, touch knob - "get back" - cue "sit" - mark and reward the sit - wait - release.
  2. Approach door, turn knob - "get back" - cue "sit" - mark and reward the sit - wait - release.
  3. Approach door, open door a crack (be ready to slam it quick should dog start to bolt- put dog on long-line for insurance at this step) "get back" - toss reward behind dog if necessary at first - cue "sit" - mark and reward the sit - close door - wait - release.
  4. Spend time at this level opening the door wider and wider until he can remain seated while you open it all the way.
  5. Add a greeting "Hi! Nice to see you!" This is a difficult step - don't move ahead until you can greet imaginary guests with gusto without him breaking before you release him.
  6. Next, touch the screen door latch, turning the screen door latch, as above until he will stay while you open the screen door. [Put your dog on a long line attached to something heavy during this stage. You can't take any chances of an accidental escape.]
  7. Ring doorbell - "get back" - toss reward behind dog if necessary - cue "sit" - mark and reward the sit - close door - wait - release.
  8. Increase length of "wait" following the sit. Reward intermittently for longer waits holding the sit position. Over time you want to teach the dog to be able to wait in the presence of distractions, until the dog can hold position when you take mail or pizza, or people enter, etc. This level will take a long time and lots and lots of practice. If you can't provide the practice opportunities, you can't expect this level of training finesse!
  9. Add distractions and difficulty gradually. Start with well known family member standing on other side of screen door within view. Family member rings bell, you repeat "get back" sequence til fluent. Then add door opening, person coming in or delivering imaginary pizza.
  10. Long term distractions: exciting friends, unknown visitors, pizza guy, mailman, UPS deliveries (remember that the rumble of the truck and big knock are also stressors and a huge leap in difficulty). You will need to train for doors held open wide enough for accepting big boxes, people who fling the door open before you are ready, etc.
Management / "life insurance" plans:
Keep a leash by the door and attach it before you answer the door for safety's sake.
Put a note on the door that says, "do you know where the dog is?"
For confirmed door dashers, leave a trailing long line on until you are certain that the dog's training is reliable.
When guests are expected, tether the long line to something heavy so the dog runs out of line at the threshold.
Keep the screen door locked so no one can open it from the outside before you know that the dog is under control. This also buys you time should another family member absent mindedly open the door without first being aware of the dog's whereabouts. (This is especially important for the silent ones who lie in wait for the chance to bolt and for families with children.)

Is your dog aggressive with guests? Teach your dog to "go to your room" at the sound of the doorbell. Choose a room that is handy with a door that can be closed. Repeat the above pattern of training until the dog hears the doorbell and automatically runs to his room to await his reward. Toss the reward into the room and close the door. Now you can admit your guests or pay for that pizza without worry.   See also:  Escape Artists   Permission, the Ultimate Pack Leader Tool    Does Your Dog Get Enough Exercise?

Regardless of how well trained your dog is, be sure he is wearing
his license, ID tag and has a microchip - just in case!!"


"If Your Sunscreen Contains Any of These Chemicals,
That I Consider Dangerous and Potentially Life Threatening, Do Yourself a BIG Favor... Dump it in the trash now .
Yes, that's right. Toss your sunscreen in the trash if it contains any of these questionable chemicals:

harmful chemical in a sunscreen
  • Para amino benzoic acid...
  • Octyl salicyclate...
  • Avobenzone...
  • Oxybenzone...
  • Cinoxate...
  • Padimate O...
  • Dioxybenzone...
  • Phenylbenzimidazole...
  • Homosalate...
  • Sulisobenzone...
  • Menthyl anthranilate...
  • Trolamine salicyclate...
  • Octocrylene...

Potentially harmful chemicals such as dioxybenzone and oxybenzone (two chemicals I just mentioned) are some of the most powerful free radical generators known to man!

So if your sunscreen contains dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or any of the other chemicals I just revealed, I highly recommend you switch to a formula that is safe and healthy for your skin.
And a note to moms ... You are undoubtedly very conscientious about caring for your children. But when you lather up your son or daughter with sunscreen thinking you're doing the right thing, you could in fact be doing more harm than good.

So check the labels on your sunscreen, and throw them out if they contain any of the potentially dangerous chemicals named above. After all, your skin is your largest organ, as your child's skin is theirs.
Fortunately, there's a much better option than chemical-laden commercial sunscreens..."
More at:

These seem to be chemical free:

Burt's Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen
This inexpensive formula also uses sun-blocking titanium dioxide -- a naturally occurring oxide. And because it's made with 100% natural ingredients, it's safe for babies and children. $15

Melvita Sun Cream in SPF 15 and 30Melvita
This organic sunscreen by French skin care company Melvita is available on the brand's website and protects skin against UVA and UVB rays with naturally derived titanium and zinc. The super-smooth, sweet-smelling cream also packs moisturizing mango butter and cupuacu oil. $34,4,1,4095,0.htm

Clarins_UV Plus HIGH RES
Clarins UV Plus SPF 40.  Clarins took its sweet time in launching a suncare line, determined to get it right without using questionable chemicals. And this thin-but-powerful mineral elixir, which also uses titanium dioxide, was worth the wait. Unlike the goopy face screens of times gone by, UV Plus actually dries on your face — creating a sheer barrier against sun and pollutants that's neither oily nor shiny. Perfect-o. $38 at

Jason Facial Natural Sunblock SPF 20
This oil-free, ultra-sheer formula contains titanium dioxide and is enriched with antioxidants such as organic grape seed and green tea extract. And it's so lightweight, it's perfect for wearing under makeup. $15.50 on



Ray filled a few old nail holes, and sanded the cargo trailer shelves ready for priming and painting.
Jay and his mother had gone to his sister's house for the day, and I groomed "Maddie", their little Yorkie.
Another Yorkie, "Puddin' ", and a Dachshund were supposed to have been boarded for a couple of days, but they didn't get here.


The people across the street had the right idea, they put up a pool in their carport for the 4th. July holiday.


They also have a little guest house, little white building, and they used it as a bath house, for changing, etc. 

So they were shaded from the brilliant sun, and then the rain shower which came later in the day.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Looks like I am not the only one staying home for the holiday. Have a good and safe one.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you, Dick, and a happy and safe one to you, and yours.

I wouldn't want to be out driving in the heat and crowds either.

The police are trying to keep the drunk/druggies off the roads, but they might miss one!

Happy Tails, and Trails, Penny.