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How to travel safe with dogs – Part 1

25 Jan

The importance of having your dog secured became clear to me whilst travelling last week. Jumping in the car to go 20km to the shop, of course the dog jumped in to.

The dog’s owner said “hey boy, you won’t be comfortable without your harness and your bed and will slide all over the back seat”.

But of course, they took off without the harness and that was exactly what happened.

The dog became anxious and fearful and it was apparent that this had not been a wise decision for both the owner and the dog.

It would have only taken a couple of minutes to ensure that the dog was safe and able to travel comfortably, but NO, the hasty decision was unfair to the dog and the passengers.

Not only was the dog sliding along the back seat around the corners, but he became anxious and wanted to come onto the arm rest in between the front seats and sit there for reassurance.  The dog became stressed, and this caused anxiety for the front seat passenger, as she had to keep pushing him back into the back seat.

It became a dangerous situation for all involved.

Without his harness, had the driver had to brake suddenly, the dog would have shot forward through the windscreen causing a major accident.

For the sake of half an hour of your time and a small expense, it is just not worth travelling these days, without your dog being properly secured.

Animates or any good pet store will help fit your dog with the right harness.

You may need to adapt and add other straps, to link with this harness.


What do you think about this situation?  Has anybody got any other ideas of how to secure your dog while travelling?

-Annie and Marj


Christmas through a Dog’s eyes

7 Jan

Christmas through the eyes of Sam’s friend GrizzGrizz Ready for Christmas

How exciting, Grizz jumped out of the truck and raced up the path, he was at his friend Toyer’s house.

Hey something looked different here, what were all those trees doing in the house?   Not one Christmas tree but eight Christmas trees, now what do dogs usually do on trees?

Aunty Sue would not like that, so Grizz raced on.

He and Toyer raced around the pool and wished each other a Happy Christmas.

Then it was “present time”.

Grandad Graeme was handing out coloured stockings to all the grandchildren.  Now last year Grizz knew that he got a stocking with GRIZZ on the top, and it was full of goodies to eat and play with, so he lined up too.

When he was handed his stocking, Grizz picked it up in his teeth and raced over to his Pack Leader Dean.

Grizz' Christmas StockingWow, all the goodies that dropped out of it, he even shared a pig’s ear with Toyer, what a party they had out on the deck.

Grizz knew he should stay outside, but with all these little people at the table, and lots of bits of meat being dropped for him, he had a very yummy Christmas dinner.

He lay down later feeling very full and satisfied “BOY THIS IS JUST THE IDEAL DOG’S CHRISTMAS” he thought, as he dropped off to sleep dreaming about ham bones and Christmas stockings.  And perhaps next year he can share some presents with Sam.

Sam’s Dog Rules fundraiser

20 Dec

On the 15th Dec  Sam’s Dog Rules had a sausage sizzle fundraiser at Animates Pet Store, Glenfield.

photo (3)

It was a lot of fun on a very hot day we did very well and Sam with his two beagle pack mates contributed to the day with much enthusiasm. They did not venture very far from the smell of sausages cooking.  It was a bit tough on the beagles as they are on a diet, anybody who has beagles will appreciate how difficult it is to keep a beagle on track when there is food (4)
The boys were so good and loved meeting everybody they did Sams Dog Rules proud.

Manda’s corn fritters were also a huge success. We had some competition from outside the Mad Butcher as another worthwhile cause was also doing a sausage sizzle fundraiser.  Then after lunch the mad Butcher started giving away sausages to promote their new range, what a laugh!

The Sams Dog Rules team would like to thank all of you who came down to support us and bought food and raffle tickets.We had 2 raffle prizes. Robyn Stebbings was the lucky winner of the 1st prize and W. Bjork took home the 2nd. Thanks to the Animates staff who drew the winning tickets for us!

We would also like to say a big thank you to all the people that helped make the day a success, especially:photo (2)

Lyn Thompson from Raw Essentials who donated a $100 voucher! Raw Essentials provides a range of raw foods for cats and dogs, that is as close as possible to their natural diet. To find out more about Raw Essentials you can visit their website, or head into one of Lyn’s shops in Glenfield or Ponsonby.

Animates Glenfield for their kind donations and letting us use their facilities and their premises to run our fundraiser! Also a very special thank you to them for allowing Sam to keep a bully stick he found in the shop and promptly ate, so he wouldn’t have to give it back. He made a sneaky trip into the shop when we weren’t looking, found the goods and did a runner. Animates have a huge range of goodies for all your pets needs, take a look at the Animates website, or head into your local Animates!

Also a Special thank you to my friends David and Lucille who donated two Essences for Harmonious Living. Martariki means the Face of God, Martariki essences were co-created photo (5)by David Gibson and Lucille Henry Ph.D with the loving healing energies of our spiritual guides from the Pleiades.  They offer a wide range of essences and room sprays to uplift, rebalance and support your emotional well- being and growth. They also offer workshops and individual sessions. Visit the Martariki Essence website for more information.

Thanks once again to all our team Marj, Manda, Rebecca and Brad not to forget Sam, Lucky and Beckham for a job well done.

Thanks to our supporters , we all wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!


Did you see Sam’s Dog Rules in the Central leader?

12 Dec

Check out what the Central Leader had to say about Sam’s Dog Rules!

The Central Leader article about Sam's Dog Rules

The power of Victim Energy

4 Dec

I haven’t got any dog stories to share with you this week.

This week I’ve been hearing stories start with the comment “Oh I feel so guilty”. Then they proceed to tell a story along the lines of “I feel so guilty I took a mental health day off work” or “I just couldn’t tell my friend I didn’t feel like having coffee with her today, so I made up a story”. It confirmed for me how easy it is to understand dog language. Human language, both verbal and physical is a dance in disguise. Often we say and do things in order to get a top up of energy from someone else.
You will notice that when listening to “I feel guilty´” stories your energy will change. It goes from feeling calm, to concerned /apprehensive to finally feeling really tired after you’ve heard the whole story.

This “guilty energy” is called Victim Energy.

If you do feel genuinely guilty for taking a mental health day from Guilty Dogwork or family you shouldn’t be doing it. This is because your guilt will never let you enjoy the day and you will spend most of it trying to get your energy fix from others.
This is a powerful form of energy. It draws us all in. It’s like they need reassurance that they will still be liked and/or loved by us. What they don’t realise is that they will continue to be liked and/or loved by us. They feel the need to create drama to get their energy fix off those of us who are drawn into their story.

I’m sure there are very few people in the world who don’t have anything to feel guilty about. It’s a part of our nature. Guilt usually comes from making decisions and not foreseeing the circumstances that unfold, that you had no intention of creating. In some cases this guilt can take a lifetime of trying to forgive oneself and or others.

In a dogs world this would not be tolerated.

The energy a victim creates is so uncomfortable that it upsets the whole pack. Calmness is no longer an option and the whole packs energy will change. In a dogs world people who elicit support by playing the victim would be given a severe growling. If they still didn’t give up this victim energy, they would be chased from the pack until they dropped the victim status.
Once they had dropped this victim status and realised they were safe, they would relax and the pack would return to being in a state of calm energy.
How easy to be a dog, it’s all very clear cut, calmness is what is required. I think the best I can do for myself and my energy is to make sure I don’t allow myself to become a victim, and when I hear a sentence that starts with ‘I feel so guilty” I should head for the hills!

A happy ending for a little Bichon Frise

27 Nov

A little Bichon Frise got rescued from the Humane Society by a lovely 80 year old gentlemen, his dog had just died.  At the same time, Bob had sold his house and moved in to the Peninsula Club in Whangaparaoa and was allowed to take his little dog with him.

It all got off to a bad start when his little dog flew at another dog and bit him quite badly.

Poor old Bob was horrified and decided that the safest thing to do would be to take the dog back to the Humane Society where he had got him from.

The Humane Society was most reluctant to take him back so Bob decided, the only sensible course of action was to have the dog put down.

One of the nurses at the Village took Bob and the dog to the Vets.  When they walked in there was a gentleman sitting there with his Dachshund.  Bob arranged with the vet nurse to leave his dog and for them to put him down.

Bob was obviously upset so the Nurse from the Village said “come on Bob we will go and have a coffee”.

They drove off and found a café and had been sitting there for ten minutes when the man from the Vets with the Dachshund came over and said “I am so glad we have found you, I would love the little dog you brought in.”  Bob said “Oh no you are too late he has been put down”. The man with the Dachshund said “We are not too late, I asked them to put him on hold until I found you”.

“I really like your little dog and know it would make a great pet for my daughter, could I take him off you?”.

Bob, of course was delighted and said “How did you find me, and what would you have done if you hadn’t found me?”   The gentleman said “I heard you say you were going for a coffee, and I would have gone to every café on the Peninsula until I found you.”

They went back to the Vets, organised the transfer of ownership, and Bob went away a happy man and so did the Bichon Frise.

Sometimes when we have difficult choices to make, we make them and lo and behold they can have the happiest of endings. Talk about serendipity.

Sam, Annie and Plato have been busy shifting house!

19 Nov

Sam’s finally shifted house with Annie and Plato.

The shift went really well because Annie made sure that the whole process was calm and relaxed. She was lucky because she had weeks to pack and get it all done in a nice leisurely manner so all we really noticed was the house getting smaller and smaller.   We did get a bit concerned in the last week, when Annie’s bed was gone, with everything else and all that was left was the couch and a bit of kitchen stuff.  For the last week we all slept in the lounge (Annie was on the couch), it was like camping out.  We all knew something was up with these actions.

Annie tried to keep everything as normal as possible, we still went for our walks, we went to work, I had my meals at my usual time.  I was put out at night at my usual time so I felt safe with the familiarity of it all, and so did Plato.

When we got to our new address, both Plato and I settled in like we had always lived there.  Annie did get a Feliway from the Vets.  This is a PLUG IN put straight into the power point and it releases pheromones that cats love.  This made Plato feel at home straight away.

Mandy and Mark, where we are staying are good Pack Leaders, but Plato is Mandy’s and Mark’s Pack Leader.  Every time he goes into the kitchen he chats away and Mandy feeds him, bits of bacon, bits of chicken, bits of beef.  He thinks he’s in cat heaven, because Annie is a vegetarian and we don’t get treats like that.

I will let you know when we find our new permanent home and in the meantime we love living here!

You have decided to get a dog, now what?

31 Oct

You have sat down as a family and decided why you want a dog and what type of energy your dog should have in order to suit your family.

The next step is to sit down as a family and decide on the rules, boundaries and limitations that you will have for the new dog. This is something you must all agree on, otherwise you will cause the new addition to your family to become confused.

Family Dog

Family Dog (Photo credit: Richard Elzey – Flickr)

But sometimes things don’t go according to plan. One situation that can occur, is that one family member will come home one day with a dog. Whether by choice, or because it had been abandoned and they felt sorry for it. The problem with this is that more often than not it ends up becoming Mum’s responsibility. I am sure you would’ve heard stories like this before.

But what happens if Mum did not want a dog?

This could be disastrous for not only the family but for the dog as well.  Mum will take care of it, as you know she will. But if this isn’t a pleasure for her, the dog will feel it and he will never feel safe with her. Mum’s energy could be resentful, angry, or just plain resignation.  none of these energies are pack leader energy and your dog will recognise this.  The dog will never willingly follow her instructions, and this will be a point of contention not only for the prime care giver, but for the whole family. In this situation, establishing rules and boundaries becomes even more important.

What to do if you bring a dog home out of the blue

If you do bring home a dog out of the blue, the smart move is to engage the whole family to take responsibility for the dog, there is a saying,  “If Mum’s happy, the family’s happy”.

This means that you need to decide on rules and boundaries for your dog regardless of whether you planned to get him, or it occurred out of the blue.

First of all, you need to decide what is appropriate for your family

  • Do you allow the dog to sleep on the beds?
  • If the dog isn’t allowed to sleep in the beds where will he sleep?
  • Do you all share responsibility for walking the dog?
  • Does the whole family take turns in feeding your dog? Or would you prefer to have one person be responsible for this?
  • Maybe you have a small dog and want him to sit on your knee. But don’t want him to think he ‘owns’ the couch? You need to make sure your dog understands that it isn’t his right to be on the couch, and that he can only come up when invited.
  • When your dog is new to the family who will take responsibility for toilet training?

These are just some examples of the rules you will need to consider when introducing a new dog to your family.

In addition to deciding on the rules, you need to consistently enforce them. There will of course be times when these rules boundaries and limitations will not be enforced for whatever reasons. The key to this, once again is your energy.  As long as you are able to maintain Pack Leader energy your dog will not question the change in plan, nor will it try take advantage of it. When the whole family relates to your dog from this energy perspective your dog will always trust and respect you.

When the whole family become your dog’s Pack Leader your dog will show you a more calm respectful, trusting energy. In addition to this, from working as a team the family will find a new way to connect with each other.

And these are only some of the rewards that can come as a result of having a dog in your family.

How to choose the right Dog for your family

25 Oct

When choosing a Dog the first question you must ask yourself is:

Why do I want a dog?

  • Do you want a dog that can train with you and go on runs?
  • Do you want a dog for companionship?
  • Do you want a dog to be a playmate for your kids?
  • Do you want a dog because you like the look of that particular breed?
  • Do you want a dog to give your love to?
  • Do you want a guard dog?

These are just a few reasons as to why you may want to have a dog in your life.

Most of us will choose a dog to fulfill a need in ourselves and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you want to have a dog that fits in with you and your family’s needs you must put the dogs needs before your own. This is to give yourself the best chance of having a happy relationship between you and your dog.

Are you a person or family that has high energy? Love being out and about? Love walking, running, playing sports and riding bikes? If you’re happy to have your dog come on runs twice a day, then you’ll want a dog that has high energy. Having a dog that has medium to low energy levels will not contribute to your family in the way you would like.  You will want to go run/ play and he just hasn’t got the energy to keep up with you.  You will become disappointed with a medium to low energy dog in your family.

Likewise, if you are a family that love hanging out on the couch and going for an easy walk once a day, having a high energy dog in your family will drive you insane. They will get up to mischief, become destructive, chew your shoes, walls…you get the picture.  If this high energy dog’s needs are not being met, frustration will be the only outcome for you and for your dog. Not the reason you chose to have a dog in the family.

So ask yourself the important questions:

Good Manners when walking your Dog: Part 3

16 Oct

How to spot a reactive dog owner

When out walking your dog it is very easy to spot a reactive dog owner. It is also very easy to become one.

 First lets look at reactive dog owners:

Reactive dog owners usually have their dogs on a tight leash, or their dogs may be walking in front pulling on their leash.  They may

A German Shepherd Dog.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

cross the road, or disappear up someone’s driveway, in order to avoid contact with you. I am sure there are other actions taken, but these are the obvious ones. The common denominator with all these actions is tension.

It is also very easy for a competent Pack Leader to become a reactive dog owner. If you really want to be a consistent Pack Leader, for your dogs wellbeing. You must have mastery of your own thoughts and feelings.

It doesn’t take much to lose focus on your walks.   You only need to think “oh how am I going to find the money to pay that bill”. Your body responds to that fearful thought and  instantly your dog will be pulling on his leash. Your dog is telling you, you are no longer in Pack Leader energy. You have, by this thought become a reactive dog owner, with a reactive dog on the end of the leash.

This does not mean you can’t be Pack Leader until tomorrow’s walk, or that all is lost on this walk.

You can focus on your thoughts. Bring your attention to positive things and feel very good and happy with yourself.

Give your dog a correction. This may be a small tug on his leash to the side or by simply telling him to heel. This distracts your dog from his reactive energy and he comes once again in contact with your Pack Leader energy. He is able to become calm submissive, and  your walk continues as it should.

Dogs live in the present and having our wonderful dogs remind us when we are not, is a wonderful thing.

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