Ahh, what a wonderful respite we have had this week of the hot and humid St. Louis summer. As we have enjoyed the break, so have our animals, but the summer is bound to return so here are a few thoughts to continue to enjoy the rest of it before the back-to-school crazies and last minute summer vacation times swoop down upon us.
My new working Border Collie, PennDragon, is in herding training to become a Canada goose management dog. We went to learn on some interesting Turkish sheep and also out to Purina to work with some sheep out there. While at both places, there were working farm dogs and also competition/pet dogs also enjoying herding activities, as well as obedience, agility, dock diving and flyball. Another set of friends of mine are are an annual float and camping trip with dogs along, and still another friend is regularly kayaking with her dog in his safety PFD (I used to not know what that meant – it stands for Personal Floatation Device, aka “Life Jacket”).
Other pets enjoy the outdoors, too. I have, of course, all my barnyard buddy friends – sheep, ducks, goats, horses, llamas and alpacas, geese, guineas, swans, and the occasional peacocks and emus. All enjoy their versions of water sprays, wading pools, and large fans to help them ease into cooler weather. Remember when using electrical or automatic items such as fans and sprinkles to make sure that they are not scary to the animals and that there are safe escape spaces when they are done with them.
Lastly, cats, birds and pocket pets enjoy outside time, too. I have a friend who has a wrap-around porch that her cats enjoy. When I recently visited her, a neighbor asked me about a little Parakeet that had landed on him in his back yard. My parrots and many friends’ parrots have special outdoor enclosures, but extreme care must be taken in transporting them back and forth, and keeping them safe. The same applies for guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, small pocket pets, and reptiles and amphibians. Many of the latter are put out in their glass housing without their people realizing how quickly and lethally such containers can heat up, often to deadly effect. As always, a discussion with your veterinarian or qualified animal professional can help guide you.
Have a healthy and happy entry into the last part of summer, travel safely if you are, and keep your own and your pets eyes safe from the solar eclipse coming in the next few weeks.
As always, Dorene
TARA Training and Behavior, LLC