|Posted on June 20, 2012 at 7:30 PM|
I did FOUR dog-walks today! Whew :-*
And yesterday, I signed up two new clients, in my newly extended service area!
One of my new clients is a big brown Labradoodle named Banjo. (I still need to get a picture of him!) He is not a year old yet, and he is very well-mannered, but still quite orally fixated. I was informed that he is in the minority of dogs who actually consume much of what they put in their mouths - namely the non-edible stuff. On our walks, he is rather like a hound dog, with his nose affixed to the ground, and he repeatedly picks things up to chomp or chew. It's an ongoing job to keep him from eating all that we pass!
Today, I spotted a tennis ball, and had an idea. I directed his attention to it, and he happily picked it up. I encouraged him to come along and carry it with. He stopped a moment to examine it a little, and then obliged. It worked out impressively well! He did stop occasionally to lie down with his new toy, free up his tongue for a spell, nose the ball around a bit, gnaw on it a little, and then I would call him on to continue our walk. He carried it with him the whole rest of the walk, and even played with it on his own, back home in the yard. I was thrilled because he was happy and his mouth was safely occupied!
It is worth noting that the standard fuzzy green tennis balls can be a hazard to those dogs who like to destroy toys and consume the bits, as they have the potential to cause blockages. However, I've seen quite a few felt and rubber remnants in canine stool, so I know they can be passed, too.
Lesson learned: try a "pacifier" for those avid vacuum cleaners!