Archive for the ‘dog walk’ Category

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07 Jun 12

Danger! Distracted Dog Walking ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

There is an epidemic sweeping across Long Island and the country too, it’s Distracted Dog Walking!  Be careful that you don’t get swept up in this risky behavior.  Dog owners everywhere are walking their dogs completely distracted and constantly looking down.  What could they be looking down at, when they should be watching where they are going and more importantly where their dog is and what they are doing?  Why their cell phone of course – or should I say smart phone (which in this case seems to making people dumber!).  Remember the days when we walked our dogs without the distraction of a text, email, phone call, super duper important Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest update?  I ask you can you actually remember that?  I can and sometimes I really miss those days.

We are all guilty of it.  But I always make a point to lock my phone and put it in my dog’s Doggie Go Pack that hangs from his leash, so if I get a text or email, I don’t hear it or notice it until I get back to where I started or to my car.  Just yesterday while walking Max at a local park, I watched as an approaching dog owner was so busy reading whatever was so damn important on her phone, not paying attention to her dog, (who was zipped about 20 feet ahead her on a retractable leash grrrr), and she nearly walked right off the path into the lake.  I was cracking up – but of course she really could have hurt herself, or more importantly hurt her dog. (Put the phone away lady!)

Dog owners, is it really that hard to walk your dog and bond with him or her, maybe do some training, without you being on the phone? And by the way chatting so loudly – no one wants to hear your conversation.  Your poor dog is being neglected as you walk and talk, text, FB and tweet.

I have also had people approaching so engrossed in their loud conversation that they don’t realize their dog nearly tripped a jogger, knocked over an nice elderly couple walking by or pooped and they didn’t pick up!  Sheesh!

Do I take a quick picture of my dog on my smart phone and post it to FB when we are out on a walk?  Sure, because he is so damn cute – but then the phone gets put away so we can enjoy the rest of walk!

I double dog dare you to put the phone away, walk your dog, breathe, take in the scenery, and pay attention to your pup.  He will, and you will be much better off for it.  Go ahead I dare you!    Tell me your story about Distracted Dog Walking in the comment section below…


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14 Jun 11

by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.

Pet Sitter Summer Safety Tips

Pet Sitters and dog walkers typically enjoy the warmer weather that spring and summer bring, and this is especially true this year, after a harsh, cold, snowy winter that seemed like it would never end. New York is definitely a place with extreme temperatures on either side of the mercury, and this spring has already seen temperatures reaching above 95 degrees.

On these extreme days with high heat and humidity, it’s important to make some changes in your pet’s daily routine with your pet sitter. For example, if you’re high energy dog usually gets an hour walk or run at the dog park, consider splitting the visit between inside and outside time, allowing your pet, and walker, to cool down from the heat. Keep a doggie water bottle next to the leash for your walker to take with them on the walk, and feel free to leave a bottle for the human as well.

Consider leaving the air conditioner on for your pet during the day, which your sitter will also surely enjoy after being in the heat all day. It’s also important to leave instructions on how to use an air conditioner in your house or apartment, and what settings you prefer. You should leave it up to your sitter’s discretion if the air needs to be left on for your pet.

If you are leaving for vacation, keep an eye on the expected weather for the day. Just because it’s a nice cool morning, doesn’t mean you can leave your pets outside until the sitter comes for the next visit. (Also note that NYS law requires any pet left outside to have proper shelter, fresh water and in some areas cannot be tied up for more than 3 hours at a time). Several years ago, on a particularly humid day, I was informed that the client left her dogs (English & French Bulldogs) in an outside enclosure, and I would find them there when I arrived for the first visit of a pet sitting that I was doing for the week. When I arrived, I was horrified to see that one the English bulldogs lying down, not moving, and upon closer examination not breathing either. He had died from heatstroke. This case was also the impetus for me becoming a Pet First Aid & CPR instructor so I could help teach people how to prevent death and injury to their pets. After all, preventable accidents are the leading cause of death in pre-senior dogs and cats, and this was certainly one of those cases.

If you hire a sitter to care for your dog on the 4th of July, let them know how your pet may react to the loud noises, or where they may be hiding in the house. Limit the amount of time they stay outside, and allow your sitter to turn the radio or television on for your pet if they feel it will help. Keep a leash handy also if the dog is normally just let in the yard by your sitter – leashing the dog during a time of year that fireworks may be occurring nearby is a safety precaution. Some dogs can be so terrified they will find anyway to get out of the yard and run for cover – simply having the sitter leash the dog and “walk” him in the yard will really help the dog from bolting.

Keeping your pet sitter in mind, as well as your pet, can make for a happy, healthy, and safer summer for all. Enjoy the season!

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11 May 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

On Saturday, May 7th, hundreds of people and their four legged friends gathered at Four Towns Firefighters Training Center in Merrick to support the Merrick Lions Club 2nd Annual Purple Hearts Pups  “Just for Fun” Dog Show event.  On the gorgeous spring day, families and dog lovers united for this one great cause all while having a lot of dog gone fun.

Purple Hearts Pup became a reality through the Merrick Lions Club.  As a new club starting out two years ago they were looking for a cause to support and get behind to be an integral part of the community and keep members involved.  Lisa Siano who is the chair of the event, felt that something needed to be done for the Veterans because her twin sister, Toni Pincus, is a puppy raiser with the Guide Foundation in Smithtown. Toni’s first puppy, Raleigh, was giving to Walter Reade Army hospital to work in the Physical Therapy department with the amputee’s coming home from the war.  The merging of the two gave birth to the idea of a fundraising event called “Purple Heart Pups.” The Merrick Lions quickly became a 501(c) (3) organization, and their effort to raise money for disabled veterans continues through various activities in addition to Saturday’s event.  “I got involved with the Club simply because two people who I knew asked me. When I first heard about the PHP, I knew despite anyone’s politics on the war, we have to support those who protect us,” said Audrey Shapiro a Merrick Lions Club member and volunteer for the event.

Purple Heart Pups was created to seek to aid disabled and amputee veterans by providing financial support to America’s VetDogs and the National Amputee Foundation.

Check out all the pictures from the days event below taken by Ben Whalen and Nancy Hassel.

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30 Apr 11

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Recently we hiked a trail in Manorville, Manorville Hills County Park, which is dog friendly and also has horse trails and mountain bike trails.  This path system is a relatively new addition to the Greenbelt Trail for hikers on LI.  I know what you’re thinking if you are reading this living in Nassau County – Manorville, you’re either saying, “where is that?” or “I am not driving all the way out there!”  First I would say, when you’re on this trail, you really can’t believe you’re still on Long Island – this has to be one of the hilliest trails around – boasting a 150-foot high elevation, (that’s 15 stories high folks), throughout the majority of this 6.5-mile hike we were climbing up some serious hills.  It is well worth the drive whether your 20 minutes away or and hour and 20 minutes away.  When you are at the top of the highest elevation – it’s just beautiful.

The hike will take you approximately 2 hours 15 minutes.  If you do bring your dog be sure you dog is up to a hiking a trail like this.  My dog, who is used to being walked 3 or 4 miles and going on hikes, was pretty tired ¾ of the way through, and was wiped the rest of the day! (But he was all ready for another walk the next day – damn good for an almost 10 year old dog!).

Also since this trail is right smack dab in the middle of the beautiful Pine Barren Region – make sure you wear long pants (covering your hiking boots or sneakers) and spray your pants with bug spray.  This is tick season (all over LI) and I did have to stop a few times to knock ticks of the dog – yuck, (the natural bug spray from Fetch Doggies Boutique I used on him worked pretty well), but the trails are wide enough for the most part that your not walking through brush.  Unfortunately, ticks are par for the course on any and most hikes, parks and even your own well landscaped back yard here on LI.  Be sure to check your dog thoroughly a few times during and after any hike – or even after he comes in from your own yard.

So if you are taking part of the 250-Challenge this will be a great hike to add into your challenge, knock out 6.5-miles, and have a great workout climbing those Long Island mountains! The pictures below don’t do justice to how steep some parts were.

We followed the yellow marked trail from the parking area (square yellow marks on sprayed onto trees) to the orange marked trees all the way through, (turned yellow again about ¾ way through, then back to orange) and this is a loop that will bring you back to the parking area.  We did this without a map of the trail!  However you can purchase a map from the LI Greenbelt and get directions to the park which is off of Country Road 111 (on the north bound side).

We didn’t see too much wildlife during the hike, to my surprise, some birds and a nuclear green colored bug, small lavender colored moths fluttering about, and on our way out a family of deer.

Max taking a rest during hike!

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18 Apr 11

Dog Days at the Mansion ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

Dog Days at the Mansion

This past weekend at Old Westbury Gardens, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dog owners and their dogs flocked to the majestic grounds and estate for the bi-annual “Dog Days at Old Westbury Gardens.”  The beautifully landscaped grounds, all 200 acres, were bursting with spring daffodils, tulips, buttercups and wagging tails.  The first day of the weekend wasn’t too nice but still did draw many people, but Sunday was the day to go.  A bit windy in some spots, the air was filled with laughter, some barking in the background and lots of smiling faces at all the cute dogs.  Some areas of the grounds were off limits to dogs, but the majority of the gardens were open.  The estate was packed with people and their dogs sitting and walking around enjoying the day and the camaraderie only a dog owner could understand.  From the tiniest Pomeranian to a huge Great Dane – there were dogs of all shapes and sizes in attendance.  If you missed it, don’t worry, you will get a chance again in the fall.

Check out our slide show below this picture, and see if your pup is in there!

Daisey, Photo by: R. Hassel