Friday, July 09, 2010

We've Moved.

We've moved. Now that we've unpacked, settled in and gotten comfortable in our new home, we wanted to invite you on over. Great memories from this blogger site, but all the previous posts from here as well as more current [and certainly future ones] are now woven into the New And Improved A Better Pet LLC Website. Come on over and visit. Leave us messages, subscribe to our feed, join our fan page, just check us out. And don't forget to visit the store as well for your higher end, quality dog and cat needs!


Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Thursday, April 15  6:15 – 7:45 pm

Knowing how to use the right tools for the job comes in very handy, even in dog training. A lively and informative discussion reviewing the PROPER USE and COST EFFECTIVE BENEFIT of some of my favorite tools in a positive dog training approach. When understood and used correctly, equipment and toys are invaluable in the training of reliable dogs both at home and out and about. Learn how to start thinking outside of the box and learn about inexpensive, simple solutions to prevent or fix common dog behavioral problems. Any equipment/toys purchased the night of class receives a 15% discount. DOGS OPTIONAL / NOT REQUIRED BUT DUE TO LIMITED SPACE ADVANCED PERMISSION TO BRING DOGS REQUIRED. Maximum 5 dogs.
Groovy Grooming
12908 Larchmere Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44120 (near Shaker Sq.)

To register, with or without a dog, please email or call 216] 321-7654. Advance registration required. No guarantee walk ins will be accommodated.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Classes & Lectures Starting Up Soon!

PUPPY KINDERGARTEN & PUPPY NEXT STEP both teach basic manners and allow for off leash social play for dogs in SIX (6) weekly 75 minute sessions. There is an expectation of completed homework assignments. Classes are fun, educational and informative. You'll learn basic skills -- reliable recall (or coming when called), sit, down, stay, go and leash manners. Plenty of time for off leash play which is key to developing social graces for dogs of all sizes and breed types. Families are welcome but children 6 and under require an additional adult for supervision.
Classes are held INDOORS ON MONDAY EVENINGS in the basement gym at the South Euclid Board of Education Building (SELREC) at 5044 Mayfield Rd.,located on the SW corner of Richmond and Mayfield Rds. in Lyndhurst,OH. Free and ample parking lot is accessible from Richmond Road.  
REGISTRATION THROUGH SELREC OFFICE • 216-691-2246 M- F,8:30 - 4:30pm
Mondays: April 12, 19, 26th; May 3, 10 and 17th. 
Puppy Kindergarten: For pups btwn 8 wks-5 mos at start of class            Monday    7:45-9:00 pm
Puppy Next Step:      For puppies 5 months to 2 years at start of class    Monday    6:15-7:30 pm

If your dog is 4 - 5 months at start of class, contact rachel to discuss best level for your dog.
Call SELREC: 216) 691-2246.  Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm to register / request a catalog.
For more information about the classes themselves,
contact •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 
Series include sessions on pet loss/bereavement, equipment clinic, career alternatives in the world of animals, kids and animals, and much more.  

Thursday, April 01, 2010

National Stress Awareness Month -- No Fooling

There are only twelve months in a year and 365 days in most of them. Assignations for months and days for various interest groups to raise awareness abound. This month is Stress Awareness Month and I phool you not.

I know I have animals around me -- my own pets and an awareness of nature and animals in the world -- because their presence, antics, focus on the things in life that really matter -- reduce my stress. They of course add joy, motivation for exercise, a reason to sweep obsessively and a grounding that keeps me centered.

More often than not the clients I work with are themselves stressed out not just from life but from the dog in their life. Helping clients adjust and tipping the dog's (or cat) presence from a source of stress to a source of stress relief is my main mission in the training/education I provide.

There are various coping mechanisms that go to the root of the problem to help de-stress ourselves. You probably know the ones that work best for you. Whether you choose to medicate to alleviate symptoms, work on modifying your life to reduce stress using methods that resonate for you, or even a combination, many are at a loss for how to help their animals.

In addition to understanding dogs in general and your dog in particular and learning how to become the benevolent leader, there are other resources that might help reduce your dogs stress -- whether it's when you're leaving your dog alone or helping your dog cope with stressors that are in the environment, going holistic is the best way to get at the root cause.

Two proactive ways include the use of appropriate calming music  and Bach Flower Essences. To learn more about becoming the benevolent leader, sign up for upcoming spring puppy kindergarten and puppy next step classes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Walk the dog, Find a Cure

Today marks my youngest daughter's 11th birthday. I remember her birth so vividly. Sophie is a remarkably poised, competent and amazing being [as are her older sisters, ages 13 and 17]. A very old and nurturing soul is she.

Bringing children into the world is a daunting prospect. But you hope to raise them to go out in the world.

Bringing a dog into your home can also be a daunting project. But you hope to raise them to live a long and happy life with you and not go out into the world.

Dogs don't usually live as long as people. But we give them our hearts and our souls. We whisper our secrets into their silken ears and take comfort in their ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. A good scratch. A long walk. A cozy cuddle. A welcome greeting. Yes of course we curse their sometimes unruly ways. But we love them. Yet they usually leave us before we want them to go. That is the usual order of things and an agreement we enter into knowingly.

I lost Lily to cancer just over two months ago. But she was 10 and had lived a good and long life.  She lives on in my memory and I am fortunate to have many of those.

Olivia Crowley was 10 years old when she died. She was stricken with cancer at the tender age of 7. For 3 years she battled her illness with an indefatigable spirit. Bright, optimistic, funny and a fellow dog lover, I had the great good fortune to meet Olivia when she was partnered in service with Charlie, a golden retriever. A pooch who buoyed her spirit when it was flagging, who listened to her secrets, played secret games and gave unconditional positive feedback. Olivia touched me deeply. Not because she was sick, but she was yet another wise old soul way who just made the world she was in a better place.

Please join me on the Curesearch walk -- with or without your well behaved dog -- on May 8 at University Circle. Or donate -- whatever you can afford -- to A Better Pet Pets team.  Follow on Facebook, tell your friends and family, and together let's make a difference.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

And you thought chewies were just for puppies!!

Did you know that 4 out of 5 dogs over the age of 3 have gum disease? And gum disease is also one of the most preventable and treatable diseases. I actually spent a few years figuring out Lily's previous horror show smell that often emanated out of her mouth. 
Twice I had her go under anesthesia for a full teeth cleaning but the problem returned. Finally, with the diagnostic skills of Dr. James Preuter at Shaker Animal Clinic, I discovered that she had a low level bacterial gut infection that came roaring through her oral cavity when she panted or yawned or just opened her mouth. Room clearing odor. Friends leaving early because of it odor. Finally resolved by giving her low doses of flagyl for the rest of her life which treated the actual problem.
But that was more of an exception and gum disease is real. What can you do about it? Tartar contributes to gum disease, so controlling tartar buildup will help control gum disease. Two simple things that you can do to help prevent this very common problem in your dog: 
  1. Daily brushing .  Brushing your dog's teeth every day (or at least 3 times a week) will work to remove tartar. Start by offering your dog a taste of the veterinary toothpaste. Position the bristles of the brush along the gum line of the upper back teeth and angle slightly up, so the bristles get under the gum line. Work from back to front, making small circles along the gum lines. It should take you less than 30 seconds to brush your pet's teeth. 
Or you could say that isn't going to happen because you just aren't going to get into that habit. Another supplemental or different option is
  1. Tartar control chewies.  The best solution I have found, and the thing I sell the most of, are bully sticks. Organic (made from the part of bull that a cow doesn't have), digestible, highly desired, non perishable and great for dogs of all ages and sizes, this chewie is hands down the best for your goal to:
a. Entertain a teething puppy
b. Prevent tartar build up
c. Entertain a dog of any age.

Tell me you were inspired to order bullies from A Better Pet by putting TARTAR PREVENTOR in the comments section of your order form and you will get FREE SHIPPING and a little surprise if you are a new customer and order a minimum of 25 bullies.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Why The Dog Whisperer Whispers

Just finished up a 6 week series of Puppy Kindergarten and Puppy Next Step with the next series slated to begin next month.

Shy dogs learning to play and overcome some fears; over the top pups learned to tone it down and play nice; people learning a peaceful, fun and non violent way to train.

Spring is definitely afoot. Sunshine, melting snow, blue skies, chirping birds -- an assault on all the senses. In a good way.

View this hilarious clip from Charlie Murphy which says with laugh out loud humor the real secret to the Dog Whisperer. An assault on the senses. In a bad way. Shout it out -- positive training works!