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Tell me about your dog....

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    Yeah, these critters are wonderful and can help in so many ways, it makes me think about Service Dogs. What's your opinion? Would it be worth all the additional investment (training, expense, time up front ...) to get a pre-trained pooch? While my needs are few now, my son remids me that my physical competency is in decline mode, maybe a dog who retrieves dropped items would be a blessing. I wonder if you can train a regular dog to do that. They are naturally helpful. My small cocker spaniel would pull me up snowy ramps when my tires got no traction. She knew exactly what she was doing & that I wouldn't be able to go there without her help.

    Does anyone have a service animal (all species are interesting to me) or an opinion on same they'd like to share? Thanks for your replies, I enjoy them all. Got dog_on_the_brain syndrome these days.


      Shetland Sheepdog. The best friend I ever had.


        The first dog in our home is our daughter's service dog. She received a small chocolate lab when she was 13 and started taking her on the bus to school. Last fall they went to college together. As a quad, the biggest tasks for the pooch is retrieving dropped items, hitting some door buttons that are hard to reach, and being her best bud.

        I just noticed the top of another dog's head in the pic below. That is my sister's dog. You can't see too much of it but it is a Hungarian hunting dog, a Vizsla. They need a ton of exercise and are pretty high maintenance because of their energy.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Domosoyo; 7 Apr 2016, 11:52 PM.


          Hi again - no I've never seen Emma scoot across the floor on her bum - usually that's an indication of infected anal glands. I have her groomed twice per year where her glands are cleaned, plus she sees the vet every May for annual shots, physical check-up and a listen to her heart for the mitrial valve thing (there's meds a dog can take and different grades of it to indicate how much exercise you should expose your Cavalier to).

          If you go the breeder route, expect to pay $1400+ for a proper dog with syringomyelia and mitrial valve breeded out. Make sure you meet the sire and dam (parents) and they are healthy - check their teeth. Ask if the parents have been MRI'd .. proper breeders will do this.

          If you happen upon a rescue Cavalier, just be prepared as you don't know what could happen ... I've been lucky so far. These issues seem to be more popular in Europe. I belong to a closed group here on Facebook: ... you can get a good idea of the range of health for the breed. I've been pleasantly surprised to see Cavaliers living to 13yrs, 14yrs and even 17yrs healthy!

          At all costs, I would avoid someone backyard breeding. Emma came from one - her third litter at three years old all passed so she was no good to them anymore. First thing I did was get her fixed. She also hadn't been to a vet in two years and her teeth had a lot of tartar from poor quality food. That will be your next tackle after acquiring a pooch - finding the balance between quality food and cost! I feed Emma Acana (wholesome free range food sourced from Alberta & BC) at about $56 per bag that lasts three months. I mix in wet (Beneful not very good, Merrick really good) at the bottom (she was picky when I first acquired her). Also Three Dog Bakery sweet potato treats (American) and Waggers (also Canadian) peanut butter treats.

          I was surprised to see Mike Rowe (has a facebook page) acquire a little terrier rescue as a puppy named Freddy - he feeds his dog Acana and Three Dog Bakery treats and is watched by millions so I hope I'm doing something right! The little terrier is cute but I stayed away because of the name, 'terrier' and heard they could chew things and be kind of a menace.

          I had my name in breeders all over Ontario - rescues - even reached out to Michigan. I watched Kijiji as well (like an American Craig's List) ... not a good place to acquire a pet as puppy mills and backyard breeders advertise there .. but Emma was perfect as an unwanted breeder anymore at only 3yrs old - they let her go for $400 but were stiff lipped as to where they acquired her. They had receipts from a vet for when she was one so I knew she wasn't stolen. I traveled about six hours north to Hanover to pick her up. It really was meant to be, as I was travelling that way to look at a Cocker that a rescue had told me would be perfect for me (I told her I was in a wheelchair etc and she was watching for me) ... at 10pm at night Emma appeared on Kijiji - I reached out by text - said I would be there the next day and boom - meant to be! It took a solid year though for me to find my match ... I read, I learned, I watched listings etc. A vet is also a good resource as they may know a breeder or puppy/dog becoming available and would be able to steer you toward a healthy dog.

          At least twice per year I'll see a dog that someone wants to relieve themselves of and it's a Cavalier .. which was more rare when I was looking for her. It took a solid year for me to research breeds (watched a lot of you-tube videos) and read a lot before I settled on a Cavalier. They have become a 'designer' or 'status' breed so are becoming more popular. I've never met a sweeter dog and so smart! I can't teach her to roll over (lol) but she can sometimes shake a paw. I've tried to teach her to pick things up for me but no go so far - haven't really focused on that though.

          I check her over twice per week when we go to bed to check for any marks, wounds, ticks etc but I'm with her all the time .. check her backside at least once per week. I don't think the former owners walked her regularly ... she was 12lbs when I first acquired her - waaaaay underweight. The vet gave me some supplements to add weight on her ... she doubled her muscle I swear. I could see it and feel it in the leash on our walks. She kinda cries when I leave her with someone ... she warms up quickly but I'm told she watches the door occasionally looking for me. When she sees me she gets so over excited and her entire body wags. lol I do leave her alone for 15mins to an hour but no longer.

          My neighbours on the second floor have a golden coloured cocker - name is Golden - and he's too much for me. Far too strong and I could see him pulling me out of my power and manual - he's that strong and sniff, sniff, travel, travel when he's outside. His handler is 19yrs old (sometimes the parents take him out too) and he just goes, goes, goes. I love him but I could never deal with how strong he is. He's still young - it may wain - but I couldn't see myself handling such an excitable dog.

          If Emma gets excited, I can still handle her due to her low weight. I'm also restricted by dog weight being in a condo.

          I've often said that if I had a house, I'd have a Newfoundlander like above - but larger dogs can also have heart problems. Also, how would I lift such a heavy dog if they were in trouble?

          Dogs 101 on Animal Planet (you tube videos) is great for giving breed specific information and where I really learned a lot before I settled on the breed that I wanted ...

          I also watched the local Humane Society but small dogs go fast - you practically have to be there every day and I think the good ones get spoken for by people that volunteer there. Sometimes you'll see a puppy surrender, but not often.

          Another breed that interested me is the Shiba Inu .. I've read that they're extremely smart and very lovable with personality galore. They'd weigh about the same as Emma.

          Neato factoid: After WWII, there were only six Cavaliers left! All dogs today are descended from those six.
          Last edited by lynnifer; 8 Apr 2016, 5:30 AM.
          Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

          T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12


            Originally posted by dragon fly View Post
            Now that my kids are no longer needy & I've retired from my job, I'm ready to invest my spare time into a pet dog.
            What are you looking to do with a dog? Just a pet or a bit more? Shetland Sheepdogs (a.k.a. Sheltie) are a lot of fun to have around. They're smart, fast learners. They are small to medium sized - 20-30 pounds, 13-16 inches tall, perfect for a lap. Are hardy, energetic and playful. They don't take a lot of room, a smaller yard is enough to exercise them in. They are athletic and are great for agility courses. Being a herding dog there's herding trials you can be involved with. These usually start with instinct herding of ducks, so you don't need to be involved in extensive training to get started. And they will try to herd anything that moves - including your kids and cats. They stay close to their human, usually within 5-6 feet, and are very loyal. I'm a C6 in a manual chair and she was a great size for me, not too big and overpowering, but not too small either.

            As Lynnifer suggested with Cavalier's: it's best to get a Shetland Sheepdog from a reputable breeder.They can get hip issues, but a good breeder will breed known problems out of their lines. And they can be barkers if you get from a backyard breeder. I got a female for pet/companion from (warning: the puppy page will melt your heart, there is one adult dog available as a companion now) Susan is a nationally known breeder, but breeds few litters a year. Shelties have small litters, so you have to be patient if you were to go with her. I signed a spay contract. There's three colors: Sable (like Kristi), Blue Merle, and Tri-Color (black, white, with a splash of tan).

            I got Kristi at 12 weeks, she lived for 15 years. I still miss her. (pic attached)

            Here's a general info video on Youtube:

            Attached Files
            Last edited by tumbleweeds; 8 Apr 2016, 7:47 PM. Reason: added colors


              These stories are great. What pleases me the most is how well cared for these dog are to say nothing of the abundance of love heaped upon them. My Cocker was small for her breed, I got her as a puppy so all she knew was me and the chair. She would not be able to push/pull me over too light-weight. I took her to work with me but didn't exercise her regularly. I was so young & dumb, didn't consider the dog's needs before my own. No more! The dog fence begins Monday, the new dog will arrive after that.

              I also appreciate all the reference material on the different breeds. I'll check them out, pick my favorites and show those to the rest of the family. Lynifer was so selective, I admire her self control in waiting a year to wait for the dog that was meant to be. I wanted the dog yesterday. Will have to curb my impulses.

              Thanks for all the information. The one thing y'all have in common is how much you love your dog: infinitely. I appreciate it.


                This is the million dollar question. There are quite a number of reasons why your dog might be scooting. Some are a lot more common than others and some have a much easier remedy:
                • Anal Sac. Inflammation of the anal sac is the number one cause of scooting. This is usually accompanied by a foul odor and possibly discharge. Emptying those sacs is easy and can be done by a groomer, who can also teach you how to do it at home, fun! Once you dog has been treated, figuring out the underlying cause of the problem is important. They could have simply been full or they could have been infected, in which case he may need antibiotics. A product such as Pet Naturals Scoot Bars contains fiber from three different sources and supports healthy anal gland function, reducing your dog’s need to scoot.

                • Worms. Dogs that have worms don’t always scoot so this is a less common reason behind the action. However, some dogs experience serious itching because of the infestation which could cause them to scoot. A sure-fire way to detect tapeworms in your dog is by visually detecting them around his anus. If your dog is scooting, check there first, just in case. Tapeworms are very easy to treat. Tapeworms go hand-in-hand with fleas so be careful, especially in the summer months, to use a good flea medicine.

                • Rectal Prolapse. This is a scary situation that requires immediate medical attention. Rectal prolapse can occur after severe bouts of diarrhea or constipation. The prolapse is part of the dog’s large intestine which can protrude through the anus. If you see this elongated mass coming from his bottom, call the vet right away.

                • Fecal Contamination. This is definitely the cause for scooting that has the easiest cure. If the reason your dog is scooting is because he has feces matted in or around his bottom, just clean him up with warm, soapy water. Contamination of any kind down there will cause immense itching and burning so he has no choice but to scoot to relieve the discomfort.

                • Growths and Tumors. Luckily this isn’t extremely common but it is very serious so it cannot be overlooked. Tumors can sometimes grow in or around the anal glands so be careful to watch for any unusual swelling or discharge and contact your vet immediately.

                Aside from the scooting stories, keep telling us about your dogs!!!

                All the best,


                  Interesting mix .. Chihuahua and Cavalier Mix. Beaten and neglected by former owner - 3yrs old.

                  Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

                  T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12


                    Scooting is a frequent problem with dogs. It is less disturbing to owner if the dog is kept outside, but the animal is still suffering, of course. It may be caused by improper nutrition - - and can be often fixed by watching what your dog eats. Too much fat is not really good for the dog either, turns out. But if the condition persists, you can use drugs like osaterone - But of course the reason for scooting can be different, as it was previously mentioned in this thread. Then you need to visit/call the vet.