Q: We have a 2-year-old collie shepherd mix who loves us, offers hugs and kisses and is loyal. But, when the dog and I are on the bed and my 20-year-old son enters the bedroom, the dog growls. Sometimes it's a bit scary. Last week he went too far. My wife and I were lying on the bed watching TV. The dog joined us with his head on her belly. When I got up to go to work, he growled his usual low growl. When I went to kiss my wife goodbye, he growled so close to her face that she thought he was going to bite her. The dog attended training successfully when he was 6 months old, never had a problem with company, and gets along well with the cat. Neighbors love to see us walk down the block while he holds his leash in his mouth. Do you think he just hates to see me leave or see my son enter the bedroom when it is our time?
Mark Copperopolis has Jessie, his companion of 13 years, who has developed a problem with urination over the last few weeks. Jessie is a mixed breed female dog that Mark believes to be part German short-haired pointer and Australian shepherd. She is spayed and has had no health problems to speak of in the past.
Q: I like to feed the birds in the front of the house. I have a bird feeder and several hanging holders with a honey block that goes in the holder. The birds love it and I watch the many beautiful red and blue and other-colored birds come feast on the goodies outside my window. I also have a bird bath for them, and it's fun to watch them drink and bathe in the fresh water. Here's the problem: One or more of the birds seem to hang out on the car door mirrors and leave droppings all over the car. Every morning I have been using the garden hose to clean droppings from the car. How can I keep my friends from sitting on the cars in my driveway?
Ken and Susan contacted me recently concerning the escalating tensions among their three terriers living in the house. All lovely and outstanding personalities and manners individually, but their younger female has begun to challenge – and fight – with the older male and female.
Ellen from Modesto is the caretaker for Sassy, a 4-year-old tabby cat that Ellen loves dearly. Ellen is also pregnant and has concerns about being pregnant while living with a cat. Sassy is entirely indoors and Ellen has heard – without much detail – about problems that can occur to babies because of the mother’s exposure to cats during their pregnancy. She would like to understand any potential problems and risks.
Practically anyone with a dish towel, an empty beer can, a little kibble and whole lot of patience can teach a dog to fetch a beer.
Ivy Kite, though, will go you one better: The 3-year-old Australian Shepherd can happily retrieve the single bottle of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper from a fridge otherwise full of Heinekens. (Because even dogs know craft beer is better.)
Molly is a 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier who lives with Fran and her husband, Bill, in Modesto. Molly spends most of her time indoors never far from Fran or Bill and has had no health problems until about four months ago.
Renal disease is most often put into two categories based on onset of the disease. One form is called acute, which comes on quickly and can be devastatingly fast in its progression to death. The other is chronic, which implies a slower onset.
Did the Easter Bunny hop on over and deliver more than just chocolate to your house this year? Did he leave a little furry critter behind? Spring is baby animal season, and while it can be difficult to resist adding a small pet to your Easter basket, once the initial surprise and attention wanes, there is still the responsibility of proper care of the new family pet.
Erin from Turlock takes care of Bondo, a 10-year-old cat that lives entirely inside his house. Recently, Erin has noticed Bondo making many more trips to the litter box to urinate and there have been times when blood was noted in the urine. Erin, thank you for your very detailed letter. The more details the better when it comes to figuring out a possible cause for what is disturbing our companions
Fran and her 7-month-old dog named Wally are from Eureka. Wally is a large dog, about 80 pounds, and has developed a limp in his right rear leg. She has noticed him limping on and off for about two weeks, and lately it has gotten a bit more severe.
Turtle has been having diarrhea on and off for the last three months. She has been treated several times with various medications at least some of which, according to Anne, were antibiotics. The medications have had varying degrees of success in lessening the diarrhea, none have completely eliminated it. Turtle is a 10-year-old tabby kitty.
Many animal lovers across the nation know exactly who Dr. Marty Becker, DVM, is. An author of more than 20 pet-related books, the resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America” for 17 years, the chief veterinary correspondent on Animal Radio and, well, I could go on and on. Becker has spent his life caring for pets and their people.
Phyllis is a loyal reader who wrote in with a question concerning her cat, Mathilda. The 12-year-old indoor cat has slowed down quite a bit in the past year or so. She seems to be eating and drinking well, but she sleeps more than she used to and has trouble jumping onto furniture, something she used to do with minimal effort. Phyllis thinks it’s probably due to arthritis and advancing age. She has read about treatment for arthritis in dogs but wonders what she can use to treat her cat.
Andrea from Allentown, Pa., has a Queensland heeler named Jake. Jake is 8 years old and in very good condition, according to Andrea. Recently, he has developed a lump on the underside of his neck and she has noticed it getting a bit larger in the last few weeks. Andrea points out that this lump does not appear painful or to affect Jake in any way. She wants to know what she should do.
One of the smartest things I ever did was to get into dog sports. I’m naturally a competitive person, so that was a draw, but mostly it was about developing a strong bond with my dog through lots of training and practice, and being around people who were just as crazy about dogs as I was. When I started decades ago (I won’t reveal how many!), dog sports were open only to registered pure-bred dogs; now most are open to mixed breeds as well.
Practically anyone with a dish towel, an empty beer can, a little kibble and whole lot of patience can teach a dog to fetch a beer. Ivy Kite, though, will go you one better: The 3-year-old Australian Shepherd can happily retrieve the single bottle of Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper from a fridge otherwise full of Heinekens. (Because even dogs know craft beer is better.)
Video by T.Ortega Gainesogaines@charlotteobserver.com