The Legacy of a Dog’s Love

When that time comes for you to say good-bye to your most loyal and trusted friend, it is never easy. You trusted your dog and your dog trusted you. Some of us have had that special dog we refer to as a soul mate.

Just remember, you are not punishing your dog by putting him or her to sleep. You wouldn’t be doing this if it were not necessary. Sometimes we have to wonder if we waited too long because of our own selfish reasons for not wanting to let go. And sometimes we wonder if we could have waited a little longer.

This is the time when we should trust the vet’s advice about the dog’s quality of life. As the thoughts race through our mind, one notion keeps coming back for many of us: If only we humans had the opportunity to leave this life with a semblance of dignity. Then you may realize that yes, it is time to say goodbye.

Have the courage to be with your special friend in these final moments. Have the courage to look into your dog’s eyes and let him or her know that your love will remain long after this day. Let yours be the last voice your dog hears. Let yours be the last gentle touch your dog feels. And one day, although you don’t want to think about it now, one special day, you will rescue another and welcome your new-found special friend into your home and your heart. That is the legacy of a dog’s love.

© Bruce Malter, BLANK

Ear Problems

You should periodically check your dog’s ears for possible infections – especially if it has pendant ears. Sometimes your dog will react to a flea or other insect that has worked its way into the ear. Your dog could react by scratching the ear, tilting or shaking its head, or turning the ear down. The next time you snuggle with your dog, smell its ears. Is there an odor? Look inside. Is there any discharge? Are the ears red or swollen? Are they sensitive to the touch? Does your dog react to noises? Does your pooch shake its head or scratch its ears frequently?

What to do: Contact your vet immediately. Some conditions require immediate care by your dog’s vet. It could be something very simple and remedied with an inexpensive treatment or it could be something else more serious.

If your dog gets ear problems quickly or has pendent ears, you might want to keep a canine ear cleanser on hand as well as gauze or cotton balls to clean out the ears. Never use cotton swabs (Q-Tips) to clean out your dog’s ears, just as you shouldn’t put them in your or your child’s ears. You could cause serious damage to the ear drum. Before you try any home remedy, ask your vet.

As expensive as vet care can be, nipping a potential problem in the bud will save you much larger vet bills in the future.

© 2010, Bruce Malter, grooming

Some Tips on Grooming

Grooming your dog has many advantages. Keeping your pet clean is very important to good skin health. There are some safety considerations you must first consider. To begin, ask your vet for the right shampoo for your dog. The shampoo you use depends on the need. Some prefer an oatmeal shampoo. Others might need a flea shampoo, and still others might have a need for a pine-tar shampoo. By the way, you shouldn’t use human shampoos for your dogs. Take a tip from groomers. Brush out the excess hair before you bathe your pet.

Now for the safety aspects. Your dog probably doesn’t want to have cold water squirted all over him or her. I never wash my dog in the front yard. It is too easy for your pet to be distracted and chase someone or another dog. I sometimes fill up a children’s wading pool and entice my dog in there, or I use the shower.

If you are using a sink to bathe a small dog, be mindful of the fact that he might try to jump out causing serious injury. Therefore, stay with your pet at all times. Wrap him or her in a towel and gently put your dog on the floor. He will be shaking out the water as much as possible.

Avoid getting water and/or soap in your dog’s nose, eyes, and ears. This can irritate your dog’s mucus membranes or his eyes, and water in the ear can lead to an ear infection.

© Bruce Malter,

A Word About Flea Medications

Recently, a friend and I used a flea shampoo on two of her rescues. In spite of careful shampooing, the fleas remain even though we followed the directions. We called the vet and we were advised to start using one of the more popular topical flea medications. Not all flea products are the same.

There have been numerous reports in the media about older and sick dogs having adverse reactions to flea medications containing. The EPA is researching many over-the-counter products which contain the strong pesticides listed as, Pyrethrins and Pyethroids. Flea and tick shampoos are also being investigated.

Also, remember that when you are buying flea and tick medications, be careful of where you get them. There is a counterfeit market for the more expensive flea and tick medications. If you are using Frontline or Advantage, and you notice that the fleas are still present after 24 hours, call the manufacturer.

NEVER reapply a flea medicine, topical or pill, on your dog if the fleas are still there after a 24 hours. These medications are to be used once a month as they are very strong. Follow the directions on the box in which they came.

Note: does not recommend or endorse any particular flea medications. Ask your vet about flea treatments.

© Bruce Malter,