Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

6 Tips for Choosing a Good Dog Groomer

groomer 1By Laurie Darroch

When it’s time to groom your dog and doing it yourself is more than you can handle, knowing a good dog groomer is a definite bonus. There is more to choosing the appropriate groomer for your dog than simply picking one out of the phone book. Not every groomer is a good fit for every dog. Consider these points when searching for the right groomer for your dog.

References and Reputation

Word of mouth, reviews, experience and reputation all matter when it comes to the care of your dog. Although most grooming tasks do not require extensive training, the more experience a groomer has, the better. Some groomers do attend professional schooling and/or get training on the job. You want a groomer who is reputable, the same way you want a beautician or any personal care professional to have the necessary skills and training when you need services yourself.

Every groomer is not instantly acceptable simply because they advertise their services. You have to find the person who fits your dog and your individual needs. You want someone who knows what they are doing in general with any dog and for your particular dog as well. Hanging a sign on the wall saying they are a dog groomer does not automatically mean they do a great job. Take the time to check them out to find a groomer who is qualified.
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5 Signs Your Dog Isn’t Feeling Well

By Laurie Darroch

Dogs cannot verbally tell us when they are not feeling well. They show it in altered behavior or physical cues. As we get to know the normal ways they act, any changes in their actions and reactions may be a sign that something is wrong. Here are five things to watch for.

Physical Symptoms

The most obvious signs that your dog is not feeling well may be a visible injury, infection or vomiting, but other signs take observation skills on your part. Skin lesions or irritating rashes, coughing, difficulty breathing, lumps, discolored eyes, excessive scratching, abnormal drooling or bad breath are all possible signs that can mean your dog is not feeling up to par. They may be signs of a simple condition that is easily treated, or of something more serious. If you have doubts or you can’t easily figure out what is actually wrong, go see your vet.

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6 Ways to Make Walking Your Dog More Fun

dog walking tambakoBy Laurie Darroch

Although most dogs enjoy a good walk and exploring the neighborhood or other local terrain, it is fun to make the occasion extra special for your dog and yourself once in a while. For the more timid or hesitant dogs, the extra encouragement may be just the motivation they need.

Bring Along a Throw Toy

Dogs learn to associate things with particular activities. They will soon understand that bringing a leash out and attaching it to their collar or harness means it’s time to go somewhere. The presence of a favorite chase and fetch toy is a sure sign that playtime is about to begin. When you take your dog out for a walk, bring along a throw toy such as a ball or Frisbee to use for added exercise and training. You can practice commands such as “Fetch” or “Release” while you are walking and playing.

Change the Routine

People get bored with the same routine, and your dog might enjoy some variation as well. You may have a favorite route you take when you go walking with your dog, but vary it once in a while. Pick a park or an alternate neighborhood, go walking at the beach or even on a hiking trail for a nice change of pace for both of you. Your dog will enjoy all the interesting new smells in the different areas.

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What’s In a Dog’s Name?

Gizmo Donna ThackerBy Laurie Darroch

People have a myriad of reasons why they give their dog a particular name. Some names are tender and touching, others are downright funny. They may be carefully thought out or suddenly occur in a light bulb moment. Whatever the reason behind each moniker we give our loved canine companions, they are forever saddled with our choice. Dogs don’t seem to mind what their name is though, as long as we love them.


My friend Donna has a dog named “Gizmo.” If you are a movie buff you will recognize the name from the movie Gremlins. Her “Gizmo” looks just like the fictional character.

My second dog “Kira” was named after a couple of movie characters I loved. She got her name from the flying Gelfling in the Muppet-style movie The Dark Crystal, and after the muse Kira who came to Earth and fell in love with a dancing human in the movie Xanadu. Considering her human grandmother was a small screen celebrity, Kira had to have a name that tied her to the cinema world and my love of a good story.

Karen’s dog “Felipe” is named after her favorite place on earth – San Felipe, a small fishing village in Baja, Mexico. With her dog named after her loved second home, the warm town is always with her, even from far away.

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Tips for Dealing with Obsessive Dog Behaviors

obsessive michaelBy Laurie Darroch

Obsessive behaviors and fixations can be annoying, and may even be destructive for your dog as well as for you and your surroundings. The behavior is like an addiction that the dog has a difficult time controlling. If you have observed persistent behaviors in your dog that go beyond normal play and interactions, where they will not change their focus or listen to commands, you may be seeing obsessive behavior.

Signs of Fixation

Playtime should be lighthearted and easygoing. When the activity reaches a level where your dog is so fixated on something that they are not even responding to your verbal or physical cues and commands, they may be obsessing.

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Can Our Pets Help Us Stay Healthy?

pets healthy chrisBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs and cats are not only loyal companions that add love and joy to our lives, they are a source of mental and physical health for their human family members. The unique bond between animal and human is one of trust and unquestioning loyalty, but for our overall health the relationship with our pets offers us so much more.


There is no question that having a four-legged companion or two gives every two-legged family member a sense of companionship and a connection to another living being. Even though they cannot speak our language, dogs and cats communicate in their own individual style. Caring for our pets and interacting with them is a constant in our lives. To them, we are not just a part of their lives, we are everything. That deep companionship is very bonding and healthy.

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