Category Archives: Laurie Darroch

Tips for Teaching Kids How to Act Around Unfamiliar Dogs

By Laurie Darroch

Children are curious and fascinated with everything. Unless they have a fear of dogs, naturally they are curious about them as well. They are likely to simply walk up to a dog that is wandering around or being walked by a human companion, without understanding that there are etiquette and safety issues involved when approaching an unknown dog. It’s important to teach children the ins and outs of their own behavior around unknown dogs, as well as how to interact with both the dogs and dog owners.

Approach or Not Approach?

Unless an adult is accompanying a young child, it is a good idea to teach kids not to approach a dog out for a walk with its human without knowing if they should or not. So they won’t be tempted if they come across a dog when you are not around, make sure your child understands not to approach a dog that is running around loose unless they know the dog and the dog knows them. They won’t be bringing home any stray dogs that way either. Sure, the pull is powerful when a child sees a cute dog that they want to meet or play with, but for safety’s sake it is best to teach them not to approach strange dogs on their own, or as an alternative to find an adult they know who will help them.

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Should My Dog Sleep in My Bed?

By Laurie Darroch

There are pros and cons to having your dog sleep in the same bed that you do. In the end it is a personal choice, but here are some things to consider.

Temperament

How a dog behaves in your bed is a definite issue, especially if your dog is a restless sleeper and you are too. If you have a dog who moves around on the bed during the night, vies for the best spots, or gets into positions that cause your sleep to be disrupted, it might be better to have a designated sleeping area other than your bed for your dog.

A dog bed, crate or other comfortable spot nearby will work and still allow both you and your dog the security of knowing you are in close proximity to each other. Dogs like to be near their humans, but they can be trained to adapt to a sleeping area that works for both of you. You need to be consistent if you want your dog to sleep in a specific area.

Size

Depending on the size of your bed and your dog, your bed may not be the right place for both of you to get a good rest. If you have a puppy, consider their eventual full grown size before you get into the habit of allowing your dog to sleep with you. That cute little cuddly ball of fluff that snuggles softly against you may grow into a big leggy dog that takes a lot of room on your bed, more than is comfortable for you.

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Boundless Puppy (a Poem)

By Laurie Darroch

In their charm and soft innocence, puppies tug at every heartstring. It is a good thing they are so cute when their antics and exploring the world test our patience. With a puppy comes heartfelt love and moments of sheer exasperation, constant challenges and times of laughter, pride and amazement. Puppies are unfettered in their consumption and absorption of life. Once they worm their way into your heart with unerring love, they are there for good, a constant lifelong shadow to their loved human. Here is a poem I wrote in celebration of puppyhood.

Boundless Puppy

Into your life they wiggle in
Cute as cherubs and naughty as jinns
Soft as down, and rough and tumble
Antics laughable, but small and humble

“Aw, she’s so cute!” onlookers say,
“Watch how she rolls and tumbles and plays.”
Loving licks that wet your face
Eyes like saucers when caught in disgrace

Time demanding and all insistent
Feed me now, and non-resistant
Mournful whimpers and pleading eyes
Soft warm cuddles and contented sighs

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What to Pack for a Car Trip with a Dog

By Laurie Darroch

If you’re taking your dog with you on a long car trip, it’s important to take their needs into consideration. You want the trip to be as comfortable and calm as possible for both of you.

Movement and Restraint

Although it isn’t required in most places, it’s a good idea to have some form of restraint to keep your dog from running all over in the car, distracting you from your driving. You may opt for a crate, but if the drive is very long, give your dog an opportunity to take breaks.

Instead of a crate, you can use a harness designed for a dog that attaches to the seat belt. This gives your dog more ability to move around but not get loose, and it keeps them safer. They come in different sizes, so remember to upgrade to the correct size if your dog is still growing.

Another option is to buy a divider or gate that keeps the dog out of the front seat area and only allows the dog to move freely behind the divider, the way a taxi driver or chauffeur keeps passengers in the back seat.
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5 Benefits of Using a Dog Crate

By Laurie Darroch

Using a dog crate has definite benefits for both your dog and you. Initially a crate may seem a little strange or even unkind with its cage like appearance, but they can actually be a useful tool in dog training. Crates can also provide security and a private space where your dog can feel perfectly at ease and comfortable .

Calm Retreat    

Over the course of time, the crate will become just a part of everyday life for your dog. If you keep the crate in a quiet area of the house and leave the door open all the time, it will be a soothing space the dog can retreat to when needed. If you treat it more like a “little room and a comfortable bed,” they may even seek it out on their own when they are tired, stressed or afraid. It can be a safe haven for your dog that they know belongs to them.

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5 Beloved Dogs in Children’s Books

By Laurie Darroch

There are many children’s books that include or feature dogs as key elements of the stories. These five endearing books are successful stories for children that also appeal to adults.

The Poky Little Puppy

A Little Golden Book classic, The Poky Little Puppy  written by Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren, was originally published in 1942. The endearing story is about five puppies who sneak under the garden fence and go exploring. One curious little pup has a mind of his own. He pokes along exploring at his own pace discovering all kinds of interesting things out in the world beyond the fence.

Written for young children, the simple classic tale has sold almost 15 million copies, which makes it one of the most popular children’s stories ever published.

Golden books began their series of stories back in the 1940s with 12 books, one of which was The Poky Little Puppy.

Where’s Spot

Written by Eric Hill, Where’s Spot  is another dog book written for very young children.  The text is good for beginning readers and easy for little ones to respond to when someone is reading to them. The interactive pictures with opening doors and entrances to hiding places encourage children to get involved in the fun story about searching for little Spot who is hiding. It is a book young children enjoy looking at by themselves as well.

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