Tips for Taking Your Dog to Live in Another Country

moving sharkBy Laurie Darroch

Whether you are moving to another country for work, school, a change of pace, or to retire, you will of course want to bring your beloved canine companion with you. Although your faithful family member will go wherever you lead, you do need to be prepared and consider their special requirements when making such a big change.

Vets and Emergencies

Vets are not always easily found in all places, and they may be long distance vets who only come into town on specific dates. For instance, spaying and neutering clinics may only be available on certain dates when the vet makes special trips to provide that service for the area.

Before you make the leap and move to a new country, be sure to research what sort of facilities are available. You will also need to know what type of emergency facility is available for pets.

It is a good idea to have all of the information, including the vet’s name and location, written down before you move. If there are groups of expats living in the area where you are moving, see if you can contact them online or via phone to get firsthand, up-to-date information. Websites sometimes do not get updated frequently and may be out of date. Firsthand information from those in the know is best.

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The Pet Selfie Craze

By Julia Williams

It’s funny how new words seem to burst upon the scene and suddenly they’re everywhere. Case in point: the one-handed self-portrait everyone now calls a “selfie.” It’s been used so often lately that the Oxford Dictionary named selfie as their 2013 Word of the Year. The selection was big news nationwide, and gave the late-night talk show hosts some fresh comedic material. Conan O’Brien joked that “The Oxford Dictionary has named selfie the word of the year, narrowly beating out twerk. In a related story, the funeral for the English language is this Saturday.”

Interestingly, there’s no clear evidence of the word’s origin. It was initially reported that an Australian named Nathan Hope was the first to use selfie, in a 2002 forum post, but he later refuted that. Regardless of where the word originated, it seems certain that selfie is here to stay. And it was only a matter of time before our pets embraced the trend. Don’t believe me? Just Google “pet selfies” and you’ll see.

Pet seflies are popping up by the thousands on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and such. There is even a Pet Selfies page on Facebook (well yeah…of course there is). There’s also a Cat Selfie app that purports to help your feline with their self-snapped portraits. You put your iPhone or Ipad on the floor and a bouncing “flaming laser” appears on the screen for your cat to chase. Cat Selfie takes a photo every time the cat touches the screen. Curiously, there is no corresponding Dog Selfie app. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping canines from getting in on the pet selfie craze.

Below are just a few of my favorite pet selfies.

The “Is There Food on My Nose Again?” Selfie – by Misko
selfie misko

The “Budoir Photo” Selfie – by Noel Zia Lee
Unused by Noël Zia Lee OK

“Rocking the Cone of Shame” Selfie – by andersbknudsen
selfie  andersbknudsen

The “Hangin’ with My BFF” Selfie – by Kerem Tapani Gültekin
selfie kerem
The “I’m So Tie-Tie” Selfie – by David~O
selfie David O

“Extreme Close Up” Selfie – by Tina Sherwood Imaging
selfie tina sherwood
“Photobomber” Selfie – by Rocky Williams

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The “Say Cheese” Selfie – by Joshua Ganderson

selfie joshua ganderson

“High on Catnip” Selfie – by Umberto Salvagnin

selfie umberto

The “Don’t Mess with My Bone” Selfie – by Greg Westfall

selfie greg westfall

The “I Am Lion, Hear Me Roar” Selfie – by Steve Hardy

selfie steve hardy

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Stabyhoun: A Calm and Intelligent Breed from the Netherlands

staby mjk2By Linda Cole

Considered a rare breed, this versatile, hard working farm dog has slowly gained a following in the United States. The Stabyhoun isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club at this time, but was accepted into the Foundation Stock Service in 2005, and will be in the Sporting Group once the breed is officially recognized. However, the Staby is recognized by the United Kennel Club. This isn’t a herding dog, but has been described as like a Border Collie – with an off switch.

The Stabyhoun, pronounced Stah BAY hoon, originated in the northeastern region of the Netherlands in a province called Friesland during the Spanish occupation from 1568-1648. During this time, Spaniards crossed their spaniels with local pointing dogs to produce a well rounded, gentle yet tenacious and smart farm and hunting dog. Affectionately known as the Staby or Bijke in his native country, the breed name translates from the Dutch phrase “sta me bij hond” which means “stand by me dog.” That’s a job this dog is more than willing to do. The breed has also been known as Friese Stabij or Friesian Pointer, and the breed name is sometimes spelled Stabijhoun.

This breed belonged solely to poor farmers who could only support one dog. He earned his keep by helping out around the farm wherever he was needed. With a keen nose and sharp eyes, the Staby was an excellent duck and upland bird hunter. He was a capable pointer and soft-mouthed retriever, and an excellent swimmer even in cold water. Today, few hunters utilize the Stabyhouns hunting skills, and most have found a comfortable life as a friendly, loyal and affectionate family pet.

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How to Help Hunting Dog Breeds Enjoy Life without Hunting

hunting morrell revBy Langley Cornwell

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), in 2013, the five most popular dog breeds in the USA were Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Beagles and Bulldogs. The 2014 list has not been released yet, but it’s clear that hunting dogs were among the most popular breed last year, and they have been for many years.

Although I can’t support this supposition with data, I’d bet a majority of those hunting dogs are not used for hunting. Having shared my life with two retrievers in the past, it’s easy to understand why this breed ranks so high (usually number one or two) in popularity. They are wonderful family dogs; friendly, attractive and charming. In fact, one of the reasons hunting dogs make such good family pets is that they are genetically disposed to enjoy doing things with their people. They love any and all activities that involve human-canine bonding time. Even so, the fact remains that retrievers, hound dogs, spaniels and other dogs that belong to the sporting group are hard-wired to hunt.

The question is: can hunting dogs be happy with a life that does not involve hunting?

Of course I think the answer is yes. My retrievers were happy and healthy and lived long, comfortable lives. Dog behaviorists and experts say the same thing, that sporting dogs can absolutely be happy and fulfilled in a life that doesn’t involve actual hunting. Here’s how.
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Beyond the Bark: Decoding Dog Communication

chatterbox bergesonBy Laurie Darroch

Although dogs are known for their bark as an obvious way to communicate, they have a myriad of other ways they “talk” to us. Dogs share their feelings and needs in their own unique ways. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box to interpret their meanings.

This poem, written from the dog’s point of view, shares the many different ways dogs communicate with the people in their lives.

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New Study Finds Dogs Want to Earn Their Treats

dogs earn nickBy Linda Cole

Satisfaction is that good feeling you get after finding a solution to a difficult problem. We all have “eureka moments” when all of the pieces fall into place, allowing us to finally figure something out. According to new research, dogs also have eureka moments. Your dog’s favorite treat is the “paycheck” that canines prize – along with the opportunity to earn it. The treat is the motivating factor, but working for it is just as important to canines. It seems that humans are not the only species to get satisfaction and pleasure from completing a challenging task.

Researchers in Sweden tested 12 Beagles paired up into six groups. Six different pieces of equipment were introduced to the dogs. When used correctly, each piece made a distinctive noise to indicate when the task was completed. An example of equipment used included playing a key on a toy piano, pressing a paddle lever that rang a bell, and pushing a plastic box off a stack that made a noise when it hit the floor. In each pair of dogs, one was an experimental dog and the other one was a control dog.

After all 12 dogs were trained, they were taken to a testing area where the equipment was set up. At the entrance was a holding area where each dog waited to perform their specific task. An assistant led him to the starting arena, then turned their back and gave no interaction or instructions to the dog.

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