Pets

Old Trainer

Does my dog really have dandruff?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Your advice on training my Maltese pair, Dot and Max, worked out well. They have their basic training down and rarely forget. You mentioned in a column last year how you and your dogs practice every day. Are you teaching them new things every day? Do you recommend training every day?

Pets

A good question about the rain

Kids say the darndest things! This year “The Water Cycle” is being taught in Science at the high school, which came to my attention when a story was relayed to me the other night.

Old Trainer

Is adopting a rescue pet a mistake?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I’m so excited because I’m getting a dog. I agree with you about adopting rescue dogs, and I’ve found several I like, but a guy at work says if you adopt a rescue dog you just adopt someone’s mistake.

Pets

When poorly chosen phrases backfire

George Carlin, a comedian I’m not much familiar with, found fault with the phrase “Have a nice day,” saying it was “probably unrealistic to expect someone to have a nice day all day long.”

Old Trainer

Should I get my girlfriend a dog for Valentine’s Day?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I want to give my girlfriend Lisa a dog for Valentine’s Day. I work as a firefighter so I’m gone for a week at a time and a dog could keep her company. She hasn’t talked about dogs so I don’t know whether to get her a big one or a little one. What do you think?

Old Trainer

Avoiding web scams and teaching your dogs not to beg for food

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I have three dogs, two Lab mixes and a Doberman, all males. They follow orders and behave like angels except for one thing—they beg and beg while I am eating. I feed them first, then when I sit down to eat they stare at me like they are starved and sometimes add a pitiful whine. Is there any way to stop it?

Old Trainer

Keeping Huskies warm in the winter

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We rented a house at Park City, Utah for the winter. Maddy, our 4-year old Husky/German Shepherd mix has never been in cold weather, but she begs to stay out at night. We put her out just before bedtime at home and she comes in after five minutes, but when we make her come in up here she stands at the door wanting right back out. The other night she howled outside, but when I opened the door she just wagged her tail and pawed at the snow. Can Maddy handle the weather here?

Old Trainer

Teaching your dog to jump through hoops

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My sister Madison and I saw a guy at the park and he held out his arm and his dog jumped over it and then he held his arms in a circle and his dog jumped through it. We have Lucy a Jack Russell dog and want to teach her to jump like that except we don’t know if little dogs can do it and we don’t know how to teach it.

Pets

Snow Globes and Other Dangers of Christmas

I suppose there might be a deeper meaning to snow globes than just pure enjoyment. But me, I don’t really care to go deeper. I am entranced by the swirling snow and glitter that light so many pretty scenes. Scenes of trees and mountain tops, families, Nutcracker stories, elf and Santa stories, Nativity scenes. I am open to all of them at this time of year. I give ‘em a swirl whether they play music or not. The snow never drifts long enough.

Old Trainer

Do dog owners live longer?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My husband and I saw a story that said people who own dogs live longer. At first, we thought it had to be a joke, but we have had dogs all our lives and we are 79 and 75 and both healthy. Do you know if this story is true?

Pets

Thanksgiving Comes and Goes Again

Anybody ever hear of Martha Stewart? It’s been many a year since I received my first genuine M.S. cookbook. Having subscribed to “Gourmet” magazine for years I felt reasonably accomplished in the kitchen, my yardstick for comparison being fellow vet students who lived on Top Ramen and cheap hamburgers. Spaghetti and big salads were also popular.

Old Trainer

Here are the three things you need to be a good dog trainer

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My dad just got me a dog named Miko. She is a Belgian and is 6 years old. She is big and tough but is nice and loves me and I love her. My dad said I have to take care of her and I feed her and walk her and she is my dog. I want to train her but I am not a grownup. Can girls be trainers?

$31 million mental health facility now open in Merced

Abandoned since 2010, the crumbling former Merced County Hospital is now the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Center following a grand opening Friday, April 20, 2018. The director talked about what that means.
Thaddeus Miller