So what happens when it's been raining steadily for two days and promises to do so for the next five? Do you:
A. hole yourself up at home and hope the dogs don't go too crazy?
B. Do you put on a rain jacket, grab a towel and head to the dog park anyway?
Yesterday Dad and I picked B and decided the dogs needed out of the house. We put on old running shoes, rain proof jackets and loaded Jetta and Glacier up into his truck. We drove around the city a bit and then headed off to the park. The rain was falling steadily, but it wasn't a down pour so we braved the wetness anyway.
Glacier was quite excited when we arrived at the dog park and started making little silly noises. I don't let him get out of the vehicle until his noises are under control because I don't want him thinking squawking will get him his way. Jetta was more confused. She hopped out of the truck willingly, but she didn't show any signs of excitement until we started walking down the gravel path that leads to the "off leash" area.
We didn't stay long, but it was long enough for Glacier to run like the wind and for Jetta to examine her favourite forested area. She goes into that one spot every visit and stays in there for a while just exploring. The rain fell and we walked. The wind blew and still we walked. It wasn't the most horrible weather I've been in and there wasn't any thunder or lightning, so we were perfectly safe. Both dogs ran hard despite the falling rain and even ran down to the beach and played in the water; as if they weren't wet enough. In typical Jetta Fashion, little Missy decided she should roll in the sand as soon as she thought she was wet enough. Despite only being there for twenty minutes, I think the dogs thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were both breathing hard by the time we got back to the truck and hopped up happily. Strangely enough, we were the only ones there.
So what do you do when you have two soaking wet dogs who like to get on your furniture? Do you
A. Keep them on leash when you get home and get them to stay in a "down" until they are dry?
B. Do you stop and get them chews at the pet store so that the "stay on the floor" experience is much more enjoyable for all parties?
As you can probably guess, I picked B again. There are many benefits to chewing besides keeping wet dogs off of the furniture-teeth cleaning, use of motor skills-and I wanted the dogs to continue getting stimulation. Plus, the bones were meant to last a few days and could be chewed on other rainy days. We stopped at two pet stores on the way home in search of "beef femur" bones. I like the "beef" ones because they seem to withstand Mr. Jaws of Steel much better, but the first store didn't have any. We checked the second and she only had one. The funny thing was that she had no idea what it was that I was looking for even though she was the owner. I just had her hand me chews that looked like bones until I found the beef femur I wanted. She showed me another beef bone of sorts, minus the marrow, and when I asked questions about it like:
"how strong is this?"
"do you know what is in it?"
She had no idea. Why do you have a pet store and sell products that you have no idea what they are. I understand some of the bigger chain stores the employees may not have answers, but this was a smaller "specialty" shop. I guess I assumed she would know. If I owned a specialty pet store, I would know what I was selling and be able to answer questions for customers...but you know, that is just me. Dad read me the label and I determined it was safe for Glacier since the only ingredients were protein, fat, moisture and calcium.
I decided to go with the beef bone thingy and just see how Glacier did with it. It was fairly large and heavy, so I figured it would last at least a few hours.
When we got home I peeled the plastic off of each bone and gave each dog their chew. Those things are nasty-little bits of grease and dried meat get all over your hands-but they love them. I sat on the couch and monitored Glacier's chewing and even though he was able to break two smaller pieces off in the first few minutes of chewing, the bone has lasted until now. I just removed the smaller pieces and let him continue. Glacier and Jetta chewed probably close to two hours, which means my goal was accomplished; they were dry. I finally fed them their supper and they both took a break. After a nap on the couch, Glacier was right back at it.
So what do you do when it's raining and your dogs and you are going a bit stir crazy? You wear a rain coat and take them to the dog park. It's more enjoyable than you'd think. Then you stop and find them a good quality chew to help with the rest of the pent up energy.