Friday, October 30, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 1:45 PM
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 12:56 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 12:56 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 9:41 PM
Monday, October 12, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 2:06 PM
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 2:38 PM
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 12:00 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
One of our dogs gets out of a sit. Her hackles are up and she clearly responds to the aggressive intentions of the other two little dogs. The woman still makes no intention to move over and pass us at a distance. Her dogs start growling more, their bodies are stiff, the dogs are walking on their toes, their ears are pointed forward and their little tails are straight up in the air. She starts laughing as she approaches and I’m clearly working with Lola, trying to calm her down and get her back into a sit. Still totally oblivious of what she was causing she is about 4 yards away from me when she says: “Yeah, they sometimes act this way.” And exactly at that moment I turn and face her. I asked her friendly: Please just pass us and keep control of your dogs. Totally shocked by my request she barely manages to pass us. “they are not aggressive”. And the only thing that came out of my mouth was: “that is not what they were communicating to the other dogs.”
We walked on. The woman on the trail today had no clue what was going on. Even worse, she was showing bad dog ownership. We clearly made our dogs sit off the side of the trail. We clearly showed no intention to have to dogs interact. Her dogs showed no peaceful intention and while 4 of the 5 dogs patiently looked at us and waited for a command, one of our dogs clearly wanted to react to the situation.
Know your dog’s language. Learn it. It is not that hard. I will focus on basic dog body language on our K9Consultant site. I just have to finish the drawings to make it clearer but once I have that done I’ll post it. Just need more hours during the day. As always!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 11:41 AM
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 10:39 PM
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Dogs do not do well in the heat! I cannot say it often enough. During the summer we like to get our hikes in before 11 am and we don't hike when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Being a Trail Patrol Volunteer for the Open Space District I have encountered numerous dogs with symptoms of heat stroke on the trails. When talking to the owners most never go hiking and often decide to take their 10 year old dog on a hot day for a little stroll. Believe me, I have seen and heard it all.
What happens with your dog when he is having a heat stroke?
When heat gain exceeds the body's ability to break down the heat. The high temperatures cause chemical reactions in the dog's body that break down body cells which eventually lead to dehydration and blood thickening. The strain on your dog's heart is extreme and it causes blood clotting that may result in death.
A dog's body temperature is usually between 101 - 102 F. If your dog receives a body temperature higher than that the risk of heat stroke is ineviditable. Some dogs recover from heat stroke but may have permanent damage of vital body organs.
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
Rapid and frantic panting, wide eyes, thick saliva, bright red tongue, vomiting, staggering and diarrhea. I've seen some dogs shake from the heat!
What do you need to do when your dog is suffering from a heat stroke?
Cool your dog off! Rinse your dog off with cool (not cold!) water to gradually reduce the heat in the body. If you have airco close by put your dog in the cool area! Place wet towels on the following areas: head, neck, belly and between the dog's legs. These are the most effective areas to help cool down a dog. Cooling to fast and/or too much can cause more problems.
Dog breeds with shorter snouts like boxers due much worse in the heat. I have noticed that these breeds have a much harder time cooling their bodies off.
What to do with your dog on a hot day?
Doggie pool! Dogs love to play with water. I attached a picture of Lola and Barley playing in the pool. Due to the dirt the water turned muddy and the dogs rolled in the mud after that. They had a blast and I ended up bathing them before they went home!!!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 2:38 PM
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Working in the pet care industry is a very tough job. I currently work 12 hour days and physically it is starting to be a challenge. I’m in good shape but I can feel it. I’m not 20 years old anymore! A lot of people get into thinking it will be easy money. Believe me it is not. $25 for a 30 minute visit? Have you ever had a plumber come by your house? The pet care sector is definitely still underpaid and we are working hard to show what sets us apart from those that charge $10 an hour. Quality and knowledge.
Marketing your business is another important aspect of running your own business. Find the niche and bring the word out. I don’t spend a penny on advertisement. All word of mouth or my website. That is it. During the recession my business grew like crazy. I lost a few clients due to the economy. When the owners lost their jobs and/or moved away. That is always a very sad part for us. Loosing a client dog is like loosing one of our own. Luckily the joy of a new dog into our hiking pack helps us bear the pain of loss. Two weeks ago we had the funniest week. We signed up 3 new Aussie client dogs in one week! It was fun!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 12:28 PM
Saturday, August 29, 2009
When I started out my dog hiking business in 2007 I wanted to do find an occupation that could keep me busy in the mornings and ensure that I could pick up my kids from school and spend the afternoon helping with homework and bringing them to their after school programs like soccer, rock climbing and gymnastics.
The idea of starting a dog hiking business I owe to one of my best friends. She told me: turn your hobby into a business. I did and I will always be grateful for her great advise!
Once I launched my business I met the harsh reality of this diverse and yet odd business sector. The level of professionalism is extremely diverse. You will meet all kind of professional and unprofessional businesses.
The unprofessional businesses have definitely help build my business. They kept me focused in every possible way. Believe me, I had days I laughed when I encountered their attempts to destroy me. They spent their energy in trying to get rid of their competitor instead of building their own business. I focused and I kept my act together and it paid off! Last year I hired 3 people simply because I was full and now I am yet again confronted with the question: expand or build up a waiting list? I’m not sure yet. I’m happy where I am at. My days are filled with work and my family. There is not a moment I have free. During my Target runs I buy the movies I missed at the theatre and now they lay unopened in our living room. I simply do not have the time to watch them.
One advice I can give to building up a successful business is to stay a professional at all times. It will pay off in the end. You simply look stupid doing stupid things. Harassing and trying to defame another business will hurt you in the end. If you claim you have issues with 6 other businesses it may not be the other businesses but possibly you that has the issues. Always post facts and not assumptions! You may be surprised that what you assumed may not be true in the end. Life is short and if you don’t make it out there take it with pride and don’t blame the other one for your mistakes. My rules in life:
3 R’s: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for your actions.
Life is good!!!!!!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 8:49 PM
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I had learned to make a website overnight and it really wasn’t that hard. My then 9 year old daughter showed me how to do it. She is such a sweetheart! Before I knew it I was asked to design the Santa Clara County Website: SouthCountyPets.com and the K9OAC website: K9OAC.com For the past few months I have been working on my Dog Hikers Website and I love the outcome!
The website totally reflects what I am and who I am. I just love it!!!! It took me a few months until I found the right design but after that everything went smoothly. I am content like a dog after a hike. JAPPY!
Going green, well, we were green to start with. We recycle about 95% of our garbage. We have one garbage bag a week with 4 people, 2 dogs and 5 cats. The rest of our bags are filled with plastic, paper and glass. It is really easy to set it up: go to Ikea and get some stackable plastic containers, mark them and start recycling. The marking is for the kids … they will still by accident put it in the wrong bin ;-).
For our hikes we use reusable water bottles that eventually can be recycled. Normal bottles cannot be recycled and stay forever in the landfill. I was also one of the first people in Saratoga that came in with reusable grocery bags. How weird they looked at me bringing my own bags. People in Saratoga I guess don’t do that. Now more and more stores are promoting the reusable bags and I’m very happy with that.
We are fixing up our house and everything we use is either recycled or eco-friendly. Recycled glass counter top, bamboo flooring, eco-friendly paint, the possibilities are numerous out there. To bring more awareness out there we decided to officially go green. I just bought a Yaris. That car is just allergic to gas stations. 1 on 36 and sometimes even better. A Prius was not an option for me. I love the environmental part until the battery! That is where it ends for me.
The Dog Hikers is hiking green. We are setting the trend! If a small business like ours can do it why not everyone else. Help us reduce your dog’s carbon paw print. It does not cost you more to go green. You just have to change your habit a bit. That is all!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 9:08 PM
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This summer we camped in Lake Tahoe. Every night we had a Black Bear strolling through our camp. Every night the Bear got lucky when the oblivious new arrivals left their food out past dark. A sudden “Bear, Bear …” and he was at it again. A 2 year old male juvenile simply happy to fetch a pack with someone’s not eaten sandwich or a bag of chips. One night a group of pretty drunk kids chased the Bear into a tree right off our campsite. The Bear was sitting about 12 feet up in the tree looking down at these young kids. Taking pictures, throwing rocks and screaming “bad bear, bad bear.” Luckily our camp host lived right next to us and she dashed out to send everyone back home. The bear stayed in the tree for another few hours at least. I could see the reflection from his eyes as I checked on his whereabouts every 30 minutes or so. He was scared and you would think he had learned. Nope … the next day he was back on the hunt!
Here is a great link on what to do when you are in Bear Country. Brown bears (aka Grizzlies) have a different behavior than Black Bears. To me Black Bears are large raccoons. Opportunity hunters who have no clue how strong they actually are and that they would have no problem killing a human. Instead they have shown respect and keep their distance unless provoked. They just want your food and if you have no choice just give it to them. Don’t fight for your pack! It is not worth it!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 1:41 PM
Monday, August 10, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 11:48 AM
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Now their evidence of their presence is less spectacular. We wake up in the middle of the night by falling trash cans during their attempts to open them. Sometimes they succeed and trash is simply everywhere. Luckily we are big time recyclers and we hardly waste any food and everything gets washed before ending up as “trash” in our bins.
Raccoons are incredibly intelligent and learn fast and remember when successful. I ran into three very well fed raccoons last year although I had believed they are solitary animals. Our neighbor once caught one and it was incredible aggressive. We released it miles away from our neighborhood only for it to return to the area. Very dedicated animals!
They are little thieves and their features made them famous. The facial mask and front paws, which almost look like hands. I remember one encounter I cherished the most. Our cat Puppy was sitting on the front porch and a raccoon was sitting on the other side and they were just looking at each other. Puppy is a Maine Coon mix and has survived living here for many years. Totally unimpressed by the presence of the predator she stood her ground. I guess the raccoon wasn’t hungry that day!
Posted by K9 Consultant at 10:21 AM
Monday, June 8, 2009
Earlier I had watched black tailed deer eat fresh poison oak. Just last year we took out a few poison oak plants growing on the unused part of our property. The poison oak is happily growing and the deer just love it. Most humans unknowingly come in contact with this toxic plant and it can cause some serious allergic reaction. One of my friends had it so bad she was hospitalized for a few days and she literally scratched the tainted skin area open.
The buck and doe that were eating the poison oak underneath our beautiful buck eye were totally undisturbed when we walked up the driveway with a whole pack of dogs. The taste of poison oak delighting their taste buds! You could just see it.
Posted by K9 Consultant at 12:54 PM
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 10:46 AM
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 7:20 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 1:32 PM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Posted by K9 Consultant at 6:48 PM
Posted by K9 Consultant at 6:34 PM
Here is the link: