Hunter’s New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a new year which means it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions! Hunter and I came up with a list of things (I bet you can guess which ones are mine) we want to accomplish this year. We’ve got some big goals, so I can’t wait to jump right in and get started!

1. Finish best dog hikes in Cleveland list: I discovered this list a while back and we’ve done a few of these hikes. Our goal this year is to finish this list, plusDSC01528 (2) visit as many of the Metroparks as we can to compile the complete list of dog friendly trails in CLE. If you have any recommendations outside of this list, let me know!

2. Get Hunter’s leash walking in control: If you’ve ever seen Hunter and I out, you’ve likely seen me being pulled by a very excited dog. This guy’s excitement when he gets in new settings with people and dogs can be hard to control. Since I do like to take him places, I would really like to get him to walk more calmly. We have a trainer coming this week, so I will keep you posted on our progress!

3. Learn five new tricks: With the help of Robin at Fortunate Fido and her Trick of the Month column (stay tuned later this week for this month’s trick), Hunter and I are going to work on learning at least five new tricks this year. Hunter really loves learning new tricks, so I am excited to teach him some new ones.

4. Perfect a homemade dog treat recipe: I’ve dabbled with ice cream, but I haven’t perfected a homemade treat recipe. I’ve pinned a bunch of good treat recipes on Pinterest, so I am going to work on perfecting a recipe for Hunter and Roscoe this year.

5. Visit more dog parks: Hunter and I rarely make it to our local dog park anymore, but I have been wanting to check out other dog parks in the area to see what else is out there for a while. This year we’ve made it our goal to get out and try other dog parks. We are especially anxious to check out the new downtown one. I’ll keep you posted on our discoveries!

What are your dog’s New Year’s Resolutions?

 

 

Goodbye 2014!

Although I hate the getting older part of a new year, I am excited for 2015! I love the fresh feeling a new year brings; making lists of things I want to do and thinking about what changes I can make to improve my life. One of my resolutions (among many) is to try and enjoy January and February (my least favorite months) rather than just hibernate and try to get through them. Things speed along fast enough, so I want to enjoy the time I have with my dogs, friends and family.

2014 has been a really great year. I got a new job, met some great new friends and did something I’ve been wanting to do a while – became a dog foster. Becoming a dog foster has definitely been a life changing experience for me. I’ve only had three dogs, and two of them for a very short time, but it has taught me so much about myself, how to be a better dog parent to Hunter and increased my love of dogs even more. I know that it is cheesy, but dogs really teach you so much about being happy. Seeing these dogs and what they’ve gone through and how they are still open to people and love even after suffering because of their cruelty, is what makes dogs truly special. They live in the moment and don’t dwell on what’s happened in the past.

My guys Vinnie, Brady and Roscoe.

Not that they aren’t sometimes damaged too though. My current foster Roscoe is much more hesitant and has taken a lot more time than the other two to open up. Roscoe has made me earn every bit of love he gives, and it’s still a work in progress. The first time he took his paw and nudged at me to pet him, my heart melted. This little guy was still so scared, but so desperate for love that he reached out despite his fear. Earning his love has been such a gratifying experience and I can’t wait to see him come out of his shell even more.

In addition to becoming a dog foster, some of my other highlights of 2014 were taking Hunter to his first baseball game, seeing two dogs get married, going to a few dog fashion shows, writing an article on Cleveland for GoPetFriendly and visiting almost every dog friendly patio in Cleveland with Hunter this summer!

Here are some of my favorite photos of the year. I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year’s! Thank you for reading and stay tuned in 2015 for even more fun stuff to do with your dog.

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Happy New Year!

Despite the harsh cold and piles of snow that January brings, the start of a new year always energizes me. January 1 is a new chance to start all over! I like to take time at the start of the year to plan out things I want to accomplish, whether they are minor or major things. Of course these plans don’t always work out, but I always enjoy the exciting feeling of possibility a new year brings.

In addition to the changes I want to make in my own life, I also want to make some changes for my dog. Although my dog and I have been together for over two years now, I still feel like a new dog owner in many ways. I definitely haven’t done everything right, but I am working on it! I am constantly reading up on training tips and new things to do, I just haven’t always been able to implement them into everyday life. I jokingly told my sister the other day that my next dog will be really well trained.

I think the problem for me is 1) that Hunter is basically an easy dog so I am less motivated to work on behavior issues with him and 2) I just think everything he does is so cute! But, it’s a new year, a new chance, so I am going to try. Here are some of my New Years Resolutions regarding my dog:

Become the alpha
After reading this article, I realized I have some things to work on in solidifying my alpha status. I always tell people that I think Hunter thinks of me more as his buddy, rather than his leader. It’s hard to be the alpha when you just want to snuggle your dog all the time! I do try a lot of these things, such as never giving my dog table scraps and (almost) always entering the door before him, but there are several things here I need to work on, especially regarding consistency. One thing on the list that I don’t think I can do is #13. Although I do agree with not letting him push you out of the way, and making him sleep at the bottom of the bed.

Learn New Tricks
We’ve all heard the expression – “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but that is definitely not true. Dogs are always learning, picking up clues from your behavior and other dogs around them for how they should act. And most importantly, your dog wants to learn! Dogs need mental, along with physical, stimulation. This article from PetPlace has some good ideas for working with your dog on new tricks. I haven’t gotten that far with Hunter yet on new tricks, so this year it’s my goal to teach him at least one new trick. We made some progress last year on “roll over” so I am going to focus on that one first.

Find some new toys
This may seem like a strange one, but I have a really hard time finding any toys that engage Hunter. We can only spend so much time taking walks and doing training at home, especially in the winter, so I am always looking for things to keep him entertained. When your dog eats most toys, and has little interest in ones he can’t eat, this is a challenge. I also don’t always want to give him toys that involve food, so I am on the hunt for good indestructible, non-food related toys. Expect a blog post sometime this year revealing my findings!

What about you? What are you working on this year with your dog?