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Cesar’s Greetings – Breaking Our Ritual Greetings With Dogs!


There’s something that humans do to strange dogs that is actually the worst thing possible, and yet none of us are aware of it, because we do it to strange humans all the time.

In the human world, it’s quite normal. The problem is that we forget that our canine companions do not live in the human world. They live in the dog world, where what we do to them is very unnatural.

I’m talking about the greeting, which is a ritual. Ritual is very important in the dog world, because so much of what they do is based on instinctive ritual. But ritual is also very important in the human world. The difference is that human ritual is based on intellect and emotion.

RitualYou probably don’t even realize that you use ritual, but you do. For example, you’re at some public event and your friend introduces you to their friend. What do you do? Your friend says the names, then you both extend your hands and shake and say some variation of, “Nice to meet you!”

And you do that whether or not it’s actually nice to meet the person. That’s one big difference between humans and dogs. Humans can lie while doing their ritual. Dogs cannot. Their ritual is instinctive, so it’s the truth.

Now let’s look at the steps in the human greeting ritual.

It requires a third party or some outside circumstance, like being stuck in line together, someone asking directions, or so on. It would be considered very strange in the human world for somebody to walk up to a complete stranger, extend his hand and say, “Hi, I’m Walter. Who are you?” It wouldn’t be strange if Walter was selling something or taking a survey, but those are also outside circumstances.

In the dog world, there doesn’t need to be any circumstance except two dogs meeting.

In the human greeting ritual, both parties face each other and immediately move into each other’s intimate space with a handshake. In some cultures, this even goes so far as a hug or a kiss.

In the dog world, the first approach is indirect — side to side, not face to face.

LMC_Solutions_greeting_protocolIn the human greeting ritual, the two parties will usually immediately engage in some conversation, whether they have any interest in each other or not.

In the dog world, if a dog has no interest, it will walk away and the other dog won’t take it personally.

That worst possible thing that we do to strange dogs is to approach them with the human greeting ritual, but we can’t help it because it is our ritual, and it is so ingrained in our nature that it is very hard to avoid.

This is where intellect can overcome instinct, because you really need to think hard to avoid the temptation of greeting a strange dog the way you’d greet a strange human. Additionally, dogs are just so cute and adorable, and humans love to give nothing but affection to adorable things.

And so, inevitably, when we meet strange dogs, we get right in their faces and talk to them in high-pitched voices, and try to pet them right away and this will put most dogs into one of three states: fight, flight, or avoidance. It’s a good way to get bitten, or to make the dog pee on the floor, or to scare it away.


No touch, no talk, no eye contact is the best and only advice I give for meeting a strange dog. Ignore the dog and let it come to you to get your scent and sense your energy — to the dog, those two things are your “name.”

Then, let the dog decide. If it walks away, then it’s not interested. Don’t take it personally. If it leans or jumps on you, gently push the dog away and claim your space. Do not offer the dog affection until it shows calm, submissive energy. Jumping and leaning are not signs of affection; they are attempts to establish dominance over you. Don’t fall for it! You’re the one setting the rules here.


Beyond those rules, here’s the best way to teach you the proper way to meet a dog. Imagine an animal that would be intimidating to you. Maybe it’s a horse or an elephant because of their size; or a rat or a squirrel because they’re fast and they can bite. In any case, pick the animal, then ask yourself how you would approach it if you found yourself locked in a room with one.

I’m guessing that your first choice would not be to get right in that animal’s face and make baby talk. More likely than not, you’d probably move to your own corner of the room and let that animal do whatever it wanted, maybe hoping that it didn’t notice you at all.

This is what we have to remember about strange dogs. While we see ourselves as name, breed, species, and then animal, dogs see themselves as animal, species, breed, and then name. We need to approach them with respect, but in order to do that, we need to see the world from their point of view.

Stay calm, and follow your instincts!

Cesar says we need to see the world from our dog point of view. How would your dog describe you?

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Why These Children Are Reading to Homeless Cats

Yep, it’s fur real.

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 30 elementary school kids crawl right into the “Cat Colony” of The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Pennsylvania, crack open a book, and snuggle up to the strays.

The cats, who have been rescued from the streets, are naturally shy and anxious at first, but will usually start sneaking over a few minutes after the kids plop down with their picture books. The program helps the cats become socialized again — and therefor more adoptable — giving them the chance to snag a little TLC in in the process.

However, it’s not just a one-way street — the program is actually an educational initiative.



(Caption: Cheyenne reads to a captivated audience)

The Book Buddy program was founded last August after volunteer coordinator Kristi Rodriguez brought her son, who was having trouble reading, into the shelter with her.

“Why don’t you go read to the cats?” she suggested. It was a hit, and she figured if he liked it, other kids would, too.

Thus, the Book Buddies program was born, and nobody loves being a Buddy more than seven-year-old Colby Procyzk.

For years, whenever his mother, Katie, tried to get Colby to read, it usually ended in tears and a tantrum.

“He’d get himself so frustrated and upset. He’d cry, ‘I can’t do this, I don’t want to, I’m dumb and I’m stupid.'”

Luckily, his grandmother is a foster mother for the ARL’s Grey Muzzles Program, which helps brings special needs and senior dogs into the homes of senior citizens. Grandma thought the program would be a perfect chance for Colby, a hopeless little animal lover, to brush up on his reading.

“He goes right into the room with all the cats, opens the book, and they come running to lay down and listen,” she said.



(Caption: Colby reads with his buddy)

Soon after Colby began reading to the cats, his report card went up two grades. After school, you can usually find him reading to all of his pets at home, three of which are cats that he’s successfully talked mom into bringing home from the shelter.

“There’s no struggling anymore. He’s a joy to read with now, and he’s so confident,” Katie said.

Another little girl named Cheyenne Boyles, 6, was petrified of all animals before she began reading with the kitties. Her father thought that Book Buddies would be the perfect way to get her acclimated to them. At first, as soon as she saw a cat, she’d scooch out of the way; but one month later, she’s letting the cats sit on her shoulder, and is helping her dad as a volunteer dog walker.

So, why just cats?

“Dogs in the shelter environment just aren’t as conducive to calm, quiet time,” explained Beth Irleand, the ARL”s communications director. “We have had kids who are allergic to cats ask to read, and we’ll either find a dog that will work, or set them up in our critter room so they can read to bunnies and guinea pigs.”


The ten-acre shelter is also unique in that it is the only open admissions shelter in the county, accepting any animal that comes through the door. Last year alone, that totaled about 8,000 –and included a llama.

Over the past few months, shelters from around the country have contacted the ARL asking for tips on how to start their own program.

“We didn’t create this as a way to get these cats adopted or raise donations, it was really meant to be a service to the community,” said Irleand. “But kids and parents have fallen head over heels and adopted them along the way.”

Though the program has undoubtedly helped his literary career, for Colby, it’s less about the reading skills and more about the connection.

“The cats love me no matter what, and I care about their feelings,” he said. “They’re smart animals, so they need a lot of love.”

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What To Do If You Find a Lost Dog

There’s a good chance you will eventually come across a dog that appears to be lost or homeless. As a dog lover, your first instinct will probably be to help the pooch. Before you take action, there are important safety precautions you should remember.

Err on the side of caution

An unknown dog wandering the streets alone may be ill, confused, scared, or hurt. It may also be a dog that has been abused. All of those conditions can make a dog behave in an unpredictable way. And the situation can also be exacerbated if you are walking your own dog at the time. If your dog starts barking or tries to “defend” you, the other dog—even if he initially appears harmless—may become aggressive or run away.

Make the right call

For all those reasons, it is often best to call your local police or animal control professionals. They are the experts at dealing with homeless and lost dogs. Thanks to their training, they can quickly ascertain if the dog has recently wandered away from its owner or has been a homeless wanderer for some time. And they know the best techniques for approaching and capturing the dog.

It’s always a good idea to program the phone number of your local animal control department into your mobile phone’s contact list. Once you’ve called them and provided the dog’s location, you may want to keep an eye on the dog from a safe distance. That way, you can call animal control to give them updated information about the dog’s location if he starts wandering.

Acting on your own

If you cannot contact the animal control office and if the dog seems harmless, docile, uninjured, and approachable, you still need to exercise good judgment and caution.

Approach slowly. Scaring a dog by making sudden or fast movements may provoke him into an attack or cause him to run away, perhaps into traffic.<a



Stay calm and speak in quiet tones. Try to act in a reassuring way, soothing the dog with a friendly demeanor.

Offer food or a treat. This may motivate the dog to meet you half way by coming to you and showing that he trusts you.. Besides, if he’s been wandering around for awhile he may be hungry.

Check to see if the dog has tags. imagesIf the dog has tags, there’s a good chance he’s simply lost and not a dog that’s been roughing it on the streets all his life. And the odds of the dog being trained and accustomed to human contact go up. If you have a nylon lead with you, gently slip it over the dog’s head to keep him from running away. This should also make it easier for you to check his tags. They may have contact information for his owners or other useful info to help you identify where he lives. You may be able to call them right away and, if all goes well, witness a happy reunion very quickly.

If you live nearby and the dog is willing to go with you to the safer environment of your home, place him in an area where he feels comfortable. And keep him separated from your own pets—preferably in a gated yard—to avoid territorial disputes and the possibility of the lost dog transferring parasites or diseases.

Now that the lost dog is in a safe place and getting the attention and reassurance he needs, you should take the following steps to help reunite him with his owner:

  • If you haven’t already done so, check his tags for contact information.
  • Call your police and animal control departments, as well as local animal shelters, and notify them about the dog. If the owner has been searching for the dog, they may have notified at least one of those organizations.
  • Take the dog to an animal shelter or local veterinarian to see if he has an identification microchip.

If those efforts don’t reunite the dog with its owners, you can:

Found Dog (on Richmond Ave.)

  • Post FOUND DOG messages in local newspapers. People who have lost dogs often read these notices to see if any description matches their beloved pet. 
  • Place FOUND DOG posters and flyers in popular areas around town. Make sure your posters and flyers have the dog’s photo and your contact information.
  • Spread the word to all your local dog-loving friends. Use email, phone calls, Facebook posts and Tweets to get the word out. Use a photo of the dog wherever you can. In today’s social-media era, it’s easy for these messages be shared. The ever-widening net of contacts may eventually reach the owner or someone who knows the dog.

What to do if someone claims the dog

Never simply hand the dog to a person who claims the dog his theirs. The fact is, you never know if this person is being honest when they say, “He’s mine. Oh, how I’ve missed him.”

In addition to asking for the person’s identification, make sure they can prove the dog is really theirs. This can take the form of photos of them with the dog—we all have tons of photos like this—or official documents that list the dog’s breed/description and age.


And here’s another simple thing to try: See how the dog reacts when he see’s the purported owner. If he runs up and give him a lick, that’s a good sign. But if the dog is indifferent or backs away in fear, you should be leery. If the person insists the dog is theirs but you still have your suspicions, call your local police department.


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10 Tips To Keep Your Dog Safe During July 4th Fireworks

You’ve probably heard this numerous times already, but it can’t hurt to say it once more – more pets end up in shelters during and after the 4th of July than any another other time of year due to fireworks.

Dogs are the most likely pets to end up in shelters because when scared, they tend to bolt and keep running for long distances until they get far away from whatever scared them.


And if the fireworks keep going off, the dog will keep running.


Some people think their dog will be OK if they leave it in a fenced yard, but you’d be surprised to see just how high a panicked dog can jump a fence. Or dig under it.


Even if you stay home and cookout in the backyard, your presence won’t prevent your dog from bolting once the fireworks start.


But keeping your dog safe and calm during the 4th of July celebrations isn’t beyond your control. Here are some tips that will help:


1. Exercise your dog before the fireworks start! Make time in your schedule to give your an extra long workout before the fireworks begin. Dogs that have been thoroughly exercised are calmer and easier to keep quiet. They will also sleep more deeply, and consequently, will be less likely to be disturbed by the noise outside. A02JAA

Of course, if it’s really hot outside, take precautions to ensure your dog doesn’t get overheated.


2. Stay home with your dog. Their fear of fireworks can be exacerbated if you aren’t there to provide reassurance that they are safe.


3. Keep Calm. Your dog reacts to your nonverbal cues. If you jump or tense up when you hear fireworks because you are you are anticipating your dog’s fear, you may make its fear worse.


4. Drowned out the sound. Turn up the stereo or television and keep your windows closed during the fireworks. Something that can provide background noise, like a fan or air conditioner can help as well.


5. Respect your dog’s fear. Allow your dog to hide if it feels more comfortable in its crate or under a bed. Don’t pull it out or try to force it closer to the fireworks in an attempt to get him used to the sounds. Just be with it and provide reassurance that it’s safe.images


6. Provide a distraction. Break out your dog’s favorite treat, play a game, or give it some extra cuddle time.


7. Try the Thundershirt. I’ve never tried a Thundershirt on my dogs, but some people swear by them. The pressure it provides has a calming effect on the nervous system.


8. Just say YES to drugs. If know that your dog will panic when the fireworks start, ask your vet if he/she can prescribe medication to keep it calm. You can also try Rescue Remedy or Happy Traveler, which are natural stress relievers for pets. Seattle-based Epic Pet Health makes Calm, which also reduces stress/anxiety.


Some people recommend giving a dog half a Benadryl to keep it calm but I wouldn’t try that unless you check with your vet first.


9. Be Prepared. Make sure your dog is wearing ID tags with its name, your name, and your phone number. Get you dog microchipped if it doesn’t have one. Buy your dog a license – if it runs off and is picked up by animal control, they will call to let you know they have your dog. And you won’t have to pay a big fine to get your dog back. You can also get a digital ID tag like this one from PetHub.


10. Desensitize your dog to loud noises. Gradually desensitize your dog to the sound of fireworks and loud noises by playing recorded sounds of fireworks. You can find several recordings on YouTube. Start out playing the noise softly and gradually increase it as your dog becomes comfortable with the sounds.


The most important thing is to paying close attention and care for  our pets during this stressful time. If you plan on going out, the professionals at Pet Sit Pros of South Orange County would be happy to pet sit your dog or cat. Have a safe and happy 4th of July.


flag dog


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Pet Sit Pros of South Orange County Encourages Pet Owners to Travel Safe when Fido’s in Tow

funny-dog-in-car With more than half of pet owners reporting traveling with their dogs in their cars at least once per month, Professional Pet Sitter and Owner and Manager of Pet Sit Pros of South Orange County, Ashley Cunningham, encourages pet owners to follow these simple pet-travel safety tips.   According to the AAA/Kurgo Pet Passenger Safety Study, nearly 56 percent of people transport their dogs in their cars at least once per month.   “From trips to the veterinarian’s office to day trips to a pet-friendly beach, more and more pet owners are transporting their dogs—and other pets—in their vehicles” says Ashley Cunningham, owner of Pet Sit Pros of South Orange County. “Because of this, it’s extremely important that pet owners to take extra precautions to ensure their pets remain safe while on the road.”   Cunningham encourages pet owners to follow these basic safety tips when their pets are along for the ride:
  • Leash your dog before opening the vehicle door. Hundreds of pets are lost or injured each year when they dart out of cars uncontrolled.
  • Keep your pet’s head and paws inside the car. Do not allow pets to put their heads out the window or ride on the back of a truck.
  • Do not allow pets to ride in the front seat. 30 percent of people admit to being distracted by their dog while driving, and distracted driving can cause accidents.
  • Restrain your pet with a crate or vehicle pet restraint system. Pet travel safety product manufacturers like Kurgo® offer pet carrier restraints or dog harnesses that can be used with a dog seat belt or zipline that goes the width of the backseat.
  • Don’t forget to keep your pet hydrated. Many dogs pant excessively in the car, making hydration even more important.
Cunningham also reminds pet owners that pets should NEVER be left alone in a vehicle, regardless of the weather. Pet Sit Pros of South Orange County is a member of Pet Sitters International (PSI), the world’s leading educational association for professional pet sitters.   To learn more about Pet Sit Pros of South Orange County visit or call (855) 867 – PETS (7387)   To learn more about PSI, visit

The Ultimate List of Stuff You Might Forget to Leave Your Dog Sitter

By Stephanie Snay 

We know you’d take your pup everywhere if you could. You could easily picture your dog chilling in the office with you or working up a sweat on the treadmill as your accountability partner…

running Image via Love Dino

However, sometimes the pups get left behind. If you’re planning a vacation anytime soon and can’t take Fido along, you’ll want to make sure you’re leaving your pet sitter with everything they could possibly need to care for your four-legged family member.

As an animal lover, and definitely a sucker, I end up watching my friends’ dogs for them a lot. I actually enjoy it. I need a dog fix every now and then since I can’t have one in my apartment. But I have run into issues before when I wasn’t armed with all the information I needed. Like how could I know that my pal Clyde would counter surf to eat his leash? Or when the three large, hungry dogs I frequently watch ran out of dog food and I went to three different stores before learning that they buy their food from the trainer. One of my favorite pet sitter fails though, is when I couldn’t get those previously mentioned three dogs to eat their breakfast.

Image via QuickMeme

Every morning for a week, I had to pull up a chair to their bowls and sit and wait. Why wouldn’t they eat?! When I called my friend, her response was, “Oh yeah, we put a little bit of whipped cream on their breakfast.” All the wasted time and worry, and these spoiled pups were just waiting on me to give them whipped cream.

I’ve compiled this pet sitter checklist based on my experience. Check it out to make sure you won’t come home to eaten leashes or 10 bags of trash because your sitter didn’t know what day to take it to the curb.

Image from Quickmeme

• Time and date of departure and arrival An itinerary is also helpful, so your pet sitter knows the best times to get in touch with you.

• Cell phone number, hotel information and room number

• Neighbor’s info This comes in handy if your dog decides to lock the human out and laugh.

• Friend of family member’s information If there’s something your pet sitter needs and they can’t reach you, then this is the next best thing.

• Security code

• Vet info

• Emergency plans

• Trash/recycling pick up days

• Feeding and walking schedule

• List of medications and instructions for use Even if your dog doesn’t take daily meds, think about all that could happen. Is there something you give if the dog gets sneezy or a bellyache? Do you give allergy meds in a spoonful of peanut butter?

• Specific brand name for food and treats You don’t want your dog to just eat anything if the food runs out.

• Pet store you frequent Just in case the pet sitter needs to pick something up.

• List of where leash, food, brush, etc., is stored

• Favorite toys

• List of unfriendly dogs or people along walk route Accidents happen, but maybe they can be better avoided by having the dog sitter stick to walking on a particular side of the street.

• Anything off limits? If your dog isn’t allowed on the couch, make sure your pet sitter knows.

• Thermostat instructions

• Emergency spare key Find a good hiding spot to store an extra key just in case.

• Vistors? Leave a list of days and times anyone comes to the home, such as a housecleaner, gardener, or pool cleaner. An unexpected guest can cause quite the fright for a housesitter.

• List of toxic foods to pets

• Tv/remote instructions 

• Doggy hobbies  Your pet sitter should know what the dog’s normal behavior is. For example, does your pup drink out of the toilet? Tell your pet sitter so he or she knows to leave the seat down. Does Fido want scratches on the butt? Is the tennis ball better than the Frisbee? All helpful to know.

• Are you expecting a BarkBox while you’re away? Let your pet sitter know so your dog can enjoy all the barktastic fun inside.

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21 Facts About Dogs That Will Blow Your Mind!


Everyone knows that Irish Wolfhounds are the biggest dogs in the land and that a dog’s brain is specialized for scent, but here are a few quirky and mind-blowing facts that you probably don’t know related to our beloved pups.

Fact #21: Dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations. The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.

Fact #20: Some stray Russian dogs have figured out how to use the subway system in order to travel to more populated areas in search of food.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 2.09.22 PM

Fact #19: Dogs don’t enjoy being hugged as much as humans and other primates. Canines interpret putting a limb over another animal as a sign of dominance.


Fact #18: Two stray dogs in Afghanistan saved 50 American soldiers. A Facebook group raised $21,000 to bring the dogs back to the US and reunite them with the soldiers.

Screen Shot 2013-05-31 at 1.57.51 PM

Fact #17: The Beatles song “A day in the Life” has an extra high-pitched whistle, audible only to dogs. It was recorded by Paul McCartney for the enjoyment of his Shetland sheepdog.


Fact #16: This pup, Nesbit, earned over one million Delta airline miles in his life and had his own frequent flier card. 


Fact #15: One of Michael Vick’s former fighting dogs, Leo, went on to be a therapy dog who comforted dying children.


Fact #14: Service dogs are trained to know when they are on duty. When their harness is on, they know it’s business time. When you take it off, the pups immediately become playful and energetic.

service harness

Fact #13: Tiger Woods stuttered as a child and used to talk to his dog until he fell asleep in an effort to get rid of it.


Fact #12: Seeing eye dogs pee and poo on command so that their owners can clean up after them. Male dogs are also trained to do their business without lifting their leg.


Fact #11:In ancient China, an emperor’s last line of defense was a small Pekingese dog literally hidden up his sleeve.


Fact #10: When Lord Byron was informed that his dog was not allowed to come with him to Cambridge Trinity College, he retaliated by bringing a bear instead.


Fact #9: In 1860′s San Francisco, two stray dogs who were best friends became local celebrities. Their exploits were celebrated in local papers and they were granted immunity from the city’s dog catchers.


Fact #8: There is a dog-shaped building in New Zealand.

dog bldg

Fact #7: This dog, Naki’o, lost all of his legs to frostbite in Colorado, but now has four prosthetic legs and can run around like normal.

Naki'o, a dog with four prosthetic devices, poses for a photo in Colorado Springs

Fact #6: The wetness of a dog’s nose is essential for determining what direction a smell is coming from.

dog nose

Fact #5: Hyenas aren’t actually dogs. They are more closely related to cats.


Fact #4: Spiked dog collars were invented in ancient Greece and were originally designed to protect dogs throats from wolf attacks.

greece dog

Fact #3: Baks the blind boxer has a seeing eye goose named Buttons. Buttons the four-year-old goose leads her pup around everywhere either by hanging onto him with her neck, or by honking to tell him which way to go.


Fact #2: ‘Frito Feet’ is the name of the phenomenon in which the bacteria on a dog’s paws cause them to smell like corn chips. Because a pup’s feet are in constant contact with the ground, they pick up tons of microorganisms in their paws. When dogs cool off by sweating through the pads of their feet, the combo of moisture and bacteria releaces a nutty, popcorn-like aroma. Basically it’s dog B.O. 


Fact #1: Dogs drink water by using forming the back of their tongue into a mini cup.

drinking dogs Article Credit:

Is it Healthy for Your Pet to Sleep in Your Bed?


More and more pet owners are choosing to share their beds with their four-legged companions. According to a recent survey, almost half of dog owners and over 60% of cat owners allow their pets to sleep in their beds. Cuddling up to your furry best friend may be common, but is it safe?

The answer depends on the person. People suffering from asthma or certain allergies are probably better off sleeping apart from their pets. In fact, for this particular group of people, pets should probably not be allowed in the bedroom at all.

The other issue sometimes associated with pets in the bed is sleep disruption. Not getting enough sleep can contribute to a variety of health problems in people, so if Fido’s scratching or bed hogging is keeping you up, it’s probably a good time to invest in a dog bed.

However, for some people, sleeping with a pet actually reduces anxiety and can help contribute to a restful night’s sleep. A pet’s rhythmic breathing can sometimes induce a feeling of calm that helps people fall asleep faster.

Long story short, if you feel calm and comfortable with your pet sleeping by your side, and you don’t suffer from any of the above mentioned health conditions, there’s not really any reason to stop.

- See more at: by VetDepot on APRIL 24, 2014