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Look to your dog for advice on entrepreneurial success

You just have to read this if you are a dog lover, a business owner or someone in-between with big dreams.

Great tips from Rhonda Abram’s dog Cosmo on not only how dogs benefit the workplace but how we can learn better personal traits and excel at working with people.

Look to your dog for advice on entrepreneurial success – USATODAY.com.

Enjoy x

Jessica Ennis- Gold Medalist and Dog Lover!

Olympic Gold medalist Jessica Ennis walking her dog MylaIt doesn’t matter who you are to your dog, they will love you for being you. Olympic Gold Medalist Jessica Ennis knows this all too well and says walking her chocolate Lab Myla twice a day while she was training for her Olympic Heptathlon for the past 4 years kept her grounded and loves the time they spend together, it helps her ‘switch off’.

Jess Ennis wins Gold at London 2012Seems Jess, Myla and of course her partner Andy will be living the high life after her big win, Jess is in line for £5million in advertising contracts and hopefully retaining her title in Rio in 2016.

Well Done Jess!

BSL- Could Lennox’s story be the final straw for change?

In case you have been in hiding or just not connected to the internet over the past week, the story of Lennox, a family’s pet dog taken and impounded by Belfast City Council for the last 2 years came to a tragic end today when he was put to sleep by order of the county court after drawn out court cases and appeals by his family.

The reason – he looked like a ‘Pit-Bull’

Lennox’s story went viral on social media after his family released a statement that they could go no further with their appeal, they had reached the end without seeing their boy for nearly 2 years and they had no hope left.

Facebook and Twitter exploded and even Victoria Stillwell (It’s me or the Dog) tried to step in and help to no avail. Hear what she has to say here

BSL if you haven’t heard of this before is Breed Specific Legislation, in the UK and N.Ireland it’s the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, but there are BSL’s either in force already in some countries or trying to be brought into force in nearly any western country you can name. The one thing we do know about Breed Specific Legislation is that it doesn’t work.

Cesar Milan made this statement on his website today While I cannot comment or speak to this dog specifically, since I have not met him, I want to say that in general, my belief is that it is not the breed that causes behavior issues. I do not support breed bans or breed specific legislation in any way and with any case of aggression or behavioral problems, I advocate for rehabilitation as the first recourse.

BSL has almost made owning a so called ‘Dangerous Dog‘ a statement for the nutters, the criminals and the wanna-be’s  ‘Hey look how hard I am’. The truth is that breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a fantastic, robust and loving breed has been brought almost to the brink. There are more Staffies and Staff  crosses, as a breed, in most rescue centres, shelters and pounds than any other breed in the UK and Ireland. And sadly,most of them have to be put to sleep because there are just too many of them and not enough homes.

So the question is Will the sad story of Lennox finally unite the experts and nations of dog lovers needed to make this shift in getting breed specific legislation changed? I hope so, in the name of Lennox

If you were fighting and writing to help Save Lennox, then maybe you can do something for the poor ones still waiting in dog pounds, shelters and rescues. Maybe help out by walking, helping in the office or posting photos for the rescue on social media sites. Offer to do some fundraising, give old bedding, towels and dog stuff to the ones who need it or if you have the time and love, offer a temporary foster home for a homeless soul who needs one instead of sitting in a concrete cell, alone. It’s time we all put our money where our mouth is and actually help make a difference.

Sign a petition to change BSL-  Lennox’ Law

Help a breed rescue – The Kennel Club Breed Rescue

I know Dog Lovers as a Breed CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Bernie x

The Dog Owners Coach

Time for a Vacation – What about the dog? 6 Reasons to Hire a Petsitter

We would all love to take our dogs on holidays with us, some people do but if we want to go a  little further away sometimes it’s better to leave fido at home. So then the big decision is ‘What about the dog?’

I meet a lot of dog owners in my line of work and many of them tell me they haven’t taken a holiday since they got a dog. Usually when asked why they reply with ‘ we couldn’t put him/ her in kennels!’ or ‘we tried kennels once, never again’. It seems guilt is a big factor in leaving the dog behind and then to have to leave them in a big concrete building away from all their creature comforts is more than most owners can bear.

Most modern boarding kennels are heated, are comfortable and dogs get their daily walks and attention but if kennels aren’t your thing then there are plenty of other options. There are Home Boarding which is someone who will look after your dog in their home, you will probably still have to show your dog is up to date with vaccinations and parasite treatments. But they will have 24hr care and usually all their home comforts. Obviously if you can get a family member or friend to look after your dog while you are away is always a great option, if you trust them to do the job right but, the next best thing to that is to hire a Petsitter.

6 reasons why a Petsitter will fit the bill

  1. You will have someone not only looking after your dog(s) but also your home; most petsitters will do home services too like collecting mail, watering plants, leaving out bins so you dont have to worry about coming home to a pile of mail or dead plants. It will all be taken care of. Most petsitters will take care of other pets as well as dogs and cats but check first.
  2. A Petsitter will usually charge you for the time you are away, not by the number of pets you have, therefore if you have lots of pets a Petsitter could be a cheaper option in the long run.
  3. By remaining in their home environment most dogs and cats are a lot happier and therefore seem less likely to pine or worry while owners are away, why would they, they’re at home!
  4. Pets get to stay in their normal routines for feeding, walks, play time, nap time so there is no big changes which could make your pet get stressed. Plus they have someone taking care of them the whole time you are away.
  5. If you have a pet that needs specialist feeding or medication, this is always an added worry in kennels that the same person will do this properly. With a Petsitter you can show them and make sure you are happy before you leave knowing that that person will do exactly what you have shown them and your pet is in good hands.
  6. Petsitters usually get their work from repeat business and word of mouth, someone who does a good job and is trusted will always be recommended, so ask friends or other dog owners who they use to look after their pets. You might be surprised to find there is a local Petsitter in your area.

Most Pet sitter have many years experience with looking after different animals, including their own.  Don’t be afraid to ask them about their experience, many professional Petsitters will bring references from other clients, insurance certificates and a contract for you to fill in to keep everything legal, professional and both parties happy. They will usually do an introduction interview to say Hi and answer your questions and of course to meet your pets, obviously the petsitter wants to be happy taking on the job as much as you will want to be happy hiring that person to look after your home and pets.

If all goes well then once your petsitter has been hired you can go on holiday with the safe knowledge that your dog, cat or bunny is being well looked after and in safe hands and you can relax. Don’t be afraid to ask your petsitter to send you a text or an email for updates if this is the first time away from you pet, they will understand. I am always happy to text worrying owners and even send them photos of their pet having a good time, we all worry a little when we leave our pets.

I hope I have helped you take a bit of the worry out of going away and leaving your dog or pets at home. If you live in N.Ireland you can find my petsitting services HERE

I would love to hear your experience of going away and who you use to take care of your pet, please leave a comment below.

Bernie – The Dog Owners Coach

Paw Perfect win for Ashleigh & Pudsey – true best friends

Wow! If you haven’t been following the journey of Asleigh and Pudsey on ITV’s Britain’s got talent, where have you been?!

This talented duo of teenager and scruffy dog have captured the hearts of everyone who has seen them in action. They are what most dog owners would dream of being able to do with their 4 legged friend, never mind win 500k for doing something you love doing together!

If you haven’t seen them click: Ashleigh and Pudsey in action  to see their winning performance.

It just goes to show that following your dreams and doing something you love can Change Your Life

Well done and Congratulations to Ashleigh & Pudsey’s dedication and wonderful bond. What we all aim for in our life with our dogs – making each other happy and having fun!

I hope these 2 stars will encourage more people to enjoy and bond with their dog more and they prove you can have fun at any level.  Why not check out a dog club or organisation near you where you can have a go at agility, flyball, canicross or dancing to music like these two! Only you set your limits!

I’d love to hear what you all get up to with your 4 legged friend, leave a comment below and share 🙂

Happy dancing!

Bernie – The Dog Owners Coach

Work with dogs and follow your Joy!

I wonder if you were like me growing up, totally ‘dog mad’? Now when I think about it I probably nigh on tortured all the dogs I knew as a kid. I have photos in my album of me with my arms wrapped around the neck of my aunt’s dog, my grandad’s dog, our dog, I dressed them up, we had tea parties or just ‘ran and played’ together around the back yard, they were my best friends. To me it was like they knew what I felt like doing or was just thinking about and I found real happiness in their silent but good humoured company. I knew when I grew up I would ‘Work’ with dogs. I tried working with horses for a while which I loved too but to me there was nothing like the reciprocal friendship and love you get from a dog, both our species have been together a long time and we are alike in a lot of ways.

Finding your Joy

Ok I know not all of you feel like this  about dogs and there may have been something else that held or holds that top spot in your heart more than anything else. If you didn’t have to pay the mortgage, rent or babysitters and you could do something you Really Love would it be what you are doing now in real life? No? What about, it’s your main Hobby outside of work? It doesn’t matter what it is but unless you find time to find your joy, have fun in your joy and even share in your joy, life and it’s stresses will soon catch up with you and we all know that just sucks!

If you are like me and you need to find some doggy joy in your life my advice is go and try it and see how you feel about it, move on if you think there could be more or  ‘this isn’t for me’. Volunteer! at a dog shelter, at a dog groomers, with mountain rescue, with ‘P.A.T. dogs, at a doggy day care centre, at a dog club, look after other people’s dogs (with permission of course!)

Now there are more dog jobs or ‘vocations’ as they like to call them, than ever! When I told my careers teacher that I wanted to work with animals, especially dogs, I was given the list of Vet, Vet Nurse, Groom, possibly working in an Animal Shelter/ dog pound. That was it! Now there are animal Therapists, Behaviourists, Biologists, Beautcians, Carers, Trainers, Handlers and the list goes on. Do some research, I think I would have loved to be a Wolf Biologist if I had known that was something that was a Real Job back then.

What ever it is that makes your heart sing and puts a Real smile on your face and you wish you could do it all the time, That’s It, you’ve Found It! Your Joy, cherish it with all your heart. Go visit it Often if not All the time!

If you dont know what makes you feel like that, try something new. When you have a rediculous grin on your face and you say to no-one in particular ‘I Love doing this’, you’ll know.

Share with me what Your Joy is by leaving a comment below

Thank You

Bernie (The Dog Owner’s Coach)

Guest Blogger Donna Dunne talks about Canicross in Ireland

I’d like to thank Donna for taking the time to write this post on Canicross in Ireland

I first seen Juneau in the background of a photo of a dog that was looking to be adopted.

Myself and my husband were considering getting a northern breed dog. We have a little cavalier and wanted a ‘big’ dog too, we just didn’t know whether or not to get a pup or rescue.
When Karen of  Irish Sled Dog Rescue posted a picture of a dog that was looking for a forever home on a forum, all I noticed was one of the dogs sitting on his own in the background, with big floppy ears and lost eyes.
Sometimes you just know when you have found what it was you were looking for!
A few exchanges of emails later we discovered that Juneau, who was only after arriving with Karen was of unknown age (estimated at about 8 months) he wasn’t quite a husky either but its hard to put a finger on what he is!
He was very skinny and didn’t know how to chew food.
Juneau

At the end of August 2009 Juneau came to live with us.  Juneau had very little muscle, so we knew we’d have to take things easy, we walked  about 2 miles every second day to begin with. As he began to bulk up I knew that a walk would never be good enough, and being a husky (or part off) we could never let him off lead. I also knew that to keep with Juneau I’d have to stop smoking 20 a day, and do something about the extra few stone I gained and never lost after my second baby! I had read about canicross on different websites, I thought it was really interesting, it was somethign I’d love to do but i never thought I’d be able to run.

Training
As Juneau continued to get stronger, I knew we were getting to the stage where I’d have to introduce other forms of exercise- we began bikejoring- but he kept trying to get back to run beside me.I thought at first it was just a matter of training him to run out in front but on his walks he had no problem with pulling ahead. We tried everything, it was then we realised that he was just a little insecure and just wanted to be close to us humans.
So we began running- we started off by running from one lamp post to the next then walking to the next lamp post and repeated this for about a mile of our usual walking route. Juneau loved doing this, he would run out in front no problem as he was still closeto me. After a few weeks of this we got a harness, bungee lead and a belt, we also began a more structured couch to 5k training plan.
We were also still walking, we used this time to teach commands. Luckily Juneau was a natural puller- I would keep him at my side and when we began to run I would let him run out in front, when he ran out enough that we could feel the ‘pull’ on the lead I would say ‘out’and tell him that he was the best dog in the whole wide world (I think because Juneau was so insecure he really cherished and excelled on a positive tone of voice) the first few times he would get so excited at the praise he would stop and bound back to me!
Wherever we went I was like his personal sat-nav dictating the journey to get him following directions- ‘right’ ‘left’ and stop were easy it just took a lot of repetition.
As we began to run further I found that our understanding of each other grew as did our bond, we found it easy to fall into pace with each other.
The first race
In May 2010 myself and Juneau along with three other canicrossers- Ursula and Max, Laura and Suki, Trevor and Ole, ran (and walked!) our first 10k race. I never felt pain like I did after that race, I couldn’t sleep for two days after and was injured more often than not for the rest of that summer, whereas Juneau, being made of stronger stuff got stronger and healthier!
Over the following winter and into 2011 running became a lot easier for us and I seemed to have overcome my injuries (thanks to a lot of physio!)
In May 2011 I ran a local 10k on my own (and I ran it completely without walking!) but I missed my training partner. Over that summer we continued running early in the morning and late in the evening- I often wondered would we try go further, so for the next few weeks we increased our distance by a mile a week until we were running 10 miles.
Come a long way
One particular Sunday morning we went for our usual long run- this week we were up to 10 mile and as I watched Juneau run in front of me, totally focused on what was ahead and I looked at his tail sway from side to side in pure happiness, his muscles toned and strong I knew canicross had changed us both- made us happier and healthier, it dawned on me that it was two years since Juneau had come to live with us we had come a long way from the skinny dog and flabby owner of two years before!
From that August I knew my target for the following running season was to run races with Juneau- hopefully we could promote the benefits of canicross to other dog owners this way. You can join Canicross in Ireland on Facebook and see what we are up to, whether it is something you are interested in starting with your dog and looking for tips or looking for runs that accept canicrossers, we have a great group of people  from all walks of life there, so join in.
Donna Dunne
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