Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Joel Allen

Hello, folks! Well here we are again, wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hoping we are all being safe for the holidays.

Years ago, I had a huge female Dane named Beauty. She was so large that it was nothing for her to carry a professional sized football in her mouth. A big girl she was and she was sneaky. One time I caught her coming out of the kitchen and all I could see was a pink something in the front part of her mouth but could not make out what it was. And I swear, the fastest dog or child in the world is one knowing they have something they are not supposed to have trying to get by you quickly, LOL. All you heard was,

Me: “What have you got in your mouth?”

Beauty: Her feet making the tire screeching sound as she made her bid to escape.

Me:  Sounding like Mortal Kombat, “Get over here!” And I caught her by her collar.

I then reach into that huge mouth and pulled out a whole piece of raw chicken that was the breast, thigh, and leg! I was a younger man then, and I was harsh with my dogs before I knew better. I corrected Beauty by whooping her with that whole piece of chicken! Did she ever do it again? Nope.

Let that story serve as an example, and let’s all think of ways to prevent this from happening to anyone who might have the “Counter Surfer,” the “Food Swiper,” the “Beggar,” or the “Enabler.”

The Counter Surfer is the dog who finds a way onto your counter either by means of being able to reach the counter with their height or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and walking all over your counter. There are a few ways I use to handle this. The first thing I try is an aluminum can with 22 pennies inside, taped shut, and with fishing line attached to the top. The setup is quite easy. Place the can in the cabinet, leaving the door open, and tape the fishing line down to the counter where the “violator” is most likely to pass through. The fishing line acts as a tripwire and the can will fall making a loud noise that will either scare the dog away or, even better, land on the dog’s head and scare the dog to never do this again. Another simpler way is to tie a bell to your dog’s collar and keep your ears sharpened to pinpoint their location where if they are heard in an unauthorized area, they can be encouraged to leave.

The Food Swiper is the magician of all dogs. They use distractions as opportunities to pull a morsel or two off your plate or out of the main meal. I like to think of them as quiet as Batman and fast as a ninja. When they strike, they will leave the area with their prize and quickly eat it. The way this can be prevented is by using the “no dogs in the kitchen or eating area” rule or becoming hypervigilant and carrying a spray bottle with plain water or with 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water and “pew pewing” the dog.

The Beggar is the byproduct of being fed from the table or never having a boundary taught them. This is where the Enabler comes into existence too. The Beggar likes to give that look that melts everyone’s heart and tricks them into giving the Beggar food from the table. The Enabler gives the Beggar whatever he wants, thus encouraging the problem. How this is fixed is when we take the spray bottle in hand, verbally tell the dog no, and spray them. As a bonus, spray the Enabler too because they caused this to happen.

All in all these are simple fixes and your dog will be safer for it too. Plus, the family will have a better time if their food is still there when they sit and eat. Oh, and one more thing, if all these methods do not work, the dog can always be temporarily placed in a safe place until the festivities are over.

All right, folks, that’s it for now. I hope you all have a safe Thanksgiving and God bless everyone.

By: Joel Allen