Orchid Will Always Be in Our Hearts
If you think diamonds are a girl’s best friend, you’ve never owned a dog! The love and affection a dog can provide cannot be measured. Our dog, Orchid, was part of our family. With 27 grands, Orchid was still our favorite of the bunch. Our friends still talk about her. I always describe her as a gorgeous dog with a gorgeous soul.
She was my writing partner who sat by my side each day as I blogged. My ultimate concierge and I loved her for nearly 12 years until she succumbed to Degenerative Myelopathy, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. We continue to talk about her. Her ashes are on a special shelf along with a lock of her hair, her collar and her photo.
It goes without saying: once a pet owner, always a pet owner. Life would not be complete without our furry friends.
Mr. Personality Plus
Enter America Good, a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, the same breed as Orchid. I have described America as the Mayor of Pearson Street. Orchid was a people pooch, ignoring other dogs.
In contrast, America loves everyone, human and canine alike. He is Mr. Personality Plus! Our breeder named him Serendipitous Blessing and told us he would be a calm pooch who would sit quietly for hours beside us as we age. Well, he does sit beside us and he is calm, but he is also the type of dog that most everyone stops me, asking about his breed and if it’s okay to pet him.
America not only allows that but also cannot stop loving everyone back, man or beast, tenfold. He makes my ultimate concierge and I smile every minute we are with him, which is more often than not.
Our Pet’s Diets, Vaccines and the Resulting Communication
Our pets communicate with us in different ways. I would like to mention the importance of our pet’s diet, vaccines and our dog’s understanding of the human language.
When I lost Orchid, I made two decisions. Firstly, after the initial set of vaccinations, I decided I will not allow additional shots without a reliable blood test that informs the owner how much of each of the vaccines remains in our dog’s system. The only excluded vaccine from the list is rabies. I am not going to give America any more of the rabies vaccine. He did have one series. A doctor can write a letter to the city that our dogs cannot have the rabies vaccine.
I think Orchid communicated with me that she was sick after her last rabies vaccination. She was not herself and I knew something was wrong so the next day I took her back to the vet. She never truly recovered.
Using Food To Extend Our Pets’ Healthiest Years
Orchid and America communicated with me regarding their diets. Orchid let me know whether she liked her food. America continues to do so too.
After I lost Orchid, I decided to study the ingredients in different dog foods by seeking the advice of respected people who sell dog food and a few additional pet owners. I believe the right diet can certainly extend our pets’ lives.
During the first year of America’s life, I tried several different types of food, all of which were raw. I also boiled chicken breasts without the skin, I cooked lean ground round and drained all fat, baked sweet potatoes, boiled eggs, peeled carrots and gave him lox and part of a bagel on Sunday morning with us!
Finally, I settled on a company that produces dog food gently cooked at low temperatures, The Farmer’s Dog. Why do I love The Farmer’s Dog food? Well, because America communicates to me by licking his bowl clean. I believe, through study, it is the healthiest dog food diet on the market.
Why The Farmer’s Dog Got Started
The owners of The Farmer’s Dog had a sick pooch and out of love for their dog, decided to produce healthy food options as close to raw food as possible. Taking cues from America’s health: lots of energy, a silky coat, good potty habits, and normal weight gain, I finally selected Farmers as my dog food of choice after a year of experimenting with other types of foods.
I like the company because they are disciplined and organized. Their business platform gives me confidence. I like The Farmer’s Dog because the staff members are personable and caring. The staff also emails out questionnaires that are short and intelligent, asking all the right questions that are in the best interest of our peers. My shipping notice comes to my inbox and America’s food arrives rock-solid frozen on the date promised.
If you or your children are dog owners, I highly recommend The Farmer’s Dog to keep your dog as healthy as possible. As a special treat for my readers, The Farmer’s Dog is offering 50% off of your first order, my darlings! Ensure your pooch’s health by feeding your dog healthy, nutritious real food!
My Verbal Communication Before Bathtime
A few years ago we left Orchid at home for 18 days. We were traveling!
Orchid Good knew we were leaving. How? Because she understood English and so does your pooch. Did you know your pet, depending on the breed, may understand several hundred words? I was shocked when I learned this and decided I would start observing Orchid’s behavior when I spoke. My message to all dog owners: think twice before you speak once in front of your pooch. They are a lot smarter than we think.
Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it!
Every Thursday morning at 7:00 am, The Dog Bath Truck would arrive in front of our condominium for Orchid’s weekly bath. If I mentioned to Shelly that I would be taking Orchid down for her bath, the following scene would ensue. We would head outside and Orchid would literally pull me in the opposite direction of where the truck eventually would be waiting for her. She knows the truck would be there. On the other hand, if I did not say anything to my ultimate concierge about her bath, I could fool her.
Orchid’s Nonverbal Communication to Me
When we traveled without her, two days before departure, she knew we were leaving because she understood our discussions and eventually saw the luggage. From her mannerisms, I could sense she was visibly stressed. She would not leave my side and followed me everywhere.
When I sat on the couch, she did not lay next to me. She placed her body into the side of my body, silently communicating that she was not going to let us go.
On the other hand, if we were going to travel with her, I would say, “Orchid, you are coming with us!” Then I would hug and kiss her. She would race around the house, happy as can be, wagging her tail.
Short Phrases To Teach Your Dog
You can teach your dogs by repeating short sentences and following each with an action. It is important that everyone in the house uses the same tone and phrasing. We taught Orchid the following phrases:
- “Let’s go outside.” She runs for her leash.
- “Treat?” She comes running.
- “Up,” which means to come into our bed or sit with me on the couch.
- “Good girl” or “I love you so much.” She knew we were expressing our love.
- “Stay.” She would not move.
- “Sit.” She sat.
- “Off.” She moved.
- “Go say hello.” Wheaton Terriers jump when they see you. She ran to people.
- “Take it easy. Walk with me.” She walks by my side.
My husband and I always used the same terms. I believe consistency is the reason for our success in conversing with Orchid. It is so unfortunate that our dogs cannot talk. While they don’t speak with words, they certainly still communicate. When Orchid was happy, she wagged her tail and jumped on me with joy when I arrived home. When she was not feeling well, she came up to me and placed her body into me. And when she had to go outside in the middle of the night because she was sick, she came to my side of our bed and cried to wake me. She dragged me to the water fountain in the park to let me know she was thirsty!
If you have a pet, this blog may enlighten you. If you are thinking of getting a pet for yourself or your children or grandchildren, this is a lesson–communicate with your pooch. They similarly love communicating with you!