Hey, Santa - Rescue dogs make great gifts!

Pet adoption offers a great way to present a loved one with an adorable dog for the holidays, while supporting animal welfare efforts. Rescue organizations and animal shelters tend to overflow with pets needing forever homes, particularly in the winter months. Pet surrenders may be plentiful, leaving lots of dogs waiting for animal lovers to take them in.

Please don’t give your pet-buying business to puppy mills or to any pet stores that do business with them.

If you aren’t dead-set on finding a pure-bred, pedigreed pooch, why not check out a local or regional pet rescue organization? You might find the perfect pet!

We adopted a mixed-breed puppy from a pet rescue group a few years ago, and she has turned out to be a wonderful addition to the family.  


Taking in a rescue dog isn’t free. In fact, it can cost a couple hundred dollars or more. But the cost often includes at least one set of veterinary vaccinations and possibly spaying or neutering of the pet (if that has not already been done). It’s generally a fair proposition, if one is dealing with a reputable organization.

Rescue dogs rule. They make wonderful pets.

Commuter Cup:

Santa Dog – adapted from public domain artwork

Rescue Dogs Rule product photos – fair use

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Should you take your pet along on holiday trips?

Is it practical and courteous for a pet owner to tote an animal on a visit to a family member or friend’s home? 

A handy and affordable eBook offers helpful pointers for dealing with this question. Available on Kindle (and Kindle apps), 10 courtesy tips for taking a pet to a host’s home: Is it polite to pack a pet along for a visit in another’s residence?, by Linda Ann Nickerson, has answers.

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This little book presents a checklist with “10 key reminders for pet-owning houseguests.” Topics include asking for permission in advance, planning and packing smartly, and caring for pets appropriately on-site.

Similar principles apply to dogs and cats and other sorts of pets.

A quick read, 10 courtesy tips for taking a pet to a host’s home is more-than-worth a couple of bucks, as its content may help pet owners from stepping in you-know-what (in terms of etiquette and pet care) or tromping on loved ones’ toes.

Public domain photos – Pixabay
Book cover image – fair use

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Gearing up for cani-cross

Cani-cross, or cani cross, is gaining traction as a fun and competitive fitness event for humans and dogs to share. Currently, I am training my young Lab mix for this pursuit, and we are having a blast together. In fact, each time I take her along for a jaunt, we trim at least a minute and a half per mile off my regular training pace. This high-energy pup makes a super fitness trainer!

We’re aiming for a cani-cross trail race in early December. Our training needs to include both fitness conditioning and dog-to-dog socialization, because we are sure to encounter plenty of peppy pooches on the trail!

What is cani-cross?

Cani-cross (also called dog joring) is cross-country running with a canine. Essentially, the runner completes the trail course with a harnessed dog (or multiple dogs) attached to his or her waist belt (usually with a bungee leash). This sport is growing rapidly in popularity, with pet owners training dogs of countless breeds to participate.

The sport of cani-cross is similar to bike joring, dog sledding, and ski joring (which may be led by either a dog or a mounted horse). 


What gear is needed for cani-cross?

The beginning gear requirements are pretty simple. Cani-cross is a hands-free sport, so an appropriate trekking belt is a must. Mine has handy pockets to hold my smart phone, a water bottle, and some treats for me and my dog. (Watch for a product review to come.)

Most cani-cross participants choose to put pulling harnesses on their dogs, rather than traditional dog collars, as this helps to prevent tugging or choking dangers, especially when dogs feel like running faster. A cani-cross harness may feature chest-plate padding and multiple adjustable straps, perhaps criss-crossed over the dog’s back. Sturdy snap buckles are a plus.

A bungee leash offers extra flexibility and safety, especially if it comes with quick-release snap clips at both ends. If the stretchy leash comes with a loop handle at one end, rather than a second snap, a standard carabiner clip can be added.

A double-dog lead is handy, if one is running with a pair of canines.

Cani-cross equipment may be purchased separately or in multi-product sets.

In addition to the dog-related equipment, cani-cross runners will also need suitable athletic footwear (such as trail sneakers) and appropriate reflective gear.

Cross-country running is extra fun with a canine companion!

Cani-cross photos – Creative Commons Licensing
Cani-cross artwork adapted by this user
from public domain artwork
for product pictured here.
Fair use

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