May 17, 2011 Issue #3 Published by Sue Skiff

In This Issue

A Note From Sue

Four Tips for Crate Training a Dog

What do Turkey Vultures Have to do with Pet Sitting?

Summer Specials are Here

I Need Your Testimonials

A Note From Sue

Well, here I am writing my third weekly e-zine. I am really enjoying the writing. Finding the time for it is not always easy. Fortunately, I have some old writings that I have been able to recycle for this issue, especially since I found myself writing it at the last minute. Still, I want to be able to come up with fresh content as much as possible. And, I want this e-zine to be of value to my readers. Please feel free to send any comments and questions to me. I would love to be able to answer people’s questions in this publication. To provide your comments and questions, simply reply to this e-mail.

Enjoy the e-zine!


Four Tips for Crate Training a Dog

Crate training is an important part of integrating a new dog into a home. Dogs are den animals, and countless dogs love being in a crate. It’s no different than putting a baby in a crib with sides, or a toddler in a playpen. A crate is simply a way to keep your dog, safe, and out of trouble, until it learns the household rules. If your dog is in its crate, it can’t chew on anything that isn’t in there with it. It also can’t pee on the carpet, or run out the front door. Don’t worry; your dog won’t be in its crate for the rest of its life. The crate is just a teaching tool. However, it is important to train your dog to be in its crate. You want to make the crate a positive place for your dog. Here are 4 tips to use to teach your dog to have only positive associations with its crate.

1. Feed your dog in its crate

Feeding time is important to dogs. Most dogs get really excited when they see and smell their food. Use this to your advantage by feeding your dog in its crate. This is the simplest way to teach your dog that its crate is a positive place. To make it more enticing, have your dog sit and stay while you put the food in. Then, have your dog wait until you give it a command to go into the crate. If your dog is afraid of the crate initially, you may need to put the food just inside the door of the crate, and allow your dog to eat with most of its body outside of the crate. However, if your dog is like most dogs who are just getting used to their crates, and who are really motivated to eat their food, you can put the food in the back of the crate, and close the door to the crate while your dog is eating.

2. Hide treats in the crate

Before sending your dog into its crate, hide a few treats in different parts of the crate; such as under the bed. Then, send your dog in to look for them. Your dog will learn to associate the crate with favored foods, will enjoy the game of searching for the treats, and will be mentally stimulated by the work involved in searching.

3. Throw toys into the crate for your dog to fetch

If your dog likes to retrieve toys, use this as an advantage in your crate training. Throw a favorite toy into the crate. Then, allow your dog to get the toy, and bring it back out. Do this repeatedly. Once your dog is having fun with this, start closing the door briefly, while your dog is all the way in the crate, before allowing it to bring the toy back out.

4. Keep chew toys in the crate

Dogs enjoy having things to chew on. Keep all of your dog’s favorite chew toys in the crate, and allow it to only chew on them when it is inside the crate. To make things even more positive in the crate, put your dog’s food in containers that it will have to work to get the food out of. You can even freeze these containers of food to make it even harder. This will give your dog something to work on while it’s in its crate; keeping your dog’s mind off of the fact that it is confined and separated from you.

There you have it; four tips to make crate training your dog easier. Be patient and consistent, and soon you will have a dog that only willingly goes into its crate, but also loves it.

What do Turkey Vultures Have to do with Pet Sitting?

Recently, I spent a couple of days pet sitting at a place where I have pet sat for many years. Over the years, I have cared for dogs, cats, a rabbit, chickens, a gecko, an iguana, a python, a cockatiel, a couple of budgies, a tortoise, and a tank full of fish at that house. At the moment, there are only dogs, cats, the gecko, and the python living there. I bring it up, because, something unusual often happens while I am there.

Last summer, it was the baby vultures. That’s right, baby vultures. I was walking with the dogs when one of the dogs shot up a hill, and started barking at a snag (dead tree). Upon investigating, I found that there was an upset baby turkey vulture sitting on a branch of the snag. Thinking that it must be a fledgling (a baby that had recently left the nest, but not yet able to care for itself), I looked around to see if any parents were soaring or perched in the vicinity. It was getting dark, and my thoughts were that surely at least one parent would want to hang around to protect the baby from predators. But, no parent was evident.

The next morning, I checked on the baby. It was still there, but still no adults around. Then, that evening, I saw one adult vulture soaring with some red-tailed hawks, and hoped that it was a parent.

I let a few days pass, but my curiosity got the better of me. I checked to see if the baby was still around. To my surprise, I found a baby sitting on the snag, but it looked YOUNGER than the one that I’d seen previously. I was really puzzled. I got closer, went around the tree, and found the “original” baby sitting on a higher branch. I realized at that point that I had not found a fledgling, but that there must be a nest in a hole in the snag. I had seen the hole before, but had thought that surely it was too small to house a vulture nest

I am sure that there are not many who can say that they have found a vulture nest in their lives. I suppose that many would not want to, but I count myself quite lucky for the experience.

Yesterday, I was up on Mt Diablo, leading a group of third graders on a tour around Rock City. We looked at the wind caves, looked at, and felt various plants, and looked for tracks. We also watched a couple of soaring turkey vultures. Later, while looking at some Native American grinding rocks, we saw two vultures sitting on top of a snag. I immediately thought of those babies that I had the privilege of seeing last summer. Perhaps, I’ll see them soaring the next time I pet sit near where they grew up.

Summer Specials Are Here

Summer is just around the corner; time to make those vacation plans. And, of course, vacation plans include making plans for your pets’ care. Some of you have already made inquiries about pet sitting for the summer. For those of you that haven’t, I invite you to make those inquiries soon. And, if you do so before the end of this month, I will make it worth your while. Here’s the deal: Make reservations with us for pet sitting that starts anytime between June 1 and Sept 30 (Sept is one of our busiest months for pet sitting, so I want to include it), sign a contract, and pay a deposit, by May 31, and I will give you a 20% discount. This discount replaces any other discount that you may be entitled to, so make sure you ask what your best deal will be.

So, go ahead and give me a call at (925) 366-6042, or e-mail me, and get those summer reservations in. I look forward to talking to you!

I Need Your Testimonials

If you have used my services in the past, please consider writing a testimonial for me. I will put it on my website for all to see how wonderful a writer you are. I’m giving you 3 ways to do this. The first way is to simply send me an e-mail, with your golden words included. Or, you can post a review on my Yelp Page Thirdly, you can post a comment on my Facebook page Thank you for your help in making Silver Lining Pet Services a success!

Silver Linings is a publication of Silver Linings Pet Services, and is published for the purpose of marketing services. The current address of Silver Linings Pet Services is: 5555 Merritt Drive Concord, Ca 94521