Jan 4, 2011 Issue #31 Published by Sue Skiff








Last week, I had my first pet sitting job where I took care of chickens ONLY. Sure I have a couple of regular clients that have chickens that need care. But, those are clients with a variety of other pets that need care, as well. Anyway, I have to say that this was one of the easiest pet sitting gigs I've ever had. I went there twice a day, and the second visit was just to lock the chickens up in their hen house.

Emma and I continue to take advantage of the dry weather by going hiking fairly frequently. However, we need rain. I hope that we get some soon. No snow in the Sierra Nevada, either. That's not a good thing. No snow means no snow melt to fill the reservoirs.

This week, you will find an article on helping fearful dogs. There are also two new features after that. No animal story this week.




A scared dog can be hard to deal with. Saturday, I took Emma to a park to do some hiking, and for some reason, she became terrified when we were in a certain area of the park. It made me feel bad for her, but was also frustrating for me, since the area was near the entrance to the main part of the park, and so was therefore hard to avoid. Several hours later, there were fireworks going off in my neighborhood in celebration of a new year. Emma started trembling and barking. I had not seen her react so strongly to loud noises before. She has not, in any way, caused me to think that she was a fearful dog, in the past, but twice in one day she displayed strong fears to outside stimuli.

Chronic fear in a dog is something that needs to be addressed for the sake of the dog’s mental health. Dogs can have fears of certain types of people, other dogs, loud noises, riding in a car., a raised hand, seemingly innocuous objects, specific places, etc.

Many people would advocate simply forcing these scared dogs to confront their fears, so that they can see that there really isn’t anything to be afraid of. To me, this is a recipe for disaster.

Exposing your dog to whatever it’s afraid of is most likely going to increase your dog’s fear, not decrease it. Each time your dog is exposed to something that it is afraid of, it gets a chance to practice being fearful. And, as you know, “practice makes perfect.” Each time that your dog practices being fearful, its fear becomes strengthened. So, eventually, your dog will be perfect at being afraid.

Click here for the rest of the article


Three years ago, Emma wrote an article called "Emma’s Principles to Live By,” which I included in an issue of my Silver Linings e-zine this past summer. If you haven’t read this article, or would like to refresh your memory of what it said, you can click here to read it in my blog. Since Emma’s writing of that article, I have toyed with the idea of having a blog called “Lessons From a Dog Blog." The idea was that I would take each piece of advice in her article, follow it, and blog about my experiences doing so.

Well, it is now time to act on that whim. However, I am not going to do this as a separate blog. Instead, I am going to incorporate it into the blog that I established a few weeks ago. I will write about it in my blog, include the postings in my e-zine, and you will get to find out how it changes me.

I thought that I should start with something simple. For instance, I am not quite up to following her advice about greeting those you love enthusiastically, yet. I do hope to get there soon. I need to start with something that is not such a stretch for me.

Click here to find out the rest of my plan.


Hi! It’s Emma. Ever since I wrote my Emma’s Principles to Live By article , I have thought more and more about how people just don’t know how to get the most out of life. I have therefore decided that it is time for me to do something about it (tail wagging enthusiastically).

This is the launch of my advice column. That’s right! I am here for you to ask me anything that you want about how to get more out of life. I am specifically targeting this to my human readers. However, I would be happy to answer questions from members of my own species, and from other animals, as well, even cats.

Sue has green-lighted this project. I had to get her permission to do this, since I rely on her to do my typing for me. She has agreed to post my column in her blog! And, she says that she’ll post my answers elsewhere, as well, like in her e-zine, so that I can help as many people as possible (tail wagging furiously)! So, let’s get started! Send me your questions. I’m waiting. In the meantime, I think I’ll go take a nap.



Silver Lining Pet Services is the business owned by Sue Skiff. It provides both dog training and pet sitting services.

If you own a dog, then look to Sue to alleviate any fears and frustrations that you have over your dog's behavior. Sue will come to your home, and set up a training program that is customized to your, and your dog's, needs. You can even have Sue do the training for you, in your home, while you go about your business. If you don't live within Sue's service area, you can contact Sue about setting up a Skype appointment.

As for pet sitting services, Silver Lining Pet Services endeavors to give traveling pet owners peace of mind that their pets will be well cared for while they are away.

For further information on the services provided by Silver Lining Pet Services, please visit our website.

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