Oct 25, 2011 Issue #22 Published by Sue Skiff


Hi everybody!

October is coming to a close. The nights are cooler, and I am having to wear a sweatshirt for my morning walks with Emma. Still, it is warm during the day. Emma is wanting to be under the covers for the last couple of hours before I get up.

My cats are continuing to stay close to me at night, and until I get moving in the morning. Next week, I will really be out of town, in Texas. I am going to a conference for female entrepreneurs in Dallas. When I was house sitting, I had Emma with me, and I visited my cats every couple of days. I will be away from all of them for 4 1/2 days. I will definitely miss them.

This week's issue is about Halloween and doggy "trick or treating." I hope that you enjoy it!

I could really use help with topics to write about. It is getting harder and harder to come up with fresh ideas. So, as always, please send me your questions, complaints, opinions, articles, comments, and stories.

See you next week!.




Many dogs take changes like those they see at Halloween in stride. However, Halloween can be a stressful, and even dangerous, time for your dog. Here are some tips for making sure that your dog stays safe on October 31.


Candy is not healthy for dogs. Their bodies are not designed to deal with processed sugars, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. Also, chocolate is poison for a dog. It can make a dog very sick, or even kill it. And, small dogs can choke on hard candy. So make sure that the only treats your dog gets at Trick-or-Treat time are healthy ones.


Dogs can become stressed by the constant stream of strange creatures coming to the door. They may feel that they need to guard the house against this onslaught. Or they may get scared by the costumes that they see. If you allow your dog to greet all of your trick-or-treaters, it may scare a child with its barking. A scared dog could also bolt out of the front door in an effort to get away. So, unless you are sure that your dog can handle it, lock your dog in a room, or in its crate, during trick-or-treat time. Turn some soothing music on to help keep it calm, and to help drown out the noise at the front door. Give your dog something special to chew on that will keep it occupied, and tell it that everything is fine, before leaving it.


Many people find it fun to dress their dogs up for Halloween. This is fine if your dog can tolerate it. However, remember that your dog doesn’t understand why you are putting something on its body. If you do dress your dog up for Halloween, make sure that your dog is not becoming nervous or fearful while it is wearing its costume. Reinforce your dog with praise and treats while you put the costume on, and while your dog is wearing the costume. If your dog shows any signs of being uncomfortable with the costume, take the costume off immediately. Lastly, leave your dog’s costume on for only a short time.


Some dogs are fine going out trick-or-treating with the family. These are dogs who are social with a wide range of people, who love to go on outings, and who are not easily frightened by new things. However, many dogs get overwhelmed by all the strange sights, sounds, and smells that go with trick-or-treating. They may bark at everything, or try desperately to get away. Or, they may even manage to get away, and start running around, desperately trying to escape all of the strange beings out on the street. This could result in a lost, seriously injured, or even dead, dog. So again, unless you are sure that your dog can handle it, leave your dog home while you take the kids out, and refer back to tip 2.

Here’s wishing you and your human and animal families all a safe and happy Halloween!

Trick-or-treating Doggy Style - By Emma

Being a dog, I have found that every day gives me a chance to trick-or-treat. Actually, I prefer to call it “trick-then-treat.” Of course, I am not talking about dressing up in a costume, and going door to door to beg for a treat. That takes too much effort, and I prefer to just wear my collar, anyway. I am talking about tricking humans into giving me a treat.

Trick-then treat is really simple. I do it all of the time. The simplest way to trick-then-treat is to sit down frequently. I like to sit several times when Sue and I prepare to go somewhere together. First, I sit as soon as I get out of the bedroom door. I then sit at the top of the stairs, at the front door, and on the porch after we walk out of the front door. I sit whenever I think Sue is going to stop when we are walking. Sometimes, she is just walking really slowly, but I sit anyway just to be sure. Sue nearly always will give me a treat when I sit. I always make sure that I look cute and attentive while I am sitting. She just can’t resist it.

Sitting also works on our landlady. She is a sucker for me sitting in front of her and giving her a soft “woof.” It makes her laugh. I always sit in the kitchen when she is there, because she pulls things out of the refrigerator just for me, when I do.

Sometimes, sitting alone isn’t enough to trick a human into giving me a treat. Then, I have to jack up my tricking. I may have to lie down or “speak,” or give someone my paw. It’s all very simple, and the treats make it all worthwhile.

Of course, sometimes Sue won’t give up the treats that easily. She will make me wait interminably while she hides my treat. Or, she will make me walk with my leash loose, or leave another dog alone. And, to make matters worse, she won’t give me the treat, unless I do it right. I don’t mind, though. As long as there are treats involved, I’ll do it

As I said, I do trick-then-treating all of the time. It’s so easy to trick humans into giving me treats. I can’t write anymore, I need to go sit and look cute where someone can see me.


It’s part of life in the 21st century. You get the kids off to school, work all day, pick the kids up at daycare, make dinner, and collapse. But, what about the dog? How do you find the time to train it to be a good citizen? Maybe, you managed to get your dog into a puppy kindergarten class, and then a basic obedience class. But, you really didn’t have time to practice the way the instructor wanted you to, and now, well now, it’s all kind of fallen by the wayside.

You know that your dog can do better. Perhaps, your dog has some behavior issues. Whether or not they’re serious issues, they make your life harder, don’t they?

So, what do you do when you’re already stretched, and you know your dog needs more? The answer is “day training.” Day training starts with a meeting with me where you describe your dog training needs, and your dog’s behavior issues. I then come to your house for an hour or so, on agreed upon days, to train your dog. You get to get on with your life, while your dog gets training and attention from a professional. And, that training and attention is customized to your and your dog’s exact needs.

Maintaining what your dog learned is also built into the day training program. At the end of each week of training, I meet with you to go over what your dog has learned, as well as what you need to do to maintain the learning. After the agreed upon number of weeks has elapsed, I return for a follow-up or two, to make sure that you and your dog are on the same page, and everyone’s happy. For more information on day training, visit my dog training website

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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