Take time to pamper pets
Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent February 11, 2013 1:52PM
As a sign of her affection, Holly Magana of Joliet treats her Yorkshire terrier Lola, 18 months, to a montlhy spa day. | submitted photo
Tips for a
A spirited walk together.
Give your dog a new toy.
Sign up for some training.
Treat your dog to a grooming session.
Take a trip to the pet store (one that welcomes leashed dogs) and allow your dog to sniff out the toys and treats.
Learn some new tricks.
Source: Bark Buster dog trainer John Sullivan of Naperville. Call 630-306-3005 or visit www.barkbusters.com/page.cfm/ID/50/id_directory/1406.
Updated: March 13, 2013 6:13AM
Lynda Rohr of Shorewood doesn’t wait until Valentine’s Day to show her pets how much she loves them.
Yogi, a 140-pound, 6-year-old Rottweiler and big brother to her small dogs, often gets to cuddle on Rohr’s lap. McKenzie, the Morkie, sits in the middle desk drawer while Rohr is on the computer. Madison, a Pomeranian, receives a nice brushing ever day.
“And Scottie, the parrot who is 34 years old, greets all our company with a ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello,’” Rohr said.
For pets to develop healthy attachments to their owners, they need a balance of bond, respect and trust, said John Sullivan of Naperville, dog behavioral therapist for Bark Busters.
“Your dog depends on you to provide the four key ingredients he needs for a happy life: food, shelter, safety and entertainment,” Sullivan said. “When you supply these basics and demonstrate calm, consistent leadership, your dog knows he is safe and loved and will be more relaxed and content.”
Owners communicate the “You are special” message to their pets in various ways.
Carole Pasteris of Joliet lets Tiger, her 10-year-old cat, sit on her lap while she pets him. Barbara Shafer of Joliet curls up in the recliner with Poptart, a 50-pound pit bull chocolate lab mix, and pets her while she sleeps.
Holly Magana of Joliet treats her Yorkshire terrier Lola, 18 months, to scrambled eggs on Sunday mornings and a spa day once a month. Darren Raichart of Channahon recalls how his father often fed his Brittany spaniels and Rottweilers large fries from Wendy’s and pizza from Dominos.
When the weather is mild, Jacki McHale of Channahon not only moves the dog bed near the front door so Sophie, her 8-year-old boxer, can bask in the sunshine, McHale will turn it every 15 minutes to keep Sophie aligned with the sun.
“For our cats, it’s the space heater,” McHale said. “If I turn it on and point it at their favorite chair in my art room, they will sit there for hours. They know, as well as I do, that is their ‘I love you’ treat.”
Brandy Gergescz of Plainfield allows her three Chihuahuas — Chewy, 12; Yoda, 5; and Wicca, 5 months — to “steal” the king size bed and all the blankets. For holidays and birthdays, Julie Goetten of Plainfield buys Zoey, 9, and Charlie, 5, specially prepared and decorated treats.
“Zoey loves ice cubes so we never use the ice maker without giving her an ice cube,” Goetten said. “They also both have special blankets for bed time and car rides.”
Whenever Brenda Fronek’s husband Fred goes out onto the porch to feed the squirrels, Fronek allows her cats — Ollie, 7; Bitsy June, 3; and Boo Radley, 18 months —to sit near the front door to watch. Fronek also grows catnip in the summer and then dries it for homemade felt catnip toys.
“No matter what day of the year, the best way you can show your pet your love is to simply spend lots of time with him,” said Sullivan. “He’ll return your love tenfold or more.”
Cheri Johnson of Joliet has found that statement to be true with her 3-year-old Labrador retriever. Jackson is the therapy dog at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center in Joliet and the dog on the new package of Hill’s Science Diet Adult Large Breed dog food.
“Jackson goes to agility, nosework and rally obedience classes at Lucky Dog Academy in Plainfield,” Johnson said, “and he brings the newspapers in every morning.”