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People and their pets / tips from local pet owners | News

Sometimes people inherit animals, or adopt them, or perhaps choose them for a specific reason, such as the ability to hunt, search and rescue, or as service dogs for people with disabilities to have a companion who can help them perform certain tasks. chores. There are even dogs that can warn of high blood sugar or an impending seizure.

It goes without saying that dogs are smart, but how smart some of them are is truly amazing. According to local dog trainer Ronald Thrasher, at the age of 6 to 8 months, puppies have intelligence equivalent to that of a two-and-a-half-year-old human child. “After about nine months, they have the intelligence of an 18-year-old, according to a study done at Duke University,” Thrasher said.

Thrasher has trained just about every breed of dog you can think of, for just about every reason you can name. He says the puppies go through a rebellious stage around nine months, but after that they are good candidates for serious training. He advises giving puppies and young dogs deer antlers to chew on while their teeth are being cut and until they get over the urge to chew on everything in sight. “The antlers feel good to the teeth,” he explained.

Thrasher looks for certain attributes in the pups he chooses for himself. “I like a puppy that looks you in the eye and is busy,” he laughed. “If he is curious about everything that moves, then you know you have a good dog.”

Thrasher has always been a supporter of border collies. He once had a dog named Dixie that was legendary. She was so smart that he could show her something once and she would understand immediately. She collected dozens of empty Quickcrete bags from a baseball field once after he showed her what to do. He and his wife, Kathy, are now training a four-year-old English Cocker named Tux and a new female English Cocker Spaniel. puppy they call Roo Roo. “They are natural retrievers,” Ronald said. “We started training them to retrieve at around nine months, but the little one can already retrieve his toy.”

The older dog, Tux, is already retrieving ducks, pigeons and quail. “But aside from retrieving, they make great pets,” Kathy said.

Ronald starts feeding the puppies a replacement mix of calf milk powder, puppy food and warm water at around two weeks of age. He mentioned that they might be a bit tricky with this, but they get the hang of it pretty quickly.

People choose their pets for all sorts of reasons, and that doesn’t just include dogs for a Mount Hope woman. Kristi Robertson has had just about any kind of bug you can name; some people refer to her as Ellie Mae from the 1960s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies. With her ready smile, her kind nature and her curly blonde locks, she could definitely play the role of her.

Since she was six years old, Kristi has had rescue dogs, kittens, rabbits, squirrels, a rat snake, ducks, horses, donkeys, a nine-year-old sugar glider named Snickers, dozens of little birds and even a llama named Snow. “The llama was a birthday present from my then-to-be husband, Proncey,” Kristi laughed. “I came home from work one day to find him tied up in the backyard with a purple bow around his neck.” The snow will be 20 in July and Kristi says it makes a good watchdog, scaring away stray dogs and coyotes from the pastures near her home.

You have to give Proncey credit, he knew the way to her heart!

Currently, he has a new addition to his menagerie, a miniature Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix by the name of Remington, Remy for short. He was chosen for his loyalty and intelligence. He is one of a long line of dogs, some of whom have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. In fact, Kristi lost several members of his pack last year. His beloved little Yorkie, Walker, died of cancer at the age of 12 and his 28-year-old son. horse Biscuit, and a cat named Tom who lived to be 20 years old.

Heartbroken, Kristi posted the following message to her friends and family. “About 30 minutes after the sun rose this morning and I did my post about Cookie, she wanted to take a walk to the corner of the grass and then to the pond and then to the barn. As soon as she got to her barn, she lay down and left me forever. I think she knew exactly what she was doing and where she wanted to be. I am grateful that I was able to be with her until the end.”

Losing pets is highly traumatic and can be devastating for devoted pet owners like Kristi. But perhaps they are nature’s way of preparing children for the fact that there will also be people in their lives who will die. That’s why Kristi didn’t follow her dream of becoming a vet, because she said, “I realized that not everyone would live…” she said quietly.

With a tender heart to a fault, he has rescued many animals, nursed them back to health, and returned them to their natural habitat. Kristi once even had her neighbor, the late Sam Spruell, bring water to her pond so the fish could survive a drought that threatened to dry out the pond on the Robertsons’ property.

Helping to raise pets is also a great way to teach children responsibility. Dominique Goodwin investigated which animal attributes were best for young children. She found one that she liked best and discovered that there were some locally available Golden Doodles so that Santa could easily transport the pup on Christmas Eve. Her daughters, three-year-old Blakeley and four-year-old Isabella, were enchanted by the pup, who soon adapted perfectly to the active girls, so much so that Dominique says Birdie thinks she’s a girl too.

The family trained the pup to ring a bell hanging from a doorknob when he wanted to go outside. “It was so easy, he caught on right away and now he never has an accident in the house,” Dominique said.

The young dog is a playful companion for children and is learning to protect them. Known for being happy, friendly, and intelligent, Golden Doodles are easy to train. They are also very kind and devoted to their family, including the youngest members. Birdie is true to his parenting background, and is a social pet who charms guests and enthusiastically participates in family activities, as well as interacting well with other animals.

All of our pet owners advise doing your homework before investing time, money and emotions in a pet. Make sure the animal is well-suited to its environment and is smart and the right size for your space.

Good luck with raising your pup! Investing in training can ensure you have a wonderful companion for years to come.

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