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National Dog Day is Aug. 26

By: Dr. Amanda Landis-Hanna
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As you know, at Voyce we love dogs.  Big or small, purebred or mutt, there is something about dogs that makes our days more enjoyable.  It is much easier to go to work knowing some of my officemates have a tail and fur, and give kisses as a greeting. Our HR department doesn’t even scold them for the kisses!

So as we approach National Dog Day on August 26, I thought I would share a few of my favorite doggie traits.  Some are from time as a veterinarian, and some are from time as a pet parent, but they are all dog lover!

  1. Puppy breath.  All breeds have this unique Bologna-like smell to their breath.  It normally peaks between 6-16 weeks of age, just as a puppy is coming in for his puppy vaccine series.  It makes his mouth, full of sharp needle-teeth (ouch!), well worth examining!
     
  2. Wagging tail.  A high wag means he is excited to see me and wants to play.  A low wag means he is interested but may be shy.  Either way means you are dealing with a dog!
     
  3. Inquisitive look, with head slightly cocked.  I love this appearance most on a Boxer, such as my office mate Wile E.  It is a cross between intrigued and confused.  Add in a furrowed brow and I melt every time.
     
  4. The doggie hug.  Ok, I know I am not supposed to encourage this one.  Jumping up is a bad behavior to learn, and can scare some people, especially children.  But I may have had a dog or two in my life who were huggers.  And Gus, my black Lab/Shepherd mix, may have known how to ‘dance’ with his veterinarian.  I’m not sure who taught him that.
     
  5. Smile.  If you have ever seen a Chesapeake Bay Retriever (Chessie) smile, then you know this one too.  The first time you see it, it can be unsettling, as it might look like a snarl.  But the tail is up and going, and he couldn’t be happier while he is doing it.  Obviously, always use caution, but don’t be surprised if you see quite a few grins on dog faces!
     
  6. Belly.  I have very fond memories of snuggling into my dogs, R.B. (Irish Setter) and Sunny (Labrador Retriever) as a child.  They were always with me, as playmates, nursemaids, protectors.  My parents supervised, but these dogs were treated like my siblings, and we would often pile up, with me resting my head on Sunny’s belly while R.B. flopped on us.  It was magical, and greatly influenced my lifelong love of all dogs.  A softer, warmer, more loving pillow has never existed.
     
  7. Enduring heart.  When I think about all the dogs I have known, and I have known THOUSANDS, this one is a common trait.  It doesn’t matter if they are calm or anxious, peaceful or aggressive, well loved or previously abused, all dogs have an enduring heart.  Just as with humans, they have all had some joys and some struggles.  But unlike humans, dogs don’t seem to understand concepts like spite or ill-will.  I have been bitten, scratched, and mauled, not because the dog hated me, but because he disliked what I was doing, or he was fearful of what I might do.  He has a limited number of resources to protect himself, and an incomplete understanding of what the scary lady in the white lab coat might do.  Yes, all dogs might bite, and should be treated respectfully, but they also have a heart, and as a veterinarian and dog lover, I have been blessed to know so many.

So as we approach National Dog Day, think on a few of your favorite dog characteristics and memories.  I hope you have been as lucky as me, to be touched by a dog in your life, and to know the joy of dog!

What is your favorite dog memory?  Share with us @mydogsvoyce on social media.

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Posted on Aug 24, 2015 by VOYCE Behavior & Training
Vets & Experts