May 2012

Hot weather tips for Sheltie owners

Ah, summer. Who doesn’t love to be outside on a warm sunny day? As a Sheltie lover, you probably enjoy outdoor activities with your loyal friend, and you’re probably aware that with their warm fur coats, Shelties can easily overheat. A few sensible precautions can help keep your Shetland Sheepdog safer in hot weather. 

 

During hot, sunny weather, dogs will naturally seek out shade, especially if they can lie on cool grass. If your Sheltie needs to be outside when its warm, be sure to offer plenty of deep shade, and cool ground or flooring. 

 

Cool, fresh water is also essential. You may want to add a few ice cubes to keep your dog’s water cool for a longer time. Make sure you dog has plenty, as she may drink more than usual in an effort to keep cool. 

 

Fans can also help cool your dog if you lack air conditioning. Naturally, you’ll want to place the fans where the dog can’t knock them over. Also, be careful that the fan’s air movement isn’t too strong, because that may be irritating for your dog. If you need to be outside with your dog,  you can purchase small, battery operated fans. Be sure to have spare batteries on hand. 

The unbearable bittersweetness of a Sheltie’s birthday

Many Sheltie owners celebrate their dogs’ birthdays feeling at least a little bit of sadness

Though Shetland Sheepdog’s live relatively long lives, when you have a dog who is as sweet and lovable as this breed usually is, their lives are never long enough. Even though it can be a relief when dogs grow up a little, such as when they become fully potty-trained, the time and effort to train a puppy seems insignificant compared to the richness the adult dog brings into our lives. That is why many Sheltie owners celebrate their dogs’ birthdays feeling at least a little bit of sadness. 

I like to celebrate by giving my dogs a special treat on their birthdays. The treat may be a toy, but is usually an outing that includes a favorite activity. Birthday photos are a must, and I love looking back over past years’ photos to reminisce over those events. For those Shelties that I’ve had as puppies, I remember their puppy antics, their boundless energy, and their wonder and excitement as they learned more about their world. I had felt as if I’d seen the world anew through their puppy eyes.

Shelties have a sense of humor

As a Shetland Sheepdog lover, you may find that one of the things you love the most about the breed is their intelligence, sensitivity and playfulness. Many Shelties quickly and accurately assess their owners moods, and most will react in some way to these moods. If you are stressed, your Sheltie may withdraw and become more reserved. In other delightful cases, your Sheltie may sense your anxiety and try to cheer you up. 

This point was driven home to me just yesterday. I’m job hunting, which I don’t enjoy at all and I had a big interview in the afternoon. I took one of my Shetland Sheepdogs, Ashley, to agility class in the morning. Ashley loves agility; it is her favorite sport, and she takes it quite seriously. I walked the course the instructor had laid out for our session, and because of my nerves, I had the hardest time remembering it. I hoped I didn’t frustrate poor Ashley too much by forgetting it when we ran.