Is your Palatine dog a social misfit?


antisocial dog

You can’t stay mad at a dog that adorable for long but, even if he does act like a social misfit in your Palatine home. But, wouldn’t you like it more if he wasn’t such an unsociable puppy?

Have you ever seen that movie ‘Bad Grandpa?’ The movie is about an elderly man who has no social compass. If there’s a right choice and a wrong choice, you can count on him to choose the latter. There are some people who live with dogs that almost make the ‘Bad Grandpa’ seem like a coach for good etiquette.



There are dogs that do everything wrong. What do they do wrong? The list can easily include the following and more:


  • They bark incessantly
  • They chew on shoes, slippers, socks, tables, chair legs, prescription glasses, books and any number of valuables
  • They growl at other dogs
  • They growl at people, whether they know them or not
  • They fight with other dogs
  • They bite people
  • They jump on people who come into your house
  • They dig holes in your yard
  • They dig holes in your best sofa
  • They chase cars
  • They chase people on bicycles
  • They beg for food
  • They do their business in all the wrong places, from the living room to the kitchen
  • They chase cats
  • They jump up and eat food on counters and tables
  • They nip at people and other dogs
  • They pull on the leash when you take them for walks
  • They drink from the toilets
  • They lick people, often after drinking from toilets (YUK!!!)
  • They have severe separation anxiety, which can manifest itself in many of the behaviors listed above


What are you to do with a dog exhibiting many, if not all, of these bad social tendencies?


Did you know that there is actually something called a Canine Good Citizen award? This isn’t just a great idea for teaching a dog good manners; it’s actually recognized and sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. If you have a Bad Puppy you can do something about it. Teach that dog some manners and you’ll find them a lot easier to live with.


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Dogs and cats living together – it’s just crazy, or is it?


dog and cat together

Dogs and cats living together? It’s just crazy, right? Hmmmm, maybe not.


They’re natural enemies, right. They go together like oil and water, like flame and gasoline, like nitroglycerin and a bumpy road. But, in spite of their storied history of animosity, is it possible that dogs and cats can live together?

If dogs and cats can live together in peace and tranquility, anything is possible, even Middle East Peace. Imagine living in harmony with a dog and cat in your house. Let’s get really crazy and imagine that your cat and dog are both friends – even BFFs.

In most cases, this is a hollow dream. Bring a cat into a home with a dog and, batten down the hatches, the furniture is about to fly. Bring a dog into a cat’s home and the cat will probably vanish from sight until the dog leaves again.

While the idea of dogs and cats cohabiting peacefully is not likely or common, it’s not unheard of. It generally depends on the proper circumstances to bring the cat and dog together as friends.

It’s really a question of timing. If the cat and dog meet at the right time, they might just become friends. So, what is ‘the right time?’

Dogs: For dogs, it’s essential that they meet a cat during what is commonly called their primary socialization period. This is the period when the dog is a puppy – up until they’re about nine or 10 weeks old.

Cats: Cats also have a time period when they are more accessible, from a dog’s perspective. And, it happens that the time period for a cat is about the same as for a dog. In other words, put a puppy and kitten together and they might just get along as they grow into adult dogs and cats.

By putting a kitten and puppy together, before they know that they’re enemies, you stand a chance of short-circuiting the confrontational behavior that is considered normal between their species.

Of course, any time you put a cat and dog together, you risk more than hurt feelings – yours or theirs. You also risk physical injury. The dog could maul the cat, even if the dog thinks he is just playing. The cat could act defensively and shred the dog’s nose with his claws. And you can wind up with your hand badly injured because you stuck your hand between them when they were doing what comes naturally.

If you approach it right, however, as Bill Murray put it in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, “Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!” And the hysteria will be the reactions of your friends when they see your dog and cat get along together.

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Board & Train her dog – the perfect answer for a Woodstock habitual multitasker


multitasking and dog kennel

Find the right kennel and even the most avid multitasker will get away without a worry while their dog, or dogs, have as much fun as they do.

While other people will do something, that’s not Miranda. She’s never satisfied to do one thing. She takes particular pride in her ability to multitask. On those rare occasions where she does something – just one something – it frustrates her. She can’t help but feel that she’s wasting time. This may explain why she hasn’t trained her dog, Claude. Training her dog takes too much concentration by itself, even for Miranda. It requires her full attention.

Other people stand in line and wait. Miranda may make her grocery list while standing in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Woodstock. Some folks drive to work and listen to music on the radio. For Miranda, that doesn’t qualify as ‘multitasking.’ When she drives the car, she’ll play a self-help audiobook so she can learn something while she’s driving.

In Miranda’s laundry room, on top of the dryer, is a stand for her Kindle. She loads the washer, loads the dryer, and reads all the while. When she eats, she watches the news and the family knows better than to interrupt while she’s catching up on the day’s happenings.

Of course, Miranda’s ability to multitask is famous where she works. While others multitask, none can compete with Miranda. And Miranda takes great pride in her ability to multitask. Still, she wishes there were a way to multitask while training her dog. Her dog can clearly use some training.

When called upon to teach her dog better behavior, she’ll find something to carry upstairs at the same time. It’s just like when she goes to one a play or a sporting event – Miranda watches and knits. But, if she can’t do something else while training her do, why bother.

Fortunately for Miranda, her best friend took sympathy on Miranda’s dilemma when it comes to training her dog. Now, Lilian, Miranda’s friend also likes to multitask, though she’s not in the same class with Miranda. In fact, she envies Miranda’s ability to multitask at almost any turn.

For a while, Lilian may have taken some pleasure in watching Miranda struggle to find a way to multitask while training her dog. But, eventually, Lillian also saw that it was an opportunity for her to shine in Miranda’s eyes if she, Lillian, could solve the dog-training-multi-tasking dilemma. And so, she presented Miranda with her solution to her problem.

One day, over coffee, Lillian told Miranda about Board & Train.

“What’s that?” asked Miranda.

“That’s where you leave your dog with a kennel and, while they’re there, the kennel also trains them,” said Lillian.

Miranda scoffed at the idea. “So, you think that it counts if my dog is multitasking?” she asked. “Multitasking is what I do, not my dog.”

“Well, sure,” said Lillian. “That’s why we multitask by taking a cruise. While we leave Woodstock behind to drink Pina Colladas on the Sky Deck of a cruise ship, your dog is receiving that overdue training with Board & Train.”

So, when Lillian and Miranda were on their cruise, few of the others on the cruise had any idea how busy Miranda really was while reclining on a chase lounge and sipping a tropical cocktail. But, from the smile on her face, they could tell that she was having a good time.


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A quality kennel keeps the boredom away – your dog will thank you

bored dog in kennel (1)

Boredom is a symptom of some kennels. But, when the kennel has your dog’s interest at heart, a bored dog is replaced by a dog having fun.

Imagine if you took a trip and spent your entire vacation locked in your room. Hopefully, you’d have some really good company in the room with you. Or, you might look at your confinement as an opportunity to catch up on some reading and relax. But, if the latter, wouldn’t you rather read a book by the hotel pool? Now, imagine how your dog will feel if locked in a room the entire time you’re away.

That is precisely the experience some dogs have when their owners leave them at a kennel. From the time the dog is dropped off, to the time that you return to pick up your dog, the dog never leaves its room. The word for this kind of experience is boredom, and boredom of the most extreme variety.

In some cases, not only is your dog stuck in a room the entire time you’re away, but the room is so small there’s no way for your dog to stretch its paws. By the time you come back, your dog has a serious case of the bends.

It doesn’t have to be that way. And it’s up to you.

Just as you would do some research before choosing the hotel you’ll stay at while on your vacation, you should do some research to make sure your dog isn’t a victim of perpetual boredom while you’re gone. Avoiding that boredom requires discovering a kennel that will keep your dog engaged.

The better kennels have better rooms. Some rooms are not only large enough for your dog to stretch out and stroll, they have doggy doors to a private veranda outdoors. In some cases, thoughtful kennel owners will pipe in music for the dogs. Some even have flat screen televisions that run dog-friendly movies.

These are the kinds of things that can make life bearable for your dog while your dog is in a room. But, you still want a kennel that will safely take your dog out of the room a couple times a day to go for a run on a leash. If that kennel is situated in an optimal location – i.e., in a rural setting – your dog may have adventures going for walks. Those adventures may include seeing wild turkeys in their natural habitat.

Some kennels offer a service called Board & Train. With Board & Train, not only does the dog get out of its room for extended periods of time, they also enjoy dog training that will make them all the better to come home to. And, enjoy is the right word. Dog training done the right way is, first and foremost, enjoyable for the dog.

Really exceptional kennels will offer to take your dog on field trips while you’re away. For instance, they may take your dog to the doggy spa for a pedicure, peppermint bath or blueberry facial.

One additional benefit to leaving your dog at a good kennel that takes your dog’s feelings into account is that you’ll have more peace of mind while you’re away.

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Why does Schaumburg dog lick its paws and should you be concerned?

Schaumburg dog licking paws

Why is this Schaumburg dog licking his paws?

Cheryl noticed that, when she and Bosco, her 7-year-old Cockapoo, got back from walks in their Schaumburg neighborhood, Bosco would lick her paws. But, after Cheryl first noticed this unusual behavior, she began to see Bosco licking his paws even when they hadn’t recently returned from a walk.

Cheryl’s first thought was that, well, dogs lick themselves. They’re not as fastidious as cats, but dogs will primp and groom themselves with their tongues. Certainly Bosco had simply developed an affinity for grooming his paws, right?

The more Cheryl thought about it, however, the more she was convinced that this was more than merely a new form of grooming for Bosco. After all, at 7, most of Bosco’s self-grooming habits were long ingrained.

So, Cheryl decided to do a little investigating. Though Bosco wasn’t concentrating his licking on one particular paw, Cheryl decided to take a look at his paws for any kind of injuries. She considered the possibility that Bosco might have picked up splinters in her paws while they were walking in their Schaumburg neighborhood. It seemed unlikely that he would have splinters in all of his paws but, well, maybe he walked across something that gave him little splinters in all of his paws.

As closely as Cheryl looked, however, she couldn’t see any slivers or splinters in Bosco’s paws. She also didn’t see any rashes, though she wasn’t really sure what those would look like on the pads of a dogs paws. At this point, Cheryl turned to the Internet for help. She discovered that there are a number of conditions that can cause a dog to lick at its paws, including:

  • Cuts, scrapes or puncture wounds to the pads of the paw
  • Toenails that are cracked or broken
  • Bones in the foot that are broken
  • Burns to the bottom of the pads
  • Allergic skin diseases
  • Ticks
  • Thorns or burrs
  • Splinters or slivers
  • Corns (yes, dogs can get corns, too)
  • Infections

Unfortunately, if a dog continues to lick at its paws, it can injure its paws. An injury caused by a dog licking at the paw can become infected.

Cheryl took the correct first step – she examined Bosco’s paws. Not finding anything, the next step is for Cheryl to take Bosco to a Schaumburg area veterinarian.

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Her Elgin cat is the feline equivalent of comfort foods, without the love handles

Elgin cat comforts

Her Elgin cat is better than comfort food.


When her Elgin neighbors feel stressed, some of them will turn to the refrigerator for relief; they’ll look for some comfort food to ease the strain. But, Carol has found a healthier alternative. When Carol feels stressed, she walks right past the refrigerator and calls for Bella, her 2-year-old Siamese cat.

When Bella comes, and she always comes when Carol calls, Carol scoops her up, continues to the sofa and curls up with her cat to cuddle. Cuddling with Bella is Carol’s healthier option for dealing with stress – healthier than eating all those calories.

Sometimes, Carol will pull a quilt around her shoulders as they cuddle. She may watch television while cuddling with her cat. She made read a book with her cat on her lap. Or, Carol may just sit and quietly catch her breath while Bella nuzzles against Carol’s cheek, the way Elgin cats, and cats all over, are prone to do.

Some may think the idea of a cat as an alternative to comfort foods is absurd. But, is it really? Consider the following:

  • There is scientific evidence that cats lower a person’s stress levels. A 2008 study in MedicalNewsToday found that cat owners are 30 percent less likely to die of heart attacks or strokes than those who don’t own cats.
  • Cats provide non-judgmental companionship.
  • People with cats tend to sleep better, according a 2015 study by the MAYO Clinic.
  • Cat owners tend to have fewer allergies. That seems counter logical, as we’re all familiar with the problem of people who are allergic to cats (actually to the dandruff in a cat’s hair). But, a 2002 study by the National Institute of Health found that, when children spend time with cats, they may be less likely to develop allergies.

These potential benefits of owning a cat, in regards to reducing and responding to stress in your life, is significant. On the other side of the coin, doctors’ offices are full of people with high cholesterol levels, weight problems and heart conditions that were exacerbated by their tendency to turn to comfort food in times of stress.

Carol doesn’t have that problem. She has Bella, a cat that hasn’t added a single ounce to her waistline. Too bad more of her Elgin neighbors don’t have cats for stress relief.

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How to survive leaving your Lake Zurich dog in a kennel

Leave Lake Zurich dog in a kennel

Before you leave your Lake Zurich dog in a kennel, look around. Is the kennel clean? Do they have activities to keep your dog active while you’re gone? Do the dogs in the kennel look healthy and happy?


The connection between you and Kibbles, the 9-year-old Bichon Frisé that lives with you in your Lake Zurich home, is … well … the two of you are virtually inseparable. But, your friend has talked you into going on a cruise with ‘the girls.’ How Kibbles will take your absence – how she’ll handle spending a week in a kennel – has you as worried as you are excited about the trip. The question is as much how she’ll deal with a week in a kennel as it is how you’ll be free to enjoy yourself on the cruise without worrying every minute about how she’s doing.

For some dogs, these periods of separation, when they are in a kennel while their people are away, are traumatic. For some people, these occasions are equally difficult. There must be a way for you and your dog to come to terms with the separation without coming apart at the seams. Here are some suggestions that you might not want to consider:

  • You could give the folks at the kennel the clothes and disguise so Kibbles thinks she’s still with you in Lake Zurich while you bring along a life-sized, cardboard cutout of your dog while you’re away. The problem here is that, since dogs rely more on senses, such as smell, to identify those they know, they aren’t really fooled by disguises. And, somehow, a cardboard cutout of your dog probably just isn’t the same.
  • You can leave a smartphone with your dog with a constant connection straight to your phone so that you can both reassure each other constantly the entire time you’re gone. This is probably a challenge, however, for your phone’s plan. It’s also unlikely that you can trust the connection to be that reliable. Also, dragging your phone around with you, everywhere you go, whispering words of comfort to your dog, will probably interfere with the activities you should be enjoying on your trip. Or, if it’s a business trip, it will interfere with your business activity.
  • You could just stay home – never go anywhere if you can’t bring Kibbles with you. This will solve the problem but at what cost? Is it really fair to you, or your dog, that you limit your experiences this way?
  • You can both take large quantities of Valium. This can put you both into semi-comatose states where you won’t care so much that you’re apart. But, that’s really not healthy and, besides, what’s the point of going on a trip if you’re half asleep the entire time you’re gone?

Obviously, the suggestions above are fairly silly. There is a suggestion that isn’t silly. In fact, it makes perfect sense: put Kibbles in a kennel where she’ll have such a good time she won’t have time to think about how much she’ll miss you. This will require some research.

Venture out from your Lake Zurich home. You might even bring Kibbles along, and check out some kennels. Ask probing questions. Look around. Do the dogs look happy and well-cared for? What do they offer? Do the dogs they’re taking care of look happy and well cared for? Are the pens well-kept and clean? You might also ask if they offer activities to make your dog feel as though he or she is on a vacation of their own. Some of the better kennels actually offer pet vacation plans that ensure your dog will have a good time while you’re away.

If the kennel passes muster, if you really feel that leaving your dog at the kennel is something she’ll enjoy, not only will she be well cared for and happy while you’re gone, you won’t have to worry about it.

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