SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 27, 2013

Beagle mix will eat about anything

Ask Dog Lady
Monica Collins

---- — Dear Dog Lady,

This is the third time I am writing you. Won’t you please give me an answer? My dog, Milkyway, is a terrier/beagle mix. He sniffs out everything and not only chews but swallows things — paper, tree sticks, grandkids’ small toys, anything he can. I watch him constantly. He is a year old. Is he bored? He has chew toys and bones but still does this. Help!

A: Dog Lady gets hundreds of letters and cannot possibly respond to every one — especially when the answer is well within obvious grasp of the questioner. Basically, there’s no magic answer except you owe more to your dog. You’ve got to keep Milkyway better contained in a crate, a room, or behind a gate. You can’t let him roam and eat whatever he wants because he might ingest something that will rip apart his insides.

Yes, he’s bored and yes, he needs better from you. Walk him more. Keep him on a leash in the house and don’t let him wander away. If you can’t watch him every minute, put him in a safe place where he can hang out. Training a young dog not to chew is like asking the sun not to shine. Training a dog to chew appropriately is all up to you. Go to the pet store and buy some conically-shaped rubber dog toys. Stuff these with peanut butter and give to Milkway. The chomp toys will keep him occupied.

Your pet is a dependent creature. He is smart, but Milkyway needs you to help him learn right from wrong. He is going to stuff things in his mouth as long as you allow him to do that. You must help your beagle mix become successful at living with you.

Dear Dog Lady,

I am a dog lover. But I’m not sure how I feel about communicating with them or other animals. A person we know just hired an animal psychic to talk to a cat who is terrorizing the neighbor lady. The cat told her he does it for fun. The psychic told the cat he cannot go over to the neighbor’s house anymore. This psychic was also hired to talk to a horse with an issue. The second time she came, the horse refused to talk to her.

My question: Is someone here (the psychic or the client) smoking something illegal or am I just not open-minded?

A: We must assume animal psychics have good intentions in their mysterious ways to make a living. But do they really talk to the animals better than you do — or Dog Lady, who fancies herself something of a mutt mentalist? Once, when an animal psychic gave a complimentary reading of Dog Lady’s dog, the spiritualist came back with a pronouncement, “He says he likes chicken.” Hmm. Was chicken lickin’ the full extent of a total dog brain dump?

The cheeky cat and the taciturn horse could very well have been communicating with the psychic. The people who pay for the services of the self-proclaimed telepathic are the ones who decide if the messages are the medium.

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