SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 28, 2012

Do I have the dog I thought I had?

Ask Dog Lady
Monica Collins

---- — Q: I have a situation, and it’s driving me crazy. My husband gave me a Yorkshire terrier for my birthday last March because it has been the dog of my dreams. The other day, I took my dog to a big pet store and a lady came up to me and asked me what kind of dog I had. She wasn’t the first one who asked me this. Later, a vet tech asked me if my dog was a Yorkie-poo, and, in that moment, I started asking myself the same question. I have been searching for information, and nobody can help. Right now, I am so confused. I just want to know what kind of dog I have.

A: Does it matter? Months have passed. Presumably, you have bonded with your pet by now so even if you have a Yeerkie from Planet Nidor, you love the creature no matter what its pedigree.

Ask your husband. He can provide the best answer about the birthday surprise. And, remember, he simply wanted to give his wife her dream dog. He’s a guy, and guys can sometimes make good-hearted gifting flubs. He made no error if he brought home a Yorkie-poodle mix instead of a purebred dog. In fact, he might have made a brilliant move because mixed breed dogs are often healthier than purebreds.

Q: I have a flea and tick shampoo I use on my three dogs. But after I wash them, they still have this dog smell until they dry. My mom, who has had far more dogs than I in her lifetime, told me to fill a tub, add some fabric softener and rinse them. She said it will give them a fresh smell and soften fur and skin. So I checked the ingredients in a fabric softener, and there was nothing bad. I did Internet searches, and there are mixed results. Is fabric softener harmful in a doggy rinse?

A:

Anytime you put human household chemicals on dogs’ fur and skin, you take a gamble — with no apologies to Procter & Gamble. Dog Lady is not a doctor, but she gives her dog a prescription for the natural approach to keeping fresh and clean. Wash your dogs with dog shampoo, for starters. And don’t bathe them too much, as canines have natural skin and fur oils that can dry out with constant tub time. Use products specifically made for the canine species. And, remember, your dog might not smell like a rose but will be just as sweet.

Q: I am writing about your response to a question about “Plimpton” the dog wandering over to a neighbor’s yard. The renters next door requested that it be kept on a leash. The owners asked how they can tell the next-door neighbors to mind their own business.

Your response started out on the right path but did not expand on the responsibilities of a pet owner. Would you please remind your readers that we’re talking about an animal, and it does not matter how cute or gentle it is. If the pet tends to wander into another person’s space, it should be restrained. There might also be legal implications.

A:

Responsible pet owners keep their dogs off other people’s property. No excuses.

---

Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her website is www.askdoglady.com. Contact her at askdoglady@gmail.com.