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Tips for having Fun in the Sun with our Doggies

Note: This article first appeared in the Waterland Blog on Jul 29, 2020 | –used with permission.

Jan’s dog ‘Willow’ keeping cool!

By Jan Magnuson

We all enjoy playing with our pups and taking them for walks and hikes during this sunny time of year! Just like we take into account the potential effects of the direct sunlight, warm temperatures, and humidity on ourselves, we also should consider how our “furry family members” will fare! I adore my three girls “Willow,” “Daisy,” and “Violet,” and want to always make sure they are safe, healthy, and happy!

Before beginning a summer exercise routine with our dogs, it is a great idea to have them examined by our veterinarian to make sure they are able to safely participate. We should ask if our dogs have any health considerations or special needs that should be addressed before we take them out and about with us in the summertime weather.

We need to consider our dogs’ individual challenges to the warm weather like how much coat they have, if they are overweight and out of shape, or if they have a “pug face” (“brachycephalic”, like my Japanese Chin “Violet”) in addition to any specific health issues they may have like prior injuries, strains or arthritis, skin inflammation, etc.

When we are ready to go out with them, it is a good idea to have a small basic first-aid kit, our cell phone (with our vet’s and emergency vet’s phone numbers), and of course fresh water for them and for us. If we are going to take a longer hike, having snacks may be appropriate as well.

Because I am so active with my dogs, I have many different locations I take them for playtime, walks and hikes. So, on days that are hotter than others, I take them to a trail I know has more shade and is cooler and is possibly even near water. I also tend to do “laps” instead of going straight up and then back, as that way if it gets really hot, we can stop anytime mid-lap instead of having to go a long distance back to our truck.

Another consideration is if the walking surface – pavement, concrete, gravel – on a trail or roadway could be too hot. I place my hand flat on the surface and if it feels too hot for me, it is too hot for my dogs’ pads! So, using a trail that is grass and has lots of shade is a better option, or I can walk on the paved trail but make sure my dogs walk on the grass.

Stopping often in the shade to allow our dogs to lie down and relax and get a drink of water is helpful too.

Always watching our dogs to make sure they do not overheat is imperative – dogs can get too hot very quickly, so we should always keep an eye on them to make certain they are not showing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, as that can quickly become an emergency.

More info here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke

Breeder Comment

Thank you, Jan–there are no adequate words to cover all you have done for us and with Willow.

Willow has been a superstar her entire life!  She has attained many titles and awards (see above) for Conformation, Obedience and Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, and Good Citizen, and include 5 UKC Altered Best-In-Show and 14 Altered Reserve Best-In-Show awards!

All Too Familiar

–Willow on Lookout

I can’t believe Willow is almost 8 years of age, she is still very healthy and strong and smart.  We do lots of fun activities together every day, especially now that I am retired from 30 years in Law Enforcement.  She has so many show titles I have almost lost count (…not really, LOL!) and best of all, she is a wonderful family pet and certified Therapy Dog, where we do therapeutic visits and she makes everyone smile.


Here she is doing one of her favorite activities- watching the birds and squirrels on the bird feeders!  She likes to stare for the longest time, and when she is outside, she will stand and often point, her patience amazes me!  


She is the best girl EVER!     


Jan MagnusonSUNSTARAll-Breed Dog Training
http://sunstardogtraining.com

Breeder Comment

There is little we can say other than together you have written a fantastic story–what a journey. May she live on, and continue to thrive.

Willow’s Wall

~A picture is worth a thousand words!

UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-Trial Champion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Novice Trick Dog, UKC Rally Obedience I, UKC Agility I, Therapy Dog International certified

Breeder Comment

Although it was never our goal to raise or sell the Show Dog–Jan Magnuson has done more than we could have ever imagined with her Willow. What an extraordinary career she has had on every level. Even with Jan’s retirement, she and Willow are out in the community doing service work. We cannot thank Jan enough–and this wall attests to all they have achieved together. (The above photo is not the most recent, but it is Jan and my favorite moment in her career–well, one of the favorite moments.)

~As Jan puts it…

Willow has been a superstar her entire life!  She has attained many titles and awards (see above) for Conformation, Obedience and Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, and Good Citizen, and include 5 UKC Altered Best-In-Show and 14 Altered Reserve Best-In-Show awards!

Willow is very active as a certified Therapy Dog, and we do visits at retirement, assisted living, and memory care facilities, schools and daycares, and community events.  I have served 30 years as a Law Enforcement Officer, and Willow has accompanied me on duty as a Therapy dog on calls and out in the community, and at the police department. 

Looking for a Find

~Willow in Search

UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-TrialChampion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, CGC, TKN, URO1, UAG1, TDI 

Digging out in the wild or on the beach is a fun activity. Digging in our garden or the yard is not desirable. Digging–its a thing.

Cypress

All Muscle

 

24172987_10214230884789347_4639783586717992956_o

 

November 27, 2017 — Cypress and Willow

 

 

~Veterinary Visit News

(November 14, 2017) — I weighed Cypress at the vet today, she weighs 31 pounds!!!  OhMyGoodness!!!  And there is not a speck of fat on her…

 

(December 1, 2017) — Cypress had her sixteen-week titer and it came back fabulous so she won’t need another DAP right now.  We did her rabies vaccine, so she is set for a while.  I plan to do the two-vaccine Lepto in a bit, as we do have Lepto in this area, it is not a combo vaccine (I did that with Willow too).  Cypress is very healthy, no signs of parasites and she is gaining weight. Her condition and coat are beautiful.  She is very clumsy, she is like a foal or a fawn, she trips over her own feet and legs sometimes!  She is around 35 pounds now at four months.

~At Class With Jan

I took her to obedience class this week, she is just learning her basics and I was able to use her for demos.  I am happy now that Cypress’s immunity is in full swing, she can meet more (safe) dogs.  She is kinda shy and reserved at first with people and new situations, she is more that way than Willow was, but she is coming around.  With that type of temperament comes the very positive aspects where she stays close to me and doesn’t wander off, checks for my approval constantly, and is VERY bonded with me.  She is VERY biddable.

~Cypress and Willow (with Daisy)

24172987_10214230882749296_630886405484584027_oCypress and Willow and Daisy adore each other, they all play and play, and they all have similar gentle play styles.  I chuckle that at first Daisy was unimpressed with a new puppy in our family, but within a very short time, they became fast friends!  Willow is the best big sister ever, she is so gentle and patient with Cypress, I am so happy.  I always make sure to give each dog their separate, special time with me, while I leave the other two outside or whatever- I feel that is one of the reasons I have always had multiple dogs that get along.

Talk to you soon, Hugs, Jan  

PS: I am always happy to be a reference as you know!  

Jan Magnuson
SUNSTAR All-Breed Dog Training

P.O. Box 98072, Des Moines, WA 98198 (206) 241-2908
-Home of “Willow”- UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-Trial
Champion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, CGC, TKN, URO1, UAG1, TDI

 

I love her so much ❤️    Jan

Breeder Comment

We are beyond blessed. Thank you, for all your help over the years–support, encouragement, referrals, endorsements, and what you do with your OwyheeStar Weims. It means more than words on a page can express. We wish you continued success in your journey. We are ecstatic about the titles and the joy you find in all you do with the girls.