Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Retired Dog's Job

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Pat and AJ enjoy their retirement. They spend their days sitting together on a park bench uplifting passerby's with their smiles.  AJ wears his bright red harness, a popular alternative to common dog collars as it protects his neck and windpipe.


"A week after our beloved Schnauzer, Titch, died, we donated his leftover food, beds, leashes and toys to the animal shelter," shares Pat's wife June. "When we arrived at the shelter we were not planning on adopting another pet.

The staff recognized our grief, over our dear furry friend, and said, 'You need another dog.  We have the perfect dog for you.'

They asked us to "come back the next day to see the perfect dog.' They wanted to give him a bath and brush him so he would look extra handsome for us.  They did not reveal any other information on the dog."
"My husband, Pat and I, spent the evening discussing who and what the mystery dog could be," remembers June.  "The next day, still curious, we returned to the shelter to see the dog.

When they brought AJ out to us, we were surprised! Imagine! He was a pure bred Bichon Frise, and a very lively one at that! We had no idea that shelters received ALL breeds of purebred cats and dogs. The shelter staff encouraged us to take AJ for a walk, and that went very well. We liked him. We were leaving for Arizona, in a few days, and we were concerned that he would not enjoy traveling in a car or motor home.

We asked the staff if we could take AJ for a 'test' car ride, and they agreed.  AJ happily jumped into our car.  He loves car rides.  That closed the deal.  They were right, AJ was the perfect dog for our family.

AJ emotionally rescued us when he was ten months old from our grief over Titch, and we physically rescued him.  It was a wonderful deal for everyone!

AJ is an excellent traveler and over the years he has traveled thousands of miles as part of our family in both our car and RV.

We named him AJ, because we loved spending our holidays in Apache Junction, also known as AJ, which is 40 miles east of Phoenix.

AJ is friendly with any dog that comes along, and he loves everyone including children.  In the early years, AJ was very lively and loved to run around in wild abandon if he got loose. As the years went by he has settled down, until now at 11-years-old he is thankfully sedate.

AJ is great company, and in return we spoil him and treat him like a prince.   Pat loves sitting for hours on a park bench with AJ beside him.  They are ambassadors of kindness, because so many strangers stop and talk to them brightening their day.  Obviously, strangers are just as affected by AJ's big brown eyes as we were the first day we were captivated by their sparkle and his sweet spirit.


"It's amazing what we go through to give AJ a pill," admits Pat's wife June. "We've learned to hide his pill in a small spoonful of peanut butter.  He loves peanut butter, and this method is easier than placing the pill on his tongue and waiting for him to spit it out," laughs Pat.

Bob, a Tips 'n' Tales reader's pet-pill-trick is,  "I bury the dog's pill inside canned dog food, add dry food on top, and mix it all together.  This way he is 'fooled' into thinking that it is dry kibble, verses a pill. If it's a capsule, then I pull it apart, and sprinkle onto the wet food, with  a bit of water."

Patricia in Helena, Montana suggests, "I give my cats their pills after dipping the pill in butter or baby-food-type meat."

Pat in Chehalis, Washington writes, "To give Kobe his pills, we have to outsmart him!  I used to put the pills in a bit of raw hamburger. He got wise to that and refused anymore hamburger.  So, I pulled out the the old jealousy dog card.  I gave our other dogs little bits of hamburger, making Kobe wait unit the last.  By the time I got to him, he was slobbering and ready for the hamburger laden pill.  He eagerly ate it, not wanting to be left out of the treat."
Janetta Overholser, President of Humane Society of Cottage Grove suggests, "You can purchace 'pet pill pockets'. They are a treat with a hole in them.  Place a pill in the pill pocket and your critter inhales it.  'Pill poppers' are another option.   They are similar to a syringe, plastic, and have a place for a pill that allows you to put the pill in the back of your pet's mouth, and then you release it by pushing the handle."

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