Archive for Tips

Twas the night before Christmas…

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full – we are lost but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care,
They’ll come to adopt us and give us the call, ”
Come here, Max and Sparkie – come fetch your new ball!!

But now we sit here and think of the days
we were treated so fondly – we had cute, baby ways.
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew –
now we’re no longer young and we’re no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly – why were they so rash?
We “jump on the children:, “don’t come when they call”,
we “bark when they leave us”, climb over the wall.

We should have been neutered, we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they’d trained us, if only we knew…
we’d have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.

We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam-
now we’re tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye…
“Maybe someone else will give you a try.”

So now here we are, all confused and alone…
in a shelter with others who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can’t stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer…
we know that they wonder how long we’ll be here.

We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears —
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can’t adopt us and there’s no room at the Inn —
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year —
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat…
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.

Finding that perfect gift for your pet….Priceless!!

Did you know that 63 percent of dog owners and 58 percent of cat owners give their pets gifts during the holiday season? Sometimes when owners buy gifts for their pets, they tend not take into account that a gift can be an opportunity to strengthen both their pets’ emotional and physical well-being as well as a means to increase their current pet/owner human/pet bond.  The Gloucester County Times (NJ), interviewed one man about how he celebrates Christmas with his golden retriever, Rue:  “She gets a pretty Christmas Eve outfit that she tugs and pulls off within 10 minutes,” he said. “That’s a $75 waste of money each year.” ( An amazing pet that people dont think about is a guinea pig, you should buy a guinea pig for your child they would love one! Is just one of the types of not usual pets that people are getting now a days different from cats and dogs, people are getting snakes, ferrets or even teacup pigs who actually are adorable and easy to take care of.

This year when seeking out that perfect gift for your pet, ask yourself these two questions:

  • Can  this gift improve our relationship?
  • Does this gift help strengthen my pets emotional and physical well-being?

Keeping the above questions in mind will help you provide that perfect gift and that is …priceless.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Remember to schedule an annual wellness exam for your pet. An annual physical examination is one of most important gifts to help your pet live a longer, happier, and healthier life.
  • Do you or your pet get stressed thinking about going to the vet?  A good gift would then be to have your vet come to you.
  • Spay or neuter your pet. Spaying and neutering can provide major health benefits and helps to fight pet overpopulation.  If cost is an issue, consider finding a veterinarian who supports a Low-Cost Spay/Neuter program.
  • Does your dog suffer from cracked paws or dry noses during the winter?  Consider a product like Doggie Wellness BowWow Butter Balm.  Products like this significantly help those dogs whose paws and noses are more sensitive during drier weather.
  • Instead of buying packaged dog treats, think about making your own or get the best wet cat food or dog food.  The benefits of making your own treats are numerous.
  • Take your dog for a Reiki Treatment – Reiki is a form of spiritual healing that helps harmonize the mind, body, and soul of your pet.
  • Offer your dog a hydro massage with essential oils – These massages are designed to help our canine friends who may have joint, skin and/or relaxation issues.
  • Love to pamper your dog? How about treating her to a manicure complete with nail painting?
  • SHHHH…!!  The newest accessorizing trend for our dogs…feathers.  It’s not only for humans anymore…!
  • Having trouble bathing your dog in the winter?  Consider a do-it-yourself doggie wash to get the job done.
  • Looking for a way to give a gift to a friend or neighbor’s dog?  How about a gift certificate?  Gift certificates are a thoughtful way to help others pay for veterinary, grooming, training or any other service you think their pet may benefit.
  • Do you have difficulty finding the time to regularly exercise your dog?  Consider hiring a dog walker to help you out.
  • Is your dog is home alone for long periods of time?  Think about giving the gift mental and physical stimulation by bringing your dog to doggie daycare a few times per week.
  • Support fundraisers hosted by your local shelter and rescue organizations. Chances are you will probably find some fun items for your own pet.  It’s a win-win for everyone!
  • The gift that keeps on giving…make a donation to your local shelter in your pet’s name.
  • If emergency responders came to your home, would they know that you have animals inside?  Give the gift of safety and affix a pet alert sticker on all entrances to your home.
  • Would you know what to do in the event of a medical pet emergency? Take a Pet first aid course so that if you are ever faced with a pet medical emergency you will be more prepared.
  • Do you feel that your dog could be better behaved when out in public? Enroll your dog in a basic obedience class.  I recommend NFAH and will be leading these classes!! Our next session is scheduled to begin 1/16.  For more details call:203.312.9000.
  • Having difficulty with canine behaviors in your home?  Consider hiring TLC Dog Trainer!  Call 203.241.4449, visit my website @ or check out my Facebook page – TLC Dog Trainer – you will see that I am equipped to help you with any behavioral issue that you may experiencing and can help you improve the current human-canine bond you have with your dog.

Still looking for that perfect gift for your pet?  
Listed below are some great companies who can help.  All of their products are manufactured in the USA and have recommended to me by clients or which I have personally used.

  • Sill Shields™ and Door Shields™ –  Designed to protect your window ledges and doors from being scratched and scuffed by doggie claws and paws.
  • Poochie-Bells® – Easily and quickly train your pooch to ring the bell each time your dog needs to eliminate outdoors.
  • Too Hot for Spot – This unique thermometer is designed to raise awareness of dog car safety and bring attention to the possible hazards of leaving pets in a vehicle during any season.
  • American Digs – American Digs is a premium brand of dog products and apparel. This company strives to provide products that dogs are proud to wear.
  • Katies Bumpers Whether you are a serious dog trainer doing land or water work or you have a dog that loves to fetch, Katie’s Bumpers are great.
  • Ruff Dawg – Ruff Dawg has the right toy for your dog. These 100% superior-grade, rubber retrieving toys are made in the USA and are great for any size pooch.
  • Honest Pet Products Offers pet owners safe, quality made, truly NATURAL toys for their dogs and cats.

Bottom-Line: The most important gift you can give your pet is making the time you spend together special.  Whether it be interacting with a toy, brushing your pet, or just hanging out, enjoy the time and find that gift which will assist in making your dog and the relationship you have with him the best it can be.


Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes at New Fairfield Animal Hospital and her website  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @

Are you prepared for a pet health emergency?

Are you prepared for a pet health emergency?

According to an emergency is “a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action”.   If you have ever been in an emergency – especially involving your pet, without any sort of pet insurance – you quickly learn the more prepared you are, the better equipped you will be in handling the situation.


Imagine coming home to, “Mom I’ve been trying to call you,  Winston just ate a whole bottle of Lucy’s (my other dog’s) pain medication….”  Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened this week.  So based on my recent experience with Winston and information from the experts, here are some tips designed to make you even more prepared if ever faced with a pet health emergency.

  1. Keep the name and phone numbers of your regular veterinarian and 24/7 emergency veterinary hospital (including directions) in a location that is easily accessible and have some home remedies for kennel cough at hand –  some suggestions are to have all the information posted on the refrigerator, programmed in your car’s GPS and into your smartphone.
  2. Listed below are three 24/7 emergency veterinary hospitals located in the Sherman/New Fairfield area.
  • Newtown Veterinary Specialists
    52 Church Hill Rd.
    Newtown, CT 06470,
    Phone:  203.790.6383
  • Veterinary Specialty Center of the Hudson Valley (did a great job with Mr. Winston)
    1285 U.S. Route 9
    Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
    Phone: 845.632.3200
  • Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center
    546 N. Bedford Road (Route 117)
    Bedford Hills, NY
    Phone:  914.241.7700
  1. Have the number of a 24/7 Poison Control Center readily available in your home (there will be a fee charged for this service).
  1. Pet Poison Helpline 800-213-6680
  2. ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center   1.888.426.4435
  1. If you are transporting your pet to the veterinarian with an emergency always alert the staff that you in route.  This way the medical team will be ready to take action the moment you enter their facility.  When Winston and I arrived at New Fairfield Animal Hospital the staff was waiting, had all the proper medications ready and began treating him right away.  We saved valuable minutes, which are critical when facing a life or death situation.


Prepare a pet first aid kit:  Having a few items in a handy place is a great idea for dealing with a pet health emergency.  According to Mary Oquendo, Master Pet Tech First Aid Instructor, the items listed below should be part of every standard first aid kit.

  • Non-stick gauze pads
  • Gauze rolls
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors with blunt ends
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Blanket (foil emergency blanket) for warmth or to assist with transport
  • Sealed sterile saline solution – once the bottle is opened it is no longer sterile.
  • Plastic cards such as old library or used gift cards – they are the perfect size to cushion pad injuries. You can also use them to flick out bee stingers. Place the card under the stinger and lift up and out.
  • Chemical cold packs or instant cold gel packs
  • Large Syringe (no needle) for flushing wounds or administering medicine. Handy hint:  A squirt bottle or turkey baster can be used in place of a syringe
  • Current medical information about your dog – including proof of rabies vaccination, current blood work, medications and any medical issues your dog may be experiencing.

In Mary’s on-demand webinar, Making and Using A Pet First Aid Kit,  you will learn how to put together a more comprehensive first aid kit and how to use the contents stored inside.  For more information go to

Bottom Line: Cindy Smith, staff manager at New Fairfield Animal Hospital sums it up:  When facing a health emergency with your pet, it’s important to get to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.  Do not waste time trying to diagnose your pet’s condition by going on-line, call your vet and describe the situation.  In a true emergency the difference between the life or death of your pet could be a matter of minutes.  Finally, If you ever have to transport your sick or injured pet to a veterinary hospital, make sure the staff is aware that you are on your way – just as in Winston’s case – the team can be waiting and have everything ready to begin treatment the moment you arrive.

As for Mr. Winston his 48 hour blood test just came back normal and we are hoping that his  second set of results will deliver the same news.


Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes at New Fairfield Animal Hospital.  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @





Rescue, Donate, Volunteer and Foster

Rescue, Donate, Volunteer and Foster

“Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats).” – ASPCA

There’s a tale used by some rescue and shelter organizations intended to put the above statistic into perspective.  Although you can find many variations of this story on the internet, the message is always the same.  It is about a man who walks the beach and tosses the starfish that have washed upon the shore back into the ocean.  One day he was asked why he did this as there were miles of beach and numerous starfish along each mile.  How could this possibly make a difference?  As the man bends down to toss another starfish into the ocean, he replies, “It made a difference for this one.”

Logically we know one person can t save all of the 5 – 7 million companion animals that enter  shelter and rescue organizations, but there are opportunities for everyone to make a difference in the life of one.  Let’s look at some of those ways:


Misconception:  “I can’t volunteer, I am not comfortable working directly with the animals.”

Reality:   There are many volunteer opportunities within any shelter or rescue organization that does not involve direct contact with animals.”

  1. Help design and maintain a monthly newsletter
  2. Volunteer in the office (answering phones, filing etc)
  3. Arrange and participate in fundraising events
  4. Website maintainance
  5. Put together informational packets for new adopters
  6. Assist in screening new adopters
  7. Handyman work around the facility
  8. Landscaping and gardening



Misconception:  “Shelter and rescue organizations are only looking for financial donations.”

Reality:  While cash donations are always appreciated, the supplies needed for the day to day operations are just as important.

Note:  To determine which items your favorite shelter/rescue organization is in need of, take time to visit their website.

  1. Towels
  2. Blankets
  3. Dog or cat food
  4. Litter
  5. Laundry detergent
  6. Newspaper
  7. Food dishes
  8. Cat and dog beds


Misconception:  “Fostering is only for children.”

Reality:  Did you know that you can work with your local shelter or rescue organization and temporarily foster one of their companion animals within your home?

Many times there is a screening process that occurs prior to fostering a shelter or rescue animal in your home.  However, once approved, the overall goal would be to assist in preparing the animals from the shelter into their forever home.



Misconception:  “Most shelter animals are not good pets, that Is why they end up in the shelter.”

Reality:   According to the Humane Society of the United States the most common scenarios as to why animals end up in shelters are due to “people reasons” as opposed to behavioral issues.

  1. Their owners have passed away
  2. A divorce
  3. Owners have to move
  4. Owners did not spay or neuter their pets and could not keep the litter of puppies
  5. Owners did not have enough time to take care of their pet.
  6. Owners could not take care of their pet financially


Bottom-Line:  As you can see, there are many opportunities in which you can help your local rescue or shelter organization.  Now it’s up to you to find that special way to make that difference in the life of one.


Donna Gleason – TLC DogTrainer resides in Sherman, CT. 
She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) and group puppy/basic obedience classes.  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Good Dog Foundation and consulting trainer for Paw-Safe Animal Rescue.  To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @

Every Dog needs a job

Tips from our trainer – Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer

Every Dog needs a job – but what exactly is a job?

Every other Sunday Mr. Socrates goes to work and performs a job.  His job is to assist Paula Gallo, Lead Manager at the Home Depot  – New Milford, Connecticut – in finding customers who would like to receive a free-estimate for any of their home renovation needs.  When at the store, associates always go out of their way to welcome Mr. Socs and their Home Depot customers.  No matter who is interacting with Mr. Socs, he knows the rules when working:  he is expected to behave in a certain way till his hour long shift is over and then off to the car he goes for a tasty treat.  That’s the routine and it never changes.  When returning home from work, Mr. Socs is tired and usually takes a long nap.  All dogs need a job.  However, some owners may have difficulty finding the right job for their dog.  Typically, the reason(s) why owners don’t find their dog a job can boil down to one of the following:

  1. They may not realize that finding a job for their dog doesn’t need to be complicated.
  2. They may not realize the importance of giving their dog a job.
  3. They may not realize that all dogs can be given a job with a bit of time and effort.

 Finding a job for your dog doesn’t have to be complicated.  A job doesn’t mean your pet has to become an AKC champion or to learn to sniff out bombs.  The good news is that a job can be much simpler and all dogs, no matter what issues they have, can learn a job.  Here’s the criteria to think about when finding a job for your dog:

  1. A job is an activity or series of activities that provides an opportunity for mental and/or physical stimulation.
  2. A job is performed regularly and routinely.
  3. The behavior(s) that are expected when your dog is performing his job are consistent.
  4. A job well done is always reinforced/rewarded.

Why is it important to find your dog a job?  We have all heard the saying – A tired dog is a good dog!!.  Dogs who have a job tend to display less behavioral issues and are calmer due to the additional mental and/or physical stimulation they receive.  A job creates the opportunity for your dog to become a thinking dog.  Thinking dogs tend to display less behavioral issues.  Many dogs who live in an environment lacking of mental and/or physical stimulation often find their own creative ways to stimulate their mind and body – digging, barking, chewing, hyperactivity, attention seeking behaviors, chasing the cat and much, much more…

 Every dog can have a job:    

Use your imagination and the tips below as a guide to begin finding a job for your dog today.

    1. When going for a walk, have your dog sit at all curbs, stop signs and when greeting new people.
    2. Have your dog sit and wait before exiting a door or their crate.
    3. Teach your dog go to his crate or a special place on cue, first make sure his crate is the right size for him, he has to feel comfortable in order to have the desire to go in it, I recommend reading some heavy duty dog crate reviews to get the perfect one.
    4. Have your dog sit and wait before eating his dinner.
    5. Teach your dog to go to a specific spot while you are eating your dinner.
    6. Teach your dog to eat his food out of interactive toys. Premier Pet Products offers some great products for this.

If you have trouble feeding your dog you can try the app controlled automatic pet feeder which will make your life easier.

  1. Teach your dog to bring you his leash when going on a walk.
  2. Have your dog pick up and place their toys in a toy box or basket.
  3. In the morning, establish a routine to have your dog greet and wake everyone up.
  4. Teach your dog to find which cup the treat is hidden under.  Start with one cup and then increase the number of cups once he has mastered the previous level.
  5. Teach your dog to find objects hidden in the house.
  6. When playing catch with your dog  – have him sit and wait before retrieving the ball.
  7. Enroll your dog into a group training classes (Basic Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Agility and Rally are some great ways to help your dog become a thinking dog).

 Bottom-Line:  Every dog needs a job.  Dogs who have been given a job tend to be more emotionally balanced and calmer due to the additional mental and/or physical stimulation they receive.

If you would like to see Mr. Socs at work, please join Donna at the New Milford Home Depot on 5/20 @ 11:00.

The next session for her puppy/basic obedience class is scheduled to begin at New Fairfield Animal Hospital on June 6, 2012 @ 6:00 p.m.  For more details, call NFAH:  203.312.9000
TLC Dog Trainer

Donna Gleason – TLC Dog Trainer resides in Sherman, CT.  She is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with a Masters in Behavior Modification.  She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes.  Donna is a member of APDT, Delta Society, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Delta Society and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue. Find out more here.

To reach Donna call 203.241.4449 or visit her website @