Although Sandy is mostly out of the area and not nearly as strong as she once was, there are quite a few things to talk about with regards to this storm.
In the aftermath of the storm, there are a growing number of missing pets already being shared across social networking websites like Facebook. When there are massive numbers of people displaced from their homes, it is extremely common for there to be massive number of lost/found pets. I very firmly believe that the problem will be significantly less because of NYC laws that dictate that in the event of an emergency all shelters must accept pets that are either leashed or in carriers. Since so many people could evacuate with their pets, fewer pets were left to fend for themselves. Nonetheless, there are is an ever growing number dogs and cats (and a few other pets) being listed on a great Facebook page called “Hurricane Sandy Lost and Found Pets“. If you are located in the region affected by Sandy, I’d highly encourage you to ‘Like’ the page and keep an eye out for pets that may be missing or have been found in your area.
Connected to this idea is that it’s so important not to take for granted your dog’s normal behavior. Even in my area, where the storm did not hit full force, I’ve heard stories of dogs being lost because they were let out to potty during the storm and they spooked. Since these dogs were not typically bothered by storms, the guardians didn’t think twice about letting the dogs out in the fenced yard during the storm but something out there spooked the dogs and they escaped the fence. It’s so important that if there is an abnormal event occurring, to be a little more careful. Even sound dogs can get spooked, startled, or escape a fenced in yard.
I am so grateful to have two dogs who do not mind pottying or going out in the rain. There are many students who have dogs who struggle to potty or walk in the rain (they often use the word “refuse”) and with going on 5 straight days of rain, it’s been rough for them. Dog walking client, James Bond, is one of these dogs who is very very reluctant to walk or potty in the rain. I’ve been so lucky that he will both walk and potty if he’s walking with another dog (he marks over their spots) and lucky that I have two dogs who are comfortable walking with new dogs. Both Shayne and Rio have come to walk JB with me everyday this week so that I can be sure he will potty on our walk–my little working dogs!
Sandy also renewed my love of inside mental exercise games–I’m not sure how we would have made it through this week without kibble dispensing toys, scent games, recall games, training games, and interactive toys. It can be a challenge to keep these two monsters happy when they don’t get physical exercise but with all sort of enrichment activities we’ve made it through! Shayne’s favorite rainy weather exercise is when we play noseworks or other scent games–she gets very tired after a few good searches. Rio’s favorite activity is by far shaping and playing with the exercise ball, balance discs, and the “peanut”.
While we have survived the last 4 days of rain, it looks like one or two more–I’m sure we can make it but I cannot wait for the weekend so we can let them get out and RUUUNNN, oh wait, we’ve got our first Rally-O trial this weekend. We may not be set up for success for Rally-O but we’ll have fun nonetheless!