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Bethie

Dear Diary, I was awoken again by my humans this morning. I heard their loud car doors slam shut, the keys in the door and I jumped up with excitement, and when I say excitement I mean a slight eye roll with a quick stretch and a light jog to the front door. Of course, my sister bumped into me on the way because she thinks she needs to be the first one greeted. I squinted my eyes at her, NOT today Mittens! I sped up my light jog into a fierce power walk and bumped her with my tail, I was now in the lead. We made quick eye contact and before I knew it, the race had started. We rounded the corner and headed towards the bathtub room, we were neck and neck when I heard the door creak open and saw my humans. I gazed lovingly at them and...

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Pet owners sometimes focus more on proper behavior and training for their dogs than having fun. Constantly reinforcing canines for good behavior and punishing them for the bad can cause you to forget how to play. Professional and experienced dog trainers know exactly how to incorporate games into training but for the average family, there are plenty of activities you can do to bond with your dog. As humans, our relationship with dogs can be reinforced through play and can help us to remember just why we chose to have this canine friend in our lives.

If you have sufficiently socialized your dog to the point where you can take him in public, then do so. Not only will he be able to get a different view of the world than what he is accustomed...

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Your golden retriever Rusty is quite the dog-about-town. He enjoys several daily walks, giving him regular visits with his canine buddies living along the neighborhood route. While Rusty ambles along, he frequently veers off the sidewalk to roll in the leaves and burrow into the brush. When he gets home, his coat is mingled with plenty of debris and dirt.

Luckily for Rusty, you give him a thorough daily brushing even if he tries to avoid it. Grabbing his collar as he tries to make himself invisible, you haul him into the mudroom and tackle his unruly coat with a good grooming brush. Afterward, Rusty's reddish coat looks respectable again­. He also gets three extra benefits from these vigorous brush-outs.

Cleaner and Healthier Coat

Underneath the dirt and yard d...

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Fireworks, grilling out--what's not to love about the Fourth of July? For dogs, plenty. While some pets are blissfully unfazed by the festivities, many dogs are terrified of the loud noises and flashes of light. While you may never convince your dog that the sky isn't falling, there are a few ways you can comfort and protect him this weekend.

Build a fort. If your dog is afraid of loud noises, make sure he has an enclosed, den-like place to hole up in while fireworks are going off. This is also a good plan if your dog is stranger-adverse and you plan to have a large number of party guests over. A crate is an ideal safe space. In a pinch, try clearing out space in a closet or under a desk or bed. If you don't hollow one out beforehand, yo...

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