Dog jobs I daydream about

Me in my daydream day job... Click for source.

When I’m sitting in my gray cubicle, staring at a computer screen, I can’t help but daydream about what I’d rather be doing instead. Those daydreams usually involve me frolicking in a field with my future dog, or a whole pack of my future dogs. These are some quasi “jobs” that I often daydream about having, even though I’m sure they’re all far less glamorous than they are in my imagination:

  • Reinforcement trainer, a la Patricia McConnell, Pat Miller, or Karen Pryor. I daydream about this a lot. I’ve even sporadically browse the CCPDT website to read about their testing requirements, recommended reading, and timeline for becoming a certified trainer. I love watching dogs learn and teaching them–and especially their humans–how to shape appropriate or desirable behavior. I still have so much to learn in this area, but I’m looking forward to the trial-by-fire that will be coming our way this summer.
  • Full-time dog walker/runner, a la Lindsey Stordahl. That is one fit and adventurous woman! I say I want this job now, but in reality, I’m not sure how long I would love it, since it calls for being outside regardless of the weather (I can’t believe she does it in Fargo). Mostly, though, I’m up for it, because hardly anything brings me as much joy as walking dogs.
  • Agility trainer/co-competitor. (What do people who do agility with their dogs call themselves?) I am probably not as competitive as most of these people are, but everyone looks like they are having such a darn good time! I love watching agility trials and it’s a nice daydream to entertain, raising up an agility champion…
  • Shepherd. Or a farmer with lots of dogs, I guess. But having a team of dedicated herders at my disposal is also a nice dream.
  • Volunteer in some dog-based therapy program. Dog-assisted therapy is so moving and meaningful to me. I am especially fond of the programs in elementary schools, whether teaching kids how to behave around dogs or being reading partners. I also love the idea of visiting nursing homes. I wonder if I’ll ever have a dog calm enough to do either of those things…
  • Writing the daily blog from the perspective of Martha Stewart’s French bulldogs. OK, maybe not really, but whatever intern has that job has it made! Just hanging out around her estate, photographing the dogs doing silly things, and then writing about it? Yes, please. I’ll take that job.

Do you entertain any dog job daydreams? Or do you actually HAVE one of these jobs? If so, I envy you… in my imagination…

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A collection of cozy dog beds

The pet product industry has expanded to such an extent that I’m regularly astounded at the types of things that are available for pets when I walk through a store. It’s mind-boggling and sometimes embarrassing to see the useless stuff people will buy for their dogs. But, of course, I love looking and preemptively deciding what I want to get for our future dog (6 months and counting!).

Lately, I’m thinking about dog beds. What will our dog prefer? What would look good in our own bedroom? Will our dog even want to sleep on his or her own bed? (Probably not. Clearly, our bed will be prime real estate.) We bought a lovely sherpa-lined bed for my childhood dog, Emma, but I don’t think she ever slept on it. She got in bed with my younger sisters instead, or sneakily climbed up on the couch (where she wasn’t allowed).

Some of these dog beds are so plush and cozy-looking that I kind of want one for myself…

Hemp stripe dog beds, $145-$185, Olive Green Dog

I love these hemp-stripe beds from Olive Green Dog. Too bad the large size is $185…

Bergan the Dog's Dog Bed, $50-$72, PetCo

A nice, earthy color, too. Bergan the Dog’s Dog Bed, from PetCo, from $40 to $70. Now that’s a price I can live with…

K&H Pet Products Bolster Couch, $60-$80, PetsMart

Every dog I know loves to rest her head on the couch arms. This bed attempts to simulate that experience. A pleasant color, too. K&H Pet Products Bolster Couch, from PetsMart, from $60 to $80.

Luxury Chaise Lounge dog bed, Drs. Foster & Smith, $100 to $170

Um, can I get one of these for myself? Drs. Foster & Smith has a lot of high-quality dog beds in their catalog. This is the Luxury Chaise Lounge dog bed, and it prices from $100 to $170.

Organic lounge dog beds, $119-$279, Olive Green Dog

So classy! With the large size at $279 at Olive Green Dog, they ought to at least be classy.

Martha Stewart's Houndstooth Dog Bed, $44 at PetsMart

A classic pattern for a classic pooch. Martha Stewart Pet’s Houndstooth Dog Bed, $44 at PetsMart.

Does your dog have his or her own bed? Any particular type or brand you’d recommend?

Pup links!

Frenchie and her fashionista. Source: fashionsalade.com

Dog-related links from around the Web this week!

In Defense of Rescue Dogs. A short but strong list of answers to the common objections raised by people who don’t want rescue dogs. (I also strongly join her objections to “designer dog breeds” like cockapoos and labradoodles.)¬† (Pretty Fluffy)

Top 10 Tips for Hiking the Green Dog Way. Eco-friendly advice for hiking with your dog. (Raise a Green Dog)

SCAMPER: A Problem-Solving Tool. A useful acronym to help you sort through a behavioral or training issue. (A Frame of Mind)

The No. 1 Answer to Your Dog’s No. 2’s. These Dicky Bags look like a useful and convenient method of carrying poo bags. I particularly like them because the zipper would let me stuff it with re-used grocery bags, rather than having to buy those rolls of blue bags at the pet store. (Under the Blanket)

Photo Shoot Time. Setting up a photo shoot with Martha Stewart’s French bulldogs, Sharky and Francesca, who are kind enough to narrate the experience. (The Daily Wag)

One in Four Dogs Will Develop Cancer. A sobering look at the rates and incidences of cancer among dogs today. This report also lists the most common types of cancers that dogs will develop. (The Bark)

Pup links!

Two classy broads. Source: Miss Moss

Interesting pup-related links from around the web…

A retriever in the lake. These photos are so gorgeous and peaceful. I love Shirley Bittner’s work. (My Everyday Life, Shirley Bittner)

Farnham Park Flyball. I always love a good series of photos of herding dogs in action. (An English Shepherd)

Honoring Animal Heroes. Every year, Purina nominates some dogs and cats to go in their Animal Hall of Fame. These pets are pretty awesome and, I admit, their heroic stories made me tear up a little. (Rescuing Insanity)

Causes of Death Vary by Breed. This shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone who’s read about the dangerous genetics of purebred dogs, but it is an interesting and helpful study to be aware of. (The Bark)

Top 5 Myths about Dog Behavior and Children. A helpful overview of the myths that people perpetuate about the interactions between dogs and children. (The Dog Training Secret)

Artist Anna Dibble and Her Unforgettable Dogs. Anna Dibble makes lovely–and un-tacky!–paintings of pooches. (City Dog/Country Dog)

Peonies and Rain Don’t Mix. Martha Stewart’s team writes a blog from the perspective of her French bulldogs, Francesca and Sharky, and, I have to admit, it’s pretty adorable. (The Daily Wag)

DIY Pet ID Tags. Speaking of Martha Stewart, check out this great template for making pet ID tags at home! She’s the best. (Martha Stewart)

Puppy’s First Year: Time-Lapse Video. OK, this is a cool idea. Watch this German shepherd puppy grow up! (Paw Nation)

How to Run with a Dog. Tips from a pro about running with your dog. (That Mutt)