5 Tips For The Dog Park (To Keep Everyone Happy And Safe)

Just A Few Things To Keep In Mind

Written by: Noel Johnson

 1) Pick up after your dog

This seems like an obvious one but every day I’m at the dog park there are “doggy land-mines” strewn about. This is not only bad for your shoes but also for dogs who are “poo eaters”.  If everyone just picked up after their dogs it would be a much cleaner place.  If you are picking up after your own dog and you see some doggy-doo next to it, why not pick it up to! Its not just going to magically disappear on its own.  Even if someone else left there dog mess behind, be the bigger person and pick up whatever you see around you!

2) No small children

If you have your little ones with you and don’t have anyone to take care of them while you take your pooch to the dog park then don’t go to the dog park! There is no way you can trust every strange dog in the dog park with your child especially if they are little and still don’t understand how to be “gentle”. Even if every dog there is fun loving and friendly (which they usually are). More than likely your kid is going to get bowled over while the dogs run around. Dog parks are parks for DOGS not CHILDREN.

3) If you can’t control your dog, keep it on a long leash

Before letting your dog off leash you should always work on their recall thoroughly. Realistically, some dogs are more independent or are just easily distracted which makes recall difficult. If this is the case you can purchase 20-40ft leashes from most pet stores. Use that at the dog park so if Fido is running off with someone elses ball and won’t come back at least you have the leash to grab and reign him in!

4) Don’t bring your dogs “favorite” toy

If you’re bringing your dogs favorite toy to the dog park you’re basically asking him to get into a fight. Even if your dog doesn’t have toy aggression, its just a risk best not to take. If your dog does have toy aggression, put a muzzle on them. Its not cruel its just common sense. In my opinion tennis balls should be the only toys aloud at the dog park. Why? because they’re cheap and usually the park is already full of them so most dogs don’t really care if another dog catches the ball before they do. The only time you should bring your dogs favorite toy is for recall incentive. Otherwise leave that squeaky goose toy at home.

5) Relax

Quite often I see a dog owner “mother henning” their dog. Following it around, yelling at it and freaking out whenever their dog starts to play with another dog because it looks like “fighting”. Take a deep breath and now that dogs can understand each other far better than humans and being anxious at the dog park is only going to make your dog nervous and perhaps act out aggressively. If you can’t read or understand dogs warning signs or calming signals and the park is too stressful, go elsewhere or wait for a less busy time. Your dog will be much happier with a calm and happy owner!

Learn more about dog walker & dog day care center in Toronto

One Lucky Dog Spotlight: Maddy

Meet Maddy!


Maddy is a 12 year old Golden Retriever who started doing daily walks with One Lucky Dog in September 2014


Due to her age she has some mobility issues, especially in her hips. Her owner wasnt sure how well she would do at the off leash park.


Immediately once she got to the park, Maddy was in doggy paradise with her new friends.


Weeks and months went by and her mobility and disposition started to improve dramatically! She even ran to the door with anticipation every day her dog walker showed up!


She loves making snow angels!


Andy going for long walks!


Daily group walks has given old Maddy a new lease on life, and new friends to boot… Just look at that smile! :)

For more info on One Lucky Dog’s services contact Linda at contact@oneluckydog.ca

One Lucky Dog “Spotlight” – Barney

 Meet Barney!


Barney is a Labradoodle who started with One Lucky Dog back in August 2014 with puppy visits twice daily.


He was only a 5 weeks old and loved to play with toys in his backyard. Especially ones that squeak!


Every week he grew bigger and bigger and his goofy lovable personality grew too


After a few months he had graduated from puppy visits and moved into group walks so he could make new friends! Addie, who was also a puppy and Barney became best pals immediately


The park was a little intimidating at first especially when there was such big dogs all around him!


But with some positive reinforcement and with his best friend Addie by his side the dog park started to feel more like home.


Over a few weeks his shyness began to decline and more of Barney’s lovable and goofy personality started to shine through at the park.


Now Barney is over six months old and all that insecurity has disappeared! He is a happy, confident and is never shy to make new friends. (Although Addie will always be his best friend)


For more info on dog walking, dog boarding and puppy visit service please contact Linda at contact@oneluckydog.ca

Happy Trails!

Toronto Humane Society – Pet Photo Contest

Pet Photo Contest

January 12, 2015

Lights! Camera! Action! Dust off your camera, set up the lighting and get ready for your pet to become an instant celebrity.

We are looking for 12 photogenic pets (of all kind!) to be featured in the Toronto Humane Society’s annual New Beginnings calendar. Please submit your photos by email to petphotocontest@torontohumanesociety.com or by mail to: The Toronto Humane Society – Pet Photo Contest, 11 River Street, Toronto, ON, M5A 4C2

Rules & Guidelines:

  1. All photos must be 9 x 12 or 8 x 10 in colour, horizontal layout and contain animals only.
  2. Digital pictures are preferred over film. Adjust digital image sizes to the highest resolution and save pictures as a .jpg, or .tiff file.
  3. We will only accept pictures that have not been altered with editing software.
  4. Polaroid or copyrighted professional photographs cannot be accepted.
  5. Photos become property of the Toronto Humane Society and will not be returned. We also reserve the right to use them for other fundraising purposes.
  6. Photos depicting cats outdoors, inhumane training collars or visibly distressed animals will not be considered.
  7. Contest is open until May 1, 2015.

Puppy Bowl XI Highlights

   Well, another Super Bowl has come and gone. But here at One Lucky Dog we want to look back at last nights Puppy Bowl!

   The Puppy Bowl is an annual television program on Animal Planet that mimics the Super Bowl, using puppies. Shown each year on Super Bowl Sunday, the show consists of footage of a batch of puppies at play inside a model stadium,with commentary on their actions. The first Puppy Bowl was shown on February 6, 2005, opposite Super Bowl XXXIX. The puppies featured in the Puppy Bowl are from shelters.

Check out this years highlights here: http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/videos/puppy-bowl-ix-highlights/

A Woman Took Her Dying Dog On An Epic Bucket List Adventure And It’s Heartbreakingly Beautiful

Original post from Buzzfeed

To cope with losing her best friend, a 160-pound English mastiff, Lauren Fern Watt took her pup on an adventure that changed both of them.

Lauren Fern Watt had been through everything with her 160-pound English Mastiff, Gizelle: boyfriends, college, and a move to New York City. But then she was told that Gizelle had terminal bone cancer, and had only a few months left to live.

Watt had gotten the nearly 8-year-old Gizelle in her home of Tennessee and taken her with her on her big move.

“Gizelle wasn’t just a pet, she was some extremely special mix of my daughter, best friend, roommate, and everything in between,” she told BuzzFeed News. “It was so hard to grasp life without her.”

Though she was devastated, the 25-year-old told BuzzFeed News that she knew she had to do something special for Gizelle’s last months to make them the best she ever had.

In an essay published by Yahoo, Watt wrote about her idea for the final adventure she would have with her dog:

My sobbing seemed unstoppable, but Gizelle was sensitive and didn’t like to see me cry. I had to be strong. So I decided we would bury our worries in the dog park and create a bucket-list adventure of everything we wanted to do before she died. It was my mission for us to indulge and explore life’s joys.

The two would jump in the ocean without towels, cook lobster, search for waterfalls, and nap in the grass.

“I wanted to enjoy my last months with Gizelle and really cherish our life together, instead of focusing on being sad about the fact that she had cancer,” she told BuzzFeed News. “Travel is a huge passion of mine, and Gizelle was a big motivation to go on new adventures with her while I still could.”

First up, a canoe ride. The duo loved to watch The Little Mermaid together, and the scene of the boat ride with Prince Eric was one of their favorites.

I was determined to get all 160 pounds of my easily spooked pup into a canoe. I tried to keep from wobbling as she hesitantly tip toed in one paw at a time. We weren’t quite as graceful as Ariel and Prince Eric. Gizelle was confused by the paddle splashing water in her face, and when a spider jumped onboard, we nearly capsized as I swatted at it with a life jacket. But when a light breeze picked up, Gizelle plunked her heavy head on the side of the canoe as we floated across the water, and I could almost see the wind tickling her jowls. I know she was embracing the quiet and nature that we didn’t have in New York City, because I was, too.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Next was an early-morning visit to Times Square.

The streets were clean – no tossed Broadway-show brochures or trash, the sun was rising, and it was pretty empty except for some smiling families huddled outside of the Good Morning America offices clutching coffees. We stood at the Crossroads of the World and realized it did sparkle like it’s supposed to. It was magical.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Gizelle and Watt then took a trip to cook two perfect lobsters at Well’s Beach in Maine.

Before cooking them at a friend’s beach house, I freed the lobsters to tap across the kitchen floor with Gizelle. She sniffed at them like they were her dog pals, and I almost felt bad for how short-lived this friendship would be. But we kissed them each farewell before plopping them in the pot. I fed Gizelle hot buttered lobster chunks with a fork, so I’m sure she didn’t mind too much.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

The next stop was eating ice cream together on a peaceful dock and watching the boats float by.

The travel writer and PR professional told BuzzFeed News that these quiet moments were her favorite.

“I loved getting out of noisy Manhattan and into nature. I know Gizelle really appreciated this too. Probably the canoe or sitting on the dock watching the boats and eating ice cream [were my favorite parts]. Such simple things, but they’re impossible to find in crazy Manhattan.”

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

The next adventure was a girls-only road trip through New England with Watt’s best friend, Rebecca, and no set destination.

We’d take turns sticking our heads out the window, and didn’t worry about work, deadlines, or boys. In fact, our only real problem was navigating with a paper atlas (we’d sworn off Google Maps for a smartphone detox) and trying to figure out if Gizelle preferred Taylor Swift or the Beach Boys.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Of course, they made sure to cuddle as much as possible.

Sure Gizelle was bigger than me, but she never knew it. After I discovered she was dying, dog hair on my once-forbidden bed and slobber on my face didn’t seem to matter as much as spending time cuddling with Gizelle. She helped teach me that love is the most wonderful gift I can receive, and it is the best thing I have to give. My lap became her desired seat, and it was awesome.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

They also spent a whole sunny day people-watching in Washington Square Park.

We were serenaded by a man strumming an out of tune guitar with broken strings, talked to a guy with a fish tattooed on his face, and helped a lady in the red kimono feed the pigeons and bird call at the hawks. (Gizelle always introduced me to more people than my sometimes reserved personality allowed me on my own.) It was then I realized how proud I was to live in such an odd place — and looking over at my 160-pound slobbery roommate, I realized we fit right in.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Next, they went to a party to meet a cute boy dog. That’s where they found Auggie, and the two flirted over a little beer pong.

Gizelle had always been my wing girl for picking up guys in the East Village; now it was her turn. When I found out a friend was having a party with 19 adorable single dogs on the invite list, I knew this was Gizelle’s chance to meet someone special.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Gizelle’s appetite began to disappear as she got sicker, so as a treat they went to find what they heard was the best doughnut in the world, up the coast of Maine, at Congdon’s Donuts.

These donuts were so fresh they took unusual shapes and had mini air-filled dough bubbles. We sat in the grass and ate the whole box. And you know what? I still don’t feel bad about it!

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Then they went to meet Santa for Gizelle’s last Christmas.

Since she might be afraid of a “tall man with a big beard,” they settled for these three Santa’s helpers.

Although the dogs didn’t seem to notice each other much and the pugs weren’t as jolly as a human Santa, I still made sure to pass them Gizelle’s Christmas list of rib eyes, hotdogs, and vanilla ice cream.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

The day before she died earlier this month, for their last adventure, the two sat by the ocean in Maine as it snowed.

Watt wrote:

Part of me wondered if this was her plan all along, to take me on an adventure, knowing we’d end up on a deserted beach alone. The sky was white, the trees were bare, and even the birds were hiding. The whole world felt lifeless, and it was hard to believe this beach was once filled with rainbow-colored umbrellas and cute boys lathered in SPF.

It was then I realized that I was okay with letting Gizelle go. Just like I had faith that the trees would sprout lime green leaves again and kids with yellow buckets would splash in the water once more, I had faith I’d carry Gizelle with me. Even in the emptiness of that beach that day, I could see Gizelle running free long the shore, rolling in the sand, awkwardly spooked by approaching waves. I knew she would live on through my experiences, and that I gave her the best life I could. And that to me was infinitely healing.

Courtesy of Lauren Fern Watt

Watt told BuzzFeed News that losing Gizelle was harder than she ever imagined it would be, but that the bucket list helped her come to terms with the loss.

“Her last day was so much harder than I ever could have expected, but I also had so much comfort knowing we had done so much in the past months and lived life so fully,” Watt told BuzzFeed News. “I knew it was her time, and her bucket list really helped me navigate that.”

Photos and story used with permission from Lauren Fern Watt.

Original post from Buzzfeed