If you loved the recent movie The King’s Speech, you may have noticed a brood of adorable dogs circling around the little actress playing the future Queen Elizabeth. These are called Corgis. (The full name of the breed is “Pembroke Welsh Corgi.”) They have foxy faces with pointy ears, long bodies with tiny legs like Dachshunds, and three-color coat of white, orange and black.

They are hardworking little herders. Tiny as they are, they can run circles around any group of cattle, and guide them where they need to go. They’re so smart and affectionate that it’s no wonder young Elizabeth loved them. She has owned over thirty Corgis since she became Queen in 1953.

On April 29th, there will be a Royal Wedding for Prince William and his beloved, Kate Middleton. Will this young couple receive a gift of Corgis? It is well known that Kate loves her Cocker Spaniel, Otto. Last summer this love was sorely tested when Otto swallowed a very rare and extremely expensive pair of pearl earrings that William had given Kate as an engagement gift. The bride-to-be was reduced to taking Otto for a number of extra walks and examining his droppings in hopes of getting the pearls back. She found them. They were beyond repair, but William happily got her another, saying, “I’m just glad Otto’s all right.”

Whatever kind of dog they get in years to come, that will be one well- loved little pet.

If you want to celebrate the Royal Wedding with your pet, come by and look at our selection of British  “royal charms.” We have little crowns and other noble trinkets to grace your furry friend’s collar in regal style. And to embellish the trinkets, we also have very cute, reasonably priced t-shirts and hoodies. T-shirts have a rhinestone crown on the back and are available in bright pink, purple, aqua. The red t-shirt has Big Ben and says London in rhinestones. The hoodies have the union jack in rhinestones and come in a creamy white or red color. The sizes range from itty-bitty to the size of a med/large dog.

You are welcome to drop by for a look.

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If our dogs could talk, I wonder, what would they say? I think we would all agree that most pooches would ask, if not beg, for a blessed treat. Just because our dogs aren’t able to have a serious conversation doesn’t mean that they aren’t communicating with us. In fact, our dogs are trying to talk to us all the time. An observant dog owner can easily understand the message their pet wants to convey by observing the “wagging tail”, the movement of their ears, the expression in their eyes, the way their bodies move, and their enigmatic smiles. Some experts believe that a tail waggling madly is a great indicator of stress verses excitement.

We often take for granted how we greet someone, with a smile and a handshake. The wagging of the tail is simply doing just that. It’s the canine way to gain friends. Dogs are pack orientated and have a well defined hierarchy. A dominant dog will wag its tail held high and stiffly upright, where as a dog ranked at the bottom of the pack will give a slower, much lower tail wag. This is a significant tool for dogs to identify the pecking order. As their tail is wagging, their anal glands are squeezed to excrete an odor where pheromones are released. And in turn, they express a unique scent to help determine and identity each dog. In other words, tail wagging is great social tool for our pooches to leave their calling cards. It’s a dogs Matchmaker.com in the making.

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Pets can’t tell us how they’re feeling. If they’re in physical pain, they can whimper of course, but more often when they’re feeling ill, they often do so in silence. We have to watch carefully for clues. If a pet is sleeping too much, we can never tell if it’s just because they are tired or whether they are actually sick with something we should worry about like a tumor or a parasite. You can never be too attentive regarding your pet’s physical well being.

My friend Suzannah had a challenge a week ago. Her little pooch Mishka had scampered through their back gate and eaten something from the sidewalk. Within a day Mishka was both sluggish and suffering from excessive diarrhea. She took her to the vet immediately. The diagnosis was Giardia, a serious parasite and the problem was cured in less than a week, but it involved a few sleep-deprived nights because her puppy had to wear a Comfy Cone as an essential part of the healing process, and was extremely troubled by it. She would wake my friend at all hours, as if to say to her: “I can’t sleep with this cone; now watch me pull it off!” This is the part of loving animals where w e know in our hearts that they appreciate us.  And we keep asking ourselves, what else can we do? My friend didn’t mind and was delighted that Mishka has now fully recovered.

Suzannah has this advice: “If something is even a little off with your pet, pay close attention to every sign you can. Make a list. Later, when speaking with your veterinarian be sure to ask as many questions as you can, as well as be ready to have answers for what they ask you. This is where paying attention is essential. The goal is to get a clear, accurate diagnosis. Reaching out to friends is vital. I’m extremely grateful to you, Linda for your invaluable support throughout this whole ordeal. Reaching out to you helped me remain calm under pressure. – Our pets are always worth losing a little sleep over. But we all rest easier when we’re well informed about what our favorite animals are dealing with.”

This is good advice, I would only emphasize that it’s important to have a support system of friends and pet-professionals. I was glad to be there for Suzannah, and here at Shaggy Chic Pet Boutique, we are always available to talk to you about your pet’s health and vitality. We take that very seriously.

Also, we have in stock designer fashionable Comfy Cones that allow your pets to eat, drink and heal in the comfort of their homes.

* Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes diarrhea. Giardia is found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces (poop) from infected humans or animals. This disease may be contagious to people from infected dogs so good sanitary practices, like washing your hands after handling an infected puppy, are very important. If a family member develops similar clinical signs, a physician should be consulted.

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North Ranch Living gave me an exclusive interview for their March issue Business Beat.

From Shaggy to Chic

A Pet Boutique with Style

“Wouldn’t it be great to work with creatures like these who are blessings in my life?” And the purrfect plan began to take shape.

“Since I opened this shop, I’ve noticed that a high number of customers bring me dogs that
are rescues. The animals they rescue have special needs and for this reason they may be hand-shy or have other issues,” says Manasee. “We gladly work with them and help our customers focus on how they too might help their pets. I hire staff with a deep integrity, patience and great people skills. This ensures a gentle and caring experience during the grooming process.”

Please read article below:

Making sure your pets teeth are kept clean is important to their health and vitality. We offer your pets anesthesia-free teeth cleaning once a month. Check website for updates.

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Every one who loves a dog has wondered. We’ll be lying in bed late at night, reading or watching TV, and our favorite pooch – and if we’re lucky, more than one favorite pooch – will be snuggled in their own little beds or near our feet, fast asleep but snorting and twitching. Sometimes, if they’re comfortably stretched out, their legs will begin to move as if they’re ready to run.

Are they dreaming? They must be, we tell ourselves. But what are they dreaming about?

We can’t ask them, but we can guess. Their brains are similar to ours in terms of basic structure. It’s likely that their dreams do for them what ours do for us. They process the day’s information, burning away images and sensations like excess calories and forming speedy little stories as they do. When their legs begin to churn, it’s pretty clear they’re chasing something!

One scientist told the magazine Psychology Today that he was convinced his little Basenji was dreaming of a bath. In waking life, this pooch hates to be wet and would ordinarily dodge the threat of yet another bath by cowering low behind his master’s legs. One night at about 3 a.m. the Basenji sprang out of a deep sleep, bolted for the scientist and tucked himself behind the man’s legs – something he never does unless he’s avoiding a bath, and for no other reason. The scientist was gratified to feel he had hard evidence of what one little dog dreams of. Even so he was a little embarrassed. He was sitting on the toilet when the little dog took its position behind his legs.

All animals dream in some way, we’ve begun to learn. But dogs are friends that we can actually dream with. It’s very likely they’re dreaming of the homes with which we’ve provided them. Who knows? They may even be dreaming of us.

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One of my clients who’s happily married, has a wonderful Cavalier named Ben who has been driving her a little crazy over the issue of sleeping arrangements. He competes with her husband for the bed space.

This is a common problem. Dogs are territorial, just as we are, and if we won’t take charge, they will. In the case of Ben, I’ve advised that my friend prepare a separate bed for him that is large and comfortable enough that he will enjoy lying in it. I also recommend that she place this other bed in the bedroom, so Ben won’t feel too separate. The next step is to be firm about seeing that he stays put and is not allowed to sneak back up to the bed when they aren’t looking. Easier said than done of course!

What’s wonderful about dogs is they love to learn and respond when boundaries are clear. There are little incentives we can give them. One is to spend quality time with them while they are in their own bed, lying close beside them and making a fuss. The other is to make sure that some piece of our own clothing or even a small blanket of ours containing our scent is tucked into their special bed. They will be at peace having our scent close. This is as comforting as lying near us.

The other is to sneak a treat into their bed once in a while! Be firm but keep it fun for all of you.

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We make an interesting mistake when we talk to our dogs like they’re babies. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. We all do it. Sometimes they can feel us loving them, through all the extra eye contact and attention we give, as we babble along, quizzing them and pretending to chatter away.

But we’re wrong if we think we’re communicating. Dogs may have vocabularies up to 200 or more human words, but these are direct and explicit: “Here.” “Sit.” “Come.” “Treat.” There are even one or two dogs out there that know the meaning of “Ice Cream,” though it’s not healthy for them! Or when we have to start spelling words in order to get around our dogs so they don’t understand what we are saying.

Dogs are very simple. They understand direct commands. Remember, they are descended from wolves. They are at home in packs and look up to us a leaders. If you want to communicate with them, you have to be that leader. Give short commands. Do not speak in complex sentences. Yes, No, Here, Sit, Come, NOW: These are excellent starters. “Complex” for a dog is, “Want to go out?” “Want to eat?”

It’s also important to be a good listener. Our pets need us to be attentive to their body-language. When they’re relaxed; when they’re on guard; when they’re in an aggressive state or a fearful one. When you leave the house and they howl, they’re negotiating. They want you to come back. Keep going and their sounds will subside. Whining can be an expression of pain, but take care that you don’t overdo the attention you give. At the very least, give them attention at other times too. Otherwise – because our pets are clever and crafty – she or he may learn to whine like furry little actors, because they’ve realized that if they do it right, they can command your attention or gain control and end up having us right under their paws!

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How can I stop my beloved pooch from destroying my shoes, clothes, furniture and whatever else I have that’s dear to me?

Dogs love to chew! There’s no getting around it. They need to chew. It’s as important to them to chew as we need to touch things with our fingers. Dogs teeth are designed for chewing. It’s an inherent trait left over from their days in the wild. Puppies need to chew when they are teething, and adult dogs chew for a variety of reasons.

How often has your dog put a playful, teething love-bite on your wrist, your fingertips, your sleeves, when they were just puppies and getting to know you.  They’re trying to eat you up, why, because they adore you so much. This is a behavior that needs to be “nipped” in the bud. But how can we stop them when we’re not around and have left them alone in the house with our things? We can easily train them out of these behaviors, saying “Down!” or “Off!” They are quick to understand, especially if we are firm.

For the fact is, it’s your scent which attracts them to your shoes and clothes and favorite things. If they’re anxious, bored or missing you, they will console themselves with the next best thing unless you train them to chew something else. This is where chew-toys come in.

It is very important when training a pet that you never make a plaything out of an old shoe you’ve discarded. They can’t tell the difference between those and the good shoes you’re trying to preserve. What you need to do is make it clear that their toys are for chewing, nothing else.

As pet psychologist Dr. William Fortney puts it: “Make those toys you want your dog to chew (your pooch should have a number of them) as appealing as possible. If he seems to be going exclusively for things with your scent on them, put chew toys in the laundry hamper for a day or two before giving them to your dog. Rubbing something tasty on the outside of rubber balls or other toys or stuffing treats inside of hollow toys can encourage the dog to select those items to chew on his own. In general, be sure you’re giving him the message clearly from the beginning.

Our pets are clever, but they need our direction and leadership. We have to simplify our thinking and to think a little bit like they do. They are always so happy to behave the way we like and they will do anything to please you.  If we just remember to teach ourselves how to tell them!

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In the three years since our shop opened, we’ve been fortunate enough to deal with many wonderful rescue-animals, who have often been saved by our loving customers from dire conditions. We have witnessed one success after another in their adoptions by these wonderful people.

One problem that comes up a lot is that many of these dogs, and even some cats are brought to us with badly matted and tangled fur. They were so cruelly neglected or maltreated prior to their new homes that straightforward brushing has become impossible.

Where other groomers might, with good intentions, try to force the issue, we believe this is particularly stressful, even agonizing for the animal. At our facility we prefer a more sensitive, straightforward solution.

Most people who come to us have more routine problems. In simpler cases, brushing is best, but if the tangles are too challenging we prefer to snip at the problem, if only a little, rather than make any creature suffer needlessly.

Sadly, in extreme cases where the dogs are seriously neglected, my head groomer Laurie will either crop their fur closely or in rare cases we have no choice but to shave them. The fur grows back readily, cleanly, and the dog or cat hasn’t suffered needless pain all.

We are proud to offer a stress-free environment. We care about our pets and the people they love.

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Here it is already, that special day of the year when we remember those we love most. Our pets don’t know February from October, or the 14th from the 31st, but WE do! And they are always happier with us when we make an extra fuss over them.

How may of you do special things for your pet? Love letters won’t quite do it, and candy is obviously bad for them, but dogs especially love walks and to inhale all the wonderful aromas only dogs can sense. One aroma we do share a love for with out four-footed friends are flowers. If you know of some particularly crowded flower gardens in your neighborhood, or shrubs close to the street that are bursting with roses, gardenias, jasmine or any other lovely scent, you might want to plan an extra slow walk in that area and let your little friend linger for an extra time. Smells are like music for them. They’ll enjoy it, and you will even more so for making the extra effort.

What else might you do? Like us, our pets do love treats. Possibly get them a new toy, t-shirt or jacket – always a nice treat, especially as weather is still cold in most parts of the country.

We humans love to fantasize about Cupid on the 14th of February, but you know what? The animals we love are already our Cupids, this and every other day of the year. On Valentine’s Day, we not only get to remind ourselves of this important fact, but share it with those who are already in the habit of giving us love.

We have cute collars; t-shirts, jackets and healthy cookies here in our shop if you’re thinking you’d like to spoil your best friend.

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