Dear Lisa: How do I keep my Bloodhounds ears dry when she drinks?-- Sipping Pretty Solutions

Dear Sipping: You could use a snood! A what, you're thinking? A snood! Not the game or that part of a turkey's head near the red waddle but a doggie bonnet of soft material, a tube with elastic ends like a shower cap, that fits neatly over the head of long-eared dogs. I'd seen them at dog shows for years and just assumed they were to keep meticulously groomed Afghans ears clean before show time. But then I met Sue who owns Field Spaniels, but also has many Sussex Spaniels as "friends," and she taught me that snoods are a great way to keep a dog's long ears out of their food and water bowls as well! 


Snoods on YouTube

For those unfamiliar with this ingenious invention to keep all types of dog's long ears clean, dry, and matt-free you can search "snoods" on YouTube and watch a live demo. This will give you a better idea of how they fit on dogs, keep the ears covered and out of harm's way whether they are eating, drinking, or chewing on their favorite treats. Plus you can see that the dog's don't mind them at all. Be sure to introduce your dog to a snood slowly, leaving it on for a few minutes at a time, then as he gets use to it, increase the time he wears it. Don't leave them in their snoods unsupervised. Another great perk, it's great for low to the ground breeds like Basset Hounds to keep their ears out of mud puddles on rainy days.


Dear Lisa: I recently returned to work after a more than 15-year absence from the job market. Both my 13-year-old son and our 5-year-old Airedale Terrier are experiencing the change in my not being around the house. For our dog, however (and for me), I think the sudden change is especially stressful. I miss my dog terribly. This is our first dog and since her first days in our household -- at 10 weeks old -- I have been home for most of the time. We have not even taken a vacation since getting her! When we would leave for the day she would try and sneak out of the house with us. I have photos of both my son and our dog in my office and I find myself talking about her quite a bit. What suggestions can you make for both of us, but especially for our dog, who may not quite understand what is going on? -- Reverse Separation Anxiety

Dear Reverse: Any major life change can cause stress in both human and canine members of the family. As for the dog, I would recommend that you consider hiring a pet sitter to come and make midday visits for some play time with your Airedale. This way, your dog won't be left home alone for long hours and will look forward to not only your return at the end of the day, but to her new "friend". Ask the pet sitter to engage her in some really fun games along with a nice brisk walk. This will keep her mentally and physically exercised and will help create a calmer dog when you return home.


Bring Your Dog to Work

As for you, perhaps you could ask your employer if they might consider a pilot program where you and other employees could bring their dogs to work. Ask for one day per week to start. Before attempting this it's important to prepare a plan for to keep both dog owners and non-dog owners happy in the workplace. Working with your human resources department establish guidelines for canine behavior, areas where dogs can and can't be and how to handle the anticipated "break" times when dogs will need to go out side. You might suggest other ways to test a pet's suitability before coming to the office, such as passing the Canine Good Citizen test. Even at our North Carolina office where employees' dogs are welcome they must pass this test before coming to work.


Bark Back ~ Reader's Response

From readers regarding last month's column about swallowing items and Halloween costumes:

Dear Lisa: After reading your report about Dogs eating/chewing stuff I decided to tell the story of my male Ibizan Hound that chewed up a tennis ball and swallowing almost half of it that got stuck in his gut. He had to have surgery that ended up costing me nearly $2500.00. -- D.O.

Dear Lisa:I know it will be past the time, but every year I dress up my three dogs (2 Pugs & a Brussels Griffon) when they make their monthly visiting companion visit to a nursing home. I've done this for the past 17 years I've been volunteering. Most of the dogs quickly realized that if they wear a costume, they get more treats and pets, which they adore.Of my current batch, one is not as fond of costumes, and so she wears a simple jester's collar. Although she always wears a harness, the collar doesn't bother her as much and the people still coo over her. -- S.S.

Dear Lisa: I just read a letter from a reader to you asking about a Halloween costume for her dog, and I felt compelled to write. It is my personal belief that the best way to avoid any problems in this regard is simply do not do it. People who truly love and respect their dogs would not subject them to such an indignity just because they think it is cute or funny. Our pets are not inanimate objects put here for our amusement at their expense. We should be sensitive to who they are and the important part they play in our lives by not fostering human notions of frivolity and silliness on them. Thanks for letting me express my views. -- L.H.


Lisa Peterson, a long-time owner/breeder/handler of Norwegian Elkhounds, is the AKC Director of Club Communications. If you have a question, send it to Lisa at and she may select it for a future column. Due to the high volume of questions we cannot offer individual responses.

(c) 2008 The American Kennel Club, Inc.