Want to help your dog (and you) relax and unwind after a long day? Rub their ears!! Ears are one of a handful of nerve centers on a dog's body that are extra-sensitive to touch. The only other places that are nearly as sensitive are their bellies and the nook between their toes. When you rub a dog's ears, the pleasure they feel is intense. And the good feelings don't stop on the surface. Their ears contain nerve branches that extend to the internal organs. When you rub them, your dog doesn’t just feel good on the top of their head, the pleasure comes from inside the body, too. It's not uncommon for dogs to get so relaxed and blissful when they're getting their ears rubbed, that they slip into happy sleep. It's not only because they're feeling comfortable, rubbing the ears sends nerve impulses to the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. There glands secrete endorphins, pain-killing, feel good hormones that make dogs feel relaxed, even euphoric! They are essentially getting high on their own hormones. So is the person doing the petting? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California, Los Angeles, and elsewhere have found that people get a lot of the same benefits that their dogs do. Rubbing dogs ears release a flood of human endorphins. This in turn helps people relax and even lowers blood pressure! It's pretty hard to rub a dogs ears in ways they dislike. To launch them straight to cloud nine, however, you need to hit as many of the nerves as you can. Starting at the base of the ear, hold the flap between your thumb and forefinger. Very gently pull the ear straight out from your dogs head, letting your fingers slide as you go. If you do that about four times, moving your fingers each time so they slide over a different section of the ear, you'll hit just about every hot spot and you will have one very happy and relaxed pooch!! So, ears to them!!!!


A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog!! Daily walks provide your dog with positive attention from you and a chance to be with you doing something they love. Dogs do not self entertain. If you put a dog outside in your fenced yard, he will not exercise himself (unless there is another dog to play with). More likely, they will resort to boredom barking, trying to escape the yard, or do some creative landscaping! As their guardians, it is up to us to provide them with enough physical and mental stimulation. If they spend hours a day alone in the yard or in a crate while you work, do not expect them to be a well mannered member of the family when you come home in the evening. Dogs do best with a structured life and the daily walk helps to satisfy that need. Taking your dog for a walk (or having someone walk them for you), is an important ritual in keeping your dog mentally stable. A dog is a walker/traveler by instinct. Packs of dogs get up in the morning and walk Simply having a large backyard or taking your dog to the dog park is not going to satisfy this instinct in your dog. Walking your dog daily is very important to any of your efforts in training. There are two huge benefits to daily walks, the exercise of body and mind. Exercising the body helps prevent many behavior problems. A bored dog with energy to burn will get into trouble without much effort. Walking your dog helps them to spend their energy in a positive and healthy way. A lack of exercise can cause many behavioral problems such as hyper activity, obsessive compulsive and neurotic behavior to name a few. So if you want a happy, well adjusted dog and companion, just remember, a walk (or two!) a day, keeps the monster dog away!!


Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family Labiatae.. Catnip is known in scientific nomenclature as 'Nepeta Cataria". The plant is a weed like mint native to North America and Canada after being introduced from its native Mediterranean soil. The active ingredient in catnip is called Nepetalactone. The response to this chemical is mediated through the olfactory system (nose) that cats have special receptors for. When cats smell catnip, they exhibit a range of behaviors that may include sniffing, licking and chewing the plant. Head shaking, chin and cheek rubbing, head rolling and body rubbing. This reaction last 5-15 minutes and cannot be evoked again for an hour or more after exposure. Cats experience a pleasant "high" and make many cats frisky and active. So, let em have a nip daily, it can help increase their exercise level and provide a safe, happy outlet for their daily grind. If only we reacted to catnip!!!!


Please don't throw away any old towels, blankets, comforters, etc. Shelters can absolutely use them, no matter how battered they may be. These items can provide comfort for many animals while at the shelter. They are soft barriers between the animal and the hard floor, and help the animals to relax a bit when on a cozy blanket or towel (or old bath rug for that matter). Also, old newspapers, leashes, tennis balls all would be appreciated. There is a drop box right In front of the animal welfare leagues door, and also, I would be happy to pick up if you have a few bags to donate and don't have time to bring them (provided you're within a 15 mile radius of Lyons). All shelters need items, so check with your local shelter to see what they need most.