Earth Day Advice: Clean Up Your Neighborhood

If you see a mess, clean it up! We do our part to keep our neighborhood clean. This is something we do every day, not just on Earth Day. Bertram is especially great at doing this, but I sometimes get involved. Here’s how it goes. When we’re out on a walk, Bertram will pick up and bring home empty water bottles or empty paper cups that other people threw away. She doesn’t like styrofoam or cans, but paper and plastic are ideal. She’s done this since she was a puppy. The first time she did it she was about six months old and we were out for a long walk in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on a Sunday morning. Right when we were starting out, Bertram found an empty plastic water bottle on the side of the trail. She picked it up and wouldn’t let go! Mom and Dad tried to make her give it up because we were just starting out for a long hike, but she refused. She ended up carrying it during the entire walk, even earning a compliment from a Park Ranger on her efforts to clean up the trail. Twelve years later, she’s still helping clean up her neighborhood and trails. We’ve both gotten smart, though. Now, we’ll only give up a treasure in exchange for a treat! The Dog to Human Translation: If you see garbage laying around when you’re out and about, pick it up and throw it out. It doesn’t matter if it’s not yours; we’re all stewards of our trails and neighborhoods. Enough said on that...

Don’t wear shoes that are uncomfortable.

We hate wearing boots. When we were younger Mom would try and make us wear them in winter when it was snowy or icy outside. We did not want any part of the boots and would wiggle and squirm and pull our paws away because they felt funny. Anything to not have them put on our feet. When she did manage to get one on, we’d either stand still and not move or try and shake them off by lifting our feet up really high. Eventually we won and she stopped trying to put them on. Now when it’s too cold or too icy (especially as we’re getting older), we get to stay inside and keep our paws safe. The Dog to Human Translation: If you have a pair of shoes that are uncomfortable, don’t wear them. If, when you put them on, you try and shake them off or just stand there because they hurt when you walk in them, don’t wear them. In fact, take a nice stroll around the store before you buy them. If they come to your house in a fun box (like the kind we always want to play with) delivered by a man in a brown outfit (who we always bark at until he gives us a treat), then wear them around the house for a while. Go up and down the stairs, do laundry in them, run up and down the hallway. Just don’t go outside with them ‘cause then you’re stuck with them. Try them on with your favorite outfit and make sure they get four paws up! Why is...