Saturday, January 25, 2014

'Dog lady' sets out on mission to keep city's canines cool

Image: Just one of the amazing wet dog pictures posted by fellow blogger dr barkman

A CARING Redland woman known as "Deb the dog lady" is on a special mission this summer – helping the city's suffering canine population. With her beloved terrier Yoda at her side, Deb Humphreys is in action across the city's suburbs, offering a cool bath and a comforting groom for overheated dogs. Deb's recent notice asking "Is your dog hot?" heralded the 2014 Queensland heat wave – and caught the eye of new and existing customers. The proprietor of a one-woman business, Creature Comfort, was delighted with the response. "I worked in marketing some years ago and I like playing around with words, I guess," Deb says. "I tried to think outside the square, and this time it has worked."
WEST Australian-born Deb, who has lived in the Redlands for 14 years and is about to move to Thornlands, says she found the perfect job when she bought Creature Comfort about six years ago. "I come from a long line of dog whisperers in the family and I love doing what I do," she says. "I sometimes wonder if I'm starting to smell like a dog as they'll come straight up to me in the street, sniffing and with their tails wagging." Deb says Yoda, a Jack Russell-Chihuahua cross, is a good offsider when she arrives at each address during her Operation Hot Dog: Some 'dog diplomacy' helps to put the clients as well as the pets at ease. Three panting Maltese terriers have been among the beneficiaries of the Deb and Yoda show this week. She says the owner had been worried about the dogs, which were overdue for a service, and the ad's message was timely.
AS the forecasters predicted the current heat wave, the Queensland RSPCA early this month warned pet owners about the dangers of heat stress to their animals, saying a dog can die in just six minutes if left in a car as the mercury soars. Seeing Eye Dogs Australia reinforces this message and advises: Give your dog has access to plenty of fresh clean water; keep the dog out of the sun as much as possible; the dog will probably prefer to lie on tiles rather than on carpet or its bed; damp towels for the dog to lie on can help; the dog may enjoy a fine spray with the hose and/or a wipe off with a damp towel; hot weather treats such as dog icy poles are good; and if the dog seems unusually listless or not coping, contact your veterinarian, using damp towels to lower the body temperature if required.
This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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