All posts by Lucielle Burger

Kaya & Sully – Success looms!!!

I can remember the first email I received from Nathalie & Phillipe – I could feel the stress they were experiencing, just reading their words.

They had rescued a mix breed dog off the streets of Doha and were having major issues with her. Everything from barking at people passing by the window, lunging at people in the street to rounding on her humans when she didn’t get her own way and not allowing her humans to go up the stairs without making a fuss on being left behind downstairs. Obedience nil! This was a pup who’d had a bad start… along with the fact that she thought she was totally in charge of everything and everyone. Pack leadership/Alpha was nonexistent in this home….

Sully, their older white poodle mix had belonged to Phillipe’s mum and after she passed away, came to live with the family – He was spoilt rotten but had health issues.

My first visit to their villa showed me how much distrust Kaya had in strangers, and even more to the point, her distrust of her humans, being evident in the lack of respect she had for them. She was top dog as far as she was concerned, and her humans were her pawns. Sully didn’t even feature in her scope. Some of Sully’s health issues included a skin condition, which required regular baths – this was a huge task to undertake with Kaya not allowing them to take Sully to the bathroom because he would be receiving attention and not her.

The 6 subsequent private lessons and quite a few group classes later were peppered with me chastising Nathalie & Phillipe on their quiet reprimands, instead of being assertive and calm with love and patience. Their frustrations well understood as they weren’t prepared for how long it would take for a permanent change, although slow progress was seen.

Late 2015, the family returned to France first and then headed to Luxembourg as their final stop.

I always worry about how things may turn out. Will the family continue to practice what I have shown them? Will they give up and give in, allowing the dog his/her own way and ultimately ending up with an unmannered, undisciplined dog who may or may not become a liability…Consistency is often an issue….

So you can imagine my relief and happiness at receiving this email from Nathalie recently, along with pictures of two very happy well adjusted dogs.

This is why I do what I do!!!!

KaiaGood day Lucille, 

I hope everything is well for you in Qatar. After a few weeks here in Luxembourg I wanted to share with you how Kaya and Sully are doing. 

We took the opportunity of the move and new life in Luxembourg to reset the new rules like no jumping on the sofa or bed, dog’s place is in the kitchen and they are both sleeping there, dogs do not eat human food while we are eating. I must admit the first nights were awful with Kaya scratching the door, crying and barking but we sticked to it and it worked finally. I had to put 3 layers of cartons on the door to protect it, she woke me up 3, 4 5 times a night (as if I had a small baby to take care) but with patience and persistence we made it and I could take the cartons off the door 2 weeks ago. Now everything is fine. 

SullyWe went to the vet here in Luxembourg for proper registration of those 2 citizens and the vet explained to both of us how serious Sully’s allergy was and the fact that we should not give him any other food than the one for atopic dogs. The only acceptable exception was vegetables with no protein (no butter, no cream), no bread, no rice. It was hard to take the decision and to change this habit he has had since he was a young puppy but for 6 weeks now Sully has only been eating his food (diversified and as tasty as possible) and some ratatouille once in a while to get beautiful red mustache. 

Kaia & SullyWe are walking Kaya and Sully sometimes in the forest and we can now walk Kaya without her lead. She does not go far from us and when she happens to do it we call her back and she comes back. Training with you has worked. When I remember this young dog who was leading us … Everything is not perfect but we will go on working with her and life is nice at home. Kaya has changed from a wild and competitive puppy into a bright, active and tender dog. Many thanks for your support and patience. We wish you a nice end of week. Best, Nathalie

Meet the Doctor

Dr Rawad Dakak

I got a call from a new client last year, who wanted help with training his new GSD puppy, Asco. How gorgeous was he…. the dog, I mean (wink wink).

After the session, we were sitting chatting… the owner and I… not the dog, and I found out that he was actually a veterinarian who was waiting for his certification from the Ministry of Agriculture to practice as a vet.

Through those training sessions, we developed a bond of friendship that is still on going. When I decided I needed a vet’s input for the page, there was only one person I thought to approach and that was Dr Rawad Dakkak.

I am not going to go into his qualifications or experience, as I am far too lazy to type the info, so here is a link to his LinkedIn profile, where you can read up on him yourself.

Rawad, who has since got his certification to practice in Qatar, is going to be contributing trending topics to the Pet Health section on a regular basis, but if you have a question, or would like him to cover a particular topic, please mail us on healthydog@petsofqatar.com and we’ll do our best to answer you directly or on the page.

DISCLAIMER: petsofqatar.com is an information site. Although our Vet is qualified, diagnosis cannot be made without proper investigation of the pet’s symptoms. If you are concerned that your pet is ill, please take them to your nearest veterinarian for a full diagnosis.

You know you’ve made it when there are articles in newspapers about you!

What can I say… I am no Ceasar Millan… but its nice to be asked one’s opinion based on one’s expertise:-)

Thank you Len from the Qatar Tribune for contacting me to do this article – bet you didn’t think you’d be meeting one of your newspaper’s original staff members, who’d gone from working in journalism to working with animals.

Secrets of a dog-training pro
Click to view full-size picture

Llewellyn Flores

Doha

There is something about seeing a dog fetch a ball, roll over, or give you its paw to shake that doesn’t fail to make a person smile…no matter how many times the act is repeated. Every dog owner dreams of engaging in such activities with his pet. Unfortunately, dogs are not born with, nor will naturally grow up, equipped with those skills.

Not having these skills, however, does not diminish the joy a dog-owner gets from taking care of it. But there are skills that if not learned, can be a source of frustration.

According to petsofqatar.com founder and dog trainer of 15 years, Lucielle Burger, the three most important things that pets should be trained in are toilet habits, feeding routine and not jumping up on people.

To read the full article please click here to see the PDF on page 2 of the Chillout Section. (Thank you for your patience while it loads)

New Dog Training classes beginning Saturday 28th March 2015. Please mail dogtraining@petsofqatar.com for more information.

 

Qatar Veterinary Center’s woof-tastic “Qgrabs” deals

Have you seen these awesome deals on offer from Qatar Veterinary Center?

From QR430 Get Your Cat OR Dog’s Teeth Cleaned OR for QR600 Test Your Pet’s Rabies Antibodies with a RATT Test at Qatar Veterinary Centre! (Up to QR1360 Value)Q-Grabs

 

See the full offer here: http://qgrabs.com/deals/teeth-cleaning-ratt-testing-vet-qd00001074

Why should I clean my pet’s teeth?

Two common problems dogs and cats with poor dental hygiene have are loose and abscess teeth. Does your pet have bad breath? Studies show that 98% of pets with bad breath are suffering from periodontal disease, a result of plaque build-up. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacterial infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to your pets’s kidney, liver, heart and even its brain. Chances are if your pet has very bad breath, there is a problem with their teeth.

What is a RATT Test?

The Rabies Tire Test is a blood test done to prove that your pet has the required antibodies needed to fight  against Rabies and that your pet doesn’t have the Rabies virus. This blood test is a necessity for entry into the Australia, UK, EU and other countries who are trying to keep Rabies from spreading.

The blood test is administered 30 days after your pet has the Rabies vaccine. Pets leaving Qatar then have a 3-month waiting period before they are allowed to travel to countries that require this blood work as part of their entry.

This test can cost up to QR1,400. Take advantage of this special offer NOW!

You will find Qatar Veterinary Centre’s contact details on their website or see their Facebook page.

Supporting a good QAWS

The Qatar Animal Welfare Society is a charity very close to my heart.

Having been a committee member of QAWS for 7 years, I know firsthand what goes into the running of this organization – Blood, sweat and tears doesn’t even begin to cover it…. It takes money too… lots and lots of money.

When I joined the committee in June 2007, the shelter consisted of 1 dog block and 1 cat cabin. It could house about 28 dogs in general population and 8 in the isolation unit. The cat block could take about 30 cats and kittens.

In those days, the monthly rental on the land was only around QR3,500 and it cost QR5,000 a month to feed/vaccinate the animals and buy cleaning materials.

On 3rd September 2009, a month after finishing off a new wing, that would house about 24 extra dogs, a fire started in the kitchen section of the original block due to an electrical fault. Within 45 minutes, the entire shelter had burnt to the ground. That day we lost 20 cats and 2 dogs to smoke inhalation. The rest managed to get to safety with the help of a kind passerby and some supporters who managed to get there in time due to their close proximity.

By November 2009, we had a make shift shelter of metal and chain link cages for the dogs and donated portacabins for the cats.

With the help of the community, QAWS was able to rebuild a 40 kennel dog block. More portacabins were donated which were converted into extra kennels and cat cabins. Today, QAWS houses over 130 dogs and puppies, 70 cats and kittens and another 60 or so animals of various specises.

The costs to run QAWS on a monthly basis have gone up annually and currently the monthly spend is over QR50,000 a month. All funded by the generous donations of people like you.

“The QAWS Girls” as the committee are affectionately known, do everything themselves. From fundraising, to vet runs, adoptions, rescues and co-ordinating the running of the facility. These ladies do all this while working fulltime jobs and raising families. What’s more, they don’t get a cent for their efforts. It’s all on a volunteer basis. I cannot recall the number of times we have put our hands in our own pockets to make up the rent, buy food and cleaning materials or pay for medical treatments at the local vets.

Now that you have read this, you will understand why I push events held by this organization – Every cent raised goes towards the dogs and cats who call the shelter their home. QAWS Scavenger Hunt - Resize

Coming up this weekend (20th February) is the QAWS Scavenger Hunt – Its tonnes of fun, so grab some friends or family and send your registration to qaws.events@gmail.com

If glitz and glamour is more your style, then the annual QAWS Fur Ball is for you. A formal black-tie event to be held on 5th March at the Radisson Blu hotel, this event is well known for being THE Ball of the season. You won’t be disappointed as the evening is full of fun and entertainment. It’s the only day(night) of the year you’ll see the QAWS committee in dresses and high-heeled shoes. A change from their usual attire of jeans and polo-necks your used to seeing them in, down at the farm. To reserve a table please mail qaws.furball@gmail.com  (see feature pic for further details)

Please keep an eye on the QAWS Facebook Page for events that will be held in the future.

 

 

 

Why do I need to vaccinate my puppy?

One only needs to search the internet to find answers to questions one may have regarding puppy vaccines. Here is an article I found quite comprehensive. It includes the Pros and Cons of vaccinating your puppy.

Vaccinations are an essential part of a puppy’s health care plan. Though there is some controversy about the potential risk of vaccines and over-vaccination, most experts agree that certain basic immunizations are essential to keep your puppy from getting sick and prevent the spread of disease.

Please follow the link for the full article http://dogs.about.com/od/veterinarycare/a/puppyvaccs.htm

 

*Always discuss your pet’s health needs with a qualified veterinarian

 

 

 

 

Attending puppy classes and it’s benefits

I’ve have been called in to assist a number of clients whose dogs won’t go outside, are scared of loud noises, people and other dogs. The reasons for this are simple – lack of socializing and not introducing your dog to new experiences as a puppy.

This is why Puppy Socialising & Basic Obedience classes are so important.

When I get an enquiry from a new client for a puppy between the ages of 8 – 12 weeks, the first information I send them is my Puppy Socialising document. It details ways to get your puppy used to new things.

While I wouldn’t suggest taking your puppy out into any environment that isn’t safe due to diseases (for unvaccinated puppies), it is important to expose it to new sights, smells and sounds on a regular basis while giving your puppy positive feedback by talking in an upbeat happy voice, praising and rewarding him for being interested in all these new experiences.

Our Puppy course incorporates the below list as well as giving ideas on things you can do to ensure your puppy becomes a well rounded adult.

Please be advised that puppies must be 3-months or older and vaccinated to attend the course.

Introducing your puppy to visitors: Making introductions; How to stop jumping; Stopping protective aggression before it starts.Dog training in Qatar

How the “pack” system works: Making sure your puppy knows whose in charge.

Basic games and Fun items to keep your puppy amused and stimulated: Easy toys you can make at home and how to use them.

Puppy Care : Teaching your puppy to stand still while doing basic checks; Bathing; Nail Clipping; Ear Checks; Feeding.

Puppy Discipline: How to say No!

Basic Obedience: Focus; Sit; Down; Stay; Come

Socialising will be a very important aspect of puppy classes.

Please note the terms and conditions on the Client Form 

Our next course starts on Saturday 14th February. To register please mail me on dogtraining@petsofqatar.com

My gratitude knows no bounds

“Please and Thank you aren’t swear words,” was my mom’s retort when as a child I might forget those two little words when asking for or receiving anything.

Thank you! You are No 1 in my books:-)
Thank you! You are No 1 in my books:-)

Since it’s awards season (it is… just watch E! TV on OSN), I figured I best get my thank you speech ready! “For what?” you might ask…. Well to everyone who has gotten me this far with what I have achieved in the last year.

When I started out on my adventure of going it alone in the big bad world of self employment, I would not have guessed it would be leading me to this point.

I have known for years that a website of this magnitude was needed in Qatar. New expats coming into the country needing info on where to get their pet’s veterinary care or supplies from, to everyone wanting ideas on where to walk your dog and even which compounds are pet friendly.

A fully comprehensive site where a touch of a button gives you all the info you need. There are a few expat sites giving you info on where to eat, how to dress, where to go, but nothing like this, so I knew it had to be done, and decided to take on the task.

There are a number of people I want to thank for helping me get this site off the ground, so without further a-do, here goes:

None of this would have been possible without the IT genius of my friend Francis Myers of FM Photography. Francis is relatively new to Qatar so in between trying to get his own business off the ground, he helped me to get this site up and running. Thank you for everything, Francis. You are a superstar.

My dear friend Janet of Qatar Pet Relocators. Her support over the last year has been enormous. I have some very good friends, but Janet is 1 in a million. Thanks Jan, you know I will go to the moon and back for you, if I could x

Faten and Aziz from Hakuna Matata – Happy Pets. I don’t know where I would have been if you guys hadn’t offered your help over the last few months. Some of my favourite times are spent in your kitchen testing dog treats and cuddling the boarding animals staying in your home and your own pack of cats and dogs. Thank you x

Drs Rhett and Nicola of Qatar Veterinary Centre (North/Duhail). I had streak of sick animals last year. Your compassion when I had to put my gorgeous Korin to sleep reminds me that vets sometimes have the hardest job of all. Thank you for always being there, no matter what my bill may be;-)

To my Sponsor (you know who you are) and Chairman for allowing me to take the risk and keeping me “safe”. You are both wonderful people and I thank my lucky stars everyday you saved me from my life as an editor;-)

Last but not least, I’d like to thank someone who I don’t think even knows how he’s inspired me. Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon of I Love Qatar.Net

Years ago, Khalifa started one of the biggest online communities in Qatar. It’s a site which has far reach, and this is what I am aiming for with petsofqatar.com, to achieve the same amount of reach within the pet community. Thank you for showing me how to achieve success online. I have been watching and taking notes.

To my clients (both human and K-9) over the last 13 months, you have all been wonderful. Thank you!

 

How to start a Blog?

Me and Anex messing around in the park in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa - Taken October 2005.
Anex and I at a park in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa – Taken October 2005.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have a website, let alone a blog website. I love writing (short stories, song lyrics, press releases – long story) but I am just too lazy to keep it going. I have started many diaries over my years on this earth, but they’ve always gone by the wayside a few nights later cause true to my Gemini nature, I grow bored. When my website developer told me he’d be creating my new site as a Blog, I freaked out…. How on earth was I going to   keep this going? Then when he told me I’d have to maintain it up to 6 hours a day, I nearly fainted!

So, here I am, my first entry, and let’s hope not my last… I thank my lucky stars that there are  so many good sites and articles I can “steal from”, giving credit of course, that I am almost recovered from the initial shock of being told to keep the site interesting, entertaining and informative.

Who am I you might ask. My name is Lucielle Burger,  a South African in Qatar. This country has been my home for the last nine years and counting… Anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am a loyal, reliable friend, if a little loud and opinionated, and anyone   who doesn’t now me well, will tell you I am a difficult cow.

I know I am hard to take sometimes, and not the most patient person in the world with humans, but when it comes to animals, I will give my life and soul for them.

My favourite breed is the German Shepherd Dog. Strong and guarded with strangers (like me), playful and lovable with those in their inner circle (just like me, too). My experience comes from working with GSDs since I was 21 years old (my love for them beginning when I was 4 years of age). I’ve had 3 Pedigreed GSDs: Angel of Laynedenburg; Glato von Xanor (Anex) and Xandri.  My ex-husband brought me into the world of working GSD’s when I was 24 and I have never looked back. While I haven’t ever won any working competitions, due to low confidence in myself, I can teach people to take their dogs to that level, and that’s what I am good at. Some people believe my methods don’t work and criticize how I do things, but many of my clients will tell you differently, and they are the ones who are important. Concentrate on your strengths and not your weaknesses, is what I have come to believe.  I am open to learning new things, though!

As I mentioned previously, I have been in Qatar for 9 years, which gives me tonnes of experience on how all things animal related work here. From protocol, rescue, government laws and regulations, those who know what they are talking about and those who don’t and last but not least, the people with the biggest mouths in this country are those who come in, shout about how things should be done, and then leave without having achieved anything. I have seen it all.

I was a committee member with the Qatar Animal Welfare Society for 7 years until a little more than a year ago, when I stepped down to start Laws for Paws Qatar, but still fully support the group and help out at events.

While I don’t have any pure bred GSDs in Qatar, I do have a menagerie of pets I call my pack. They are all rescued from the streets of Qatar. I had very little say in bringing my furry kids into my life, they all just sort of found me. My first rescue, Korin (a GSD X) sadly passed away in July last year after a short illness, so I am left with 5 dogs:  Lycan (Husky – 8 years old) is my Alpha – she rules the rest. They walk a wide circle past her. Coming too close gets you a “talking too”. I have had her since she was 8 weeks old; Molly (Doha Special – 9 years old) belonged to a dear friend who had to leave quickly and didn’t get to take Molly with her;  Kendra (another GSD X – 4 years old) found in Bin Omran after I got a call from a Filipino lady about a dog being abused by some kids; PeeWee (Doha Special – 5 years old) came home from QAWS for a bit of TLC one Christmas, as she wasn’t adjusting to kennel life… she never left; and Saabiq  (Saluki X Lab – 3 years old) my miracle baby. I call him that because he would have been a dead puppy if I hadn’t had to find an alternate route home due to some road works. I truly believe I was meant to find him running down a Wakrah road, just meters from horrendous traffic. He was only about 5 months old at the time.       

Saabiq on the day I found him. He was skin and bone and feeling very lucky to be alive - Taken 18 November 2011.

Home from the farm and loving it! PeeWee - Taken January 2012.
My old girls, Molly and Lycan - Taken in November 2011.
Loves from my boy Xandri - Taken in February 2006
Training on the outskirts of Magaliesburg with Anex - Taken in May 2006.
Kendra relaxing at home - Taken in October 2011.
Beautiful Dalton - Taken in September 2011.
Little Chaplin at 3 months - Taken December 2013.
4-month old kittens Chocolate and Blue - Taken in April 2010.

I have cats too – 4 of them; Blue and Chocolate (brother and sister Burmese/Siamese mix – 5 years old). They were pretty sickly kittens when they were dumped at QAWS, so home they went for some medical care, again, never left; Dalton (Domestic Long Hair – 5 years old), rescued from a hoarder and Chaplin (Domestic Short Hair – 14 months) found outside my home.

I have had many others come into my life here in Qatar, who have since crossed over Rainbow Bridge or been re-homed. I feel very blessed that they chose me to find and help them, no matter the time they had left, or went onto their forever homes, each and everyone still holds a special place in my heart. I am sure I will talk of my babies many times during the life of this webpage, be it during examples of behaviour, snippets of humour or just reminiscing about their lives, so you’ll get to meet them all at some time or another.

I guess I’d better get to the point of this Website – Our goal? To make it THE go-to page for anything animal related in Qatar. If you need info on veterinary services; pet relocators; where to walk your dog; pet friendly accommodation; pet nutrition; dog training; pet health and grooming advice, this is going to be the place you’ll want to frequent. You will find me rambling on about nothing, or something. You can ask questions and hope for coherent answers. The possibilities are endless.

We’re not quite done fine tuning what we’re hoping will be an AWESOME addition to the online pet community in Qatar, so please bare with us as we mix and match, delete or add; and sometimes just randomly mess things up.

You might not like what we post, feel free to voice that, whether we publish it or not, is up to us – Haha!  If you find an interesting article and think it’s something people may enjoy, click send and we’ll have a look at it.

There is so much we still want to do and slowly but surely we’ll get there, so sit back, keep an eye on the page and enjoy the ride with us.

So I guess… This is how one starts a blog!