Cheepsus sleeping under his blanket

Should I Buy Pet Insurance For My Dog

Greetings. If you are reading this post, it means that you are looking for an answer to a question. Should I buy pet insurance for my dog? I will save you some time for you who already decided that you need to get pet insurance, and started shopping around. Get cheap pet insurance for dogs from Healthy Paws. However, if you are still asking yourself should I buy pet insurance for my dog, then continue reading. In this post, I will share our experience.

Do I Need Pet Insurance?

After Cheepsus joined our family, we took him to a vet. The vet gave us a lot of flyers about tick prevention, heartworms, some other diseases, nutrition, etc. In the whole package, there were couple flyers on pet insurance. Back at home Diana and I reviewed all the info. Had a discussion if we should get pet insurance, and came to a conclusion that it is not required.

Today I don’t remember all the reasons why we decided that we don’t need it, but at least couple were money related – it was too expensive, and if something would happen we would be able to cover the cost. At least this was what we thought. And how wrong we were…

Training That Went Wrong

It was Saturday evening, just a bit more than a month after we got Cheepsus. I was training him “drop it” and “fetch”. The game was quite simple – I was throwing a rope inside the house saying “fetch”, and once he returned back I would say “drop it”. To make this training more interesting, I used kibble as a treat.

Cheepsus loved this training, as it involved the two best things – his favorite rope and food. We were playing it quite fast, and this is where I made a mistake. I did not wait for him enough to finish eating before I threw the rope once again. He started running to fetch the rope while still chewing. He inhaled a piece of kibble and started choking.

Emergency Can Happen Any Time

Cheepsus started choking. At first, he tried to cough – this is an instinct that everybody has. You are just trying to get a foreign object from your throat. However, cough did not help.

The next body reaction was to throw up. However, the piece was still stuck.

And suddenly the biggest nightmare – he started choking. I kid you not – he wasn’t able to breathe for maybe a minute. But it seemed like an hour for Diana and me.

Cheepsus was lying on the floor. For couple seconds he was very calm but suddenly started trembling. We started panicking as we did not know what to do.

Somehow I figured out that I had to try to open his mouth. I stuck my fingers deep into his throat searching for that stuck piece of kibble. This was a good and bad idea at the same time. Good, because I was able to clear his throat from obstruction. Bad, because he bit me. Cheepsus was scared and in panic as well. He even pooped himself.

Watch this video to learn more what to do if your dog is choking.

Emergency Vet Visit

Diana and I were very scared and in a shock. So we decided to take him to an emergency vet. It was very stressful 20 minutes drive. Cheepsus was breathing heavily all the time. Coughed a lot…

The vet did some test, x-ray, measured temperature, etc. to determine his condition. We waited outside to get the news. Maybe 15 minutes later she came to discuss Cheepsus treatment plan. According to the vet, there was some fluid in his lungs, so her recommendation was to keep in an oxygen tank for at least couple hours. Give him IV, etc.

And all this could cost us estimated $1968.52.

Cheepsus treatment plan

Paying The Bill

We agreed with the treatment plan except for couple items such as blood work, that we did not feel was necessary. To be honest, now I think that maybe half of that stuff was not needed, but we were in shock and did not make a rational decision.

Cheepsus spent the night in the emergency vet clinic. On Sunday afternoon we picked him up happy and feeling much better.

The only thing that was left was to pay the final bill. It was $1318.86. Which was $650 less than estimated, but still a fortune.


Should I Buy Pet Insurance For My Dog?

The answer to this question after weekend’s experience was yes. I should buy pet insurance for Cheepsus.

I started looking for pet insurance companies and reviews. Got quotes from multiple, and eventually decided to go with Healthy Paws insurance.

See that post for more details on Healthy Paws, but I can tell you already that it was worth getting it. We already received 3 checks…



Share Your Experience

What do you think about pet insurance? How do you answer the question should I buy pet insurance for my dog? How do you feel about vet fees? Do you think they are reasonable?

Cheepsus on the summit

Mount Roberts: Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

If you are looking for a dog friendly hiking trails in New Hampshire, we have one more trail suggestion for you. In my previous post about Arethusa Falls, I said that I have to do this hike as it is named after me.lake winnipesaukee

It is easy-moderate, but very well marked hike through a forest with some great lookouts overseeing Lake Winnipesaukee.


About Location

Mount Roberts trail starts in the Castle in the Clouds complex, next to the Riding in the Clouds. You can park your car on the right just after you enter the complex. If this parking spot is full, you can drive further towards the Castle where you will find plenty of parking space.

The beginning of the trail is just behind horse barn. Look for directions as it is clearly marked on multiple poles.

Our Experience

As I said I really wanted to do this trail as it has the same name as I do. To be honest, I don’t know why it is named like this, what is the story behind. However, then there is a mountain and trail with your name, I think you have to do it.

So the trail was on our to-do list, we were just waiting for a good weather. A perfect day that is not too cold, and to too hot. Saturday during long labor day weekend was that perfect day. It was a sunny warm clear day. The weather was perfect for a hike.

We arrived at the complex around 9:40 AM. Quickly changed our shoes, packed all necessary stuff, and we were on our way just before 10 AM.

As I said it was labor day weekend. However, it was still quite early on Saturday morning when we started our hike. Probably that was why we met only 4 people when going up. All of them were going down already. I have no idea when they had started their hikes, as it 4-5 hours return hike.

The Trail

Majority of Mount Roberts trail goes through a forest with some openings that offer great views of Lake Winnipesaukee. The trail is well marked, very easy to follow. When we did it, it did not have any obstacles that would be difficult to pass. There are some rocky parts on the trail, but the rocks are quite big and will be easy for your dog to climb or walk on.

Diana, Cheepsus and I marked this trail as easy-moderate.

The Summit


Cheepsus on the summit

Mount Roberts summit is a bit disappointing. It is very narrow, with an obstructed view towards some other peaks. I wanted to make it to the summit so I would have a photo with my name. But I totally understand if you would do only 3/4 of the hike. Cause the views of Lake Winnipesaukee are really great, but you don’t have to get to the summit to fully enjoy them.

view from the summit

Start Early

It was really great that we started the hike early enough. As we met only 4 people on the way up, we were able to keep Cheepsus off the leash almost all the time when going up. Which he really loved. And it was a very good opportunity to practice recalls, and his ability to track us. We definitely recommend to come to the place and start your hike as early as possible. It’s worth it as your dog will be able to enjoy freedom, and you won’t have to worry about other people.

Cheepsus and lake winnipesaukee

Bring Enough Water

Don’t forget to bring enough water for yourself and your dog. Even though the day wasn’t too hot, but Cheepsus managed to drink 2 bottles of water. Probably half a gallon or so. This was only on the trail. When we got back to the car, he drank more. And the only place in the complex to get water for him was in a restroom in a restaurant. So it is better to bring more water, as otherwise, you will have to hike to the restaurant.

family is resting after the hike

Share Your Experience

Let us know your experience on this trail or any other dog friendly hiking trails in New Hampshire that is worth trying.
Cheepsus and certificate

Dog Training in Dover NH

Diana, Cheepsus and I spent 6 Sundays this summer attending dog training classes at Sue Carney’s Real Life Canine Academy. Last Sunday was the final one and Cheepsus graduated from Real Life 2 Puppy Class. If you are looking for dog training in Dover NH area you should check out K9 Kaos or Sue’s Facebook page.

Cheepsus and certificate

Training Experience

As I mentioned this was Real Life 2 Puppy Class. However, we started from back in February we started with Real Life Puppy Class. Then in April joined Real Life 1 Puppy Class. If you are interested in dog training in Dover NH, see each class description below.

Real Life Puppy Class

For puppies between the ages of 3 to 6 monthsCheepsus graduation from real life puppy

  • Nutrition and proper play
  • Acceptance of touch, grooming and nail trims
  • Come when called & Drop It
  • Stop pulling and jumping before it starts
  • Sit, Down, Stay and Wait

Real Life 1 Puppy Class

For beginner adults, newly adopted dogs and young adults, 7 months and up

  • Dog to dog meetings
  • Acceptance of touch, grooming and nail trims
  • Come when called & drop It
  • Stop pulling and jumping before it starts
  • Sit, Down, Stay and Wait (wait for doors & food)
  • Beginning heel

Real Life 2 Puppy Class

This class is for graduates of Real Life Puppy and Real Life 1. It polishes up and asks for a bit more behavior from your dog and less work from you. Weather permitting we travel 3 classes….to…

  • stores 
  • parks
  • Vet offices 
  • and walks through town (Dover or Portsmouth)

All to help you and your dog become great partners when navigating the real world. Dogs should know the basics, get along well with other dogs and be well on the way to a reliable LEAVE IT and HEEL.

Graduation Day

Sue decided to takes us somewhere outside for the final class. Initially, she wanted all of us to go to Wagon Hill Farm. However, this place tends to get quite crowded during weekends. So it might had been too difficult to control our dogs. Diana and I suggested trying a field behind Garrison Hill Park in Dover, NH.

This is a huge field with nobody around. No houses or busy roads. There is only an off road trail for snowmobiles and quads. So dogs can run, play and enjoy freedom.

And they did. The class was on Sunday, but we had quite a heavy rain on Monday or Tuesday before. And of course, Cheepsus was able to find a muddy puddle. He was very proud of what he did…

I’m not sure what is it with him and mud, but this wasn’t the first time when he got dirty outside. He was quite dirty when we were doing Arethusa Falls trail.

dirty Cheepsus

Share Your Experience

Please share your experience with professional dog trainers. Do you have any recommendations in Seacoast area?

Cheepsus in his plastic pool

Swimming Pools for Dogs? Nope, I Hate It

In the beginning of the summer, my wife and I decided that we will get a swimming pool for Cheepsus. This item was not on our new puppy list, but we thought it would be a great idea as he really enjoyed swimming in a pond. Moreover, it seemed that this was where he spent his whole time while at a daycare.
So we bought him a small swimming pool from local Walmart, and one hot summer day decided to try it. I think the photo below says it all – Cheepsus did not like the pool at all. He was afraid to step into the pool, but when he eventually did – he was just standing and doing nothing.
Cheepsus in his plastic pool
Maybe this is because the water in the pool was fresh without any dirt as it usually is at the daycare.
Cheepsus in a pool standing Cheepsus in a pool Cheepsus and his friends
Does your dog enjoy playing in such pools? How do you keep your dog cool during hot summer days?
Diana Robert Cheepsus Arethusa Falls

Arethusa Falls: Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

Arethusa Falls: Dog Friendly Hiking Trails in New Hampshire

Diana, Cheepsus and I did this hike on Saturday. We arrived at Arethusa Falls trail parking around 11 AM. We did couple other hikes in White Mountain region before. So we were expecting that we will have to pay for the parking. We were very happy to discover that it was for free. Park rangers were just asked for a donation for using the trail.
We did the hike on Saturday. The trail was super busy packed with other hikers and dogs. Of course, Cheepsus enjoyed this as he got attention from almost everyone we met on the trail. However, Diana and I would have enjoyed less crowded trail where we could keep Cheepsus unleashed.
On the way back from the falls we took an alternate trail instead of going the main Arethusa Falls trail. If you will be hiking with your dog, definitely take alternative Bemis Brook trail on the way to the falls or on the way back. There is one quite steep part on this trail, but it is totally worth it. The trail goes next to a creek with 4-5 pools where your dog can swim and play.

Our Next Hike

Most likely our next hike will be in Lake Winnipesaukee region. We want to do Mount Robert trail - I have to do this trail as it is named after me. Mt. Roberts is the westernmost peak in the Castle in the Clouds complex in the Ossipee Mountains. While the summit features strong views to the north, perhaps the most scenic portion is the ledge area along the Mt. Roberts Trail. The Lake Winnipesaukee views from this section are second to none. This will be another addition to the list of dog friendly hiking trails in New Hampshire.

Share Your Experience

Let us know your experience on this trail or any other trail in New Hampshire that is worth trying.
Raised Dog Feeding Station

Raised Dog Feeding Station

When my wife and I were researching what we would need for our labrador, we came across an article raised dog feeding station. Pity that I don't remember the site where I found it. However, according to the article, it was recommended to raise feeding bowls from the ground for labradors and other large breed dogs.

Raised Dog Feeding Station

I almost forgot about this recommendation, but unexpectedly today came across this DIY Dog Feeding Station post on Even though I haven't done any DIY woodwork, but most likely I will take this challenge as a winter project.


Of course, I will have to adjust the plan a bit, to incorporate slow feeder bowl instead of a regular bowl that they use in the video. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Share Your Experience

Have you done any interesting DIY projects for your dog? Share in the comments below.