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The Dog Expert®, Founder of Leashes and Lovers®, LLC

a dd i t i o n a l p r a i s e f o r L e a s h e s a n d L o v e r s

“Dogs are the most undervalued teachers of how to trust, unconditionally love and
truly live in the moment. Forget the yoga teacher and the new meditation guru. Pick up
Leashes and Lovers and learn how your dog can unleash for you a more enriching life.”
• Jeffrey G. Brown, TV Legal Analyst, Lawyer, Adventurer

“If you’re a dog-lover, you’ve got to read this book. It shows you how your relation-
ships can be positively impacted by your dog.”
• Peggy McColl, New York Times Best-Selling Author of Your Destiny Switch

“Leashes and Lovers is an essential read for anyone wanting a two-legged soul mate...because
as the book so aptly points out...falling in love with your dog who loves you uncondition-
ally makes it possible for you to give and receive love in ways you never imagined.”
• Patti Lawson, Author of The Dog Diet: A Memoir

“Fantastic and refreshing insight into how our dogs guide us on how to laugh, love and
learn. Sheryl Matthys truly knows how to bring out the best in dogs – and people.”
• Arden Moore, Host of Oh Behave! on Pet Life Radio
and author of The Dog Behavior Answer Book

“Anyone who loves dogs will find yet another reason to call them their “best friend”
after reading Leashes and Lovers.”
• Karith Foster, Comedian, TV & Radio Personality, and Chihuahua Lover

“Finding a love who your dog loves is the secret to real happiness. Let Sheryl Matthys,
The Dog Expert, teach you how to navigate those crazy waters of relationships. Leashes
and Lovers can help you find happiness. If you have a dog and want a relationship this
is a must read book.”
• Dr Marlene Siersema, Radio Host of Amazing Women:
brains, beauty & style

“In Leashes and Lovers, you’ll gain insights as to the significance of what it means
when our dogs share our deepest secrets, provide companionship, and faithfully stand
by us. This book will make you want to sit, stay, and learn from your dog’s lessons.”   
• Cathy Kravitz, artist & author of A Dog’s Day
a dd i t i o n a l p r a i s e f o r L e a s h e s a n d L o v e r s

“We have found the relationships between animals and people are at the heart of the
best stories... and, Sheryl brings these to light in a refreshing, brilliant look at this
important bond in Leashes and Lovers.”
• Lisa Alexander, President, Kaboodle Entertainment

“I thought I knew a lot about dogs, but Leashes and Lovers digs up a few more secrets
about how they can positively change our lives and relationships forever.”
• Paulette Cooper Noble, author of 277 Secrets Your Dog Wants You
To Know & columnist for Palm Beach Daily News

“A clever, witty, and insightful book. If you’ve ever wondered why dog owners have
a ‘puppy love’ affair with their dogs, Sheryl’s book will keep you from chasing your
tail with questions.”
• Liz Pabon, author of The MavHERick Mind

“Leashes and Lovers is an absolute must read for anyone who believes as I do: That a
house is not a home without a dog – or two.”
• Marni Jameson, syndicated home design columnist
and author of House of Havoc

“Only animal lovers allowed in Leashes and Lovers. I knew right away it was for me.
You, too, can experience better relationships from the stories you’ll read in this book.”
• Holly Wilensky, the Dress Recycler

“Sheryl did an outstanding job - Leashes and Lovers is a touching, funny, and inspi-
rational book for dog lovers wanting to improve all of their relationships. You will
love this book!” 
• Nancy E. Hassel, founder of Long Island Pet Professionals

“Note to self: Fetch copy of Leashes and Lovers. Resist urge to rip pages. Drop book
on owner’s lap. Stand guard until finished. We ain’t the only ones who need training!”
• Miles, the canine narrator of Jane May’s DOGGY STYLE
Leashes and Lovers: What Your Dog Can Teach You About Love, Life, and Happiness
Copyright © 2010 by Sheryl Matthys

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical including photography, recording or any information storage and retrieval system without written permis-
sion from the author and publisher.

Leashes and Lovers®, The Dog Expert®, and Where Dog Lovers Meet® are trademarks of Leashes and Lovers, LLC.

Published by:
Leashes and Lovers (L and L Media)
P.O. Box 529
Point Lookout, NY 11569

ISBN: 978-0-9826365-6-5
Library of Congress Control No: 2010900937

Front cover photo by Big Cheese Photo


Back cover photo by Todd Connor Photography
Cover design, layout and typesetting by Cyanotype Book Architects

Printed in the United States of America


DEDICATION

Dedicated To:

My parents, Ron and Bev, for the menagerie of pets you allowed us kids to
experience…

My husband, Todd, for transforming into a dog lover and for taking the initia-
tive to honor my dream of adopting Greyhounds…

My children, Kai and Keegan, who’ve been gentle, kind and accepting of our
dogs as family…

All the dogs which have and continue to impact my life forever…

All the shelters, rescue groups, and volunteers who make adoption possible…

And, most of all God, for bringing me Shiraz and Buffett, and for providing
dogs as magnificent teachers to prove that unconditional love exists.
contents
Foreword by Bruce Little, DVM..........................................................................11

Introduction: How to Speak Your Dog’s Language...................................................15

Chapter 1: Hand Over Your Leash.........................................................................19

Chapter 2: The Building Blocks of Communication – “Hip TLC”............................31

Chapter 3: How to Bark When Spoken To...............................................................43

Chapter 4: Know Thy Dog, Know Thyself................................................................49

Chapter 5: A Breed for Every Reason – A Dog for Every Season................................59

Chapter 6: Beyond the Breed – What Your Dog Says About You...............................71

Chapter 7: Finding and Handling the New Relationship.........................................79

Chapter 8: The First Sniff - First Date Impressions..................................................91

Chapter 9: Sniffing Out First Impressions..............................................................103

Chapter 10: Merging Doghouses – Steps for Becoming One Happy Pack..................109

Chapter 11: Training to Stay – Sustaining Long-term Relationship Success..............123

Chapter 12: Peeping Fido – The Secrets to Intimacy...............................................139

Chapter 13: Most of All, Be Happy – Happy Dog, Happy Couple;


Happy Couple, Happy Dog................................................................155

Chapter 14: Make Room – Move Over...............................................................163

Chapter 15: Who Gets the Dog? - When the Relationship Splits,
but the Dog Doesn’t...........................................................................169

Chapter 16: FetchaFriend – Establishing Real Friendships.....................................187

Chapter 17: Mirror, Mirror – Your Relationship with Your Dog is a


Reflection of the Stability of Your Human Relationships.......................199

Chapter 18: Bloodlines and Bloodhounds – We Are Family....................................209

Chapter 19: Compromise is “Key” When You’re Composing a Family Harmony.......227

Epilogue: Love, Life, and Happiness – Unleash Your Dog......................................243

Photo Credits.....................................................................................................249

About the Author...............................................................................................251

Contact Info......................................................................................................253
FOREWORD

By Bruce Little,
DVM

A s a typical youth in pre-World War II rural America, I was aware


that the value placed on dogs was based on the work that each could
perform. Sheep and cattle dogs helped protect the flocks and herds. Barn
dogs protected the chickens and baby animals from foxes and coyotes,
and yard dogs served as security to prevent skunks, rodents and other
varmints from setting up housekeeping under the farmhouse porch. These
dogs were basically outside dogs that seldom had the opportunity to gain
admittance to the warm and cozy confides of the family home, except
on occasions of extremely harsh winter weather or the stifling heat of the
dog-days of summer. These are the dogs that I knew as a child and young
adult in rural America.
Fortunately, the fate of the dog has changed appreciably from those
humble surroundings of my childhood. The accelerated rate of the post-
World War II urbanization of America has changed the purpose of the
dog and has moved them inside the home as trusted companions of family
members. Many dogs now even sleep with members of the family. As a
practicing veterinarian in the 60s and 70s, I began to see and follow the

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value being placed on the family dog by all members of society. Sight
and hearing dogs were the norm, as were police and military dogs that
served a purpose beyond just being a best friend. I had clients in my vet-
erinary practice who realized the value in their dog’s presence from warn-
ings of oncoming thunderstorms to the unconditional love displayed by
the family dog as a companion to a young recipient in a much deserved
“time-out.” The dog’s love and attention never wavered. Dogs have been
trained to pick up toys and place them on a tray for physically or mentally
challenged toddlers, and dogs have been used to train prisoners and juve-
nile delinquents about the need for love and nurturing. In many of these
scenarios the answer was found in the relationship formed between the
family member and the dog.
In 1981, Dr. Leo K. Bustad, then dean of the Washington State Uni-
versity College of Veterinary Medicine, first coined the term “human-ani-
mal bond.” Dr. Bustad, who had many honors bestowed upon him for his
work and writings on the “bond,” served as chair of the newly chartered
not-for-profit organization, The Delta Society. That international group
focused on work to understand the quality of the relationship between pet
owners, pets, and pet caregivers. The Delta Society, whose mission is to
improve human health through service and therapy animals, later teamed
up with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the larg-
est and most influential veterinary support group in the world, to nurture
the term “human-animal bond.” Every year, together they recognize a
distinguished member of the veterinary profession for pioneering work in
the human-animal bond field.
Both human and veterinary medicine continue to discover the power
of animals to influence the detection and healing powers of a strong
human-animal bond. Thousands of articles and books from the perspec-
tive of pediatric medicine to writings for the aged have been written
relating the benefit of a strong human-animal bond in lowering blood

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pressure, lowering cholesterol, weight loss regimens, easing depression or


healing minds from loneliness and emotional isolation, and detection of
seizures and various types of cancer.
Now, Sheryl Matthys has written this most insightful and inspiring
book on how relationships with dogs can influence and guide our rela-
tionships with other people. Ms. Matthys captures many of the benefits
of depending on your dog, or that of your potential relationship partner
and their dog, to guide you in important decision-making within that
relationship. Dogs teach us unconditional love and affection and that love
never wavers. Leashes and Lovers is truly a magic potion for understand-
ing our relationships with lovers and those we love. Many of these encum-
brances have been with us for most of our lives and have prohibited us
from developing meaningful and lasting relationships, or renewing those
relationships as needed.
Yes, change has and is happening every day. As the technology revolu-
tion continues on its course in every aspect of life, the need for interper-
sonal relationships will be ever increasing. Look to Sheryl Matthys’ book,
Leashes and Lovers: What Your Dog Can Teach You About Love, Life, and
Happiness, to direct you in those important decisions. And let your dog
be your guide!

Dr. Bruce W. Little is a veterinarian who has not only witnessed this great
change in the understanding and evolution of our best friend – the dog, but
has played an important role in implementing that change. After graduating
from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1965, Dr.
Little spent 21 years in clinical veterinary practice tending to the needs of dogs
and all species of animals. At mid-career, Dr. Little felt a need to make greater
and more meaningful contributions and accepted a position on the staff of
the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) where he served 11

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years as the Assistant Executive Vice President and 12 years as the Executive
Vice President and CEO of that 78,000 member organization. Among his
accomplishments are the creation of the AVMA and Delta Society’s Human
Animal Bond Award and the newly created AVMA Animal Welfare Division.
Although retired, Dr. Little continues to serve the animals he so dearly loves on
boards and committees involving animal related issues.

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