Tuesday, March 31, 2009

News Reel - Marketplace and 20/20

CBC Marketplace put together a great documentary regarding pet store puppies. I watched it when it was on TV and I have to say, it was pretty good. I would strongly encourage people to watch it. For those who are interested, follow this link here to see more about it.

The Marketplace Report explains some of the details about puppy mills and pet stores by telling the story of a dog named Dinglehopper and his owner Michelle who fell for a pet store puppy. There were so many problems with Dinglehopper, some behavioural, many hereditary physical problems. Please take some time to read about him and the many different issues he and Michelle have had to cope with together. From what I can tell, March 25th, 2009 was the latest update on Dingle's health.

I was so pleased to see the CBC's documentary out after I got so frustrated and angry seeing the 20/20 documentary called Cruelty To Owners.

Here I am, wandering through YouTube and I happen across the 20/20 episodes (there are 2 parts to it). I don't want to publish the links because I don't really want to encourage it to be the most watched video on YouTube. I don't want their stats to go up. Watch at your own discretion. All you have to do is type in the following (or copy and paste) into Google and you'll find the links: "20/20 cruelty to owners youtube"

For those of you who choose not to watch the videos, I will give you a sum-up. I have to admit I did not watch the whole thing - I couldn't sit through it.

The documentary is about how animal rights organizations go in on suspected or reported cruelty cases (for example, a puppy mill or BYBer). The organization removes the animals for one reason or another and APS Officers Serve Orders. Then when the owners have complied with whatever orders they were given and the organization should give the animal back, it is found that the animal in question has been relocated. At that point in time, the animal rights organization is shown to be the bad guys because they are said to be profiting from the dogs.

I would love to tell those organizations to smarten up! Asshats. You may think you're doing the right thing but you MUST comply with the laws governing your state and you must not allow cases like this to come up. It looks bad on the rest of us that actually DO follow the rules.

Makes me want to ask the 20/20 guys what in the world they were thinking when they put that storyline together?! What a load of bad publicity (PR) for the SPCA and other animal rights organizations across the continent.

If the dogs are in need of medical attention or grooming ... If the dog hasn't been altered and they are neutered while in the care of said organization ... do you really think they are even coming close to breaking even? I can tell you that for the organization I volunteer, we lose money on every dog once you factor in all the costs.

As someone who works with the dogs removed from such situations ... give yourself a shake and smell the coffee!! Many dogs removed from BYBers and Puppy Mills have behavioural, psychological and physical ailments or problems.

The worst part? There really are some questionable animal rights organizations out there and these stories probably have some truth to them.

The Asshats are on both sides of the fence on this one.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Training Rant - The Aggressive Dog

A fellow blogger, Fred, asked "Will you be doing any posts on how you're dealing with the aggression? Very interested." as a response to my post about the latest foster dog we have. For those who didn't read the post, you can read it here.

First off, I'd like to encourage everyone reading this blog to go check out Fred's blog, One Bark at a Time. It's a great blog about everything from his adventures in volunteering to experiences with his own dogs to general dog related topics.

Now, back to the point. How do I deal with the aggression? What a great question ... but bloody hard to answer! Each dog is different so it's hard to pinpoint a specific answer, but I will try to do the best I can.

I always look for a hands-off approach when working with these dogs. Why? Because I don't want to get bitten and I don't want to make the problem worse! I am a small person and not that strong. Most of the dogs I work with are stronger than me; a few are heavier. The thing that too many people don't understand is you don't rehab dogs by being the strongest or "dominant".

Generally, the dogs I get are the ones that are on euth-row. Most can't be handled by people, many have shown signs of aggression, some have bitten, almost all of them are simply shy and scared and have found that showing aggression is the best way to deal with their problems.

The first thing I do is determine why the dog is showing aggression. What is fueling it? Boredom? Fear? Anger? Frustration? Once you know why, you can start addressing the problem. Also, I usually isolate the dog I'm working with and start introducing stimuli one at a time so I can figure out what their issues are. When I find an issue, I work the dog through it.

Remember the post I put up about expectations? Always remember to set your expectations somewhere where the dog can reach. If you want to raise your expectations, than you should set them up for success so they can meet them.

For example, this is what I expected walking into my latest foster situation.
At the end of the first day I worked with her, I expected she would take a cookie from my hand.
By the first week, I expected she would take a cookie when I was standing and she wouldn't back away after taking a cookie from my hand when I was squatting down.
By the second week, I expected that she would allow me to touch her lightly and that she would take a cookie from me when I was taking a few steps.
By the third week, I expected that I could put a leash on her with some resistance.

When she showed aggression towards me (snapping at my hand), I knew she was trying to scare me (from what I could tell, she wasn't really a biter) so I called her bluff - that gamble paid off. We had a few power struggles, but she won none of them. Once I set myself up to be the one who calls the shots, I knew I could control any situation we walked into together.

When she showed aggression towards my dogs, I corrected with a leash tug and No. When she launched herself into the air to grab them, I stepped between them and used my big-angry voice (which was new for her) while simultaneously controlling the situation with the attached leash. With this particular dog, I knew that would be enough which is why I allowed the situation to exist in the first place. My dogs were told to Stay (if they left, she would have learned that this behaviour causes the dogs to leave which is what she wants). Once we were all calmed down (which took almost 10 minutes) and there were no more residual growls and all the dogs were looking at me, each got a cookie. We have been working with this and she is now to the point where she will physically show her stress (head shift, ear moves, muscles tense, face moves, etc), but she will not bite, nor verbalize - almost there, but not quite.
This only works because I have put enough foundation training into my own dogs that I can trust them explicitly. I know exactly what they are going to do because I have trained them how to react with these situations. They are experienced enough now that they will follow my direction without the need for a leash or a second handler to correct (provided they are within 15 ft). They also trust me to control the situation.
When I know the problem is more (example, the rottweiler/ridgeback x last summer/fall) than I start with people being the first stimuli. When the dog is ok with people, I get my husband to walk one of our dogs and we begin working the foster's thresholds (I'm still teaching my dogs how to stop and sit on command at specific points far away from me - so far they will do it 15 ft or less away but it needs to be further). In that case, because I knew the aggression was borne out of more than simple fear, we dealt with it differently and didn't allow the foster into a situation where she will fail. Always know your expectations and encourage the next step (but only the next step - don't leap!)

Every little reaction, every act is a learned behaviour. People forget that.

So, here are the things you need to know when working a dog with issues:
Why is the dog showing aggression?
Will the dog bite you/others or is it simply a show?
What are the dogs thresholds?

Once you have determined the answers to those questions, you can begin working with the dog and setting him or her up for success.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Featured Rescue - Cody the Akita

Why the Akita today? I don't know. Just in the mood, I guess. Today there are 821 Akitas available on Petfinder.

The Akita is a large breed dog that originated in Japan. According to Wikipedia: "Recent DNA analysis found that the Akita was among the most ancient dog breeds" Akitas in America are different than those in Japan as breeders have been encouraging different traits. Check out the link to ancient dog breeds - it's a pretty interesting little read.

This is Cody. He is 4 years old, 120 lbs, and reportedly a "victim of the economy". I would assume that means that the previous owners lost their jobs so can't afford to feed him anymore.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Asshat Rant - Asshats Rehoming Dogs

I found this post on the Boston CL. Check it out. You too could own a senior (8 years old) beagle who is "fat and lazy"! Doesn't this ad just make you want to go out and get this dog?

"He shouldn't go to a home with kids under 5" ... I wonder why? Has he bitten someone? Or simply growled? Maybe he doesn't like kids that treat him as a play thing or a toy ...

Ok, so I'm one of the suckers who would take him if I were looking for a beagle ... but that's me. I like beagles (we have a 14 year old one now). I know that the poor dog is probably over fed and under exercised and with a lack of interesting stimulation, probably seems lazy. He's also getting older so probably is taking more naps throughout the day than he did when he was younger. Also, he may need a senior blood panel run on him to ensure he doesn't have any thyroid (or other) issues.

"We don't have time for him that he deserves" why not? What a crappy excuse. I'm thinking that from now on, anyone who uses that as an excuse to get rid of their dog is an asshat. People seem to really like to use that excuse. No, correction ... Asshats seem to really like that excuse.

I bet the only reason is because he's getting older and you don't want him anymore. Asshat.


The next asshat is also from Boston. (Come on, Boston! What's going on out there?). This post had me shaking my head. I don't even have words for it other than ... asshat and worse.

"He does not like children though at all! He also bites when he is scared. Jeremy does not like/ is scared of loud noises, strangers, animals, children, red, and vacums." Seriously ... this does not make me want to take your dog. Asshat.

"Aside from that he is the best dog and will be a good addition to your home as long as you do not have children or anything mentioned above." Ok, so I could adopt your dog, live in isolation with no people or animals around; don't ever clean the house and try not to wear red. That's going to happen. Asshat.

Couldn't you have gone out with your camera and taken a better picture than that? Asshat.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Personal Rant - Asshats All Around Me

I was going to publish the aggressive dog post I've been working on (and re-writing multiple times), but unfortunately I am a bit too pissed off to post it. Sorry. It is coming, just not ready yet.

I got home last night from work to find that our Quad was stolen. Ok, I should have noticed it was gone yesterday morning when I got up, walked the foster dog and then went to work ... but come on! It's morning time! I'm lucky not to put my shirt on inside out most mornings, let alone notice that things are missing from the yard!!

You could see the tracks where they put it into neutral and pushed it out onto the road and then up onto a truck. We called the OPP. Get this ... they took a statement over the phone and wouldn't even come out to see for themselves! Typical.

The OPP guy said he thinks he knows who is doing this and there has been a rash of ATV's stolen in the last month. I think that's a line, that he has no idea and doesn't want to sound like an asshat, but that's my opinion.

No, they don't care to see the ownership papers. No, they don't need a description other than the license plate number and model. No, they don't need to look at the tracks in the mud that clearly show the Quad being pushed onto another vehicle. No, they don't want to know that it requires repairs. The list goes on.
I won't tell you how impressed I am with that. A friend of ours is a retired cop, so we called him to find out what the policy and procedure should be from the OPP. He said we may as well go buy a new one; the only thing the OPP needs to do is submit paperwork. Once that is done, they have done their job. Great. Thanks.

Yes, it should have been put away into the barn, but it wasn't and now it's gone. To say the least, I'm a little cranked. The best part? It keeps overheating and actually requires a specific part that can only be purchased from a dealership (we've been trying to find the part elsewhere since last summer since the dealership is way over priced - can't find it anywhere).

The insurance company won't cover it because it has too high HP. We needed to insure it separately, just like a car (fee starting at $500 per year). Yeah, right. That's going to happen. May as well buy a new one every few years at that rate.

Yes, I'll admit it, we're asshats for not putting it away. Was I the last person who used it? No, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't have put it away when I saw that the last person left it out. Remember, it only takes one instance of laziness to get kicked in the butt. If you complain about being kicked, you have only yourself to blame.

Anyways. I'm pissed off. Mostly with myself because I should have put it away (you want a job done right, do it yourself). Maybe now is not the best time to go parusing through CL ... I don't know if I can be tactful today ... but I just can't resist.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Featured Rescue - Corrine the Chow

I was looking through Petfinder and was amazed at how many dogs are listed as a Chow Chow or a Chow mix ... There are 2,927 dogs listed ... and most don't even look like a Chow! Anyway, it took me a while to find one that fits the following descriptions:

1. doesn't have something wrong physically
2. doesn't dislike other dogs
3. doesn't dislike cats or kids
4. does look like a chow

This is Corrine. She's a thin 3 year old who is looking for her forever home. True to her breed, she's typically aloof when meeting new people, though she does get along well with other dogs. (There's no mention of cats) Corrine is currently located in Buffalo, NY.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Asshat Rant - Exercise? What's that?

I didn't have to go far through CL to find this one.

To the poster: Do you really expect me to take you seriously? You have, in 4 sentences or less, just confirmed many people's stereotypical opinions both about young parents and pittie owners.

Good grief. I wish I could reach out and smack this guy upside the head. What an Asshat.

First off, that is one killer run-on sentence. Perhaps you could check your grammar and close some of those open clauses. Do you understand the greater subtleties of the use of periods?
Do you know what I see when I read a post like this? Let me show you what my read between the lines version is like. Please note that my comments are in red.

7 month old female pit good with kids since she hasn't bitten one yet but very hyper because you're an asshat and haven't bothered to do a thing with her, NOT house broken why not? i got her about a month ago In the month you've had her, how much training have you accomplished? Can she do any basic obedience? If your answer is None or No to either of these questions, you FAIL. and she is just not working out because you can't be bothered to get off your fat ... youknowhat ... to train her properly. Asshat. she is too hyper why don't you exercise her so she won't be bored? Please refer to my post about The Hyper Dog for more details. for my 9 month old baby WHY in the world does this matter for your 9 month old baby? Please tell me you aren't asking your baby to train your dog? Maybe that explains some things ... *HEADDESK HEADDESK* and my landlord cannot get liability insurance for her because she is a pit Do you realize that liability insurance for a dog is an optional thing which most landlords insist on when they find they have an Asshat tenant who can't be bothered to train their dog. They are able to use it as a way to prevent their tenants from keeping dogs that they know won't be trained properly. A great way to protect the landlord, not so great way to deal with the dog..... rehoming fee.. her name is Bailey... I see you already have one dog in those pictures ... is it yours too? If it is yours, why isn't your landlord asking you to get rid of that one? i have vet papers for her, she is up to date on her shots till sep. of this year If you have vet papers and she's received her last Da2PPV booster + Rabies ... dare I ask ... has she been spayed?

Tell you what, if I could take your dog for 3 days and prove to you that the problem is you and not the dog, would you give her another chance? Probably not.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Updates - Foster Dog

Well, it's Tuesday ... feels like Monday ... need I say more? Sorry I haven't posted for a few days, the computers at work have been down all week. Because of this, I haven't had much time to wander through CL or the news yet! Things are progressing over here, so I thought I'd post something a bit personal today.

The latest foster dog is learning so quickly I've had to slow her down (she's only been at our house since mid-week last week). I'm worried she'll flood with too much too quickly and pick up bad habits and that would be worse than making her wait and keeping her a bit bored. I hate it when I'm the one that has to slow them down - it's so refreshing when they actually WANT to learn more.

We're curbing a dog agression issue right now - she's tried to take a chunk out of all 3 of my dogs. She's not reactive - which is nice because most I work with are. I did know this problem existed before I brought her home - I witnessed multiple instances of agression towards other dogs at the pound - but I was hoping it was caused by the high stress environment.

Each time she's started something, it's when my dogs aren't paying attention to her. Not good but I don't think it will take long to resolve - we only had one growling incident yesterday so I'm hopeful that it's already on the way to being nipped in the bud. For her, it seems to be a confidence issue as well as a lack of understanding regarding proper interaction between dogs.

Oh well, here we go again, eh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

News Reel - Off-Leash Dogs

Hey Seattle! Stop letting your dogs off leash in areas they are supposed to be restrained. I hate to say it, but the world doesn't like dogs running at large. (Don't ask me why because I am not sailing on that boat.)

Here's the thing. It seems so innocent, right? Yes, you should be allowed to have your dogs off leash anywhere but according to the laws that govern our cities, you're not. Some cities have been gracious enough to give you a place to have your dog off leash and to play with them. Some have not. Don't take advantage of those that have!

Your dog should be under control at all times - whether it is on leash or not. Many dog owners I know and have met along the way don't keep their dogs under control. Most haven't bothered to teach their dogs how to Heel ... and I don't think I could count on one hand how many I know who have taken the time to teach them how to Heel Off Leash!

I don't know why but they seem to think that it is great to let their dog be 'wild and free' ... maybe it's the deeply suppressed Hippie coming out in them? I don't know.

Off leash is just that. It is not an invitation to let your dogs run wild. If your dog is running around all willy-nilly and making itself a nuisance than people will complain.

Yes, you love your dog. Yes, I love your dog. Maybe your neighbour even loves your dog. But not everyone out there will. Many people out there don't want your dog coming close to them - some are afraid, some will be irritated with your dog, some just don't like animals. Be respectful of others and accept their choices. (Does no one follow the Golden Rule anymore?!)

Perhaps if your dog had great recall and dropped everything to run back to sit in front of you when you called, it wouldn't be a problem.

Perhaps if the possibility of the next guy coming along weren't walking his severely Dog Agressive dog (note he's in an ON leash area with his dog on a leash where he though it would be safe), it wouldn't be a problem (let's hope you don't ever have to make that emergency vet visit!).

Perhaps if your dog didn't jump on the child that looked like he wanted to play (but was really screaming bloody murder because of his serious fear of dogs), it wouldn't be a problem.

Let's hope the city's dog haters out there don't start petitioning to CLOSE your off leash areas since you're not using them anyway.

You know one thing I hate worse than asshats who hate, harm or profit from animals? Asshats who love them so much their common sense is clouded so much that they endanger their dog, other animals or other people.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Featured Rescue - Millie the Rottweiler

I do love the big breeds. Make no mistake there. Rottis are one of my weaknesses ... my first foster was a rotti. A snarly little gal who would show her teeth at anyone who touched her (unless it was one of her handlers!). I ended up fostering her because I didn't want to see her put to sleep. She was the beginning.

So, I thought I'd post a Rottweiler today. I usually think through all the dogs I've fostered whenever I get a new one come home. It reminds me that even though it seems hopeless, we will succeed.
This is Millie. She is a young gal currently living in Ohio. She could use a new home - apparantly she is not taking very well to shelter life.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Asshat Rant - Brokers

When I read posts like this it fills me with dread. I get a twist in my gut that says "Danger! Danger Will Robinson!" I don't see a helpful family taking in unwanted rescue puppies, I see an asshat snatching up puppies and then turning around and making a profit on it.

A broker.

These sorts of people take in cute little puppies and then play on other people's emotions by saying they would have been Euthanized had the "rescue" not stepped in. Comments like this automatically put people into a defensive stance ... it's human nature. It comes from our nurturing side and I have found that women are more often suckered for these sorts of things than men (though there are lots of men out there who also fall for it).

When people follow their instincts, they are generally right. I googled the phone number for the "rescue" and found this. I had to cut it into two pictures because it wouldn't all fit onto my screen (see left and right).
Don't fall for these asshats. They are usually simply in it for money and will play off your emotions.
When people do fall for these sorts of things, they are only helping the broker make more money and stay in business. Don't buy from these sorts of places. You will note that the puppy died of Parvovirus ... Parvo is highly contagious and quite deadly for puppies. From what I've seen and what I was taught, most adult dogs that get Parvo are able to fight it off and recover. For all the other pups that came into contact with Sasha's feces, they may also be infected. For a puppy, being diagnosed with Parvo is the equivalent to a death sentence. By the time it has manifested so that you are able to see the symptoms, you're lucky if the pup lives for a few days.
Asshats. They are getting puppies and spreading disease. Sentencing them to death probably without even realizing it. And the worst part? The people who give the puppies to the broker as well as the people who buy from the broker are just as much AssHats as the broker. If they didn't sell/buy than the broker wouldn't be in business, would she?
Asshats. Most asshats don't even realize they are ASSHATS.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Click A Day

I have added a few new links to my blog. Check them out - they are Click A Day. What you do is you go to the link and click their button to have their advertisers donate food/books/etc once a day.

If you click on the Animal Rescue Site for example, you will be taken to another page. You click on the button on that page and food is donated to an animal rescue (at least - so they say). You can click once per day so when you're finished reading that day's posting here on the blog, you can go ahead and click there to make a difference!

Link Exchange - Drowning In Cats

I am going to start a new type of posting simply called Link Exchange. These will be posts that will be much like my Post Exchange. I have been thinking and don't see why I couldn't set up a Post Exchange with anyone!

If you have a blog or a link that you would like me to feature, please feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will write up a short Review of your site. There is one thing - I would hope you would do the same for me on your site.

These Link Exchange posts will be dependent upon the amount of sites sent to me.

The first I will include is going to be a new blog that I am starting. It is called Drowning In Cats. If you read the first post I have written, it explains what I am going to blog about in it. Hopefully it will end up being a fun blog that may end up with some followers. I will likely write in much the same style as this blog is compiled with ... after all, that's who I am! Anyway, feel free to pop by and check it out in your travels.

Don't worry - for those of you who have been waiting for it, tomorrow's post will be a nice rant.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Featured Rescue - Jack the Jack Russell Terrier

After a weekend revolving around rescues, I thought I'd post one. My husband and I have been crazy busy with dogs lately; assessing them, transporting them, training them and setting up for the next foster ... Let me backtrack a bit ...

We had a Jack Russell Terrier that had bitten someone and the HS wanted me to take him. There are two of us in this area that receive these calls - one is me, the other person won't take dogs, but will come and assess them to give you his opinion (free of charge).

Anyway, so there's this JRT dog that has an unrecorded bite (don't get me started on THAT one!), the HS doesn't feel they can safely adopt him out without first being worked in a foster home (yep, you guessed it ... mine).

So, my hubby and I go down to look at this dog. We walked him, took him for a car ride, had him interact with our dogs to look for any inter-dog agression (yes, our dogs have been trained to do this and they trust us to step in if the need is there). Our assessment? He's a normal JRT. No agression. We played with the dogs, fed him alone, fed him in front of the other dogs, and shared cookies between the 3 of them. We think we know why he bit the guy ... but our speculations don't mean much since we believe it was the handlers fault (isn't that always the case?)

Remember I told you there was a waiting list for dogs to foster with us? Well, I have been wading through the list and there are now only two left waiting to get to my house (more keep popping up! But there's light at the end of them thar tunnels). Neither of these two will allow anyone to touch them - one is arriving Wednesday.

My hubby and I discussed the options for this JRT. We then approached the HS and discussed with them. The decision was made to send the dog through rescue (ha! Bet you thought I was going to say he would get the long-sleep, eh?).

So, with that in mind, I felt it prudent to feature a JRT for today's Featured Rescue.

This is Jack (yeah, I know ... unique name, eh?). The ad doesn't say how old he is, but from his pictures, I'd say pretty young. Could be anywhere from 1 to 3 yrs. He's located in Mississauga, ON.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Training Rant - Muddy Paws

Muddy Paws. Why a rant? They in and of themselves are not a problem. Do you remember a while back I wrote a post about Jumping UP? It was way back in October. If you missed it, check it out - you'll see what my opinion is of jumping.

This picture is not of the dogs, but it gives a pretty good idea as to how muddy it was - we haven't got pics off the camera yet.

Well, this weekend, we had some people over to our house. We spent all day Sunday outside around a bonfire boiling down maple sap. A full day spent with the dogs, no jacket necessary ... the squirrels running through the trees all day long; entertainment for hours. The dogs thought it was great (though they didn't get their afternoon nap so they were pooped by the end of the day).

To get back to the point ... it was a muddy day. Muddy muddy muddy. We had two dogs over with their owners - small dogs that are encouraged to jump ALL THE TIME. Now, picture these dogs covered in mud from head to toe ... including muddy paws.

One of the dogs does what is normal for her ... tears around for an hour or two, then jumps on her owner - covering the owner in mud. Well, doesn't the owner turn around and start yelling at the dog. Tore a strip off it. I asked the owner what they expect if they teach and encourage their dogs to jump up all the time - the dog doesn't know when is and is not a good time to jump! I asked them to let it go because unless they are going to teach the dog never to jump up uninvited, they are simply confusing the poor thing.


Don't think I made any friends there ... not like I care. I didn't even have the energy to continue the "discussion" with the person - it just wasn't worth it. I've been having the same "discussion" with the same person for two years now. (I guess you could just call it an argument; it would be more accurate.)

This is why Muddy Paws turns into a rant. You can't tell your dog that it can jump up any time it wants to ... except when it's got Muddy Paws. The dog doesn't understand because it doesn't care if it has Muddy Paws or not - that's a human concern.

If you're going to be dumb, go be dumb somewhere else. I don't have patience for it anymore.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups - February

Have you adopted a dog from rescue? Tell me about it in the comments!

Well, here's the Featured Rescue Followups for February and all those that weren't adopted in previous months.

Kobe Swims the suspected Kelpie listed as a GSD mix
Status: NOT adopted
Featured on December 5, 2008
Follow link here to see blog entry

Tahne the Cocker Spaniel
Status: NOT adopted
Featured on December 13, 2008
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Rafe (left) and Redman (right) the Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Status: NOT Adopted
Featured on January 12, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Bella the Catahoula Leopard Dog
Status: NOT Adopted
Featured on January 21, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Zoey the Beagle
Status: AdoptedFeatured on February 3, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Sly the Boxer
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on February 6, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Ginger the American Staffordshire Terrier
Status: Adopted
Featured on February 11, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Buddy the Bichon Frise
Status: Adopted
Featured on February 20, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Apollo the Dalmation
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on February 24, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
As always, if any of you can open your home to a rescue dog, I urge you to do so. If you have already done so, than that's great!
Please feel free to post a comment about your rescue dog or tell a story about your experiences with rescues/shelters. If you would prefer, feel free to email it to me and I will post it in one of the daily blog posts.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Asshat Rant - Expensive pets

Here's a CL poster who got a third large dog from their friends who had a baby and couldn't keep their 1 yr old lab (who is NOT neutered). The OP has decided that "three bigs dogs are overwhelming and too expensive" ... no kidding? What was he expecting? Asshat.

There are so many people on CL trying to get rid of their dogs because the dog is "too expensive" and they didn't realize it would cost so much. When they see the "Free Puppy" in the newspaper or even the puppy at the pet store with first vaccinations ("what do you mean puppies are supposed to get 3 sets of vaccinations before their first year ... ?!") I don't think they really consider how much it costs to have a dog. Can people really be that dumb?

I think sometimes people forget how much dogs cost throughout their lifetime. Here's a chart to give everyone an idea. It's expensive to have a dog ... not quite as expensive to have children, but it's up there!

I have added "My Cost" in there based on getting a dog from a shelter - usually I end up with the ones who have their adoptions fees waived because of their "bad" behaviours, but I thought I should put a number in there anyway! I also changed all the My Cost numbers to reflect what I would normally spend on things (such as a new collar every year).
Keep in mind that this is factored over a 14 year lifespan and does not take into account any market inflation, etc. that would affect the outcome of these numbers.

Post Exchange - Wizloans

Imagine that! I found two post exchange's that I actually want to do in the same day! Yikes - that's scary. As you noted in my last post exchange, it is often hard to find links that are good enough that I want to blog about ... I think I hit the jackpot today! Maybe because it's Friday the 13th? I don't know.

Anyway, to make a long story short, after submitting my last post exchange, the next possible link is called Wizloans which is a site that specializes in different types of loans. I want to blog about this website because at this time with our economy, money is tight for a lot of people. There are a lot of people finding that if they can squeeze by without being laid off, they are finding their pay cheques are cut back. Now, I don't endorse people getting a loan if they don't have a job - that would be foolish - but I do know that if you can't get to work than you can't work! Am I right? Anyway, if you do have a job and you are in need of a new vehicle, this could be one of the many different websites and loan companies you check out for a car loan.

Post Exchange - Reflections

When parusing through different possibilities for post exchange this week (you get a different one every 24 hours - finding one I actually want to blog about can be difficult and time consuming!), I received an offer for this blog called The Reflections ... Rahul's Chill Out Zone. I read through the last 4 posts and have to say - what a positive outlook on everything! Building off the mushy optimism of my blog earlier this week, I thought it would be a good addition to my posts. From my first impression, I'd say that Rahul's Blogs are a great place to check out when you need a positive outlook on life in general. If you're looking for some up-beat and optimistic viewpoints on things, check it out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Featured Rescue - Molly the Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are scent hounds. Scent hounds are bred to hunt by using their nose to track prey. When I looked up the Basset Hound and found the following description on Wikipedia I laughed:

"The Basset Hound is seen an especially friendly breed. For this reason they are an excellent pet for children. Bassets "forget" the training when a reward is not present. Bassets should be on a leash when out on walks."

Today there are 2,178 Basset Hounds available on Petfinder. The one I chose to feature is named Molly. She is 5 y/o SF. I had to laugh at the parallels between the rescue's description of Molly and the above Wiki quote.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Training Rant - The Hyper Dog

Ok, so I've been all "idealistic" for a few days. Blech. Sorry for those of you who aren't interested. I sometimes get rolling on an idea and it's hard to stop. Hold the horses! Change of pace!
The Hyper Dog.

I hear all the time that some people's dogs are so hyper they can't possibly train it! It can't walk on leash without pulling because it is just too hyper. It goes crazy when something in the environment changes like someone new walks in the door because it's hyper. Here's the thing. The "Hyper Dog" only exists in your mind.

Why are people always amazed at this behaviour? Furthermore, why do they always believe that their dog is the most active dog in existence?

When people tell me that they can't teach their dog a thing because he or she is too hyper and can't concentrate, I always ask them three questions. One, "when is the last time you took your dog out for a nice, 4 hour hike through the hills offleash outside of town?" Two, "What sort of training games have you done with your dog to teach patience?" The second question is always followed with a third "Why don't you get off your duff and bother to teach your dog patience?"

Most people I have met who has a dog that is more active than they can deal with don't look at themselves as the problem. They don't want to consider that they may have caused the problems and it is their fault. Why? Why are we, as a society, so afraid to admit our mistakes and correct them? By doing this, we condemn our dogs to boredom, failure, destruction, and a lack of sufficient exercise. Sure, you may walk your dogs twice a day, but for most dogs, that is not enough!

I wonder sometimes why is it that after a few weeks living with me, most proclaimed "hyper" dogs just calm right down? In my experience, there are a few different reasons why dogs become hyper. (If I miss any, feel free to add them!)

1. Boredom
2. Need more exercise
3. Under-stimulation
4. Over-stimulation
5. Anxiety
6. Lack of direction during exciting situations (obedience training)

There are so many different things you can do to fix this.

First, sit down and figure out how much you are actually working with your dog. Is it a walk twice a day (so that's, what ... 1 hour)? This will help you to understand where your dog is coming from. Think about it - could you live the life your dog lives? Break it down - don't think about you not working or being fed ... think about the real truth - what does your dog do all day while you're at work or school? Don't just think about how neat it would be to not have to go to work or school ... think about being locked in a house/crate day after day wondering if your owners will come home on time or late?
Second, see if you can find some time through the week to work with your dog - you could be training while you are cooking dinner or during commercial breaks when you're watching tv! You could teach your dog to stay while watching tv ... put into a sit/stand/down + stay and hold for a few minutes into the TV show ... then release after the first scene change! Maybe there is 30 minutes in the evening that you could work on a new skill ... I have found that some dogs will pick up a new skill in as little as two 30 minute sessions! There are many different games you can play with your dog throughout the evening to enrich their lives.

Third, think about your time over the weekends and consider spending some time with your dog. Why not take your dog(s) out for a 4 hour hike, bring your friends, their doggie friends, spouse or special someone and take along a nice picnic lunch. Walking your dog doesn't have to be a chore! It shouldn't be a chore - it should be a pleasurable experience.

Fourth, take responsibility for the actions of your dog. If you don't like the actions, teach them alternatives! I hate to say it, but people now-a-days are l-a-z-y. That's right - lazy.

We tried for months to re-home our retriever mix. No-one wanted him. I couldn't pay people to take him off our hands! (Believe me, I tried to rehome him) He was Trouble with a capital T and came with more problems than I could possibly list. But now that we've put 3 years worth of training into him ... well, we lock our doors when not at home for fear that people who have tried to take him will make good on their offers!

Know what? Everyone's dog can be a good, well behaved and well trained dog. But it takes work!

The Hyper Dog is simply another one of those convenient excuses people use so they don't have to train their dogs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Asshat Rant - 3 years in boarding?

I stumbled on this little ditty while I was wandering through CL. Sometimes I wonder why people post these sorts of things? This person is posting asking for people to help this dog who has been in boarding for 3 years ... it originally started out as a legit topic, something we should be concerned about and possibly fix ... and then the poster "opened her mouth" so to speak.

I just have to shake my head and wonder if this woman really thinks she is helping? (I don't know why I think it's a woman ... just seems like it from the writing style)

Here are snippets of the posting with the OP comments inserted in red. Please note that nearly the entire posting is written in CAPS ... you know how I feel about that!

- "PLEASE MEET 3 1/2 YR.OLD HAZEL" ... the dog is approximately 3-4 y/o.

- "HER PREVIOUS OWNERS WERE DRUGGIES" ... Contary to popular belief, this may not have been that bad from a dog's point of view. Just because they are druggies doesn't mean they are bad trainers. Hard to say. Can't make a judgement based on this ... that's like saying that a few dogs I've fostered lived with an alcoholic *gasp* I've met people on both sides of that fence. What the owners drink, smoke or inject doesn't really affect whether or not they are good dog owners/trainers. It's their actions that matter. It's when they cross the line.

- "WHEN THE COPS CAME THEY WERE GOING TO SHOOT HAZEL WHEN THEY SAW SHE WAS A PIT. NEIGHBORS INTERVENED AND BEGGED FOR THIS SWEET DOG" ... so the dog was removed from the situation and put into a kennel facility. Did the dog have to wait until criminal proceedings were complete before being allowed to be adopted out? Do we really know if she was or was not part of the investigation?? Who paid her bills for 3 years? What do the neighbours have to do with anything??

- "THE WOMAN BOARDING HER HAS SO MANY ANIMALS SHE WAS NOT ABLE T0 REALLY GET HAZEL'S STORY OUT" ... What does this mean? So she hasn't really spent any time with the dog? I would assume by this comment that this person must have too many animals to care for ... Is she feeding and watering them properly?

- "THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!!" and "I JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS AND I AM LIVID" ... ok, so you need to take a few hours and calm down before posting anything like this. Deep breaths. In, Out ... In, Out. Maybe go to a yoga class or something. We are quite aware you are PO'ed ... you don't have to tell us.

- "WE CANNOT LET THESE KIDS FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS LIKE THIS" ... ok, so this comment right here totally lost me and my interest - too bad for the dog. This is not a kid who has been living in a cage for 3 years ... at least now I know why you're so angry about this. Hazel is a dog. Are you not aware that thousands of dogs live their lives in cages making puppies to supply the pet industry? Most of them haven't had much contact with people. You would be better off picking a good cause and putting your energies into something that you can change. Hey, here's an idea ... Why don't you adopt her?

Here's the thing. Sometimes we get so wrapped up emotionally in something that we don't realize that we have just negated the importance of it. It may seem terrible, but you must remain objective! It may seem like you are impartial or cold, but if you really want to get your point across to people who aren't like minded to you, you must be this way for them to listen. Otherwise they just write you off as "just another fanatic".

When you are looking for that "something" to fix your corner of the world ... please make sure you remember to use common sense. If you go off on a tangent like the above wing-nut, you will not help anything. You may make things worse. You actually teach the people around you - the ones who can help you change the world - that you are someone they should simply ignore. Just another crazy, fanatical animal activist.

Don't be that crazy-person. Be the one who matters. The one who makes a difference.

Monday, March 9, 2009

News Reel and a Challenge

As always, I believe that we should keep in touch with the news and current events. I find that sometimes I get so wrapped up in work, juggling my volunteering hours and the dogs I'm training that I forget that there is a bigger world out there and there are many animals in need of help, not only the ones I see.

Keeping up to date with the news reminds me of this and strengthens my resolution to fix my small corner of the world - one dog at a time.

In Montreal, Quebec a dog was locked in a car for 19 days and SURVIVED. Talk about stubborness!! The little poodle is now 9 lbs! The scary part?? The owner received a $100 fine. Check out the article here: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/596160

In Pomona, CA last week, 40 dogs were seized and a woman named Filberta Lopez faces animal cruelty charges. Sounds like she's another Puppy Mill operator shut down. Read the article here for more details: http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/15322/CA/US/ Note that this wouldn't have been possible if the man who went out to purchase the puppy had remained silent. Instead he took it upon himself to change his part of the world.

In Shelby, NC three dead dogs were found chained to trees in a forested area - abandoned, without food. Sylvia Short has been charged with animal cruelty, but she is claiming they were not her dogs. http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/15319/NC/US/ Props to the man who found them and actually reported them instead of looking the other way! True, he was a bit late for those guys, but maybe this Sylvia woman will be found guilty? We could hope she won't do it again ...

In Blum, TX hundreds of animals were seized Thursday and Friday afternoon from a man named Greg Brinkley. They were removed from what had begun as a rescue and turned into a nightmare. Most of them were horses. http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/15321/TX/US/ In this instance, neighbours and passers-by contacted authorities when they became concerned about the welfare of those animals.

On March 1, 2009 the OSPCA's newest Animal Protection Law came into affect. To read about the strongest animal protection laws in Canada, click here to go to the article. True, residents have been waiting a long time for this. True, the laws could always be tighter. It's better than it was, though. One step closer.

Some interesting events, no? Remember, you may not be able to change the entire world, but you CAN change your corner of it!

I would love to put forth a challenge for this month, but I don't know how well you guys are going to receive it? I'm going to put it out there anyway, feel free to call me crazy.

What if each one of you out there reading this blog changed one thing in your corner? Maybe it's something that only takes a few hours one day on a weekend, maybe it's more.

Would you be willing to make the effort to change your world? And if so, what would you do? Would you share it with us?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I wonder ...

You know, sometimes the world throws us curve-balls and I'm on the fence on this one.
Here is a poster who seems to genuinely be looking out for their dog. The person claims that this dog needs a temporary home for 3 weeks, comes with food and supplies, and that they will return and pay the person who takes the dog upon their return.
Part of me wants to believe it.
Part of me is screaming that in this time of turmoil, cutbacks and layoffs, it is a scam.
I wonder that this person might be trying to dump their 14 year old dalmation ... yes, it happens - and it doesn't matter if they are purebred or not. I've seen people do this before with other purebred dogs.
What do you think? Will the person come back to get their beloved dog after the 3 weeks?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Featured Rescue - Gatsby the Portugese Water Dog

As I'm sure we all know by now, the US presidential family is getting a dog. They are searching for a rescue dog to adopt from a shelter and the breed they have selected is the Portugese Water Dog. There are not too many of these guys in rescue right now - only 5 listed on Petfinder (not all rescue dogs are listed here, remember). Though I am not personally familiar with this breed, I have read that PWDs can be quite active dogs that require daily vigorous exercise. Here's the wiki about them, and here's the AKC breed standard.

Definitely not a dog to get without first researching and learning about the breed!

Gatsby is a cute guy - not much info about him up on petfinder. Looks like if you want to know more, you'll need to contact the rescue.


We are all hoping this does not turn into another "101 Dalmations Syndrome" situation but you can bet that if the presidential family does get a PWD, there will be puppy mills popping up everywhere to provide the public with these dogs.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

CCPDT ... say what?

Say what? I mentioned this way back in one of my first posts - I thought I could clear up some of that crazy gobbledygook that creeps up on you in the dog world.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is an organization that has been put together to standardize dog training techniques to provide a baseline for trainers. The CCPDT is attempting to show people that dog trainers should have some sort of certification behind them. Said certification is the Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT).

Quoted from the website about CPDT requirements:

To meet eligibility requirements, candidate trainers must have: at least 300 hours experience in dog training within the last five years; a high school diploma or equivalent; and one reference each from a veterinarian, a client, and a professional colleague. The certification testing covers knowledge of dog behavior and application of training techniques. The exam's five content areas include: Learning Theory, Instruction skills, Husbandry, Ethology, and Equipment.

Basically the problem is that anyone off the street can call themselves a "dog trainer". The CPDT was designed to prevent this.

Sounds too good to be true, eh? Makes finding a dog trainer easy, right? Possibly - depending on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a person who will teach you obedience or puppy socialization, then this is a great resource and you should absolutely seek out a CPDT. But what if you are looking for someone to teach you how to work with and fix your problem dog? What if you are looking for someone to teach you agility or schutzhund?

You may find that the trainer who specializes in agility, schutzhund or problem solving have their CPDT, but you may find some don't. If you are looking for something more than basic obedience, than be prepared to find someone with few credentials and a fair amount of experience.

CPDT is a great resource and tool. My opinion is that every trainer should have this certification. True, not all trainers need those extra letters behind their names ... but sometimes the general public does.

So ... Clear as mud, right?

Post Exchange - A-Med Productions

A-MED Productions is primarily about hip-hop but also discusses their audio production company. The site has references to different artists in the news and a fair number of you-tube videos about them. There are some pictures of front pages from some entertainment magazines too. If you are a person who enjoys keeping up to date with current affairs in the entertainment industry, than this is a great resource for you. I'm not really big into entertainment (as you know since we don't watch much tv or anything), so unfortunately for me, it's not my cup of tea ... but that doesn't mean it's not yours!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

CL Rant - Thoughts

Found this posting on CL and I thought it was well written so wanted to share with you all. This post was published after a big to-do in the Austin CL. There was quite a lot of name calling and bashing going on out there - I found that it was rather humorous. Some people just want to add some drama to their lives and this is how they do it.

Click on the pic to read the full post or check the original post here. I feel more strongly about people who allow their dogs to breed 'by accident' than the person who wrote the CL post. Personally, if you couldn't be bothered to spay/neuter your pet than you need to take full responsibility for it. What else did you expect to happen? It's not like your dog will come and ask your permission to copulate! But again, that's my opinion.

It is good to remember some of these points when parusing CL (or posting to it!), though I think I probably wouldn't have contained myself quite so much had I written the post. Hope it gives you a chuckle as it did me.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Featured Rescue - Molly the American Bulldog

Todays Featured Rescue is the American Bulldog. Today on Petfinder, there are 1,672 Am. Bulldogs available for adoption. The Am. Bulldog is typically a happy, friendly, and assertive dog that is at ease with its family and fine with outsiders who pose no threat.

Molly is almost a year old. She was an owner surrender. Good with kids. From the sounds of it, Molly has gotten used to pushing herself around and getting her own way. (Normal for this breed) She will probably need an assertive owner who won't be easily fooled. From the petfinder report, she is also in need of some basic obedience training.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Asshat Rant - Beware of the Dog

Ok. I saw this in a local department store and I totally flew off the deep end. As I'm sure you can well imagine - here I am standing in the middle of the store ranting and raving about this toy that I found in the children's department called "Beware of the Dog".

I'm sure that all the people around me who were shopping thought I should be in the local loony bin instead of shopping with them ... Most took one look at this crazed lady standing in the middle of the toys section ranting at how disgusting this toy is and turned around and ran the other way!

The basis of the game is that you have this toy dog and you try to steal its bones out of the food bowl without being bitten. Whoever has the most bones at the end wins. The toy is on some timer so that it is random what time it bites you. Now, does ANYONE really believe that this toy is actually teaching life lessons to said children?!?!

Good grief. What a great way to teach children that dogs are toys and you can taunt them into biting because "it's a game." Do the dogs think it's a game? What happens when these kids decide to try out this game in real life? You and I both know that kids do that often. There have been all sorts of kids extremely hurt by trying to act out things they see on tv (like wrestling) ...

This is where it belongs. In the trashcan.

Asshats. Those who made the game, those who sell the game and those who buy the game. All of them ... ASSHATS

Unfortunately, I was so upset by this that I couldn't think straight. You'll note I didn't post yesterday - that's because I was still swearing with everything I had each time I thought about it! Because I wasn't thinking, I didn't complain to the store about them having this on the shelves. So, right after work today, I will be marching myself down to the store and telling them what I think about this "toy". You can believe I will be asking them to take it off their shelves and send it back to their supplier with my formal complaint.

For anyone who would also like to complain about this toy, check out the toy department in your local shopping centres. This one was found in Zellers, but you may find it in other stores so go check them out. I will let you know how it goes on this end.

Post Exchange - Blogger Junction

I'm starting something called Post Exchange. This is where I write a post about someone's blog and then someone writes a post about mine. One for one sort of thing. This will not interfere with my regular posts, so don't worry.

My first exchange is from Blogger Junction. It's also called Blogger Talk Online Make Money Online Work At Home. There's a bit about everything on this blog, but mostly it is about making money online. Interesting site, not dog related at all. There are a fair number of sponsored posts. If you have a blog and are interested in advertising, you may find some resources in here.

You'll notice that I've added a few advertisements to my site. I made the executive decision a while back to advertise on my blog and then donate any monies accumulated on here to dog rescues. Most of the ads here record the page loads, though some depend on clicks, and then update the account. At certain points, the company sends money. I then cash the cheque and send the money to rescue to help cover whatever bills they want to use it for.