Monday, August 31, 2009

To Whomever Gets My Dog

I got this in an email first thing this morning and I wanted to share it with you. Remember - every dog at the shelter had a home before getting there. They had a family. It's hard for them too - not just you.
Sorry it's a super long one - but it's worth the read.


They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, and the people really friendly.

I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.

But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.

And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.

But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner.

See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.

For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. But it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.

I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.

This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.

The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cell phone amid all of my unpacked stuff.

I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."

Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that?? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down with his back to me.

Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.

But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too.

"Okay,Reggie, " I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice." .... I opened it and this is what it said:

To Whomever Gets My Dog:

Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner.

I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.

So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.

First, he loves tennis balls...the more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.

Next, commands: Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones - "sit," "stay," "come," "heel. " He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left; "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business. I trained Reggie with small food treats. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog.

Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.

He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet.

Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.

Finally, give him some time.

I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially.

Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new.

And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you....

His name's not Reggie.

I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. But I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.

His real name is Tank.

Because that is what I drive.

Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call to the shelter... in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed.? He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.

Well, this letter is getting too downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. But still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.

And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me.

That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.

All right, that's enough.

I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter.

I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time.

Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth.

Good luck with Tank.

Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.

Thank you,
Paul Mallory

I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Starwhen he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.

I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog.

"Hey, Tank," I said quietly.

The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright.

"C' mere boy."

He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months.

"Tank," I whispered. His tail swished.

I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him.

I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.

"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me."

Tank reached up and licked my cheek.

"So whatdaya say we play some ball?" His ears perked again. "Yeah?? Ball?? You like that??? Ball?"

Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room.

And when he came back......he had three tennis balls in his mouth.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

DogsDeserveFreedom - Allergies Part 1

I believe Dogs Deserve Freedom, but what does that mean?

I've covered this topic a fair amount and generally my posts revolve around training. But what happens when a dog's health affects her freedom? I thought I would share our experiences with allergies and how they negatively affected our dog. For those of you with allergy-ridden dogs, this will probably sound pretty familiar.

(Disclaimer -- Please note that this is not an entry where I discourage any specific method of treatment, this is simply my experience. We chose not to use certain drugs and to wean off others when we were able to focus on allergen sources. As caretakers of your dog, you must make the decision that is best for him or her and you should always follow the recommendations of your veterinary practitioner. If you feel uncomfortable with your vet then go find a different one! Get a second opinion but make sure you seek our professional help.)

One of our dogs has awful allergies to just about everything. When I say awful, I mean horrible. When we first noticed our dog was excessively itchy, we took her to the vet for a check up. Finding nothing wrong after a physical check up they suggested that since she was a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix that it was probably the beginnings of an OCD. He told us the best thing to fix this would be interruption and corrections. We took her home and followed his advice (meh - we all have to start somewhere, eh? Some of our most important lessons we learn through experience).

We did as he said for a few months, but she developed the habit of hiding to itch. Everything we researched about OCD suggested that this was normal and that unless the cause was addressed, the symptoms wouldn't be resolved with interruption/prevention/correction. We tried everything we could think of to address the cause, but nothing seemed to work (different training classes, take her to work, exploring different places with her, etc). When we returned to the clinic, we were told that we weren't interrupting her properly and the offer of doggie prozac was given. We didn't like the thought of giving this to our dog, so we looked at other options.

We looked for another vet so we could have a second opinion, but by the time we found one our dog was nearly bald and had bleeding sores everywhere (we found that many vets wouldn't look at her because she was a client elsewhere - how dumb was that?). Our new vet took one look and set up a skin biopsy appointment. When the biopsy came back negative she suggested allergies and diagnosed a drug commonly used to treat allergies called Vanectyl-p.

Our dog went on Vanectyl-p at the tender age of 2. For the first while, we were just glad to have her comfortable again and followed the vet's suggestions to keep her on Vanectyl-p. Her sores healed up and her fur grew back. Her itching was nearly gone completely and she seemed so comfortable ... so we continued in bliss for a while (ignorance is bliss, you know).

When she started to gain so much weight that her face actually had rolls (yes, it was grotesque) we started to worry. Not only did she gain a huge amount of weight (going from a 55 lbs dog to a 90+ lbs dog), but she had other side effects too. She was tired and lethargic, she had difficulties controlling her bladder and would routinely wet herself in her sleep. The worst side effect was inter dog aggression. She had never been aggressive to other dogs before, but she seemed to become very agitated when other dogs were nearby. Even when they were in the same room she would put her hackles up, pace around and growl the entire time - if the other dog responded in kind sometimes our dog would lunge; other times she would hide behind us.

We weaned her off Vanectyl-p after she had been taking it for two years and determined that we would find other ways to cope with her allergies.

We planned to eliminate all allergens in her environment. That was where the real battle began. What was she allergic to?

End of part 1. Part 2 to follow another day ...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

News Reel - Dog tries in vain to save its owner

Thought I'd share this one. It was emailed to me.

The Golden Retriever was found trying to tug its owner out of the water. When passersby found the retriever and tried to lead him to shore, he didn't want to leave his owner.

He is currently being cared for by the Oakville Humane Society as requested by the family ...

You know, stories like this always bring out the practical side of me. (Some would call it the "jaded" side but that's a matter of opinion.) It makes me wonder things like ...

- Will the family return to the Oakville Humane Society and reclaim this Golden Retriever who, despite best efforts, was unable to save his owner?
- Will the dog be a constant reminder of the life lost and become a negative presence?
- Will the family give a monetary donation to the OHS for caring for this dog?

I actually have a few things I'd like to share over the next few days that have been emailed to me so please bear with me as I try to catch up with my emails!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Featured Rescue - Lady the Greyhound

Thought I'd post a sighthound today. There are currently 2233 Greyhounds listed on Greyhounds typically have a short racing career, usually retiring by the age of five years, and since their life expectancy is between 12 to 15 years, there are almost always adult dogs looking for adoption into loving homes.

This is Lady. She was a racing dog in Ohio but has since retired. Here's a short note from her foster home:
"She loves to be petted and to snuggle in for an evening of cuddling. She is very shy and would prefer a quiet home where she can relax and learn to trust again. Once she learns that you are not going to hurt her she is like your shadow and wags her tail when you come in the room hoping you are going to pet her. "

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Training Tools - Harness

How often have we seen dogs wearing this sort of apparatus? A harness. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I went to the dog park this week and saw FOUR dogs wearing one of these! FOUR! And guess what?? They were all small dogs ... one puggle, one pug, one JRT/beagle mix and one beagle.

Most people I know get the harness because their dog pulls which causes it to cough. The people don't want their little poopsie-poo to hurt their itty-bitty-widdle trachea, so they buy a harness. HELLO!? If you train your dog you won't have that problem!

If you are concerned about your dog's trachea, consult your veterinarian. That's what he or she is there for. I cannot stress this enough. I don't care how much experience with the breed you have. YOU ARE NOT A VET. Far too many people do a little research on the internet and act like they know it all. Did you know that your vet went to school for ten years to learn this stuff? It's not something you will learn in 10 minutes.
If your vet does some tests and tells you there are problems, then you need to look for alternatives ... but otherwise, your dog is taking your for a ride. Like it or not, dogs will figure out how they can have their own way ... they will work it.

What am I thinking?! This is not a world where we train our dogs ... it is a world of disposable pets and instant gratification! Of course. Why would I expect people to be responsible?

I have also had people tell me they use it on their pug-type dogs because of the danger of the eyeballs popping out from a normal collar ... again I refer you to your veterinary practitioner. Unless your Vet has specfically recommended that you use a harness, you shouldn't.

Harnesses were developed to make it comfortable for a dog to pull. See the picture to the right? That is what they were designed for.

When you use a harness, you actually teach your dog to pull. Have you ever met a dog on a harness that doesn't pull? Think about it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guess the Breed #3

Ok folks ... cue the irritating and corny music! Time for another round of Guess the Breed!

This is a purebred dog. The picture I pulled from a breeder's website ... I'll let you know where if you guess correctly!

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with this breed ... I hope it's a mind-boggler!

Do you know it? Guess the Breed ...

Please remember the Golden Rules to these posts ...

1. No bashing other peoples' opinions. (Friendly banter only.)
2. Post your opinion!
3. Have fun!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Asshat Rant - Cyclist

So I'm at the dog park the other day walking with my dogs. I had met up with a friend who had brought her three and we were walking with around four stranger dogs. That brought our total of off-leash-crazy-dogs to nine. A healthy number, not too high nor is it insignificant.

So we're walking along socializing (both us and the dogs) when the dogs suddenly go all weird. Some of them start pacing and others run back to their owners. A few just keep wandering around like nothing has happened - but not many. Of my two, one keeps walking along with her nose in the air (it smells better up there, you know) and the other begins to mimic the other dogs' pacing and comes to check in with us and continues along in a heel.

We are coming up to a bend in the trail that bends and goes the opposite way, so we couldn't see what was coming along. You could imagine our surprise when, just as we turn the corner, we are almost run over by a lone cyclist riding his bike in the dog park!! He would have had to either come in through the gate or hopped the fence to get in - we were betting the latter because of the large number of dogs that hang out at the gate (and who in their right mind would ride their bike in a dog park?!).

No matter how he got in, he was taking his life in his hands. He must have horse shoes up his backside to have been able to ride through the entire dog park without encountering a dog that attacked his bike. Who knows, maybe one of the dogs did go after his bike - maybe that's why he left.

What would make you want to ride through the dog park in the first place?? Suicide? Some weird desire to be seriously damaged? A vendetta against dogs?

Congratulations ... through this ridiculous act of stupidity, you have earned the Dogs Deserve Freedom Asshat Award. Print it off and pin it to your shirt. Wear it proudly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do your homework first!

Sorry for not posting yesterday, but I got a bit busy sorting things out with our new foster and spent most of my energy trying not to throttle the owners. (Pictures to come)

Our latest foster is a 10 month old Border Collie (we took the summer off and are now addressing the ever present waiting list ... unfortunately, this guy got bumped to the top). This particular guy came into a vet clinic for a Euthanasia appointment ... great, eh? 10 months old and the only people you've ever known have already given up on you. We haven't got much details yet but the reason why they are getting rid of him is because he is too active.

"TOO ACTIVE"? You've got to be kidding me.


What did you expect out of a Border Collie?? Why did you get a high energy dog if you didn't want to have a high energy dog?! Argh! How dumb can you be??

I have said it once and will say it again ... if you don't research the breed, you will be disappointed. If you don't know what you are getting into, then figure it out!

Some days I just want to shake people! Sure, that poopsie poo is ever so cute at 8 weeks old, but PLEASE spend some time learning about the breed before you bring them home! Good grief.

This pup's entire world is crubling around him and all these people care about is whether they will be reimbursed for his costs because he is purebred.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Featured Rescue - Joey the Australian Shepherd

There are 3431 Australian Shepherds available on today. The Aussie (as it is commonly called) is a high-energy herding breed that often finds itself in rescue.

This is Joey, a 2 year old owner surrender in Attica, MI. He is crate and house trained. The rescue is asking that he be adopted to a home without cats as Joey doesn't get along very well with them, however he does enjoy the company of dogs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

News Reel - Followup Marcus Luttrell

Do you remember back in April I posted a News Reel about Marcus Luttrell? For those of you who don't remember or didn't read the post, please take some time to read it now. The link I had posted to the news article doesn't work anymore as MacLean's has removed it, but here's a link to a similar article that tells you what happened in more detail.

I thought I would see if I could find out what happened to those involved in the execution. The following quote was found in this news article as a followup to what happened to those kids:

Of the four men, only two have been charged. Michael Edmonds Jr., who initially ran from authorities after the charges were brought but later turned himself in, and Alfonso Hernandez have been charged with animal cruelty.

OT - Entrecard

I wanted to post a short note about Entrecard. Entrecard is a free blogging network that helps you build traffic, get more readers, and network with other bloggers.

I'm sure many of you noticed that I installed an Entrecard widgit this week. I had been considering this for a while now, but just never seemed to have enough time to do the research required to get this set up.

I will try to return all drops, but time is sometimes limited and the blog entries will always come first. Also be aware that I don't spend much time on the computer on the weekends since I am generally out with the dogs.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guess the Breed #2

Welcome to Guess the Breed number two! I thought for this one, I would pick a dog that we all know and love ... Hooch. If you don't know him, go rent the movie!

I love this movie and am always surprised when I run into people who haven't seen it. I tell them they have to watch it - it's mandatory for every dog owner.

For every person who adopts a dog that I foster, I tell them to watch the movie. Then I tell them that whenever their dogs do something wrong, to think of Turner and Hooch. Suddenly, life doesn't seem so bad, does it?

Hooch was a purebred dog, but do you know his breed? Don't cheat by Googling it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

News Reel - Neglected Dog Found

Here's a sad story about a dog who has not received the medical attention required. I was going to post the picture, but thought some may not be interested in seeing this poor guy. There are pictures on the article so click on the link if you wish to see him.

Neglected dog in 'horrific condition'

This dog should have received medical attention long ago; regardless of the cause of his condition. Asshats. Apparently he was found in someone's backyard ... now how do you suppose he got there? I would assume the yard is not fully fenced, but the article doesn't say either way.

I wonder what sort of circumstances this guy came from? I'm so busy wondering what will be in this guys future that I'm not focusing on his past ... weird, eh? I doubt they will find who had him or who let him exist in this condition.

Will he be euthanized? Will he recover with proper medication and nutrition? Does he have any behavioural issues? Can they be resolved or will they be big problems? Even if he recovers physically he may still be euthanized if he doesn't pass the SAFER test.

I hope things start to look up for this guy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups for July

I think I'm going to have a small celebration ... Check out KOBE news for this month! Hooray!

Kobe Swims the "Rottweiler" mix
Featured on December 5, 2008
Follow link here to see blog entry

Rafe and Redman 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

FiFi the Great Pyrenees
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on April 26, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.
You know, they really should put a better picture of her up.

Codi the Welsh Corgi
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 10, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Eubie the Border Collie
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 13, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Jack A Roo the Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 30, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Buster the Beagle
Status: Adopted
Featured on June 9, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Deuce the Boxer
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on June 13, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Winston the Boston Terrier
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on June 17, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Sam the Chow
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on June 25, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Scooter the Dachshund
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on July 5, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Parker the German Shorthaired Pointer
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on July 18, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Riggo the American Bulldog
Status: Adopted
Featured on July 20, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.
OMFG! Riggo is gone!

Fala the Vizsla
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on July 25, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Monday, August 17, 2009

News Reel - Vick Signed

Sorry all, I'm a few days behind on reading the news I suppose. Here's an update to the Mike Vick story. He's signed on with the Eagles. A sad day for dog loving NFL fans.

Heads up, Giants! Philadelphia Eagles sign Michael Vick

I love this quote from the article: "Michael Vick does not deserve to be reinstated in professional football, but I'm glad he has been. Because I'm encouraged when fallen people, if and when they do repent, get a second chance."

For those of you interested in an anti-Vick website, one was emailed to me just yesterday. It's called Sack Vick. It's an interesting little blog and worth the read.

Previous posts relating to Mike Vick:

News Reel - NFL Reinstates Vick
News Reel - Michael Vick Released
Asshat Rant - Dog Fighting or "Activism"?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

CL Rant - Pitbulls in Ontario

Oh how I love reading rants about the pit bull controversy in Ontario. I wish people would understand the breed before posting something they know nothing about (like this post). I really enjoyed reading this post on CraigsList and I hope you enjoy it too. I have copied and pasted it below for your enjoyment (just in case it gets flagged or removed).

I have posted this for your reading enjoyment. I have also added a few comments of my own in there and have published them in RED. I have re-organized certain sentences to ensure the post makes sense and flows properly.

For those of you who aren't aware, there is currently a Breed Ban in Ontario (among many other locations). If you are interested in the specifics, here's a link to the Dog Owner's Liability Act (DOLA).


I'll agree, Pitbull breeds do need a home too.... far away from small animals and children (both of which look like pray to these dogs). That's BS. I don't buy the argument many use, "it's not the dog, it's the owners", either. Buy it, buddy. I've witnessed first hand a wonderful Pit with a spotless record owned by a respected and skilled trainer go off for no reason. What was the trigger? There's always a trigger so don't fool yourself - problem is that sometimes asshats don't notice because they're too busy admiring the view.

It's true, I've see small breeds go off with greater frequency, again poor training is likely at fault here but when was the last time you read about a kid being mauled to death by a Chihuahua that jumped the back yard fence? When did you last see a story on the news where the cops had to put three twelve gauge shells into a poodle to get it to release another dog from it clenched teeth? Because it doesn't sell papers dumbass. Business is business.

The only people doing these pitbulls a disservice are those whom continue to breed them, not to mention people like YOU whom are in complete denial as to the real danger these dogs represent to others. No, the disservice originates from people who know nothing about the breed but profess to be knowledgeable after reading a newspaper clipping about a recent mauling.

Note that this was copied and pasted from the OP's post. I have included a link to it if you are interested in checking out the entire post. The below rebuttal addresses all these comments.


This is a rebuttal to the above by a different person

You clearly don't know a lot about the Pit Bull issue if you believe that they are inherently aggressive with children and/or small animals. You don't even know the correct way to spell the breed's name and you probably couldn't tell the difference between an actual APBT and a Lab/Boxer mix, or a Dogo Argentenio, or an American Bulldog or one of the other dozen breeds commonly called "pitbulls". Personally, I don't like to use the term 'pit bull' or 'pitbull' because the AKC and CKC don't recognize this as a breed. It's just the same as designer dogs - I don't like to use the coin phrases for them either (puggles, doodles, etc) Personal opinion ... You also don't know that APBT don't tend to be prey-driven. They certainly aren't hunting dogs to view small animals and children as "prey". Thank you for posting this. Too many people are confused easily by this concept. I find if something has too many variables, people generally get confused and puzzled. Keep It Simple Sttupid ...

APBT were originally bred as exactly what their name specifies, bull terriers. They were intended to corral bulls, and to take them down when necessary. You can find this information on the Wiki page for the APBT, though Wiki says it was baiting bulls and bears ... not corraling them. These dogs were actually very good with people, and were often known as "nanny dogs" because they could be trusted to care for and watch over the children of the household. The main original issue with APBT is that they tended to be aggressive with other dogs. That was what got them into dog fighting circles and bred for dog fighting, which most people mistakenly think that was their original purpose. Actually, Wiki suggests they were moved to dog fighting because baiting bulls became inhumane - though we should all take Wiki pages with a grain of salt ... hard to say if it is truth or not since anyone can post to them. Does anyone out there know?

Sure, Chihuahua's haven't yet been reported to jump fences and kill children. However, they have been reported to have a very high biting frequency. I personally still don't have full use of my hand because a Chihuahua bit right through my one finger when I was five. Why? I was lying in her spot. There are plenty of reports of everything from Dachshunds to Miniature Poodles to Cocker Spaniels having severely mauled and even killed children. The problem is that for every one that does, three go unreported by the media. I know of one 1 year old child KILLED by her parents' Jack Russel mix that was only reported as such in her obituary. All dogs can bite - I will always stand by this. The frequency and circumstances surrounding bites is dependent upon the training provided, environment and animal. That said, I don't trust any dog with a small child alone - including any of our own - EVER.

But sure, let's go with assuming that small dogs are safer simply because they're not able to bite as much at once or with as much force. Let's ignore that Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russels were the top three breeds listed in a study on dogs that most frequently bite (humans and animals). I wish this person had posted where this info came from - it would give it more credibility. What about other large breeds?

Think that "pitbulls" (a group generally defined by EIGHT breeds) are more vicious than other large breeds? Sure, if you count all eight breeds as one! There was a study done over twenty years as to what dog breeds have killed more than others. Unfortunately the actual study has been yanked off the internet due to reactions to its results then why would you post this info? Your credibility is heading more towards the angry rant rather than informative individual, but if you google "Which dog breeds are more likely to kill people" the first two or three links will give you an article that reports the results. Of course, pitbulls and pit mixes top the list at 66 deaths. What the articles don't mention but the original report did is that there were seven different breeds included in the "pitbull" category: APBT, American bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Presa Canario, Cane Corso, and Ca De Bou. Even presuming the last three or four aren't common enough to make a big different, APBT, AB and AmStaffs are more than enough to make up the next three breeds in popularity. The next two breeds alone (Rottweilers and mixes and German Shepherds and mixes) make up for 56 deaths. Add in the third breed (Huskies and their mixes) and you have 71 deaths for THREE breeds compared to 66 for SEVEN. Ok, that was better. I googled it and did find those numbers as stated by this poster listed on many different websites. This was quite long winded, but did make a good point if you were actually interested in reading the entire paragraph and deciphering what the point was.

Still not enough to show that "pitbulls" aren't automatically dangerous because you saw ONE that you were told (or presumed) had never shown signs become aggressive? Look up "Cocker Rage". I Googled Cocker Rage and couldn't find any dependable sources of information about this. There were a few well written articles, but after Googling the author, discarded the article. (You know a company is doing well when the name - Google - becomes a verb) Ten to fifteen years ago, Cocker Spaniels were so in demand that the puppy mills and backyard breeders took the dogs that wouldn't sell due to bad temperament and used them to breed so that they could up their bottom line. I have issues when people write things off to "Rage" ... "Road Rage", "Air Rage", "Bike Rage", "Computer Rage", etc ... when did we stop teaching our children anger management? Personally, I think it's just a convenient excuse.

You are right to assume that PART of the problem is that people deny there's any problem. However, the problem isn't the breed itself but the people who are only breeding the unstable temperaments. Many "purebred Pit Bulls" are actually no such thing anymore. You think those grotesquely over-muscled dogs are what APBT are supposed to look like?

I'm adding two photos here:

Do you think this is what a "pitbull" looks like?

Those are great examples of exactly how much the APBT breed has been changed by the puppy mill and backyard breeding set. Look like Gotti lines to me ...

The two pictures here and below are what an APBT is supposed to look like. So glad the poster included these in the rant ...

They are supposed to be between 35 and 60 pounds for males and 30 and 50 for females. These are medium-sized dogs, not the monsters that are being bred for the unsuspecting or those desirous of a "vicious" dog. The UKC (recognizes APBT) has the following as very serious faults: Any disproportionate overdone characteristic (such as short legs, excessive bone or massive head or body) that would interfere with working ability AND Overly massive body style that impedes working ability. These are the very things that most people think of when they think of "pitbulls" and it is discouraged by kennel clubs!

About a year ago, there was a report of a "pitbull" that jumped its fence and bit a boy in the face. Over a dozen newspapers carried a story. Two weeks later, the report emerged that a neighbour had watched the boy poke the dog with a stick, shout at it, throw rocks at it and bang the fence for over a half hour, despite her telling him to stop. She said the dog jumped with his mouth open and caught the boy in the face because he had climbed the fence to look over and poke the dog some more. The dog didn't even intentionally bite him. Two newspapers carried THAT story. The dog was still put down. Such a common story ... happens far more often than it should.

Around the same time, another dozen newspapers ran a story about two "pitbulls" who had chased down and killed a man's dog and injured the man. The photo with all these reports? Two labs. The owner of the labs stepped forward and admitted that they were his and weren't "pitbulls" but labs. One paper ran that story. The labs weren't put down once the owner claimed them as labs, although they were slated to be when they were "pitbulls". (Note that I did not write this post and am aware at the lack of capitalization on certain breed names)

There is a truth to the fact that APBT tend to be dog-aggressive. Really? Whenever I talk to owners, they always go on about how wonderful their dog is with others and that they couldn't imagine their poopsie-poo being aggressive towards other dogs. Where is this documented? Greyhounds tend to be high prey but many people have cats/small critters and Greyhounds. True. Greyhounds are a sight hound. German Shepherds tend to be protective but many people have "everyone is my friend" German Shepherds. Again true. The GSD was a breed developed from herding and 'shepherd' dogs. Collies tend to need property to run on, but many people have Collies in apartments. Don't know about this one. Collies were also herding dogs and I've not seen many that are runners. Busy-bodies, yes. But not normally runners for the sake of running. Australian Shepherds tend to like to herd kids but many people have kids and Aussies and do fine. This is true. Another herding dog - do we see a trend going on here? There is only so much that genetic factors can do. Just the same as kids will show traits like their parents but won't be exactly the same, dogs will show traits of their breed and parents but won't be exactly the same. The more you breed dogs with very similar traits, the more likely the pups will be to show those traits, but there's no guarantee. You can have two calm, sweet dogs that produce a very aggressive pup and two very aggressive dogs produce a sweet and good-natured pup. There are some nice points in this paragraph, but again - it's a bit repetitive.

There are a few common things that cause human aggression in dogs. Please note that there are at least 13 forms of clinical canine aggression, though not all will be directed towards humans and very few were listed here. I have removed the rest of the paragraph because it wasn't written with any direction - seemed more like a tangent.

Dog aggression is caused by many things. Dogs CAN tell the difference between humans and another dog. Even a dog previously used for dog fighting can be perfectly fine with adults, kids and even cats. That dog might never be able to live with another dog but that doesn't mean that they'll be attacking humans left and right either. I edited this paragraph by removing a few sentences that were not following the topic. The poster sounds like he/she is ranting with no direction.
On a final note: there is evidence that banning "pitbulls" or even stopping the breeding of them does NOT work. Denver banned "pitbulls" 20 years ago and for 12 years running (during the ban) had the highest rate of dog bite hospitalizations. In Britain, a study was done that showed that dog bites actually INCREASED with a "pitbull" ban in place. There are a few obvious and logical reasons for this:

1) Underground breeders and many current owners will continue to produce and own poorly bred APBT with fake registrations claiming them to be an un-banned breed or even without, regardless of the law
2) Many who bought "pitbulls" will move on to other breeds, most of which are more human aggressive. One popular breed is the Tosa, a Japanese breed that was and has only been bred for fighting
3) Labelling certain breeds as "dangerous" seems to make people forget that all dogs can be dangerous. I have had people let their kids run up to my dogs, pull on their ears and tails and even stick hands in their mouths. When I try to correct their behaviour, the response is almost always "But they're not PITBULLS, are they? No? Well, then they should be fine." Dogs less patient than mine would bite, "pitbull" or not. This poster needs to take a stand and deal with the trouble children. All dogs can bite and if you need to tell the children that your dogs bite for them to leave the dogs alone - then do it. Prevent this. It is your job as the handler. If you don't, you are failing your own dogs.
4) Spending time and money on breed-specific laws takes it away from dangerous dog laws, which do more to impact dog bites than the breed laws do

People can hate "pitbulls" all they like, but the fact of the matter is that on their own, the breeds in that category are no worse on average than any other large breed. They have a lower jaw PSI than Rottweilers No data supports this statement "Dr. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia states, "To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of various breeds of dogs" and less inclination towards human aggression than German Shepherds. There is no study to prove or disprove this statement that I could find. They ARE more appealing to people who want a dog with a bad reputation, but when denied their ideal, most of those people turn to other dogs.
Unless we want to ban dogs entirely, there will always be dog bites and deaths. It is far more useful to focus on aggressive dogs and owners who own multiple aggressive dogs, as they are 95% of the problem. If every dog bite were reported, a dog that bit unprovoked more than once put down and owners that had more than two aggressive dogs put down in ten-year period were banned from owning dogs, bites should drop in a way that they're not doing under breed bans. This would cost money and wouldn't be as visually appealing as breed bans to the general public (who we have already determined are clueless).
Please note that I do not approve of breed bans. They do nothing to resolve the problem, but they do make people panic. I have found that people are a little less inclined to run up to a strange dog and pat it after BSL has been introduced ... this alone may help keep the public and their dogs safe from the asshats out there.
If you are interested in reading my thoughts about Breed Bans, check out this earlier post here. I tried to discuss both sides of this argument (though that's pretty hard when you don't agree with something!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

News Reel - Carlisle approves dog park lease

Good news for residents of Carlisle, PA. Looks like they're getting an Off Leash Dog Park. I hope they remember to install some water there ...

Carlisle approves dog park lease

"Carlisle area dog park advocates now have the land they need to develop an off-leash facility in Shaffer Park."

From the sounds of it, they are going to make a separate area for small dogs. I have a bit of trouble with this ... it's generally the humans that have problems with allowing their small dogs to mingle and play with the big dogs in the park. I've found that the dogs themselves are usually quite content to play with others regardless of the size - provided the dogs are brought regularly to an area where they are allowed to socialize with dogs of different sizes. I suppose the humans aren't going to get over their issues any time soon (look at how many people still have issues with people of different origin!), so a separate area for small dogs is probably appropriate.

Congratulations Carlisle residents!

Don't muck it up.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Featured Rescue - Neeko the American Eskimo Dog

Check out Neeko, the 9 year old American Eskimo Dog. He's got one heck of an underbite, but the rescue hasn't focused on that ... they've focused instead on his good side.

"EXCELLENT LITTLE BOY! Well, Neeko is a doll. He is tiny, fun, cuddly, outgoing, will obey, leash trained, wonderful in the car, ok with my cat, and fine with my other eskies. What more could you want? A better picture! We have them now. Neeko spent 3 weeks staying at a friend's house, with 2 other eskies and cats, and she pointed out that he also knows how to shake hands."

Sorry all, but this is the type of write up I'd expect from a rescue, but it takes work. I have found that many rescues just don't want to put that much effort into adoption listings.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

News Reel - Measure Your Dog's Smarts

This link was emailed to me yesterday so I printed off the article and went home to test my dogs. You know I totally wouldn't miss this opportunity!! If nothing else, it's something fun and different to do with the dogs and I'm always looking for something neat to do with them.

Measure Your Dog's Smarts

While my Border Collie/Aussie did quite well, the results weren't as promising for my Flat-Coat ... yep, he's a Dunce. Surprise, surprise. I knew that starting out. (Don't ask what my old lady got because at 14 she's retired.)

There is a problem with this test and my Flat-Coat was doomed to failure. Some of the tasks are contrary to the training I've done with him, for example, come when handler smiles - if he's in a sit/stay, he won't budge out of it. I've taught him that. (Note that this doesn't change the fact that he's a Dunce - we love him, but we knew this starting out - it only means that he didn't do very well with the scoring)

I suggest you take it home and try it with your dogs at home! If nothing else, it will be good for a laugh and some fun times with your canine companions. Let me know how it goes!!

GTB Followup - Cardigan Welsh Corgi

As I stated in my last post, I would put up some info about the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. (Not to be confused with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi "The Pembroke Corgi is a separate breed from the Cardigan Corgi, possessing a shorter body and straighter, lighter boned legs")

The links will take you to the AKC Breed Standards page for both breeds. The first picture is a Cardigan with the colourings we see most often (above).

The Cardigan can also be a blue merle colour. I think the GTB dog listed below likely has a bit of Cardigan in him (along with JRT). Again, this is a guess as I don't really know what breeds the dog is being a shelter adoption, but we can always put forth our opinions!
I saw a few blue merle Cardigans in the herding trial I went to a few weeks ago (very interesting stuff, I might add).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guess the Breed #1

I thought I'd set up a new type of post for fun. I'm going to call it "guess the breed". This is one of the things I find fun when I'm out at different shelters, perusing through the internet and reading emails so I thought I'd share.

I will periodically come across a picture of a dog that I will post and you are all welcome to throw out your opinion regarding what breed you think it is! Some will be purebreds, others will be Heinz 57. Some I will know the answer to and others I will simply have a guess.

Here are the rules ...

1. No bashing other peoples' opinions. (Friendly banter only.)
2. Please post your opinion!
3. Have fun!

Below is the first candidate for Guess The Breed (GTB).

So? What do you think?

Monday, August 10, 2009

CL - The Truth About Daisy

Ok, so after a week of off topic and halfassed posts (sorry all for the lack of enthusiasm on my part) I am ready to get back at it. I found this on Best Of Craigslist and wanted to share.

Why did I choose to post it? Because it is a GREAT reminder that ads are not always what they seem. Note that the OP says she has listed the dog multiple times on CL trying to rehome her with various sob stories.

I am posting this because I want people to think of it when they are reading a post on CL (or any other advertising page) trying to rehome animals. There are always hidden agendas to be aware of and you are taking your chances. (That said, you can find a multitude of wonderful pets on CL looking for new homes.)


The Truth about Daisy - ItalGreyhound/Chihuahua Mix 4 a Good Home


Okay, so I have tried to get rid of my dog like six times on craigslist over the past few weeks. I tried telling this story of woe about this adorable little dog and how I love her so much and how she was a rescue and all that. I explained that now with a 2 year old daughter it is just too much to have two dogs and how my family and I need to simplify cuase we live in a condo and life is hard -- so sad. All of this is pretty much true and I tried to make the language in my past postings as well without spilling the beans about what the real story is with this dog because if most people knew, there is no way they would take this little freak.

Like I said, everything described above is for the most part true except for the part about me loving her so much; I don't. I hate her. And while many who meet her find her very adorable, the truth is, this dog is seriously problematic.

So after having tried to post something nice about this dog in my attempt to rid myself of her, I am now going to just be brutally honest and hope that there is some freak out there who will find it an appealing prospect to own and care for a poo eating, garbage toppling, pill popping (literally a whole bottle of prescription pain killers), disrespectul, not trained at all, constantly under-foot, marginally violent, always surly, rarely happy, eating and begging machine.

Below I have compiled a list which is only but a sampling of the things Daisy does regularly that makes her truly the worst dog I have ever owned. I would go into detail, but she is not worth the time.

Daisy is the worst dog in part because she:

1. Eats poo -- baby (as in diaper -- see below), chicken, human, cat, dog, etc.

2. Drags poo -- as in she brings it inside, such as the diapers that used to end up shredded to pieces on our bed

3. Eats garbage -- Any trash can and its contents left in her reach will be toppled and destroyed

4. Opens the refrigerator -- I have to have a velcro strap on it to keep her out otherwise she will open the door less than 30 seconds after I leave and eat everything in it

5. Is mean -- Simply put, she has no use for people, unless of course they have food

6. Will not die -- run over by a truck, $2,500 and 8 weeks of intensive recovery, run over by a buick and rolled 7 times right in front of me then got up and ran to my car and hopped in the seat happy as a clam and no injuries

7. Rolls in dead animals -- Seals are her favorite it seems, but dead rotten earthworms are a close second place for her

8. Constantly, constantly, constantly begs -- I cannot write the word constantly enough to adequately make the point

9. Growls, threatens to attack and at times does -- Mainly tied to her small size and constant fear of being squashed, thankfully her teeth are dull as posts and her bite, which is rare, is harmless

10. Not at all obedient -- Will not sit, stay, or come (unless food is involved, but that is hopefully clear by now)

11. Picks fights she cannot finish -- This then puts our other dog at risk cause he goes out to protect her when she has conered a cat, skunk (yes twice) or whatever else she comes across

12. Has serious gastrointestinal issues -- Primarily related to her constant begging and eating of garbage, scraps and poo

13. Injures self often -- In addition to the major issues mentioned above requiring surgery and extended medical care ($6-9K so far) she also has a bad leg which is just an ongoing thing that does not need to be addressed the vet says

I thought it fitting to stop at 13 given how unlucky I have been to have this dog in my life. These are just a few of the key flaws I could come up with off the top of my head. There are many more which I could list, but I am hungry and I need to cook my steak now. It is a steak that she will have no part of, I promise you this.

So there it is. The truth about Daisy. I hate her guts. She has put me through hell in the past couple days especially and I am now at the point to where if I cannot find her a good home by Monday, I am taking her sorry fat ass to the pound and leaving her with a sizeable donation to cover the pain and suffering that they will have to endure by accepting her.

While I do very much hate this dog, I do love animals and don't want her to suffer. My daughter who is only 2 also loves her very much and I could not look her in the eye if I did not do a good job of finding this rotten wretch a home that I knew was going to at least care for her and make her comfortable. This is why the pound is my last option.

You however, can be Daisy's hero. Save her from the life which I know I am in many ways at fault for creating. I know it is a life where she is not happy and my family and I certainly are not happier becuase of her. I know I should not have adopted her from that nice animal rescue in Filmore all those years ago. I should have put her in obedience school; should have, could have, would have, oh the regrets! boo hoo.

Be that hero, in the words of Michael Jackson: Make that change. I dare you.

If you can't take her, help me find some poor sap that will.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

OT - Adgitize

I wanted to put up a quick post about Adgitize. For the last few months I have been advertising with Adgitize and it has helped to spread the word about my blog. The really neat thing about Adgitize is that you can earn the money you spend on advertising back (and then some). While the top earner for this past month brought in $41.50, my earnings were significantly lower than that. However, I was still able to pay for my next month's ad with the earnings (plus a little extra).

For those not familiar with Adgitize, it is a system that is similar to Entrecard. There are various ways to earn points at Adgitize. You can earn points in the following categories: articles, click, Ad Views, Page Views, Affiliates and Advertiser.

If you’d like to sign up with Adgitize, either as a member or an advertiser, click the below link and it will take you to Adgitize and just follow the instructions for sign-up and registration as an advertiser or non-advertising member.

Adgitize your web site.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Featured Rescue - Max the Alaskan Malamute

Usually I don't post Featured Rescues when the rescue hasn't bothered to put more than a few sentences up about a dog, but I couldn't resist this one.

Max is an older guy - 10 years young. He's house trained, walks well on leash and is "lovable". (I hate it when rescues put up that a dog/cat is 'lovable' because it really tells you bupkis about the animal!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Monthly Followup July

July followup

Happy August everyone!
Whew! July was crazy busy for me ... I don't know about everyone else? I am looking forward to August. So far it is turning into a good month where I can catch up on some things that have been waiting.
Top Commenters
I try to give a little link love to the top commenters here on my blog every month so here are the top 5 from July.
GoLightly Author of GoLightly - Fiction and GoLightly Fiction, BeginningToEnd
LilliGirl Author of It's a Great Life...
shane rocket Author of rocket ramble; my dog farm; dogs against vick; rocket video
Splash Author of Splash's Training Diary
Thanks to everyone who participates and comments on by blog. I appreciate your opinion, rants and suggestions! Keep 'em coming.
I want to share a blog with you by Flo from Feathers, Fur and Fins. I've had a lot of fun recently reading about her exploits working on a big rescue and adventures at the dog park. I think many of you will like to read her posts too. Take a peek when you have some time this week and drop her a "hello"!
Blog Roll Cleanup
I've changed my blogroll around a bit. It shows only the most recently updated blogs. This means I can keep everyone's blog on there and I don't have to delete any, but only the blogs with updated entries will display.

I have it set to show only the 25 most recently updated blogs. I hope this is ok for everyone. This is an attempt to clean up a bit and to keep pageloads quick.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Video - Holy Sheep

How many of you have "How much is that doggie in the window" song going through your head now? I've had it in there all night since posting the calculator. So, here's a little something to get your mind off it ...

I got this in my email and thought I'd share. I know it's been around for a while, but since I hadn't seen it, I figure that means there are others out there who probably haven't seen it either.

Extreme Sheep Herding

Take a few minutes to watch it and tell me what you think!!

OT - Free Blog Review

I signed up for a Free Blog Review at The Ultimate Blogging Toolkit. On Sunday, Dave wrote the review.

The point of this was to find out where I can make changes in my blog so I can make it better.

I will try to make some of the changes listed on the review for my blog so if you see things moving around, that is why.

If you write a blog and are interested in ways to make it better I encourage you to check out the site listed above.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dog Cost Calculator

This is an interesting thing ... a Dog Cost Calculator. Give it a go!

Personally, I think everyone and anyone venturing into the world of dog ownership should use a calculator and figure out how much that "Doggie in the Window" really does cost!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

News Reel - Ontario Dog Owner Fined

Ok - check this crap out ...

Ont. dog owner fined $14,000 for online breeder bashing

Tell me how much that sucks! So this person buys a puppy from a breeder, then has to euthanize it because of the extreme case of hip dysplasia so they got a 'replacement puppy' from the breeder. The replacement puppy was diagnosed with epilepsy! The owner then posted on a website forum to watch out for this breeder ... then the breeder was somehow able to have them charged?!


Monday, August 3, 2009

OT - Harriet's Blog

Just thought I'd post a quick link for everyone who saw the recent comment storm. My blog was featured on another blog called I am Harriet.

This is a blog that I check out often. For the entire month of August, she is featuring all sorts of blogs. Check them out! You may find a few you want to read.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekend Update

I'm a bit depressed this weekend. We put our 20 year old cat to sleep yesterday. I'll be back to normal blogging a bit later this week ...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Followers - One Hundred

You know, back when I first started this blog it was simply a way for me to vent about all the things that infuriate me about dog owners but it has changed somewhere along the way. I still rant about owners and their stupidity (which I see more often than I would like)

As of this week the blog has over 100 followers. Wow!

So amazing that so many people actually read what I write. It would be nice to do something to celebrate this ... but what? Any bright ideas?