Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shadow's 28 Day Eukanuba Challenge

About a month ago, I received an invite to participate in a 28 Day Eukanuba Challenge. I was informed that during this time, I would receive free food for my dog if I agreed to feed it to her and blog about it. I accepted. I will be blogging about this experience during the next few weeks ...

First off, it was very nice not to be excluded for living in Canada. There are SO many product review opportunities that I am asked to participate in and as soon as they find out I'm in Canada, they thank me for my time and send my on my merry way - product-less. It is nice to find a company who is willing to include Canada in its surveys.

In fact, the contact person - Christina Kwan - was great about the fact that I live in Canada. When I notified her that the food hadn't arrived, she tracked it down (since it was over a week late) and confirmed that it was on its way. She mentioned that it might take a bit longer to get over the border but it will get there ... she was right! It has arrived and this weekend marks the beginning of Shadow's 28 Day Eukanuba Challenge ...

Let me begin by telling you that Shadow is 10 years old. She is a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix. She has had super severe allergies since her first birthday. Her allergies include food and environmental nasties. When Shadow has an allergic reaction to food, her face swells, gets itchy, her hair falls out and it will often begin to bleed. When Shadow has an allergic reaction to environmental nasties, her whole body experiences the reaction mentioned above (she gets bloated and itchy, then her hair falls out, then she bleeds from all sorts of sores). We have used many different products and procedures to control "the allergies of Shadow". Listening to her cries of pain and frustration during a reaction is heart wrenching. We take every precaution necessary to prevent outbreaks. Although I have agreed to test this food, I will stop feeding it completely if Shadow shows any signs of an allergic reaction. (We do already know that she can eat the Naturally Wild formulas so I don't anticipate any issues but that doesn't mean we won't be watching like hawks!)

When I went to the post office to pick up the food, the post lady said that she didn't know what was in the box; that they'd all been trying to guess at what it was; and that it was too heavy for her to pick it up so could I please come to the back and get it. (Ok, so I live in farm country ... the post office has been run out of someone's house ever since I can remember ... everyone knows everyone else and the post lady knows ALL ... they were quite perturbed that they couldn't figure out what was in the package! Snoopy ladies!)

The ladies at the post office weren't the only snoopy ones because as soon as I brought the food box home, the ACD thought she might like to participate in this challenge too! Sorry Kosha ... we only received ONE bag of food for ONE dog ... !

It was a challenge just to get the food out without the help of all three dogs! Pah!

Over the next 28 Days, Shadow will be eating Eukanuba Natural Lamb and Rice Senior Formula.

This was the only picture I could get of her that didn't show her crawling out of her skin with excitement that there was another bag of food in the house. (As it was I had to put the other two in a down/stay on the other side of the room to keep them out of the way!)

The other dogs are going to be jealous. They are already jealous. They always are when one of them has something different. They don't care if it is better or worse ... they are too concerned that they might be missing something to rationalize.

The new food has been poured into our air tight dog food storage bins. The bin on the right (the full one) is the new food. The bin on the left is our old food.

When I poured the contents of the dog food bag into one of the storage bins we use, I noticed a distinct difference about the smell of the kibble ... most IAMS products smell like play-doh to me. I don't know what it smells like to dogs. I've had some foster dogs who refuse to eat IAMS products. I don't normally like the smell of IAMS kibble. This kibble is different though ... it actually smells like dog food! It smells good ...

The other dogs are pining for the food and I actually caught the cat yesterday and today climbing into the food bin to steal dog food! Crazy, no? I wonder if I will have to buy a bag of this stuff for everyone in my house just to keep the four legged arguments to a minimum??

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guess the Breed #19

It's been so long since I've done a GTB post ... I think the last one I published was in June! So, I thought I'd put up an easy one to get the ball rolling again!

Here is today's GUESS THE BREED! What do you think this one is?? I'll give you a hint ... no, he's not a sheep.

Ready? Set? GO!

It's been a while but remember the rules ...

1. No bashing other peoples' opinions.

2. Post your opinion. Don't be shy.

3. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pictures Say a Thousand Words ... Caption Day

It's been quite a while since I've published a captions post. I really like them because I LOVE reading everyone's responses!

It's been so busy that I haven't been able to get my creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, that is most evident in my blog ... so, here's another one of those wonderful captions questions!

If a picture says a thousand words ... what does this one say???

Please feel free to post any thoughts that come to your mind! I'd love to know ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pupdates at the Shetler ~ Charlie

Well I have some good news! Ralph has been adopted! Yahoo! You go, ol' man! I have to admit, I was rooting for him. There's something about a 12 year old GSD at a shelter that makes my heart cry ... We still have Penny, Gracie and Charlie and apparently have 4 more dogs coming this week sometime. Penny isn't even listed as adoptable yet ... I will tell her story either later this week or next week. For today, I am going to tell you about Charlie ...


At 6 months old, this guy has already been through a LOT. He was at his last home for only a week before they decided that he was too much energy (he was chasing their cat all over the house) ... before that, he stayed with a family for about a month. That family found him in a card board box covered in mange. They took him in, treated the mange with a local clinic, had his vaccinations administered and then rehomed him. We don't know any history before that ...

Charlie is a drama queen - and can you blame him?? If you touch or grab him the wrong way, he screams. You'd think you're killing him. He startles even the most steady of the volunteers with his theatrics.

He is a very chatty guy and will wow you with his "Beagle Bugle". He is mouthy and loves to get his own way ... but ... I do believe that deep down, he is going to be a really good dog. We are working through the mouth-i-ness and he is a lot better this week than last. I think he is stressed at the shelter and has too much energy to be cooped up in a kennel all day. Sometimes he just seems to forget his brain ...

Charlie LOVES to play fetch and will play with just about any toy. He seems to love everybody equally - there's no favourites here! Luckily, many of our volunteers will play fetch with him for a while, which seems to make him happy.

The picture to the right is him singing ... a-woo-woo-woo!! (I asked him to sit/stay and this is what he did!) He'll need someone who understands the breed or at least is willing to learn about them ... someone who will love him for who he is ... I shudder to think what would happen to a guy like this if someone took him home and didn't like his singing ... can you see a shock/citronella bark collar in his future? I hope not ...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Low Cost Spay / Neuter Clinics ~ Michigan

I am posting a list of Low Cost Spay / Neuter Clinics that I have run across in my internet travels. I've never tried these clinics out but if you have, PLEASE post your experience about them!! For a complete list of the states/provinces, see the contents page here.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pupdates at the Shelter ~ Ralph

We currently have Penny, Ralph, Gracie and Charlie at the shelter. We had hoped that Charlie would be adopted this weekend but it fell through. Today I will tell you a little about Ralph ...


Ralph is 12 years old ... he will be 13 on October 30, 2011. How do I know this so exactly? Well you see, Ralph was picked up by canine control in December. He was scanned for a microchip and one was found. After a long and frustrating search (three phone numbers later!), his owners were found but they did not want him back. We learned a bit about him from his previous owners ... he's only ever been with one family (lucky dog!), the date he was born.

You know, he's a great dog and anyone would be happy to have him ... except perhaps his old owners. Funny how that happens when you get old, eh?

Ralph is the nicest old man I've met in a while. Most German Shepherd Dogs I've met get cranky when they start to age and ache but for some reason, Ralph is not! He seems to always be in a good mood, though some days he has more trouble walking than others. Ralph walks with a hitch in his step. Sometimes he falls down because he loses his balance or he's trying to run and move too quickly. He just gets right back up and continues with whatever he was doing - it doesn't seem to bother him at all.

Ralph is on Metacam to manage any pain he is experiencing and he has decided that since he feels better, he should move faster (which is not good since his balance is so terrible!) Ralph's new home will need to continue administering Metacam daily.

Hopefully his new home comes along soon ... he's been with us a long time for an old guy! I'm sure he'd prefer a nice warm house (with no stairs) over the shelter's cold concrete floors (ok, he's being spoiled at the shelter ... he has 3 different beds and a special room to himself but that's beside the point!). Cross your fingers for this guy. He may need all the help he can get.

Monday, February 7, 2011

DDF PSA ~ Pilots N Paws

I had meant to feature this back in September when I happened across the site info but I got sidetracked (go figure, eh?). Anyway, please forgive me if I've already done this - I did run a search through my previous posts but couldn't find anything.

I want to bring you attention to Pilots N Paws.

Many times, there are areas where there are a LOT of animals being euthanized in local pounds/shelters due to overpopulation, but then in other areas there are none. A great example of this would be in Ontario, where there are not that many dogs and certain shelters are actually shipping them in from Quebec (where a large number of animals are being killed).

So, a dedicated group of pilots saw this as a potential way to save animals and they have gotten together to develop a successful rescue effort. The Pilots N Paws organize air-transport for shelter animals. The shelters on either end have to make all the arrangements but Pilots N Paws are the people who are actually doing the transport!

Check it out! Pass it on! Spread the word!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Low Cost Spay / Neuter Clinics ~ Massachusetts

I am posting a list of Low Cost Spay / Neuter Clinics that I have run across in my internet travels. I've never tried these clinics out but if you have, PLEASE post your experience about them!! For a complete list of the states/provinces, see the contents page here.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

News Reel ~ Sled Dog Cull - 100 sled dogs

I'd like to bring your attention to a recent big news article about a sled dog cull in BC (note that this article is the least colourful one I could find - more colourful ones can be found on Google). I find it interesting how the media can skew a story so well. It's amazing to me how a simple change in the way an article is written can drastically alter the world view of a story.

Ok, first off here's a bit of background ... a company in BC had a pack of 300 sled dogs. They had so many because they were offering sled dog rides as a money-making-tourism-ploy during the olympics. They made lots of money. Then, when there was a lack of tourists to pay, the manager had to figure out a way to make more money. The solution that was found was to have less dogs.

The manager "did everything he could finding homes for them, having them adopted, every which way that he could". When he couldn't find homes, he decided the best way to get rid of the dogs was to shoot them.

Unfortunately, this guy had his head up his ass when he should have been learning about the best and fastest way to shoot a dog because he certainly did this in the worst way possible. He couldn't seem to figure out how to kill a dog in only one shot. I don't know how it's possible but apparently he couldn't even figure out that he should tie the dog up first! Asshat. (BTW - he gets our ASSHAT Award for today!)

Ok. What. The. Hell. Did. He. Think. He. Was. Doing? **HeadDesk ... Headdesk ... HeadDesk ** 

Let's put that aside and get a little perspective here. Yes. He's an idiot for the way he did it. We get that. Now ... I've worked for some pretty sleasy people and a story like this just stinks of big business, politics and soap ... why are the owners of this company washing their hands?? Why did they "know nothing"?? I am willing to bet hundreds of dollars that the owners knew EXACTLY what was going on. I bet they provided the solution as well as the means. I bet this is not the first time and it certainly will NOT be the last.

What do you think they would be able to do with 100 surplus sled dogs?? Who would be willing to take them?? What do you think happens every day to other sled dogs that DON'T receive the publicity that these dogs have received??

Perhaps all these people and big names who are speaking out against this sad action could step forward ... do you think any of them will be there in 6 months time when the media train has stopped?? Will they actually lend a hand towards rescue efforts or are the just pimping out the media??

I'm sure you can guess where my bet lies. 

And by the way ... did anyone notice that the last name of the general manager of cruelty investigations for the British Columbia SPCA is "Moriarty"??

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pupdates at the Shelter ~ Alice

Goodness! It's been a busy week this week with adoptions ... I have some good news! Traveller has been adopted and so has Alice! I haven't even written out Alice's story yet so I'm going to take the opportunity to do so now.


Poor Alice was an owner surrender. Sometimes the going gets tough when people lose their jobs (and their house!) and unfortunately, the intact, 1 year old, female dog is one of the first things to go.

Alice is super friendly and very gentle. She is prone to excitement and submission urination so we had to be careful and quick when removing her from her kennel!

In the first few days, Alice had shredded two beds and stolen the hearts of many volunteers. We quickly learned which beds we could put in with her and which ones would end up in little itty bitty pieces! She was super stressed out in the shelter and did not do very well there despite the kennel enrichment provided. There are some articles about shredding that I've read which actually suggests that in a shelter environment, you should actually allow it (provided you give them appropriate things to shred) because it is an outlet for that stress. Interesting, no?

I'm glad she only lasted a week before being adopted. The family who took her home actually came to look at another dog but decided that the other dog was just "too much" for them. They went with the more quiet girlie, Alice - lucky for Alice!

Hooray for Alice!! Hooray for Traveller!!

Best wishes in your new lives with your new families. I hope they are your forever home and they give you all the love and affection you deserve.