Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pupdate - Long Weekend ends soon

Hey everyone -- just thought I'd post a quick update. As you all noticed, I took this weekend as a long weekend. We have three new fosters (two cats and a dog) that arrived within the last week and we're a bit overwhelmed right now with that PLUS the family commitments of "the season". Finding time to blog in the last few days has been nearly impossible since my extra time has been filled with the animals. I will return to my regular blogging schedule in the next day or two (I'm hoping tomorrow, but we will see). Hopefully I'll have some nice pictures to share with you! In the meantime, take your dogs out for a run or a play date. Have fun, play with your dogs and cats, and enjoy time with family.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Training Rant - Holidays are Stressful!

This is going to be a short post ... I hope. I just wanted to post a reminder that though we may love our dogs, there is a possibility that your Aunt (etc.) who is coming to visit doesn't or perhaps she likes your dog but your dog doesn't like her. It is a fact of life. Please remember that the holidays are a very stressful time for your dog.

You have changed your routine and redecorated the house (and possibly moved furniture around to compensate). You may be caught up in the Happy Holiday Spirit that makes everyone smile or you may be a big grouch who doesn't want to talk to any of those Happy Holiday-ers. Believe it or not, most of you don't go around your house the same way throughout the rest of the year (smiling, singing and/or humming) ... well, some may go around grumping, but that's not what I'm getting at here.

The point is that your dog is probably pretty stressed out. You may have people come over for the holidays and you need to understand that your dog may not be able to deal with the people, excitement and hustle-bustle of this time. During these times, watch your dog.

If he or she looks like he's uncomfortable with a person or situation, than why wouldn't you give your dog a little quiet time in a bedroom or in his crate? Take some time to do a little Internet searching and learn how to read the body language of a dog; this is a good article from Modern Dog. Keep in mind that each and every dog is different and will display different language and these are only basic guidelines. There are actually hundreds of different signs of stress, but these are the most common.
Take some time to get to know your own dog and his or her signs so you know what things you need to work on. You will end up with a better rounded, happier dog.
I am sure I don't need to tell you how many dog euthanasia's I used to see working at the veterinary clinic during December. Most of them were in because the dog had bitten a relative and the owners couldn't deal with it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You Can Help - Spare Shelter Dogs From the Winter Chill

Here's a neat idea that was posted on a blog "Help Spare Shelter Dogs From The Winter Chill"... taking old sweaters and making them into dog sweaters. This particular group of people decided to make these dog sweaters for all the dogs at their local shelter being held in outdoor runs! Pretty neat, eh?

This was something the shelter had not thought of doing ... it took some ingenious creativity to come up with this.
Here's something you can do for your local shelter this "Howliday Season". Contact them and find out if they are interested in home made items like this (or blankets, towels, etc). Then take some of your old clothes and make something!
Alternatively, if you are not the 'crafty' type (like me ... I sewed my sleeve by accident once ... and I also ironed my hand ... homemaker I am not - I'm far too accident prone), than you can send this group your old sweaters and THEY will make it for you!! Check it out ... the following is copied and pasted from their blog:
"Here’s how you can help:

Send us your old sweaters and we will recycle them and distribute them to animal shelters all over the US so that dogs just like the ones we’ve already helped dont have to suffer through the cold winter (the smaller the better). Im sure if you dig around your closet you can find a sweater or two that you never plan on wearing again.

Send your old sweaters to the following address:

PO Box 19071
Hattiesburg Ms

If you DONT have any old sweaters:

Then pass this blog to someone who does!

Do you have a friend or family member who has a passion for animals besides yourself? Then simply copy and paste the url below in an email and ask a friend or family member to visit this blog so they can help too!

Here is your chance to give back for the holidays and help save thousands of dogs from a freezing winter!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featured Rescue - Coco the Rottweiler

I've known many Rottweilers and I laugh to myself when people tell me they are afraid of them. Most I've met are big teddy bears once you get to know them. Unfortunately, they are generally aloof and often display body language that make people uncomfortable.

Since we had a Rottweiler in the video yesterday, I thought I'd feature one today for our rescue. This is Coco. She is 8 months old, is housebroken and has lived with children. The rescue has requested that she not be adopted to a place with small children since she is a large breed dog (sounds like she might be clumsy, but what would you expect at 8 months?).

News Reel - A Dogs Unending Loyalty

Here is a great video for the holidays. It is an older news story, but is quite inspiring. Note - it has a happy ending. Check it out! You do have to wait for the advertisement to finish before the video starts.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Monday, December 21, 2009

Featured Rescue - Sampson the Affenpinscher

Today's featured rescue is inspired by the recent Guess The Breed post. Sampson is an 8 month old Affenpinscher. He was removed from a puppy mill (DDF IN ... not sure of the circumstances on that one). He's a cute little guy, don't you think?
The rescue Sampson is staying with does have a specific limit on where they will adopt to (which is unfortunate). Their cachement area is "OHIO, KENTUCKY, AND INDIANA. WE WILL ALSO CONSIDER CERTAIN AREAS OF MICHIGAN, WEST VIRGINIA, AND PENNSYLVANIA." If you are in any of these areas and are looking for an Affenpinscher, take a look at Sampson.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shelter Pets - Nobody Knows

I found this video when I was flipping through YouTube. I watched it. I would like you to watch it and tell me what you think.

Why do I do this? Why do I watch these videos with sad footage or pictures?? WHY? Why do I keep telling you all to "read this" or "watch that"? I tell you to sit through the whole thing ... why??

I cried when I read His Name Is Sam and when I watched the video I posted above. So why do I watch/read them if I know that it will upset me?

It's very simple. Because we should know. We should all know. Remember in the post I put up called "His Name Is Sam" where the author said she was totally prepared with all the numbers and statistics and made it sound like she knew it all? Then the shelter worker said "You can't tell the whole story unless you experience the end" and after that she knew ... she knew that she hadn't been prepared at all. If you haven't read this post, please do. It is important and I may pull quotes from it from time to time.

I watch these videos and read these stories because it means that someone else knows about those animals. They all had a name once. Some were purebred and some were not. When it comes to the gas chamber ... it doesn't matter which ones had parents who won championships or which ones drove cattle or won obedience championships or was the best friend to a child.

In that box, they all die the same way.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Guess The Breed #14

I just came back from a visit to the pound to see a dog that is in one of those "it gets fostered or PTS" situations. I hate those types of calls ... as you all know, I've been taking some time with my latest addition and wanted to get her settled before bringing in any new Canids. I'll keep you posted ...

It's been so long since I posted a Guess The Breed, I thought we were due. I love these little dudes. I think they are so neat. Hopefully this one's not TOO easy for you all ...

Anyway ... what do you think this dude is? First prize, as always, is a little link love. So get ... Ready? Set? GO!

As always, remember the rules ...

1. No bashing other peoples' opinions.

2. Post your opinion!

3. Have fun!

Regarding Guess The Breed #13 ... Dog_geek guessed first with Catahoula. Dog_geek has a blog called The Dog Geek. Check it out!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups November

I'm so glad that the video yesterday worked properly! It's so exciting ... and a little funny. I'm a computer technician and up until yesterday didn't even know how to embed a video into a blog ... but I can fix your computer in 10 seconds flat! Ok, maybe it takes a bit longer, but you get my gist.

My posts "Guess The Breed" have fallen by the wayside. I apologise for those who really enjoy these posts. I will begin posting these more regularly again, but I needed a break. If you have any pictures you would like to contribute to the next Guess The Breed post (perhaps your own dog??) let me know and I'll post them!

Anyway, enough rambling!! On to the Featured Rescue Followups! On Dasher, On Dancer ... no ... wait ... that's not right ... Ready Set Go!

Rafe and Redman the Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Status: NOT Adopted
Featured on January 12, 2009

FiFi the Great Pyrenees
Status: Adopted - YAY!
Featured on April 26, 2009

Codi the Welsh Corgi
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 10, 2009

Eubie the Border Collie
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on May 13, 2009

Jack A Roo the Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler
Status: Listing Removed from Petfinder, however he is still listed on BCRO's website ... not sure if he's adopted yet or not.
Featured on May 30, 2009

Lady the Greyhound
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on August 28, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Sherman the Bassett Hound
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed adopted
Featured on September 22, 2009

Junie B the Pit Bull Terrier
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on October 16, 2009

Roxy the Redbone Coonhound
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on October 28, 2009

Alley the Labrador Retriever
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on November 11, 2009

Sam the Schnauzer
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on November 20, 2009

Ms. Angela Sweethe the Chihuahua
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on November 25, 2009

Barney the Bichon Frise
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on November 28, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Shelter Pet Project PSA

Well I've never Embedded a video into my blog before so here's hoping this works ... I would like to share with you all a YouTube video from The Shelter Pet Project. I hope you all enjoy it. I did.

Take some time over this upcoming Howliday Season and volunteer with your local shelter or rescue. They need help, and at this time of year, their normal volunteers may be too busy with family commitments to come and give their normal time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Shelter Dog's Christmas Poem

I haven't seen many festive posts out there ... not sure why. Last year the blogs were brimming with them. I didn't post this last year, but I have decided to post it this year. Why? I don't know. Maybe because there are so many blogs that aren't posting these this year. Please note that I don't mean to choose one Religion over another (since it does say "Christmas"), but that I want to ensure the shelter dog's plight is well-known. Even during the busy holiday season.

A Shelter Dog's Christmas Poem

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
every shelter is full - we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that someone will care,
They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,"
Come here, Max and Sparkie - come fetch your new ball!!
But now we sit here and think of the days..
We were treated so fondly - we had cute, baby ways,
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew;
now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.
So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
they reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children:,"don't come when they call",
we "bark when they leave us", climb over the wall.
We should have been neutered,
we should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of the errors THEY made.
If only they'd trained us, if only we knew...
we'd have done what they asked us and worshiped them, too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse -let to roam;
now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us good-bye..."
Maybe someone else will give you a try."
So now here we are, all confused and alone...
in a shelter with others, who long for a home.
The kind workers come through with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they can't stay to chat,
They move to the next kennel,giving each of us cheer...
we know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads..
of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears;
our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.
If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn;
could you help with the bills and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year;
can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat...
and help get us something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
and more of us will, if more people will give.

~Author Unknown~

Monday, December 14, 2009

Featured Rescue - Juliet the German Shepherd Dog

Today's Featured Rescue is Juliet. She is a German Shepherd Dog. She is estimated to be 10 - 12 months old, is very shy and has not had good experiences with other dogs (her time at the shelter was not very good).
Juliet is located in Fairport, NY with BrightStar German Shepherd Rescue.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Guest Blogger Special

Ok, so I would like to put out an offer to all bloggers out there. I am looking for "Guest Bloggers" who will write a review on gifts they have given their dogs (toys, bones, treats, beds, jackets, etc). I want to know what you bought, if you thought it was worth what you paid for it, and if your dog used it / enjoyed it (or not).

If you write this, I will publish it here on my blog. I would like to have a list of gifts that people should buy or avoid this holiday season. I will create a special Tag for these posts. Here are the requirements:

1. The post should be at least 150 words long.
2. The item MUST be dog related or for your dogs (yes, it could even be towels with dogs on them)
3. It should tell us what product you purchased (or were given), how much it cost and if you felt the amount was too high or too low.
4. If you have a picture of your dog with the item, please include this and I will post it too.
5. Include a link to your Blog or Website so I can give you a little link love.
6. You MUST make a post on your blog linking to either my blog or the published post that contains your review.

If you are interested in participating in this, email me your review!

Friday, December 11, 2009

News Reel - Pets Don't Make Good Christmas Gifts

News flash!

Pets don’t make good Christmas gifts: SPCA

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 10:00 am By Holly Miyasaki
While giving a pet as a gift for Christmas seems like a win-win situation, it’s actually not and is frowned upon by the SPCA.

“We need forever homes, not weekend homes for the animals,” says Jim Inglis, the Kelowna SPCA’s branch manager.

“What happens is that people start looking for pets as gifts,” says Inglis. “We don’t recommend surprising someone with an animal they’ve not prepared to take into their home as a lifetime pet.”

For those still wishing to give the gift of a forever home, the SPCA offers gift vouchers covering all adoption costs. This way imminent owners can visit the SPCA and pick out their new best friend after the holiday season has passed its high point.

If you want to find the perfect gift for an animal lover you might want to try a donation to an animal welfare group like the SPCA, the World Wildlife Fund or ZooCheck Canada.

These groups often offer different ways to donate, whether it be through branded merchandise or direct donations to their programs.

So, whether you want to give the gift of four feet and a wet nose, or a donation to helping dairy cows, there’s always a better option than bringing home a new pet during what can be a stressful and busy time.

DDF IN ~ I trimmed this article. If you want to read the entire thing, click on the title above. The article sent you to an alternative giving site at where you can donate to the BCSPCA.

This is a very important message! I encourage you to give gift vouchers and donations in kind if you are considering giving pets.

The month after Christmas (or Kwanzaa, Yule, Winter Solstice, Chanukah, or whatever holiday you celebrate in December) are killers in shelters. Often quite literally. After the initial surprise wears off, that new pet becomes work. Most are dumped, given away or sold starting the second week of January. It usually lasts until the end of February.

When they end up in the shelters, the shelters begin to fill up. When they are full ... what then? Euthanasia? Transport to other shelters?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

CL - Note to the Dogs

I thought this was so cute! It has been too dour around here lately so I thought I'd do a few light-hearted posts. Some of the things below aren't precisely the way I treat my dogs, but I am able to find humour in this all the same. I hope you can enjoy it for what it is.


Note to the dogs

Dear Dogs of Mine,

It seems that lately things have gotten a smidge slack around here. I feel it is time to remind you of the rules that heretofore we have operated under. You are both cute dogs, but your continued cuteness in no way negates our previous agreement. Let me remind you of a few details of this agreement.

1. In exchange for room and board, you are to guard the kingdom. That would be guarding the kingdom from any and all bad guys, robbers, serial killers, etc. Guarding the kingdom does NOT include barking maniacally at bunnies, squirrels, cows, sheep and invisible things that only you can see, especially between the hours of 5am (when I stumble out of bed to let you out) and 8am (when I actually have to be out of bed to get to work).

2. All of the stuff that lives in the toy basket is yours. Everything else is mine. Yours includes squeaky balls, random bones, partially unstuffed stuffed animals and chew ropes. Mine includes any and all shoes on the floor (especially the expensive leather ones), underwear that missed the hamper, bras, socks, dishtowels, the remote, the cell phone, the legs of my grandmother's antique chair and the vacuum. Did I mention shoes? ALL the shoes are mine. They come in pairs, not quads, for a reason.

3. The cat gets to sleep on the bed. You do not. You each weigh 50 pounds. The cat weighs 12. You sleep smack dab in the middle of the bed with all four feet spread out covering approximately 12 square feet apiece. The cat sleeps in a neat little ball covering about 2 square feet. The cat does not bring fleas into the house. You do. You, dogs, will never be allowed to sleep on the bed. Quit sneaking up when you think I'm not looking. Your 50 pounds of dogginess negates your stealth superpowers. I know you are up there!!

4. Speaking of the cat- when he hunkers down into that little mound, lays his ears back, squints his eyes and growls way back in his chest, HE IS NOT A HAPPY KITTY. Leave him alone. He does not want to play with you. What he wants to do is poke your eyes out and shread the skin around your face. He can do that, you know. Five of his 6 ends are really sharp and pointy. He has previously shown very little restraint. Clearly he enjoys smacking you upside the head with a paw full of claws. Do not aggrevate him. When he takes your head off after you have cornered him, I will let him. You have been forewarned.

5. The cat is mean. He will lead you down a path to destruction. He likes to tear around the house winding you up. He does this knowingly and intentionally. When you chase him, I will only yell at you for careening into walls and furniture. He knows this. Quit falling for it.

6. If you find something in the garbage can, assume that I intend for it to be there. Plastic tampon shells are not chew toys. Don't eat them.

7. Also not for doggy consumption- anything you find in the litter box. This is why you no longer get to kiss me.

8. You are allowed to sleep on the furniture. You are not allowed to eat the furniture.

9. Yes, I have to leave every day to go to work. No, you cannot go with me. That's why there are two of you, so you can entertain each other. The cat gets to stay in the house. You both have to stay outside while I'm gone. The cat does not chew things up. You do. Quit whining about it. Your porch is air-conditioned. It's just like inside the house minus the sofa. If you'd quit chewing up dog beds, it would be just like inside the house. You have made your own proverbial bed by destroying two very expensive dog cushions.

10. I have opposable thumbs. This is why I get to be in charge. I can open cans, doors, and bags of treats. I am the only one in the house that can operate the hose sprayer. I'm also the only one with a driver's license and a car. I win. Being cute is no match for opposable thumbs.

While I in no way wish to suppress your rightful dogginess, I feel that these very simple guidelines will allow us to continue to co-exist in peaceful harmony. Please know though, that should you choose to continue in willful violation of these rules, I WILL PUT THE CAT IN CHARGE. He has just been itching for a position in management.

Much thanks,
The Human

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Featured Rescue - Otis the Bassett Hound

This is Otis. He is 7 years young and looking for a new home he can live in forever. He is reportedly gentle, friendly and well behaved. He walks well on leash and is eager to please.

Otis was an owner surrender as his previous owner moved somewhere that they don't take pets. She tried to get her parents to take Otis, but they were not able to keep him either. Otis is currently being kept in a foster home associated with Michigan Basset Rescue Inc.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Poisonous Foods for Dogs

I thought I should publish a short list of poisonous foods that you should not feed your dog. During the Holiday Season, which is fast approaching, you might want to ensure your guests don't feed your dog and kill it with kindness. Please take some time to check it out. If you know of a food that was missed in the list and would like to add to it, please leave a comment.

Alcoholic beverages ~ Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.

Baby food ~ Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.

Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources ~ Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.

Cat food ~ Generally too high in protein and fats.

Chocolate, coffee, tea, and other caffeine ~ Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.

Citrus oil extracts ~ Can cause vomiting.

Fat trimmings ~ Can cause pancreatitis.

Grapes and raisins ~ Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.

Hops ~ Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.

Human vitamin supplements containing iron ~ Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.

Large amounts of liver ~ Can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which affects muscles and bones.

Macadamia nuts ~ Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.

Marijuana ~ Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.

Milk and other dairy products ~ Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage ~ Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.

Mushrooms ~ Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Onions and garlic (raw, cooked, or powder) ~ Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs. Garlic is less toxic than onions.

Persimmons ~ Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.

Pits from peaches and plums ~ Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.

Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves; potato and tomato stems ~ Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.

Raw eggs ~ Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.

Raw fish ~ Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.

Salt ~ If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.

String ~ Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."

Sugary foods ~ Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Table scraps (in large amounts) ~ Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.

Tobacco ~ Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Yeast dough ~ Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.

Xylitol (artificial sweetener) ~ Can cause liver failure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

News Reel - THS

Today's bit of advice ... Beware the snake in the grass. To the left is a picture of one of our dogs taken while we were out gallivanting through the fields. Can you see the snake?

Here's a closer picture (to the right) in case you can't make it out ... It is a bit more clear and should be easier to see. Please take a few minutes to check out the latest news results from the ongoing investigations.

Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Finds More Evidence of Cruelty and Mismanagement at Toronto Humane Society

‘Who goes without?’ (THS Staff speak out)

THS managers key to decline: volunteers (THS Declining Volunteers due to training costs)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Entrecard Top Droppers

The following are the top Entrecard droppers from the last 31 days. I will be writing a post in the next week or so that includes the most frequent Commenters.

The Way I See It
CAP News
Music Asia
The One Minute Guide
Funky Town Disco Music
All about Babies and Kids
Robot Armageddon
Photojournalist !

Friday, December 4, 2009

CL - Letters to a Dog

I read this and couldn't help but post it. It's another gem I saw on CL and thought I'd share.

PLEASE if you get a dog for your children, let them experience the entire process. Teach them that they are responsible for a life. Teach them commitment. Let them experience an incredible bond. They may be too young to understand, but you are not. Our shelters are too full and a lot of these animals are coming from homes that are fine families who are just not making the effort. Unplug the tv and take a dog training class as a family. It is fun! Challenge your kids to teach the dog a new trick each week. Their faces will light up when they do!


January 6

Dear Dog,
I saw you today for the first time, just a couple houses from my own. The school bus stopped to let out your kids, and your mom opened the front door to let you run out and greet them. You are a wiggly, bouncy and happy little puppy with a full belly and a shiny coat. Your kids grabbed you up, hugged you, held you and toted you inside. Your tail was wagging the entire time. I thought to my self, how sweet, what a way to end a long hard day. I spoke to your mom this evening and she said that they got you from the Animal Shelter, and the kids named you Lucky.

March 10

Dear Lucky,
I saw you today as I always do on my way home from work. You were already outside to greet the kids today, which seemed a little odd. The little girl got off the bus and shooed you away; she appeared to not want you jumping on her. The boy got off the bus and gave you a quick playful pat on the head, then smelled his hand and brushed you aside. You looked confused and sad, as you went to lie by the porch. You curled up in a tight ball on the cold ground and let out a huge sigh. My heart felt heavy that day.

March 21

Dear Lucky,
I saw you today. I was headed home, and the kids got off the bus, walked to the house, and you ran out as far as you could on your heavy chain to let them know you were there. The little girl ignored you, the little boy told you to be quiet, when you barked for his attention. My neighbor commented that they needed to do something with your barking because you keep them up at night. You had a bucket of water and a bowl of food, a relatively nice doghouse, but your eyes were sad and empty. I shook my head and let out a huge sigh.

April 30

Dear Lucky,
I worried for you today. You look thin, your chain heavy on your neck, your coat is dirty and falling out, you don't get up to do much anymore. Your bucket is turned over, and I have not seen your food bowl for a few days now. I spoke to the neighbor and asked about you. He said you still bark at night and he saw the man of the house throw something at you the other day as he scolded you. I shook my head in despair as I went back into my house.

June 4

Dear Lucky,
My heart sank today. I was headed home, and you weren't in your yard. A large part of me hoped you got away, another large part of me was frightened at all the other possibilities. I asked my neighbor about you, and he said your family went on vacation and sent you back to the Animal Shelter. I shook my head and cried for you as I went into my house.

June 5

Dear Dog,
I went to the shelter today. I found you huddled in the back of a cage that had a bucket, a bowl of food, and a blanket for you to lie on. You looked up at me as if you knew me, and my heart broke as I read your card. They did not even care enough to give them your name, and the card simply said, "male, neutered, Poodle. Owners did not want." I cried when a gentleman from the kennel said, "That's a sad one there. He came from here, you know, last Christmas. Guess they just got tired of him. He's too frightened, no one will adopt him." I went to the counter and told them I would be back tomorrow and please don't do anything just yet. They all kind of nodded like they heard that one before.

June 6

Dear Dog,
I brought you home today. You were scared and untrusting, but a small part of you somewhere allowed you to wag the tip of your tail when I told you that you were a good boy and that I loved you. I gave you a new name, "Happy", because you aren't and I hope that someday you will be. You had an accident on the floor, and when I came back to clean it up with paper towel you slunk down and whimpered as if the hand was coming for you. I tried to choke back the tears when I thought of what you must have gone through in the past six months. I reached out and patted you and your eyes closed and your body went limp at such a gentle gesture. "We're going to be all right," I told you. I showed you your food, and you ate voraciously, and you marveled at the treats and toys I got for you.

December 25

Dear Happy,
Good morning my best friend! You woke me, as always, popping out from under the covers on your side of the bed, licking my face to tell me it was time for our walk. We went through the living room and you sniffed what Santa left for us. I hugged you and said, "Last year you were a Christmas gift, now this year, these are all yours!" Your coat is shiny, your belly always full, and even though we found out at your first vet visit you had heart worms, you are healthy now. As we went out for our walk, we saw your old family in the front yard. They look at you each time as if they recognize you in a way, but you don't give them a second glance.

--- Then I believe both our hearts stopped as we saw the children emerge from the yard holding a small playful puppy. "Isn't she just precious? We got her from the animal shelter. Hope this one works out, the other dog we got from there was so much trouble." I sighed and refrained from pointing out that you were not the trouble. You looked up at me as if to say, "Thank you, mom."

I kneeled down and whispered in your sweet ear, "No, it is I who thank you."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Featured Rescue - Chester the Labrador Retriever

Today's featured rescue is a Labrador Retriever mix, but I really like the look of the guy so had to post him. Chester is estimated to be 2 years old. He does require some obedience training per the ad ... don't they all??

If you're looking for a Labrador Retriever, I encourage you to go visit your local shelter or rescue and adopt one. Don't buy from pet stores and don't buy from irresponsible, backyard breeders (this includes the neighbour down the road who thought they could make a few quick bucks). There are many purebred Labradors at the shelters looking for homes (just counting those listed on Petfinder, there are in fact 20, 215) ... some are even tattooed and registered; And no, not all breeders take their unwanted dogs back. Don't fool yourself.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Training - Expectations and Moon Cycles

Do you ever have days where you just want to roll over and go back to sleep? I don't mean the days where it's hard to get up, but rather the days that you can't shake that feeling all day long. Today is just such a day for me. I will have to keep my head low at work ... usually days like this are days where I really shouldn't talk to people. I run out of tact and shoot from the hip. I completely believe that we all have days like this and I'm not alone (perhaps I'm just hoping I'm not the only cranky one out there!), so what does this have to do with dogs and my blog?

When you are interacting with your dog and you are training him/her, you need to be aware of the different sorts of days you will have. Believe it or not, it will affect your dog and the training you are working on. Admit it, we don't all have Good Days every day. Here's something of what I mean:

I woke up this morning not wanting to get out of bed. I am in a rotten mood and don't want to talk to anyone. Knowing this, I will not plan to do any training with my dogs where I need a lot of patience. That means I won't work on something with them that they have been struggling to figure out (like Stop). I will work on things that they know but need solidified. For example, my new dog ... I will work on Sit and LieDown at home but I won't take her to PetSmart and work on the same thing. I will save that for a day when I have more patience.

Now, something that I should also mention in this post ... Dogs have off days too. I won't say "Bad" because I don't know if they are bad days. They are days where the dogs can't focus, have all sorts of extra-crazy energy, forget all the rules or like to sleep in. I have noticed that during Full Moons the older dogs can't focus and have extra-crazy energy. During New Moons the older dogs like to sleep in and don't want to do too much. (I haven't been able to completely track the new dog's range of behaviours because her behaviour training progresses so much on a weekly basis.)

Tonight is a Full Moon. Couple that with my mood and it is NOT a day when I will work with my dogs on training. I know it will simply set them up for failure and that's not the name of the game. We will go for a nice long walk and have fun together. Maybe play some Hide and Seek. Probably a bit of Fetch.

Have you noticed anything different about your dogs throughout the Moon cycles?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Featured Rescue - Gator the Yellow Labrador Retriever

I have found that there are more Labrador Retriever dogs out there looking for homes than any other breed. Good Grief! There are over 20,000 Labradors looking for homes right now on Petfinder. (And people think I'm cruel when I suggest an abortive spay for an "oops, we didn't know she could get pregnant")

Today's featured rescue is Gator. He is 3 years old and reportedly quite gentle. His owner surrendered him because of an upcoming surgery. Gator is at Thumb Animal Shelter in Elkton, MI.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lost a good friend this weekend

I had planned some great posts for yesterday and today, but I couldn't bring myself to write them. One of our good friends lost their dog suddenly this weekend. It was very hard. No one really knows what happened. She was doing well that morning, then her body began to shut down. She died on Saturday November 28, 2009 at 11:40 pm.

She was his Chosen One. She was a favourite with the neighbourhood kids and a wonderful dog. She has shared her home with many different foster dogs throughout her short 5 years and welcomed each one in with her doggie-waggle. The picture to the left is her at one of the dog Christmas parties in a picture perfect sit/stay.

We will miss you, Emma.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Featured Rescue - Barney the Bichon Frise

Today's featured rescue is Barney the Bichon Frise. He is 3 years old and located in Mentor, OH.

Barney has a fair amount of energy (what Bichon doesn't?) and needs daily exercise to keep him happy (again, what dog doesn't?). From the sounds of it, Barney will need a bit of work, but I'm sure he will turn out to be a great addition to the right home.

Friday, November 27, 2009

News Reel - Charges at THS

Well this is about time. I'm sorry but the Toronto Humane Society has been doing some awful things and getting away with it for far too long. I won't get into a rant ... though you know I have TONS to say! Its. Just. Wrong. I did blog about the investigation when it began so if you want to read the original news stories published by the Globe and Mail, feel free to check it out.

For the full article, please click the following link. Otherwise, I have copied and pasted some interesting bits and pieces from it below.

The Toronto Humane Society's president and chief veterinarian are facing criminal charges of animal cruelty for running a dysfunctional shelter where animals were allegedly denied food and water and left to die suffering in their cages.

"These are animals who are just left to die in their cages," Christopher Avery said during the raid. "They're found dozens at a time, dead in [a] cage, every morning in this building. Dying from cancer, suffocating based on phlegm, these are animals who are starving to death, literally."

If convicted ... all face a maximum of five years in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. They also face animal cruelty charges under the Ontario SPCA Act, as do all the volunteer members of the charity's board of directors.

The following suspects have been charged in connection with the investigation:
- Tim Trow - cruelty to animals (2), obstruction of a peace officer (3)
- Dr. Steve Sheridan - cruelty to animals
- Gary McCracken, general manager - cruelty animals (2), obstruction of a peace officer (3)
- Andy Bechtel - cruelty animals (2), obstruction of a peace officer (3)
- Romeo Bernadino - cruelty animals (2), obstruction of a peace officer (3)
In addition, the above plus the THS's board of directors will face five charges of animal cruelty under the Ontario SPCA Act.

The shelter will be closed to the public until the inspection is concluded, likely in a few days.

Some other good articles covering this topic are:

Humane society president denies charges
Humane Society busted for cruelty

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups October

For those of my readers in the US ... Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your Turkey Day is great, your meal moist, your company pleasant and your long weekend wonderful!!

In the meantime, here are the Featured Rescue Followups for October. We have a fair amount of Featured Rescues that have found forever homes. Whenever a listing is removed I assume the dog has been adopted. I understand this is not always the case. There are many more still waiting for their next homes. If you are looking to get a new dog, I encourage you to adopt! There are dogs of all shapes, sizes, personalities and activity levels out there. It's just a matter of finding the right one for you.

Rafe and Redman the Rhodesian Ridgebacks
Status: NOT Adopted
Featured on January 12, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
These guys have been waiting a long time to find their forever homes. Not every home is suitable for a Ridgeback and rescues have to be careful who they place them with.

FiFi the Great Pyrenees
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on April 26, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

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.
Jack A Roo is going to need the perfect home to come along. He is deaf. Note that deaf dogs can make excellent members of the family, but it takes a special sort of person who is willing to do the training required. Look at the focus!

Lady the Greyhound
Status: Not Adopted.
Featured on August 28, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.
Lady has become a Canine Blood Donor as of November 2009.

Zeta the Belgian Malinois
Status: Adopted
Featured on September 4, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.
Zeta's profile has been updated on petfinder

Lucinda the Boxer
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on September 16, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Sherman the Bassett Hound
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on September 22, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Dakota the Chow
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on October 7, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.

Blade the Doberman Pinscher
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on October 13, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.
This looks like such a nice old guy I hope he got a great, comfortable retirement home.

Junie B the Pit Bull Terrier
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on October 16, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry.
This gal is a parvo survivor. Check out her page to read about her.

Roxy the Redbone Coonhound
Status: Not Adopted.
Featured on October 28, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry
Roxy was hit by a car and had to have one of her front legs amputated but don't let that fool you! Three legged dogs can be just as active as four legged dogs once they regain their balance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Featured Rescue - Ms. Angela Sweethe the Chihuahua

There are 9,989 Chihuahua dogs listed for adoption on That's a lot of dogs! They range from all ages - puppies to seniors. The personalities of the dogs listed are just as varied as their ages.
This gal is named Ms. Angela Sweethe. I wonder if they adopt more dogs out by naming them in this fashion? If anyone ever finds a study done on dog names and how it affects rates of adoptions ... I would LOVE to read it!!
Anyway, this little lady is 8 years old and already blind in one eye. Check out her ad on Petfinder ... I love how they have done her write up and told you that she is not housebroken and has separation anxiety issues without making them sound like a big deal. Very cool writeup Waggytail Rescue!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dogs Deserve Freedom - The Shelter Pet Project

"According to The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, of the eight million pets that enter animal shelters and rescue groups every year, approximately three million of these healthy and treatable pets are euthanized due to a lack of adoption."

Good Grief. It's heartbreaking when you see the actual number of animals that go in and out of shelters and rescue groups each year ... 8 million animals enter; 3 million healthy ones euthanized. That is a hell of a lot of animals. Could you imagine what those numbers would be like if people started to spay/neuter their pets??

When you look at numbers like that it is very easy to shrug it off with a "well I can't fix it" attitude. Take that attitude and toss it out the door. While you may not be able to help those millions of animals today, you can make a difference.

The next time you are out at the grocery store and see one of those rescues peddling for coin, drop in a dollar. If each person in your community donated one dollar can you imagine how many pets they could help? Ontario's population alone is an estimated 13,014,000 (as of Apr 1, 2009) ... if each of those people donated one dollar ... well, that's a lot of money!

The next time you are looking for a new pet go to your local shelter. If you are looking for a specific breed, go to a breed rescue. Many breed rescues have puppies/kittens as well as adults and seniors.

If you can't adopt, go spend an hour of your time volunteering at your local shelter. (WARNING ... Don't get into the politics!!) Clean cat boxes, scoop out dog runs or take a dog for a long walk. To those animals you have just made a difference.

Talk to your friends, neighbours and co-workers about adopting from a shelter or rescue. Explain to them that there are some really great dogs/cats out there just waiting for a home. Many people think that the dogs/cats at the shelter have behavioural problems, but most are simply nice animals down on their luck.

And for goodness'sake ... please Spay and Neuter your pets people! I will begin regularly posting low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinics on my other blog, Drowning In Cats, so you may be able to find an alternative in your area.

Check out The Shelter Pet Project website and help make a difference. Together we can change the world ... Together we can.

Monday, November 23, 2009

News Reel - Coyote fears grow

Ok - so I'm way behind in reading the news. I don't often find time to check out the papers but today I made some. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes you just have to make the time because it's never going to fall in your lap. There will never be enough time to do everything so pick the things you do want to do and do them! Anyway, here's the article I stumbled upon this morning. It is a topic I have been reading about all year and I thought I would mention it here since it fits.

This has been a pretty big issue in Ontario papers this year. Basically the gist of it is that Coyotes have been spotted more frequently than ever before. There was an article in the paper a few months ago that listed the amount of money farmers have been paid so far this year in compensation for Coyote kills. Said amount has tripled in the last five years. See below for that info.

We are seeing an increase of Coyote numbers where I live too. Just on Friday I drove by a rural elementary school. Beside the school they are doing construction and putting in a new subdivision. I don't know where all the workers were (it was lunch time so probably they went to town for a bite), but not one of them was about. There was however, a large Coyote hanging around in the construction site near the treed area between the elementary school and the backhoe. Lovely, eh? Never used to see them during the day but they are everywhere around here now.

I have lived on a farm in rural Ontario for many years. Before this year I have never been concerned with going out after dark; in fact I never thought twice about it. We have outdoor barn lights that are on solar energy and run all night long as well as night time radios, interior lights on timers, etc. running in the barn to keep predators at bay. Historically, the Coyotes generally stay away from our place and turn away to run if they see people. Unfortunately, our precautions are not working as well and these predators have come within a few meters of me and my dogs at night. We often spot them farther out during the day time and they usually stay pretty far then. I expect that soon enough they will come closer. Let them get hungry enough and they will come.

By the way ... in case you were wondering ... It's an extremely uncomfortable feeling to be hunted and I don't wish it upon anyone. You can tell they are thinking about it with the way they stalk around.

At this point, every time I walk outside with the dogs after dark I have something with me to fend off the Coyotes - baseball bat, big stick, flash lights. So far I haven't needed them *knock on wood* but that doesn't mean that I haven't started target practice with the .22. I don't want to shoot anything but if it comes to a choice between me and my dogs or a pack of Coyotes ... well, I'm sure you can bet which I will pick. I wonder how long it will be before I have to start taking it along with me during the day time as well?

Around here, there have always been instances where the Coyotes call out to the local farm dogs. When the dog goes out to investigate, the pack moves in for the kill. At this rate of increased sightings I can expect in the near future that we will be increasing our numbers of guardian animals. Even though we have never lost a dog to a Coyote attack, I certainly won't be letting my guys outside without supervision.

Day or night.

I don't recommend you let your guys out alone either; regardless whether you are in rural or urban areas. The Coyotes don't care if you are in a "safe" subdivision or on a farm. They are everywhere; hopping fences and grabbing pets/livestock. Keep your pets safe and make these important decisions for them. They are your responsibility and depend on you.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Post Exchange - Happy Tails Books Update

As you know by my previous post about Happy Tails Books, this is a publishing project that was designed partially as a fundraiser for dog rescues. Kyla reports that with a little boost over the holidays they are aiming to donate $4000 to the 34 rescue groups who contributed to the success of the books.

I think this is a pretty neat idea, so I said I would post their PSA. See below.

Are you still in need of the perfect holiday gift for dog-loving friends?

How about giving a book filled with unforgettable stories about rescued dogs? “Lost Souls: Found!” is a wonderful series published by Happy Tails Books which illustrates the love and joy rescued dogs bring to their new homes. Breed-specific “Lost Souls: Found!” books are currently available for Boston Terriers, Dachshunds, Pit Bulls, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers. Your purchase will help support dog rescue – Happy Tails is committed to donating a significant portion of profits back to dog rescue organizations. Preview a book or pick up your copy today at

Ever wonder what life is like for canine Hollywood stars?

“Hollywood Barks!” is your backstage pass to the life, times, and training of Hollywood dogs! The book describes a brief history of dogs in Hollywood and then dives into the memoirs of Kathryn Segura, a renowned Hollywood Studio Wrangler (the person behind the camera who serves as the "dog director"). It includes stories about dogs on the sets of movies like Air Buddies, Indecent Proposal, and There's Something About Mary, and highlights the fact that many dogs used in movies, television, and commercial are rescues! Each chapter also includes a studio training tip readers can practice with their own dogs. A significant portion of profits is donated back to the South Los Angeles Shelter, which is in desperate need of assistance. Purchase a copy or read some excerpts at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Featured Rescue - Sam the Schnauzer

Today's Featured Rescue is inspired by my posts from the last two days.

His name is Sam.

Sam is an adult dog who hasn't had the easiest go yet, but the rescue where he is being kept is trying their best to find him a comfortable home. Sam, or Sammy as he has come to be known in rescue, will need a bit of training and some behavioural work from the sounds of it, but don't let that deter you. He is reportedly gentle, quiet, doesn't destroy furniture, is housetrained and gets along well with other dogs and cats. The adoptive home will need to work with him on loud noises, touching, and quick movements.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

His Name is Sam ... Part 2

And now ... the conclusion you have all been waiting for to His Name Is Sam!


"His Name Is Sam"
Part 2

I read the sign on the door. "Euthanasia Area." "Do you want to see one?" he asked. Before I could decline, he interjected, "You really should. You can't tell the whole story unless you experience the end." I reluctantly agreed. "Good." He said, "I already cleared it and Peggy is expecting you." He knocked firmly on the door.

A middle-aged woman in a white lab coat opened it immediately. "Here's the girl I was telling you about," Ron explained. Peggy looked me over. "Well, I'll leave you here with Peggy and meet you in the reception area in about fifteen minutes. I'll have the puppy ready." With that Ron departed, leaving me standing in front of the stern-looking Peggy. Peggy motioned me in.

As I walked into the room, I gave an audible gasp. The room was small and spartan. There were a couple of cages on the wall and a cabinet with syringes and vials of a clear liquid. In the middle of the room was an examining table with a rubber mat on top. There were two doors other than the one I had entered. Both were closed. One said to incinerator room, and the other had no sign, but I could hear various animals' noises coming from behind the closed door. In the back of the room, near the door that was marked incinerator were the objects that caused my distress: two wheelbarrows, filled with the bodies of dead kittens and puppies. I stared in horror. Nothing had prepared me for this. I felt my legs grow weak and my breathing become rapid and shallow. I wanted to run from that room, screaming. Peggy seemed not to notice my state of shock. She started talking about the euthanasia process, but I wasn't hearing her. I could not tear my gaze away from the wheelbarrows and those dozens of pathetic little bodies.

Finally, Peggy seemed to notice that I was not paying attention to her. "Are you listening?" she asked irritably. "I'm only going to go through this once." I tore my gaze from the back of the room and looked at her. I opened my mouth to say something, but nothing would come out, so I nodded. She told me that behind the unmarked door were the animals that were scheduled for euthanasia that day. She picked up a chart that was hanging from the wall. "One fifty-three is next," she said as she looked at the chart. "I'll go get him." She laid down the chart on the examining table and started for the unmarked door. Before she got to the door she stopped and turned around. "You aren't going to get hysterical, are you?" she asked, "Because that will only upset the animals." I shook my head. I had not said a word since I walked into that room. I still felt unsure if I would be able to without breaking down into tears. As Peggy opened the unmarked door I peered into the room beyond. It was a small room, but the walls were lined and stacked with cages. It looked like they were all occupied. Peggy opened the door of one of the lower cages and removed the occupant. From what I could see it looked like a medium-sized dog. She attached a leash and ushered the dog into the room in which I stood.

As Peggy brought the dog into the room I could see that the dog was no more than a puppy, maybe five or six months old. The pup looked to be a cross between a Lab and a German shepherd. He was mostly black, with a small amount of tan above his eyes and on his feet. He was very excited and bouncing up and down, trying to sniff everything in this new environment. Peggy lifted the pup onto the table. She had a card in her hand, which she laid on the table next to me. I read the card. It said that number one fifty-three was a mixed Shepherd, six months old. He was surrendered two days ago by a family. Reason of surrender was given as "jumps on children." At the bottom was a note that said "Name: Sam."

Peggy was quick and efficient, from lots of practice, I guessed. She lay one fifty-three down on his side and tied a rubber tourniquet around his front leg. She turned to fill the syringe from the vial of clear liquid.

All this time I was standing at the head of the table. I could see the moment that one fifty-three went from a curious puppy to a terrified puppy. He did not like being held down and he started to struggle. It was then that I finally found my voice. I bent over the struggling puppy and whispered, "Sam. Your name is Sam." At the sound of his name Sam quit struggling. He wagged his tail tentatively and his soft pink tongue darted out and licked my hand. And that is how he spent his last moment. I watched his eyes fade from hopefulness to nothingness. It was over very quickly. I had never even seen Peggy give the lethal shot. The tears could not be contained any longer. I kept my head down so as not to embarrass myself in front of the stoic Peggy. My tears fell onto the still body on the table. "Now you know," Peggy said softly. Then she turned away. "Ron will be waiting for you."

I left the room. Although it seemed like it had been hours, only fifteen minutes had gone by since Ron had left me at the door. I made my way back to the reception area. True to his word, Ron had the puppy all ready to go. After giving me some instructions about what to feed the puppy, he handed the carrying cage over to me and wished me good luck on my speech. That night I went home and spent many hours playing with the orphan puppy. I went to bed that night but I could not sleep. After a while I got up and looked at my speech notes with their numbers and statistics. Without a second thought, I tore them up and threw them away. I went back to bed. Sometime during the night I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I arrived at my Speech class with Puppy Doe. When my turn came, I held the puppy in my arms, I took a deep breath, and I told the class about the life and death of Sam. When I finished my speech I became aware that I was crying. I apologized to the class and took my seat. After class the teacher handed out a critique with our grades. I got an "A." His comments said "Very moving and persuasive."

Two days later, on the last day of class, one of my classmates came up to me. She was an older lady that I had never spoken to in class. She stopped me on our way out of the classroom. "I want you to know that I adopted the puppy you brought to class," she said.

"His name is Sam."

by Chris Benton
"Please Spay or Neuter your pet. "

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

His Name is Sam ... Part 1

I ran across this and thought it holds a VERY important message. I found it while I was parusing through a forum. I have decided to publish it in two parts though because it is so long and I have to edit it as I go (I only have so much time!). It was posted in the forum in two parts and I will keep to that format here. I hope you take the time to read both.


"His Name is Sam"

After I was discharged from the Navy, Jim and I moved back to Detroit to use our GI bill benefits to get some schooling. Jim was going for a degree in Electronics and I, after much debating, decided to get mine in Computer Science.

One of the classes that was a requirement was Speech. Like many people, I had no fondness for getting up in front of people for any reason, let alone to be the center of attention as I stuttered my way through some unfamiliar subject. But I couldn't get out of the requirement, and so I found myself in my last semester before graduation with Speech as one of my classes. On the first day of class our professor explained to us that he was going to leave the subject matter of our talks up to us, but he was going to provide the motivation of the speech. We would be responsible for six speeches, each with a different motivation. For instance our first speech's purpose was to inform. He advised us to pick subjects that we were interested in and knowledgeable about. I decided to center my six speeches around animals, especially dogs.

For my first speech to inform, I talked about the equestrian art of dressage. For my speech to demonstrate, I brought my German Shepherd, Bodger, to class and demonstrated obedience commands. Finally the semester was almost over and I had but one more speech to give. This speech was to take the place of a written final exam and was to count for fifty per cent of our grade. The speeches motivation was to persuade.

After agonizing over a subject matter, and keeping with my animal theme, I decided on the topic of spaying and neutering pets. My goal was to try to persuade my classmates to neuter their pets. So I started researching the topic. There was plenty of material, articles that told of the millions of dogs and cats that were euthanized every year, of supposedly beloved pets that were turned in to various animal control facilities for the lamest of reasons, or worse, dropped off far from home, bewildered and scared. Death was usually a blessing.

The final speech was looming closer, but I felt well prepared. My notes were full of facts and statistics that I felt sure would motivate even the most naive of pet owners to succumb to my plea.

A couple of days before our speeches were due, I had the bright idea of going to the local branch of the Humane Society and borrowing a puppy to use as a sort of a visual aid. I called the Humane Society and explained what I wanted. They were very happy to accommodate me. I made arrangements to pick up a puppy the day before my speech.

The day before my speech, I went to pick up the puppy. I was feeling very confident. I could quote all the statistics and numbers without ever looking at my notes. The puppy, I felt, would add the final emotional touch.

When I arrived at the Humane Society I was met by a young guy named Ron. He explained that he was the public relations person for the Humane Society. He was very excited about my speech and asked if I would like a tour of the facilities before I picked up the puppy. I enthusiastically agreed. We started out in the reception area, which was the general public's initial encounter with the Humane Society.

The lobby was full, mostly with people dropping off various animals that they no longer wanted. Ron explained to me that this branch of the Humane Society took in about fifty animals a day and adopted out only about twenty.

As we stood there I heard snatches of conversation: "I can't keep him, he digs holes in my garden." "They are such cute puppies, I know you will have no trouble finding homes for them." "She is wild, I can't control her." I heard one of Humane Society's volunteer explain to the lady with the litter of puppies that the Society was filled with puppies and that these puppies, being black, would immediately be put to sleep.Black puppies, she explained, had little chance of being adopted. The woman who brought the puppies in just shrugged, "I can't help it," she whined. "They are getting too big. I don't have room for them." We left the reception area.

Ron led me into the staging area where all the incoming animals were evaluated for adoptability. Over half never even made it to the adoption center. There were just too many. Not only were people bringing in their own animals, but strays were also dropped off. By law the Humane Society had to hold a stray for three days. If the animal was not claimed by then, it was euthanized, since there was no background information on the animal. There were already too many animals that had a known history eagerly provided by their soon to be ex-owners. As we went through the different areas, I felt more and more depressed. No amount of statistics, could take the place of seeing the reality of what this throwaway attitude did to the living, breathing animal. It was overwhelming. Finally Ron stopped in front of a closed door. "That's it," he said, "except for this."

to be continued ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ontario Private Bill to Repeal BSL

I read this on the Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC) website. Turn's out an MPP is putting forth a private bill to repeal the breed part out of the Dog Owner's Liability Act (DOLA). I do not agree with BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) and have blogged about both sides of the argument in the past. I feel that there are better ways to manage a DOLA and keep the general public safe however I do understand the need to prevent dog bites/attacks.

Below I have copied and pasted the alert from the DLCC's page. They are asking everyone who can to go to Queens Park on November 18th to show your support. I will be there. Will you?


Private Members Bill to Repeal the ONTARIO BAN

Cheri DiNovo (MPP for Parkdale) has joined a GROWING LIST of other politicians that support REPEALING DOLA.

Cheri is going to put forth a Private Member's Bill forward to repeal the Breed Specific part of the Dog Owner's Liability Act between 10am and 11:30 am in front of Queens Park on November 18th. As a responsible dog owner herself, Cheri understands that this law must be repealed so that more effective measures (which are not breed specific) can be put into place.

Advocates for responsible dog ownership are making their demands known. We will no longer allow laws that make dog owners criminals or at best second class citizens simply because of how their dog 'looks'.

COME TOGETHER. We need bodies at this event. Clayton Ruby along with many other advocates for responsible dog ownership will be there and so will the media. Let's show them that dog owners are barking mad about this travesty.

We are asking that ALL dog owners join together in solidarity and support Ms.Di Novo in her efforts.


Queens Park
at 9:30 am
November 18, 2009

If you cannot be there, please forward your support to repeal the ban to:

C. Smith
Charles Smith Executive Assistant
Cheri DiNovo MPP
Parkdale High Park
Tel: (416) 325-0244
Fax: (416) 325-0305

Dogs Deserve Freedom IN: If you have a blog or website, please cross-post this information with a backlink to the DLCC webpage to spread the word regardless whether or not you can be there or are in Ontario!

Remember ... "Having heard all of this, you may choose to look the other way ... but you can never say again that you did not know." William Wilberforce 1759-1833

Monday, November 16, 2009

Guess the Breed #13

Well, this is a good week for 13, eh?? Friday the 13th ... Guess The Breed #13 ... just keeps going and going. Like bunnies.

I tried to find a picture with 13 in it, but I think there are only 9 here ... right? Did I miss any?

Anyway ... what do you think this one is? Ready? Set? GO!

As always, remember the rules ...

1. No bashing other peoples' opinions.
2. Post your opinion!
3. Have fun!

Regarding Guess The Breed #12 ... NORWOOD UNLEASHED guessed first with Shiba Inu. Norwood has two blogs that he contributes to; norwood unleashed! and THE HORVATH BLOG