Thursday, April 30, 2009

Featured Rescue - Gala the Chinese Crested

Last Featured Rescue was a big dog (Great Pyrenees) so I thought I'd post a small dog this time 'round. This little lady is a Chinese Crested Dog. You either like these dogs, or you don't. There doesn't seem to be a middle of the road on this one ...

This is Gala. She is 9 years old and looking for a new home. The ad doesn't say why she is in rescue, but considering since her foster home is currently working on teaching her leash manners and housetraining ... well, it gives you an idea what state she came from.

Post Exchange - Your Car Should be Cold

The environmental experts this year are suggesting that it's going to be really hot out in the summer. I remember my first car - no heat, no AC, no floor ... lots of exhaust inside ... ah ... the "good ol' days". Not now! Now I always make sure I have air conditioning!

When I take my dogs out with me, I always make sure the AC is running properly in my vehicle. I figure that if I find it warm out, then my dogs must be overheated. Two of them are long haired and it doesn't take much for them to be too hot. Remember this when you're out and about this year with your canine companions.

Here in Ontario, we've already had a few days at 23C and if it's that warm outside then that means the inside of your car is WAY warmer! My sister lives in Tennessee and she said they have the AC on already.

When you take your dog out and about with you, please remember their comfort too. If you don't already have auto air conditioning (AC), consider having it installed. I don't know much about cars, but I do know that you can get an air conditioning compressor online at

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Walking in the Rain

Everytime I'm out with my guys walking in the rain, all I can think of is that old Gene Kelly movie. My guys look at me all weird when I burst out the chorus to "Singin' in the Rain" ... like they're asking "what the heck did you add to your breakfast, mom?" or "what do you have to be happy about, mom? Didn't you notice that we're getting wet?"

For a bunch of dogs that absolutely love swimming and getting wet, they sure don't like the rain much. The retriever is best of all of them, but even he likes to be dry once in a while. There's something about the rainy days that just don't scream "Let's go swimming!"

Rain is a GREAT time to work on training. There are so many things you can work on with them at this time! Umbrellas, Hoods, Rain Ponchos ... not to mention all the sounds, smells and sights that are associated with rain!

Do your dogs like the rain? How are they with umbrellas? Rain coats? Thunder?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Feeding vs. Meal Times

This has been a long time argument between dog owners. Free Feeding or Meal Times??

Some believe that you should fill the dog's food bowl and it will eat when hungry. This is called Free Feeding. My parents do this with their dog and it works pretty well - except when other dogs come over for visits. Sometimes their dog will guard the food, sometimes she will eat it all regardless of whether it is too much for her or not, sometimes she will ignore it and let the other dogs eat it (not good for the other dogs).

Others believe that you should measure out exactly how much the dog is allowed to eat at any given meal and the food only stays down for 30 minute intervals. This is what I call "Meal Times". I'm sure there's a better word for it, if you know it, let me know! Set Meal Times allow for a measure of control and you always know if your dog is off their food. It may be a warning that your dog is unwell.

Personally, I use Meal Times and don't Free Feed my dogs. I find that Free Feeding leads to Resource Guarding in multi-dog households as well as overeating. As we all know, overeating can only result in one thing - an obese dog.

What do you do? Do you Free Feed or have set Meal Times?

Why do you feed the way you do?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Seminar in Toronto

I went to a seminar in Toronto this weekend. The guest speaker was Brad Pattison. For those who don't know, Brad is the tv personality who hosts the show called "At the End of My Leash". It is one of the few dog shows I enjoy watching. Have you seen it?

I just wanted to share this with you since I really enjoyed the seminar. It was fun, interactive and informative. I would highly reccommend anyone, from would-be dog owners to rescue workers, to go to one of his seminars.

It took us a few hours to get there since we live so far away. We considered renting a hotel room for the night, but ended up just driving that morning. Had we rented a room, we would have had to arrange accomodations for our dogs and it is easier just to get up super-duper early.

I am not a morning person ... it was hard as hell to get up before the sun!

PS - this is the first day I haven't worn boots to work! WOOHOO! Spring's Here!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Featured Rescue - FiFi the Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is a big breed that is generally used for tending sheep herds. There are 1,246 GP's available for adoption on Petfinder.

This is FiFi. She was born 9/15/08 and she and her sister were an owner surrender. They were born on an Amish farm to parents who guard the sheep. The farmer turned two of the pups into rescue that didn't seem to have much of the herding/guarding instincts

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Places Your Dog Can't Resist

Yesterday's post was a bit depressing so I thought I'd bring forth some good news.

The co-founder of a new website called contacted me via email earlier this week. They are trying to build a repository of places to go and things to do anywhere in the world. He asked me to spread the word about a challenge they are currently running.

The challenge is for dog lovers to share the favorite places you like to take your dog; parks, hiking trails, stores, whatever. For every list entered, they're giving $10 to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The maximum donation they will give is $500.

Take a look at their challenge page Places Your Dog Can't Resist. I went over and checked it out and it looks pretty easy, and you'd be helping to make a difference. I think you should do the same!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rescue Numbers - Update 3

On February 17, 2009 I posted the last Rescue Numbers Update. I'll try to always re-iterate that I'm not posting this to depress anyone, but I believe that people should all be aware of the sheer numbers we face out there. As long as people spay and neuter their pets as well as continue to adopt animals from shelters than we're making progress.

StormsLegacy posted a comment in the last Rescue Update stating that the numbers I am pulling from Petfinder are not really an accurate way to measure this progression of adoption. I asked what a better way to measure it would be, but never did get a response. In fact, I didn't hear from StormsLegacy again.

If anyone has a better way to track this, please feel free to let me know. I don't have an issue changing my methods, but please offer an alternative, not just criticism (back up your argument!). Otherwise, the Petfinder numbers are better than nothing, right?

Here are the numbers from that day in February:
American Staffordshire Terrier 3,427
Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler 3,016
Australian Shepherd 3,319
Beagle - 7,253
Black Lab - 4,606
Border Collie - 4,601
Boxer - 5,960
Chihuahua - 6,846
Dachshund - 3,481
German Shepherd Dog - 7,099
Labrador Retriever - 19,162
Pitbull Terrier - 10,968
Rottweiler 3,606
Shepherd 8,235
Terrier 6,662

Anything over 3,000 I have listed.

Here are the numbers for today:
American Staffordshire Terrier 3,681
Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler 3,161
Australian Shepherd 3,443
Beagle - 7,647
Black Lab - 4,624
Border Collie - 4,616
Boxer - 6,124
Chihuahua - 7,552
Dachshund - 3,671
German Shepherd Dog - 7,462
Labrador Retriever - 19,990
Pitbull Terrier - 11,420
Rottweiler 3,568
Shepherd 8,596
Terrier 7,151

Petfinder has a total number of 187,543 dogs available counting all the different breeds listed, not only the ones I mentioned.

Our running tally of these breeds in December was 101,559.
In February our running tally was 98,241 ... That's 3,318 less dogs from Dec to Feb.
Our tally this month is 102,706. In two months, the amount of dogs in rescue has increased by 4,465.

That's unfortunate. The numbers are going way up ... not down. Perhaps a sign of the time of year? Or perhaps a sign of the economic times? Hard to say. Remember, those are only the ones listed on petfinder. There are many more that aren't listed. And the numbers increase with every BYBer, Puppy Mill and Irresponsible Owner who won't spay/neuter.

As long as people are out there volunteering, fostering or working for rescues and as long as there are others adopting then we havn't lost the fight.

The more people that spay and neuter their household pets, the better. Stop the Downpour is Ontario's campaign ... what's the campaign called in your local region? Does your area have one?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

National Volunteer Week and Earth Day

Ok, so Earth Day was yesterday. I admit - I'm a day behind. I still thought it was important to wish all of you a "Happy Earth Day" and ask if anyone was out cleaning up garbage or planting trees??

This week also happens to be National Volunteer Week. I would like to encourage everyone to get out there and dedicate an hour to volunteering at their chosen charity. Maybe you go walk dogs for an hour? Maybe you go stack food containers at your local food bank? Maybe you just sign up for a volunteer orientation session?

Go! Go forth into the world and make it your own.

Was that from a movie or something? It sounds familiar, but I can't think of why ...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First CL, then Kijiji, now OLX?

I received an email a while back asking me to blog about a new online classifieds domain called OLX. If you're interested, there's a news release that tells you all about it, but I'm going to put up some of the important snips below. Under that, I will put my opinion.

100% free (forever) even in jobs and real estate
Ability to include videos and pictures in listings
A city, neighborhood and zip code database so the entire country is covered and not just pre-selected cities
Advanced search functions with sliders allowing searches at variable regional settings
Ability to post listings in any language in any country
Ability to view the site in any country in any language

Ok, there you go. That's what the company want you to hear.


Now here's my 2 cents:

You can search by category or location. I, of course, went straight to the "for sale" section and into the animals. Today there are 14,326 ads in animals for sale on this site in the United States.

I can't help but shudder and think that between Kijiji and OLX, the BYBer doesn't even need to get off their rump to sell those puppies. Sell. Sell. Sell. Money. Money. Money. (Doesn't this make you think: Parvo? Distemper? Worms? or maybe: Giardia? Retinal Atrophy? Hereditary Genetic Disorders? I could go on, but I won't.)

The first puppy post was for some yorkiepoos, but the listing had already been removed when I clicked on it. It had been posted 5 hours before ...

The second puppy post was for an american pitbull terrier puppy with papers. Where are these "papers" from? The ad doesn't say. AKC doesn't recognize the "American Pitbull Terrier" as a breed. I know you can register with UKC as the "APBT" and I have read that there has been criticism with people registering their dogs as APBT with UKC and then turning around and registering the dogs with AKC as American Staffordshire Terriers. Makes you wonder, no? Did I use enough acronyms in this one for you?

I scrolled down through many ads that were similar and found this little gem. Ok hang on a sec let me collect myself before going on ... ahem ... The BYBer in this case has 5 week old puppies they are selling for $200 each. Ok, I have a VERY strong belief that puppies should stay with the litter until they are 10 weeks old. I believe that some very important socialization lessons take place during those first 10 weeks and that there are very few people who are able to take care of a puppy that young properly and teach it the life-skills it will need to be an emotionally stable dog.

Excuse me for one minute - I have to let out some steam before I go on .... *HEADDESK HEADDESK HEADDESK*

I kept looking through the ads and just got more and more depressed. Sorry I can't tell you more about it. If you're interested, check out the website. In my opinion, it's just another BYBer paradise.

I'm sure the designers of this website had all good intentions ... but what is it they say?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Asshat Rant - Craigslist Rehomes

It's been so long since I did one of these posts ... I almost started to feel like the world was filling with more responsible owners. Guess I just haven't had time to look through Craigslist recently. Yep, the asshats are still out there.

The first ad I'd like to take a look at is a 9 month old Red Nose Pit - Free to Good Home. People, please remember when you are writing these ads that if you don't put a rehoming fee, you raise the chances of a broker picking up your dog ... especially if it's a puppy. What kind of person do you really think will come get your free pit bull pup?

That being said, I want to point out the person's reason for getting rid of the dog. Apparently they can't keep her because they have no yard. Seriously? Ok, unless you've moved recently, I doubt your living situation has changed that much. If you did move recently, could you not think up a better excuse? There are many dogs I know living quite comfortably in apartments ... are you just too lazy to walk and exercise your dog? You know that your dog would be perfectly happy with a little crate training, a lot of exercise and a bit of one on one time with you.

I would love to send this guy a note that says: "Congrats, you are the first noteworthy Asshat I found today. You win a prize ... come a little closer so I can smack you upside the head."

I thought I'd find an ad from Baltimore since I featured it as a news reel last week. Here's one that just makes me wonder at the laziness and lack of empathy in people today.

This person who posted the ad featured to the right is trying to give away their 10 year old black lab for free. Ok, there are so many issues with this ad that I don't know where to begin.

You all know my opinion about senior dogs; I don't think owners should rehome their senior animals. Life sucks. Yeah, we know that and everyone in the world has to deal with it. Get over yourself if you think that you're the only one who works long hours and lacks time to spend with family. News flash - your senior dog is slowing down and doesn't have as much energy as he/she used to. Senior animals can be the best companions - did you miss that lesson? They are often just as content to sit with you and watch a movie as they are to go for a long walk (sometimes happier with the movie). After working a 12 hour shift, I know I certainly don't feel like going out for an hour long (+) walk ... I go anyway, but that's because they need me to walk and I need to get off my lazy behind.

So here are the issues with this ad: One, why are you giving away your 10 year old lab? Two, do you know that she probably only has another couple of years in her? How heartless. Three, she's black. Have you ever heard of BDS (Black Dog Syndrome)? I know you didn't mention it in your post, but please don't dump your black lab at the pound/shelter if you aren't able to rehome her - you may as well just euthanize her yourself. Four, if she's so well behaved, why are you giving her away? Five, if you are giving her away for free, who do you really think will pick her up??

Asshat. People dumping their senior dogs infuriate me. Asshat. Asshat. Asshat.

The last ad I chose because I want it to give us hope that even in dire circumstances, there are good dog owners out there! They may be hiding in the guise of Asshats, but I know they exist! They just don't often show their faces on Craigslist ... Ok, I don't think this person is one that I would call a "Good Dog Owner" ... but how about an "Asshat Owner With Potential"?

It is an ad requesting information and help. Ok, so seriously, you are an asshat for not neutering your dog earlier. It not only would have been cheaper, it would have been easier for the dog and he probably wouldn't have been marking in your home.

Yet, we have to remember that even in the face of extreme asshattery, people can change. I'm impressed that when this poster realized the cost to neuter was high, this person actually started looking at different options. They didn't get rid of their dog, they have instead tried to figure out how they can keep their dog, resolve the situation and still make ends meet.

It's like putting a pillow under your head before smashing it on the desk. Hope comes in different shapes and sizes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Aggressive Dog - Part 2 Warnings

There are many people out there who correct a dog when it growls but then don't bother to address the cause (or 'stimuli') of the growling. This was a comment on one of my earlier posts and it's so true. It's frustrating because these people are not addressing the dog's needs, only their own. The problem, as she aptly pointed out, is that when people teach the dog not to growl, many others then aren't able to see warnings the dog gives.

Most people think that dogs growl then bite, so they assume the dog gave no warning if the dog doesn't growl, which often ends the dog up in the shelter.

Every dog gives warnings. Are the people around them aware enough to see the warnings as they come? That is the question. Many dogs that come to me don't growl before biting, but they all give warnings. If you read a dog properly, you can see him become stressed well before he starts growling and you can redirect before a growl even occurs.

If you're always reacting, than you will never be prepared. Note - This is where your redirection and positive reinforcement come in handy.

For some dogs, I go with the "Look" command so she looks at me, click and treat - this encourages the behaviour that she looks at me when said stimuli enters. For some dogs it works very well, for others, not so much. To use this method, you must have an awesome reward (could be meat if food is a motivator; could be tennis ball) and you must already know and be working the dog's thresholds.

The thing with teaching this behaviour is that it depends on the handler a lot - if the handler gets stiff, taught or shows anything other than normalcy when stimuli enters, the dog sees it and reacts. The trick is to teach the dog how to react regardless of what the handler does. Once you have taught the dog how to react with said stimuli, you begin to introduce variables into the situation (example, unknown dogs or strangers or environment change) until the dog knows, without needing your support, how to react. Then you can start relaxing your own behaviour.

Every dog goes through escalation before you even hear a growl. They are stressing before any verbalization. You as the handler must see this escalation and redirect and resolve before an unwanted reaction comes from the dog.

I have found that many people working successfully with rescues do this without even realizing what they are doing.

On the other hand, I have found some people that work with rescues who scare or bully them into giving the desired behaviour. This often gives you the desired behaviour quickly, but teaches the dog to hide its warnings and not to deal with the stress. The scaring and bullying works in that specific instance ... but when said handler is gone, either the new handler continues this bullying or the dog's behaviour then becomes untrustworthy again. (I'm sure many of you could think of someone you know who uses this method?)

Note that if the dog will only perform a certain behaviour when the handler is around, that behaviour becomes dependent on the handler or the handler's behaviour. Then you aren't truly successful with the rehab.

I have met and rehabbed dogs that people say "give no warning" ... I have never met one that actually didn't. All dogs give warning but the people around them don't know how to understand what the dog is saying.

Some warnings I watch for are the eyebrows shift, jaw line change, tail change, muscles tighten, shoulders in and high, back arch. There are many, many more, but these are the easiest to see. Staring, Growling, Barking, Lunging ... all these occur much later at a different threshold and the handler should have already redirected the energy at that point.

What are some of the warnings you watch for or have witnessed?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Featured Rescue - Sweeney the Schnauzer

I think this is the nicest adoption posting I've read for a while. In light of what could be made out to be a disastrous situation, it actually seems more matter-of-fact.

The person who wrote it isn't pushing the "emotions" button and is actually looking on the bright side. I have found that many animal rescue people spin things negatively and it gets a bit depressing. I know why they do it - because it is what motivates them. It just gets tiring.

Anyway, here's Sweeney. He's a 5 year old MN schnauzer. He's currently in Cleveland, OH and is looking for a new home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

News Reel - Higher fines for leash laws

Hey check this one out; it's from the

Dog owners protest higher leash law fines

I stumbled on this article and nearly fell off my chair. Turns out that city officials in Baltimore are receiving flack for raising the fines given to those who walk their dogs without leashes. It sort of goes hand in hand with the blog entry I made on March 21 regarding Seattle Off-Leash Dogs.

News Flash for Dog Owners!

The leash laws are there to protect you, your dogs, other people, children and other dogs. It is also in place to prevent dogs from chasing, catching or killing wildlife and other animals. Stop fighting it! You just show city officials that dog owners are asshats and the rest of us don't want to be grouped in with your crap.

Those of us who are responsible dog owners are always shadowed by those who have to make big deals out of things. Did you asshat-owners ever think that the rest of us are getting tired of paying for your mistakes and your big fat mouth(s)?

I am going to say this slowly ...

If you don't want a fine for having your dog off leash in a controlled area ... DON'T BREAK THE LAW.

It's really very simple.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Training Rant - Volume Control

How many people have heard a dog's handler yelling at the dog with increasing volume? I don't know how many times I've been out with my dogs and see a handler trying to get their dog to "Sit" without success. When the dog doesn't listen the first time, they start making their voice louder and louder.

One of the many things that bothers me about dog handlers is their misunderstanding of volume. I know what you're thinking ... there are many ... many things that bother me but this is one of those things that just makes me cringe.

Have you ever heard the saying "I will talk very slowly because you can't read very fast"? I know it's not exactly right for the situation, but I can't help but think of that whenever I see someone raising their voice at their dog.

Maybe no one ever taught those people the difference between "talking to" and "talking at"? I don't know.

If your dog isn't doing what you ask, that means he or she is ignoring you - not hard of hearing! It also doesn't mean your dog is dumb ... maybe he's smarter than you think? (Or maybe he's simply smarter than you?)

Maybe they should ask themselves "why am I being ignored?" Instead of simply getting mad and showing the people around them (as well as the dog) how completely incompetent and insecure they are.

All I want to do is go up to those people and give them a congratulatory hand-shake for being the biggest asshat I saw that day.

What are some of the circumstances that you have witnessed this sort of 'behaviour'?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I've been tagged

Ok, so I'm quite a bit behind in reading blogs lately. I manage to read everyone's new posts, but don't always have time to go through the old ... the old ones are often just as entertaining as the new! So, I decided to go through two blogs per week ... I don't know if I'll actually get through them all, but I figured a target would be best!

I found a post from Barb who writes a blog called Gone to the Danes. Ok, fine - I admit the post's from January ... I told you all, I'm working through reading all the old stuff! Like I said, I do keep up to date with the new posts (even if I don't comment, I've probably read the post - I really should start posting for each one I read ... I will try to start that this week!).

Anyway, Barb tagged me. I don't always do these things, but I thought "why not?" It's been so serious around here, I tried last week to bring some humour to the blog ... so here's me posting yet another fun entry.

You're supposed to find the sixth picture in the sixth album of my picture folders and post it. Then tag six other blogs after explaining what is in the picture.

Here's my picture. Warning ... some viewers may be disturbed by the graphic nature of this footage ...

This picture was taken during our doggie Festive (Christmas or Yule or Hanukkah or Winter Solstice or Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-It) Party from 2006. Yes, it is the back end of a pug. The pug featured above is enjoying turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots and beans. (Dinner is followed up with a dessert of one metronidazole tab distributed by our friendly vet tech who also attends the party.) Every year we have a party that usually involves many dogs, a big long tiring walk, dog turkey dinner and dog stockings (given out by ... you guessed it, Santa).

Have you ever heard a room full of 25 dogs who just saw Santa? Can you guess what they have to say?

Anyway, I'm supposed to tag six other bloggers so they can post their picture too. I chose six out of the people who have commented here on this blog in April so far. There are many people who have commented so far this month, but these were the first ones I found when clicking through my posts looking for bloggers. I'll have to send a comment to each of these to let them know they've been tagged ... hey, that could be the beginning of my commenting for each entry I read, eh?!

Norwood Unleashed

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups - March

Well, here's the Featured Rescue Followups for March and all those that weren't adopted from previous months. I'm not posting the pictures this month because it is so difficult to make them line up properly and I don't have time to do it. Sorry. If you want to see the pics of these guys, feel free to go to their original entry.

There are many that weren't adopted this month. Shelters and rescues see a fluctuation of adoptions throughout the year and the month of March is no exception. Starting the week of March Break, you will find that adoptions trickle to nearly a standstill. It will start to speed up again around mid-April (now) and by end of May and June it is rolling again.

Kobe Swims the "Rottweiler" mix
Status: NOT adopted
Featured on December 5, 2008
Follow link here to see blog entry

Tahne the Cocker Spaniel
Status: On a Home Visit!Featured on December 13, 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

Sly the Boxer
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on February 6, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Apollo the Dalmation
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on February 24, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Molly the American Bulldog
Status: Adopted
Featured on March 3, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Gatsby the Portugese Water Dog
Status: Adopted
Featured on March 6, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Molly the Basset Hound
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on March 12, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Jack the Jack Russell Terrier (JRT)
Status: Adopted
Featured on March 16, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Millie the Rottweiler
Status: Adopted
Featured on March 20, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Corrine the Chow Chow
Status: Listing Removed - Assumed Adopted
Featured on March 26, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

Cody the Akita
Status: Not Adopted
Featured on March 29, 2009
Follow link here to see blog entry

As always, if any of you can open your home to a rescue dog, I urge you to do so. If you have already done so, than that's great! If you aren't able to adopt, why not foster? Most shelters/rescues will pay the vet bills and many will supply food so all you need to do is offer a home and some lovin'!

The numbers in rescue are increasing drastically. This may be a reflection of the economic problems, or of other causes.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ancient Breeds

You may have noticed that on my featured rescue post for Rusty the Shar Pei, it said that the Shar Pei is "an ancient breed that is usually aloof and standoffish with strangers, but devoted to his family". I also mentioned it in the post about Cody the Akita: "Recent DNA analysis found that the Akita was among the most ancient dog breeds". I don't know if anyone caught that or not.

I did some digging two weeks ago when I ran into a similar sentence in a book I'm reading. It also mentioned "ancient breeds".

I thought I would share what I have found with all of you. Check this wiki page out that talks about ancient breeds. Here are a few clips:

"Fourteen ancient breeds of dog have recently been identified through advances in DNA analysis. These breeds of domesticated dog show the fewest genetic differences from wolves."

"DNA from dogs of 85 AKC-registered breeds (5 individuals per breed in most cases) were tested by Parker et al.[1] This study had some surprises, especially the suggestion that three breeds – the Norwegian Elkhound, Pharaoh Hound and Ibizan Hound – are not as old as typically stated, but rather are more recent recreations of old types"

"Also, as there are some 400 known dog breeds (of which the AKC recognizes 166), it is possible that an extended study would reveal additional ancient breeds."

I'm glad they mentioned that an extended study would reveal additional ancient breeds.

The 14 dog breeds recognized are:
Afghan Hound
Chow Chow
Lhasa Apso
Shar Pei
Shih Tzu
Tibetan Terrier
Akita Inu
Shiba Inu
Siberian Husky
Alaskan Malamute

Anyway, I thought this an interesting bit of information so I figured I'd share.

I wonder if this would have any affect on the dogs' instincts? Or if it would change any of the motivators one would normally use for training? Interesting questions, but some that I can't answer ...

Post Exchange - Havaheart Deer Off

Here I go again with a post exchange ... I'm trying to be pretty picky about these things and only posting the ones I think are worth while doing. This time I'm featuring "Deer Off" which is a product made by the company Havaheart. Let me tell you a story first ...

Two years ago my sister called me up and told me she planted a garden. This was her very first garden ever and she was trying really hard to make it work. She planted all her favourite vegetables; peas, beans, tomatoes, corn ... the list goes on. I was actually quite impressed at how large her garden was (for a first time gardener). She was so excited. She called every week for an update so we knew that she was watering every other day, we knew when she saw some little shoots coming up and oh, they are peas. She told us about how she had to weed and were these weeds or veggie plants?

Then, the worst happened - I'm sure you can guess! Yep, you got it. When her pea plants were around six inches tall, the deer found them! They jumped the fence she had put around her garden (big, ugly orange safety fencing) and had eaten her plants! All that was left were short little stems coming out of the ground. She was so sad and so disappointed.

She hasn't planted a garden since. I am wondering if this Deer Off product would help her? I will have to let her know about it. She can go to this website here to find out more details about how deer repellants like this work and why they are effective. There are also resources found here about deer and different methods to control them.

Please remember that I don't encourage anyone to use any methods that would harm the deer or any methods that may be considered cruel. This is why I will be encouraging my sister to use products that are simply designed to encourage the deer to look elsewhere for their food.

You will notice that on the product page here you can find many deer repellants. Many are simply bad smelling products that won't harm you or your animals. There are organic-compliant products on there as well if you are looking to reduce toxins in the soil of your garden.

Keep in mind that if you choose to use the infra-red, motion activated sprayer you should turn it off when you go to weed your garden!

I wonder if this product would also help keep dogs out of the garden??

Monday, April 13, 2009

News Reel - Chase down suspect

This is really quite a sad story. Highly decorated US navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, was given a dog when he returned from Afghanistan to "help him heal". When he found his dog shot dead outside his home, he helped police capture the suspects after a high-speed chase through three counties!

Texas war hero helps chase down suspects for police after his dog is shot

Here's a quote that I particularly like:

"Luttrell [war hero owner] tells the Houston Chronicle that he warned the 911 operator to "get somebody out here because if I catch them I'm going to kill them.""

I wonder what he did to the guys when he did catch them ... they don't say in the article. Hate to say it, but I hope he beat the living daylights out of them ... is that sadistic? Sorry - guess I've had a rough few weeks.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Asshat Rant - Recent Experience with Breed Rescue

Please note that not all breed rescues do what I am about to tell you (at least ... I sure as hell hope they don't). I know of two breed rescues in Ontario that I would confidently send a dog to, so they at least are exempt from the "asshat" label.

Here's a bit of background:
I was made aware of a dog recently that bit someone. The bite was severe - the guy had to go to hospital and get stitches to his face. He was unable to eat solids for a few days and was on pain meds for a week.

When the guy went to hospital but he didn't tell them what happened so the bite went unrecorded. The dog was unofficially quarantined. While the dog was in quarantine, no one was willing to take on the logistics for this dog, so I did. We began looking at the dog's options.

We couldn't leave the dog where it was because the handler would be that same guy who was bitten. Normal foster homes are not able to deal with this sort of behaviour. I already have one foster at home and try to limit to one at a time (at least until I've finished building my kennels).

What to do? We didn't want to euthanize (I believe the fault lay with the handler not the dog), so we contacted breed rescue.

Luck! They were willing to take the dog even though they knew he bit someone. Too bad they treated me like I was a complete moron. Was it because I was sending the dog through rescue? Get off your high-horse ... aren't we supposed to be in this together? Stop looking down your nose at me and open your eyes to the real world - if you take this one, I can take the one you won't.

After all sorts of craziness (and 5+ weeks of crap), I finally took the dog to meet their foster home (they wouldn't even come get the dog so I had to drive 1.5 hours to deliver ... WTF?!). When speaking with the guy, I found out that the breed rescue had neglected to tell him that the dog bit someone!

For shame. Breed Rescue, you FAIL

This is exactly why people don't foster. If you can't even be honest with your foster homes ... well, that's just wrong. Prep your own people and protect them. Asshat.

It has nothing to do with whether or not the bite was the dog's fault. It has to do with keeping your people safe. If you lie to them, why would they ever trust you and why should they continue to foster dogs for you?

If you thought that was bad ... wait till I tell you the rest!!
The rescue had asked that I arrange neuter and vaccinations, so I did. They didn't set any guidelines. They were supposed to pay the bill. They were upset that the cost was so high and complained loudly - not my fault, we pay a vet clinic ... what the heck am I supposed to do about it? They refused to pay and asked to speak with the clinic directly. Ok, fine.
I was not supposed to let the dog go without taking money to cover the vet bills - which I explained to my contact with the breed rescue - but I let the dog go anyway because I felt guilty that the foster home had rented a car to meet me. Bad idea ... I will never again do this. If I have to pay for that bill I will be so spitting mad ... I don't think I would be able to contain myself.

I found out the rescue advertised him well before they even had him ... I hear they've already adopted him to someone ... Do the adopters know he has bitten and sent someone to hospital?

That was some impressively fast turnaround ... they didn't even train him or work him, in any way, shape, or form. They just took him and turned him around at a profit. Not to mention that I have been on the phone all bloody week trying to get the money out of them - what a waste of my time. I do work a full time job ... this is simply my volunteer gig. Asshat. Now I have to waste my break time and lunch time to deal with your sorryass?
Holy Crap, I could have done the same thing in our own area and we would have required him to take training with a local trainer. Did they bother with any restrictions like that in the adoption contract? I don't know.

If I had known they would have done this, I would NEVER have sent him to said rescue.

Don't expect me to send another dog through this breed rescue. I will deal with the dog myself even if I have to board the dog out of my own pocket while it waits for space in my home. I have spent the last 5 weeks now working with these people and it was supposed to be a simple surrender! Not to mention that if I have to pay for the vet bills (which I could have got at a cheaper price with my own vet on my own account) it will cost more than the difference for boarding would have!!
That is absolutely disgusting and it makes me sick. If that dog bites someone and it is euthanized ... I don't know if I could be more furious than I am right now, but I bet it's possible. Try me.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dogs Deserve Freedom - say what?

I've had quite a few people email and ask me what I mean by the statement Dogs Deserve Freedom. I keep emailing them back and explaining to them what I mean, but I thought maybe I'd post a blog entry about it. When I first started this blog, I wrote an introduction entry that explained some of my beliefs. If you haven't read it, I encourage you to do so now.

Every day, my opinions are refined regarding dog training, techniques, owners, breeding and other dog related "things". Most people I know couldn't be bothered to actually listen to my answers ... what can ya do ... I have a lot to say, I am opinionated and I'm a bit long-winded. Too bad. So sad. So I started this blog because otherwise I would explode at everyone around me when they are being dumb with their dogs. This is how I found a way to deal with it.

What do I mean by "Freedom" and why do I think that Dogs Deserve it? Every time someone emails me about this, I get the "are you some crazy animal advocate who thinks people shouldn't keep dogs as pets because they aren't 'free'?"

Here are the answers to this question. No. That's not what I mean by "Freedom". Yes. According to some, I am crazy. No. I don't think dogs should be running around willy-nilly. Yes. I could be defined as an animal advocate. No. I don't have a problem with people keeping dogs as pets. Yes. I have a problem with most people.

Everyone has to learn how to adapt and live in this world - human, dog, etc. Here in Canada, there are 12 years of school that humans are expected to take to learn how to deal with this world we live in. We expect dogs to learn the same life-lessons in much less time. We live in a modern world and like it or not, dogs do too.

- freedom to live without the need for crates, leashes and other training 'tools'
- freedom to live without fear and anxiety
- freedom to be outside without the need for fences or other containment items
- freedom to interact and play with animals, children, adults, etc without the impulse or need to bully or do harm
- freedom to be a valued member of a family enjoying the love and companionship freely given within the boundaries of this relationship
I don't know how better to explain than that. In my first post I explained that in some countries in Europe, dogs are often found in places like restaurants. They are under the tables, not bothering anyone, not sniffing the dog at the next table, not getting underfoot for the servers and not begging for food. How many dogs could do that in North America? It was just an example, but the best one I could think of because it is something that doesn't exist here often.

I think owners should know exactly what their dog will do in any situation because they are always under control (yes, even when they are tear-assing around the fields being crazy-silly-wild-puppies-woohoo, the situation can still be controlled). I think that if there is a situation that the dog does not know how to deal with, he should be trained to return to the handler immediately without the handler needing to recall.

I think people shouldn't breed their dogs just because it's "so darn't kyoot" or because it is a certain breed. Dogs that are bred purposefully should be purebred and registered with AKC (American Kennel Club) or CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) and there should be a need for said dogs - not an oversatuation of the breed in the shelters or rescue. We have far too many mutts out there that are accidents so don't do it on purpose!
I don't believe that deep down, all dogs have the desire to be parents; that is a human feeling that people put onto animals (again with the anthropomorphism!). I have heard far too many people say this.
I think if a dog is to be bred, they should earn it. Breeding should be a privilege, not a right ... then again, there are a lot of humans I could say the same thing about ... some ... just ... shouldn't ... reproduce ... hmmm ... maybe I should just stop now before I get myself into trouble.

It all comes down to the owner. Everything is the owners' job ... to ensure their dog is safe at all times ... to ensure that their dogs are neutered if they are not "breeding material" (if they are bred than owners should provide all that is necessary to ensure the safest possible delivery) ... to ensure their dog receives the proper training and education ... to provide stimulation for the dog to keep it happy (yes, that could be a Job such as service dog or it could simply be another form of entertainment) ... to provide companionship, direction, discipline and love.
All owners should provide their dogs with the ability to have the freedom he or she deserves. This is what I mean by Dogs Deserve Freedom.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Laughter Heals - Mutts

It's been so serious around this blog lately! So, given everything that's happened this week and considering the time of year, I thought I would share one of my favourite comic strips with you. I'm sure some of you have probably read it - it's called Mutts.

Here's one of the recent strip clips that seemed rather fitting for this week.

(I do hope the good folks at Mutts don't come and get cranked with me about copyright infringement ... I am plugging their strip ...)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Training Tools - Leash

It's been a long time since I've posted a Training Tools entry. The last one was about the Prong Collar on December 6. Since it has been so long, I thought I'd remind everyone that Training Tools are just that - a means or "tool" to help you help you teach your dog how to obtain the ultimate goal ... Freedom. You need to train your dog so that you can trust exactly what it will do in any situation. So, today I thought I'd blog about the Leash.

The leash is something that a lot of people forget to consider as a "Tool". They see it as a necessity and something they use every day, but not as a stepping stone to further their dog's education.

The leash is just that. A tool. You use it to train your dog how you would like them to walk with you. You should use your daily walks as an opportunity to teach. It's not only a time for Fido to use the "facilities" so to speak and burn off a bit of energy. What a great opportunity that so many people pass by without blinking.

Why is this so difficult for most dog owners out there?? The first thing you do is teach them to walk with a loose leash. When you have that, you teach them how to Heel. When they can do both these things without you holding on to the leash, you remove the leash and teach them how to do the same exercise without a leash.

The best advice I have ever heard regarding teaching a Heel was this; Talk to your dog! If you were walking with a person and they never spoke to you, how boring would that be? Or how would it feel if they only spoke when you did something wrong?

In my opinion you shouldn't need a leash to walk your dog. Your dog should want to walk with you. I don't mean tearing around off leash and recalling when you call - that's a different and equally important behaviour. I mean properly walking with you as though the leash really were there even if it's not.

As is the case with all training tools, the leash is only a tool and another step towards the ultimate gift an owner can give a dog - Freedom.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Featured Rescue - Rusty the Shar Pei

According to the AKC, the Shar Pei "is an ancient breed that is usually aloof and standoffish with strangers, but devoted to his family". I have found that this breed is often mis-understood more often than not.
This is Rusty. He's a young male Shar Pei located in LaSalle, MI and he's looking for a new home. There are currently 1,594 Shar Peis listed for adoption on Petfinder.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Protect Your Dog - Poison

As we all know, the only person in this world who will help you is you, and likewise ... the only one who will help your dog is you. You are your dog's first line of defense against the world.

Have you guys all seen that commercial with the baby in a bubble because mama doesn't want her to get dirty? Unless you want your dog to live in a similar bubble, you need to provide the proper defenses to your canine companions so that they can be safe and sound in the world.

Something that has been in the news recently are people leaving poison out for dogs to find. See my earlier blog about this. So, how do you protect your dogs from poison?

Check out these articles, you may find them useful. They are all very important and you should read through them carefully.

Protect your pet from poison

Poison Proofing Your Dog

Food Refusal

Food Refusal Training

In my area, I don't often run into piles of poisoned food left for my dogs. What I usually run into is a rat or mouse that has been poisoned by a local farmer (we don't use poison here for two reasons; one the dogs may find it and two ... poison is a terrible way to die and I won't inflict it on any animal.) Since I don't want the dogs eating a dead / dying rat filled with poison, we use the following things to prepare for the possibility of poisoning:

1. Vet Clinic on speed dial #1; vet emerg clinic on speed dial #2

2. Learn how to induce vomiting so you can begin treatment at home (I'm 20 to 45 minutes drive away from a vet so I need to know what to do when every minute counts)

3. Teach Food Refusal (yes, it takes a long time, but it is so worth it!)

4. If food refusal training is not perfect, watch your dog and monitor what it puts into its mouth

5. Teach your dog a "Stop and Drop" command that is only used in emergencies (I usually call this the Stop Drop and Roll because it reminds me too much of fire safety training).

The most important thing? Training. Training. Training. On your part and your dog's. There will always be curveballs in life that are thrown to dog owners. The best thing you can do is train your dog to be prepared for them. In doing so, you also teach yourself how to deal with these sorts of things.

We can't always prevent the poison from being left, but we can prevent our dogs from eating it and also be prepared with an action plan just in case the dogs do help themselves.

Does anyone have any other pointers they'd like to add?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Post Exchange - We Don't Rent Puppies

Today's post exchange is brought to you by ... Calsidyrose. Thanks Calsidyrose for exchanging posts with me!

I'm going to tell you about a blog called We Don't Rent Puppies. This is written by Calsidyrose who is a volunteer adoption coordinator for dog rescue in South Texas and Southeast Louisiana. We Don't Rent Puppies is about her experiences with rescue and other related things. I like to check out this blog when I have the time as it is from a fellow rescuer trying to make a difference in their corner of the world. It is a relatively new blog with the potential to be great! I really look forward to reading new posts and reminding myself that we are not alone ...

There are some great posts in this blog and I strongly encourage you all to check it out!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Asshat Rant - Shooting the Neighbours Dog

I often hear about people shooting the neighbour's dog and I blogged about a civil case revolving around it earlier this week. Blogging about this case made me think about how often this happens in my neighbourhood.

I would like to state for the record that this happens here all the time. In my neighbourhood we see approximately one per year. I would assume it happens often in other places too.

If the dog is on property and harassing someone's livestock, than it is legal to kill it. Period. In Ontario, the police can't really do much about it if the person admits to shooting the dog and claims they were founded in doing so.

It is an unfortunate truth. Even a small sized dog can cause big problems on a farm. Whether it is a Mastiff or a Chihuahua, to a cow or sheep, the smell is the same - predator, carnivore, danger, run! When the livestock run, the dog thinks it's a great game and begins the chase. I've not met any dog whose instints don't kick in at that point regardless of their size/breed. When livestock run, they get hurt. Sometimes they run into things they wouldn't normally go near. Sometimes the dog catches them and kills or injures them. I've seen pregnant ewes throw their lambs months early thanks to being chased by dogs. The lamb always dies. Sometimes the ewe does too.

What do I think? I've seen what dog kills can do on a farm ... and let me say, it's not pretty. Dogs don't kill for food; dogs kill for fun or 'sport'. It is not a good way to die.

The provincial Livestock, Poultry and Honey Bee Protection Act reads:

s.2 Any person may kill a dog,

(a) that is found killing or injuring livestock or poultry;
(b) Repealed: 2002, c. 17, Sched. F, Table.;
(c) that is found straying at any time, and not underproper control, upon premises where livestock or poultry are habitually kept.

It is the dog owner's responsibility to keep your dog under control. Stop making excuses for your short comings. If you can't be bothered to manage your dog, then why do you have a dog?

I meet far too many people who move out to the country, then let their dog loose to wander all over hell's half acre. When their dog doesn't come home one day and they find out their neighbour shot it or it ate poisoned dog food in the neighbour's sheep field, they get angry and call the authorities. When the police get there and the farmer says the dog was in the fields, the police shake the man's hand, apologize for bothering him, thank him for his time and write off the case as a nuisance call.

Then the people who lost their dog are upset that the police didn't do their job? Uh ... Hello? Earth to Asshat? You, the owner, are the one at fault here. The police are doing their jobs whether you like it or not. Your dogs are illegally trespassing onto someone else's land and harassing the livestock (well, at least that's how it looks).

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Monthly Followup March

March followup


Beware of the Dog

On March 2, I posted a blog entry called "Beware of the Dog". It was about a children's game that I found while wandering through the toys section in a department store that I was rather upset about. I told you all I'd let you know what happens when I approach the store (after I stopped ranting enough to put together a sentence without swearing).

I went into the store and asked to speak with a manager regarding a problem. When I finally found the right person to speak with regarding this issue, I was told that I would need to submit a written letter to them in complaint before they could consider removing said item from the shelf. This of course did not impress me in the slightest.

I have submitted my letter but have not heard anything hopeful. I will keep you in the loop if anything changes.


Top Comments

I was thinking about how to encourage people to post their opinion and comments (I know you all have them and would love for you to share!). There are so many people who leave comments regularly, and I would like to thank you all for your readership and continuing support.

I would like to point out and thank the person who has commented the most this month by posting a shameless plug for her blog. The person I'm singling out is GoLightly. Please note that GoLightly has two blogs, GoLightly - Fiction and GoLightly Fiction, BeginningToEnd. Take some time in the next day or two to swing by and drop her a line!

As always, I look forward to reading everyone's comments and will be eagerly awaiting them during the month of April!


Foster updates

Thought I'd put up a quick update on the foster(s). I know a few of you out there are interested, so I thought I'd keep you up to speed.

GSD pup is doing well. Dog aggression is mostly gone and fear of humans getting better. No weight gain - can still see her bones through the long coat ... Found out we have quite an infestation of ringworm. That's fun. She still doesn't like to be touched, but she's learning. At least she's not trying to bite humans anymore. Small blessings, eh?

Biter is with us now. After assessing him, it seems that he simply has some self control issues. He has one bite under his belt that sent someone to hospital (face bite) for stitches. Really his only problem is that he's jumpy and mouthy - a bad and sometimes dangerous combination. A bit of food aggression, but nothing that can't be worked through. I won't be keeping him for his rehab - he's going to a rescue where he will be fostered, retrained and adopted out. I try to foster the ones no one else will take and if a rescue is willing to take him, than that opens up a space for one more here. He'll only be with us for a few more days.


Change Your World Challenge

I wrote a blog entry on March 6 and gave you a Challenge. Said challenge was asking you to do one thing during the month of March to change your corner of the world.

Did you do it? If you did, what did you do to change your corner?


Followers and BlogRoll

I want to let you know that I decided to add a link in my blogroll to any animal related blog that is written by one of my followers. Thought it might be a nice courtesy. If you want to add a link on your blog directing people here, feel free to do so. I don't know how long I'll be able to do this since it may slow down pageload time. If it starts to slow it down too much, I'll have to stop and pull any blogs that haven't been updated for long periods of time (I will assume they are no longer in use). If it is still too slow and this doesn't resolve the issues, I will change it so that a limited amount will be shown which means that only the blogs that have recent posts will be displayed. We'll see which works best.

Friday, April 3, 2009

News Reel - Ontario dogs poisoned

Well, I live in Ontario, so it's no surprise that I'm more aware of what is happening in the news here than in other provinces or states. Sorry. If there is a news story you know about that I should post, please feel free to let me know.

Recently there have been dog poisonings and dog owners are told to be on the lookout. I can't even begin to tell you all what I think of the people who leave the poison in parks. Asshat doesn't cover it.

March 24, 2009 ~ (Port Perry)
3 dogs sickened by poisoned cupcakes left in park in Ont. town
Tainted baked goods poison Ontario dogs

March 27, 2009 ~ (Whitby)
Dog poisoned in Whitby park

March 31, 2009 ~ (Oakville)
Oakville parks reopen after poison scare

Ok, so the last one wasn't really poison. It actually was flour that some group had put down on the ground to mark out a running path. It did make a dog sick though.

And the first one - well, apparantly police are actually thinking the cupcakes were left for children and not dogs. Doesn't that make you shudder? One news anchor asked the question why would someone go to all the trouble to make cupcakes for dogs? Dogs don't care what it looks like - so long as it tastes good.

I have a few questions ... they may seem basic, but I have to ask ...

Why are the dogs allowed to eat these things? What in the world is the owner doing when their dog is eating these piles of flour or poisoned cupcakes?? Cloudwatching? Lollygagging? Singing and dancing? Tra-la-la-la-la?

From what I can tell, these dogs did NOT eat said poisons while in a dog park. It just says park. Is the dog not properly contained on a leash if it is not a dog park? If it is on a leash, why are you allowing the dogs to eat anything when it is on leash??

One of the most important things I teach a dog is that they are not allowed to eat anything when they are on a leash. That has saved many a pizza crust in the park. Perhaps other dog owners might want to "take up the torch" to teach this behaviour to their dogs?

I'm probably asking too much - many owners can't even bother with basic obedience.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Featured Rescue - Sebastian the Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog or "Sheltie" looks very much like a collie that drank some sort of shrinking juice. Being a working dog, owners or potential owners should expect them to be energetic guys. I haven't met many, but have heard they do well in events such as agility and herding. Check out the AKC breed standards page for more details about this dynamic breed.

This is Sebastian. He is 11 years young. Yet another statistic caused by the downfalling economy - at least, according to the previous owner who surrendered him. The previous owner didn't neuter him ... I wonder how many puppies out there are his? I won't get into it - it's not his fault his owners were asshats. Anyway, if you're interested, he's located in Rives Junction, MI at Michigan Sheltie Rescue. He looks like a real nice old guy.

There are currently 1,021 Shetland Sheepdogs available for adoption on today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mail Bag - Alabama man accused of dog killings

Well, I got the following in my email this week so I thought I'd pass it on. I'll usually blog about a topic if you send it to me, so feel free to do so. The more details you send as well as a blurb about why you would like me to post it, the better. (Otherwise I sit and look at the email and think ... Uh ... what 'dis, George?)

Below is a case regarding a neighbour shooting someones pet dog. From what I can see in the below case, there doesn't seem to be much proof that this was definitely the guy who shot the dog (which may also accord for the lack of movement on the police side of things). There seems to be a lot of finger pointing going on, but no one is bothering to provide any proof that this guy is actually the one killing dogs.

I'm going to blog a little later on this week about this sort of thing because it has brought up some interesting thoughts I'd like to share (but I don't want this to become a ridiculously long post!)

The best thing the common dog owner can do? Two things; one, train your dog not to go off property or get a fence or find some other way to contain the dog; two, recall recall recall! If you don't understand these two things, please review this post I made back in October. If you have neighbours like the below accused, don't let your dog out without supervision even if you do have a fence. Ever.


April 7 Court Date for Man Accused of Killing Neighbor's Basset Hound

On Tuesday, April 7, Christopher Dewayne Delawder of Odenville, Alabama will be brought before St. Clair County Civil Court in Ashville, Alabama on the felony animal cruelty charges after being accused of killing "Babyboy," a 14-month-old Basset Hound belonging to his neighbor, Terri L. Davis.

Delawder, 28, initially denied to police that he had shot the dog, only to confess a few hours later after contacting a lawyer. He claims to have shot Babyboy because the dog had wandered onto his property and in his opinion posed a threat to his pet cats.

On June 28, 2008, a neighbor went to Ms. Davis' house to tell her that Babyboy was laying in the road, injured. Babyboy, a docile dog, who was usually kept inside Ms. Davis' house, had gotten loose from the back yard and wandered down the street.

Ms. Davis lives four houses down from Delawder. By the time she reached her dog, he was dead, but he had lived for at least five agonizing minutes after being shot in the spine. The veterinarian who performed the autopsy on Babyboy said that the nature of his injury was such that he would've been unable to walk after being shot. Babyboy was found heading towards Ms. Davis' home, 40 feet away from Mr. Delawder's driveway and off his property.

While no one witnessed the shooting, a large crowd of neighbors, many of them children, witnessed the dog's convulsive dying minutes. Delawder, who at the time claimed not to know what had happened, offered to get his gun from his home and "put the dog out of its misery." Neighbors were struck by Delawder's lack of emotion during the incident.

Ms. Davis was so traumatized by finding her dog shot dead that she went into shock and required care from EMS on the scene. Her daughters, Rebecca, now 13, and Courtney, now 14, were also scarred by the loss of their beloved pet and family member.

The local law enforcement and legal system proved of little help. Police confiscated Delawder's gun but did not arrest him. Davis says that the District Attorney seemed in no hurry to investigate her case. She was not allowed to give her side of the story to the DA until September 4, 2008, over two months after Babyboy's death. The DA declined to pursue a criminal action on the grounds of a lack of witnesses.

Ms. Davis was seriously ill from October through December, but filed a civil suit in December. Officials with St. Clair County briefly lost the paperwork.

As there has never been a jury trial held in Odenville, the case will be heard in the county seat of Ashville.

Several people have reported and are willing to testify in court that at least 12 of their dogs have been stolen, injured, or killed during the seven year period Delawder has lived in their neighborhood. Ms. Davis recently found a stray puppy poisoned and dead on her property.

During a verbal altercation with a neighbor Delawder threatened to kill the man's pets. Some time afterward the man snooped around Delawder's property and found a mixture of dog food and ground-up glass, though he did not at the time report this to the authorities.

On a different occasion another neighbor contacted police after an autopsy proved that their dog died after ingesting a dog food and glass mixture.

Ms. Davis states that she has never had any conflict with Delawder and that their contacts have always been civil.

Ms. Davis can provide the names of witnesses and other parties listed in this report.

Ms. Davis currently does not have an attorney. She and her friends are trying to generate local, national, and international interest in the press about the case.

For more information e-mail Terri L. Williams Davis at


Terri's Facebook page, with pictures of Babyboy before and after the shooting:

Watch Terri's YouTube video:

Terri's Myspace page:

Terri's blog for the Babyboy case: