Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Featured Rescue - Roxy the Redbone Coonhound

Yesterday I featured the Bavarian Mountain Hound on my Guess the Breed post. Unfortunately, after a bit of searching, I was unable to come up with a rescue that actually listed any available dogs. There are rescues out there, but the ones I found don't actively advertise their available dogs on the internet (which is a good thing). Anyway, to make a long story short, I decided to feature a different scent hound for today's featured rescue.

This is Roxy. She is a 10 month old Redbone Coonhound who has had a hard life so far. To quote from her ad "She was left behind by her original owner when she moved. Then she was hit by a car and suffered nerve damage to her Left front leg which then had to be removed. She was adopted by a family and had settled in but then they decided that she was to much for them to handle and they brought her back."

Three legged dogs can be just as active as four legged dogs. Losing a front leg doesn't slow many dogs down. Roxy needs some obedience training and daily exercise. She is currently located in Wellsboro, PA at Wellsboro Veterinary Hospital.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guess The Breed # 11

Alright ladies and gents ... it's been a while since I posted and for that I apologize. In light of this, I think I found a nice, difficult Guess The Breed for you all. I hope this one makes you think hard!

Can you guess the breed? I'm hoping this one makes you think!

Ready? Set? GO!

Please remember the golden rules ...

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

As followup for Guess the Breed # 10, GoLightly guessed rightly with Maremma. GoLightly writes two blogs; GoLightly - Fiction and GoLightly Fiction, BeginningToEnd

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Post Exchange - Happy Tails Books

The publisher for Happy Tails Books, Kyla Duffy, emailed me and asked if I would spread the word about a new series.

Happy Tails Books give proud owners of adopted dogs a chance to showcase them, raise awareness about dog adoption and breed characteristics, and generate funding for dog rescue through the donation of a portion of each sale. “Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspirational Stories of Adopted Boston Terriers”, "Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories about Dachshunds" and "Lost Souls: FOUND! Inspiring Stories About Golden Retrievers" are already available on

In the next few years they will be publishing books about other breeds.

A portion of the proceeds from the sales of each book is donated to breed rescue. To see a list of the rescues supported by this organization, check out this link here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Email - Until one has loved an animal

I got this in my email. I enjoyed it and thought I'd share ...

Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened'

If I Didn't Have a Dog... Or Cat......I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety. My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated. All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture & cars would be free of hair.
When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel. When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there. I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I wanted, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable. I would have money, & no guilt to go on a real vacation. I would not be on a first-name basis with numerous veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids through college. The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, & leave him/her/it ALONE. My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers. My house would not look like a day care center, with toys everywhere. My pockets would not contain things like poop bags, treats and an extra leash. I would no longer have to spell the words B-A-L-L, F-R-I-S-B-E-E, W-A-L-K, T-R-E-A-T, R-I-D-E, GO I would not have as many leaves INSIDE my house as outside. I would not look strangely at people who think having ONE dog/cat ties them down too much. I'd look forward to spring and the rainy season instead of dreading 'mud' season. I would not have to answer the question 'Why do you have so many animals?' from people who will never have the joy in their lives of knowing they are loved unconditionally by someone as close to an angel as they will ever get.
How EMPTY my life would be!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Featured Rescue - Junie B the Pit Bull Terrier

There are currently over 12,000 dogs listed as Pit Bull Terrier on Most are looking for homes. It's no secret that this is a breed that is more difficult to find homes for than others. It is a breed that has been surrounded with controversy and rumours for years. Regardless of the truth, I doubt that will change any time soon. There are many advocacy groups that try to educate the populace, but it is difficult to change the minds of many. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try!

When I ran across the picture of Junie B I thought I really should post this gal. What a great picture! Junie is a Parvo survivor. At 6 weeks old she began the biggest battle of her life - and she won. Talk about tenacity! If you are in the Rochester, NY area and are looking for a pup, check out Junie B!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

News Reel - Pit Bull Group: Vick Declines

Every time I run across another Vick story I shake my head. There's a country song that reminds me of Mike Vick by Brad Paisley called "Celebrity" (in fact, it reminds me of a lot of "celebrities" but that's beside the point). Here are a few lines from the song:

"I'll get community service no matter which law I break
I'll make the supermarket tabloids, they'll write some awful stuff
But the more they run my name down the more my price goes up"

Doesn't that sound like the Vick case? On October 15, 2009 the following story was printed on ...

Pit Bull Group: Vick Declined To See His Former Dogs

Now, why would they even offer to do this? "Come look at the dogs you used to fight through a window so we can write some more crap about you. Tempt fate so that someone could walk a dog close enough to you that they can claim you violated your parole." How dumb is that?

Much as I hate to admit this, Vick was smart not to go. If he did, what would they write? That he looked remorseful? Indifferent? Does it really matter? They would write whatever they wanted no matter what he did.

THAT goes to show us that this story has been taken too far. Perhaps I am too cynical? Possibly I should give the benefit of the doubt? To whom?

Now, I dislike the things that Vick did just as much as the next person. I could probably extend that statement as far as to say that I dislike Vick and would chase him off my property with a shotgun in hand. That doesn't mean I would set him up like that. I do have some EMPATHY for other human beings (not a lot, but some).

Some would say that they were just trying to do a nice thing. I don't believe it. If they weren't trying to set him up than why would they contact the media to let everyone know that Vick denied the opportunity? Why wouldn't they keep it quiet?

"Celebrity" goes both ways on this. How many donations do you think the group BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls) receives every time their name is in the papers?? How many adoption applications?

If there is one thing I have learned about volunteering with a charitable organization is that every time there is an article in the newspaper about the org, donations come rolling in.

So ... what do you think about all this?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Guess the Breed #10

I found this gorgeous picture and thought I HAD to share! Isn't he lovely?

Here are your hints ... He is purebred. This is posted from a breeder's website (I will link the picture to the site after you've all had the opportunity to guess the breed). The dogs owned by this breeder have won Best Of Breed in some shows (no, I'm not telling you which shows - that would be cheating!).

Can you guess the breed? I'm hoping this one makes you think!

Ready? Set? GO!

Please remember the golden rules ...

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

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Featured Rescue - Blade the Doberman Pinscher

The majority of Doberman Pinschers that I have met have been calm and laid back. I have found that even the untrained ones I have run across are pretty calm under it all; just excitable when in an environment that is different.

Today's featured rescue is Blade who is a laid back 9 year old guy. He is a courtesy post from a shelter. I Googled the phone number and it is the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA. Let's hope this calm guy who "likes to watch movies" is adopted before his time runs out.

If you are interested in him, note that he has a number assigned to him, not a name, at the shelter. The petfinder ad asks you to refer to the number. It's too bad someone couldn't pull him out and keep him till he finds the right home to spend his remaining days in.

Under it all ... I've known Dobermans who seem to be excitable at first glance until they've started learning some life-skills (the blank-slate dog), but after you've worked with them a little (and I mean LITTLE) and they build up some self-control and self-discipline, they are pretty calm dogs.

Does anyone have experience with a Doberman that contradicts this calm, laid back attitude? (I don't mean puppy - most puppies contradict the calm and laid back attitude!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Post Exchange - Hallowe'en Dog Stencils

This is TOO COOL!

You love dogs, right? Most of us love Hallowe'en (come on ... CANDY! You can't tell me it doesn't bring back memories of stuffed pillow-cases!)

Check this out ... Better Homes and Gardens is featuring Halloween pumpkin carving stencils, including Dog Breed stencils! Your house could be the envy of all the dog lover's on the block! While going through their slideshow, I saw German Shepherd Dog, Beagle, Boxer, English Bulldog, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Pug, Scottish Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier stencils.

Keep in mind that with a little imagination certain dog breed stencils look like other breeds ... The Labrador Retriever stencil could be a Pointer, the Boxer could be a Boston, and so on.

The other cool thing is that if your dogs' breed doesn't have a stencil, you can email them with a request to have one for next year!!

Go to their website for Free Pumpkin-Carving Stencils and print off your favourite breed. Then, post a comment to let us know what dog breed stencil you printed! Email me a picture of your pumpkin (or Jack-O-Lantern) and I'll post it on the blog!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Training Rant - Jumping and Kneeing

Ok ... this is DRIVING ME CRAZY! We all know how annoying it is when a dog jumps on you; many of us are even aware of the dangers that it can present. Yes, it sucks; but it takes time to re-train a dog if they've been rewarded for behaviours.

I ran into the following problem around a week ago when I took my newest dog out in public ... the jumping is something we are working on, but we can't address that fully until we build up some self-control (of which she has little to none - she's like a bouncy ball). Since the jumping was a behaviour that was reinforced with both praise and cookies, it takes time to redirect. (Don't get me started - that's another rant for another day!)

So we're hanging outside, working on self-control and watching people walk by. She's doing very well. At this point, I am telling people that no, they can't pet her; she's training. Most people accept this and move on. When they stop, she gets up to approach the people and I put her back into her sit. She settles in pretty quickly at this point. (We do spend time working with approaching "strangers" - people I know but she doesn't - but that's not what we were doing that day)

One woman asks why I don't just let her approach so she can give the dog a pat? I say "Two reasons - One; I don't want her to get used to just running up to every person she sees. Some people are afraid of dogs. And two because we are still working on jumping and I don't want her to jump on you."

The woman replies confidently "Oh, don't worry - I'll just knee her and she'll get off quickly."

"WHAT!?" I said loudly. "You can't do that! You should never knee a dog."

"Why not?" She asks. "I've always done that. I had friends with two big dogs and that's how I taught them not to jump on me"

"Why not?! Well, for starters, you can quite easily break the dog's ribs." I say (which she scoffs at and dismisses).

"Do you know how thin a dog's ribs are?" I ask her. "They are TINY! Not to mention that this dog is only about 25 lbs ... her ribs are probably thinner than your finger bones. Do you think your finger bones would hold out to being kneed? Besides that, if you break them, what if it pierces the dog's lung? Now the dog has to go to an emergency clinic, will need surgery and will quite probably die." Ok, granted - I'm starting to use scare tactics on the woman, but she is just not listening. I really wanted to ask her to brace her finger on a ledge and I would knee it - that way we could see if it would break, hurt or not.

"Well it worked for those big dogs that used to jump on me" She retorts. "They got off right away."

This still isn't working, so I use a different approach. "Of course they got off right away - you just gutted them. Best case, you knocked the wind out of their sails. Worst case ... well, do you still see the dogs?"

"I haven't visited them recently. I'm pretty busy you know; I have a life" She replies. (As though I know what this stranger's personal life is like?)

So I move on and ask. "Would you give the dog an upper-cut with your fist as hard as you can?"

She shakes her head No while saying "Of course not! That would be cruel."

"Then why would you do it with your Knee instead? Look at the shape of your knee when it's bent - does it not look like a fist?" I ask. She nods. "Then why would you think that kneeing the dog is any different than using your fist? How fast is your knee coming up? So how fast would you use your fist to come up if you were to mimic this action?"

So she left and I continued working with the new dog. Now, keep in mind that I probably embarassed the woman and she likely refused to consider different methods because of that. I would hope that she left and continued to think about what I said. Perhaps she won't knee the next dog. Perhaps she will. I can't change the world - just me.


Ok ... here's my inspiring thoughts for today ...

We all agree that there are different training methods when it comes to dogs. Some work, some don't. Some are too good to be true. Some mask and DON'T train. Some are idealistic but in reality don't work.

I don't have all the answers, that is why I keep searching and learning. I want to know. Every day I learn something new; sometimes it is totally new, sometimes it contradicts something else. That doesn't mean I stop looking for answers; it just means I consider that the answers I find may not be the absolute truth.

I have been studying, learning and reading about dog training since I could pick up a book. Some people enjoy reading fiction books (mystery, romance, fantasy); I read non-fiction. The very first book I read about dog training encouraged the use of choke collars. That doesn't mean it wasn't true, it just meant that at the time it was the best practice. For some dogs I still use a choke (the ones I don't know won't take my arm off, for example!).

The world is constantly evolving and changing ... so too should we. If you've got your head too far up your ass that you can't even acknowledge new things then that's really unfortunate and you are doomed to eternal failure. What's even worse ... you doom your dog to failure.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Featured Rescue - Dakota the Chow Chow

In honour of Phoenix's passing I am going to feature a Chow Chow for the featured rescue today. There are currently 2,558 Chow Chows available for adoption on, however I can't post them all.

This is Dakota. He is estimated to be 3.5 years old. He came in with a female Chow, but she has already been adopted. If you are interested in this guy, he is located in Bradford, PA.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Final Phoenix Update

Today I am posting the final update for Phoenix, the Chow. To see my previous posts about Phoenix, read them in order to get the full story's events:

Here is the update about Phoenix from the Humane Society of Durham Region:

October 5, 2009

On October 2, 2009 Phoenix passed away peacefully, surrounded by the people who loved him most. In the two days prior he had stopped wanting to eat, spent most of his time sleeping and showed little interest in the things that had been giving him joy.

At his scheduled vet appointment on Friday it was decided that the time had come to put him down. His foster parents Tracy and Mike, Debby Houghton the investigator on his case and Ruby Richards, the shelter manager were all with him at the end giving him hugs and kisses.
Special thanks go to the clinic staff who spent so much time working with him and who were in tears at his passing. Thanks also go to the public for all of their support for him during the past few months.

Thanks also to all the media for their help in getting his story out to the public.

We are still looking for leads in his case.If anyone has anything that might be pertinent to this case please call Debby Houghton at 905-433-2022 ext. 2.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Training Rant - Plan B

In my last post I mentioned that I have started working with some of the dogs in my area. I was approached by a vet who has watched what I've done with some of the foster dogs I've had go through. He asked if I would be willing to work with some of the dogs brought in for behavioural euths.

The first question I had for him is ... why would you need me? Aren't there other trainers in the area more experienced than I? His response was that the other trainers in the area aren't interested in working with these dogs or have worked with them and failed. Great. Fine. I'll do it. Don't give them the juice. I'll give it a go.

There is something seriously wrong with the dog training world when they "reject" the dogs that need training. Sound like an oxymoron? Well, I'd say someone is an oxymoron around there, but that's none of my business, is it?

Viatecio commented on my last post about trainers and posted a link for us to check out. I wanted to ensure we all read it - I went and read it through and I couldn't have put it better myself! I think you should all take some time and read the article. It's called Plan B - Kill the Dog. What a great article to read.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monthly Followup - September

Monthly Followup

It's October! Did you know that October is American Humane's Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? Read up on it! Learn about it. Never say "I didn't know" because the ones suffering for your ignorance are both you and the dogs.

Phoenix Update

From The Humane Society Of Durham Region:
"September 14, 2009 Phoenix has been in his foster home now for 5 days and is fitting in very well.He loves the cats and has started playing with some doggie friends. He is much loved by everyone in the neighbourhood and greeted by everyone who meets him on his walks. He loves sleeping on the bed and getting all the attention. He feels pretty good. He is still eating well and seems to have a particular fondness for cat food."

Comments and Training

I have not had time to properly reply to all the great comments this month. For that, I apologise. It has been a busy month with Humane Society fundraisers, dogs and work (you know, that place where I go to get paid so I can buy more dog food and cat litter!).

I read each comment as they came in and I will be re-reading them all in the next few days. I will be working this weekend on replying to all the comments before visiting your links and commenting on your blogs.

I have also began a new venture into training. I started taking on clients for private sessions this month after a vet in the area who knows what I do asked me to work with some of her clients who were considering euthanasia as other trainers in the area weren't willing to take the dogs on. Mostly I've been working on problematic behaviours (aggression, anxiety, fear, inappropriate elimination, etc), showing people how to build that unbreakable bond and basic obedience (sit, stay, come, stop, off leash "heel", etc). I have a few trainers that I refer people to if they are interested in more than I will give them (Rally-O, Flyball, Herding or other things) but we start with teaching appropriate behaviour and basics.


Top Commenters
Thank you to everyone who stopped by my blog to comment this month! This month's top 3 commenters are:

GoLightly author of GoLightly - Fiction and GoLightly Fiction, BeginningToEnd
giantspeckledchihuahua author of ummm...
LilliGirl author of It's a Great Life...


Entrecard Top Droppers

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Guess the Breed #9

Yikes! I can't believe we've already had 8 Guess the Breed dogs so far! It seems so new. Anyway, this is the last picture that Calsidyrose of We Don't Rent Puppies sent me. If anyone else would like to send me some pics, feel free!

Here is GTB Dog #9. He looks like a cutie. He's a senior dog. What do you think?

Just in case anyone forgets, the golden rules are as follows:

1. Don't bash anyone else's opinion.
2. Friendly banter only
3. Post your opinion! Everyone's thoughts count!
4. Have fun!

GTB #8 was a shelter - mixed breed. She was listed as a Border Collie, but since we don't know her breed for sure, the first person who posted a comment was GiantSpeckeldChihuahua, author of Ummmm .... which is a dog related blog (though the last post was about animals in general!).