Saturday, January 30, 2010

Mail Bag - The Old Man and the Dog

I got this in my email and thought I'd share. It was a good read. It's been in circulation for a while so if you've already read it, I apologize. I can't seem to find the original source location for it so if anyone knows, please pass that on so we can ensure credit is given where it is due. It is a story with religious references so hopefully no one is offended.

The Old Man and the Dog
by Catherine Moore

"Watch out! You nearly broad sided that car!" My father yelled at me. "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle.

"I saw the car, Dad. Please don't yell at me when I'm driving." My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt. Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back.

At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil. What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon He had enjoyed being outdoors and had reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowers. The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived. But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation.

It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought o ut our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered in vain. Just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, "I just read something that might help you! Let me go get the article." I listened as she read.

The article described a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons too big, too small, too much hair.

As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. "Can you tell me about him?" The officer looked, then shook his head in puzzlement. "He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him. That was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow." He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. "You mean you're going to kill him?"

"Ma'am," he said gently, "that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog."

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. "I'll take him," I said.. I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me.

When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch. "Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!" I said excitedly. Dad looked, then wrinkled his face in disgust. "If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it" Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples. "You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!" Dad ignored me. "Did you hear me, Dad?" I screamed. At those words Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with hate. We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp.

He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw. Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently. Then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal. It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship.

Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet. Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends.

Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne 's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a tribute to both Dad and the dog who had changed his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

"I've often thanked God for sending that angel," he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: the sympathetic voice that had just read the right article... Cheyenne 's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter. . ..his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father. . and the proximity of their deaths. And suddenly I understood. I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Blog Updates - Blogroll Added

Just thought I'd let you all know that I have decided to open up a blogroll for non-animal related blogs. Previously, I had limited my blogroll to animal related blogs only but that's somewhat limiting.

If you would like me to add your blog to this list, please leave a comment and let me know. I do ask that you post a reciprocal link back from your blog (that means you put a link to my blog from your blogroll).

News Reel - 29 new dog parks

Dogs and their owners from Toronto are happy this week. Check out this headline published in the Toronto Star earlier this week ... City approves 29 new dog parks. There are still 24 others that dog owners would like to see designated off leash (including High Park), but that is a great start! I would love to see dogs off leash everywhere, but you and I know that most dog owners don't teach their dogs how to do this ... sometimes it is the dog owners themselves who shoot themselves in the foot.

Dog parks can be good places to socialize your dog but they can also be very bad or dangerous places. Before you take your dog to a dog park, be sure to visit it alone (yes, be the creeper in the corner - you know you want to!) to ensure you don't have any nasties attending. Dog parks don't have rules about intact dogs, dogs in heat, etc. so ALWAYS make sure you keep your dog safe. The safe choice for your dog may not always be the popular one ...

A good beginning to a New Year. Here's hoping the rest of the year will be as fruitful ...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Featured Rescue - Jester the Yorkshire Terrier / Papillion mix

Today’s Featured Rescue is a really cool looking dog! Check out Jester. He’s around 1 year old and is assumed to be a Yorkshire Terrier/Papillion mix. Isn’t he the coolest looking dog?

I love the write ups that Ann and Petes Foster Home for Animal Alliance does, but I really hate trying to figure out what it all means. I wish they would include a small checklist that includes something like this:

Kids? Yes/No
Dogs? Yes/No
Cats? Yes/No
Fenced Yard? Mandatory/Optional

It would make it so much easier to read! If you’re looking for a neat looking dog, go check out Jester.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stop talking and listen to what your dog isn't saying

Many people I know talk a lot to their dog. Most of these have full conversations with their dog without even realizing it. They ask questions and opinions of the dog. They tell them what they are going to do, they discuss crossword puzzles, what tv show to watch.

I have found that when they are so busy talking to their dog, they miss many opportunities to communicate. Sometimes we just have to stop talking and listen. Watch. Learn. Your dog will teach you so much if you would just listen to them.

Maybe people don't really want to know what their dog is thinking. Maybe they do. If you do, here's a challenge for you ... I bet you find it more difficult than you think. Let me know your results.

Can you stop talking to your dog for a week?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TrainPetDog - 2010 Dog Blog Award

I tried something new today. I have registered this blog for the 2010 Dog Blog Award.

My readers can vote by coming to and entering the voting code in the voting box and clicking on the Submit button.

The Voting code for Dogs Deserve Freedom is 3U744.

In order for this blog to make it to round two, it MUST have at least 50 votes before February 20, 2010. So please VOTE today!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Featured Rescue - Black Dog Monday

I've blogged in the past about Black Dog Syndrome; in a nutshell, some people decided to do some research to prove that black dogs aren't adopted very often and in a shelter/rescue environment are euthanized more often than any other colour of dog (though anyone who works or volunteers regularly at a shelter could tell you that).

Because of this, I have been toying with the idea of making a day specifically for Black Dogs and have decided to make that Mondays. I will try to post a picture of a black dog in rescue or shelter on Mondays. If you know of a black dog that should be listed, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Today's Featured Rescue is a Black Labrador Retriever named Oscar. I chose Oscar to feature because this is the worst picture I've ever seen taken of a dog for adoption. Someone's got to tell the Buffalo Paws and Claws Animal Shelter, Inc that they really need to take better photos.
Oscar has so many wonderful things going for him; good with kids, good with other dogs, good with cats, crate trained, almost house trained ... so why would they take such crappy pictures?? Good grief! Poor guy ... not only is he a big black dog, but he's also got the worst picture on Petfinder that I could find!
If you ever run into a dog or cat in rescue who is looking for a home with a real CRAPPY picture (doesn't matter what colour or breed the animal is), let me know and I'll post it. In addition, if you find a black dog that you would like to see featured, please send the link to me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Foster Update

Ok, so I'm the worst person for posting pictures. I just can't seem to get my act together when it comes to this sort of thing. This is why today I have focused on posting pictures of our current foster dog. This is Lady. She was described as a Border Collie mix (which was why we went down to see her). As you can see from the photos, while she may have some BC in there, it certainly is not her predominant breed! We are guessing that she has some Husky in her (check out those paws!) ... maybe a bit of GSD ... any ideas?
Please, no pictures!
She is a big dog ... bigger than all of ours. She was extremely under weight when we picked her up and has put on a lot. You can barely see her ribs now.
Get that camera outta here!
We are taking her in for a checkup this week and hopefully will book her spay surgery in the near future ... We'll have some nice outdoor photos coming soon.
Ok fine ... Strike a pose! Now get rid of that camera

Friday, January 22, 2010

Study: Dogs Also Suffer From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Here's a really interesting article. Study: Dogs Also Suffer From Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. If you want to read all the crazy science mumbojumbo, click here to see the study which was published in Molecular Psychiatry. Below are some interesting highlights:

"Scientists have identified a gene in Dobermans that makes the dog suseptible to obsessive compulsive disorder." While this may not be big news for some (many of us have been aware for some time about our dogs' Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - aka "OCD"), it is interesting to note that they are finding this to be a physiological disorder.

"Scientists found that dogs with the OCD gene maniacally chase their tails, lick different body parts or blankets." These are the most common things you would see, but you could also list fly-catching, biting at the air, digging, flank-sucking and barking in that list (among many other behaviours). The list could go on and on if you really went searching.

"Dr. Nicholas Dodman ... said the gene is the same in humans as it is in dogs." Here's the next link ... now they will begin to look at how this affects humans and treatment. That bothers me a bit, but I do understand that dogs aren't as important to everyone in the world as much as they are to me. "But even if this particular finding is not directly revelent, it still gives us clues as to the pathways and processes that may be going on in humans as well as some possible targets for intervention and treatment". Let's hope that in the process of doing their research they may find ways to help dogs suffering from OCDs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Featured Rescue - Dixie the Bluetick Coonhound

I've always had a soft spot for Blueticks and Redbones ... I blame this on being forced to read "Where the Red Fern Grows" when I was in school. It was a great book, but a heartbreaker for the dog-lover. I also had a friend whose father hunted - he always had 4 Redbones on hand (this may have also contributed). Generally, 3 were trained at all times and the fourth was his up and coming pup. The dogs were rotated on the hunting trips so that one always stayed home with the wife and kids.
One of the things I don't like about hunting is the dogs and the way they are treated (the above example was an exception to this generalization - there are always exceptions). If the dog doesn't work out on the hunt, many are left behind to fend for themselves. Little to no veterinary care is given to these dogs unless they prove themselves. Even then, they are often seen as a simple commodity to be bought and sold and not as a valued member of the hunt to be cared for. Hundreds of hounds go through rescues in prime hunting areas and it bothers me to no end. Some are shot at the end of the trip when they don't work out, but it is cheaper to just leave the dog behind.
This is Dixie. She is estimated to be 3 years old and is a gentle giant. Hounds often don't make it out of County Pounds ... there are simply so many that euthanasia is often the only choice. Lucky for Dixie, she is at Heart of the Catskills Humane Society. See her Petfinder ad here.
I know of at least one Canine Control in Ontario that uses the old "Take-Em-Out-The-Back-Door-And-Put-A-Bullet-To-'Em" method ... it's cheaper and quicker than euthanasia. One foster I know pulls them out of there when she has space/time. The unfortunate side is that nearly all of the hounds she pulls out have no experience inside a house, aren't housetrained and have NO manners.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Product Review - K9 KlearUp

Ok, so about 6 months ago the dog blog world was inundated with posts about K9 KlearUp. Like many other bloggers out there, I received a free sample. I was asked to write a review about the product and potentially sell it through my blog and receive "affiliate" fees. I told the marketing guy that I would test it extensively before posting about this product and that my review may go either way, but he wanted the review anyway ...

K9 KlearUp is a "dog balm" that is supposed to be used as a topical solution to various different health problems. The company claims the following: "when it comes to environmentally (food, water, air factors) or externally caused (cuts, scratches, burns etc) skin and coat issues, K9 KlearUp has a 95%+ success rate." The company does admit that this product won't work on all dogs however the claim that it has a 95% success rate certainly shouldn't be made if it doesn't work on almost every dog (95 dogs out of 100 dogs is what "95%" means).

Expecting a "95%+ success rate", I tried this product on one of my dogs. It did nothing other than coat the cut and prevent dirt from getting in (any balm would do that). So, I figured that perhaps our Flat Coat was one of the 5% that the product didn't work on. I tried it on another one of our dogs (Aussie/BC -- allergies symptoms). Still nothing. I tried it on another (Beagle/Cocker -- pad cut). Nothing. I tried it on our foster dogs (two GSD's and one Husky/BC -- bug bites and a small nick). Nothing. I tried it on our new dog (Cattle Dog -- slice up back leg; required staples). STILL NOTHING.

Each time I tried the product on a dog, I used it for 14 days; applying it twice a day. (This is why it took me almost a year to fully test the product!!) Since it isn't every day that a dog gets injured, bitten or has allergic symptoms, it took a fair amount of time. I wanted to be absolutely sure of my stance on the product before I stated it.

Now, you can't tell me that the 7 dogs I tried it on were the "lucky" ones in the 5% that the product doesn't work on. If the company's claims were true, we would have seen SOME success. Even one dog?! Nope.

From what I can see, K9 Klear Up does not work. The only healing that occurs when K9 Klear Up is applied originates from the animals own body. The K9 Klear Up balm DOES provide a 'sheild' from dirt, dust and other things you wouldn't want in a wound.
That said, if you are looking for a 'sheild' from the elements for a wound ... you could pay $39.95 for 3.5oz (100ml) container of K9 Klear Up or you could go buy a 10 oz. container of Bag Balm for $13.95 and get the same results (if not better). Personally, I would go with the Bag Balm. I've had better success with it both with dogs and with horses.

Monday, January 18, 2010

News Reeel - Update on Aussie Breeder

Here's a bit of news for you; an update about the Australian Shepherd breeder I featured on Friday ... following is the link to the article Mason-area breeder guilty in animal cruelty case below are some excerpts.

The jury found Joan Skillman, 73, of Aurelius Township "guilty of 6 (out of 11) misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty or abandonment ... She faces up to 93 days in jail, fines and up to two years of probation."

"Officers testified this week that the dogs were wet, dirty and matted and were living in 9 inches of mud, water, urine and feces. Veterinarians said the dogs had health problems such as bloody urine, skin infections, broken teeth, overgrown nails, bladder stones and parasites. A behavior expert testified that many of the dogs showed signs of little or no human contact."

"At least half of the guilty counts involved dogs that had heartworms, according to a veterinarian's testimony, and two of the guilty counts involved dogs that have died since Animal Control seized them from Skillman's kennel"

Damn skippy the jury found her guilty. Dogs should NEVER be forced to live in their own feces (not to mention the lack of veterinary care they received). I wish she would have to serve more than 93 days in jail ... the article doesn't specify how much the fines will be either ... but it's a good start. I'm glad they got their conviction.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Featured Rescue - the Australian Shepherd

In honour of all those poor dogs who were living in squalor (the ones mentioned in Friday's News Reel), I decided to post an Australian Shepherd today for the Featured Rescue. This is Sherlock. He is an adult male Aussie. He likes other dogs but doesn't get along so well with cats. Not sure where the name came from ... the shelter didn't list that in the Petfinder ad. Sherlock is located in Olean, NY.

Friday, January 15, 2010

News Reel - Animal Cruelty Case goes to Jury

Sorry for posting two news reels in a row, but I want to share this one. To read the entire article, click here, Animal cruelty case goes to jury. Ok, if the jury doesn't decide this lady is guilty and put her in jail I'm going to throw a fit.

This lady is 73 years old and had 70 dogs!! That's just stupidity. They were, of course, all covered with mud, urine and feces after having lived 9 inches deep in the stuff! Most were sick with various conditions (blood in urine, heartworm, skin infections, broken teeth). At 73 there is no way she could take care of 70 Australian Shepherds. I don't care how fit this lady is, that is still WAY TOO MANY for a 73 year old woman to take care of properly. (Let alone ANY person - man/woman/child).

She says that the reason the dogs were muddy was because it rained ... uh ... ok lady. Why didn't you take them inside?? Why don't you have an area where they can get out of the weather?? Believe it or not, providing shelter from the elements is something that is considered "basic care" and is required of most animal cruelty laws.

Joan Skillman of Aurelius Township is hereby awarded the Dogs Deserve Freedom ASSHAT Award. She has been given this award in honour of the fact that she has her head so far up her ass she can't see reason or provide basic, necessary care for her dogs.

The jury should decide today the verdict so I will see if I can update you all when the story goes to the papers.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

News Reel - Born to be a Hero

This news article is a little late in posting but I thought I'd share it anyway. There's an 18 month old Golden Retriever who protected his young owner (11 year old boy, Austin) from being attacked by a cougar.

(I'm talking about the four legged, furry kind with pointy teeth ... not the two legged, scantily clad kind in stilettos.)

Born to be a hero: Why Angel saved the day

Check out the above link, it's pretty neat. They had Stanley Coren analyze the act after the fact and this news article explains his take on it. It's a pretty interesting article.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Featured Rescue - Abby the Basset Hound

I have a soft spot for hound dogs. Not sure why. Possibly because when I was younger I was given a Beagle mix? What a good dog ...

I know a lot of people who actually can't stand hounds, which to me is a real shame. They are quite trainable if you alter your training style to accomodate the hound's instictual drives. I have found that many trainers don't do this. It sets the dog and owner up for failure. Any time I am given a chance to foster a hound, I always agree (unless I already have a foster on the go!).

Today's featured rescue is Abby. She is described as a "typical hound dog and loves to follow her nose". While Abby gets along well with dogs, she is afraid of cats.

I always wonder what kind of cat interaction a dog has experienced to make it afraid of them. It's common sense for a dog to be afraid of cats ... they do have 5 out of 6 pointy ends, after all.

Abby is located in Blackstock, ON and is being cared for by The Animal Guardian Society. Petfinder ID:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pets as Gifts ... After the Dust Settles

You will find time and time again that rescues and SPCA's are always publishing the same message about not giving pets out as gifts. Sometimes you even find blog entries like this one about it (or this one, or this one). This message is published time and time again but the unfortunate reality is that the people who give pets as presents aren't necessarily the ones reading it. I have heard of shelters and rescues that make people wait until after Christmas to bring their new pet home however this sometimes deters potential adopters.

The time has come for the Christmas puppies/kittens to start hitting the notice boards, Craigslist, Kijiji, shelter listings and advertisements. Good examples are here, and here, and here. All 9 week old puppies that were given for Christmas to people who can't keep them. If you take a wander into your local shelter you will see all the new arrivals; a fair number will be unwanted Christmas puppies (and kittens). There will also be a number of adoption returns; those people who thought it a good idea to adopt from the shelter to give a pet as a present, only to find out the recipient couldn't (or wouldn't) keep it.

This is a rough time of year for people actively involved in rescue because of the high amount of surrenders coming in that are so very young. It takes a toll.

For those of you involved with your local rescue / shelter ... keep your chin up. Keep fighting the good fight. It's hard but it's worth it.

For those of you not involved with your local rescue / shelter, I encourage you to consider spending a few hours volunteering. Even 2 hours per month is an enormous help.

For those of you looking for a new pet, go check out your local shelter / rescue! In the next 6 weeks they will be receiving puppies and kittens at an alarming rate.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Shelter Pet Project - PSA 2

So now that I know how to embed video into my blog, I'm all over that! So much fun when you find something new. Check this one out ... it's pretty neat to watch. I like how they designed these PSA's ... wish there were more. It's not your usual where they use pictures of neglected and abused animals. I love the different take on it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Puppy Mill Information - Mill Dog Manifesto

We all know that Puppy Mills are bad for a multitude of reasons (which I'm not getting into today) ... but what happens to those dogs when a Mill is shut down? Where do all those dogs go? I always shudder when I see a Newspaper article that says something along the lines of "100 starving sled dogs have been seized" or "800 small dogs seized from filthy Arizona home". Who is going to take that many dogs?? Rationally. Realistically.

As the situations change, the outcomes do too. Sometimes rescues step up and take some. Sometimes they end up at shelters (again - in cages/crates/runs). Sometimes the dogs are euthanized. Some lucky few are taken in by caring people who open their homes and their hearts to foster these unfortunate dogs.

Kyla Duffy is one of those people. Kyla "often fosters ex-puppy mill breeders ... [but] has found that there aren't many resources available for people who have adopted them, as they sometimes have unique needs."

"To help the cause, [Kyla] just published a free eBook to support people who have adopted puppy mill dogs and to enlighten people about the realities of puppy mills. Please check it out and feel free to pass it along. The Mill Dog Manifesto is available for download at Feedback is welcome - it's a work in progress!"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Featured Rescue - Ben the Border Collie mix

Ok, ok ... Today's Featured Rescue is a bit different and I'll explain why. Someone asked how come I never feature Canadian dogs because a lot of the dogs I post are from the USA. You know what? This is a GREAT question. I'm sorry she deleted the comment. It is very true and there are a few reasons to my answer.

First, I run a search on Petfinder based on breed and I usually try to find a dog who looks close to the breed they list it under. I generally look for dogs with special needs to feature but more often than not, I see a dog I can't avoid posting. Something compels me to post that one. Since Petfinder runs a search based on location and breed, the dogs are all listed by how far away they are from Ontario. In most cases, the northern states just have more of those particular dogs I'm searching.

Second, the OSPCA uses a new hosting program called "Petango". I generally run all my searches from Petfinder. Because of the OSPCA listing dogs on Petango and NOT Petfinder, Ontario has very few dogs listed by breed category in Ontario. I don't like the way Petango works - I used it when I was searching for my Cattle Dog and I'm sure many dogs were skipped over thanks to it. It's not user friendly if you are looking for a particular breed with no concern regarding location.
Third, there are many groups and organizations in Canada that don't use either Petango or Petfinder. I'm lazy and have only done searches through Petfinder. I will try to use Petango more often (much as I don't like its layout) and will post the occasional dog listed only on rescue/shelter sites.

For those who, like me, are in Canada I will try to post Canadian dogs more often. Take some time to check out Petango. Who knows, maybe you'll like it?

Today's Featured Rescue is Ben the Border Collie / Labrador mix. He is estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old. He is a nice quiet old guy who enjoys the company of people. He is housetrained and enjoys cuddling. He is located in Newmarket, ON at the York Region Branch of the OSPCA.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

CL ~ A Letter from an Animal Control Officer

Below is a Letter from an Animal Control Officer. A good read.
It is the other side of the Kill Shelter / Control Officer topic.

I am your animal control officer. I am not the dreaded "dogcatcher” or the “murderer” I’ve been called.

It is not I who allows your pet to roam the streets, to contact diseases from other free-roaming animals, to be hit by passing motorist or poisoned by rotting garbage. I am the one who must look into those sick, pain-glazed eyes, try to remove the animal without causing it further pain, and then humanely “put it to sleep” to end its suffering.

It is not I who allows your pet to breed, then dumps the unwanted puppies and kittens on the roadsides and in animal shelters. I’m the one who must find the tiny animals before they die of starvation, exposure or disease, and as a act of mercy, exterminate them.

It hurts me to be forced to kill hundreds of thousands of animals each year, but because of irresponsible people, I have no choice.

It is not I who abandons unwanted animals on farm roads, telling myself some friendly farmer will surely take them in and give them a good home. But I am the one who must pick up the frightened animal who waits in vain for its beloved master, wondering why it has been abandoned. I am the one who must help that friendly farmer trap, tranquilize or kill that animal because it has begun to roam in packs with other abandoned hungry animals, killing livestock, fowl and game.

I am not the one who breeds and fights dogs in the name of “sport.” But I’m the one fights the breeders and participants, and must pick up the dead and dying animals that have been left behind.

It is not I who keeps a pet confined in an area too small—without food, water, shelter or exercise. But I must deal with the irresponsible owner who does.

It is not I who refuses to spend time and money to keep up regular inoculations that pets require. But I am the one who must pick up the sick animal that is dying of a preventable disease.

So remember, the next time your child is bitten by a stray dog, your trash is dumped or scattered, your pet is lost or stolen, poisoned or hit by a car, it is the animal control officer you call—not the “dogcatcher.”

The next time your pet is picked up, or you are cited for neglecting or abusing it, remember, I am only trying to get you to fulfill your responsibility to your pet, your neighbor and yourself. Do not scorn me. Respect me, for I am the product of dog owners irresponsibility.

I Love Animals, and I care.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Featured Rescue - Sophia the Dalmation

Today is the first Featured Rescue post of the New Year! Yikes! I would like to post more of these this year ...

Today's feature is a 12 year old female Dalmation named Sophia. It makes me sad when I see these older animals looking for new homes ... I always wonder how they ended up there? Anyway, Sophia sounds like a nice lady who is starting to show her age. She reportedly gets along well with the other dogs in the house, however the rescue has listed her with a "no kids" clause. Sometimes this is done with senior animals because children can tend to play too roughly with new animals ... the rescue can't KNOW that your kid is "different", just as you can't tell that if your kid accidentally fell on the dog, the older arthritic dog wouldn't snap at the kid out of surprise/pain. Often this sort of clause is for the safety of both the dog/cat and the children. If you're looking to add a senior dog to your house, consider Sophia. She is currently in foster with Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue & Sanctuary in Ortonville, MI.

Top Entrecard Droppers

Find below my list for the top entrecard droppers in the last 31 days. Thank you to everyone who drops by and special thanks go out to those who comment! I'm playing with some of the widget you can add to see if I can put something on there about commenting ...

Cornymans Money-Blog, everything about financial independence
CAP News
The Way I See It
Frelia's Random Thoughts
Best travel pictures in the world
Financial Methods
Cooking Japanese Style
The One Minute Guide

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Press Release - Hartz donates food and toys to shelters

I got this in my email and thought I would share. Sometimes good things happen out of the blue for shelters. Hartz really picked a great time to do this.



SECAUCUS, N.J., December 23, 2010 - - Entering the holiday season, The Hartz Mountain Corporation, the leading U.S. pet supplies company, still had $1,000,000 worth of pet supplies to donate to local animal shelters. Just ten days ago, Hartz reached out to pet lovers around the country to nominate local shelters who would like to receive a free shipment of 2,000 Hartz pet supply items. The consumer response has been overwhelming. No sooner had the announcement gone out that Hartz was looking for shelters in need, than consumer nominations came in pouring in and, by the time Hartz ships supplies to the nominated shelters, they will have reached their final goal. In July, Hartz pledged to ship up to $3,000,000 of Hartz pet supplies to animal shelters and food banks in the U.S. and Canada, to help shelters and pet owners survive the tough economy.

“It seems everyone is in the holiday spirit as we’ve seen a tremendous amount of goodwill from consumers nominating animal shelters from all over the country, and we’d like to thank them for responding so soon and with such enthusiasm” said Bob Shipley, Hartz Senior Vice President of Customer Relations Development. “Sadly, it also reminds us that our animal shelters are really suffering this year, and need everyone’s help. We hope that Hartz Shelter Program will help those shelters we could reach with our donations of pet supplies.”

Thanks to the shelter heroes who nominated their local shelters, Hartz will be sending out 300,000 more pet supply products to 150 shelters across the country. In total, the Hartz Shelter Donation Program will have shipped out 650,000 pet products. Among the items shipped, were dog biscuits and bones, meat treats, rawhide, chews, puppy pads, collars and leashes, bowls, toys, grooming products and bedding, flea and tick treatments, vitamins and dental care products, bird seed, rabbit and small animal food

“At first we were overwhelmed at the prospect of accepting over 1,000 items into our cramped animal shelter”, said Tiffiny Koback, Shelter Director at the Saskatoon SPCA, “but this donation gave us amazing momentum, and now we won’t have to worry about keeping these pet supplies in stock for months to come.” Steve Carroll, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies said that “donations of this nature can serve two critical needs; onsite, to enrich the stay of surrendered animals, and used in fundraisers and adoption drive events which benefit both the organization and the animals.”


About The Hartz Mountain Corporation: The Hartz Mountain Corporation is the leading manufacturer and marketer of pet care products in the United States and Canada. For 80 years, Hartz has provided pet owners with the highest quality products – innovative solutions developed with proven science and love for companion animals. Based in Secaucus, New Jersey, Hartz offers more than 1,500 products for dogs, cats, birds, small animals, reptiles and fish, each dedicated to the health and well-being of household pets. The Hartz Mountain Corporation is owned by Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA), together with its parent, Sumitomo Corporation, Japan (SC), an integrated global trading company. For more information please visit

Press Contact
Annemarie Cairns

Shelter Contact
Anya Edwards

Monday, January 4, 2010

Returning from Hiatus

Happy New Year everyone!

After taking a much-needed break from everything computer related, I am ready to get rolling again with blogging. Where to begin?? Hmmm ... I have pictures to share with you all but they are still on the camera. I will be taking them off tonight. I do have some pics from December that I have posted. I will post some of my fosters in the next few days.

I am going to spend today (and probably the rest of this week) catching up on some of my reading of everyone's blogs.

How were your holidays? I see from the comments on my last post that some of you did take your dogs out for walks ... kudos! I don't know about you guys, but it is crazy cold here! I sure am glad I spent so much time outside this past week while the weather was still relatively warm...ish.