Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pony Up, Asshat

Alright - this just makes me mad. Sometimes I just want to tell people to pony up ... I was at a shelter last week and saw something that made me furious ...

A couple drove up. Maybe husband and wife. Maybe just friends with benefits. I don't know and I don't really care. Either way they had a dog and a baby in the car with them. Can you figure out where I'm going with this?? They had come to the shelter to abandon their dog. Surrender him. Dump him off. Rip out his heart and stomp on it. Whatever you want to call it.

The surrender itself is not what makes me mad. That happens every day. I have come to accept this as a part of the pet industry. (I'd be interested to find out what percentage of dogs/cats out there are dumped in shelters, let loose outside or euthanized.) It was the manner in which it was done that cut me to the core.

The dog ... 2 years old. A Bichon Frise. Cute little guy. Got out of the car. Nice leash manners. Husband took the little guy for a little walk around the lawn. Peed on a tree. Sniffed around. You know, the sort of things happy little dogs do.

Then the husband and wife stood outside the car and had a cigarette. When the smoke was done, the husband knelt down, hugged the little dog, then walked the dog inside.

The wife didn't even say goodbye.

WTF!?!?!? I don't care if you felt that it was "too hard" to say goodbye. Suck it up. You just left your little dog at a shelter with strangers, strange smells and barking dogs. How scared do you figure your dog is? How horribly abandoned do you think he is??

He will wait for you to come through those doors for days. Maybe for weeks. He will look at everyone who comes in, thinking it's you. He will be disappointed every hour of every day. His heart will break when he realizes you aren't coming back. He may find another home, or he may not. He might stop eating. He might sulk during the day. He might cry all night. And he will wonder why you wouldn't say goodbye. He will wonder what he did wrong. Why you didn't love him enough to say goodbye.

Hopefully he's strong enough to recover. Hopefully you only broke his heart and you didn't break HIM. Hopefully he makes it out before he runs out of time. Hopefully ...

But yeah ... it was too hard for you to say goodbye. It was too hard for you, who stood beside your car crying after he walked away from you forever. It was just too much. Now you get to go home, raise your baby, pretend this never happened. Someday soon you will get another puppy. Hopefully it will fit into your home. But hey, if it doesn't, you can always dump it off at the shelter.

I have a lot of nasty things I'd like to say to you. You are an asshat of the worst kind. Unfortunately, I am more worried about the dogs you are going to ruin than I am about telling you off right now ... Just please remember to say goodbye next time you dump a dog off because you know what??

No matter how hard it is for you, it is thousands of times harder for your little dog.

So take a deep breath and PONY the fuck UP.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

PSA ~ HeLP - check it out and spread the word!

While we all make a concerted effort to provide the best care possible to our pets, sometimes they get lost. There are many resources you can use to help you reconnect with your loved ones. Please read on for one of these resources!

I received a link to the Helping Lost Pets (HeLP) website this week and I would love to share it with all of you. This is a site which provides a database of all the lost/found pets in your area. You can join, opt in/out of email alerts for animals in your area or you could even help pair up dogs/cats! This seems to be a great resource and it would be good to see it fly. Read below for the HeLP PSA.

Helping Lost Pets (HeLP) is not just a website to help you find your pet, it's a pet help network. A community of pet lovers with a common purpose, to help pets and their guardians to enjoy a long, happy and healthy life together.

This new central database will solve two major obstacles in finding a lost pet. The time required to notify others that may be able to help the pet home. Our solution to these two key problems are:

1) With a large membership base, this system will get the message out quickly and to a large number of people in the area. It will allow a poster to instantly printed and distributed. The faster a message can be put out, the better the chance of finding the pet. People with a missing pet are spending hours and hours posting on many different sites. They could be spending this time searching for their pet. If someone finds their pet, they may not make the connection because they are not looking in the same location.

2) This system has the ability to target lost pet information to specific areas so that people are not receiving lost pet information for pets that are no where near them. This will save people time.

Many similar services in use today charge a listing fee. The usage of HeLP is absolutely free. The development and on going costs are fully supported by advertising and sponsors.

So if you have lost or found a pet, or want to know if a pet is lost near you. If you want to find an emergency vet clinic, vet clinic, pet store, pet groomer, dog trainer, doggie day care, pet shelter, pet rescue or any other pet service provider, then join our community. It's map based, so you can pinpoint where a pet was lost or where pet services near you are.

Key Features

* It's map based, so it's visual

* Centralized database of lost/found pets and pet service providers

* Search for lost or found pets

* Set up your profile to receive email notifications of lost or found pets in your area

* Search for pet services

* Find pets available for adoption

There are posters you can use at this site here that will help you to spread the word. Who knows, maybe you can help out your community by using this site??
Sometimes making a difference doesn't cost a thing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Tired Dog - Hide and Seek

I've said before that A Tired Dog is a Good Dog. It is my mantra. I've also stated that mental stimulation is more exhausting than physical. In fact, some of the saddest dogs I've known have had all sorts of physical stimulation and no mental.

I met a Border Collie recently who was so depressed. He moped around everywhere. So sad to see. The owner didn't know there was anything wrong. She was a jogger and took her dog out every day for a jog along the same route. Although the dog was physically tired, his needs were not being met mentally. The owner had no idea. She just thought he was a laid back BC and that she was meeting his exercise requirements. When she started introducing mental stimulation on a daily basis, the change in her dog was phenomenal. She told me that he was wagging his tail (something he did very rarely before), that his eyes seemed to light up when it was game time and that he seemed more happy overall. If a dog could smile, he would have been grinning.

Now she is constantly asking me if I have any more suggestions for mental stimulation. This, of course gave me the idea to write a post about it. There are many ways to mentally exercise your dog. While training is important mental stimulation and toys are great fun, I love to play games with my dogs because it is light hearted. Everyone will have their preference. After a long day at work going outside to play a short game of hide and seek with my dogs makes me feel infinitely better.

Everyone plays Hide and Seek differently and the game will change depending on the dog, the environment, the bond between handler and dog and the situation. My dogs all return to me when called and have learned the rules of this game through play.

When we are outside: I wait till they are running in one direction, then I turn and run the opposite way. I hide (somewhere where I can see them but they can't see me) and call them. Once. Sometimes I simply run to the side in the tall grass and squat down. Sometimes I hide under a tree. Then they have to find me.

When we are inside: The dogs go into a sit. Then I go hide in a closet or behind a door. I call them once and they come searching through the house, room by room. It is best to play Hide and Seek indoors with only one dog "Seeking" at a time. Otherwise it becomes a crazy race in a multi-dog household!

The key is to call them only once. If they come directly to you, than you are either too loud or called too much. (Or your hiding skills are somewhat lacking and you gave away your location.) They should be using their senses to find you; there are more senses than sight. If your dog gives up, call again quietly. When the dog finds you, make a big deal out of it. Add a few "WooHoo"s and some "Yippee"s.

No matter what game you play, it is important that you are in control. Remember this and have fun! Believe it or not, by playing games with your dog, you are actually training him or her! It is a GREAT way to build up that bond between handler and dog.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

OT ~ Entrecard Drops and Ads

Sorry to get off topic from dogs ... but I should post something about Entrecard here since it brings me a fair amount of traffic. If nothing else, it has increased my readership as well as increased the amount of Followers to my blog by spreading the word about it.

Here are this month's Entrecard Top Droppers from my Blog. Thank you to you all:


The Ad Master

Slightly Sarcastic

Symbian Freeware

Art Shout!

Urban Art Blog

Urban Art by Paul Baines

T-Shirt Reviews


Mbah Casino 
Also, thank you for this week's advertisers ... they are:


Lainy's Musings

The Ad Master


Some Assembly Required

Internation Musings

I'm Walking On Sunshine

Ancient Digger


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Tails Books Rescue of the Year Competition

Check it out! Kyla is having a Happy Tails Books Rescue of the Year Competition which means that she is asking everyone to vote for their favorite rescue and then she will send them $500 worth of product! What are you waiting for?? Here's a way you could help out a rescue!

VOTE ... come on ... give in to the pressure ... VOTE then come back here and tell me whether or not you voted!!

Rescue of the Year Competition: VOTE for your favorite rescue!

We're doing our best to help animal rescue organizations, but we need your participation. Please click the link above to vote for your favorite rescue! The winning rescue will receive $500 worth of awesome items for raffles or fundraising sales. These items include Bissell vacuums, doggie diapers, books, note cards, etc. Voting is open now until November 25th.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DDF Mail Bag ~ Something to think about

I received this in my email and want to know what you think. It was written about deaf dogs but you could say the same about specific breeds, amputees, those with physical disabilities/disorders/diseases, or any other characteristic you want. Please take some time to read this and think about it. Post in the comment section what you think.

A number of times I have seen people post with comments about how at the 11th hour they saved this or that deaf dog from being PTS. Their intent is to show that these dogs went on to make good pets, and that it was wrong that they were so close to being PTS just because they were deaf.

But I think for many people outside the deaf dog community, especially those who aren't supportive of deaf dogs, these sorts of comments send a very different message, and one that is not helpful. A number of times I have heard responses to such comments that were along the lines of, "see, if it weren't for that one special person, who saved the dog just because they are a deaf dog fancier, that dog had no chance."

Their interpretation is that deaf dogs are unadoptable except for a small number of "special" adopters, and unfortunately that proves to them that deaf dogs ought to be PTS because they are not really adoptable. They see the situation as a deaf dog fancier coming in and saving the dog at the last minute because no one wanted the dog and it had no chance of survival if the fancier didn't save it. People's perceptions of things are always highly influenced by their preconceptions, and their biases.

We see it in politics all the time. Republicans and Democrats see the same problem completely differently, and each sees it as proof the other side is wrong. Same thing here.

It might be better to just talk about what great pets they make, and leave the issue of how they came to be a family pet, out of the discussion entirely. Just something to think about.

Should we tell people that the dog was saved from euthanasia or should we leave that part of the description out? How can this be applied in other ways?? Should we tell potential adopters the amount of behaviour modification the animal has undergone prior to adoption or will this scare them away?

Personally, I always tell my potential adopters everything there is to know about the animal - forewarned is forearmed in my opinion. I have no qualms about telling people about my own dogs or the dogs I am/have fostered. My thoughts are that people will always form their own opinion no matter what you say so you might as well be truthful.