Thursday, November 20, 2008

Abandonment is Not the Answer

It makes me so sad to see stories like this. People deciding that their situation is so bleak that their only choice is to abandon their pets. Animals who have come to rely on their humans for survival. Living creatures unaccustomed to living alone or fending for themselves. Giving love and loyalty to their humans no matter what.

Some humans do not deserve such loyalty.

My hubby and I would rather live out of our truck than give up our dogs. All four of them!

I’m at risk of losing my job and it made me think about how much we do spend on our dogs. One thing we will not skimp on is their dog food. It’s $50 a bag. And we can go through four bags fairly quickly. If I have to cancel our cable and cell phone service I will before I’d start feeding them cheap crap food.

One thing we could also do is give our own vaccines. My grandpa has always done that with his dogs so I’m sure he can help us purchase the vaccines we need. It would help us avoid the $40 office visit. Although I love our vet I don’t feel the need to visit him just for vaccines. And we wouldn’t switch to a lower cost vet either. For the things that matter he is the best.

As Urban Ground mentions and I agree … I’m sure the same people abandoning their pets are still eating out, still have cable, still use their cell phones, and smoke or drink.

This world seems to have gone insane. People are abandoning their children too. Is that what the “me” society has brought us? It’s all about me and forget anyone or anything else?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Punish Breeds, Hold Owners Accountable

When I read stories like this one I get mad.

All dogs can be dangerous, regardless of breed, if not properly trained or handled by their owners. Some dogs are only “dangerous” when provoked or when guarding their family.

I’ve met some amazingly wonderful, sweet, playful, and harmless pit bulls. I’ve also met some mean and nasty mutts who have attacked (or tried to attack) my dogs.

Even Trooper has had his moments. He’s never drawn blood from a strange dog but he has cut Timber before. Though thankfully not in several weeks. I’m hoping he’s done with that phase.

“The City Council held a public hearing last night to consider eliminating that first warning for a dozen breeds, including pit bull, Akita and American Staffordshire terrier. The city doesn’t want to ban the breeds. Officials contend that owners of these breeds would have to take no additional measures if their dog doesn’t cause problems.”

ARG! How about holding ALL dog owners equally responsible and accountable for their dogs’ behavior? There is no need to single out certain breeds just because they get the most news time when there is an incident.

Are Pit Bulls potentially dangerous? Of course. They are powerful and strong and if not properly trained and restrained can be lethal. But I’ve never been bit by a pit bull and I HAVE been bit by small little ankle biter type dogs. Owners sometimes think that if their dogs are small that they are harmless even if they nip at people. Wrong.

Who will determine which breeds are “dangerous”? Many people think my dogs look like wolves (insert major eye roll here) so will there someday be a law that says “wolf looking” dogs are dangerous. The only danger Trooper presents to people is knocking them over when trying to get petted.

I hope that the dog owners who organized the rally against this proposal are successful. It’s called common sense and if an owner is lacking in this then they should be punished if their dog acts dangerously.

This whole thing ticks me off.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Keep Pets Safe in Cold Weather

My dogs love cold weather. This is their very favorite time of year. Hubby and I work hard to keep the heat off as much as possible to keep the house nice and cool. The few times that it snows the doggies love to go out on the deck and wallow in the white stuff.

But not all dogs (and other pets) are as furry and fluffy as my babies with their double layer coats. Cold weather can be dangerous to pets and owners need to make sure to take into consideration their animals’ special needs.

Many people over estimate their pet’s ability to tolerate the cold. They’re animals and so should be able to handle the lower temperatures. But that is not always true.

Reading this article, which supplies some basic common sense advice, I was shocked to read comments from people who seem to think that providing heat and shelter to pets is going overboard.

Yes, pets are animals. But many animals have been domesticated to the point that they have lost their ‘natural’ ability to survive in the elements (if they ever had such an ability).

Providing a heated space or a well insulated dog house does not seem to be an over the top action for pet owners to take. I’m sure that our house is seen as outrageous by some of the commenters on that site. Our dogs have their own beds and blankets and more toys than most kids.

I don’t think it is extravagant to ensure that animals have non-frozen water, healthy food, and shelter against the elements.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two Souls Find a Home

I have an e-mail distribution list at work for animal folks willing to get sporadic e-mail announcements of doggy’s in need. It’s not a huge thing but if my e-mails get forwarded on to others then maybe doggies will find new homes.

The latest rescue is from my coworker Jason. He blames me for his two new family members. :) I sent out an e-mail last week about an adoption event at a local Pet store with a rescue organization. And he brought home Juno and Dex.

New Doggies

Do you think his daughter looks happy? He says that she is doing better with them than he expected. Juno and Dex are testing and learning their boundaries. We had a chat yesterday about night time crying and howling. It’s important to ignore it. The dogs are both old enough to go a full night without needing to go outside. Catering to their every whim puts them in charge and it needs to be the other way around.

I’m thrilled that he got two dogs together. One is two years old and the other is 11 months. The two year old is apparently more mellow, which is to be expected. The 11 month old is a puppy and acting like a puppy with a lot of energy.

So now my e-mail list has resulted in three adoptions and I’m beyond thrilled. If I could adopt more dogs I would. My dream would be a whole house full of dogs. Both adopted and pure bred from our favorite Malamute breeder. But mostly adopted.

Friday, November 7, 2008

How NOT to Pet a Dog

Especially the “First” dog and while being video taped.

I don’t blame Barney one bit. It was the reporter’s own damn fault for being an idiot. It’s not “cute” to reach in over a dog’s head … it’s dangerous for a person and threatening to the dog.

You hold out your hand (slowly) to let a dog sniff you first. You get down on their level if they are a small, close to the ground dog. And then, only if the dog wags their tail in acceptance (and if the owner says it’s okay) do you reach over the dog’s head to pet it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tell little (and sometimes big) kids to back off when they approach my dogs. My dogs would never bite someone but walking straight up with hand raised to reach behind their head is threatening to a dog. My dogs don’t let people do that because their heads follow the hand. Most kids (who aren’t dog wise) react negatively and pull their hand back fast. Which only makes the dogs want to follow it more and it creates a whole unhealthy cycle. *sigh*

Then again, maybe Barney was ticked off by some story the guy did against his dad. *grin* Or he’s upset that a new strange dog is moving into the white house. Though I’m guessing he’ll be glad to get back to the ranch and chasing rodents. Do Scotties hunt? I know nothing about the breed. Other than the two that I’ve met in the past were not nice or well behaved but I didn’t blame them. And their owners were working through their issues. :)

Happy Friday!