Adoptable Pet Of The Day

Okay it’s been awhile since we posted a cute furbaby who is awaiting their furever home. This is Shia, a lovely 3 year old miniature Pinscher. She is awaiting her furever home at Little Paws Rescue Society in Coquitlam, BC. Her profile can be found here

Shia: Miniature Pinscher, Dog; Coquitlam, BC

Shia: Miniature Pinscher, Dog; Coquitlam, BC

Shia: Miniature Pinscher, Dog; Coquitlam, BC

LongDogConnection has no affiliation with any listed rescue organizations

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Drawing The Line

Have you ever known someone, or had a friend that participated in an act with their pet that really bothered you? Did you say something to them about it or did you decide it was better to keep the peace?

Today one of my ‘friends’ on Facebook admitted to letting his cat drink Crown Royal. At first I said to him “Haha he probably would have lived longer had you not given him that.” To which his response was, “It’s not about quantity of life, you’ll eventually learn”. Are you kidding me? This set me off, I called him an ass and went on my way…AKA I un-friended him.

Pets are not toys for our amusement and I’m so sick and tired of people thinking that they are here for our enjoyment alone. They weren’t made so we could cook them in microwaves and get 3 million hits on Youtube and become millionaires off of their pain and suffering. They weren’t made so we could allow them to injest poison, leave them tied to a tree, or keep our children company. Pets are living, breathing creatures that allow us their companionship and we should respect and comfort them and treat them as we would treat something else precious to us.

I’d love to hear of your stories where you had to make a difficult decision in your friendships when it comes to the well-being of animals.

Euthanasia–Not Such A Joke After All

Upon reading my newspaper on my commute to work this morning, an article grabbed my attention. The Globe and Mail, and Metro News are both reporting today about an 8 year old cat named Lady, who visited the vet for a flea bath and ended up being euthanized. The owner of the cat had her 24 year old son to bring Lady to the vet and accidentally signed forms allowing her to be euthanized. The woman is calling for a lawsuit on the grounds of negligence against the vet, Dr. Muhammed Malik. Obviously we don’t know the entire story, as both sides usually differ in their accounts, but from my own experience I know these things can happen. The son is reporting that originally he thought this was some kind of joke.
I work in a dental office, and I have seen dentists preform treatment that was not agreed to by the patient. This could range from pulling the wrong tooth, drilling a cavity prep on the wrong tooth, etc. How do these things happen? Negligence occurs usually when people are stressed, extremely busy or behind in their job (especially when there is a schedule), or when they are tired. Doctors whether they be treating humans or animals need to triple check that they are a) working on the right patient and b) doing the correct treatment. I’ve also seen patients receiving treatment that they agreed to and by no negligence of the Doctor the patient was angry after the fact because they didn’t understand what the treatment really was, or they just didn’t listen.

Of course it it possible that Dr. Malik didn’t make a mistake and found something on the cat that suggested that his quality of life was no longer good enough and purposefully suggested euthanasia, but the son didn’t understand that, or bother to contact the Lady’s true owner, his mother before signing.

How can we avoid losing our pets to negligence, or to understand what occurs during vet visits?

  1. Accompany your pets to the vet if possible, and be with them during treatment if possible
  2. Make sure your pet has ID on their collar
  3. Double read anything you are asked to sign and ask questions
  4. Get a second opinion if you are worried about the treatment being suggested
  5. Take a day to think about treatment if you’re uneasy about it, unless your pet is obviously suffering.
  6. Make sure you trust your vet and if you have a sick feeling about the practice, find another one.

Relationships with our vets are important ones. They have knowledge and education that we don’t. We may not understand what they are talking about so it is our responsibility to make sure we dissect the information and understand it before signing on the dotted line.
For more information on this story please visit this webpage.

Cat euthanized

More On BC’s Witch Hunt

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post entitled, “BC’s Witch Hunt”, and today I will be following up on that post. Today I came across a news article entitled, “White Rock Council Decides Against Municipal Ban On Pit Bulls”. My first reaction was “Hey! That’s great,” but further on reading I discovered that there’s more to this article than meets the eye. Councillor Larry Robinson was quoted saying, “We’re up against a wall just trying to enforce the current bylaws and trying to bring in a ban that is out of our jurisdiction. Ontario and the U.K. have restricted specific breeds and types of dogs, and that’s the way to go.” And Mayor Baldwin says, “This is something that is not within our resources to deal with adequately, we can put them in a bylaw that restricts them but it’s almost impossible to enforce. If we were isolated up north it might work, but here it would be impossible”. So what the White Rock City Council is saying that they would love to instill a BSL bylaw, but that they have no way of regulating and enforcing it. I challenge the White Rock City Council to delve deep into their bite records history and tell me how many Pit Bulls have bitten/attacked/killed in their municipality in the past 20 years. I can guarantee you the number is probably so low that you wouldn’t even need a full hand to count with. Why? In the past 20 years alone in Canada only ONE, yes ONE, person has been killed by a Pit Bull. How can they say that a ban would be a good idea if they could enforce it from one attack?

Mrs. Cranford, the mother of the child who was attacked admitted that she heard a growl before the child was bitten. It is possible that this dog gave many other warnings that she was uncomfortable with the child doing whatever she was doing around the dog. Mrs. Cranford says she would also like these dogs (ie: Pit Bulls) to be muzzled in public. To Mrs. Cranford I say: Currently, in White Rock, aggressive dogs do have to be muzzled in public as stated in White Rock’s Animal Control Bylaw page 6, sections 29(2)(c). Would you muzzle a Chihuahua just because it’s a dog— no. Dogs, just like human criminals, have to be given the benefit of the doubt until they fail (if they fail). For example: If a human looks like they could commit a murder, but never does, does that mean they should be put in jail “just in case”? Of course not, we’d be the laughing stock of all humanity if we did that. Mrs. Cranford is simply overreacting to a tragic, and totally preventative incident. You can’t judge a human by what they look like, so why is it okay to do the same to a dog?

What can we do? Well, let’s start by educating our children, let’s tell them that dogs are animals and that if we don’t treat them with respect, and give them their space when they ask for it that we’re placing ourselves in a bad position, dogs don’t create that position—people do. Let’s go to schools and classes and teach children animal signs/signals, and how to act around a dog. Watch your kids around pets, of any species, with 100% of your attention and you’ll reduce the risk of an incident by nearly 100%. If collectively humans treated animals the way they were supposed to, these things simply would not happen.

To read the article please visit this webpage.

Etiquette Please, Leave Your Insolence At Home!

Before reading any further let me pull a Lemony Snicket on you. The following post will be a ghastly rant, which  may result in bleeding eyes and quivering lips. You may find it so nasty that you puke a little in your mouth, or so true that you’ll want to throw on a cape and dub yourself Captain Manners and start imprisoning bad-mannered offenders. Okay, now that that’s out of the way today’s topic is going to be on one of my LARGEST pet peeves! Bad manners at the park!

Who reading this has:

  • Trudged through broken glass at the park
  • Stepped in dog poopie
  • Been attacked by the dreaded child with flailing arms
  • Been given laser-sharp stink eye
  • Had to pry old, stinky leftovers from your dog’s mouth

If you have said yes to two or more things on that list then you are a VICTIM of a heinous crime! If you haven’t experienced any of these things, you are either a home-body or have found Heaven’s version of a park…. Or I guess just plain lucky!

Why is it that people insist on breaking glass? Like, “we’ve never seen what broken glass looks like so let’s smash 20 beer bottles and make a mess! Oh crap, it’s a big mess; let’s just leave it for someone else to clean up, that’s what our tax money is for right?” *Buzzer sound* WRONG.  This is what a shard of broken glass can do to a dog paw:

 

The people who are doing these careless acts in the park don’t realize what a cut like this can cost you if you don’t have the supplies at home, or if your dog requires sutures. A cut like this could run you $250 by the time you pay for the vet bill; bandages; and dog cone. Let alone your time and your dog’s suffering! But they don’t think about these things. It’s all fun and games to them.

Next on the docket: picking up your dog’s poopie! Did you know that the smallest piece of doggy doodoo can contain over 20 million coliform bacteria which can cause serious illness and disease in humans let alone the environmental impact? Dog feces can carry diseases like: heartworm; whipworm; hookworms; roundworm; tapeworm; parvo and many others. Some of which humans are able to contract, not to say people are readily eating dog poop, but there are ways in which humans can get sick from this. Let’s face it, dog’s eat, sniff, and step on poop. Remember that lovely wet kiss you were given as a thank-you for taking Fido to the park? Well, you may just end up with a nasty infection, and how are you supposed to say, “My dog gave me ringworm,” when your boss asks what those sores are on your arm? Other ways humans could potentially catch something nasty like ringworm is through the recreational use of your own back yard. Do you like kicking the soccer ball around on the lawn, feeling the cool grass on your bare feet, or enjoy gardening? Some bacteria like again, ringworm, can live for many years. Your dog poops on your lawn, the worms set in and when you go and harvest those strawberries you’ve been waiting to eat all season they could be infected too! Dog poop has been classified in the same harmful waste category as insecticide, and let’s face it, we don’t readily want any of that stuff around us. It’s harmful! There’s a reason why the body doesn’t want it and poops it out! So please start picking up your dog’s sh*t!

Now, it’s time for my favourite topic—children. Personally, I love children. I love seeing their faces when they are excited or interested, I love their imaginations and outlook on life; however, knowing that 85% of all dog bites occur on children I’d say strange child + dog= bad news. And the thing is, it’s not the dog’s fault—it’s the parents! Sure that little dog walking through the park looks puppy-like and sweet, but when your child comes running at it arms raised and screaming you are just asking for a reaction to a stressful situation. Granted the dog owner should be able to intercept and change the outcome but accidents happen. Give dogs a respectful amount of space and if you or your child are interested in petting the dog or saying hello, calmly approach the owner and ask for permission. If your child isn’t capable of calmly approaching then they just not ready to meet a dog. A child running up to a dog from a dog’s point of view looks like this:

 

Scary right?

I’ve had my fair share of instances at the park where a dog-hater is appalled that we’d be walking in the same area, I even had someone try and kick my dog. If dog’s aren’t your thing, stay out of the park because there will be a dog there! If you are afraid of dogs, kindly raise your voice a little and nicely say to the person walking their dog, “I’ve had a bad experience with a dog” and they’ll give you some extra space. The worst is getting the stink eye from someone and a bad reaction/vibe off of them and not knowing what their problem is and actually it makes us dog owners feel we need to kick into defense mode.

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and they will find that 20 day old piece of moldy chicken that you’ve left behind. Every park has a garbage can, it may be 20 feet away, but please dispose of your chicken bones, sugar wrappers, chewing gum, etc—my dog really doesn’t need it in his mouth. So let’s all band together and keep the smorgasbord out of the park!

Okay, that was a long rant, but I feel so much better! Tell me, what is your pet peeve?

Good Doo, or Bad Doo? Guest Editorial

Good morning readers! One of my volunteer friends has graciously written an insightful editorial on….well, dog poop! Her name is Megan Ferris and she is the owner of Dog Utopia in Surrey, British Columbia. Dog Utopia offers quality daycare, grooming and training. Megan is so much more than a business owner,she truly cares for the well being of the dog’s that frequent her store and truly believes in providing dogs with the best care for their well-being. Megan has two dogs of her own, Marty and Quinn who enjoy spending time at work with mom! Thanks Megan, for the following editorial!

 

When working with animals the one thing I see a lot of is what comes out of them. I’m not just referring to fur. There is a very dirty side to this job and it involves what comes out of your dog’s back end. This is of course a very normal thing but there are things that are just not normal when it comes to dog dooty. Some things that you might want to watch out for are:

–          Soft stool on a frequent basis

–          Blood in feces

–          Bloated belly and sensitive abdomen

–          Trouble defecating

–          Overpowering odour

–          Regular flatulence

Some causes of these potential issues are:

–          Low quality diet – if you do not understand the items on the ingredient list or it gives you a vague idea of what is in your dog’s food, you might want to reconsider what you feed him/her.

–          Being fed too many scraps of people food.

–          Food sensitivity, intolerance or allergy – grains and fillers can be a major cause of this.

–          Anxiety or stress – dogs do not communicate verbally and cannot let us know what is upsetting them. Often we will see their stress in a physical way.

–          Antibiotics or other medications

Ways of helping your dog:

–          Ask questions from experts. Start by talking to your vet. If you are not satisfied with the answers you get, keep asking as many people as you can until you are satisfied. There are many excellent resources on line as well.

–          Cut back on the goodies and be selective in what you put into your dog even with treats. Many dogs will love fruits and vegetables as treats rather than some of your fries or burger.

–          Reduce the stress in your life as well as your dog’s. Our dogs are sensitive and often feel what we feel. Check in with how you are doing and start there. That could in turn help your dog.

I care about what I put into my body, therefore, I care what I put into my dog’s body. I do not want to be eating a whole bunch of artificial and genetically modified food on a daily basis so why would I feed that to my dog? We all care about our dogs and want to do what is best for them. Just remember, what comes out is a reflection of what goes in.

 

 

 

Bio-hazardous Puppies

On my way to work today I grabbed a Metro newspaper and on page 8 I read the heading, “Web driving unethical puppy farms: Experts”. The article opens with:

“A dustbin full of decomposing puppies was discovered at a farm in Wales last week”.

I couldn’t find any more news on this story, but the article does go on further to talk about a puppy mill raid in Arkansas, where the conditions were so bad that investigators actually had to wear bio-hazard suits. I just cannot fathom how these puppy mill owners can allow their souls, minds and consciences to think that this is okay for dogs and puppies to live this way! 200 puppies were seized and will hopefully be vetted and re-homed but it will be costly. Many of these pets will be seeing the vet for the first time in their lives, including some 8 year old dogs that were seized.

This article is completely correct; the internet is allowing these people to sell their dogs to unsuspecting or unaware people so easily.  Websites like puppyfind.com are basically aiding and feeding these illegal activities of animal abuse. If people want to buy a puppy, I’d suggest using a site that promotes healthy and safe adoptions like petfinder.com. Although sketchy rescues may still be able to post on this website, the website does have many articles on good ownership, how to avoid getting a sick dog, and the importance of rescue. The puppy you pick should be within your location range ie: you’re willing to fly or drive that far to see the puppy because YOU NEED TO VISIT THE PUPPY before you adopt/purchase it. Upon your arrival, ask for a vet report/documents. Compare the microchip or tattoo on the dog to the paperwork from the vet. This ensures that the dog that was seen by the vet was actually your dog and not a stand in. Insist on seeing the area where the dogs spend most of their time and if possible meet the parents. If adopting from a rescue this may not be possible as they probably don’t have the parents. Ask what their policy is if the dog were to ever not work out or became aggressive. If they don’t want the dog back that’s probably a red flag. Ask what their policies are (if purchasing from a breeder) on hips/elbows/eyes–there should be some kind of “warranty”. If buying from a breeder do they have champion dogs? You can verify this information through the AKC or the CKC, or they may have ribbons or trophies to show off. Probably someone willing to pay thousands of dollars to have their dogs compete is likely running a healthier kennel. Not to say all their practices are okay, but the odds that their dogs have been vetted are much higher. Ask for references, get a list of like 5-10 previous adopters/buyers and phone them and see what their experience was like, if their dogs have been relatively healthy. And god forbid, never, EVER, EVER buy a puppy from a puppy store—they don’t care about the puppy—end of story. Puppies/dogs are dollar signs to these people and we need to stop providing them with expensive steak on the dinner table! What these people are doing is wrong, inhumane, unsanitary, and completely unjust.

This is a photo of a dog taken before being rescued from a puppy mill:

And this is the dog how it should have been all along, and after it was rescued:

Dogs have minds, heartbeats and emotions; they deserve every fair treatment that a human would/should receive. They are not assets and nor are they disposable. They are our companions, our shoulder to cry on, and our family. Before you buy a puppy from a website, a breeder, or a puppy store, think about the kind of dogs that will take its place because you’ll be furthering their pain and suffering.

For a list of responsible rescues (as a starting point) please visit Paws For Hope’s website.
To read Metro’s article please visit this webpage.

The following pictures are examples of puppy mill conditions and may be difficult to view:

 

 

 

How Prepared Are You Really?

This past weekend I had probably the single most inspiring, motivational experience of my life. I took part in Dogsafe’s Canine CPR/First Aid course part 1 and it is truly unbelievable how much I took away from this class.

As a health care professional who has to undertake constant continuing education credits to uphold my license, I absolutely dread any CPR classes because they are generally so boring and mind numbingly dull that it’s difficult to sit through an entire day with the mundane teachers that generally teach these classes.

This course (although I may be slightly biased), was so far from “the norm” of these types of classes that I would do it again in a heartbeat. Not only was Michelle Sevigny (creator of Dogsafe) hilarious, intelligent, and easy to listen to, her teaching tactics made the information actually SINK IN. Two days later, I find myself saying, “Okay canine CPR—A, B, C, D—Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Deadly Bleeding.” She didn’t bombard us with 10 hours of reading from a text book, and she actually showed us on her live dog, Monty (whom may be my new favourite Rottweiler). The day was filled with laughter, and 95% hands-on work. We all had stuffed dogs to learn how to bandage wounds, fasten a make-shift muzzle (from a neck tie), and of course preform CPR. Michelle had medical-grade dummy dogs who’s lugs swelled when we blew in air, and pumps so we could feel their pulse.

The course was amazing, but I think I actually took more away from viewing the relationship between Michelle and Monty. When she demonstrated on him she said to him, “Over,” and he would lie down and plop himself on his side and allow Michelle to manipulate and inspect every inch of his body with full trust. You can literally see the trust flowing in between them, it was almost like they were in their own magical bubble.

I went home determined to develop my relationship with my weasel. We have always been extremely close, like mother to child, but he never allows his spine to touch the floor and he never allows himself to lie on his back. I don’t know if this is just because of the length of his spine or if he just feels too vulnerable. Either way, I busted out the clicker and dug out some Dig It! Delights and away we went. We worked until he would hold the position for 2 seconds and I actually got him to spread his hind legs so if someone wanted to inspect that area he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Once we’ve fully master this (on both sides), we’ll try some practice bandaging. It really surprised me that there were some areas that he didn’t want me to touch. I was counting his breaths and when I went to count his heart rate he didn’t like me feeling for his pulse. I can’t imagine a stranger ever finding him and having to try and help him—I don’t think it would happen. Since the Dogsafe course, “Preparedness” has a whole new meaning for me.

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Monty Giving Karin some kisses and loves.

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