We Are The Failures

Yesterday I was talking with my mother, whom Oliver and I are visiting for 6 days, about his new “snarky” habits. Granted, every Dachshund owner you speak with will tell you stories about how their Doxie can have some attitude issues, but I firmly believe that some behaviors can be taught through exposure and not just because of breed characteristics embedded in their genes.I believe the behaviour I see in my dog is a direct result of what I am or am not teaching my dog–his failures are my failures, we’re a team.

Lately, Oliver has been grumpy towards other dogs, especially puppies, after meeting them. Initially he presents happy, excited signs of wanting to meet another dog so I had been allowing him, and now I’m thinking “Why am I such an idiot?” Why?? Signs of excitement can be very bad, in fact one could say that aggression is just another form of excitement. No? Let me know your thoughts either way. Initially I was like, “Well, I just won’t let him meet any other dogs”, but that too is a recipe for disaster. 

So from now until…well awhile, we’re going to be going back to positive reinforcement clicker training, and I’ll post updates and progress as time goes! 

If you’ve never heard of Clicker Training here is a great starter video by canine Trainer Karen Pryor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHKOra47fsQ

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Vet Visit Of Doom!

Hey Readers!

Today my pooch had his annual vet visit… This momma is SHOCKED at the outcome!

Firstly, many of you know the struggles I’ve had just getting weight on Oliver, and now the vet says he needs to LOSE 1 kilogram!! Thats 2.2 lbs, and on a little dog…yikes that is A LOT! It was our first time going to this vet, but she was amazing! And I’ll definitely be working on his weight. Guess we both need more exercise!!!

Then I had mentioned that a few weeks ago his anal glands had expressed while he sat in my lap. So she gloves and lubes up and investigates–they were so FULL they were like 10X their normal size…scary! Poor thing… More homework, learn to drain his pea sized glands regularly.

Then after we had a chat about eyes, teeth, and his coat the vet said the most shocking thing of all.
“You have the most well behaved Doxie I’ve ever met”!

HUH!?!?!?
We can’t be talking about the same needy, slightly snobby, cutie standing right here!?!?

Haha, ’til next time:)

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To Smash Or Not To Smash

Hey Readers! I hope you are all enjoying the sun, lake, beach, and keeping your pets safe and cool indoors and not in your cars!

Up until recently, RCMP and local Police Departments have always stated that taking matters into your own hands when it comes to a pet in distress in a vehical is NOT a good idea. Today while reading The Province, I came accross this article:

http://www.theprovince.com/Smashing+window+save+life/8626361/story.html

Now, we are being told that we SHOULD be smashing windows to save both children and pets in distress or unconscious. It’s stated in this article that since there is no criminal intent behind the act that there can be NO criminal charges laid against you. (Awesome Sauce!).

So, lets all pull out our batons, bats, and heck, even a stone will do, and let irresponsible owners know we’re putting the safety of their kid or furkid first! 

By the way, before we go on a witch hunt….Signs of a distressed dog include:

– Rapid / Heavy Breathing

– Tongue is very red

– Thick Saliva

– Vomitting

– Collapse

-Seizures

THESE ARE FATAL if left untreated.

Dr. Ernie Ward has done many studies on dogs left in hot cars and has created this amazing video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbOcCQ-y3OY

Now that we can all intelligently decide on the severity of a situation, be my guest and smash away:)

Raw Food Update

So it has been 6 meals since I started Oliver on raw food. Some may think I’m crazy but we have already started seeing benefits from the change. My spouse came up and said to me yesterday,”I think Oliver’s coat is silkier already”. Without him knowing, I had also already said this to my mother.
Although I suppose it is possible we’re both wrong.

One other thing we’ve noticed is the size and hardness of his poop has changed. They are smaller and firmer. Not that he had extremely large or runny ones to begin with, but hey, it’s something! Large breed mothers of furkids would appreciate this benefit A LOT.

Probably the single most exciting thing I’ve noticed since we made the switch has been seeing Oliver wag his tail in excitement to eat–This has NEVER happened. He has always hated eating his dog food and only ever did it to appease his grumbling stomach. there is a glint in his eye when I go into the refrigerator which, quite honestly, I enjoy seeing.

I really need to say thank you to my friends who supported me and helped me in making the decision to switch, and who gave me an abundance of “raw wisdom”. I’d also like to thank Red Dog Blue Kat for making such an easy to use, fresh product, that makes feeding picky dogs less of a headache!

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You Put WHAT In My Dog’s Food?

Hills, commonly known for their dog food Science Diet, has recently come out to say that they will be adding propylene glycol to their food to act as a preservative. This ingredient is known to be a plastic and is found in ANTI-FREEZE. What you’ll find hilarious is the FDA has banned this ingredient in felines (cats) as it has found to be quite toxic….So….Why are they putting it in dog food? Another funny thing about this ingredient is it contains CHLOROFORM. Some of you may know that I work in a dental office to pay the bills, and we use chloroform too, but do you know what for? To dissolve otherwise undessolvable materials, aka ERODE hard materials. Imagine what this does to an intestine, or stomach? Some of your mothers reading this post may also be interested to know you can find propylene glycol in baby wipes. So basically you are rubbing a harsh chemical on your sweet baby’s bottom.

Dogs, cats, or any other pet, cannot tell you what they need in their food, what tastes good, what makes their tummies sore, or what foods give them the trots. READ ingredients lists. The following website has a pretty good breakdown of pet food ingredients– The Dog Food Project.

If you love your pet–don’t feed them crap. It’s pretty simple.

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:

 

 

 

BC’s Witch Hunt

What is the difference between a Witch Hunt and a Breed Ban–Well…Nothing.

In 1692, nearly 20 men and women were hanged on suspicion of witchcraft in Gallows Hill, Salem. 320 years later, we know there are no such things are witches (except those who knock on our doors once annually for free candy), and yet we’re still prosecuting the innocent because we’re afraid.

The past two weeks in Vancouver have felt like a media persecution, and Pit Bull owners all across BC feel like they’re under a magnifying glass with someone refracting sunlight on them, and it is starting to burn. It’s time to get the facts straight.

In 2008, the Canadian Veterinary Journal did a study that concluded that only 1-2 deaths per year (between 1990 and 2007) were attributed to dog attacks on humans. In the 28 deaths between 1990 and 2007, 85% were children under the age of 12, 14% were adults over 21. In 22 of the 28 deaths, the victims were alone with the dog during the time of the attack, which means children are being left unattended by their parents with these animals. Of the 28 fatalities the following dogs were implicated:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier or “Pit Bull” type resulted in 1(ONE) fatality
  • Husky/Lab/Siberian resulted in 3 fatalities
  • Mixed breed was responsible for 7 fatalities
  • Rottweilers were responsible for 3 fatalities
  • Shepherds were responsible for 1 fatality
  • “Other” breeds were responsible for 6 fatalities
  • Sled dogs were responsible for 4 fatalities

For the complete breakdown please visit this government website.

So Pit Bulls aren’t the ones doing the biting, and yet they seem to make up the majority of all the newspaper and recently CBC did their own mini study and found that this statement is true,they are over publishing the Pit Bull Attack stories. This report can be found here.

It’s safe to say that if we’re so afraid of these dogs why are we 75% of the time leaving our children alone with them? Dogs are animals, Pit Bulls are animals. Would you leave your children alone with say a deer, elephant, or even a parrot? No, of course not, and if you answered yes to that question you should really seek some parenting classes. Children have no concept of consequence, and animals can be trained and loved but in the end you just NEVER KNOW. We can give them the keys to success through training and socialization, but ultimately it is our responsibility as the owner of these pets to be accountable when something goes array!

And just one more note: If you see someone walking their Pit Bull at the park, you have absolutely NO RIGHT nor NO EXCUSE for you or anyone else to say something nasty, or stereotypical to their owner. If a Pit Bull and their owner is out walking on a leash, this is an example of GOOD behavior. If your neighbour’s Pit Bull is left chained in the yard, barking, and never seeing the outside of that fence, I suggest you call the SPCA because there could be a problem there.

The witch hunt needs to stop, and stop now. Racism comes in many forms and breed bans are one of them, we can’t discriminate for people’s religion or social views so why is it alright to some people to slander their love of a particular breed of dog? It’s not okay.

For anyone wanting to get more information on Pit Bulls and what is really up with the Breed, I invite you to a screening of a documentary called Beyond The Myth, tickets selling for Oct.28th and you may purchase them here.

Please be kind to your neighbourhood friendly Pits in the park.