Monday, May 31, 2010

Today we remember those who fought and died for our freedom




Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday's issues -- aging and loss of agility

My Satchmo is getting older.  That is a fact.  Not only is his muzzle almost all white, but he has slowed down considerably over the last few years.  I worry about him constantly and am always looking for a way to make his life easier and more comfortable. 

He loves to be in the bed with me, but has been unable to jump up on the mattress now for a few years.  I tried buying doggie stairs, but he was so frightened of them I had to get rid of them.  So, every night I pick him up and put him on the bed where he will stay until I get up because if he gets down, he cannot get back up.

I was surfing the net a few days ago and came across a wonderful product that I am considering buying for him.  I had never heard of or seen this product before, so I worried that the novelty would wear off and I would be looking at another useless item.  I found this on a site called Puppy Stairs, but it is not a stair but rather a ramp.  Satch loves being independent and I think he would like this.  It is cloth covered and padded so he would not be frightened by it; he loves getting on the furniture.

Here is a picture and the link to the product.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I will keep you posted if I decide to purchase it about the outcome!

Here is the link to the website -- Puppy Stairs

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday's True Stories -- Rescue Poodles

Here is a wonderful story about a rescued poodle from beginning life with a hoarder.  This is an uplifting story and one that deserves to be read.  Rescue dogs are well worth the trouble and return so much love and loyalty.  Enjoy Remy's story.

Remy's Story

The news of the 75 rescue poodles in Duchesne County, Utah was well publicized in June 2009. The poodles were victims of an animal hoarder.
This is the story of how one of those rescue poodles came into my life...
Rescue Poodle Remy after First Groom Aug 2009
In June 2008, I was returning home to Kansas City from a week long cruise to Mexico with my daughters. Within days of our return I received life changing news that my decade long career in the home building industry had been terminated. I was one of the thousands of casualties of the downturn in the housing market.
Hundreds of miles away in Duchesne County, Utah, a tiny black poodle was being born into horrific conditions. He was born into a one room cabin overflowing with more than 70 other dogs. He was born without a name and without human companionship. He was born into a room piled high with feces and the stench of ammonia that would burn your eyes. He was a victim of an animal hoarder .
Back in Missouri in the spring of 2009, I received another round of bad news. The home I was desperately trying to sell, after taking a 40% reduction in salary with a new employer, was not selling. In the midst of trying to figure out how to hold on to our home, I arrived at work one morning to discover that the company was downsizing and I was once again unemployed. These events brought me and my daughters to live with my parents in North Ogden, Utah in June 2009.
After the heartbreaking decision to rehome our dogs in Missouri due to a very uncertain future, we arrived in Utah knowing that we wanted to open our hearts to another dog in need as soon as we were able to. Because the home we were in did not have a fenced yard, we were looking for a small dog that fit our current circumstances.
Rescue Poodle Remy in Grass June 2009On June 16, 2009, a news story broke when a man died at a local hospital and authorities discovered that the man had been a dog hoarder. In his small cabin, 75 dogs, mostly poodles, were being kept in a small room. The conditions were the worst many had ever seen. The dogs had suffered long term abuse, neglect and malnourishment. News reports described the room as being covered in feces, as much as a foot deep in places. Of the 75 dogs on the property only 66 were alive. Others were in such bad shape that they were euthanized after being removed. The rescue poodles were split up among several local organizations because there were so many. News stories were calling for potential adopters to open their hearts to these dogs.
My daughters and I headed to the Utah Humane Society in Salt Lake City, Utah. Upon our arrival, we found that only 2 of the 16 rescue poodles they had received were still available. Both of these rescue poodles were small black males. They had been shaved because that was the only way the volunteers could attempt to get them clean. They were both cowering in the back of their cages, shaking with fright. The card on one of the kennels stated that his name was "unknown" and a tag on his neck identified him as rescue poodle #39. We decided to take him out and give him a good look. We carried him outside and placed him in the grass. He froze with fright, not knowing what to make of us, the grass under his feet, or his surroundings. I picked him up and he pressed his small body against me, still shaking in terror. At that moment we knew that we were going to open our hearts and our home to rescue poodle number 39.


Rescue Poodle Remy #39We were told that he had recently been neutered and vet checked but that they could offer no long term health guarantees due to the inbreeding that had likely taken place. We were told not to crate train him because of the abuse and neglect he had suffered. We were given fair warning about the time and patience that he would require. It was suggested that we bring rescue poodle number 39 home as a "trial adoption". "Just see how it goes for a week", they told us. "If you still want him after the week, come back and sign the official adoption paperwork". We brought him home.
On our way home we decided that rescue poodle number 39 would be known to us as "Remy".
Rehabiliating Remy
When we brought Remy home, he was much more of a statue of a dog than an actual dog. He was stiff and refused to move. We picked him up and placed him outside and he stood frozen. We picked him up and placed him in his dog bed and he lay there for hours without moving. He continuously shook and you could see terror in his eyes. It was heartbreaking to be with him.
Late on the first evening, I sat quietly next to Remy and put a few kibbles of food on his bed in front of him. He eyed the kibble and looked at me, then back at the kibble. To my amazement, he ate. Over the next hour I placed the kibble a few inches farther and farther from him. Eventually he left his bed and took a few bits of kibble out of my hand. Even though I was warned not to crate train him due to his background, I wanted to see how he would do and was willing to work with him while he adjusted. I put a few bits of kibble in the crate and he walked right in. I closed the door and he curled up and went to sleep. This was a huge victory for day 1, but his attitude about his crate would soon change.
Rescue Poodle Remy in Safety of his Bed June 2009Remy seemed to be improving by the hour. He was extremely cautious, but the constant shaking soon stopped. Remy ate and drank about a foot from the safety of his bed. We began to work on leash walking. With much patience and the lure of a treat, he began to move forward on the leash. Only a couple steps to start with, but by the end of the day I was able to walk him on his leash the 50 feet from the safety of his bed to the outdoors. Soon we were walking outdoors on the leash. It was fascinating to watch his self esteem grow as we walked. He was was doing the poodle prance and showing great confidence. Walking was when I first starting to see the dog in Remy begin to emerge.
I soon began to understand the potential problems with the crate. After the first night, when I placed him in his crate he was restless and began to paw at the door. To help soothe him and settle him down, I placed his crate next to my bed and dangled my arm over the side of the bed with my fingers gently stroking him. He curled up and went to sleep in no time, but the moment I removed my hand, he awoke and became restless once again. I reassured him throughout the night and even though I didn't get much sleep, Remy settled down and slept peacefully.

Rescue Poodle Remy Walking on Leash June 2009Soon, stroking him was not enough and there was nothing I could do that would reassure him. Exhausted one night, I picked the crate up off the floor and placed the crate on the bed next to me. He instantly curled up and went to sleep. We had several nights like this. Remy would sleep peacefully in the crate on my bed while I attempted to get comfortable while curling up around that wire box. This arrangement was short lived. After a few weeks, I gave up entirely on the crate for Remy. My room had become his safe haven. So instead of being crate trained, Remy was "room trained". This made him happy and I finally got some much needed sleep.
Remy became extremely attached to me. Because my daughters were gone for the first couple days after he came home, his bond with me was very strong. We tried to get him to bond as strongly with other members in the house. My daughters began to be the ones to walk him and to teach him basic obedience. Everything that they could do to bond with him they did. His bond remains stronger with me than with others and he still has small panic attacks when I'm suddenly out of his site, but this is improving. It should lessen in time but may be something we always need to work on.
Rescue Poodle Remy Jumping Sept 2009One of the biggest side affects of Remy's background seems to be a fear of doorways. In the first few weeks after we brought him home, he would back up and turn a few circles at each doorway before having the confidence to walk through it. He now only hesitates at certain ones and needs to be encouraged to go through others. I've thought about what may have caused this fear and the only thing I've come up with is thinking about managing 75 poodles in one room. If you were to open the door, they would all want to run out. So, there was probably some yelling or screaming or kicking when the door was opened to keep them all confined. Remy may never fully get over his hesitation at doorways, but I will do my best to help him with this problem.
Moving Forward
Most people that meet Remy would have no idea that he is a rescue poodle who began his life as the victim of an animal hoarder. They would not know how far he's come in just a few months. He is a bit timid around new people at first, but warms up quickly. He loves other dogs and will actually whine to meet them when we are on our walks. He has proven to be a smart little guy and has quickly learned basic obedience. We also started teaching him agility since he seems to love to jump. He has amazed us at how high he can jump. He dances for treats and will give you a high five. He is a lover and loves to be loved. He smiles and his eyes roll with delight when you massage and pet him.
Remy will always have a few quirks, but he is no longer a project that we need to work on. Remy is a wonderful dog and a much loved member of our family. We are excited about our future together.
Rescue Poodle Remy after first Groom Aug 2009
Here's the link to the site where this story is originally posted and there are many other wonderful stories there.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Thursday's issues

I love the NYTimes Well Blog.  I cannot help myself.  I find the most interesting and informative items there.
This article is about the positives to be drawn from walking with a dog and I, for one, have to say that the information here is presented in a scholarly and research-oriented manner but is easily understood by all.

Since I spend quite a bit of my life walking my dog, Satchmo, I have more than a little interest in this topic.  Since reading this article, I have given quite a lot of thought to the benefits I receive just by having a pet dog and by actively taking care of him.  I don't think everyone understands that although having a pet is expensive, what you receive back from your pet is ten-fold.

As I am approaching those "golden years" --they are catching up with me no matter how hard I try to hide-- I find that caring for Satch means 4-5 walks a day.  Yes, some of the 20 minutes is spent in the "walk-sniff-pee-walk-poop-sniff mode" but the rest of the time is actually spent moving.  But, even during the aforementioned mode, I get to be outdoors and enjoy fresh air and sunshine --or freezing rain and artic blasts-- and I don't think I would be trekking outdoors without a good reason.  For me, Satchmo is a very good reason and he responds to my commitment by loving me unconditionally.  You really can't beat that, can you?  For the look in his eyes when we come inside, I will gladly brave the hardest rain and the coldest wind. 
____________________________________________________________________________________

The Best Walking Partner: Man vs. Dog

 

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times 
A dog will never try to talk you out of going for a walk.

By TARA PARKER-POPE


Is it better to walk a human or to walk a dog?

New research from the University of Missouri has found that people who walk dogs are more consistent about regular exercise and show more improvement in fitness than people who walk with a human companion. In a 12-week study of 54 older adults at an assisted living home, 35 people were assigned to a walking program for five days a week, while the remaining 19 served as a control group. Among the walkers, 23 selected a friend or spouse to serve as a regular walking partner along a trail laid out near the home. Another 12 participants took a bus daily to a local animal shelter where they were assigned a dog to walk.
To the surprise of the researchers, the dog walkers showed a big improvement in fitness, while the human walkers began making excuses to skip the workout. Walking speed among the dog walkers increased by 28 percent, compared with just a 4 percent increase among the human walkers.

“What happened was nothing short of remarkable,” said Rebecca A. Johnson, a nursing professor and director of the Research Center for Human Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The improvement in walking speed means their confidence in their walking ability had increased and their balance had increased. To have a 28 percent improvement in walking speed is mind boggling.”

Ms. Johnson said that because some people are afraid of dogs, the participants were given the choice of walking with a human or a dog as the companion. Ms. Johnson said the dog walkers were far more consistent in sticking with the program than those who were walking with humans.

“In the human walking group, they were regularly discouraging each other from walking,” she said. “Missouri is a hot state. We would hear them saying: ‘It’s hot today. I don’t want to walk, do you?’ ”

The response from participants in the dog-walking group — and their dog companions — was very different.
“When the people came to the animal shelter, they bounced off the bus and said, ‘Where’s my dog?”’ Ms. Johnson said. “And the dogs never gave any discouragement from walking.”

Ms. Johnson said she suspects differences will show up in other areas, like depression and anxiety, although that data are still under review and the final study has not yet been published.

But there were also other subtle indicators of improvement among the dog-walking group. Many people in the dog-walking group stopped using canes and walkers. “They would say, ‘Now I’m physically fit enough to take my dog for a walk,”’ Ms. Johnson said.

Here's the link to this article
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday True Stories -- Moe couldn't escape the speeding car in his path

 I just found this site and read the story of Moe.  I was really moved at the compassion and care he has received by all except the driver of that car.  Please visit this site and sign up.  It's totally free and maybe you will see something there that moves you to contribute, who knows.  To read all about Moe and others just like him, please visit Bidawee.org.

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For some, going to the airport means a trip to paradise, unfortunately for Moe this was more like a nightmare. Moe desperately tried to out run the speeding car that was bearing down on him. Unsuccessful, he was left by JFK Airport with one leg severely broken, one leg dislocated and numerous deep lacerations. Moe now faces a long road of expensive surgery and many hours of recovery before he is able to resume his life as a loving companion. With your help we can make sure he gets the medical attention and compassionate care he deserves.

Police rescued Moe as he dragged his wounded body around JFK Airport. They brought Moe to a city shelter, but its facilities couldn't give him the care he needed to survive. Those at the shelter feared that Moe would have to be euthanized so they emailed Bideawee with a plea to help save Moe and give him another chance at life.

Moe has so much courage and kindness is his two year old body. When Moe came in we rushed him into the exam room where he allowed the doctors to examine both his legs and treat his gashes without any resistance in spite of how much pain he was experiencing.

Moe is now safe at Bideawee, although he's still in pain, he knows that he will receive the surgeries and care necessary to make a full recovery. Due to the severity of Moe's injuries his heeling process will be a lengthy one. He will not be able to put any weight on his hind legs for a long time as his little body recovers from the trauma he experienced.

Moe is such a friendly, sweet dog. He craves attention as he awaits the surgery he so desperately needs. What we want most is to help Moe heal and give him a second chance at life so that he can find a forever family that will give him the love he so richly deserves.

Please make a donation today to help Moe heal so we can find him his forever home.     



If you are unable donate at this time we understand. We would love to keep you in the informed on what's new at Bideawee. Please join our Bideawee online family today to receive Bideawee News, pet health tips, rescue stories and more! Become a member now - It's Free.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Experiment was a Success!

Using Melatonin really works.  Satch was able to weather those numerous thunderstorms without even waking up.  He did not shake or pace and he slept through the worst storm!

I will certainly be using Melatonin for his storm phobia in the future.  I hope you can benefit from this information.  Research online at veterinary sites about using melatonin for fears and phobias in dogs.

Hopefully, since Satch developed this phobia later in his life, he will now be able to return to the happy and fearless dog he always was before.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We're having Thunderstorms and Heavy Rain -- Uh Oh! Satch is in the tub again!

stormy skiesImage by ConnieG via Flickr
My dog is deathly afraid of thunder.  He becomes a pitiful, shaking, quaking mess when storms roll in.  I have tried all different ways to relieve his anxiety and pain, to no avail.  He will pace and hide and pace and hide, all while shaking violently and whining.  It hurts me to watch him.  I recently read an article about using Melatonin to deal with this problem.  Below is an article I found, which is just one of many available, that talks about using Melatonin.  I found it on OhMyDogSupplies.com.

The first time I tried this was in the middle of the night when Satch's severe shaking woke me up from a sound sleep.  He was finally able to calm down and go back to sleep, but it took a while for the effect to occur.  Today, however, the storms arrived before I realized it and he was in full-blown panic.  I gave him a dose but so far no effect.  I will have to wait and see if I will need to do something else.  The last time he went into a panic, he jumped into the bathtub and howled.  I want no repeat of that, please.

So, here's the article I'm talking about:

Melatonin: Used To Treat Fear Of Thunderstorms

December 15, 2008

Dogs are often scared of loud noises, not all dogs, but many. 
And of those who do have a noise sensitivity,  thunderstorms 
and other similar, unexpected sounds, are often the culprits of 
their fears. Fear of thunder or other loud noises is very common. 
This is often true for puppies and older dogs.

Dealing with the possibility of having a panic stricken, nervous 

dog, many owners resort to tranquilizers whenever alerted to an 
impending thunderstorm. This is an extreme treatment that is 
often recommended, but seldom needed. I would like to now 
introduce you to a new alternative should you ever need it for 
your own scared dog the next time a storm comes through your 
area. It is a safe, drug-free, over-the-counter supplement that is 
easily available to to any dogs with these anxiety problems. It is 
called melatonin.

You have probably heard of melatonin before. It is a naturally 

occurring hormone that is secreted by a small endocrine gland 
called the pineal gland, located at the base of the brain. It helps 
to regulate and maintain the body’s circadian rhythm (the body’s 
internal clock that tells mammals when to fall asleep and when to 
wake up). Melatonin, in humans, is often used as a natural 
sleeping aid. For dogs, melatonin is often administered to 
alleviate their fear of thunder and other loud noises.

I have read studies that melatonin has a positive result with at least 

75% of dogs who take the supplement. When do you administer 
melatonin, you may be wondering? With some dogs, melatonin is 
most effective when it is given just before the storm hits.  In other 
dogs, it is best when this supplement is given just as they are 
starting to show signs of stress, anxiety and fear so you may have 
to experiment over the course of a few storms before you find the 
perfect application time for your own dog.

Melatonin is said to work in the dogs body for about eight hours or 

so. One important note: do not use melatonin on any pregnant dogs 
or very young puppies. The best advice I can give you is to check
with your veterinarian prior to using melatonin to make sure there 
will be no problems with pre-existing health problems or medications 
that your dog currently has (or is on) and also for the recommended 
dosage for your own pet.

By: Debbie Ray


Need German Shepherd or Purebred dog information 

(http://www.pedigreedpups.com) ? Check us out if you have other 
dog related questions!



http://www.ohmydogsupplies.com/xnews.php?newsid=160
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

How To Make Sure Your Dog Has Healthy Teeth

Search Amazon.com for dog teeth care

As you know from reading this blog, Satchmo has terrible trouble with his teeth.  Some of it is my fault, I'm sure, but some of it is his genetics.  I thought I would post an article here about ways to help your dog have a nice clean mouth to give lots of doggy kisses to you without cringing from the odor.

This is from a website called Our Dogs Food.  Please visit the site and there you will find a veritable source of information and videos that cover just about any issue known in the care of your pets.  I know I will be bookmarking this site and returning frequently, so I hope you enjoy it also.

_________________________________________________________________________________


How To Make sure your Dog has Healthy Teeth

By the time your dog matures, he’ll have 42 teeth (twenty on top and twenty-two on the bottom). All of them will need proper care throughout his life. It is estimated that four out of five canines experience some form of dental problem by three years of age. The side effects extend much further than a lost tooth or discomfort along the gum line. Bacteria can potentially enter your pooch’s bloodstream, leading to problems with his kidneys and heart.
Oral disease is one of the most prevalent medical issues suffered by pets throughout the country. For this reason, we’ll take a closer look at common dental problems experienced by dogs and the steps you can take to prevent them. We’ll explain why regular trips to your veterinarian are critical and describe how to care for your canine’s teeth at home.
Common Types Of Dental Problems
While cavities are rare among canines, plaque buildup is common. It typically forms as the result of small bits of food that accumulate between the teeth and gum line. If the food is allowed to remain there for prolonged periods, plaque will eventually form.
Over time, minerals in your canine’s saliva will transform the plaque into tartar. Tartar is a bigger problem because it is much more difficult to correct. Moreover, unlike plaque, tartar causes inflammation to the gums, a condition known as gingivitis.
If your dog develops gingivitis, you’ll noticed the gum line next to his teeth becoming red. You’ll also notice that his breath is bad. If the tartar is allowed to remain, it will continue to build underneath your pooch’s gums. Small spaces will eventually form between the gum line and teeth, which promote the growth of bacteria. This is the onset of periodontitis; it cannot be reversed. Your dog will likely begin to develop abscesses, infection, and other problems, including lost teeth.
It’s worth noting the factors that contribute to periodontal disease. First, some breeds are more susceptible to developing the problem than others. Second, genetics play a part. Third, your canine’s diet, age, and the dental care you provide for him at home also have a significant influence. Many owners would be surprised to learn that even the manner in which they groom their dogs can promote the accumulation of tartar.
Regular Trips To The Veterinarian
Proper dental care for your pooch should involve a two-pronged approach. You should make regular appointments with his [...]
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday



This is Maggie, a dog I currently foster online at Save A  Dog.





From RiverRidge Rat Terriers, one of the best breeders around


This is Sissy, another rattie I foster online at Save A Dog