Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Heroes in Need of Homes By Deborah Kandoll

WORKING DOG — U.S. Air Force military working ...Image via Wikipedia
Dog Heroes in Need of Homes 

Here's an article I found interesting and worthy of reposting here.  I feel that we owe these dogs just as much respect as we owe our troops who give so much to protect our freedoms.

If you can adopt one of these wonderful animals, please contact the source and let them know.

I found this article at ExceptionalCanine.com and I recommend you visit them for more stories just like this one.





Work & Sport

Military working dogs (MWDs) are the unsung four-legged heroes of our armed services. Every day, these amazing dog heroes put their lives on the line, on patrol and on specialized drug and explosive detection missions around the world. Wherever there are American security forces, MWDs are there serving right beside them.

When these dogs grow too old or cannot physically continue on with the rigorous standards required of military working dogs, they can be retired from the military and offered for adoption to qualified civilians and law-enforcement handlers.

Finding a Dog Hero

Because there is a long waiting list, it can take a year to 18 months to adopt from the 341st MWD Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base (LAFB) in San Antonio. LAFB also adopts out dogs that “wash out” of the training program. Although they might not have been suited for military life, they’re still wonderful dogs.
Many military working dog facilities exist throughout the country. To shorten the lengthy waiting time for your companion, you can also actively call any of these groups to inquire if veteran dogs will be retired soon. My website offers more information at MilitaryWorkingDogAdoptions.com.

These Dogs Are Indeed Special

I established my group’s website in 2008 as a result of my own personal MWD adoption experience. I made 50 calls before I discovered my first MWD, Benny B163, a beautiful black and tan German Shepherd. I thought I knew all about the breed after owning seven German Shepherds. But my Benny made me see what military dog handlers speak of in reverent terms. The relationship they have with their working dogs is unique from any other. The depth of its closeness, loyalty and trust cannot be quantified in words. My special 12-year-old Benny passed away from a heart attack on January 3, 2010.

My husband and I are now overjoyed to have 12-year-old Bino C152 (USA, Ret.) and 9- year-old Alex H116 (USAF, Ret.) as our new and much-beloved family members. Bino C152, a narcotics detection/patrol dog, had paws on the ground in Iraq for 14 months. Alex H116 served two six-month stints in Iraq as a patrol dog. Their time to enjoy a well-earned rest at “Ft. Couch” has come!

How You Can Learn More

I founded Military Working Dog Adoptions to help make sure that all of these dog heroes find happy homes. MWD Adoptions accepts donations, which it uses to transport adopted MWDs in need of a ride to their new homes. We also help out with military working dogs’ medical costs from time to time. Our paperwork as a nonprofit is pending. However, every dime we receive goes directly to help these veteran canines and the families who adopt them.

Visit our website for more information on how to adopt or otherwise help one of these amazing creatures.
Photo: @iStockphoto.com/egeeksen
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Here's a video that is well worth watching!

 People are not the only ones who can be thankful and grateful.  Watch the behavior of these dogs and tell me if they don't show thankfulness and gratefulness for the return of their "person".



Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dr. Mahaney's Thanksgiving safety tips for your pets

Here's an article I found on DogTimes Weekly that I felt was appropriate to repost here.  We all will be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas is almost upon us.  We need to take a moment to think about the health and safety of our loyal pets during this holiday season.  There are more dangers to them at this time than we think about.  Please heed the warnings in this article so both you and your loving pets have a wonderful holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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This article courtesy of Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA

 

Starting with Halloween, the fall-winter holiday season yields innumerable hazards to our pets (see Top 5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips). The potential danger continues into Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwaanza, New Year's Eve, or other holiday of your choice. Pet hazards lurk in festive foods, decorations, and schedule and environment changes. Take the following precautions, as you will suffer emotional and financial stress caused by a pet's holiday health crisis.
Holiday Foods
Even though they may love the taste, avoid feeding your pet any of chocolate, candy, fats, proteins, bones, and dried fruits.
Chocolate and Candy- Chocolate contains chemical compounds called methylzanthines, including caffeine and theobromine, which have many toxic effects in dogs (see Pet Care 101- Why is chocolate unhealthy for my dog?). Additionally, the fat and sugar in chocolate and candy can cause serious gastrointestinal abnormalities, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.
Fats and Proteins- Holiday foods, including animal skin, meats, and cheese are high in calories and contain large percentages of fat and protein. Even feeding your pet an amount of these foods that visually appears small can exceed your pet's daily caloric requirements. Additionally, the interruption of your dog's consistent consumption of a particular food by feeding holiday foods will increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal upset.
Bones- Cooked bones are harder than raw bones and prone to splintering, causing mechanical irritation to the lining of the stomach and intestines. Large pieces or multiple bones can be ingested, potentially causing esophageal, gastric, or intestinal obstruction. This year, don't be "that owner" berating yourself after a pet has gotten sick after eating your leftover steak bone.
Dried Fruits- Raisins (and grapes) have an unknown toxic mechanism which causes damage to the canine kidney. Although the toxic effects are most commonly seen when large amounts are consumed, it is recommended to prevent your dog from eating raisins and grapes. Along these lines, I recommend not feeding your pet any dehydrated fruits, as they are high in calories, may contain preservatives (sulfites, etc), and could lead to vomiting, diarrhea or other health concerns.
Holiday Decorations
Prevent your pet from having contact with holiday decorations, including candles and holiday plants.
Candles- Even momentary contact between a lit candles and your pet's fur can set your pet on fire, leading to life threatening skin burns. I have recently been involved in the treatment process of Buddha, a dog burned by an unknown heat source (see Burned French Bulldog Continues to Heal with Acupuncture Treatments). Besides the pain and suffering burned pets must endure, your entire family may be at risk if a pet knocks a candle over and causes combustion of flammable household materials.
Additionally, scented candles (cinnamon, fig, vanilla, etc) emit appealing aromas and may cause gastrointestinal abnormalities if consumed.
Holiday Plants- Many holiday plants are potentially toxic to your pet. A list of toxic and non-toxic plants can be found on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website.
Despite general public perception, the poinsettia is a traditional holiday plant that is only mildly toxic to pets when consumed. The poinsettia contains a sap which causes local irritation to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract when ingested, potentially causing salivation or vomiting.
Christmas pine, spruce, and fir trees and their water can both lead to toxic reactions in your pet. Christmas tree needles contain oils and resins potentially causing salivation and digestive upset. Consumption of tree water can cause gastrointestinal problems or organ (kidney, liver other) failure caused by fertilizers, bacteria, or molds.
Schedule and Environmental Changes
Holidays create situational changes in our lives and cause additional stress for our pets. Pet owners or guests entering and exiting the home environment increases the likelihood your pet could escape. Even if your pet is not a notorious escape artist, fit your pet with a collar bearing appropriate identification. Additionally, microchip implantation will connect your pet to you should their collar fall off or be removed.
Travel plans or the presence of holiday guests may require a pet to be kenneled in a facility or confined in your home. If your pet is kept outdoors, ensure their safety from weather extremes by providing a climate controlled shelter.
This holiday season, please think ahead and plan for the possibility that your pet may be adversely affected by your festivities. Should your pet show illness or be suspected to have inappropriately consumed holiday foods or decor contact your regular or emergency veterinary hospital.

Dr. Mahaney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. He lives and practices in Los Angeles, California, and works closely with local rescue organizations. He also writes for Los Angeles Pet Care Examiner column.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Video about special needs dogs

Dogs with special needs need love and care, too.  Here is a wonderful video about just such a dog and his wonderful owner.  If only all dogs were so lucky!