Today is April 30 and it’s also Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. Now none of us came from a shelter – although my human often threatens that we could end up there. But there are many wonderful dogs who, due to NO fault of their own, end up in shelters. And they deserve a good home. The key with shelter pets is matching them to the right homes. Some shelter pets come with baggage – and I’m not talking dog toys and leashes. I’m talking about a start in life that may not have been good – so they may have behavior problems. The crucial point is in knowing what those problems ARE and whether the prospective human can tackle them. There is probably nothing more sad than seeing a dog go to a home, only to be returned a short time later. So matching dogs and homes is CRITICAL. Now not ALL shelter dogs have behavior problems – some may have ended up there due to their human becoming ill. No matter what the reason though, a good match is very important.
My human’s first dog (as an adult), who I have probably written about before, was Barney. He was a terrier-something cross. Pretty darn cute to look at, but his nick-name at the shelter was “The Biter.” For good reason. But my human, being somewhat naive, judged a book by it’s cover, and took Mr. Sweet-looking, home. And probably within an hour of arriving home, he bit her. She learned QUICKLY that Barney didn’t like to “give things up” and he was somewhat “protective” of his belongings. He also did not particularly care for other dogs – he would look all sweet and waggy tailed and then promptly attempt to bite them. Obedience classes for him BEGAN but never finished – because it was too much of a challenge holding onto the whirling, snapping machine. My human simply learned to avoid other dogs when walking him. Barney also had a “thing” for large trucks. He would go into a frenzy – and one time put a hole in my human’s boot (while she was wearing it) in his frustration at not being able to “catch” one.
Every now and then, he loved to get into the garbage, not to EAT the contents, but rather to HIDE them. There was that turkey carcass he hid under the cushion on the sofa – and the chicken bones in the suitcase of my human’s sister, who was visiting.
When my human traveled to visit her parents and their Golden Retriever, Barney tried to take over Midas’ food bowl- with Midas standing right there. Midas was a pretty laid back dog – but it was the first and only time they saw him lose his cool. Barney learned quickly that “size matters.” Not that it totally deterred him throughout the whole visit – he was just more cautious – and he certainly didn’t try to challenge Midas again!
When Barney was about 10 years old, my human decided to take a chance and add a new dog to the household – a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. She had wanted a Bernese for a number of years – and while she initially THOUGHT she should wait until – well until Barney was no longer around – she came to realize that Barney was one hardy little dog. So she took a chance – KNOWING that Barney was not all that fond of other dogs. But Barney surprised my human – as he often did – and he didn’t mind Schubert at all. Barney outlived Schubert, and went on to live with two other dogs as well – another Bernese, named Guinness and a yellow lab named, Beamish. Throughout his life, Barney WAS in charge of the household – and everyone respected his status!
|Barney and Schubert
My human owned Barney back in the day when vaccinating almost EVERY year was common protocol. He also ate cheap dog food – the kind that LOOKS like meat but is probably 95% fillers and plastic. It was actually probably mostly chemicals and preservatives. Barney lived to the ripe old age of 17 1/2. And besides his yearly vaccination visit, she can’t recall him being sick. Maybe it was all those chemicals that preserved him! Go figure.
Barney liked to run away, if let off leash, but he usually came back. When he felt like it. My human often said that even at age 17, if the door was left open, he would have said “see ya later – I’ve got places to go. Not sure when I’ll be home.”
When he went to the Rainbow Bridge it was a sad day indeed…
But my human often wonders if she had not taken Barney, where he MIGHT have ended up. He clearly wasn’t a “family dog” – and NOT a dog for everyone – but just like every dog she has been owned by – he was just perfect for her.
So today we think about those dogs who have still not found a home – and are living in shelters. We hope that they find their loving, forever homes SOON!!!!
***One final thing to note…most dogs in shelters are not purebred. Two probable reasons why – IF you get a purebred dog from a RESPONSIBLE breeder, that breeder will take the dog back at any point in his/her life and will find a good home. Those breeders will ALSO insist when you get a puppy that he/she be neutered – and NOT bred. The other reason you don’t find as many purebreds in shelters – IF a purebred DOES end up in a shelter, most purebred breed clubs will rescue the dog, and find a good home. Dogs in shelters MOST likely did NOT come from responsible breeders. That is not to say they don’t deserve a great life – and being there is not their fault. But sometimes people WANT an older dog – and they may not be aware that breed clubs can often HELP them find a dog of a desired breed – who also NEED loving homes. So when you are ready to take a dog into your home and heart – please know that there are a NUMBER of ways to do so!
Saturday. A day to let our human sleep in until 6AM. Isn’t she lucky?!
Today I am sharing more Viktionary entries – as my human is feeling a BIT tired and since today’s holidays, according to the crazy calendar, aren’t anything NEARLY as exciting as Hairball Awareness Day. Seriously – who celebrates World Zipper Day?
So here are a few terms that dog owners can probably appreciate – and maybe one or two JUST for humans who are owned by PONs!
We will try our best to stay out of trouble today to give our human a break. Bwhahahahahaha. Who am I kidding?!
Have a good one!
Well it’s Friday. And I must say, my human is very happy it is. VERY happy. Let’s just say it has been a challenging week in many ways – so let’s just be glad it’s over and let the weekend begin! Although she DID say something about all of us being overdue for a good grooming – so it may not be as joyful a weekend as I’m hoping for!
Today is actually National Hairball Awareness Day – and frankly it’s not a topic I REALLY feel like writing about. I mean really, who wants to talk about tricholiths or trichobezoars? That’s the “technical” term for hairballs. One thing I did learn – that although people think of the hairball problem as a cat thing, dogs CAN get them too. We tend to get them if we lick ourselves a lot – like if we are itchy or bored, if we are shedding and not well groomed, or if we eat other animals – like that bunny in the yard. Hairballs CAN cause an obstruction in our gastrointestinal tract and the symptoms may include repeated attempts to cough or vomit, constipation, diarrhea, or a loss of appetite. If our stomach appears bloated, we have a significant problem. Sometimes hairballs can be “helped along” by giving us petroleum jelly or pumpkin. In some cases, the problem COULD actually require surgery. Luckily it’s not a COMMON problem in dogs – but I guess it’s important to know it CAN happen.
There. I can’t believe I just had a blog about hairballs. Well I guess I’ve talked about poop enough times, that hairballs aren’t THAT far a stretch!
Wishing all of you a happy – non-hairy weekend!
So today is something called Pay it Forward Day. It’s basically a day when humans are supposed to be nice to other humans and perform random acts of kindness. Buy someone a coffee, help the neighbor carry out the trash or rake the yard, visit or call someone who is ill, let someone into traffic ahead of you…nice little things that the other person will appreciate, and will make you feel better too! Isn’t it kind of ODD though, that humans need to have a “day” to be reminded to be nice to one another? To treat others with respect and kindness? I always say – humans need to take a lesson from us canines – we always treat others with unconditional love and respect. Unless it’s a delivery person. Then we may not be exactly respectful and all lovey dovey. Or suspicious strangers. But then, that’s our JOB. We are ALWAYS loving and respectful of our human. OK, maybe not ALWAYS respectful when we take off into the woods and pretend we don’t know our names. Or when we eat the dining room rug. Or steal bananas off the counter…But we DO always love her. And we can’t WAIT for her to come home from work. Our excitement is too hard to contain. I dare say, most humans don’t greet other humans with the same amount of enthusiasm. Humans need to pay attention to us dogs – and really, be more like us. I think they should change the name from Pay it Forward Day to Be Like a Dog Day. Who do I see about getting this changed?
Have a good one. And be nice.
So let’s check on news from the Wonderful World of dogs…
Well, the city of Waterloo, Ontario has come up with a way to turn dog poop into energy. Humans can put their dog droppings into special receptacles, and the organic waste is collected and put into big underground vats. It eventually breaks down creating a biogas which can be used for energy. I figure my human is sitting on a gold mine. We collect enough poop at our place to power a small village. I can see it now – we’ll be selling the stuff. I want my picture in the ads. Then again, maybe not.
So I tried to convince my human to get a subscription to DOGTV. It’s a station FOR dogs. Apparently it’s available in 13 countries – and you can even view it on the net. It was apparently developed by a host of pet “experts” and has been tested by some Professor at Tufts University. The content is supposedly designed to pique the interest of us canines. So we decided to check it out. My human figured if she could find a way to entertain us while she is eating her dinner, it would curb the staring and pawing that goes on. She wanted to test it with us- before she signed up for the “free trial”. But the “free trial” isn’t REALLY free because as far as I could tell you had to buy at LEAST a one month subscription and that included an additional “free” month. Which would be automatically renewed. Read that small print. Anyway, she went to YouTube and found these two examples to try out with us.
She put her laptop on a chair, opened the video to full screen and watched to see what would happen. The park video resulted in a couple of ear raises – but that was about it. Nobody cared about what was on the screen. I was too busy looking to see if there were any dinner leftovers, the FG squeaked and wanted to go out and Einstein just rolled his eyes. As for the “relaxation” video, my human sure wasn’t relaxed and was more tense than ever because by this point we were REALLY bored and she figured that it was only a matter of time before somebody pounced on her laptop. End of the experiment. So it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a “free” subscription any time soon. Unless I can get a hold of her credit card. Just for fun….
Have a good one!
Well it’s official. Einstein is cracked. He thinks he is a chicken and MUST guard those new Dog Eggs I mentioned the other day. He is egg-stra vigilant about making sure that NO one else can have one – so we are all walking around on egg shells. When the eggs first came out, we all scrambled to get one. Now if we want to get near Einstein while he is guarding his nest, we have to go over easy. I mean we must have a dozen other toys lying around, and he doesn’t care if we take them – we just can’t poach the new eggs. The FG and I have been hatching a plan to get them, but no luck yet. OK, enough of the egg-cellent egg puns. But it IS all true.
Remember the awesome dog toy that Jackson has? The one that he and the FG pull on and tug on and race around with? Well my human found the same one – it’s made by Chuckit.
So she bought two. The idea being that you toss one, we go to get it, start heading back and she throws the next one. OR – she throws one for me and one for Einstein. We are both great at retrieving. So she brought them home and we had a blast getting them. We played until we were starting to slow down, and then my human put us in the house and brought out the FG. He was SOOOOOOO excited. He waited and waited until she threw it. He raced out to get it, grabbed it, looked at her as she tried in vain to entice him to come back to get the other one, turned and raced off into the woods. Chuckit – no Luckit. He was G-O-N-E. She could spy the bright orange color as he darted around the woods. And she followed in hot pursuit. There was NO WAY she was going to loose that toy within the first hour. She finally found it – and watched as the FG took off down the trail. She finally managed to catch up with him and grab him by the collar and put him on a leash. NOW he wanted to play fetch. Too late. Game over.
Well it’s Monday. A new day, full of opportunity and the potential for adventure. I hope yours is sunny side up!
Sometimes when tough things in life happen, humans have to draw strength from powers outside themselves. In our household, that power comes from faith and prayer. And we truly believe that faith can move mountains. For others, that power comes from a belief in the mysteries of the universe. For others, that power comes from other humans. A perfect example of this was the story of Cooper, a goldendoodle from Halifax who made headlines this week. Cooper was taking a little vacation – his humans were going south – so they were flying Cooper to Newfoundland to stay with family there. Guess he was going to see the icebergs. Anyway, somebody at the airport goofed – and Cooper ended up flying the opposite direction – to Hamilton, Ontario. And if that wasn’t bad enough, some well-intentioned airline employee took Cooper out for a pee – and Cooper escaped. Sounds familiar. We certainly know about escapees in this household. Anyway, Cooper was missing for more than 24 hours! The airline flew his humans to Hamilton to join in the search. And they were not alone. Scores of searches and several rescue groups came out to help. They scoured the area around the airport. A rescue group armed with drones was on the way – when Cooper was found. It was the power of those humans working together – and no doubt, lots of prayers as well – that resulted in a happy ending to this story.
So we have the power of faith, the power of the universe, the power of other humans – and one other huge one – that we can’t forget. And you, of course, know what THAT is. Think about it. What is God – spelled backward?
Give your dog a big hug today – because we have very special power that can give you strength. Very special indeed. Even when we steal bananas…
So it appears the worst of the poop issues is over. Although last night my human DID hear some unsavory sounds when she took me out before bed – and I did have a few remnants on my butt. Again. But overall, or should I say, BUTT overall, I am much better and things are moving along beautifully.
We have come to the conclusion this week that I am my human’s overt stress barometer. I know when she is stressed – and as a result, I start doing strange things. Like eating whole bananas and then having the poops. Or perhaps – even having seizures.
As some of you may recall, last fall when I was having my initial period of seizures, my human’s mother was in the hospital. My human was stressed – and frankly, I was stressed. They have actually done studies that show we dogs pay attention to humans’ feelings and we may actually exhibit empathy. They wonder if we dogs can pick up on the cortisol levels of humans who are feeling stressed.
This week, my human’s mother has again been in the hospital. And honestly – she needs every prayer, good thought and positive wish that she can get. And isn’t it interesting that I have picked up on this whole thing. So I stole the bananas. And while I seem to be the most in tune to the situation, Einstein and the FG also realize there is something going on. We just react differently. I’m reactive, Einstein is cranky and the FG is EXTRA cuddly. We dogs are like psychics. We should start doing fortune telling as a sideline.
So today I ask you for prayers and positive thoughts. And I promise NOT to eat any more bananas or steal anything off the counter. For a least a day. Or maybe two. At most. OK three. But that’s it. Maybe.
OK. OK. So the pillowcase caused some gastric issues. Resulting in many half baths. Or so my human thought…
So the other day, my human came home from work to again find that someone, namely me, had an “accident” in the house. Well, a trail in the house. She’s had a few rough days of late – with work and some other things – so coming home to poop was not a great sight. In a moment of madness, she opened the door and let all of us out to run around. She went to get a mop and bucket but before she started the clean up job, she came outside to get us. Gone. All three of us. She had a sinking feeling where we had gone – to the new neighbors’ place. She trudged through another neighbors’ property and sure enough – there we all were. I was pooping in the flower garden bed. The FG was racing through the beds, and Einstein was doubled over trying to poop. And clearly having problems. He was even squeaking as things were not “moving” as he wanted. The neighbor came out and said Einstein had been standing and struggling for some time. WHAT could HE have gotten into? My human apologized profusely, and by now had captured Elroy who was on a long line and she had put me on a leash. She had to drag Einstein along because he was suspended in poop purgatory. She was also trying to pick up any poop she thought was ours – I’m not sure how she grew that extra arm. Anyway, we all managed to go back to the house. Because she knew Einstein was going to require some major poop excision from his coat, for some ODD reason, she tied me and the FG to the front post…
Cleaning Einstein was NO easy task. He had sat down in his effort to rid himself of the load and in the process, smashed a fist sized amount of poop into the hair on his butt. The excision in the dog bath tub with rubber gloves took about 20 minutes. Keep in mind, she STILL had poop in the house to clean up, and I had a few cling-ons still as well. So she put Einstein in the front hall and came out to get me and the FG. She found me. And a leash that had been chewed in half. The FG was racing wildly around the yard. It was at that point that she screamed into the heavens “PLEASE – ENOUGH!!!” She whisked me in and I got a QUICK cleaning, and she then went out to capture the FG. Who was bolting around having a ball. She finally did and marched him into the hall. She then proceeded to clean the floor. And area carpet.
The next day she noticed something on the carpet. It appeared to be kind of “woody” but she didn’t know where it came from. I was still having gastric issues so she called the vet who was going to prescribe something for me. She THOUGHT it was still from the pillowcase…
Anyway, yesterday morning, I think we solved the reason for my gastric issues…My human went to have a banana for breakfast. And mysteriously, 3 or was it 4, ENTIRE bananas were G-O-N-E. Yup. I helped myself. Peels and all. Oh. And I DID share one with Einstein. So that explains his poop fiasco…
Sometimes you might as well laugh – because sometimes poop just happens.
Have a good one.