If you are like most people, you want to feel safe and protected in your own home. Some of us will go to the extent of getting the best guard dogs that has been trained to protect people. In most cases a loud back from a dog is enough to scare most of us or alert us of the presence of a stranger in our homes. For the normal homeowner who wants a dog guard to protect him, he or she will go for any dog. Nearly all dog are territorial by nature and will know who does not...Read More
Adoption policies of rescue groups typically fall into one of two camps:
The rescue does everything in its power to make sure each animal goes to the perfect family, even if that means a lengthy delay in getting a dog into a forever home.
The rescue believes that perfection is not necessary for a home to be loving. The faster an animal gets adopted, the better. Called “open” or “conversation-based” adoptions, a pet goes home with a family after consultation with an adoption counselor.
I am a strong supporter of open adoptions. In a previous article on the topic, my opinions sparked much debate. Feedback from foster families and my own personal experiences this year have made me more sympathetic to those who require perfection, but my mind hasn’t changed — I still think that open adoption is the best and most effective way to become a no-kill nation.
I know many wonderful and loving pet parents who have taken other routes to get a companion animal, simply because adoption from a rescue group became too hard and/or hurtful of a process.
When you are told you aren’t fit to adopt a dog, it is heartbreaking. I know from experience — 11 years ago, I was told by more than one rescue that it would not consider letting me adopt a puppy. Reasons ran the gamut from me not being home 24/7 to not being married to my live-in boyfriend. It seemed impossible to find a group that would deem me a suitable dog mom. For those who know me and how I treat my baby boy, Riggins, this doesn’t just seem illogical, it seems wrong.
In the past few years, I’ve had more friends turned down for adoptions by well-meaning rescue groups.
One of my girlfriends is a lovely and talented businesswoman, a single woman with disposable income that she is happy and willing to spend on her dogs. She owns a home with a backyard. With one of her fur babies facing a terminal illness, she made the decision to adopt another family member.
After much research, she found an adorable Lab she wanted to adopt through a rescue group. It all seemed to be going well, until the foster family found out my friend does not have a pool. Apparently, the pup enjoyed the foster family’s pool and they felt he should go to a home where he could continue his daily swimming routine.
This was a new one for me. Being refused a pup simply because you don’t have a pool?! Let’s be honest, I would like a pool, too. Nothing would make me happier than swimming laps in my own backyard instead of having to schlep down to the local recreation center, but that’s life. A POOL?! Come on!
My friend turned to a breeder. She now has an adorable Lab puppy who is learning to make the most of his cushy life with a new mom and doggie brother.
Another girlfriend also was recently looking for a dog to add to her family. Her husband and two sons had a dog who had died a few years earlier from old age. Although her husband has a full-time job, my friend is a substitute teacher and home early each day, and all day when she isn’t working. Her older son is such a dog lover that he spent the summer volunteering for a local rescue group, taking the dogs out for walks and breaks from their kennels.
There was NO REASON not to see this family as perfect for a pup. Alas, that was not the case. They fell in love with a dog and went through a home check with the rescue group. The person who visited them said there would be no issues with the adoption moving forward. Imagine her surprise when she learned the foster mother had said “no” to her family. The reason? My friend worked sometimes and therefore wouldn’t be home all of the time.
I hear this over and over from people who have been refused adoption from an animal rescue group. WHO IS HOME ALL DAY? THE OWNER HAS TO WORK TO FEED THE DOG, DOESN’T HE/SHE? GRRR!
To be fair to foster families, they want the best for the dog they have come to love. That is totally understandable. Recently, I had to watch a dog who I had come to love and had taken care of go to a new family, one I didn’t feel was the best fit. I had an expectation in my mind, and his new family fell short. I wasn’t in a situation where I could veto the move, and if I had been, I have to be honest with myself and admit I would have denied the adoption. Does that make my a hypocrite? Perhaps it does.
It really is an emotional and polarizing topic. In the past few years, open adoption and even “free” adoption policies have become more accepted by the rescue community. Part of the reason: Research has shown that a high enough percentage of animals placed by conversation-based adoption policies stay safely and happily with their adopted families (Maddies Fund at 93 percent and ASPCA at 96 percent are two such studies). If these numbers continue to remain high, open adoption is the right path toward becoming a no-kill nation, and isn’t that what we all want?
Let’s hear from you, readers. Share your thoughts on “open” adoptions in the comments.
The post Why I Believe In an Open Adoption — Not the Perfection Some Dog Rescue Groups Require appeared first on Dogster.
California has now made it legal for people to break car windows in order to break a dog out of a hot car.
“As of August 2016, Vermont joined forces with Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio in passing laws to protect good Samaritans who assist dogs locked in hot cars.”
Palm Springs has made it illegal for people to leave their dogs in their cars.
Many people applaud these measures. Don’t get me wrong, dogs shouldn’t die in hot cars AND there are other issues about this to consider and SOLVE which these laws do NOT DO.
For instance, people like me who take their dogs on trips, who are single and alone and cannot leave their pooches in the motel, and must take their dogs with them wherever they go, sure, these laws are meant to save dog’s lives… but in Palm Springs it is illegal to keep your dog in a car, even if it is COOL weather or night, this goes TOO FAR. if dogs are not allowed in stores, there is NO PLACE FOR THEM TO BE. Where am I supposed to put CICI, tie her up outside a store ????
A woman called the police while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s one cool morning. I usually take Cici inside with me and did not know about the law. She was fine with the windows wide open. As I was at the cashier and leaving, the manager asked if that was my car and told me about the woman and the law.
There are laws that DESERVE TO BE BROKEN or should never have been made to begin with in my humble opinion. What do you think ?
Speaking of which, MONTREAL’s wrong minded response to an incident and just passed a really horrible BSL law that will put too many dogs lives at stake. Rescues are trying to get dogs out of Montreal ASAP as we speak but families are being torn apart and heartbroken for what ????? outlawing dogs for the WAY THEY LOOK IS JUST PLAIN INSANE and goes against EVERYTHING dog experts agree upon on how to COMBAT effectively dog bites and dog aggression. Breed Specific Legislation does NOTHING but waste taxpayer dollars and has proven to be completely ineffective at curbing dog bites. In fact, in some places, dog bites went up because BREED and dog’s looks have NOTHING TO DO WITH whether a dog will bite or be aggressive or not.
There are 5 or red flags that are PROVEN that can lead to a dog attacking or biting.
A dog who is or has been abused, a dog who is left alone in a yard, all day and night and is not socialized nor trained, a dog who is left to roam the streets, a mama with puppies, a dog who is sick and NEVER LEAVE A CHILD OF ANY AGE ALONE WITH A DOG, NO DOG, NONE. These are the RED FLAGS … AND APPLY TO ALL BREEDS of DOGS!!!!!!
“legislators voted in 37 to 23 favor of breed-specific legislation, effectively outlawing any dog that resembles a pit bull — unless owners meet a strict set of conditions.
“Under the ban — which loosely covers American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — no dog considered a pit bull can be adopted from Montreal shelters.
“For dogs that don’t have an ‘owner’ on the day of the passing of the legislation, the way the legislation is drafted, the dogs have to be euthanized,” Alanna Devine, of the Montreal SPCA, told The Dodo last week.
“…The legislation was proposed after a spate of dog attacks in the city. Among them, the most notorious resulted in a woman being killed by a dog in her yard last June. But, even in that case, there’s doubt whether the dog that attacked her was even a pit bull.
“Under the law, people who own dogs deemed pit bulls have until March to undergo a criminal background check and pay $150 for a special permit. Their dog will have to be sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped —as well as muzzled and on a 4-foot leash at all times in public.”
What you can do:
Sign the petition, write to the officials, speak out against BSL and adopt a dog from MONTREAL asap.
November has been a total blast with lots of outdoor fun as we got into the swing of my favorite time of year, fall! It’s the perfect time for hikes and adventures.
Before we get to my adventures though, let me give a shoutout to my special sponsors & affiliates! Thanks to them I’m able to bring you exciting posts, so make sure you give them some love and check out what great products they carry!
Le Petite Canine is a family owned and operated business that provides dog sitting services for their local community and sells their hand-made products globally. They design and create every dog collar, bow-tie and leash in their collection. Their collars are 100% organic cotton and come in a variety of colors and styles! Check out all they have to offer in their shop. Plus save 20% off collars, bow-ties & leashes until February 28, 2017 with code AMMO20
Our friends over at PugGear have launched a neat kickstarter campaign for The Dogpack™ which is a beautiful, intelligent and adaptable dog carrier bag designed around the complex everyday/everywhere life travelers, wanders and dog-lovers. It’s more than a dog carrier, it’s your day-to-day essential carry workhorse or workdog bag, and it does things other carriers bags can’t. Find out more about their plans to put this bag in production and help fund the cause. But hurry! There is a time limit to get involved and snag one at a great price.
If you’re looking for a play yard or containment option for your dog that is truly portable, take a look at the Carlson Portable Pet Pens. Creating a safe play area for your animals in seconds the lightweight, foldable, pet pen is ideal for at home, when traveling, at the park, or camping. For added convenience the portable pet pen includes a small pet door that zips open for easy access. The instant set up of the pen makes it an ideal play yard or containment choice for indoor and outdoor use. You can use code PETPEN10 for 10% off all pet pens + FREE SHIPPING!
The Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated pet food company that I stand behind. It became part of my rotational diet in 2015 and I continue to love their food. Makers of healthy, wholesome, proper foods for dogs and cats, I believe their food is as healthy as you can get! Read my past reviews on The Honest Kitchen products.
Follow this link for a FREE SAMPLE BUNDLE for $1 in shipping (discount automatically applied at checkout).
Barkbox is a monthly subscription service for your dog. Starting as low as $19 a month (shipping included) you can get a box of the finest treats and toys sent right to your front door every month! Choose from packages for small, medium, and large dogs and as a bonus 10% of their sales go to supporting rescue groups! You can check out just what goodies your dog could be getting every month by reading my reviews!
Use code AMMO for a FREE $10 to the BarkShop.
Ruffwear carries performance dog gear designed to enhance and inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions. Totally my kind of company that carries anything from dog hiking packs, harnesses, camping essentials and more! You can check out my reviews of some of their great gearincluding my favorite harness & life vest!
Free Shipping on all orders over $75 at Ruffwear!
Best Bully Sticks is the place to go when you need something to keep your pet occupied! Bully Sticks are healthier than rawhides and safe for your pet too. Best Bully Sticks also offers the best prices on the web, and sell a product you can feel good about letting your pet snack on. Check out my review of Best Bully Sticks.
Use code AMMOBBS to save 12% off your Best Bully Stick Order.
And now it’s time for my November adventures…
I shared my secret to having lots of adventures with my family.
I shared all the fun I had carving pumpkins with my sister.
I got my sleep on again this month.
I shared how I’m documenting my sister’s growth each month.
I took my sister to one of my favorite stores.
I hit the trail and went off on a hike.
I got myself into some dirty business on the farm.
I set off on an adventure for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
I shared my cool new leash from HUND Denmark, and my giveaway with them is still going on!
Baby P and I shared what we are hoping ends up in Santa’s sleigh!
And that brings us to December! Time for warm blankets and snuggling up on the couch with mom and dad!
What was your favorite adventure of mine this month?
If you’re like me, then you struggle as what to get your human(s) that you love so dearly. So I decided to help you out some with my holiday gift guide for dog lovers! (you can thank me later).
*some of the products below contain affiliate links
1. Belly Scratch T-Shirt
2. Dog Bookend
3. Dog Wall Hanging
4. Rescued Wine Candle
5. Texts from Dog 2017 Calendar
6. SnowDog Kit
7. Doodling for Dog People
8. Friendship Collar & Bracelet
9. Dog Mug
10. Custom Pet Ornament
If you have any more great ideas for pet lovers, post them in the comments below!
The photos may be in color, but the transformation they capture is as black and white as the little dog’s fur. Now known to his Instagram friends as Emmett London, this Miniature Pinscher–Chihuahua–Poodle mix had no name and no smile when Janni Nilsson adopted him just over a year ago.
“He had this blank stare in his eyes, kind of like he wasn’t really there,” says Janni, who documented Emmett’s return to himself through social media. The evolution of her Instagram account has a lot in common with its subject — a bit shaky at first, but the pictures become clearer as Emmett stopped trembling.
The pair met in November 2015 after a photo of Emmett on Facebook caught Janni’s attention. Originally from Sweden but now living in Mexico, Janni wasn’t looking to adopt a dog, but the posting was only asking for a foster home for a former street dog who was having a hard time adjusting to shelter life. When Janni saw Emmett’s big ears and mohawk hair, she just couldn’t resist and offered to foster him.
“I never planned to adopt Emmett, but I met him, and he was one of the most traumatized, terrified, and broken little dogs that I had ever met, and I felt the need to see if perhaps I could help him,” she recalls.
At just a year and a half old, Emmett’s demeanor suggested he’d suffered a great deal in his short life. He didn’t walk as much as he crawled around in a perpetual state of fear. According to Janni, even the gentlest touch from a human would send Emmett into a screaming panic.
“It was clear that someone had been very mean to him. I don’t think he had just been ignored or neglected, I think he’d been severely abused,” she says.
Meeting Emmett was a turning point for Janni, who previously didn’t know if she would ever share her life with a dog again after Beily. Janni’s best friend for four years, Beily had been a birthday gift from a former roommate in Mexico City. When dog and human met, Beily was just a puppy, and Janni, a young international traveller.
Although it was customary for people in her neighborhood to keep large-breed dogs outdoors, Janni didn’t want that kind of life for Beily (who grew to be 60 pounds). When the time came for Janni to leave Mexico, the pair road tripped up through the United States to Washington D.C. before flying to Sweden.
“She lived with me for another two years over there,” explains Janni, who never meant to stay in her home country for so long, but felt compelled to when she saw how happy her dog was there.
She delayed her own happiness for Beily’s, but eventually Janni could no longer put off returning to Mexico. She made the heartbreaking choice to leave Beily in the place she loves, with a human who could offer her an amazing life.
Because of her experience with Beily, Janni wasn’t looking for a long-term dog relationship when she offered to foster Emmett, but one year after shocking herself with the decision to adopt, she’s very pleased to be committed.
“As it has turned out, Emmett was the perfect addition to my life, and a perfect fit for my lifestyle,” she says.
It didn’t happen overnight, but the 9-pound street mutt has blossomed in Janni’s care, and she says she can now see some depth behind his beautiful eyes.
“He spent the first couple of weeks hiding under my bed. If he ever came out, he ran straight back as soon as someone as much as moved,” she recalls. “With time though, he’s become an incredibly affectionate dog, very athletic, and above all, funny.”
Once timid Emmett will now approach human visitors for affection. He’s also very confident around other dogs, thanks in no small part to Janni’s roommate’s dog, Hugo the Pug, who moved in two months after Emmett. Janni is thrilled to see Emmett making friends, and considers herself privileged to be his person.
“I can’t explain how amazing it has been to see him develop into the dog that he is now. If a dog like Emmett can recover from a troublesome past, any dog can,” she says.
The post Once Abused, Emmet Overcomes His Past to Become a Confident, Happy Dog appeared first on Dogster.
Dogs on movie and TV sets usually belong in one of two separate categories: actors’ dogs or dog actors. Spencer, the Golden Retriever–Labrador mix at the heart of the digital series Heirloom, is a little bit of both.
“He’s not trained to be a film dog,” explains Spencer’s human and co-creator of Heirloom, Paten Hughes, but “he’s almost qualified to be one.”
Paten describes her canine co-star as a super friendly “attention whore” who was born to play himself in the nine-episode series currently streaming on Vimeo.
It makes sense Spencer would be a part of the series inspired by Paten’s real-life experience as an actor turned tomato farmer. In the show, Paten’s character, Emily, takes up tomato farming in an even bigger way than she did in reality after inheriting some farm land.
Written by TV writer Bekah Brunstetter of NBC’s This Is Us, Heirloom follows Emily as she starts a new life after a series of disastrous auditions. The relationship between the woman and her dog was part of the original script for the series, but the condensed production schedule of a digital show meant there would be no time for dog do-overs on the fast-paced set. According to Paten, that’s why director Michael Melamedoff initially wanted to write Spencer out.
“Michael read the script and was like, ‘I love it, but we have to cut the dog.’ Even though we’re really good friends, he hadn’t met Spencer yet.”
Paten promised Spencer would be great, and the Golden-Lab was given a chance to prove that he could be a good boy on set. His naturally friendly, people-pleasing personality soon elevated the amateur actor to semi-pro status.
“He responds to commands really easily,” Paten explains. “Even if it’s not me, even if it’s a PA, he listens.”
Even when he’s not commanded to act cute, Spencer just is. His personality shines through the series, and his lack of on-set experience makes his character seem more genuine in a way.
“There were a lot of moments that were just priceless in terms of him just doing his own thing and having it work out pretty well,” says Paten.
The last scene of the season is a great example of that. An emotional conversation between Emily and another character is made even more compelling because of the dog at their feet.
“We were going to have Spencer run off camera, but he just plopped himself down and it made the scene so perfect because it’s like a little child in between the two parents,” Paten explains.
Listening skills and talent for improv aside, shooting with Spencer did present some challenges. Unlike trained Hollywood film dogs, Spencer doesn’t know how to hit a mark or stay in frame. Paten unconsciously toned down her physical interactions with her dog (which typically include two-minute-long face-licking, leg-chasing greetings) in order to keep them both in the shot. As a result, her character’s relationship with Spencer looks a bit different from her own.
“The first time I watched the cut with the director I was like ‘where are all the moments where I’m petting Spencer?’ I actually thought Emily was a little distant in terms of the sort of affection to Spencer,” she explains.
The duo isn’t as physically connected on screen as they are in real life, but the emotional connection is intense. According to Paten, Spencer is an important part of the show because he is the only character — besides Emily — on the series throughout season one.
“Emily talks to Spencer, thinks out loud, and asks him questions about life.” says Paten, whose real-life relationship with Spencer is less verbal (he prefers hikes and canoe trips to conversations).
“He’s the one kind of constant companion through the chunk of her life that we see.”
Paten says we can expect to see more of Spencer in Heirloom’s planned second season. The shows creators are working hard to move the story forward, and Paten says they intend to focus on Spencer a little bit more in future episodes.
“He’s just such a beautiful dog, especially the way our cinematographer shot the entire series. Maybe this is just because he’s my dog — but your heart kind of leaps when you see him.”
Heirloom is now streaming on Vimeo.
The post How a Dog Named Spencer Got Cast in the Popular Web Series Heirloom appeared first on Dogster.
Dogs do not care if you are rich or poor, fat or thin, fashionable or wear holy jeans. they like you, wag their tails at you and lick you if you let them.
Dogs just want to have fun, love to play in the moment and have quirky sense of humor. They do not discriminate against anyone.
Canines are adept at taking naps and eating, two of their favorite hobbies. They are part of the CCC, Canines Cuddle Creatively.
If you have a comfy bed or couch, dogs will hog it up and when you ask them to move, they will move their head or give you an eye roll.
A trained dog will come to you when called, sit stay or fetch upon command. others will ignore you and go their own way.
Pooches enjoy chasing cats, rabbits, birds, ducks, squirrels and other small furry creatures. And some even get along with other species.
If a dog does not like another dog, they will let them know with growls, barks and ferocious stares. They do not force their Live and LET LIVE ideology upon others.
Social pack animals, dogs follow the leader and go along with the crowd.
Dogs sniff out dangerous situations, illnesses, and drugs and have been known to save lives heroically. They do not ignore others who are sick or unhappy, they try to help whenever they can.
Canines are loyal creatures who go the extra mile for their best friends.
Dogs freely give love unconditionally.
A dog is happy chewing on a bone, small or large, big or little.
1. Cats are curious about what you do in your bedroom, but they don’t try to legislate away your freedom to do it.
2. Cats may take away your cushion, but they’ll give it back to you with a gentle push.
3. Cats give you attention and sympathy when you’re sick.
4. Females are treated with importance in the cat world.
5. Cats make use of solar power, often all day long.
6. Cats lick their own problems and take care of other cats too.
7. Cats don’t blame black and brown cats for their troubles.
8. Cats know how to ration their resources.
9. Fat cats are not at the top of the cat hierarchy, are not cat role models, and have more trouble surviving and thriving, not less.
10. While Republicans blindly follow authority, it is said that getting Democrats to act in unison is like herding cats.
11. Cats don’t foul their own nest.
12. Cats are popular and well-liked on the Internet and elsewhere
Being healthy means eating your veggies, but it can also mean wearing and playing with them, too. We’re talking about vegetable-dyed pet gear. Check out these awesome goods in stunning colors.
The Most Snuggly Sweaters
Handknit in Peru, Chilly Dog wool sweaters are as earth-friendly as they are cozy for your best friend. The sheep providing the wool are mostly free range and many sweaters are colored with vegetable dyes. Additionally, the company doesn’t use electricity to knit or produce wasteful plastic packaging.
$32.99 to $46.99; Cable Knit Dog Sweaters by Chilly Dog
Play in Peace
Give your faithful pup a truce-inspired chew toy that’s hand-tied and dyed with nontoxic vegetable dye. The rope essentially flosses your dog’s teeth, and it can be soaked in water and frozen if summer warmth spreads through fall. Rescue groups also benefit with 10 percent of proceeds donated.
$13; Red Peace Sign Rope Dog Toy by Jax and Bones
A Customizable Collar
Your four-legged friend will win best-dressed with this handcrafted, made-to-order collar. Choose from black, brown, or red full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather. Next, select an antique gold or silver finish and customize the size for a perfect fit. The artist works in a home studio and leaves a small carbon footprint.
$90; “Oscar” Leather Dog Collar by Collier Leeds
Lust for This Leash
Take your pet on a sunset stroll with this gorgeous orange and brown signature dog leash with waste bag pouch — part of a collaboration between Shinola and creative genius Bruce Weber. Its classic look is a combination of Wickett & Craig vegetable-tanned bridle leather, vegetable-tanned Horween leather, and shiny nickel-plated, solid brass hardware. Shinola sponsors a dog park in Midtown Detroit, the company’s home base.
$130; Signature Dog Leash by Shinola
The post We’re Obsessed With These Vegetable-Dyed Dog Accessories appeared first on Dogster.
Mealtime for Kona, my newly adopted terrier mix, is over in seconds. About 34 seconds to be precise. While she may own bragging rights as a canine speed-eating champ, I know that she was on pace to be at risk for a host of digestion problems, including the life-threatening condition known commonly as bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus).
This gotta-gobble-quickly mindset, unfortunately, affects far too many dogs, noted Rolan Tripp, D.V.M., chief veterinary behaviorist for Hannah The Pet Society based in Portland, Oregon. Gulping causes a dog to swallow air, and it disrupts digestion.
“A dog who gulps his food is eating so fast as to not break down the kibble into smaller particles, and he is not allowing any time for saliva to mix in with the food,” Dr. Tripp explained. “These first two important stages of digestion are skipped. Large chunks of food get dropped into the stomach before enzymes from the salivary glands can lubricate the food to aid in proper digestion. Gulping also causes the stomach to expand too rapidly, and that can lead to vomiting, regurgitation, and other issues.”
It was time for me to ditch her stainless steel bowl and reach for new options to slow down her eating. Option #1: I dished up her twice-a-day meals inside a heavy, deep bowl that features raised mini-hills inside. Success! Kona took nearly 2 minutes to eat the kibble and canned food inside this bowl known as the Go Slow AntiGulping Dish by Dogit. (Check out this 6-second video of her working hard to reach kibble inside this bowl by going to YouTube and checking out the video Getting Kona to Slow Down Eating by Arden Moore.)
But speed isn’t the only reason to consider breaking up the mealtime monotony for your dog. By opting to go bowl-free at least once a week, you can help banish boredom in your dog and bring out his natural hunting instincts.
“The act of putting down a bowl of food on the floor for your dog robs him of the opportunity of increased intelligence through problem-solving and can lead to boredom-fueled destructive behaviors,” Dr. Tripp said. “By going bowl-free, you allow your dog to hunt and capture ‘prey’ and experience what is called contrafreeloading, which means working for your food.”
Inspired by Dr. Tripp, I introduced Option #2 to Kona — the Wobbler, a popular food puzzle made by Kong. Quick tip: Set your dog up for early success in “capturing” spilled kibble in the beginning to prevent your dog from getting frustrated and calling it quits by walking away from the food puzzle.
“If you don’t do it right with a food puzzle, then learned helplessness is a real possibility,” Dr. Tripp warned. “You don’t want to cause emotional stress in your dog by teasing him with a food puzzle too challenging for him to figure out.”
Try these food puzzle introduction tips:
Unscrew the Wobbler and fill it completely, allowing a few pieces of kibble to spill out. Encourage your dog to sniff it, and praise him when he noses or paws it.
Mix in some small, aromatic treats to spike his interest in getting out the food.
Up the ante by packing it with kibble, canned food, and a smear of peanut butter. Insert a treat at the opening, and freeze it before serving.
“You have essentially created more of a lick puzzle than a food puzzle, but the result is that it will take your dog a long time to get out the food, which slows down his eating in a healthy way,” Dr. Tripp said. “Pop the Wobbler in the dishwasher to thoroughly clean it before the next bowlfree meal.”
For times when I need to leave Kona at home, I put treats inside another food puzzle called the IQ Treat Ball made by Our Pets. I unscrew the ball top, pop in some small treats, and reattach the top and the bottom. I can also adjust the size of the opening to make accessing the food more challenging.
“Giving food puzzles to your dog as you leave creates a pleasant experience — the food — with your departure,” Dr. Tripp said. “Plus, you are adding eustress — or good stress — to your dog’s life. You are allowing your dog to work his mind and his muscles plus enjoy that ‘Eureka!’ moment when he is successful in this food hunt.”
The post Why You Should Get Rid of Your Dog’s Food Bowl appeared first on Dogster.
Bryce Henderson walked into the living room of his Las Vegas home, unpacked a paint-splattered easel, and set it up for his little artist: a rescue dog named Arbor.
“Arbor, do you want to paint?” he asked.
Eager to start, Arbor — a black-and-white Border Collie-mix — bit down on a paintbrush fitted with a mouthpiece, and dipped it in purple acrylic paint. She approached the easel, placed the brush upon the paper, and swish! She shook her head to make purple strokes back and forth, followed by a few black ones, one at a time.
Perhaps that purple and black creation was Arbor’s tribute to music icon Prince? Who knows? With a painting dog, there’s no telling.
It’s anyone’s guess what Arbor’s latest painting will look like. They are all random, although sometimes they look like certain objects. One painting looked a bit like a dolphin, but they are open to interpretation, Bryce said.
“It’s abstract,” he joked. “It doesn’t look like the Mona Lisa.”
The Hendersons didn’t know about Arbor’s knack for the arts when they adopted her in 2011 from the Animal Foundation in Las Vegas. It was just like any ordinary adoption.
“We weren’t looking for a painter,” Bryce said. “But you never know what you’re going to find there.”
When they brought home Arbor, now about 6, she started learning tricks quickly and enjoyed showing them off. The dog with soulful brown eyes likes to do fun sports tricks like catching balls, playing ping pong with a mouth-held paddle, and knocking a ball off a tee with a mouth-held bat.
Jennifer wanted to teach Arbor more advanced tricks, inspired by some YouTube videos. She bought some painting supplies and got Arbor to try her paw at art. The dog learned quickly, motivated by food treats and praise.
Bryce recalled coming home one day from his job in IT sales, and finding Arbor painting in the living room.
“When she sees us pull out the brushes, she gets really excited,” Bryce said When Arbor started painting, the Hendersons created a Facebook page for her called “Go Vegas Dog,” which now has more than half a million likes.
“We started just using her skills to show people how great rescued pets can be,” Bryce said.
Painting for pets
Arbor has demonstrated her painting on several television news stations, and also tried out for the summer TV reality show America’s Got Talent. Yet, her greatest exposure and deeds have come from the auctioning off of her paintings by organizations that benefit animals, including PetSmart Charities. Arbor’s paintings have sold from a few hundred dollars to as much as $2,400.
Artist Theresa Lucero, based in Las Vegas, met Arbor several years ago when she was renting gallery space. Lucero, on a tip from a friend, went to an event where Arbor was painting live, and the painting sold for several hundred dollars.
“It was amazing!” Lucero said. “I had seen dogs paint before, but not like this.” Arbor’s abstracts, Lucero explained, “actually look like well-contemplated compositions. Her parents help her pick colors and titles for her pieces, but the magic is all her own doing.”
Last year, Lucero took charge of PAWcasso Las Vegas, a charity that began as an annual auction but now functions as a year-round nonprofit to benefit rescue groups via art. For the past four years, the Hendersons have donated one of Arbor’s original paintings to a PAWcasso auction. The first year, the picture sold for $250; last year, Arbor’s painting brought in $1,000.
“Having Arbor and the Hendersons on board for something is an incredible incentive,” Lucero said. “Arbor is essentially a celebrity in her own right, with tons of friends on social media. She can really get the word out about what’s going on and what’s important for doggie lovers.”
Buyers of the paintings are getting a work of art, and know the funds are going to a good cause. “It’s like the gift that keeps giving,” she said.
The post Arbor the Pooch Picasso Paints Abstracts to Help Dogs in Need appeared first on Dogster.
Last week, my daughter was putting together a holiday gingerbread house. She was quietly humming to Christmas tunes on the radio, and was getting into the spirit while pasting gingerbread walls together with frosting. It was all as idyllic as a Currier and Ives greeting card until she walked away to answer the phone.
When she came back, the entire house — including the walls, roof, and packets of decorative candy trim — were gone. GONE!
That’s when we looked over at the obviously guilty parties, our Amstaff, Leo, and terrier, Baby. Their ears were pushed back against their heads as they licked their snouts with satisfaction.
Grinches … that’s what they are. Greedy Grinches who “stole” Christmas.
They make it where we can’t have anything nice in this house. They make it where we can’t have a normal Christmas.
Whether it’s ripping the stuffing out of our Hermey and Yukon Cornelius dolls from “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” or dragging my son’s special stocking around the house until it’s covered in hair and the trim is ripped off, these two would be as welcome in Whoville as a case of stomach flu would be in a daycare.
Like the famous Grinch of Dr. Seuss, these two MUST be secretly conferring about — via doggie head nods, paw sign-language, or some kind of canine telepathy — how to totally ruin Christmas for us all.
They did it again yesterday, actually. We were gathering up gifts and wine bottles, all the stuff we bring to our yearly holiday gathering with extended family. So the little kids in the family would have candy, I had dumped several bags of Christmas sweets into a little red plastic basket. It was filled to the brim with delicious options: milk chocolates, shaped like Santa heads or coins; Hershey’s Kisses; Andes mints, with their metallic green wrappers that are so perfect for the holidays; peppermint taffy; Christmas-colored rows of Sixlets. I placed the basket far out of reach, on a sideboard, in a spot where the dogs could surely not reach it.
I left the room for a few minutes, in a rush to finish getting ready for the party. When I returned, the basket was on its side, a handful of wrapped taffies lying there surrounded by several packs of untouched Sixlets. But the rest was GONE.
You don’t want to know the word I said. It was much worse than what Ralphie said in A Christmas Story, if you can imagine such a thing. Nobody was there to make me eat soap in penance, but there were two Grinchy dogs staring at me and licking their dumb chops.
My first thought was: Where are the wrappers? Then, I realized I was asking for entirely too much. The wrappers — the metallic Andes papers, the Hershey’s foils, the taffy wax paper — were by that time, making their way through doggie Grinch intestines. We’ll probably find them somewhere in the yard this spring, when we cut the grass for the first time of the season and find two scrunched-up little piles of Santa foils that had been deposited in unpleasant poop sessions.
Luckily, the cheap chocolates were much more “milk” than “chocolate,” so there were no lasting effects to their health. But the Grinchly thoughtlessness of these two made for one less gift for the nieces and nephews. I couldn’t bring a basket with a few taffies with tooth impressions and wrinkly looking Sixlets. That was just lame.
When I think back over the years, I’m astonished to realize how many Christmas traditions they’ve ruined. We can’t ever put gifts under the tree because they always seem to get into them in some way. So, unlike the idyllic holiday scene we’d all love to have, our gifts are always piled up on furniture in unattractive disarray.
I also think of an old dog we had when my husband and I first married, Max. He was an awesome old German Shepherd mix we rescued from an existence of living outside on the end of a leash in the cold winters of Indiana. He was old and his lifespan was limited, but we knew even if he was only with us a few short years, we owed him a warm and loving home for as long as he had left.
For the few years Max spent with us, he had so much gratitude, his body language always seemed to be saying “thank you.” Always. It’s as if he remembered what his life was before, and was thanking us for saving him.
Unless it was Christmas, then even the wonderful old Max became a Grinch.
Can’t blame him, though. He was actually far too dignified to want to wear a Santa hat, which we tried to dress him in every year for a photo or two. He’d shake it off in confusion, and his attitude seemed to say: “Thank you for everything, but there’s no damn way I’ll wear that hat.”
After all the fiascos — the candies eaten, the gingerbread homes demolished, the plush eyeballs ripped from elves and snowmen and polar bears — we still love these ruinous little Grinches, which is why we agree to buy them their own dumb gifts and even put them in their own stockings.
Leo and Baby don’t deserve the gifts one bit. Maybe this year I’ll teach them a lesson and re-gift them something crappy, like a fruitcake. That’ll show ‘em.
Kara Martinez Bachman is a married mom to two human kids and two shelter dogs. She is author of Kissing the Crisis: Field Notes on Foul-Mouthed Babies, Disenchanted Women, and Careening Into Middle Age. For more information, visit karamartinezbachman.com.
The post Do Your Dogs Try to Ruin Christmas? Mine Do, But I Love The Little Grinches Anyway appeared first on Dogster.
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