Monday, August 31, 2015

Back To School

Back to School Separation

If you have children or work for the school system, you know what the month of August means; Back to School. Not only does this event change your daily routine significantly, but it can also cause behavior issues in your pet.
Pets, both dogs and cats thrive on routine. Have you ever slept in past your pets’ breakfast time or tried to skip a daily walk? They have amazing internal clocks and are resistant to change. Try your best to keep important activities (bed time, feeding time, exercise, potty and play time) on or close to the same schedule they’ve been on over the summer. Make time for your pet. With all the running around that comes with a new school year, your pet may begin to feel neglected. Set some time aside for them every day. Include your pet in as many activities as possible. Can your dog ride with you to pick up the kids from school or attend their soccer practice?
If behavior problems do arise in your pets you can follow these steps to set everything right.
Dogs tend to suffer from separation anxiety. During the summer they most likely receive more attention and get accustomed to company during the day. All of a sudden they find themselves alone for hours on end and begin to dread you leaving them. To fix this issue we use simple desensitization.
Your dog begins to experience stress as soon as you start your ‘getting ready routine’. Doing things like putting on your shoes, grabbing your keys, wallet or purse etc… To help your dog get through this you will want to stage your exit. Go through your routine, then just when you would normally head for the door, set everything back down and have a seat. Repeat this until your dog no longer shows signs of stress. Next, add stepping out the door for 5 seconds, then come right back in, set your things down and have a seat. Repeat this gradually adding time as your dog shows you he is ready. Your goal is to work up to 20 minutes. If your dog is going to exhibit sings of separation anxiety he will most likely do so in the first 20 minutes. Activities such as baking or chewing relieve stress in the dog and take place directly after you leave. If your dog can make it 20 minutes, odds are he can make it until you return.

Monday, April 4, 2011

It's a Dog! It's a Plane! I'ts an exaggeration!

If you have read my blog before you know how I feel about Pit Bulls. You also know how I feel about bite statistics and the media's bias toward the breed. Well, last night as I was getting ready for bed, the news was on. They were talking about a plane that had to make an emergency landing due to a 5 foot by 1 foot hole that had ripped open on it's side. They proceeded to ask travelers at the airport if they felt safe flying after hearing about this, and most of them were apprehensive to say the least. This got me thinking...what about the THOUSANDS of other planes in the world that did NOT have holes in them? What about all the ones who made it safely to their destinations with out anything out of the ordinary occurring?, kinda like, what about all the pit bulls that DIDN'T bite some one today? What about all the ones who are wonderful loving and friendly companions? Obviously there are more of them than there are ones that bite. Just like there are more planes that fly than ones that crash. Just a thought....

Thursday, March 17, 2011


In honor of today, St. Patrick's day, we'll be talking about ways to go "GREEN". Not literally of course, please don't color your Malteses hair green! What I'm talking about when I say green is environmentally friendly.
So, how can you and your dog go green? Simple; recycle together!
Before your plastic containers make it to the curb in the recycle bin, they should already have been recycled by your dog!

Water bottles, peanut butter jars or any other empty plastic container (that did not contain anything harmful!) can be reused and recycled for some doggy FUN!

Water bottles can be filled with treats then given a peanut butter 'lid'. Your dog will love rolling the bottle around to get the treats out. (Make sure you remove the cap and the cap ring first.)
You can even feed your dog their dinner in this manner. Your dog can also clean out your empty peanut butter jars. (I would bet they get them spotless!)

Other containers can be used in similar ways OR you can stimulate your dogs sense of smell.
Make small holes in the container, and fill it with something stinky. (Dogs love stinky!) If you have a small animal in the home (hamster, Bunny etc...) You can use their shavings, you can also use essence of wild game such as duck, pheasant, or deer to name a few. (These may be purchased in concentrated amounts from you local out doors store.) Drop a few drops on a rag and place the rag inside. Then watch your dogs nose go!

If you have an empty milk carton, cut it in half, hang it from a tree and fill it with yummy goodies. Your dog will now have to jump and hit the container to make the treats fall. (It's sort of like a doggy pinata!)

I hope you have enjoyed these lessons on going GREEN and I hope you have a safe and happy St. Patrick's day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Fun Fundraiser

Recently our shelter had it's annual pet walk fundraiser. This year, however there was something a little different. This year one of the "Packs" was made up entirely of Pit Bulls! The group the Incredibulls walked this year to show people that it's all in the ownership. The dogs, all spayed or neutered and well behaved, were wonderful examples of their breed. The pack also came in 4th place for top fundraising packs. Not bad at all considering the number of packs that participated in the walk.
Keep up the good work Incredibulls!

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Trick # 3

Crawl: Today we'll learn how to teach our dogs how to do an 'army crawl'.

First, have your dog lay down.

Next, place a treat in front of their nose and slowly drag it forward. Say C-RRRR-AAA-W-LLL....

Some dogs will take right away to this and start moving towards the treat, others will take more encouragement. Make sure to reward ANY forward movement what so ever at first. Gradually increase the distance your dog must crawl for the treat.Eventually, work your way to having your dog 'down' and 'stay' then ask them to crawl across a small room to you. People love this trick and dogs look really adorable doing it!

Happy Training!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Like Cheese

Cheese is great in almost every form, but this weekend it was the foam form that took center stage for me.
As a football fan it has been a hard season, watching as Micheal Vick rose once again to super stardom.
So this game was sure to cause me heart burn. Just the thought of Vick playing in a super bowl is enough to make me scream, then to think of him winning it, and being named MVP. Barf.

Well, at least this year I don't have to worry about that any more. Thanks to the Green Bay Packers! I wore my cheese head proudly throughout the game and yelled and screamed at the TV more than I have in a while. My poor dog couldn't get any sleep!

When it looked like the Eagles might rally in the end, it was almost more than I could bare, but then, it happened. Vick messed up and threw an interception. Beautiful. Perfect.

Goodbye Vick, at least until next season...

And thank you Packers...I hope you go all the way!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Little Things

Every now and then we can get so overwhelmed with all of the animals in our care, or in need, or in need of our care that we focus to heavily on the big picture. It is easy to become frustrated or disappointed when this happens, and sometimes, it takes the smallest thing to remind us what we do, truly is making a difference and saving valuable lives.

Recently, this "little thing" crossed my path.

On the day before all the holiday 'craziness' was about to begin, I received a Christmas card. But this was no ordinary card, for inside was the gift of happiness, warmth and joy.
This card was from a former shelter alumni of mine named Rex. I remember Rex well because when he came to us he was old and big. Two qualities any rescuer will tell you are not big sellers. The day Rex got adopted, I was out in the play yard with him when a woman and her husband came rushing in saying "There he is!" They had seen him on our web site and the woman had asked her husband if they could add Rex to their family. Originally he had said 'no'. So, she took Rex's picture off of the site and made it the screen saver and back ground on their home computer. When her husband logged on later that night and saw Rex's face staring back at him, he agreed to adopt.
They already had their adoption paper work filled out when they walked through the door of our shelter. It was truly meant to be.
In his Christmas card, Rex wrote: "Merry Christmas to all of my friends. I am loving the cool weather. My mom puts a fire in the fireplace every morning for me to warm up by after my dad takes me outside to sniff the cool air and run around my back yard. I have been with my adoptive parents for 3 years now. I am such a sweet loving boy and my mom says I never do anything wrong! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Love, Rex"

Included was a photo of Rex, in front of the fireplace with a Santa hat on.....

That's all I needed for Christmas this year....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Ahead...

What a year it has been, and what a year I am sure the next one will be.
We've seen some great victories and some tragic set backs in the animal welfare world, and something tells me that next year will bring more of the same.

What will the future bring? Perhaps an MVP and a Super Bowl ring for psychopathic dog murderer Micheal Vick? Or maybe he'll suffer a career ending injury in the play offs... Only time will tell.

Will the sweet little deaf and blind puppy that was recently surrendered to us find a loving and supportive forever home? Or will she be returned in 6 months because she is "just too much"?

Will the 8 year old female pit bull with chunks missing out of her ears at the local animal services find a home on her last day or will she be euthanized on Christmas eve because no body wanted her?

Will we see more breed bans in the coming year or will we see them repealed?

Will 2011 be the year that people finally begin to understand and feel compassion?

Once the New Year is underway, will charities such as your local shelter be suddenly forgotten? Or will people continue to donate blankets, cookies and other much needed supplies all year long?

We will just have to wait and see.
We will hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
~The Dog Diva~

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Living in a warm climate as I do is supposed to come with its advantages. Like, being WARM. However, Old Man Winter has, apparently, heard about our nice beaches, and come for a visit himself.
As we all scramble to layer up, and shops run out of gloves and scarves, I can't help but think about the dogs. Oh, not the dogs like mine, all snug on her bed in the house with the heat on, no, I worry about all the other ones. The ones in back yards, in dog houses, on chains, running the streets and even those in shelters.

Not every shelter is lucky enough to have heat, so think about donating a blanket or doggy sweater to your local animal rescue organization, or better yet a Kuranda bed. (Elevated off the cold floor.)
Sure, dogs are dogs and have build in fur coats and a higher body temperature than we do, but it isn't just about surviving, it's about being comfortable. If I slept in my garage tonight I wouldn't freeze to death, but I don't think I would sleep either.

So, if you have an outside dog, please, bring them inside during the cold (and then keep them there!) If you have an inside dog, think about donating their sweater to a dog in need. (I know your dog looks cute, but, hey, they've got it pretty good!)

There are few things sadder than a shivering homeless pet.
So keep your heart warm by making sure those less fortunate furry souls can sleep comfortably on a cold winters night.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Trick #2

Roll Over
To get your dog to roll over, first place them in a 'down'. Then, bring the treat around behind their head and over their shoulder.

(Many dogs have a side preference so try both ways!)
Not all dogs will roll all the way over right away. So first reward your dog for lying on their side, next their back, then finally all the way over!