Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Time Parents

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in the 'dog world' that we forget that some people out there are "Pet Virgins". (Never owned a pet before). Every now and then I am blindsided by what to me seems like a very simple 'common knowledge' question, and I remember, it isn't common knowledge.
So, here is my first installment geared towards First Time Parents.

First of all I'd like to say Congratulations! And welcome to the wonderful world of pet ownership. This will be a life changing experience for both you and your new pet. There will be hard work but also plenty of happiness.

Now, the first question that needs to be answered is where is your new pet coming from? The answer...Adopt! Adoption saves lives and helps you to be part of the solution and help fight pet overpopulation. Many shelters and rescues will give you a pet that is already spayed or neutered and has already received all of their vaccinations.

Before you choose a pet, do your research. What type of pet will be best for you? What size? What breed? What activity level? When thinking about these questions try not to become too focused on looks or breed type. Ask yourself more important questions like what your life style is like, and look for a pet that suits your needs.

Questions to ask:
What do you see yourself doing with your new pet?
Are you active or a couch potato?
How long are you away from home?
Next, go shopping for all of your new pets needs.
What to buy:
Leash, collar, food,toys, bowls, litter/litter box, crate or carrier...
Yes, your new pet will cost you, so make sure you are ready for the added expenses:
Adoption fee
Vet bills
Flea prevention
Scratching posts
Litter boxes
Cleaning supplies
Grooming supplies
Pet deposits

Your new pet will also require a time commitment for training, exercise and play.
Pet proof your home, get a vet, make rules and set a routine.

Come back next time when we will discuss feeding, grooming and more!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pit Bull "Attack"

Recently I was asked to appear on a local news station, to talk about a pit bull 'attack' in the area.
Admittedly, the phone call from the news room was the first I'd heard of the incident. So I looked it up on the good old Internet and this is what I found.

A pregnant woman was walking in a not so nice area of town, when two LOOSE dogs (one thought to be a pit bull and the other a Labrador) "attacked" her. Actually, what happened was that one of the dogs bit the woman on the leg. So, this was a dog BITE not ATTACK. The dogs were captured by Animal Control and no owner has yet been found. Meanwhile the woman was treated, and she and her unborn child are fine.

My question is this news?

I do not know whether or not it was actually the pit that bit the woman or whether or not the dog was actually a pit at all. Also, I have to wonder what the woman may have done...did she try to yell or intimidate the dogs? Did she stare at them? Did she run?

If the news reported on every dog bite that occurred daily, they'd barely have time for the weather and traffic! But of course not every dog bite is news worthy...just the pit bull ones.
It will never cease to amaze me that THIS is news but when we have our Incredibulls events and invite the media out to see 30 pit bulls and their responsible owners all getting along and having a good time...they are not interested.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Trick or TREAT!?

Anyone who knows me knows that Fall is my favorite season, October is my favorite month and Halloween is my Favorite holiday.

As with most of our human celebrations, this holiday freaks our dogs out. Spooky decorations, mom and dad dressed up as unrecognizable ghouls, continuous door bell ringing, and perhaps worst of all, the donning of some horribly embarrassing costume.

Below are some pointers to help you and your dog enjoy a happy and safe Halloween.

-Make sure all chocolate is kept out of reach!
-If you throw a party, make sure everyone knows the 'dog' rules. Or consider keeping your dog in your bedroom during the festivities.
-Get your dog ready for lots of doorbell action. If your dog cannot handle this, you may want to baby gate them away from the door, so they wont be able to get to it.
-Desensitize your dog to their new spooky surroundings. Have a particularly scary decoration? Feed your dog yummy treats in it's presence.
-Get your dog a costume. Normally I am not a fan of dressing up dogs, but this day is my one exception. They may hate it, but it makes for some irresistible pictures!
-Make your dog pumpkin Cookies! Pumpkin is extremely healthy for dogs!
-Take your dog trick or treating with the family. It will be less stressful than staying home, plus an extra walk for your dog is always a good thing.

If any of you have tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comment section!
And...have a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pit Bull World

Recently, a local radio talk show host who shall NOT remain nameless, Bud Hendinger, spoke on a topic of which he obviously knows nothing about: Pit bulls.
He claims to have the solution to the state of Florida's "Pit Bull Problem."
His "solution" is this: To do the "responsible" thing and ban the breed, but not round them up to be euthanized, oh no, he proposes starting a new theme park called Pit Bull World where people can come to see he savage beasts such as they do at a zoo, and where the dogs can do what they do best; fight each other to the death. Among his other ideas are for everyone who willingly turns in their pit bulls to pit bull word, to receive a voucher that they can take to their local shelter to get a free 'other' dog of their choice, thereby giving thousands of homeless dogs who really 'deserve' it, a home.

No I'm not kidding and unfortunately, neither was he. It is so scary to think of all of the people out there listening to his insanity, believing it and agreeing with him.

Of course pit bull advocates around the state (and country) have been flooding him with emails, none of which he will probably read.
I of course invited him to my next pit bull education class, though I'm sure he will not come.

The world is indeed a frightening place, and not because of pit bulls, but because of ignorant people with a microphone.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vick's Broken Wing

As to not devote too much of my life to blogging about Micheal Vick, this entry will be brief.
Yesterday, the Eagles took on the Washington Redskins in Donavon McNabbs highly publicized return to Philly. Overall, the game all but fizzled out.
I am by no means a fan of Washington, however on this occasion I rooted them on with intensity. If Vick is going to be a starting quarter back in the NFL, at least I might see him lose.

Turns out, I got more than I bargained for.

Not too long into the game, Vick took off running, aiming for a touchdown. Right at the goal line he was tackled simultaneously by two defenders. Vick was hurt. He left the field and the game and headed for the locker room. (On a side note, all was for not, as there was a holding penalty on the play!)

At first they thought Vick may have cracked a rib, but X-rays came back negative, looks like just a bruise, but still he never returned to the game, leaving former starter, now Vick back up Kolb to finish the game. The Eagles lost to the Redskins 17-12.

After the game I couldn't help but think...if we played by Vicks rules, he should be 'put down' right? I mean, he was no longer able to compete, and contribute to a "Eagle" with a broken wing that could not fly....a dog with a broken leg that cannot fight....

Lucky for Vick, we crazy "dog people" don't run the NFL. But I can't say the same for those 'crazy Philly fans...they have been known to turn on quarter backs, and are quite possibly the nastiest fans in the league.
I know one thing for sure, they do not like a quarter back that gets injured a lot. A few more stunts like Sunday's and they could be calling for Vicks head. can hope anyway...