Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Dave Davies interviews veterinary behaviorist and author of Good Old Dog, Nicholas Dodman. This fascinating interview about raising and caring for aging dogs covers topics such as why you might not want to feed your dog “senior” dog formulas, how cancer is the number one killer of older dogs, and how smaller dogs live longer than larger ones (and how size affects how you calculate your dog’s age in human years). If you have an older dog or are considering adopting an older dog (Hello, Muttville!), this is a must listen.
Interview Highlights: http://www.npr.org/2010/11/22/131516152/helping-your-good-old-dog-navigate-aging
Monday, November 29, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A male Chihuahua's tenacity in guarding his beloved pit bull girlfriend helped save their lives. Now, the couple is inseparable.
Sometimes even an abandoned, injured dog with a bad rap ends up doing great things. And so it was with a female pit bull, being guarded by her beloved boyfriend, a Chihuahua.
What the Pennsylvania dog warden did not realize when he rescued the pair on Labor Day, was just what a sweet story these two dogs had to tell.
Once the pit bull got into a crate on the warden's truck, the Chihuahua would not follow. Instead, he put himself between the two, barking and growling at the warden.
"So I sat on the ground ... all the time having a conversation with a Chihuahua that was guarding a Pit Bull!," the warden writes in a story about this odd couple.
"Eventually he let me get close enough so we could have a face to face & heart to heart discussion. I told him that his intentions were very noble and would not go unrewarded for the both of them."
The warden would not follow his usual routine when finding a pit bull — to take the dog to a facility that could euthanize her within 48 hours. "Due to this little guy's tenacity and I do believe true affection for his Pit Bull lady," the warden writes, "I was not going to let that happen." Cute couples, it turns out, melt hearts.
The warden found them safe haven at the no-kill Washington Area Humane Society. He asked the staff, could they please find room in their already overflowing no-kill shelter for just two more dogs?
"We truly didn't have room but we could not let them go," says Alice Wancowicz, assistant manager of the shelter in Eighty Four, PA. "They stayed in the bathroom for two days until we could get a run open."
And so, the staff embraced the pair, naming them Bonnie and Clyde. "We were trying to think of a good duo kind of name," says Wancowicz. "They're kind of like rebels but they're not, they stick together."
Now, it is Bonnie who protects little Clyde. "They are just adorable together," Wancowicz says. "Bonnie just lays there and Clyde jumps all over her. They are totally inseparable." The couple goes on walks together, eat together, sleep together, with Clyde snoozing on top of Bonnie or cuddled within her front arms.
"When Bonnie got spayed, Clyde was beside himself," Wancowicz says. "He wouldn't settle down, was crying, on your lap, off your lap, you could tell he wasn't himself."
So it comes as a surprise that they have not been adopted. "They would fit in anywhere," says Wancowicz. "They don't have issues with adults or kids."
The dog warden writes that we need to change our opinions of pit bulls: "You may find a loving, loyal and dedicated companion to fight for like our Chihuahua friend did. Perhaps this story will give you a second chance to revisit your thoughts and opinions concerning Pit Bulls. They deserve the opportunity to overcome a stereotype that can most certainly lead them to death."
We know that Tonic readers like to take action. If you want to help out Bonnie and Clyde, click here (www.washingtonpashelter.org) to visit the Humane Society's website. Or, you can call them at 724-222-PETS (7387)
Monday, November 22, 2010
People who foster and rescue have the same dream for each of their dogs--that they one day become a part of a family that will love and appreciate them for the rest of their lives. We give a bit of ourselves to each one of these dogs, and when they are adopted, they take that bit with them for always. To be able to see them in the context of their Forever Families, sharing and contributing to the happiness of their humans, is literally many dreams come true.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
She was adopted by a family with a young daughter. Unfortunately, she eventually became too much of a handful for the family and they returned her to us 7 months later.
Having been forewarned about her issues, we decided that she would not be allowed to get away with the slightest misbehavior. To our surprise and delight, we almost immediately discovered that Ihna was not at all an unruly dog but rather one with too much energy and not enough discipline. In fact, Ihna may have been the most eager to please and inexhaustible dog we've fostered.
We were also fostering another dog named Sugar at the time. Sugar could be a b-i-t-c-h with some dogs so we made sure to introduce them carefully. Luckily, Ihna was a submissive girl and had no issues with Sugar bossing her around.
Not too long later, Ihna was discovered by the perfect family. Not only was the couple aware of the importance of leadership and discipline, 2 things that Ihna thrived on, but they also had a dog just as ball-obsessed and energetic as Ihna. Madeira even looked like Ihna.
Almost 3 years later, we are thrilled to hear how well Ihna continues to thrive.
"Ihna and Madeira play together all day long. When we got Ihna, Madeira was pretty sad about the recent loss of her friend Snowflake... We weren't sure if we were ready to get another dog, but Ihna won our hearts! My husband and I were so excited to get Ihna and welcome her to our home!
She is full of energy and full of love! She is still a bit shy to new visitors, but after a short time they can see what we experience everyday-- she is the sweetest and most loving dog!!!
Last year I had major knee surgery and she followed me around the house everywhere while I was on crutches worrying about how I was doing and if I was getting around okay. For the first week I had to sleep with a brace on my leg (from my ankle to my thigh) and was in a lot of pain. Ihna would sleep on my stomach and put her head on my chest and stay there all night long. She showed so much concern for my recovery.
We take her hiking every weekend and she's a great hiking dog!! You'll note in one of the attached pictures she's just jumped out of a mountain lake, at an elevation of just about 3000 meters! She never tires no matter how many hours or how much elevation we gain during the hike! She's full of energy!
We are so happy to have her as a part of our life and I couldn't imagine life without her! She's my little baby girl! :)"