Favorite Video Friday – A fairy dancing with a dog

August 21, 2014 7 comments

Sometimes you just want to get your inner fairy on, ya know?

It might be the fact that I’ve been listening to a little Smokey Robinson and Jason Mraz this week, but for some reason the thought of dressing up like a fairy and dancing with my dog sounds like fun. Maybe it’s time for a little R and R.

What do you think? Is it strange to want to dance with your dog in a fairy costume (or a butterfly one)? I would bet you’d be hard-pressed to say so after watching these two.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wordless Wednesday #201 – Daisy, Puppy Mill Dog #201

August 19, 2014 11 comments

It seemed appropriate to recognize Daisy on this 201st Wordless Wednesday. She was dog #201 in the mill. Still has the tattoo as a souvenir. She is my Boo.

This makes it all worthwhile. Save a dog. Experience pure joy. #petadoption #adopt

My Boo. Such a happy girl.

Original Daisy 2

Snoozing in he grass

My co-pilot.

My baby girl #Daisy

Daisy is all pooped out too.

One@of the many items Daisy carries around on a daily basis. :)

Sleepy Daisy

Watching dog play behaviors

August 17, 2014 4 comments
Wrestling

Dozer (top) and Boone (bottom) playing

This past weekend, I had the chance to watch my brother’s two dogs, Boone and Dozer, play and chase and wrestle with one another. These two boys okay hard and they have fun. They take turns so that no one dog is always on top or in charge. There is a lot of give and take.

Watching them play off and on over several hours made me realize how little I see that kind of play at my house. Daisy never really learned how to play until Jasper joined our household (hard to believe, but puppy mills don’t exactly create an environment that allows dogs to play). Jasper and Daisy have occasionally played tug of war with a pull toy, but not often. Cupcake and Jasper are probably the most likely to play, but it only happens infrequently and usually for only short periods of time. When it does happen, it usually involves a lot of chasing and barking and air snapping. It is hilarious to watch them together.

Most of my observations of dogs playing together has happened at the dog park or when I boarded a dog and its sibling, or two young unrelated dogs, in my home (back in my pet sitting days).  There is nothing more fun than watching two dogs interact with each other in play. So many dogs play in so many different ways. Some wrestle, some chase, some tease with a stick or play tug of war. The one thing that is required is an even give and take. It keeps things light and fun for both dogs. Any time one dog starts to dominate or two or more dogs gang up on one dog, it is no longer fun and can be a form of bullying.

Here is a great video demonstrating some play behaviors. What are some play behaviors you see in your own dogs?

Black and White Sunday #93 – The funny and gorgeous Gir

August 17, 2014 19 comments

Gir with his foot in the water dish

Daisy and Gir at the dog park - August 2014

Looking up. Gir at the dog park.

My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop Dachshund Nola and Sugar The Golden Retriever.

Unfortunately, WordPress.com doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

Favorite Video Friday – My Dog Carly

August 14, 2014 6 comments

I don’t know about you, but I like to sing to my dogs.

Most of the time I do it in the car as we make our way to the dog park, but I have been known to sing to them while making dinner or getting ready for work in the morning or while listening to music.

The songs I sing are pretty silly. Little ditties like “I love Daisy. I love Jasper. I love Cuppers. Yes, I love my puppers.” Sometimes my songs meander down strange little paths, losing their tune and going off key. And sometimes, they just end with an abrupt halt as I scramble to find a word that rhymes with puppies or Daisy or Jasper or Cuppers.

I can’t really say that my dogs love me singing to them, but I can confirm that there is no clapping of paws or rolling of the eyes. Perhaps they know I am just singing my love to them?

Maybe it is the fact that I do sing to my dogs that made me to pause at this cute little video and smile, or maybe it was the sweet innocence of the child singing it, but I knew I would be sharing it all with you the minute I saw it.

I apologize up front, it is a bit of an ear worm, but I think you will agree that it is a good one. :)

Happy Friday everyone!

Wordless Wednesday #200 – The Neighbor Waits for Cheese

August 12, 2014 12 comments

Are we rescuing? Or, are we passing the buck?

August 10, 2014 20 comments

Jack Russell Terrier SnarlingReading the latest news on Steve Marwell, owner of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary (OAS), made me realize once again how few of us have actually spent time asking how this all came to be in the first place.

How did a man who had never registered his charity with his state, and who collected donations but never made any of the required disclosures needed to maintain his good standing as a rescue or sanctuary, able to fool so many rescues and animal shelters into sending their unadoptable dogs to him?

How did no one know about all the dogs living in crates and kennels and in extreme conditions, with little to no food? How did this place pass as a sanctuary and continue to receive dogs for years?

The whole awful and disturbing story brought to mind a blog post I had read back in 2012. Written by Jessica Dolce, How I Failed as a Rescuer: Lessons from a Sanctuary, was a sad, but very insightful look into something that happens so often in rescue – we push it on down the line.

As Jessica wrote:

We all keep pushing down the chain. Individuals reach out to shelters, shelters plead with rescues to pull dogs, rescues can’t place all the dogs, so they board hard-to-place dogs in sanctuaries.

We’re all begging for someone else to give us the happy ending we so desperately want for the animals we love. If people deny us, we lash out that no one will help. If a shelter isn’t no-kill, we refuse to donate to them. We keep pushing and pushing until someone will take this painful, difficult situation off of our doorstep.

We all push until we find sanctuaries who say yes. (How I Failed as a Rescuer: Lessons from a Sanctuary by Jessica Dolce, Notes from a Dog Walker, July 21, 2012)

But the responsibility isn’t the person on down the line is it? No. The responsibility is ours, the rescuer’s, and we should be taking it more seriously.

I wonder… Are we asking the right questions when we decide to pass a dog off to someone else? When we choose to ship a dog off to a sanctuary to live out their lives, do we do our due diligence? Do we ask around for references? Do we go visit the facility ourselves? When we choose to save a dog that cannot be placed, are we really “saving” the dog? Or, are we just making ourselves feel better?

Sad Looking Chocolate LabRecently, I said NO to someone who wanted help in finding a home for an unwanted dog. The dog had an extensive bite history (with several owners) and was scheduled to be euthanized in three days. The person wanting to “save” the dog could not take the dog herself, but wanted desperately to find someone else who would. I could not help but be angry. She wasn’t willing to take in the dog in herself, but she wanted someone else to take on that risk? Really? It very much felt like she was passing it on down the line, leaving the dog for someone else to deal with it, all the while patting herself on the back for saving a poor dog.

I won’t lie. I recommended the dog be euthanized. With so many dogs out there in need, and so many of them without a bite history, why would we save this one dog? Why save this dog who has bitten several former owners in the past? 

Desperate to save the dog, the woman ended up taking the dog where? A sanctuary for difficult dogs.  God only knows if it is a “good one” or it it willbe one that we will one day see in the news, like OAS. I can only hope it is a good one and the dog is receiving great care, and hopefully, some retraining. I can’t help but wonder if the “rescuers” have bothered to check in to see how the dog is doing since they “saved” her? I would bet the answer is no, which is precisely the problem. Out of sight, out of mind.

What happened at OAS should never be allowed to happen again. And yet, I know it will.

As rescuers, we need to get better at doing our due diligence. We need to visit the places we send our unadoptable dogs. We need to inspect, ask for references, ask questions (lots of them) and follow-up regularly. But most importantly, we need to stop passing dogs (who cannot be re-homed or who are unsafe in a normal home) down the line.

We need to be honest and ask ourselves if euthanization wouldn’t be a better solution in these types of situations rather than passing the dog off to a sanctuary where they could suffer unimaginable cruelties for years on end. 

Because the truth is, that kind of solution is not rescuing, it’s passing the buck.  It’s contributing to animal suffering, not saving them from it. 

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