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Favorite Video Friday – Chihuahua Frisbee Dog

August 5, 2016 5 comments

I’m going to admit a pet peeve when it comes to some owners of little dogs. I hate it when they treat them like babies or dress up dolls. I am not applying this to all owners of small dogs, but only to those who treat their small dogs like babies. They drive me nuts.

Just like a big dog, a small dog needs training, daily walks and enrichment (e.g., dog games). They are still a dog and need to be treated respectfully as such.

That’s why I love seeing dogs like Misa Minnie, who does numerous tricks and has an enriched life, and Cleo the Chihuahua,  who runs, chases birds, plays with big dogs, and catches frisbees.

Have you ever seen a frisbee dog who was also a Chihuahua? Well, now you can!

Cleo is totally awesome (some might even say she’s rad!). No seriously. She catches frisbee as good as any big dog. She gets air time, retrieves, and shakes that frisbee with a tenacity reminiscent of a border collie.  She reminds us that she is more than just a cute little dog. She is a dog who loves being a dog. I LOVE her!

I hope you’ll enjoy today’s favorite Friday video. Go Cleo!

Happy Friday everyone!

 

Favorite Video Friday – Fun in the snow

February 5, 2016 3 comments

On Tuesday, we had a large snowstorm blow through town. It snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed. We got over a foot here at Casa del Mel. Just enough to cover all the dog poop I hadn’t gotten to yet, and enough for the dogs to have a grand ole time playing in the fluffy stuff. They were SO happy to have the fresh snow.

We’ve been enjoying it all week long.

It seemed appropriate to share a little of that snow joy with you today via our favorite Friday video. Meet two Aussies who really know how to have fun in the snow.

Not enough? Then come on up to Minnesota! We’ve got plenty and more is coming!

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Video Friday – Ski Patrol Dogs of Snowmass

January 29, 2016 2 comments

Minnesota has been a little lacking in snow accumulation this year. We’ve had a lot of hazy, cloudy, warm days and not a whole lot of sun and snow (for those of you in warmer climes, the sun seems to come out more when it gets cold, and that cold comes from having lots of snow to reflect the sun).

Instead, all the snow appears to be going to everyone around us – the west coast and Rocky Mountains are especially getting a lot of snow this year. No doubt the downhill ski business is booming (much to the relief of many a ski business owner).

I think that’s why this week’s video seemed like the right one to share this Friday. It features the ski patrol dogs of Snowmass, Colorado. Gray, Piper and Caleb are well-trained, professional and absolutely adorable. They make me want to pick up skiing just so I can meet them!

Happy Friday everyone!

Ski Patrol Dogs of Snowmass from Vital Films on Vimeo.

The ASPCA Rehabilitation Center that is changing the lives of damaged dogs

January 13, 2016 10 comments
Maggie gets this close for chicken. #sheltie #puppymilldog

Foster Maggie telling me it’s too much pressure to “touch” my finger when I am this close.

If you would have asked me what my dream job was five years ago, I would have said professional pet sitter. It was what I was doing at the time, and I loved it. I loved caring for other people’s pets and making them feel loved while their parents were away. I also loved being able to train and socialize the ones I walked each day. Puppies were the easiest, they were always so eager to learn, but what always got me excited was working with a shy or fearful dogs. I can’t explain it, but there is something so rewarding about being able to build their confidence and win their trust.

Even when I volunteered at our local shelter, it was the shy or fearful ones I was most drawn to each day. In the 8 1/2 years I was there, those were the dogs I woke with most. I think it’s in my DNA. It’s most certainly how I met my dogs Indy, Daisy and Jasper.

Several years ago, I heard about a small facility that was being set up as a pilot site to work with and better understand how best to help dogs coming from dog fighting rings, puppy mills and hoarding cases.

Operating out of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison New Jersey, the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center rehabilitates dogs that are damaged and traumatized by abuse and neglect. Their goal? To give dogs, most likely to be euthanized at local and county shelters, a new leash on life.

Back when I first read about it, it was more of a proof of concept, an experiment designed to prove that these dogs could be rehabilitated. But, it was also a study into learning what worked and didn’t work when rehabbing these dogs.

Fortunately, it appears they are succeeding. Thanks to the ASPCA and the wonderful people working at the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, dogs are successfully being rehabbed and placed into new loving homes.

And now, they are ready to graduate and take it to the next level. Recently, they announced that they will be moving to a brand new (and much larger) facility in Weatherville, North Carolina in 2017. This is HUGE news. For those of us who work with puppy mill dogs, it means we may soon learn more about how best to help these dogs recover from abuse, trauma and neglect, and that really excites me.

This is my dream job! Think they would be open to a Minnesota transplant with a silly Fargo-like accent? Would it work if I made up a sign “Will rehab dogs for food?”

A person can dream, can’t they?

If you want to learn more about the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, there is a great piece on it in NJ.com: Meet the ‘miracle’ dogs: N.J. center rehabilitates animal cruelty victims

Kindness to animals

The Top 15 Blog Posts of 2015

December 30, 2015 11 comments

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It’s become an annual tradition for me to end the year by sharing those blog posts I thought were most touching, interesting, or emotionally powerful throughout the past year. This year I have decided not to limit my selection to just blog posts. Among those included in my list are articles, Craigslist postings and other pieces.

The hardest part was whittling down my list. You may not have the same ones on your list, but I hope you will find them worth reading and sharing.

Do you have one that you want to share? Feel free to share!

  1. Heartfelt Open Letter To Dog Owner On Craigslist Moved Me To Tears – This powerful post is actually a posting on Craigslist. It is an adopted dog owner’s letter to the original owner of a stray dog, named Laurel, who showed up outside an animal shelter one day.

  2. Tails: Let’s focus on getting them back home, not adopted. – This piece is a particularly important one to me. Too many lost dogs are ending up in our shelters as strays. We need to do a better job trying to reunite them with their owners.

  3. Rescue Decisions: The Dog, or the Community? – Sara Reusche is an amazing dog trainer and a great writer. Her blogs posts are relevant, thought-provoking and well written. This one is no different. Borderline dogs are something we should all be talking about.

  4. 10 Things To Do If Your Adult Dog Bites – This post was written by my friend, Nancy Freedman-Smith, who is a dog trainer and a wonderful writer. This time of year is particularly hard for dog trainers because it is when people start calling them asking for help after their dog bit a child or adult or another dog over the holidays. This piece may help them as the grapple with what most likely was a preventable situation.

  5. 4 Things Dog Trainers DON’T Do – This is a great piece by Laurie Luck. I first shared this on my Facebook page back in June of this year, but it is worth sharing again. I can vouch for the 4 things on her list.

  6. I Rejected The Perfect Pet Adoption Family For The Wrong Reasons – This post was penned by Julie LeRoy in place of Cuda the Pit Bull, who passed away earlier this year. I thought it had a powerful message for those of us in animal rescue. it certainly gave me food for thought.

  7. You Can Survive Burnout: How To Regroup When Your Year Really Sucked – This post came in under the wire (it was just written this week), but it was so impactful that it made me want to share it far and wide.  The author is Dr. Jessica Vogelsang DVM. who is a veterinarian I really respect, not only for her brevity and wisdom, but also for her honesty and reflection. She always leaves me thinking.

  8. The Biggest Mistake Pet Owners Make at the End – This is another post penned by Dr. Jessica Vogelsang DVM. I shared this on my Facebook page earlier this year and was disappointed to see that many people had not only NOT read it, but left comments that clearly showed they hadn’t read it. We need to stop telling people that our pets will tell us when it is time, because more often than not, they won’t. Please read and share. Another great post is by Jessica Dolce, How to Talk to Your Gynecologist About Euthanasia. Definitely worth the read.

  9. What’s Important to You? – I don’t know about you, but it seems like the pet owner world has become more and more like the mommy wars over the years. What I mean is that just like the competitive mommy world where judgement about how you raise your children is at an all time high, the same is seems to be the case in the dog world. Trainer and writer, Sara Reusche, shares her perspective. I like it.

  10. Training “Calm?” – I love this piece of Denise Fenzi. Training “calm” is not something that is often discussed amongst dog owners, but maybe it should. It could go a long way towards helping the dog/human bond.

  11. Pet Safety: How Safe Are Pet Products? – Blogger Mary Haight’s, piece on pet safety was an eye-opener for me. If you think your pet is safe in a crate, in a car seat or with the toys that you buy, you may want to thin again. Very little safety testing is done on those items that you think will keep your pet safe. If you really want to learn more about the dangers that lie in the pet product industry, listen to her podcast interview with Linsey Wolko, Founder, Chairman and CEO of the Center For Pet Safety.

  12. Comforting an Old Dog – A powerful piece by Shirley Zindler highlights the important role Animal Control Officers have with the animals they capture. Sometimes just being there is the most important part.

  13. Screw Finding Your Passion –  This second to last one has nothing to do with dogs, but has a powerful message nonetheless. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

  14. That thing others are shaming you for? Do it anyway. – Crystal Paine’s post on being your authentic self is one worth reading. If you have ever felt like hiding your true self or worried about criticisms by others about how you look or how you speak or write, then this piece is worth reading.

Favorite Video Friday – Australian Shepherd beauty, Lissy

October 2, 2015 4 comments

It’s fall, the weather has been lovely, my dogs are happy and I’m loving life. So, why not share a video that reflects pure joy and happiness?

I love Lissy. Could she be more beautiful? Or, more intelligent?

Happy Friday everyone!

Favorite Video Friday – A last hurrah to summer

September 3, 2015 5 comments

This Labor Day weekend feels like the last of the glory days of summer for 2015. Even though the temperatures are in the 80’s and 90’s and the humidity is sky-high, the sunlit nights are waning and soon Fall will be here.

I don’t know why, but this video just feels like the last hurrah to summer. Without a doubt, the musical background adds to the ambiance, but it is the most adorable April I love to watch. She is a Border Collie who appears to be much-loved.

I hope you will enjoy this fun, but somewhat nostalgic, video selection this week. If nothing else, it will leave you with a smile and a nice tune rolling around in your head. 🙂

Happy Friday everyone!

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