Posts Tagged ‘Pets’

Wordless Wednesday #1

July 28, 2010 3 comments

No Dog About It Blog is going rogue!

Rather than feature a new pet toy/product/website/etc. review every Wednesday, we will be alternating Wednesday Winners with the popular Wordless Wednesday found on many other blogs. We hope that you will like this feature and maybe even contribute a few of your own Wordless Wednesday photos to be featured on this blog.

Here is this week’s Wordless Wednesday photo (Feel free to add your own caption!).

A Letter from a Shelter Manager

July 13, 2010 104 comments

I posted this blog post a few days ago, but I’m going to include it in Blog The Change For Animals because I am a huge supporter of pet adoption and it is “my” cause. I think every pet owner or prospective pet owner should have to read this before they get a pet. If more people did perhaps there would be fewer animals euthanized in this country. Read On.

If you have never worked or volunteered in an animal shelter, you should.
If you’ve never adopted a shelter dog, you should.
If you’ve never known a shelter manager or shelter staff member, you should.

Maybe then you would realize why it is so important to adopt a pet.

Today, I share with you A Letter From A Shelter Manager. If you think you can’t read this because it would be too hard to read, too much to bear, too much to deal with; you should. Maybe this letter can make a difference in just one person. You.

I think our society needs a huge “Wake-up” call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all…a view from the inside if you will.

First off, all of you breeders/sellers should be made to work in the “back” of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would change your mind about breeding and selling to people you don’t even know.

That puppy you just sold will most likely end up in my shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore. So how would you feel if you knew that there’s about a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it is going to be dumped at? Purebred or not! About 50% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into my shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses I hear are; “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? Where are you moving too that doesn’t allow pets? Or they say “The dog got bigger than we thought it would”. How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? “We don’t have time for her”. Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! “She’s tearing up our yard”. How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me “We just don’t want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she’ll get adopted, she’s a good dog”.

Odds are your pet won’t get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn’t full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with about 25 other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don’t, your pet won’t get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the “Bully” breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door.

Those dogs just don’t get adopted. It doesn’t matter how ‘sweet’ or ‘well behaved’ they are.

If your dog doesn’t get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because shelters just don’t have the funds to pay for even a $100 treatment.

Here’s a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being “put-down”.

First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to “The Room”, every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it’s strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the “pink stuff”. Hopefully your pet doesn’t panic from being restrained and jerk. I’ve seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don’t just “go to sleep”, sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You’ll never know and it probably won’t even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?

I hope that those of you that have read this are bawling your eyes out and can’t get the pictures out of your head I deal with everyday on the way home from work.

I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and realize that the lives you are affecting go much farther than the pets you dump at a shelter.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I do my best to save every life I can but rescues are always full, and there are more animals coming in everyday than there are homes.


Hate me if you want to. The truth hurts and reality is what it is. I just hope I maybe changed one persons mind about breeding their dog, taking their loving pet to a shelter, or buying a dog. I hope that
someone will walk into my shelter and say “I saw this and it made me want to adopt”. THAT WOULD MAKE IT WORTH IT

Please Be The Change and Adopt A Pet. There are so many good ones just waiting for a new home.

If this post touched you in some way, please read Mary’s Dogs Blog where she discusses how shelter dogs are treated like second class citizens. If you think the euthanization of shelter dogs is the only issue. Think again.


Dogs: Playing on Both Sides of the Fence

July 4, 2010 17 comments

Dogs love nothing better than to have new territory to explore. Playing on both sides of the fence can be exciting: new places to explore, new friends to meet, new smells to sniff, etc.

But when it involves doing business, does playing on both sides of the fence matter? For instance, is it okay to promote rescue organizations while at the same time doing business with those people who contribute to pet over-population? Is it okay to do so if you are helping rescue organizations in the long run?

Those are the questions I am faced with today.

Recently, while working on some research for a friend, I discovered that someone I respected, and even promoted, was playing on both sides of the fence.

The Pet Web Designer, Michael Ayalon, has been active in the Twitter community, especially with pet-related Twitter folks. According to the ASPCA, he has actively helped “to broaden the reach of shelters beyond their local communities and allow potential adopters to see available pets through a live video website..” called The site allows potential adopters to see a pet and his/her personality via live webcam thus helping adopters to determine if the pet would make a good addition to their family. Definitely a good deed.

But, as a fellow Twitterer, I guess I didn’t realize that the Pet Web Designer was also playing on the other side of the fence and helping breeders “to generate 300 new qualified puppy buyers per day” as stated in one of the testimonials featured on his website. Or that he had helped a breeder in the business for 12 years to “sell more puppies than we ever thought we could…” or to help another breeder (from the well-known puppy mill state of Pennsylvania) to sell “… more puppies than I thought was possible. Every day brings hundreds of customers looking for my breeds to my pet website.”

And, does it constitute playing both sides of the fence if you publish articles under different names (Ron Ayalon,/Michael Ron, Ron Ayalon)?

Certainly not illegal. Writers do it all the time.

But, what if many of your articles link back to places like this?

I want to be fair here and state that he has also helped some of my fellow pet sitters, a doggy daycare, a pet apparel store, an environmentally responsible lawn care service, and as I mentioned above, rescue organizations. He has also published some good articles on working with and caring for your dog/cat.

I am not naive, I realize that businesses play on both sides of the fence all of the time. The question is… does it matter if a business plays on both sides of the fence and is up front and honest about it? After all, the testimonials are there for all to see. Nothing is hidden from those who wish to find it.

What do you think? Is playing both sides of the fence ok?

P.S. I should mentioned that soon after I started writing this piece, Michael (or should I say Ron?) Ayalon, changed all the links at the bottom of his ezines articles to this. Luckily, I had already copied and pasted the ones I mentioned from knol.

Update: Since my original post Michael has decided to include the websites he has created as well as the domain names he owns on the Home Page of his website (scroll down). I think this is a step in the right direction. What he has also done is change all of his online articles by removing the links to this and this. Perhaps this is an altruistic decision, but only time will tell.

Favorite Video Friday: Just a Dog?

June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

I apologize to all my blogging friends and fans. It’s been a little busy at Mel’s Pet Pals this week (I didn’t even get to my Wednesday Winner this week!), but I did want to share an absolutely fabulous, amazing and moving video for this week’s Favorite Video Friday.

This was first shared by a great blog (if you’re not reading it your should be) called Life With Dogs. The video has been making the rounds for the past week and a half and I wanted to make sure to continue the sharing. If you have a dog, then you will love this video.

Just A Dog?

Wednesday Winner: The KONG Wobbler

June 9, 2010 Leave a comment


A couple of months ago, I was exploring various interactive toys for my client newsletter and came across an ad for a new KONG product: the Wobbler. I already had a rolling treat ball at home that Jasper (my Sheltie) absolutely loved, but I wondered if he would like the Wobbler too.

He does! And, so does Daisy!

The Wobbler works just like the Weeble-Wobble toys from when I was a kid. There is sand in the bottom that keeps the toy grounded but allows your dog to tip it to get the treats out of the hole on the side. What I like about this toy is how easy it is to fill with treats and clean up afterwards. And, my dogs really do love it.

The first time I placed the Wobbler on the floor, Jasper backed away, uncertain of what this new thing was and what he was supposed to do with it. But once I showed him how it worked, he was busy pushing it around, knocking it over and pawing at it.
Now, before I leave the house for the day, I fill it with his kibble (or special treats) and leave it on the floor for him and Daisy (my Lab). I never know where I am going to find it when I get home, but that’s part of the fun! I’ve found it in the bathroom (behind the toilet!), under a chair, under the entertainment center, at the top of the basement stairs, in my bedroom, etc. It’s now become a game to guess where I will find it next! Clearly, it is a very popular toy with my dogs.

That’s why the KONG Wobbler is this week’s Wednesday Winner!

Dogs: College-bound?

June 8, 2010 2 comments

When I headed off to college I left behind my treasured companion, a Sheltie named Alicia. She was a great little dog that I had gotten from a neighbor down the street and she had been with me since I was 15. She was my best friend. I adored her.

The hardest part about going to college was leaving Alicia behind. I worried that my family wouldn’t take care of her as well as I did. She slept on my bed every night, so I worried about who she would sleep with at night. I worried who would walk her and make sure she got the love and attention she so deserved. I worried she would miss me and become depressed.

But, as it turns out, I needn’t have worried. My family took great care of her and loved her dearly. She was happy when she saw me and sad when I left, but she never seemed to be depressed or lacking in attention and love. Don’t get me wrong, I would have jumped at the chance to take Alicia with me to college, but it was never an option.

Oh, how the times have changed!

In an article from the New York Times (June 4, 2010), they explore the new phenomenon of colleges that are now allowing students to bring their pets with them. Some colleges even have a special dorm set aside for pets and their owners. Who knew?

It makes me wonder…

Knowing what I know now about college life, would I taken Alicia with me? How different would my college life have been if I had? Would I have been as involved in all the activities offered at the college if I had had a dog back at my dorm room? Or, would college have been easier with a companion and friend from home to help me through it?

What do you think?
Is it a good thing that pets are being allowed to go to college with their owners?
Or, do you think it may deter a student from getting involved with college life?

Favorite Video Friday: A Doggy Summer

June 4, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s Favorite Video Friday! Yay!

I thought I would share an oldie but goodie on this gorgeous June day. It’s Doggy Summer.
I love the creativity, but more than anything I love to think about what it took to create such a cool video. Simply amazing.

A Doggy Summer

How do you define a puppy mill?

June 4, 2010 7 comments

Today I learned that my favorite radio station will be doing a live broadcast from a pet store in St. Croix, Minnesota. It might not seem like a big deal, but this particular store advertises “We have new puppies come into our store weekly. “

My first thought was they must be coming from a puppy mill. After all, who else is going to provide puppies on a weekly basis? Most legitimate breeders cannot provide puppies at that level. So, the question is… where are they coming from?

When asked on another friend’s Facebook page, the owner replied the following:

“… We certainly do not have puppy mill puppies. All of our employees from day one of training are taught to proudly give full disclosure of all information regarding our breeder. If anyone contacts us they are given name, address and phone on every occasion. We have nothing to hide. The only Breeder we have ever worked with has been in business for over forty years. He has a beautiful facility and treats all the puppies as if they are his own. He has been investigated by channel 9 TV out of the Twin Cities and after touring his facility was told that this is not the kind of facility they were looking for to put on the news…” She also goes on to say that they have veterinarians on staff at the facility.

So, if the facility is clean, has vets on staff and the store can provide info on the breeder to new owners, and a TV station has decided not to do a story on this facility, is it a puppy mill?
If it supplies new puppies weekly to a store is it a puppy mill?

I’d love to hear what you think.
How do you define a puppy mill?

Wednesday Winner: Animoto

June 3, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s a little late here on this Wednesday eve, but I wanted to recognize a very cool internet-based company that has been instrumental in growing my pet sitting business. Today’s Wednesday Winner is Animoto!

Animoto allows users to produce some really cool and unique music videos in a matter of minutes using your very own pictures, video and music. What I love about Animoto is that it allows me to create some really awesome videos for my clients (whose pets stay with me while they are away on vacation) for a really reasonable price. My clients love them and I love sharing them with them!

Clients love to see their pets having fun while they are gone, and it’s a great tribute to their pet that they can keep and share with friends. What better way to show how much fu their pet had while they were away?

But, what’s also awesome about Animoto is that is really, really simple. Upload your photos and video, review, add music and wait for Animoto to produce it in just a few minutes! Have a graduation coming up? Create a video you can share. Took a really cool vacation? Use Animoto’s water background to create a cool video to share with your friends- better than watching a slideshow in someone’s basement! Here are some sample videos for you to check out.

I’ve included a few of my own client videos to show you what I mean. Feel free to check them out.

Belle, Marley and Jasper (Jasper is my dog, the Sheltie)
Noah and Sophie

Then, go to Animoto and sign up! You won’t regret it!

Wednesday Winner:

May 5, 2010 4 comments

It might sound strange that a pet sitter would choose to award the Wednesday Winner title to a business that focuses on letting owners take their pets with them on vacation, but that’s just what I am doing this week.

Why? Because is just plain THAT cool!

Started by a husband and wife team, Amy and Rod, and their two dogs, Ty and Buster, is a user-friendly website that allows owners to find hotels, campgrounds, outdoor activities, boarding facilities, pet boutiques, and PET SITTERS all over the country.

Planning to travel to San Franciso, California and need to know which hotels are pet friendly? Simply input the city and state and dates you plan to be there and voila! you get a list of hotels! Planning to drive the whole way to San Francisco? Use their Road Trip Planner to plan out your whole journey – hotels, cool places to take your dog, etc. – pet owners now have an option that allows their pet to some along for the ride!

Amy and Rod travel all over the country in their GoPetFriendly Winnebago checking out new places to go with your pet. And, they share all their experiences on their blog and their Facebook Page.

Go Pet Friendly has a lot of other great features too. All of them are user-friendly, fun and informative. That’s why this week’s Wednesday Winner is Check it out!

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