Friday, August 31

Happy Labor Day!

This Monday is Labor Day, which means for a lot of you,  a three day weekend!  I want to remind you all of a few tips to make sure your dogs enjoy this holiday as much as you do.

Having a party or bbq?  Don't forget your dog!  Keep your dog's needs in mind as you plan your party or bbq.
  • If you have a fearful or shy dog, make sure he has a place to go that is safe and away from the people.
  • If your dog doesn't get along with other dogs, be sure to ask your guests not to bring their dogs.
  • Assuming your dog is well socialized and has no dog or people issues, make sure when your guests arrive (both human and K9) that your dog is allowed to greet them and welcome them into the home.  For your K9 guests, if they have not been to your home before, be sure to greet them on the street with your dog and walk into the home together.
  • Protect the food, especially on the grill.  Be sure that your dog or your guests dog's don't help themselves to all the delicious food.  Besides loosing out on what they eat, it can be harmful to them, especially if they try to take it directly off the grill.

Going to a party or bbq? Be careful not to stay gone too long, your dog needs attention too.
  • If you have a patio, balcony or yard, be sure your dog can access it to use the bathroom if you are going to be gone all day or over 8 hours.
  • For those of you that do not have an outdoor space, limit the time you are away so you can come home and relieve your dog.  Or hire a dog walker for the day to allow your dog a break and some exercise.
  • Potty Pads work great too, if your dog is trained to use them.
  • If it is a dog friendly event and your dog gets along with other dogs, take them with you! 

 Staying home relaxing?  Sleeping in, sun bathing and kicking back relaxing at home sound great, but don't let your dog get bored.
  • I know it is nice to sleep in, but your dog needs to use the bathroom, don't forget to keep his schedule as close to the same as possible.
  • Relaxing and doing nothing can be fun for humans and there are some K9's that can get into this too, but for those of you with high drive dogs, this will not do.  Be sure in the midst of your relaxing, Fido gets some play and exercise time.
  • A beach visit or park time can be a great release of energy and adventure for your dog, as well as fun for you or your family.

Finally, just remember to  have fun with your dog and enjoy the extra time with them.  They certainly will enjoy the time with you.

Happy Labor Day everyone, have a safe and fun one!

Wednesday, August 29

Help For Kabang

About two weeks ago I brought you a story of a K-9 hero named Kabang that is awaiting surgery (click the link for the original story).  Since I posted that story, I was contacted by Karen Kenngott, the U.S. coordinator for the Animal Welfare Coalition, to update me on Kabang's situation.

As stated in the original story, the injuries Kabang sustained are horrific and she is badly in need of a life saving surgery.  She remains at risk of infection so long as her snout is missing.  Though she is on steady antibiotics, there is only so long they will work.  But her family continues to love her and treat her as a hero.  Kabang was even honored with national hero status in the Philippines.

So now how to help.  The doctors at UC Davis are ready for her, the transport is almost ready and her family is more than ready for her to get help.  But the money is missing.  Karen contacted me to find out if I could spread the word that Kabang is in need of donations to make this life saving surgery happen. 

All the information is on the website, and you can follow the most update information on the facebook page created for Kabang.

To make it easier for all of my readers, please just bark on the link to donate:  BARK!

I encourage you all to do what you can.  $1, $5, $10, $100, it all helps!  Please help Kabang get this surgery.  It is remarkable that she is alive at all and even more remarkable that her family hasn't given up or euthanized her.  This dog has a lot more life to live, lets all come together and make that happen!

Monday, August 27

Dog-Poo DNA Testing

I think it all the time, "Who did this?", as I pass the piles of dog-poo left behind by an irresponsible dog owner.  As a matter of fact, I was appalled just this morning as I passed through Pershing Square to see how many people just left their dog's waste behind.  The sad part is there are bags and trash cans right there!  I find it disgusting!  Pick it up, it is not hard and there is no excuse.

Dogster brought us a story this weekend about this very thing.  Building managers and owners are getting fed up with the irresponsible dog owners and want to start fining the offenders, so they have turned to DNA testing of the dog-poo. 

The days of letting your dog poop on the azaleas, carefully looking around, confirming you are not being observed, and walking away from that pile of steaming waste whistling like a madman, well, those days are behind you -- at least if you live in a growing number of apartment complexes whose building managers are getting on hands and knees in front of the offending piles and carving off samples for DNA testing.
I remember when my building manager used to just pound on my door for the rent.
The samples are then sent (through the mail! Poop through the mail!) to high-tech DNA labs, which I imagine are exactly like those labs on any of the CSIs, so the DNA of the poop can be crosschecked with the DNA of the dogs who live at the apartment. 
If the lab finds a match, residents get presented with a bill. At Hollywood Station in Hollywood, Fla., according to CBS Miami, that bill is $150 for the first offense. “If nothing else, it’s going to change behavior,” said property manager Tiffany Acosta. “I don’t want to fine everybody, but I have to make somebody accountable."
"It's human nature, unfortunately," Acosta said. "It's not the dog's problem. It's irresponsible pet owners."
Granted, the new science has taken some adjusting to. “We saw a notice in the elevator last week that we had to bring our dogs to be DNA tested so that they could find their poop," resident Kayla O’Brien said.
And it's happening everywhere. Poo Prints, a DNA for doo-doo in Knoxville, Tenn., counts hundreds of residential properties in 30 states and two other countries as clients, according to the Nashville Ledger.
So, how does the new poop science work? "Customers who hire Poo Prints have all pet owners register their animals by swabbing their pets’ cheeks and dropping them off to property management offices," reports the Ledger.
"We can perform an exact DNA matchup with the pets in our database," Eric Mayer, Poo Prints' director of business development, told USA Today. "The results won't come back as showing a Beagle left the pile of waste. It will be the Beagle in Apartment 3A left the waste."

Typically, dog owners pay for the dog's initial DNA testing, which costs around $30. Some residents think that policy has a funny smell. "To have to pay ourselves to have our dogs tested? We already have to pay to have them live here, so to have to pay some more to have their DNA tested was kind of crazy to us," Sena Peterson told KDLT News in Sioux Falls. 
This lies in stark contrast to the other no-poop effort that is currently gaining steam across the nation. "There Is No Poop Fairy" education campaigns have popped up in Colorado, Idaho, Virginia, and East Harlem, according to, relying on -- gasp! -- our inner sense of right and wrong behavior. Morals, if you will, concerning poop. Of course, if people's morals always operated correctly, we wouldn't need DNA testing of poop.

I am in favor of this type of testing, I would love for there to be a consequence for the owner's bad behavior!  That being said, I think it is horrible that each tenant has to pay for the initial tests.  I personally would have a major problem with it since I know I am not an offender, why would I have to pay for other dog owner's  bad behavior?  That is what is happening now, we all get grouped together.  So no matter if you pick up after your dog and make sure they go in the right spots, because so many people don't, it creates this negative feeling about dogs and those of us that own them.

DNA testing hasn't made it's way Downtown yet, but I am sure it will.  My hope it that ALL dog owners pick up after their dogs and this type of policing will not be necessary.

Thursday, August 23

Quick Training Tip

One of the most common issues I address in training is walking.  It would seem this would be easy, but it is not, actually it can be quite complicated.  Especially if there are other issues combined with a dog that has never been taught how to properly walk on a leash.  Today, I will give you a quick tip on how to walk your dog on a leash, please keep in mind this is for a city setting and for a dog that does not have any other issues and knows generally how to walk on the leash.  There are too many variables to address all the issues.

When walking down the street keep your dog on a fairly short leash, or close to you.  I see people walking their dogs at the end of their leash and you have little to no control.  By choking up on the leash and keeping your dog close, you are able to better control where they go and when they go.  Also, for city walking you have much more control with a regular flat leash rather than a flexi leash.  Flexi's are great for the park, beach or hiking, not in the city where you need maximum control.

As you walk, be sure to stop at tree wells and other city approved potty spots for your dog to relieve themselves.  It is a best practice to start your walk by immediately going to a potty spot and then start your walk.

As you pass dogs, keep your dog's focus on you, meaning that you would not allow them to greet every dog they walk pass.  If you know the dog and your dog gets along, by all means stop and say hi, but if it is a stranger dog, keep walking.  You want your dog to be with you, not out to meet every dog and get in the habit of rushing into other dog's faces.  This can be problematic should you run into a dog that doesn't like other dogs.

Don't forget to practice good manners while out and have your dog sit at every intersection before crossing.

So to sum up, keep them close, keep them focused on you and practice their manners.

Have fun walking your dog!

If you are having trouble walking your dog or any other issue, give us a Bark!

Wednesday, August 22

Dogfighting Legislation Update

As we are in full swing of the Political season, I thought this was the perfect time to share this piece about the Dogfighting Legislation debate.  It seems that the Republicans are not just saying insensitive and ignorant statements about women and women's rights, but also dog fighting.  Below is an article that was on about the current debate about the 2012 amendment to the Farm Bill that outlaws people from attending dogfights and cock fights.
Dogfighting in the United States is an illegal activity which has existed in the country since early in the 19th century. This cruel and inhumane “sport” is now considered a very serious crime. Congress passed a law in 2007 making dogfighting a felony under both Federal law and in all 50 states.   Additionally, even if the offender has had no prior convictions, the crime of dogfighting carries lengthy mandatory prison sentences, along with hefty fines.
Fortunately for these innocent dogs who are trained to be aggressive killers, with the help of animal activists and welfare groups, dogfighting has slowly been outlawed around the country. But sadly however, covert dogfighting remains popular in both rural and urban areas.  These bloody battles continue to attract people who get their “kicks” out of watching the combatting canines and who also bet heavily on their favorites in the hopes of winning some easy cash.
But even though the 2012 amendment to the Farm Bill by Representative Jim McGovern, (D- Mass) helped close some of the loopholes in the Federal law by outlawing people from attending dogfights and cock fights, there are those who highly disagree with these rulings and are working hard to get rid of them.
According to a recent announcement by Mike Markarian, the President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa), is actively campaigning to defeat the McGovern amendment making it a crime to attend or bring children to an animal fight. In response to a question about why he opposes animal rights and the legislations that have been introduced to protect these animals, during a recent telethon hall meeting, King expressed his views and went on record by saying that passing legislation to prohibit children from attending animal fights was wrong.
King then went on to comment that “It's not a federal crime to induce somebody to watch people fighting. There's something wrong with the priorities of people that think like that."
As shocking as it sounds to those of us who love animals and want them protected, Congressman King truly believes that dogfighters and cockfighters should get a "free pass" which would allow them to continue their compassionless activities without penalty.
Unbelievably, King is presently on an all-out mission to lead Congress in this direction.
Summing up King’s displeasure with and goal to repeal the laws prohibiting dogfighting, Markarian said, rather paradoxically, “If you believe that the United States should legalize dogfighting because we allow humans to fight, fear not. You’ve got an ally in the United States Congress.”
Hear Congressman Steve King sharing his philosophy on dogfighting in the video uploaded to YouTube by ThinkProgress TP.

To compare "animal fighting" to people fighting is ridiculous!  No one is forcing those people to fight.  Ask any of the wrestlers, UFC Fighters, Boxers, etc. are they being forced to fight and are they put to death inhumanely if they don't perform up to their owner's standards, the answer is NO!  I am sick of people and politicians making excuses for this!  Training any animal to kill and then fighting them is wrong, period!  I want the people that think it is okay to attend these events to also go to the trainings and see exactly what they do to these animals.  Then tag along when they don't win and see what happens then. 

Humans are CHOOSING to fight as a profession, these animals are not choosing it, they are being forced to fight and being treated extremely inhumanely. 

Whether you are fighting the animals or watching them fight, it is equally wrong.  Someone that is supporting this "sport" by attending the events and betting on the fights is committing a crime, I would hate to see the legislation that was fought so hard for to be turned around to allow this to continue without consequence.

Tuesday, August 21

Custody Battle Over Rescued Dog

Missy was found stranded at 13,000 feet on Mt. Bierstadt in Colorado by a group of men that saw her picture as it made it's rounds on the internet.  It had been 8 days that she was left up there due to a broken leg.  The men successfully got her down and took her to the vet.  After she was rescued, repaired and safe, her owner who left her there now wants her back and the rescuer says NO WAY!  The whole story is below in the video.

What do you think, does Missy's owner have a right to claim her or by leaving her for dead, did he give up his rights?

Monday, August 20

Pooches and Olympic Medals

I know the Olympics are over, but we are still hearing about the medals, more specifically, what the winners are doing with them.  Dogster had a great blog about it and featured a very cute and lucky Chocolate Lab donning his human mommy's gold!  The full story is below.

In what seems to be a trend in Olympic medalists letting their pooches pose with their prizes, women's heptathlon competitor (it's a race that involves seven athletic disciplines: hurdles, high jump, shot-put, two runs, a long jump, and a javelin throw -- whew! We're tired just writing that!) and gold medalist Jessica Ennis Tweeted a photo of her choco-Lab, Myla, donning her gold medal. Adorable!
Just like Andy Murray, who posted a photo of his adorable Terriers with his silver and gold medals, Jessica let Myla share in her victory. And we've got to say that Myla looks pretty darn proud of her human friend's accomplishments! Of course, even if Jessica had come home empty-handed, Myla would still be happy to see her. To dogs, we are always first place -- just as they are always first place in our hearts.
We're glad there's no Olympic cuteness competition -- we wouldn't be able to pick a winner! They're all so adorable. Even if they're "ugly dogs," their capacity for love and devotion makes all dogs beautiful.
We wonder whether we'll be seeing more Olympic champs' pets sporting their medals now that the games are over.

Friday, August 17

Freestyle Friday

The other night ABC News did a story on dancing dogs, better known in the dog world as the sport Freestyle.  For those of you that don't know, essentially Freestyle is you and your dog doing a dance routine together.  It is so much fun! Both to train and to do!  I don't do this competitively at all, though I do dream of it.  I do it because it helps bring Neville out of shell.  We just dance together and through training him simple moves, he isn't so frightened of my hand swinging or leg raising and so on.

In the story they focused on what was probably the most well know duo in this sport,  Carolyn Scott & her Golden Rookie.  I never knew that Rookie had hip dysplasia and Carolyn had Polio, the two were attracted to each other for what should have hindered them in this sport.  But they were the team to beat.  If you watch the old footage of them, you can see just how much fun they were having.  Compared to some of the canine/human duos that this story covered that were just starting out, where their dogs didn't even want to stay in the ring or keep focus... you can imagine.

As the story continued, Carolyn talked about how Rookie taught her to be comfortable in her own skin, something she always had trouble with coming from her challenging childhood with Polio.  (This is where I started to cry and didn't stop until the story was done.)  The two had an incredible bond and I had always wondered where they were now.  Rookie was diagnosed with cancer and Carolyn took his last year off and just did all the fun things that Rookie would love.  Rookie passed away after a 15 year partnership,  what a life he led and what an impact he had.

Below is one of my favorite routines by the two.  The footage is not the best, but you will see all the important things.  Be sure to listen to the announcer talk about Rookie's input on each dance!  I hope this inspires all of you to get out and do something special with your dog this weekend, I will be with mine! 

Have a safe and fun weekend!

Thursday, August 16

Lucky The Pit Bull Mix Gets Millions

Anytime there is a good story about dogs I love to share it, especially if it is about a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix.  This story is a good one, but also with a bit of a sad element.  Lucky is a Pit Bull mix whose owner died and left him his entire estate.  Lucky is only 3 years old and not the most comfortable around people, so I am certain that he would trade this estate worth millions just to have his owner back.  Below is the whole story by Dogster.

We don't know why Kenneth Bortz named his dog Lucky, but he sure made the name mean something. He made Lucky his heir, and upon Bortz's death, Lucky got the estate. What an estate: The Pit Bull mix is now sole owner of "hundreds of antiques and a dozen collector cars," reports KHOU-TV. "Enough treasures to fill 10 homes." 
Those treasures include fine china, world-class silver, collectibles, desks, chairs, tables, dressers, knick-knacks, gewgaws, glassworks, lamps, figurines, 18th-century paintings -- really all the things someone who successfully liquidated the finest homes in Texas for a living would have in his personal collection. Bortz, of course, liquidated the finest homes in Texas for a living.
To be sure, Lucky probably doesn't think what happened to her is lucky at all. Her owner died. Lucky doubtlessly just wants her owner back. But at least she'll get to live out her days in ease and comfort, well-provided for with many resources at her disposal. 
By all accounts, Bortz loved his dogs. He had 12. 
"His daily ritual at the end of the day was to sit out back by his fountain, and he'd hand-feed anybody that showed up," trust manager Tim Connolly told KHOU-TV. "Kenneth took care of him well in terms of just the basic necessities."
"For Kenneth, his dogs were basically his children, his family," Bortz's friend, Skipper Dixon, told KHOU-TV.
Upon Bortz's death, four dogs remained, and three died shortly after. Now there is just Lucky, who's 3 years old, heir to a warehouse full of fine antiques undergoing a series of estate sales to be converted into cold, hard, kibble-buying cash. 
There's just one problem: "Lucky doesn't really like people and rarely comes out from under her little cubby," according to The job of warming up Lucky to her new life falls to David O'Shields, a former employee of Bortz's, who has been named the dog's caretaker. 
Perhaps he's not the right man for the job: "He won her over with chicken from KFC and other restaurants," reports O'Shields said, "We usually give her two thighs and a leg. It got to where she'd be waiting for us." 
Hey, David O'Shields, cooked chicken bones splinter! But we imagine he will learn quick, with millions at his -- er, Lucky's -- disposal.
I hope David O'Shields finds a little bit better of a diet for Lucky, but I am sure they will work it out.  My fingers are crossed for Lucky that he gets to live a happy life of luxury!

Wednesday, August 15

The Morning After The Pooch Parade!

This was the first Pooch Parade ever that it ended up being all small dogs... except of course my tall guy.  Those little ones really know how to have a good time!  The Sizzlin' Hot Dogs Pooch Parade was nothing less than a success last night!  All the participants really worked hard with their dogs and managed to have a fabulous time as well.

The night started just across the street from Pussy & Pooch and as the dog's anticipation grew to go into their favorite place we started our work.  Once the dogs were focused and we were gathered, we took them across the street for a Pawbar meal.  They all ate it up quickly and some were licking the plates!

As we moved through the city doing our exercises, these little ones got their legs moving.  At one point I looked back and all I could see were these little legs all trotting along quickly, it was quite the sight.

As the night wore on the dogs became more and more committed to working and of course getting treats for it.  There was a lot of progress made in just a little over an hour.  This group was such a good group for each other!

At the end, the humans finally got their treats!

A huge THANK YOU to Pussy & Pooch for the use of their fantastic Pawbar and sweet staff and Big Wangs for their A+ service and willingness to accommodate our group, both businesses made us feel like VIP's!  As well, THANK YOU to all the participants, dogs and of course my friends that volunteer their time to help me!

Stay tuned for information on the next Pooch Parade!

Tuesday, August 14

Help Dogs and Cats of the Homeless

As I sit here this morning reviewing the exercises for tonight's Pooch Parade and preparing what food to order for the humans and getting all the treats in place for the dogs,  I was brought back to a very humbling place by reading a blog from my veterinarian.  The blog was about a new program that Rosemont Pet Hospital is joining, Pets of Homeless Organization.  It is something that we all can contribute to by donating what homeless pets need most, food.  Below is the original blog from Dr. Kathleen O'Dwyer, DVM. 

How often have we come to a stop on a freeway ramp or busy intersection only to see a homeless individual and their beloved canine companion hoping for a donation? I know it happens to me all to frequently-in the car, in Old Town Pasadena, you name it. I find myself wanting to help, but not sure how to do so.  We now have a way to help and invite anyone interested to support the cause as well.

We are proud to announce that Rosemont is a collection site for the Pets of Homeless Organization. What this means is that we collect donated cat and dog food and deliver it to a local distribution site. We will be using a site in Burbank so all donations go to local people and pets in need. The program accepts any kind of dog or cat food-dry or canned, generic, namebrand, you name it. We at Rosemont have also partnered with Hill's Science Diet for the program, and they are donating several cases and bags of canine and feline food every quarter. We have already received their first contribution--thank you Hill's!! We will be making trips to donate once per month, and more often if we collect many pounds of food and run out of storage space!

Here's some information about the homeless that you may not have known:

There are approximately 3.5 million homeless people in the United States, and we know Southern California has a particularly high population of homeless. About 10% of the American homeless population has a pet dog or cat. These pets provide their companions with friendship, loyalty, love, and protection-no different to the way our pets provide these things for us. Often, these pets represent a link to reality, to a difficult past, or to a family member, thus creating a very powerful bond. Many homeless people will sacrifice food or clothing for themselves to care for their pets. Often, the shelters available for homeless families or individuals do not allow pets, and the people choose to remain on the streets to avoid separation from their pets. Fortunately, most people who experience homelessness do so for only a short time. Once they find employment, shelter and a support system, their pets are usually very well cared for.

If you are interested in donating, you can call or email us, or just drop by with a can or bag of food. No donation is too small, every and any contribution will be very appreciated. Also, check out the website for the organization below, it is very informative and details many ways to help. We know our clients are some of the most generous and we know that together we can make a difference. Thanks in advance for your support!! :) 

I hope you all can get involved, this is such a good cause.  Even if you just pick up an extra can of food when you are getting your own dog food, it is so easy and so worth while.  You know those dogs and cats will appreciate it so much!

Please click the link above for further information or drop off your donation at Rosemont Pet Hospital, 2550 Foothill Blvd., Suite A, La Crescenta, CA  91214.

Monday, August 13

Hero Dog Waits For Life Changing Surgery

I know the images are very disturbing, I had a hard time looking at them.  When I first saw the images of Kabang, my mind raced with what the story was.  But my heart continued to break when I read the story and realized this dog was willing to give her life for these two little girls, but she didn't have to give her life, just her snout.   Below is the full story of Kabang and the hopeful happy ending on the horizon brought to us by Dogster.

In February in Zamboanga City, Philippines, a dog threw herself in front of a speeding motorcycle that was bearing down on two little girls -- cousins Dina Bunggal and Princess Diansing, ages 11 and 3 respectively. The girls were shaken but unhurt. The motorcycle driver was also unhurt. But the dog, the hero of the day, didn't get off so easily. Brave, valiant Kabang did stop the motorcycle, but in doing so her snout became caught in the spokes. It was ripped off.

Kabang's owner, Rudy Bunggal, a father to one of the girls, freed Kabang from the wreckage, and Kabang fled -- for two weeks, according to Inquirer News. 
We can only imagine the pain the dog was in, but when she returned home and Bunggal took her to the vet, he was asked whether he wanted to euthanize her. He refused. 

“It does not matter if she’s ugly now. What is important to us is she saved our children and we cannot thank her enough for that,” Bunggal said.
After being treated for the wounds given and antibiotics, Kabang has been getting along as well as she can. She got pregnant and had puppies. She became a local (and international) legend, with people visiting her at her owner's shop at all hours. Here's an account from one eyewitness from the World Behind My Wall Blog:
We stayed at the vulcanizing shop for about an hour and was surprised to see a lot of people coming over to visit her. It's touching to see a lot of them bringing food and giving donations for the dog owner and his family but what's surprising is that Mang Rudy only gives the food to his canine heroine and they never consumed any of it. He says the dog deserves all the treatment and the rewards since it was her that saved him and his family.

The risk of infection from Kabang's wounds, however, means that a full recovery will not happen without complex surgery. And complex surgery of this sort cannot happen in the Philippines. 

"The more time that goes by, the more Kabang is at risk of infection," Karen Kenngott, the U.S. coordinator for Animal Welfare Coalition, told Dog Heirs. "Fungal infections can be especially difficult to eradicate, and any infection in the bone can be a lengthy process to treat at best. Her chances are better the sooner she can get those wounds closed."

Fortunately, this story seems to be headed toward a happy ending. Veterinarians, animal lovers, and humanitarian groups, including Animal Welfare Coalition, have been raising the money to bring Kabang and her family to the U.S. for the surgery. Kenngott said Kabang is expected to be treated at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of the University of California Davis, under a team of surgeons. 

Let's hope that happens soon.

We'll let you know.

I for one am crossing my fingers for this brave dog!  I hope Kabang gets her surgery soon.

Friday, August 10

Staying Cool

The weekend is upon us and it is going to be a hot one!  If you are looking for something to do with your dog and keep them cool, maybe these videos below will inspire you.  If not, you will at least crack a smile, especially at the music set to the second video.

Have a great weekend and remember to keep your dogs cool!

Thursday, August 9

Watch Out For The Heat!

Heat can effect your dog before you realize it!  Be careful out there in these rising temperatures, especially for the older dogs and young pups!  It is not just the sun to be worried about, these side walks are HOT, make sure you are not asking your dog to stand or sit in a hot spot for too long.  If you have a young pup, their pads may not be able to take the heat, be sure to protect them!

Below are a few quick tips to remember when dealing with severe heat and your dog:

1.  Keep your home cool.  If you have an air conditioner, the setting should be at about 78 degrees at least and if you do not have an air conditioner, make sure to run a couple of fans and get a cooling pad for your dog to rest on. 

If your dog has access to the back yard or patio/balcony you can set up a kiddie pool for your dog to lay in.  There should only be about 3 inches of water in the pool, and it should be in a shaded area.

2.  WATER!  Make sure your dog stays hydrated.  Take water with you on walks that are 30 minutes or longer.  Stop every 15 minutes or more, depending on your dog, to offer water and take a rest in the shade.  Make sure your dog has access to water all throughout the day.

3.  Walk in the morning and late afternoon or even better, evening.  Most dogs need an afternoon potty break, so try to do this in the late afternoon.  If you are also exercising your dog during this time, take it slow, try to be in the shade as much as possible and don't forget the water.

4.  If you have a dog with sensitive pads or a young pup who's pads are still very soft, you may want to use booties or wax to protect them.

5.  Keep exercise and high energy play to mornings or evenings during the heat.  Your dog can exert themselves quickly and in the heat of the day also may dehydrate themselves, this is when they are at risk for heat strokes.  If you must exercise during the day, do it indoors where it is cool.

I hope these safety tips help keep your pooch safe and cool.

Wednesday, August 8

Why Prong Collars?

Anyone who knows me and my training style or is a reader of this blog knows how against prong collars I am.  But this morning my mind was blown when I saw one on a new puppy in my building.  First, I know who the puppy belongs to, someone I was hoping would call me to train as he told me he was getting a puppy from the shelter.  This morning I saw the pup for the first time, so cute, he or she looks to be a Shepherd mix of some sort, but then around the pup's neck I see a prong collar. 

So, I understand there are times that prong collars may be the right answer, it is not just that a prong collar is being used that I object to.  What I am objecting to is that this is a little puppy, probably about 5 or so months, is already in this type of aggressive equipment and it is most likely being used because a friend or the shelter told the owner to get it.

What happened to training your pup to walk?  I know it is not easy, but there are other types of equipment that can help and not be so harsh as a prong collar.  Further, when you have a pup, you have such a better chance at shaping their walking behavior through consistent training. 

I feel like we have come to a point with all the television shows and information you can get on the web that everyone thinks they are a trainer, your friends with dogs will give you advice, the clerk in the store, the shelter worker and let's not forget the perfect strangers on the street.  I don't blame the pet store workers, they are doing their job, you ask for something and they point you in the right direction for the product they carry to handle what you are asking.  They are not trainers, so they are not thinking about the things I am, they are simply doing their job.  The manufacturers of the equipment, especially prong collars, should put a warning on them about proper use and to consult a professional before using.

My biggest problem is that I see all these dogs in prongs and their problems are getting worse.  Maybe they don't pull on walks, but they are still aggressive with other dogs, they are still hyper aroused when other dogs come near, they are still jumping on people and you still don't have control of your dog.  How many times have I seen a prong collar break in a moment that the handler needed it to work?  The answer is  a lot!

Training may not be the easy answer or the quickest answer, but it is the answer that will get you the best results, especially my training.  You end up with a better relationship with your dog, a well behaved dog and knowledge on how to handle future problems.

If you have a prong collar and want to change or need some training... please give me a Bark!

Tuesday, August 7

Breed Specific Legislation Banned In MA

With all these stories about dogs being taken from their owners and/or eventually put down for being a specific breed, it is really nice to know at least one state is moving forward towards no more discrimination.   Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signs a bill that banns breed specific legislation and also creates a spay-and-neuter program and gives pets protection in domestic-abuse cases.  Below is the whole story covered by Dogster.

Finally, some good news on breed-specific legislation -- namely, Massachusetts has banned it. That’s right, banned it. It’s the first sensible thing we’ve heard on the subject in recent months, what with the recent death of Lennox in Northern Ireland -- who was killed just because he looked like a Pit Bull -- while a real Pit Bull named Dre faces a death sentence in Colorado when he has hurt no one.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill on Thursday that states "No city or town shall regulate dogs in a manner that is specific to breed," according to South Coast Today. The law further states “no dog shall be deemed dangerous ... based upon the breed of such dog."

Gov. Deval Patrick signs the bill with Boujee, a stray adopted by a friend of Norfolk Animal Control Officer Hilary Cohen, who was at the event. Photo via The Sun Chronicle and the MSPCA. 
It’s part of a broader law, which has been worked on for six years, to reform animal control.
It establishes a spay-and-neuter program for Massachusetts and imposes training requirements for animal control officers, among other things.
One backer of the law described the nonsense behind targeting specific breeds -- such as Pit Bulls -- in law.
"The breed-specific thing is a quick reaction to a complex problem," state Sen. Mark C.W. Montigny told South Coast Today. The Democrat from New Bedford, Mass., described Pit Bulls as “beautiful, loving dogs if not mistreated by ugly, mean human beings."
Amen! Let’s elect more lawmakers like Montigny! We can start with the Colorado legislature and the Belfast City Council!

Other backers of the law included animal advocacy groups and people who work in animal control.
“I’ve been bitten twice since I’ve been on the job and both were Pomeranians,” North Attleboro animal control officer Karen Fontneau told The Sun Chronicle. “Each case will be an individual case.”
The Massachusetts law includes another provision that we find remarkable: It extends restraining orders in domestic-violence cases to include pets as well as human family members. So that means dogs, cats, and other animals can be kept safe from abusers who might otherwise use the pets to get back at family members who’ve taken action. It will also let people escaping abusive situations take pets with them.
"We heard horrendous stories of pets being abused or used as leverage in custody or divorce cases," Sen. Montigny told South Coast Today.
One law-enforcement official praised this part of the law.
"As a police officer, I like the fact they included domestic violence protection in the bill," Joe Magnani told MetroWest Daily News. "This bill will help us handle pets when we report to a domestic violence call."
The law also bans the use of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to euthanize animals.
Helping develop the bill were groups including the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
A 5-week-old kitten sat alongside the governor as he signed the bill. One of the law’s backers, Democratic state Sen. Karen Spilka of Ashland, brought her dog, Sienna, to the ceremonly.
It was Sienna’s 15th birthday.

This is progress!  It may be slow and only one state for now, but this is a good start.

Thursday, August 2

Another Innocent Pit Bull May Lose

I sit writing this blog this morning both saddened and angry!  I can't believe I am about to post another story about an innocent Pit Bull being taken into custody and about to be put down for no other reason than him being a Pit Bull!  Below is the full story of Dre, the post is from Dogster and beyond just giving the facts, Dogster echos my sentiments on this entire situation.  Please Read.

Here we go again. Have we learned nothing from the death of Lennox, the tragic eradication of a once healthy, thriving dog in Northern Ireland? I cringe when I think about the mindset of the Belfast City Council, the powers who extinguished a light as bright as Lennox in the name of ignorance and hate. And here we go again.

(Dre bit no one, but he's in custody.)
This is what we know: On a recent afternoon, one of Mary O’Brien’s children accidentally pressed a button on the remote garage door opener at their home in Brighton, Colorado. O’Brien’s cousin was babysitting at the time and did not realize what had taken place. Dre and Machomotto, the family’s dogs, ran outside through the open garage door.
Dre began barking at people, and one person jumped into her car (apparently in fear). A few folks called animal control, with one call placed to 911 to report “vicious dogs running loose.” Five officers were reported to have secured Dre, but in the process no one was injured, bitten, or scratched. Repeat: Five strangers, chasing a confused dog who is barking. If my dog ever bolted, he’d be dazed, confused, and none too happy to have five men in uniform chasing him in a haphazard situation.
Dre was held at a shelter in Brighton, where there is no breed-specific legislation in place, like there is in Belfast. (Lennox was put down because he resembles a Pit Bull.) When O’Brien went to retrieve her dogs from the pound, she was allowed to take Machomotto but not Dre. He was quarantined and labeled "vicious" with the recommendation that the dog be destroyed. Dre is a Pit Bull.
An officer reported that Dre acted aggressively by chasing people and barking at them. He never bit anyone; he ran around and he barked at people. It sounds like the dog park on weekends in my area.

(Dre is a family dog.) 
A hearing was held on Tuesday, July 31, leaving the family very little time to persuade a judge that Dre is not vicious. In Brighton, a dog running at large is unlawful, but Pit Bulls are legal. Generally, a fine is imposed for loose dogs. Animal control can, however, choose to destroy "any vicious dog when deemed necessary in the interest of public safety by an animal control officer under circumstances where a significant and immediate threat to the health or safety of a person or other animal exists."
Dre has been labeled. The hearing came and went, and the dog remains in animal control’s custody. Dre’s family has been allowed to visit him in the shelter, where he wagged his tail, licked their hands, and was allowed to eat treats through the cage. A sign stating “Dangerous Dog Will Bite” was placed on his kennel and remains there. The next hearing is Aug. 10, and the family has a lawyer from The Animal Law Center working on their behalf. Dre remains alone, torn from his family.
I can’t take it anymore. I’m angry, I’m disgusted, I’ve donated, and I wanted to write about this. Dre is not alone, but in the purest form of the word, he is. Every day, dogs are being mislabeled, put in cages, and unjustly eradicated.
Dre sits in a kennel, locked in a tiny area. Dre is a family member who requires a special diet and allergy medication that his family brings to the shelter. He’s stressed and confused. I would be, too, or probably gnawing at myself in the same situation. He gets little interaction, and now he waits. We all do. But there must be something more we can do, as people, to stop this insanity from repeating itself, right?
“I’m appalled at all the stories I read online about dogs being put down because they’re one breed or another,” BlogPaws cofounder Yvonne DiVita says. "With Pit Bulls taking the brunt of this focus, the pet parents to these warm, funny, and delightful dogs have an extra job on their hands making sure they protect their furkid. I wonder when we’ll get over this -– as we got over worrying about German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers. Can it be today?”

These are the thoughts that run through my head as I sit here with my Cocker Spaniel snuggled by my feet. Oddly, many years ago, Pit Bulls carried a different label: that of “Nanny Dog.” Need a dog to keep your children safe? Why, the Nanny Dog fits that bill, doesn’t it? So how did the Pit Bull become so feared and the target of such discrimination? A huge part of me blames Michael Vick and the nightmares inflicted on those dogs. Part of me blames evil people in general: the dogfighters of the world who force innocent animals to tear into each other in the name of greed.
So Dre waits to see what fate has in store for him. As of this writing, O’Brien has been advised by her attorney not to say anything else. We all want to help the innocent here, and whatever is needed to bring Dre home safely (and quickly) is what I advocate. All questions and comments should be directed to the Animal Law Center, per the family's request.
Lennox’s legacy must be to never let this happen again. Knowledge is power. And Dre could use a lot of that now. As I learn more, I'll report whatever I can. Meanwhile, you can follow along with Dre's Facebook page.
 All I can think about is what would my dog do if he got out.  He would run and bark at people if they tried to capture him.  For that matter, when we are at a park if a stranger gets too close he will bark, not because he will bite, but because he is scared.  My heart is breaking for Dre and I am so angry that we as people have created this fear of this breed!  Let's not forget it was HUMANS that made them so vicious to begin with, but do they not get a second chance?  Did we not see so many of this beautiful dogs be able to be rehabilitated?  When does this discrimination stop?  I urge all of you to do what you can to start to change this perception of Pit Bulls, as Dogster said, we did it for German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers.

Wednesday, August 1

What's Up Downtown August!

Happy August!  With August comes the prime of summer events in Downtown!  All the summer festivals, summer concerts and special summer events are in full swing.  There is so much to do and so many new places to try.  It is amazing the rate new shops, restaurants and other businesses are popping up, it makes me proud and excited to be a part of this growth period.

Some of the hot things to do this month are:  6th Annual TV Costume Design Exhibit at FIDM Museum & Galleries (FREE, Now - October 20), Hard Summer Music Festival at the State Historical Park (August 3-4, Tickets on sale now), Chinatown Summer Nights in Chinatown (August 11 & 25, FREE), Mary Poppins at the Ahmanson (August 9 - September 2, tickets on sale now), LA Craft Beer Crawl (August 18, tickets on sale now), Race LA (August 18, register today), Grand Performances (now - August 25, FREE), Music Center (now - August 24, FREE), and Pershing Square Summer Performances (now - August 18)

Looking for something with your dog... Sign up today for the Sizzlin' Hot Dogs Pooch Parade!  Not to be basis, but I know for a fact it will be fun, educational and a night your dog and you will be thankful for!  As well as this great event, you should try a walk through the newly open Grand Park!

There are a lot of new restaurants to try.  I am most looking forward to Kitchen Table (Main & 4th),  The Parish (Spring & 9th), and  Towne Food & Drink (9th & Flower).  There are many more to try and I am still trying to get to all the new ones that have opened up in the last few months!

Whatever your plans for August, try to spend some time in Downtown and don't forget your dog!  The Sizzlin' Hot Dogs Pooch Parade is filling up, be sure to get your spot today!

Keep cool and enjoy this beautiful summer!