Saturday, November 29, 2008

Do you donate to animal rescue?

Tonight I was going through some old files looking for a donor appeal letter I wrote some time ago - and I came across this information.

A University of Chicago General Social Survey found that donors who give to charity at least once a year have these characteristics:
  • 15% more likely than non-donors to give directions to a stranger.
  • 17% more likely to give up their place in line
  • 22% more likely to give p a seat on the bus
  • 46% more likely to give food or money to a homeless person
  • 125% more likely to give blood

I'm sure this applies to people who donate to any charity, not just animal charities. But of course I think everyone should donate to animals when they can. (I have a biased opinion.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Americans Love Their Pets!

According to "Planet Dog," there are more than 100 million dogs and cats in the United States. And we Americans spend more than $5.4 billion on them each year.

Of that, $1.5 billion is spent on pet food - which is 4 times the amount spent on baby food.

Why do we love them so much? 94% of us say that our pets make us smile more than once a day. Also, some studies have shown that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.

Would you say those pets are good for us?

On a shopping trip last week we visited several stores, and since we're social people, visited with the clerks who helped us. Most said that sales were down - which is what the newspapers are saying. But the pet supply store was just as crowded as ever!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Important!! Dog Toy Warning!!

This news has been around since August, but hit my in-box this morning. I considered pasting the email here, but the photos are so awful... I couldn't do it.

The pimple toy with bell - a ball with one hole is VERY dangerous - and has been taken off the market.

After reading why, it appears that ANY rubber toy with just one hole in it would be just as dangerous.

Here's the link to the Snopes article:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Priest River Animal Rescue Quilt Raffle

This just in from our local rescue...

Dear Friends and Family,
A very generous supporter of Priest River Animal Rescue has made a completely hand-stitched and hand-pieced quilt (NO machine quilting) and donated for a raffle.

Please see attached photograph to see the beauty of this amazing quilt. The photo is on a California King size bed and you can see the quilt hangs over on all sides. It measures 8' 7" X 8' 7". Very large.

The other details are:
- Quilt is made with the Log Cabin pattern.
- Quilt is made from 100% pre-washed cotton.
- Quilt can be machine washed and dried on gentle cycles. I LOVE THIS!
- Tickets are $1 each and a maximum of 1,500 will be sold for this raffle.
- 100% of the funds raised go directly to rescue the animals (medical bills, food, kennel cleaning supplies...)

Please help Priest River Animal Rescue ( A very worthy, hard-working group. I know y'all here it from me regularly, but I see the miracles this group accomplishes on a daily basis.

If you would like to mail me a check, I'm the coordinator of the quilt raffle and I can mail you back your raffle tickets. My mailing address is: Barbi Johnson, 12893 Highway 57, Priest River, ID 83856.

Now... A big favor... please forward this e-mail to anyone you think would be interested to get "the buzz" started on this raffle.

Thanks for your support,
Barbi Johnson

Saturday, November 22, 2008

7 Reasons Not to buy a Puppy from a Pet Store

  1. Pet shops get their puppies from puppy mills - where breeding dogs are kept in conditions so horrible that most of us cannot even imagine it.
  2. Pet shop salespeople are on a par with used-car dealers - they'll tell you anything to make the sale.
  3. You won't receive "customer support" if something goes wrong. Reputable breeders stand behind you with advice.
  4. You'll get no health guarantee - and won't even know if your puppy has had it's first shots or wormer medication.
  5. Pet store sales people know nothing about a puppy's parentage or care requirements - while reputable dealers will love to tell you all about the parents' personalities, along with how to care for your specific breed.
  6. Many pet store puppies are already ill, while many others are incubating serious disease. Parvo is a big one - and the puppies may have contracted it after being in the store. The result, you and your family will become attached to a puppy who will either die soon or cost you thousands in vet bills - or both!
  7. Every pet store purchase encourages the puppy mill business. As long as there are willing buyers, dogs will be used as living machines to crank out litter after litter after litter. When they can no longer produce, they're shot or just dumped out somewhere to die. Puppy mill breeders don't put dogs into a comfortable retirement - there's no profit in that.
If you plan to give a puppy for Christmas, please do your homework first.

Research breed traits and care requirements until you've figured out what breed or breeds would fit best in your family. Then check your local animal rescue shelters to see if they have puppies of that breed. They may not have papers, but papers don't make a dog more lovable, smarter, or more beautiful. All they do is stroke the owner's ego. (Unless you want to show your dog, in which case papers are required.)

Reputable animal shelters quarantine puppies to make sure they're healthy before being offered for adoption, deworm them, give them their shots (and give you the records of those shots) and generally have the pups spayed or neutered before adoption. Some also microchip.

If there are no rescue puppies available, start researching reputable breeders. ALL reputable breeders will allow you to see the puppies at their kennel. If they won't let you see the kennel and meet the mama, they're running a puppy mill.

Lastly, take the puppy's new person along with you to choose the puppy. The attraction needs to be between them and the puppy - not you and the puppy.

I know, it spoils the surprise. But it doesn't need to. Instead of putting a puppy under the tree, buy a stuffed toy that resembles the breed and attach a card telling of the real surprise. Then choose your live puppy on December 26.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Canine Coiffeur and ...Anal Glands?

As a city girl living in a high-rise condo, and also lacking coiffeur skills, I take my dog to the groomer once every three weeks. Ma Cherie is a clean dog and a princess of her own volition. A true Miami gal, Ma Cherie is more about vanity than manners--shiny, tangle- free white coat, two bows 24/7 and a change of bows for the seasons or special occasion, clean ears, nails clipped, the whole treament. (Don't worry, I'm not obsessed, no toe nail polish). So every visit to the groomer, I always wonder about this canine treatment of (excuse my non French) "releasing the anal glands".

The first time I took Ma Cherie to the groomer, Juan Carlos at European Pet Grooming, explained the "usual". He mentioned anal glands. What is that and what happens in the process? He says they manually release the anal glands of the dogs but he couldn't really explain why. I phoned another groomer who offered the same service but could not explain why. Sounds painful so I asked my vet. Dr. Sanchez explained that dogs naturally release their anal glands when defecating and it's not necessary at the groomer unless the dog is old. So for years, European Pet Grooming has Ma Cherie listed as NO ANAL GLANDS.

Just last week, while, ironically I was getting my nails done, a woman next to me told the nail technician to excuse the dirt under her three inch nails because she works with animals (First why would anyone that works with animals keep fingernails that long? Another mystery I'll have to solve later, maybe in dog years, much later). I seized the opportunity to probe her career. Sure enough she assists in surgical procedures for all types of animals, normally zoo animals and canines for the police department.

So I asked the million dollar question: should dogs have their anal glands released at the groomer? She said ABSOLUTELY, even if they're young. According to my manicure neighbor, she said the glands grow larger into cysts and then become painful. Releasing the anal glands once a month is like popping a pimple, so it should not be painful for the dog. Thinking to myself, I've had pimples in my teenage years and they were not always pain free to release. Confused, I explained that my vet said it was not necessary. Who do I believe?

What about dog owners who do not take their dogs to the groomer? Is this common knowledge that suddenly this cavewoman has seen the light?

So this posting I'm reaching out to all dog owners who really know dogs. Won't you please help me learn what is the best care for my little girl? To manually release anal glands of my dog or not? Why or why not?

Ever so grateful!
Christine from BLOG SISTERS

Monday, November 17, 2008

On-line Auction from Hope for Pets - shop for Christmas!

Thanks to Kathy Rice for sending us notice - Looks like a great place to find early Christmas gifts!

HOPE for Pets' On-Line Auction is in it's third and final week. The auction ends at 8:00 p.m. on November 21. The On-Line Auction is carried over to a Silent Auction at our HOPE for the Holidays Bazaar on November 22.

If you are unable to attend our event Saturday, you can still win the auction item you are bidding on. With Absentee Bidding you place the highest bid you are willing to pay for the item. One of our volunteers will continue your bid up to your maximum amount at our Silent Auction on November 22nd.

Auction items range from exotic vacation getaways to donated items guaranteed to delight and surprise. Whether it's for your home or to be given as a gift, we have something that fits your needs! Go to and click on the Auction link.

A portion of the funds raised will go to our Jordan Medical Fund with the remainder used to buy equipment for a new Spay/Neuter Clinic. We need your help and support! If you do not see an item you are interested in, please consider making a monetary donation.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Garden Mulch that can kill pets

I've seen this before, but a friend sent it tonight and reminded me:

Cocoa Mulch smells good to dogs, and if they eat it, it can kill them.

It has the same chemical composition as chocolate, which by now everyone knows is not good for dogs. Get the full story at snopes:

I Rescued A Human Today (another point of view)

Just found this in my email from friend Sally...

I rescued a human today.

Her eyes met mine as she walked down the corridor peering
apprehensively into the kennels.

I felt her need instantly and knew I had to help her.

I wagged my tail, not too exuberantly, so she wouldn't be afraid.

As she stopped at my kennel I blocked her view from a little accident I
had in the back of my cage.

I didn't want her to know that I hadn't been walked today.

Sometimes the shelter keepers get too busy and I didn't want her to
think poorly of them.

As she read my kennel card I hoped that she wouldn't feel sad about my

I only have the future to look forward to and want to make
a difference in someone's life.

She got down on her knees and made little kissy sounds at me.

I shoved my shoulder and side of my head up against the bars to comfort

Gentle fingertips caressed my neck; she was desperate for companionship.

A tear fell down her cheek and I raised my paw to assure her that all
would be well.

Soon my kennel door opened and her smile was so bright that I instantly
jumped into her arms.

I would promise to keep her safe.

I would promise to always be by her side.

I would promise to do everything I could to see that radiant smile and
sparkle in her eyes.

I was so fortunate that she came down my corridor.

So many more are out there who haven't walked the corridors.

So many more to be saved.

At least I could save one.

I rescued a human today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So, How does one do this kind of dog training?

Looks like lots of dogs can say "I love you" but there's even more!

An unbelievable story about dog mis-identification

This morning's newspaper had a "hint" that left me shaking my head.

It seems a couple took their dog to the groomer to be shaved. The lady paid the bill while the husband went after the dog. Everyone was upset because they couldn't find the collar and leash that went with the dog, so the man carried the dog out and put it in the car.

When they got home and took the dog inside, it ran around sniffing everything and acting as if it had never been there before.

Turns out it hadn't!

Suddenly the man noticed that the dog running around their house was a female, and their dog was a male.

They had come home with the wrong dog! A quick phone call to the groomer and a trip back got them their own dog, along with his collar and leash.

The caution was to be careful, because shaved dogs all look alike.

Can you believe that?

Did their dog not act glad to see them? Did they not "know" their own dog just from its face and its attitude toward them? If you love your dog, surely you would recognize him or her.

This, to me, is like saying that you need to be careful picking your kids up from day care because they might have switched clothes!

What do you think? Would you be able to tell your dog from all others, even if he or she was shaved?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not a dancer, but a smart (alec) dog

After dinner I fed the dogs, cleaned up the kitchen and sat down with a book for a little while before coming back down to work. The dogs made a quick run outside, as usual. And as usual, I said "No biscuits this trip. You know that's for later."

So, I no more than sat down at the computer when here came Pepper. His big eyes said he really needed to go out. The paw on my leg said "please!"

So, back I went up the stairs to let them out. Suzie came, Ralph came, Pepper stayed in the living room until I insisted that he go out too.

Did he need to go out? Heck no! He knew that the next trip outside was followed by a treat. The little con artist!

Dogs we have to admire

Just had to share this video that came my way... I have Hughes Net, so I can only see it in snatches of a few seconds at a time, but I still love it.

I think you will too!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dogs aren't fuzzy humans

I'm still thinking about that dog who was beaten with the chicken. It bothers me that the dog's owner was foolish enough to leave the dog with the chickens in the first place.

After all, dogs are canines - hunting is bred into them at the deepest levels of their being. Just because they now live in a household with humans who provide the food doesn't change their basic instincts.

How can people be so ignorant as to ignore that?

I know, many dogs have lived in harmony with chickens, but they had to be patiently taught that the chickens were not "prey."

It reminded me of a time when I was working in rescue and someone wanted to have a mama with new puppies put to sleep because she had killed a ferret.

First of all, the people shouldn't have let the ferret intrude into her space when she had new babies. But second, most dogs will kill a rodent - and what is a ferret except a rodent? If the dog had killed a rat they'd have been singing her praises. She's supposed to know the difference?

Fortunately, the veterinarian refused to kill the dog and she got a new home with a more sensible person.

I just wish that people would realize that dogs have instincts we don't understand - and that dogs are not just furry humans.

Yes, they understand us and are sometimes far more perceptive than humans. But they're still dogs. Why can't we just love them for all the wonderful things they are and not expect something different?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Help for traumatized dogs

You probably don't know that I sometimes write special promotions for FeelBach! - the company that sells Bach Flower Essences. Because I've studied the use of Bach Flowers, and because of my history with animal rescue, I also get to help people who write them with dog-related problems.

This week a woman wrote to ask how to help her friend's dog. It seems the dog had killed some chickens, so the man had picked up a dead chicken and beaten the dog.

The dog hasn't gotten over it. It barely eats, has diarrhea, and cowers when people go near.

I won't say how I felt about that. Since you're a dog lover, you already know.

Anyway, my job was to help find relief for the dog. In most cases, dogs who are upset or fearful can get relief from the "shelf blend" called Feel5ive.That's the formula I've used on rescue dogs who were having a hard time adjusting to their new life in a kennel cage.

But this dog was more than just upset, so I went through the attributes of each of the flower essences and chose those that address problems with trauma, fear, anger, rejection, and loss of trust.

My hope now is that this owner will be diligent in giving the dog the treatment. And I hope he'll look inside and realize that his mis-treatment of that dog was an outward sign of his own emotional problems. Bach Flowers can help him, too.

I also recommended that the man sit down with the dog and apologize. I don't know how many of our human words dogs understand, but I know they understand emotion. If he's genuinely sorry, the dog will know. And maybe the Bach Flower Remedies will allow him to forgive, and to trust that human again.

What would you have advised? Did I miss anything?

Monday, November 3, 2008

A tribute to the family dog

This has been around a while, but when a friend sent it to me again yesterday, I couldn't resist sharing it with you.

Now, if we could all start behaving a little more like the family dog...

If you can start the day without caffeine,
If you can get going without pep pills,
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

...Then You Are Probably The Family Dog!