Friday, January 30, 2009

Striking an animal

Lots of experts in the field of psychology speak out daily about discipline. Most of what you read is about handling children and many people now believe in using time outs and other forms of punishment instead of a swat on the behind.
The sad part is this practice has not carried over to our pets. It continues to amaze me the number of animals who hit on a daily basis for whatever transgressions their owners' believe they have committed.
When animals like this are turned in to a shelter, they have lost all trust in humans and expect to be hit for anything they do. Many will cower in a corner, submissively urinate when approached, or in some cases growl or snap. Reading a dog's body language is very important when you get a reaction like this.
These are the animals which take the most time to find appropriate homes for. They must learn to trust all over again and it is a slow process. You never know what may remind them of a bad situation so you start at the beginning and move slowly forward.
My hope is people will begin to treat their pets with some dignity and not with a raised hand. There are other ways to discipline that don't include hitting.

Having a bad day?

Have you ever wondered how animals have a bad day? Yesterday seemed to be a bad day for a lot of the humans I came in contact with which meant my day was far from perfect but it made me think about what happens when animals, especially the shelter dogs I deal with have a bad day.
How would you know? Are they more scared or less? More jumpy and spaced out?
I think given the situation they are in, they must have more bad days than good. Can you imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from? We know they will be fed every day, but they don't know that.
Or that the dog in the next kennel may threaten them to the point they hide in the back of the run. They don't know the dog cannot get to them. We do, but they don't.
Imagine losing everything you knew. Every smell, person, situation, and being placed in an environment where everything was different from what you had known your whole life.
Then, just when you think everything is going to be okay, all these strange people pass by your kennel and stare at you and talk about you. You have never seen these folks before and don't know what to expect. You don't know they are looking for a new pet, or if they are nice, or really anything about them.
Although I am convinced shelters provide many more good days than bad for these dogs, you have to wonder how to tell the difference.

Frisky Felines of Fame:report

Hi! It's Toots and Tigger Too: (stop by and see us, PLEASE)
We recently interviewed a volunteer about Shade who is available for adoption and is covered by Jessie's Fund. This is what she had to say :
"Here's what's cool about our elder statesman with a heart of gold. He's now almost 13, sort of homely, has dandruff but under that is a spirit with not a mean bone in his body! Quite often he is often one of the greeters of WW, he gives hugs, and he looks you in the eye when you talk to him. I had a potential adopter sit on the floor and he came over and rolled on his back so he could get tummy rubs! You can pick him up and carry him like a baby with no long as he is being loved on, he will accept anything you care to dish out. He is a constant, quiet & calm presence....sure to lower the blood pressure by several points! I bet he could be a pet therapy cat.
He had his own home for 12 plus years and then someone came along who developed allergies and he was brought to us. He moves slowly but deliberatively!
Nancy Dolansky
We would like to welcome our newest shelter guests: Bental, Bonnie, Boris, Houdini, Jack, Lola, Louie and Savanna.
And here is what you've all been waiting for: the latest gossip.
Sorbet's party was a great success; we all had a blast. The M.C band played until 2 a.m with lots of dancing. Ben was having a ball with his date, Cinders. Moocat was adopted so Sorbet decided she would be in charge of the meeting. Sorbet can be a little bossy, but she does get things done.
We have decided to start a food drive. Yes, we have food but can always use more and please do not forget the toys. Please drop them off at the shelter, 2331 15th Street in Sarasota and tell them it is for Toots, Tigger Too and friends. We also could use some volunteer cat cuddlers. If you are interested please contact Karie Hajek at 955-4131.(classes are starting soon)

Toots and Tigger Too

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Callie. She is a lovely female, declawed kitty.
She needs a home with no dogs or other kitties to thrive.
She is looking for that "New Best Friend" fur-ever.
You can see her and all the other kitties up for adoption at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven Open House, every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood. You can also check out all the kitties available for adoption at or call 941-473-5406.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An easy way to help shelters

Beginning January 25, 2009 through February 23, 2009, for every PEDIGREE® Brand "Crazy Pets" video viewed, PEDIGREE® Brand will donate 8 oz. of PEDIGREE® Brand Dry Food for Dogs to animal shelters selected by PEDIGREE® Brand, up to a total of $1,000,000
Click on this link and send it to all your friends. A million bucks buys a lot of dog food.

While you are there, check out their other videos featuring shelter dogs.

Basic pet care

The following is an actual event. It really happened.
The phone rang and on the other end of the line was a woman who had adopted her dog from the shelter 14 years ago.
It seems animal control had picked up her dog and they needed proof of vaccinations before it could be released back to her. She wanted to know if the shelter still had the dog's rabies vaccination from 14 years ago. What?
In 14 years her dog had never been to the vet and now she wanted us to get the dog's shot record from 14 years ago?
And people wonder why shelters ask so many questions and have so many requirements. Maybe people need to be educated on basic care for your pet.

More money than sense

People who have lots of money are entitled to spend it any way they choose. I don't have a problem with that. I would never want anyone who didn't know me telling me how to spend my hard earned dollars.
But to spend $155,000 on a cloned dog just baffles me. With rescues and shelters struggling to keep the doors open and 5 to 8 million animals a year being killed because there are not enough homes for them or money to care for them, $155,000 to duplicate a pet is beyond my comprehension.
Most animal welfare people have a hard enough time convincing uneducated people to spay/neuter their pets to decrease the number of companion animals in this country which are being destroyed and now if you have enough money, just have one cloned.
I am appalled. I have loved and lost many dogs during my lifetime and know that Junior and Gypsy both only have a couple of years left, but they can never be replaced. What is next, let' clone grandma?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The seniors need you

Adopting a senior pet, those 7 years and older, can be the most rewarding thing you will ever do. Right now at the Humane Society of Sarasota County there are 21 senior cats and 4 senior dogs who do not need to spend the rest of their lives in a shelter situation.
As the owner of two senior dogs, the challenges are few and the rewards are great. Junior will be 11 in May and although we don't know her exact age, Gypsy is between 10 and 12. My two seniors greet me enthusiastically when I come home, even if I just went out to get the mail. They know when dinner time is, don't chew up the furniture or mess up the house and are simply happy being with me.
I cannot imagine my life without my seniors and the joy they bring. Right now, there is the sweetest little dog named appropriately, Sweetie Pie, who is 12 years old. Her owner was placed in a nursing home and Sweetie Pie couldn't go.
If you are thinking about a new pet, have a space in your home and heart for an animal who is wondering what on earth happened to her home and master, please consider a senior.
The senior animals' adoption fees at the HSSC are covered by a special fund, so all you have to cover is the tag and lots of attention and love. For information on adopting one of the neediest of shelter pets, please call 955-4131 or your local humane society.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mutt Mutterings: let me introduce myself

Hi y'all. My name is Buzz. Yep, Buzz. I think it is short for Buzzard so you can imagine why I ended up in the shelter although with the buzz cut I have on my backside, maybe it is my nickname.
You see, I was a little neglected before I came to the HSSC. When I arrived, I had some growths on my back, was very skinny, loaded with fleas, ticks and worms and I also had something called heartworm. I don't think my last humans placed too much value on me, or they would have not let me get in that condition.
But don't worry. The nice lady they call Dr. Robin removed the growths. She had to give me a buzz cut back there as you can see by my picture. They got the fleas and ticks under control, in fact they are gone and I had my heartworm treatment. The heartworm treatment was pretty awful. It made me feel yucky, but now I am feeling better and have become quite frisky.
I love soft toys and to have my back scratched since my skin is still pretty itchy. I have to have a medicated bath once a week and the warm water feels good. I think I never had a bath until I came here.
I am missing some of my teeth. That happens when you get hungry and chew on things you shouldn't, but I am getting plenty to eat now. They call it free feeding and it doesn't cost me anything. No one yells at me either, for eating all I want. Plus, we get lots of treats and I do love those Milk Bones. The staff here tells me I am a senior animal because they think I am 7 years old, but I have lots of energy, so I think they may be wrong. It is kinda hard to tell because I have had a pretty rough life. I love people though, and am still meeting some pretty nice ones. My tail, as pitiful as it looks, wags constantly.
I can't wait until my heartworm treatment is over so I can run and play like a normal dog. I can only be leash walked right now and have to wait in the morning to go outside and take care of business. I don't want to mess up my kennels because I am a very neat fellow, so I wait patiently for them to hook up my leash.
I have been here a while now and am glad Misty found a home. She was one good looking female. I have hopes I will find a play buddy as soon as I am able to have yard time. There is another pretty female named Scarlett who lives next to me and she may be the one.
I will keep you posted on the shelter dogs. Whose is new and who went home. I am not the most beautiful dog here, but I could be pretty loyal if someone would give me a chance. I don't want to be stuck writing when I could be playing.
So if you are just looking for a buddy, maybe I can be the one. Like I said, I am not particularly handsome, in fact, right now I am kinda woebegone looking, but that is changing fast. They called me a FBD, which down here means Florida Brown Dog but I think I am just a mutt. You know we make the best pets?
Okay, that is my introduction. If you want to meet me and give me another job, maybe being your best friend, stop by and see me at 2331 15th Street in Sarasota. You could also call Kerry at 955-4131 if you have any questions. She likes FBD's too.
Until next time, if there is one.
See you later


Mutt Mutterings: Another goodbye

Hello readers:

This is coming to you from my new home in Sarasota. You see, a very nice young man came in yesterday and decided, because I am so gorgeous and smart, I would be the perfect new companion for him.

He wanted high energy and a dog who could be his constant companion and I was that dog. How lucky can a girl get? It happened so quickly, I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to my play buddy, Ray Ray and I hope he finds a new buddy soon. He is blind, you know, and is a rough and tumble sort of dog like I am. I am keeping my paws crossed for him.

I will also miss all the volunteers who kept me occupied while I was waiting for a new home. I hope King sees this. He was my true love, but I like all dogs in general. King moved to Tampa, you know.

I will tell you about some of our new residents before they assign the job to a new dog. Sometimes that takes a week or so, until just the right dog comes along. Champ is a new mastiff mix. He is 8 years old and he told me quietly, he is scared of everything, that he was tied up to a tree in a backyard his whole life. I felt really bad for him. I hope the young couple who was interested comes back and gives him the kind of life we all deserve for the rest of his life.

We also had Isabella come back. She was a rescue from Hurricane Ike and now is about 7 months old. She is also deaf but has the same personality she always had and wiggles around constantly. I heard she was on the radio last week, so I hope someone adopts her soon.

We have a new black lab named Camden. That is a pretty fancy name for a dog. She is very, very skinny and needs some groceries, but is a pretty happy dog as far as I can tell.

The last sister, Cupcake also know as Baby, went home on Saturday with a nice couple and she is going to get to go to work with her new Dad every single day. Imagine being able to spend all your time with your new family. How great is that?

Buzz, the Black-mouthed cur is still with us and his hair is coming back in very nicely. He is a handsome sort of guy who hasn't had the best life, but I am sure it will change for him in the next few weeks.

My final thoughts are to say thank you to the shelter. They provided me with a good home, lots of food, and lots of walks to keep me from being so sad when I lost my last family. The caring and compassion they give to each animal who comes in the door cannot be matched by any place I have ever seen. This includes all the volunteers and staff. Each and every one of them plays a part when an animal finds their forever home. So thank you and maybe I'll be seeing you down the road.

Peace Out,


Frisky Felines of Fame:Tigger Too & Toots

Hi! This is Tigger Too and Toots. We came in together with several other cats. Everyone else has found a home but we are still waiting for you to come and adopt us.

I (Tigger Too) had ear mites at one time and that is why my ears look like they do. Both of us are around 6 years old . We would like a quiet home where we could be loved. My sister eats a special diet since her stomach is a little more sensitive than some other cats. Please stop by and meet us and consider taking us both home. We have been here almost a year. We are both a little shy, but with love and understanding we promise to be good kitties. We are domestic short hair cats who are red and black in color we and due to our shyness, would do better in a home without small children.
I would also like to introduce Shade. He is 12 1/2 years old. Looking for that perfect experienced cat? Shade is the one. He is a domestic short hair who is black and just waiting for someone to love him. He is a senior so his adoption fee is sponsored by Jessie's Fund. Yes, I know he is a senior but we like the words more experienced. Shade has even lived with dogs, just in case you have one. He is loving and just needs that special home to be your perfect pal.
Here is the latest gossip:
Ben and Jennifer went out to dinner and she got mad at him for looking at another kitten. It appears they have worked out their differences.
DO NOT forget Sorbet's party is this evening in the Jungle Room as soon as all the staff leaves. I sure hope they do not read this. We are celebrating her getting her own room. She is also looking for a home. She is really cute but needs to be the only pet. She is a 2 1/2 year old Calico and you know they have moods sometime. K.C and his band will be playing. Food and water will be provided.
Mowgli is coming out of his shell finally thanks to the kennel staff and volunteers.
Moocat has asked for a meeting Tuesday night to discuss up coming events.

Closing for now,
Tigger Too and Toots

Labrador available for adoption

Hi, I am Skylar. I am a 10 month old Lab/Golden retriever mix. I have a thick, soft, yellow coat and a big bushy tail. Beside my loving personality, my best feature is my beautiful, golden eyes.

I am active, playful, healthy and loving. I want to be near you in the house and sometimes I think I am a lap dog. Of course, like most young dogs I could use more obedience training. I do know some of my basic commands and I am a fast learner.

I am crate trained and will sleep all night long in the crate, without a peep. I am young, but my foster parents think that I will be a great watch dog as my awareness of outside activity is good. Things I like: other dogs, cats, long walks, playing catch and running. I like children, but sometimes I get excited and like to jump up.

I am working on my leash manners and I will never say no to a belly rub!! Please come visit.....I would like to find my "furever" family soon.

If you are interested in meeting Skylar or adopting or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.

LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Special kitten in Englewood

Meet Sterling! He is great little grey kitten with lots of personality.
He loves to be the boss .

You can meet him and all the other kitties up for adoption at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven Open House, every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood. You can also check out all the kitties available for adoption at or call 941-473-5406 for more information.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Loving your dog to death

I have seen this situation happen over and over again. A dog gets adopted, goes home, is the perfect dog for a couple of months and is then returned.
The reason is the people can't control the dog. Now, I don't know about you, but my dogs don't pay my mortgage, or the light bill, or even buy their own food. I do. So guess who the leader of the pack is in my home? You're right, me.
When families take home dogs, regardless of what they are like in a shelter environment, it takes them several months to settle in. Once they settle in, they are a lot like a two year old child, and must be taught how to behave.
If you give a command to a dog, you must make them mind what you say. If you don't, the dog begins moving up in the heirarchy of the pack. Now, before you start giving me all the excuses we have heard before: but I love him, but she is a shelter dog, but she had a horrible life before she came here, read what I said. Moving up the heirarchy of the pack.
If you don't believe me, watch Cesar Milan, read any book on dog training, or speak to any professional dog person.
Once they move up, they, in their mind, become the leader and as leader, get to make the rules.
Unfortunately, the rules they want to follow, may not be the rules of society. Dogs cannot bite people, even when in their mind they are being protective. They should not jump on people, no matter how happy they are. They need to be taught not to do these things.
The reasons are very simple. If you don't control your pet, and the pet hurts someone, regardless of intent, the pet will die. That's right. It will, in most cases, be euthanized. People will talk about what a horrible dog it was and how uncontrollable it became and how it is not their fault. The dog was great to begin with.
The reason I write about things like this is so maybe, just maybe, one person will read this and save their dog. In one person's mind, the lightbulb will go off and they will realize what they are doing or have done to their pet.
Dogs are not toys to be put on a shelf after the new wears off. They must be taught and the teaching must be reinforced on a daily basis. If you take care of the bills in your household, don't allow your pet to be the leader. It is a sure way to end your dog's life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The 1st Frisky Feline says goodbye

Hi! This is Verlassen for the final time. My sister(Machon) and I are going home tomorrow. It is a great feeling to know that we have spent our last night here. We were very well cared for and the room service here is great. It's just we needed a forever home with someone who will love and care for us. The best thing is, my new mom accepts me for who I am; a shy kitty. We have a chance to lay on a bed again and just be loved.
Thanks kennel staff for everything and all the volunteers who spent time with us. A special thank you to Karie Hayek, the director of the volunteers, for the kindness and tenderness she showed us, and the use of her computer after dark.
I am passing my duties on to 2 cats who have been at the shelter for more than 314 days.
Toots (5 years old) and Tigger Too (6 years old) came in the shelter on 3/10/08. That's almost a year ago . They came in with 3 other cats who have been adopted. They are sisters and will let you know about the latest gossip in the shelter. Please someone, come and adopt these two wonderful girls so they won't have to be the permanent "Frisky Felines".
Until they get started, here is the latest gossip from the cat rooms:
Ben and Cinder are dating again. They had a falling out, but she really likes him. Shadow and Spook went to dinner with Prissy and Pheolix and had great time. After dinner, they went for a walk around the shelter in the moonlight.
Sorbet is having a party Friday night in the Jungle Room to celebrate having a room all to herself. Her roommate, Tom, a large, furry, orange kitty found a home. Her party starts at 9 p.m. but don't tell the kennel staff. Food and water provided. There will be live music by one of our own, K.C and the Meowers.
I would also like to welcome our newest cats to the shelter: Jasmine, Jersey and Barry. Please think of us if you are thinking about adoption or if you can't squeeze one more cat in your home, sponsor one of us.

Auf Wiedersehen! (GOOD BYE IN GERMAN)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Honorary" Labrador for adoption

Hi friends, my name is Tike and I'm a friendly boy about six months of age. I doubt I will be the size of a full size lab, but I'm a playful and curious boy that loves to snuggle and give kisses.
I know I don't look like a lab but I was found outside an abandoned house with my two brothers and a sister that are part lab. Since I was with them, Lab Rescue decided to make me an honorary lab.

Speaking of brothers, I love wrestling and playing tug of war with my brother Rocket Ranger who is in foster care with me. I love to snuggle and play....just like all puppies I need a family that will be understanding of puppy behavior and work with me on obedience and general commands. I am young but there is one thing I know and that is I want a "furever" please come visit, we may be a perfect match.

If you are interested in meeting Tike or adopting or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.

LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mutt Mutterings: The weeks keep flying

Hi Readers,
Misty here. I am back again. This didn't turn out to be my lucky week, but we had many dogs finally find their permanent home. Of course, we also had some dogs come back to us because it simply wasn't working out. Remember Tally? I told you about her last week. She is 8 years old and I thought she was an old lady, but Sweetie Pie came in and she is even older. She is 12 years old and lived with the same family for 10 years. Can you imagine what she must be thinking? She cries every night. I keep trying to reassure her that all is well here, but they don't really know me yet, so aren't quite sure they can believe me.
The 2nd Row Club is now made up of nothing but females. Except for Wally, and he is only 6 months old so he will probably fly out the door. Krystal moved over here on Saturday from another row. They wanted to give her a different exposure. She was getting kind of bored in the kennels and I heard she was starting with some obedience training. I, of course, don't have to worry about that, since my obedience skills are at the top of the class. Of course, I can be kind of pushy sometimes and not want to listen, but I hear you.
Jake, who was the old Labrador and lived at the end of the row got adopted on Saturday and boy, was he happy. He went home with a really nice man who made a donation to Jessie's Fund. That is the fund here that was created to care for the older dogs and even the cats. Now Sweetie Pie is our oldest resident. Tally comes next at 8 years old and then Buzz, who is 7. Buzz doesn't live on our row though, but the next row over.
The 3 puppies that were available for adoption flew out the door on Saturday. That is always the way it happens when we have puppies. They go first. They are so much work I don't understand why people love them so, but I guess to each his own. I heard people were actually angry because they were all adopted so quickly. I just want to tell them to come and look at us. We matter. Ok, so we don't have puppy breath anymore and aren't all wiggly, squiggly, but we still matter.
Okay, I am off my pedestal now. I just become frustrated when we get passed over again and again.
I am going to end this for now. It is almost time for the place to open and I need to be back in the kennel before the humans arrive.
Peace Out,


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Labrador available for adoption

Looking for tall, dark and handsome? Well, here I am. My name is Lenny and I am a beautiful one year old black Lab. I was at the shelter hoping that someone would take me home, but we big black dogs tend to get passed by. Lucky for me Lab Rescue came and saved me from a sad ending.
Now I am in a nice foster home, learning all about living the good life. I am crate trained, almost fully potty trained and learning that dog toys are okay and socks and stuffed animals are not okay. I admit, I like to pick things up, but I have not chewed or damaged anything. I am good about staying off the furniture, but sometimes I would like to climb into your lap and give you a hug. I am a big boy, so being a lap dog is not my future. I weigh between 75 and 80 pounds and I have not completely filled out yet.
I get along fine with other dogs and older kids, but because of my size and youth, I should not go to a home with small children. There are no cats here, but I expect that they would be fun to chase. I enjoy car rides and walks and I am good on the leash. I have a small white patch on my chest, which Lab lovers often refer to as a star, and I guess it makes me feel like the sheriff when I am out in the back yard. I love to explore the yard and will alert you if there are any suspicious characters outside the fence.
My foster dad tells me that if someone will spend some time giving me obedience training, I will likely mature into a big loving teddy bear. Would you have some time for me? I would love to hear from you. Come visit and let's become fast friends.
If you are interested in meeting LENNY or adopting or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Frisky Felines of Fame:Verlassen

Hi! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Verlassen which in German means "to leave". My owner fell on hard times and had to give me and my sister up for adoption. I am a 10 year old female tabby. My sister's name is Machon and she is a 13 year old Calico who likes to talk. I am the quiet one. We would love to find a forever home where we could be loved and cared for. And with the powers I have, you can adopt both of us and pay a special adoption fee. (okay, you caught me, we are both covered by Jessie's fund)
Let me tell you the latest gossip going on in the cat rooms at the shelter. I overhead Michu was feeling better and was going to come to the Jungle Room. He likes to ask many questions so we are hoping they move him to Woody's Free Roaming Wing soon. We were staying in Woody's Wing, but found there was just too much excitement all the time. Swirl has a girlfriend and all they did was play all day. How is anyone to take a cat nap out there ? They seems to party night and day in Woody's Wing. Just a bunch of party animals.
Whiskers sent me an email and was going to request county music on the radio. He told me Smokey is a litter box hog. I overheard Lima Bean went home today. She was here a long time so I am hoping there is still a chance for us. Ally, the orange kitty called me up and said we are very lucky where we are. They can hear the dogs from their kennel in the morning. She also has a crush on Stubbs, but don't tell anyone. He is much younger and I think he likes Cinders who is even younger than he is.
Maggie May likes her new accommodations, but really would also like a forever home. In an email she told me that they were lots of younger kittens going home. Please consider a senior cat. We more mature cats still have a lot of life left. We just do not get into things like the younger cats. Kittens are coming in and going out so fast, I can't keep track of them.
I am up here on the desk using Karie's computer. She is the director of the volunteers. I really am not supposed to be in here,but on the weekend it is hard to find a computer that is not in use. She comes and visits us and we really like that.

Well, I'd better close for now. It is cat nap time and my paws are getting tired from typing.
P.S. Please spay and neuter your pets or check out the low cost program or no cost programs available if you are in financial need. You can reach me at 955-4131. Just don't tell them I was using Karie's computer.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Special cat in Englewood

Meet CoCo. She is a lovely female, declawed Hemingway kitty. She is looking for that special person who wants to spoil her for the rest of her life.
You can see her and all the other kitties up for adoption at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven Open House, every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. The address is 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood. You can also go online at or call 941-473-5406 for more information.

Animal rescue transports

I subscribe to many groups who rescue animals. It is not unusual to see posts for people trying to move a dog from one area of the country to the other when a rescuer is trying to save a life. There are people who do nothing but coordinate truckers and drivers, animals and shelters, trying to match them together.
These are volunteers who give of their gas and time, to move animals who would probably be euthanized. A sort of "underground railroad" for the animals.
A group I had not heard of before, which are the airline pilots, who fly the animals is worth checking out. The group I am talking about is Pilots N Paws, and they fly animals for rescue transport. It is an all volunteer group of pilots and coordinators, who arrange to move animals from point a to point b, to save the animal's life.
If you are an airline pilot and would like to be involved, they sure could use you, as could all transport groups. Check out their website here and then see if your services can be utilized on a trip.
They, like any other animal rescue group, can always use help. If you are reading this and know a pilot who would like to become part of this program, please forward this on to them. Every life saved is important.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Heartworm disease in dogs

Heartworms kill dogs. We know this because anyone who has ever owned a dog in Florida, or any other state which has a mosquito population, treats their dog with a preventative.
My family has owned two dogs who had heartworms. Blackie, the dog I grew up with was diagnosed in his 15th year, and the treatment at the time was so tough, the vet thought old age would kill him before the heartworms did.
And Bigfoot. I took Bigfoot from some people I met who were not being kind to him and he came to live with my family. He was diagnosed on his first vet visit and my father paid for his treatment, which at the time was almost $600 and he had to spend a week at the vet's office recuperating. They used arsenic to treat heart.
That was back in the late 1970s. Bigfoot survived, was put on preventatives and lived a long and happy life. (He was named Bigfoot, because his feet were huge and his body never caught up.)
Shelters used to euthanize for heartworm. The treatment was very expensive and they did not have the resources or staff to treat and then care for a dog with heartworm disease.
Things have changed dramatically since then and many shelters and rescues do treat for heartworm.
The animals after treatment must still be cared for and cannot have normal activity for a month after the treatment. Anything which may start their blood pumping harder than normal can dislodge the dead worms, cause an embolism and the dog can die.
If you own a dog, please have a test done and begin your dog on preventatives right away. Your vet will need to do a blood test before starting the preventative to make sure the dog is clear first. Then follow your vet's instructions for follow-up care.
Heartworms can be prevented. Do it for your dog.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Disinformation is hard to digest

After spending the majority of my working years in the media, I have a hard time when I read a published article which has so much incorrect information in it, my blood pressure rises.
With the published statements about the choice for dog by the President-elect and his family, the Associated Press and, I found my pressure creeping up.
I know the poll isn't scientific, but when I read a statement like, "the family likes the idea of rescuing a shelter dog, but 10-year-old Malia is allergic and most shelter dogs are, as the president-elect put it, "mutts like me."
Why doesn't the reporter or someone tell the President-elect that shelters have hundreds of purebred dogs, of the non-shedding variety, relinquished every day and euthanized every day because there are simply not enough homes for them. This isn't even including the rescues for purebred dogs.
Arrghhhh!!!!! Please someone educate the press and the President-elect. This is why so many people avoid shelters to begin with. Disinformation.
You can read the entire poll and article here.

Mutt Mutterings: the new girl

Hi! I am pleased to meet you. My name is Misty and I am a pit bull mix. Now, before you go casting bad thoughts my way, I want you to know I am a very nice girl.
I am obedience-trained, agility-trained, potty-trained and simply adore people. I have been at the shelter a while now, and I whispered in my friend's ear that I thought it was my turn to spill the gossip about the dogs in this place.

I play hard but love to play. I had a good buddy named King, but he got adopted and they kept looking and looking for me another buddy, but no one wanted to play with me. Then I met Snickers, who is very, very shy, but she loves to play with me so now we play together every morning. I was pretty depressed let me tell you, until she came along. I wouldn't even eat I was so lonely.

You know by now the last Mutt Mutterer got adopted. I am hoping this will work for me. A nice volunteer named Ellen even brought me some bling as a good luck charm to go on my collar. I lost it the first day and thought I was doomed. But here's hoping that won't be the case.

We have had a lot of dogs find homes since the holidays. It is the same story as usual, though. The small, little itty bitty ones go first and us tough girls stay a little longer. Someone did look at me a couple of days ago, but they wanted a boy. What is so gosh darn great about boys?

Another tough girl, Scarlett found a playmate with Stihl. He is an Australian Cattle Dog but they are about the same size. I think Scarlett is in love the way she play bows to him. It is quite cute.

The sisters, Cupcake and Sweetie Pie are still here. They came all the way up from Ft. Myers and are they a riot to watch. Sweetie Pie is the devil one. She gets Cupcake into all kinds of shenanigans. I am too smart to get into trouble. I get more attention the better I am.

I have a new dog in the kennel next to me. Her name is Tally and she is 8 years old. She is a black lab mix and is so sad. She doesn't understand where her family is. She has some grey on her muzzle. Today was her first day out and I am going to whisper to her tonight about how nice they are here. Maybe it will make her feel a lot better.

Well, that is my report for now.

I am hanging in and hanging on until next time. Oh yeah, I am also a member of the 2nd Row Club. Slimmer's old row. Drop by and see me at 2331 15th Street in Sarasota or call 955-4131.
Peace Out,

Free puppy training book

Dr. Ian Dunbar is giving away a PDF of his book "After You Get Your Puppy" during January. Dog Star Daily has declared January "Shelter Dog Prevention Month" in an effort to raise consciousness about the need for puppy training.
As they say: "Most shelter dogs were once perfectly normal puppies exhibiting typical, though often undesirable, puppy behavior."
So take advantage of this offer and download the book. Please send the link to anyone you know with a puppy.>

Save the date for the Pug Parade

Sarasota Magazine and Lakewood Ranch present the 12th Annual Pug Parade to benefit the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
Saturday, February 21st from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Adventure Park in Lakewood Ranch.
For information please call 955-4131. Deadline for registration is February 16, 2009.

Nokomis dog walk

Dog Walk:
Sponsored by The Friends of the Legacy Trail
in partnership with The Humane Society of Sarasota County (HSSC)
9 a.m. January 24, 2009
Starting at the
Nokomis Community Center
234 Nippino Trail
Nokomis, FL 34275

Bring your very social dog on a 4 – 6 foot (non-retractable) leash to walk and meet other furry friends on the trail. Dog walkers are responsible for keeping their pet in control at all times and for cleaning up any deposits their pets leave.
HSSC will have an information table and pet therapy dogs to meet. For more information, call Kate Franklin, HSSC’s Education Director at 955-4131.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mutt Mutterings: a happy ending

Hello all the readers of the column. I just wanted you to know that despite the fact I was just getting to know all the dogs in the kennel, and I continued to hide in the back from the many humans who were staring at me, someone came in today with two kids and I simply adored those two kids. There was a little boy and a little girl and they were so nice and kind that I had to wag my tail at them.
Mom originally kinda wanted a small dog and I didn't qualify, but she saw how much I loved those kids and guess what? I found a home. After living in a shelter over two years, someone is going to make me part of a family. They are even going to by me a big bed. (I heard them talking about it outside while I was playing.)
I then got adopted and had to squeeze in the backseat with the kids. I was not sure how we were going to do that, but we all fit and I will be back to visit in a couple of weeks.
It sure has been fun, but you guys in Sarasota rock. Otherwise, I might still be sitting in the back of my kennel.
I hope the next dog who takes over has as good a streak of luck as I did. It was fun to talk to you for a few weeks.

Lei Lei

Special Labrador for adoption

My name is Spirit because I had such a strong spirit to live. My owner starved me (nearly to death) and then turned me in to Animal Shelter. The good people there made sure I was healthy (no parvo, no heartworms) and they put me in isolation for 45 days and fattened me up.
For only being 9 months old, I have not had a very good life thus far but this is all changing now that I am with a wonderful foster home through Lab Rescue. I am timid of humans at first but once you rub my ears and belly, you win my confidence and I'm fine.
I love other dogs of all sizes and love playing with them. I am very gentle with the smaller dogs and even pups who bite my ears. I am really looking forward to being in my forever home where I am treated like the gem that I am.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Spirit or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Shelter dog update

Every once in a while, we have guests at the shelter who don't stay long and end up with a perfect family. Mollie and Devo were two of those dogs. They came in together and because Mollie was a small female, she was adopted out by herself. When the family came in and fell in love with Devo, they said they wished they had known we had Mollie and they would have taken her also.
Several weeks went by after Devo and Mollie had been adopted to separate families and Mollie was returned to us. The adoption counselor who had done Devo's adoption remembered what the family had said about adopting Mollie also. He called the family, the came right down and Mollie and Devo were together again.
The HSSC Adoption Manager forwarded this on to me today from Mollie and Devo's Mom. Talk about a happy ending. Wow, don't we wish all adoptions ended up this way.

Hey Guys; 1/12/2009 Just wanted to send you our yearly update on Mollie and Devo (The Dalmatians). They just celebrated their 11th Birthday yesterday! Our 2 year anniversary is also right around the corner (February 22nd). They are amazing. They keep us on our toes. They become more lovable each day. Miss Mollie is no longer afraid of men. If you can remember when we got her she was just so terrified. Her and her daddy are best friends. She is daddy's little angel. Mr. Devo is still as sweet as ever. We just had their annual check up at the doctors and they are in excellent health. They are both finally at their ideal weight. We did have a bit of trouble with Miss Mollie gaining weight. Mollie is 49 lbs and Devo is 65 lbs. Anyways, we are doing wonderful. Thanks Again.
John, Nicole, Mollie, and Devo Arbuckle

Best friends

For years we have known dogs are man's best friend. But elephants?
Watch this cool video from an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mental health weekend

First I want to tell you, everyone should have a weekend like I just had. From the chocolate martinis to the funny stories of black racers and banana spiders, my friends and I laughed and told stories and just took a break from the every day stresses of life.
It is amazing what two days away from work and home, telephones and televisions, children and pets can do for your outlook on life.
I try and spend time in Florida's state parks as much as possible and this weekend was no exception. One of the reasons I love the state parks is, they remind me of Florida when I was a kid growing up. I love to watch the wildlife in a natural setting although we only saw a rabbit this trip. We did hear the deer munching leaves in the evening but it was dark, no streetlights you know, and actually saw some bear footprints down by the lake.
Of course, we also met 4 nice dogs romping on the beach, a black lab, a yellow lab, a bassett hound named Henry and a bassett hound pup.
Animal welfare people always notice the local dogs and cats. We can't seem to get away from it.
The only disappoinment of the weekend was having to come home. But believe me when I say, the next one will roll around 6 months from now and I will be ready to go again.

Fostering success

I will soon be having my first birthday. My name is Donegal and I have been told I am a very lucky kitty. I was born at the Humane Society of Sarasota County with my brothers and sisters. Shortly after our birth, we were moved into a wonderful foster home.
We received all the love and attention we could handle and food we could eat, but there was a problem. My foster mom noticed I was small and not gaining weight. The kennel staff was notified immediately. You see, we had to get on the scale everyday. I became ill and the wonderful staff at the shelter sent yucky medication home for me. I did not like it one bit, but had to take it. My chances of surviving were very slim.
When it was time for my brothers and sisters to go back to the shelter and find forever homes, I was at a loss. I could not go back because I was still too small. You see, even in the kitty world there are bullies. I was the runt of the litter and was treated as such by my family. My mom really tried but just could not keep up with all of us.
That is when my friend Tank, a male Bermese cat stepped in. He taught me about cleaning myself and using the litter box. Tank became the dad I never had and for this I am a very greatful kitty.
Without the wonderful shelter staff and their dedication to each and every animal, I would not be here today. Their foster program is A #1 and so is the care we receive there. My foster mom Cindy, was great, and now I am in my forever home.
As I celebrate my first birthday, I am asking if you have it in your heart check on the foster program with your local shelter. It is a life changing experience for everyone.
Oh yeah, and instead of sending me a present, please donate a $1.00 to Jessie's Fund at the Humane Society Of Sarasota County. That is the fund to take care of the old cats' (and dogs')adoption fee. You can call them at 955-4131 or pay on their website at
By the way, I went from under a pound to 10 pounds of healthy kitty.


Labrador available for adoption

Hi, folks, my name is Kai. Those folks at Lab Rescue are the greatest.

I am now through my heartworm treatment and ready to find my forever home.

I LOVE to ride in cars, go the the beach, play, go for walks, and if you let me, I will cuddle with you and fall asleep while you work or just watch TV. If you want to find your BEST friend ever, come visit me....I just know we are meant for each other!

If you are interested in meeting or adopting KAI or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.

LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Special cat in Englewood

Meet Seamus. He is an loveable Irish mug. He would love to spend Saint Patrick Day with you this year.
You can meet him and all the other kitties up for adoption at Puffy Paws Kitty Haven Open House, every Mon and Wed from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at 270 Lakeview Lane in Englewood.

You can also check out all the available kitties for adoption at or call 941-473-5406.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Idle blog

Due to the overwhelming need to take a mental break, and because I have had reservations at one of Florida's wonderful state parks since last August, the blog will be idle for the next few days.
Rest and relaxation with some wonderful friends will recharge the batteries for the next several months. Hiking, canoeing and simply being in the out of doors will help. The chocolate martinis probably won't hurt.
I will be back posting on Sunday, but until then, please opt to adopt at a local rescue or shelter. You will have a companion for life.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Labrador available for adoption

Hi! Looking for a gal that is loyal, has deep brown eyes and wants to cuddle? Here I am......Binkie is the name. I am about a year old but already well mannered, crate and house trained and I know some basic commands. I LOVE to play frisbee and to take walks.
My foster mom tells me I am very good on the leash. I do not pull or tug. Not bad for a young gal! Currently I am undergoing heartworm treatment but I will be ready for my new home at the beginning of January.
WOW what a way to start the new year....a new family! That would be wonderful. I have not had a loving family but that is my wish for the new year. If you think you would like to play frisbee, take a walk or just sit and cuddle come visit. I would like to meet you. Maybe when our eyes meet we would know that this is what we both have been waiting for....the perfect match!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Binkie or one of our other labs contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS.
LRROF has all our Labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Monday, January 5, 2009

The worms are here

So, Junior had to go to the vet this morning for his annual checkup. He is a senior now and despite my thinking he was looking very old and gray, the vet says he looks wonderful for his age. His coat is shiny, his teeth look good, the displasia in his right hip is still there, but the muscle tone in his leg is good and I picked up some more pain medication for those damp mornings when it really bothers him.
He is on heartworm and flea preventative and I was surprised when the doc gave me two pills to give him with dinner tomorrow. The pills are for worms, specifically hookworms but also kill tapeworms and roundworms.
The reason is because the vet is seeing an over-abundance of hookworm in Sarasota County this year and to be on the safe side, wants Junior treated.
Please, check with your vet if you are concerned about any type of worms in your pet. We are doing this with Junior strictly as a cautionary measure, but if the worms are out there in abundance due to owners not picking up after their dogs, then your dogs can get them very easily. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Puppy available for adoption

Hi, my name is Dozer....mainly because I sleep a lot but that is only because I am 4 weeks old! When I am bigger I will be full of lots of energy. You see I was left at the shelter and since I am so young I could not stay because of my age. Just to young to be with the big guys.....the shelter called Labrador Retriever Rescue and they came and picked me up....even though I am not a pure lab.
I am now in a foster home that is taking very good care of me and making sure I get proper food, medical care and manners. My foster parents think I am a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab Mix....but they are not sure. I hear them say I am cute as a button and a snugly curious pup....they love me so but I really would like a family that wants me forever.
If you want a loving pup that is a special guy come visit.....lets see if I fit perfectly in your arms.
If you are interested in meeting Dozer or adopting or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS. LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Mutt Mutterings: back to normal

Hello readers:

Well, another week has passed and I am still here. I have become a little more comfortable here and am going to pass on some of what I have learned to you today.

I met a new volunteer. She really likes me and says I remind her of another Mutt Mutterer. His name escapes me right now, but she told me in my ear he got a really good home and I will find one, too.

A nice man and woman met me yesterday. They said they lived here and in Massachusetts and their other dog lived there and they wanted a dog to live here. They took me in that little room again and walked me outside. They went home to think about it. They probably won't be back, but I am always hopeful.

We had some dogs getting adopted in the last several days so quickly, I didn't even learn their names. I know I have a big German Shepherd living on the 2nd Row Club now and he is pretty upset with humans. I guess they wanted him to be an outside dog. He wanted to be an inside dog so kept jumping the fence. I couldn't jump a fence if I tried but I kinda like being outside and roaming around. Laying in the sun is a favorite thing of mine.

One of the sisters who came up from Ft. Myers with me is going home on Monday. That will only leave 5 out of the original 10 who came up. That is a good thing because we had all spent a lot of time in Ft. Myers and are getting a bigger chance here. We just need sometime to see what potential we all have.

I think the longest resident here now is a little Italian firecracker named Mama Mia. She lost her play buddy Diesel, who got adopted so now she gets to play with Ray Ray. Ray Ray is 90% blind but he loves playing with Mama. She can run away from him and it takes him a minute or two to find her again. They are digging a tunnel under the play yards. Or at least, trying to. She does the agility but he can't.

King, one of the special needs dogs, found a home on Friday and got to move to Tampa. I heard he was pretty excited to jump in the car.

It sure has been busy around here the last week. I hope it keeps up. There are still many of us who are searching for a forever home and we may be just the dog you are looking for. Come by and say hello.

Until next week, I will be waiting at 2331 15th Street in Sarasota, 2nd Row Club. Just ask anyone for directions. If you need more info, call Kerry at 955-4131 and she can give you the lowdown on any dog who is a guest here.

Lei Lei

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Missouri rescue needs help

Throughout the course of our lives, we meet people who have so much goodness in their hearts, you never forget them. Hank and Della Hadley are two of those people.
There was never a time they wouldn't foster a puppy or kitten, or take in a stray if it needed help. They were always there for the animals.
When they retired, they realized their dream of opening a small rescue where one was desperately needed and named it Kindred Spirit. It is in Missouri and is located in a county where they have no animal control at all. Kindred Spirit is the only licensed rescue in the area.
When Hank and Della posted fliers asking for donations for things we all take for granted, like towels, food and such, they were flooded instead with unwanted animals and are in a desperate situation.
If you can spare a dollar, it would be stretched to the maximum. Hank is busy researching grants and funding right now. I have posted their link below and hope you can help these most deserving people and the animals in their care.
Thanks so much,

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Labrador available for adoption

Hi! Spike here.....I am a well-mannered, 7-8 year old black male who has gotten a second chance at life. WOW, that was a close one!
I was brought to Labrador Retriever Rescue with a severe skin issue and eye problem. Oh, my! I was a sad sight! I didn't feel very happy either. Lucky for me, LRROF was able to take me into their care. Since I have been in rescue my skin has greatly improved with some medicated baths, omega 3 supplements and mineral oil for my eyes (dry eye).
My coat is coming back and is best described as silky and shiny. You will just love to give me pets and rub my ears.....I like that too! Oh I feel so much better!! Look at me now with that great yellow necktie! Handsome don't you think?
Times have been tough but I hear people say that I have maintained my happy Labrador personality. I like other dogs and cats but people are my favorite!
Thanks to LRROF, Spike is now looking for that special family who will maintain his routine for healthy skin. If you think you may be that family that has a heart for a loving special needs boy, call LRROF and come meet Spike; we know that he would love to meet you. Spend some time with him walking and playing and we guarantee you will love him and maybe just maybe make a new "furever" friend.
If you are interested in meeting Spike or adopting or one of our other labs please contact Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida by visiting our website or call 1-866-464-LABS. LRRoF has all our labs microchipped, spayed or neutered, up to date on shots and each adoption comes with a 30 day pre-paid pet health insurance plan. All applicants will have a home inspection and vet reference (if applicable).

Special dog in Sarasota

Let me introduce you to Toni.
Toni arrived at our shelter very thin, with 4 adorable furry puppies still nursing. She had a cyst under her neck and was very protective of her pups as every mother should be.
Her puppies were weaned and adopted and now it is Toni's turn.
She had surgery to remove the cyst under her neck, but due to the invasiveness of the cyst, it was decided to leave it alone. It is benign and is not noticeable unless you are looking for it.
She is a true mutt with traces of golden retriever, border collie, shar pei(look at those ears) and maybe chow (a little black on her tongue). She is a small girl by retriever standards with butterscotch and gold coloring. She is two years old and appears to be housebroken.
Our K-9 Coaches have been teaching her commands and she has mastered sit and down, but is still working on stay.
She would do best in a calm household with no kids because she likes to round things up. She has beautiful brown eyes and might just be the perfect companion for you.
If you would like more information on Toni, please call 955-4131 to get the scoop. She will be waiting to hear from you.

My wishes for the New Year

My wishes for the new year are about animals.
I wish everyone who said they loved animals made sure their own animals were spayed and neutered and would educate those whose animals are not.
I wish every kitten and puppy born in the country this year would be loved and taken care of for the rest of their lives.
I wish everyone who owned a senior animal would keep their pet until it was time for their pet to cross the Rainbow Bridge. No more dumping seniors because they are old, or not as playful, or because you want a new puppy.
I wish our government would create enforceable laws concerning animal abuse and neglect. No more excuses for emaciated animals with embedded colors, tied to a tree and left to rot.
I wish there was regulation for breeding animals. No more backyard breeders or puppy mills.
I wish there was someone to enforce the laws we have, so animals wouldn't suffer needlessly.
I wish people would vaccinate, feed, use heartworm preventative, visit a vet. If you cannot afford to have a pet, don't get one.
I wish there was more education for the uneducated, more money to create more programs and more people to teach animal welfare.
I wish all the animals in shelters and rescues would find good and loving homes.
I wish there was no need for shelters and rescues.
Until all these come true, I wish and hope there are always concerned animals lovers to carry on the fight against cruelty and neglect, to provide homes and caring places, for these animals to stay until we can find them a home.
These are my wishes.

I am your puppy

I am your Puppy, and I will love you until the end of the Earth, but please know a few things about me. I am a Puppy, this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child.
I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world. Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.
I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1 - 2 hours. I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out. I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have "bladder and bowel control" until 6 - 9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a Puppy, it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, playing, Drinking and around every 2 - 3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8 p.m. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me. I am a Puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.
I am a Puppy, I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzzballs, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.
I am a Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant, so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beat. Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew. Better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.
I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be.
I am a Puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviors and caring for me from your veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics", it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do all the things I do. Please teach me with love, patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.
I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one anther's language, body signals, wants and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.
Your Puppy
Copyright 2000, by J. Ellis - Southern Shadows Rottweilers.