Friday, October 31, 2008

Yet More Cruelty

This is a little story I picked up off FHOTD. I have to ask myself every day - why don't people just humanely euthanize? I know it hurts to let a loved one go, but it certainly beats whacking your dog on the head with a hammer and burying it alive. Don't get me wrong - I do believe that if you have the skill (!) necessary to put a dog down by means of a bullet or home euth, go for it, but what the HELL is wrong with these people?

I see it a lot. I've had many friends whose parents simply refuse to put down their dog who is suffering from cancer and has crippling arthritis on top of an enormous malignant tumor... yet though they see the dog daily as it just lies around in obvious pain, they claim the dog is not hurting, and they're going to let it pass naturally. THAT, in my opinion, is blatant cruelty. If I were suffering from a disease I knew would take me painfully and slowly, I'd rather be taken around the back of the barn. It isn't that scary to put your dog to sleep - sure, you have had many years of faithful companionship, but when your pet is suffering, it's time to let go. It just sickens me when people refuse to euth because they're afraid of death. I guess they'd rather watch their pet deteriorate before them than let them drift off slowly and comfortably in the arms of the one they love.

Happy Halloween! DIY Doggie Treats

Happy Howl-oween everyone! I know many of you like to take your dogs on Halloween and have a nice trick-or-treat, but if you're staying at home, why not whip up a few goodies for the odd canine trick-or-treater? Here are some nice, dog-friendly recipes I found on

Peanut Butter Puppy Pops

2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375'F. In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In another bowl, mix peanut butter and milk, then add to dry ingredients and mix well. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Bake for 20 minutes on a greased baking sheet until lightly brown. Cool on a rack, then store in an airtight container. --- This is the original recipe, but I have found the cookies burn easily.

Beef and Rice Moochies

1 jar babyfood, dinner, vegetables and beef, strained
2 1/2 cups flour, all-purpose
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rice
1 package unflavored gelatin
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup powdered milk
1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 beef bouillon cube

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Add yeast, egg, oil, baby food and dissolved beef bouillon. Mix well. Mixture will be very dry, knead with hands until it forms a ball. Roll out on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, cut in 1 or 2 inch circles. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

Boo Biscuits

3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 cup Quaker oats
1 cup milk
1/2 cup hot water
2 beef or chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup meat drippings

Dissolve bouillon cubes in hot water. Add milk and drippings and beat. In a separate bowl, mix flour and oatmeal. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Press onto an ungreased cookie sheet and cut into shapes desired. Bake at 300 for 1 hour. Turn off heat and leave in the oven to harden. Refrigerate after baking.

Also: if you are dressing your pooch up for Halloween, show us some pictures! Because we all know there's nothing cuter than a pug in a pumpkin suit or a devilish Golden.

Be safe out tonight! My reccommendation is to put your dog on a harness rather than a collar to avoid them slipping a collar. There are many scary things out there, especially on Halloween. Happy Howlidays, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking for information...

A reader asked if anyone had heard of/had any experience with a large commercial "dog broker" of sorts by the name of Bonnie Sue Schindler. She lives in Missouri and is quite the largescale operationist.

She and Herman Schindler are the owners/breeders of:
Mettoville Kennel in Mexico, MO,
Teachers Pets of Mexico, MO,
QD Kennels of Frankford, MO,
MO Puppy Expo in Wentzville, MO, and
IL MO Puppy Expo in Quincy, IL.

If anyone has any information on these people or their business, feel free to share. In fact, crossposting to this link on other chatboards may help. I'd like to acquire a fairly large number of readers (or at least contributors!) in order to get more information on the dog's world. I like insight, opinion, snark, and praise in a blog, and the more people who contribute, the better. We're more likely to get answers to our questions that way.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kennel Club Changes

A reader by the name of Esme dropped me a note. In response to the video link posted earlier (Pedigree Dogs Exposed), the UKKC has made a frantic scrabble to realign breed standards to comply with modern day. What do you think of all this?

I say kudos - endorsing health testing for ANY breed is a great idea. Wouldn't it be nice if they required all of their registered dogs to be health tested? Veterinarians just might go out of business (kidding, kidding). I think that it shouldn't have taken a film to explain to the United Kingdom Kennel Club what they and breeders were doing wrong, knowingly or not; it's quite obvious that many of our beloved breeds suffer from genetic disorders and are continually passed down. I'm just shamed that it took this long for a realization to dawn.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In Response to the post below...

I have to admit, I'm very curious as to what GGR is up to (of course, in a neutral light). As said on the boards, I'm going to visit GGR myself as soon as I can, and gather as much information as I can. There is a lot of mudslinging on both parts - many people are attacking GGR antagonists, and the ones working to stop Gentle Giants are certainly very outright with their opinions. This is good though; it could change the lives of the thousand some odd dogs they take in yearly.

So, before I do go out, I'd like to come armed with some knowledge on the place. Does anyone have personal experiences with it? I've read the few horror stories on the place, and if you have any information on Gentle Giants Rescue, negative or positive, don't hesitate to post.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Attention big dog lovers!

This is Dylan, a Standard Poodle/Irish Wolfhound cross. He is one of the many big dogs available at the Gentle Giants Rescue of Norco, California. They are one of the largest "big dog" rescues around. Even though they are large-scale, each of the dogs gets individualized attention and training. If a dog is not trained, it will be by the time it is available for adoption (unless in the case of puppies, but training is half the fun, IMO). So visit today if you have room in your heart and on your lap for another big dog.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Human Race; the worst there ever was.

Honestly, can you believe the treatment many dogs are getting around the world? Dogs do not create war, they do not kill for pleasure, nor do they deserve the cruelty inflicted on them every day around the world by ignorant assholes.

Here, we have an amazing example of just how low man can go in his quest to torture this dog. Yes, the dog is for the meat market. Does that mean it needs to be strung to a tree, beaten, and kicked? No. I'd like to string this guy up to the tree and form a never ending line of people (I'm sure there would be many volunteers) to kick him right between the legs. What is most disturbing to me is the fact that the dog's tail is still wagging even as it is being strangled and beaten.

And aren't police supposed to help, not hurt? This man was walking his dogs (who must be very well trained to have stayed at bay while their master was mercilessly beaten) and attacked by the local police, who then focused their attention on beating the dogs. The man begs them to leave the dogs alone, hit him instead, but they had other things on their mind.

There's no end to the torture, and unless animal cruelty laws are heightened and fine-tuned, it's going to reoccur, over and over again.

Folks, remember that an act of kindness means so much, even to a dog. If you witness abuse, do not hesitate to report the person responsible immediately. If you can, whip out a video phone or a camcorder; the more evidence, the better.

Don't forget to hug your pet!

Friday, October 10, 2008

... Anyone?

WTF is with this? Just came across it. Understood that different tastes tie to different cultures, but really? It makes my skin crawl just about as much as the horse meat market. I do not support the fur market, nor the slaughter of companion animals, and most certainly don't condone animal experiments. View at your own discretion, it's a little gory and sad.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


How many of you have had a bad experience with a breeder, either due to monetary situations, their rudeness, or lack of knowledge of Club Regs and standards? I'd like to hear your story.

Here's one such complaint:

"Bella the Papillon pup (Talina Altman has SOME NERVE!)

Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-10-09, 1:02PM PDT

I also had a horrible experience with this woman. She is out for the money and if you don't offer her enough she will write you back very rudely and meanly telling you that she refuses to give away an AKC dog that she paid over $900 for and good luck fining a cheap dog. She even went as far as to comment on the reason I'm in a financial situation that I can't afford her high fees!! How absurd of her to question that and how RUDE! I mean, seriously Talina if you don't like the offer just say no thanks we're going to keep looking. Don't be a you know what about it! OR better yet- Don't sell your dog on a site that says you can rehome for a SMALL fee. $500+ is in no way small. AND if you insist as you do then at least tell people UPFRONT when they ask you how much the fee is instead of saying "right now we are just taking offers" since YOU ARE ASKING PEOPLE TO MAKE AN OFFER SO DON'T CRITICIZE them when they OFFER!!! You just want the highest bidder so why don't you sell your poor dog at an auction."

Poor girl. Why can't people be clear on things like this? It causes so much unnecessary tension. Breeders need to realize that word gets around, and it gets around fast. Fellow breeders, customers, and enthusiasts alike won't hesitate to rat your ass out and get the problem fixed. So, you're best off being compliant and helpful when it comes to your business.

Friday, October 3, 2008

My Opinion on Cesar Millan

Many of you are familiar with the show The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic, and how Cesar Millan and his pack have been helping rehabilitate dogs and "train" their owners.

Well, a few people have asked what I think of him, so I'm sharing.

I see Cesar Millan as a good trainer in general. I feel he is spot on when it comes to energy level influencing a dog. A dog can pick up on nonverbal cues and expressions that we as humans can't, even when we're the ones producing it. In order to keep your dog in a sane state of mind, you must be an even-tempered and "balanced" person. I feel dogs and humans share energies just like the assumed bonding between horses and humans. I also believe he is right about exercise. Dogs do need to roam, and regardless of breed, all dogs have energy that can be spared and frustrations that can be vented in a positive way by walks (on-leash, right folks?), fetch, hiking, etc. Keeping a dog confined somewhere is never acceptable, and in dogs caged or tied a lot, there is documentation of a deterioration of the mind - issues can begin to manifest themselves in a variety of ways such as developed obsessions (ie spinning, cage pacing, fixation on certain objects), aggression, unwanted digging, chewing, barking, or scratching, as well as a number of other things. Even aggressive dogs should be exercised. Putting a dog in a backyard for eight hours a day is NOT a substitute for exercise, unless you happen to own acreage. I own a dog who is human aggressive. I walk him at night, when no one is around, on leash, and for at least an hour. Sometimes, I'll take him on an offleash hike in some hills where I know no one will be.

Here's where I have the beef: Cesar is TOO hands-on with the dogs, in my opinion. Personally, I train using a clicker and Bil-Jac Liver morsels. Many dogs are food motivated, and it creates a positive experience for them. I believe in positive reinforcement the whole way, with lots of verbal praise and food rewards. Cesar's training is more negative reinforcement, ie, something done wrong results in a negative punishment rather than creating a positive for them to learn from. I would never recommend people "tchht" and "bite" their dogs when correcting - a nervous dog can make ribbons of your hand. Instead, I've found that something as simple as coins in a can can divert a dog's attention long enough to redirect it. I have never had to phsyically redirect any of my dogs. I'm a rather hands-off person when it comes to training, preferring to let the dogs nature come in to play. I do stay in a balanced state of mind the entire time, which comes easily to me. I have been bitten twice in my life (once by a Chihuahua in the face, once by an Akita on the arm), and if there is one thing I learned, it's that your mindset is the biggest benefactor when approaching a dog, no matter what your intentions. If you don't have your head on straight, a dog can, and will, sense it and react on it. In order to train a happy and mentally sound dog, you too must be mentally sound.

I do not see a problem with the Illusion Collar, so long as you are responsible with it, much as you would be with a choke chain or prong collar. I still use choke chains on my two larger boys, and they do not get hurt because
a) I know what I'm doing, and
b) The dogs have been trained not to pull.
If you want a real aide in training for dogs that pull, chase, or are a general nuisance on the leash, I'd recommend a Halti Lead, but again, this is another tool you must learn to use correctly. It is my personal favourite, having helped me train my mothers shy dog from bolting when he sees strangers.

All in all, I don't see Cesar as too much of a menace to the canine world. Personally, I'd rather handle my dogs myself. I think he is just a little overly pushy, and does bully the dogs into his way (alpha rolling is never a good idea, either... one of my big gripes there) some of the time. He's just a hyperactive man who gets a little too touchy with his canine clientele, IMO. I would never approach a dog with the intention of physically placing my hands on him/her to correct an undesired behavior.

Victoria Stillwell, however? I don't think she's let the fame go to her head quite yet and is a lovely trainer.