Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Must Love Progression

Well.... I've done it, with the help of my mom.


Has a nice ring, doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Still awake...

Just thought I'd drop a note on the status of Justice For Karley, the 6-month-old puppy beaten to death by an assistant fire chief earlier this year. The arraignment is scheduled, and I'd LOVE to see the book thrown at this asshole! You just don't hurt an animal without getting retribution, IMO.

Good luck, and hope you're sentenced to be tied nude to a tree, covered in melted marshmallows, and left to the destruction of various species of rainforest-dwelling ants with extremely large mandibles.

What do you think of this?

I'll admit it... not only am I a pro-speuter activist, I'm also a bleeding heart when it comes to animals overseas in poor situations where the owners

a) do not have the knowledge required to own an animal, ie no inclinations to vaccinate or speuter
b) have no money and are suffering themselves
c) do not have animal clinics near them
d) have to rely on other methods of euthanasia (because it is an unavailable option) like poisoning or hanging.

It breaks my heart to watch videos of people suffering in other countries without enough food to eat, let alone feed their pets. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled across WorldVets.Org - an organization looking to overturn the pet population in foreign countries - for FREE. Of course, it doesn't come free to an applicant of the program - for starters, there is an upfront $40.00 fee for membership. I think that sounds a little odd, but hey - I'm no business genius. I am not the most job-savvy person; in fact, my only occupations have been a self-employed neighborhood car washer, earning me around $200 some on a few odd days of working with my siblings, and a sign flipper, earning roughly $80 a weekend for 8 hours.

They perform spay/neuter clinics abroad (usually exotic locales - fancy that!), and help hundreds of owners. They have a high fee, however - $550 and excess, airfare NOT included, and you are told that you will be sleeping in guest villas usually. They say that most of these places can sleep many people, but unless you are a vet (which warrants having your own bedroom and bed), you'll probably be sleeping on an air mattress.

I just don't know what to think of it. It seems like a wonderful and compassionate thing to do - I'm just not sure on it. I'm a little leery of websites, just because I've heard of too many frauds. I'm also quite tired, and don't know why I'm awake at 4:30 in the morning instead of asleep in my warm bed.

Give it a look - what do you think? From a business standpoint of view, are these fees reasonable? Do they look like a legitimate organization? My mind is racing a mile a minute as I envision a world where I can help promote the welfare of animals. I have definitely bookmarked this page and will be giving it a more inside look in the morning, preferably after a large cup of caffeinated coffee resulting in my eyes plastering to the screen for a good four hours. :o)

Check this out!

Check this out! How cute - a shoplifting Siberian.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way

Off the Chain - An Inside Look at the American Pit Bull Terrier

An interesting, if short, documentary on the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier. It is always best to combat unjust assumptions with knowledge. There is a full version available for download, but my computer gets temperamental and decides on some days what I can and cannot do on the internet.

However, I do have to disagree with the idea that dog fighters do not love their dogs. Certainly, in a more malicious and twisted way, but they do have affection for these dogs nonetheless. I do believe the desire for money, power, and status overrides any feelings of "love" these people have for their dogs. I am pro - APBT. There are a lot of debates that spark from the topic, but IMO, a dog is what YOU make it, regardless of weight, gender, or breed. When you deal with a dog like the APBT - be prepared to be tested. They are tenacious, like so many of their fellow terriers, and have a high prey drive. Not unlike other terriers, they need an outlet for all their energy, otherwise things WILL go from bad to worse. A firm handler (note "firm", not "mean") is a must. The APBT excels in many dog sports.

Contrary to popular belief, the American Pit Bull Terrier does not have "lockjaw", in which the dog bites down and will "never let go". What really happens is that due to their prey drive and their stamina, an APBT can hold on even when people are yanking at it's face. In truth, the larger an animal's head, the more damage it can inflict by PSI (pounds per square inch). A mastiff has much more ability to inflict damage than an APBT, and an APBT has more capability of causing harm than does a Schipperke.

When we hear the name "pit bull", our mind races over a broad variety of dogs. The only true dogs in the "pit bull" (alias "bull baiting") group are the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshire Terrier. Many other breeds confused with these guys include the Cane Corso, the Fila Brasiliero, the Presa Canario, the Dogo Argentino, and all other dogs of similar muscular build. It is indeed, hard for the average person to pick out a true American Pit Bull Terrier in the list of lookalikes.

For the record, I have not owned any APBTs. I have met my share of dangerous dogs, none of which fell in the "pit bull" category. I have seen nasty boxers, nasty goldens, nasty labs, nasty border collies, and, of course, a whole brigade of ankle-snacking lap dogs. It requires a special person to own a terrier; someone who knows how to stand their own and show a clear cut path between right and wrong, regardless of whether you're raising a Jack Russell or a full-bodied Gottiline APBT.

Who creates a monster on a leash? Why, the monster holding the leash, of course. All dogs, regardless of breed, must be raised with patience, understanding, and love. Keeping a dog chained is detrimental to his health and his mind, as is smacking him around for being a "bad boy". In the terrier world, this just does NOT fly. You must teach and master the rules of sit-stay-come-lay-leave it and recall. A proper time of socialization, standing from age 6 weeks (8 weeks being ideal for bringing a puppy home) and well up until the dog's first year, is always necessary. Many people like to cut it off around the 6-8 month mark, but learning continues all throughout life.

I have heard many aggressors speak out against the APBT - that it a vicious, vile animal with the will to snap at a moment's notice. APBT owners and lovers are often called out as "irrational". While I've heard the hysterics, I try my best to formally educate, but sometimes there is no fixing ignorance. I do not call it being "brash", or being "over-the-top" when it comes to defending any dog, regardless of breed. There are bad owners - no bad dogs. Because a dog follows commands, regardless of whether they are instructions to attack or instructions to sit, does not make it bad. I hear all too often that APBT lovers are "unreasonable" or "stupid", and that they're just trying to get more people to own a vicious breed, and how it MUST have been staged when they post pictures of a pit bull cuddling a child, or loving on baby chickens. What stand would you make to protect your favourite breed? It must go into account that while some breed lovers may be a bit too fanatic, they are often called out as "insane" for defending their dogs. I have yet to see an irrational response regarding the APBT on the defendant side. Most people try to calmly educate, but are told they're being unreasonable because it's just not possible for an APBT to be safe around other animals, let alone children. Well, there are many, many things and people that could disprove that theory. I'm an unreasonable jackass because I don't advocate killing off an entire breed based on horror stories and looks alone? Touche! Half the videos I've seen of "Pit Bull Attacks 3 Year Old!!!" don't even have a picture of the offending dog. Way to educate and teach tolerance! The mentality that people have regarding APBTs shocks me. How horrible would it be to come home and find that your beloved family pet has to be destroyed because it "looks like it may have Pit in it"? I don't think that's an irrational idea - it can happen, and it has. Breed-Specific Legislation affects more than pit bull owners.

Fortunately, the hooligans involved in the dog-fighting blood sport usually end up caught red-handed thanks to vigilant neighbors and caring SPCA members. This is what gives the APBT a bad name - the reputation to fight and kill, when really, all dogs have the ability. There are even incentives in the form of cash to encourage people to bust dog fighters.

Just a wee bit of information. When I return to school on the 5th, I'll share an anti-BSL report I wrote a while back. It's very informative and eye-opening.

Until then, don't forget to hug your pooch!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What's fair is fair... Right?

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my family, but they are certainly not animal-savvy, with the exception of my mom and I. I am solely responsible for walking my two dogs, bathing all four dogs (although sometimes my sister will bathe our Dachshund), and training, for the most part, has fallen on me. I love animals, and find them easier to be around than humans most of the time.

To the point - my stepdad spent an upwards of 1.5k on our English Bulldog, Tank. For the record, I reccommended to him that he take his business elsewhere and find another breeder, as the sire was extremely aggressive (tried to attack people through his fence, but my parents thought "It's okay, because he's protecting mama dog!". NO. Human aggression is NOT okay, in any circumstance, unless it comes when needed, ie, you're walking your dog and a stranger approaches with some nasty intentions.), and on top of it, the dogs were way off the breed standard. We all have heard my complaints about breed standards; even being age 15 at the time, I knew that if he was looking for a genuine bully, he'd be better off looking somewhere else. But of course, with the parent mentality, I was wrong about all aspects of the breeder and Tank was brought home with our two other dogs. Our intention was not to have any dogs at first, but after seeing Aero and Qrikket, we fell in love and were at their house nearly every day from puppyhood to handle them. Off the bat, Tank was aggressive, dominating, and was a bully. Even after being housetrained, he still has no qualms about lifting his leg on various objects in the house, and nor does our Dachshund. Interestingly enough, we got rid of Qrikket, who I had bonded to and taught 20+ tricks by age 4 months, for piddling (you know, hyperactive puppy stuff), and Tank continued to soil the house.

Fast forward two years. I have been the only one who has ever taken Tank for a walk in his three years of life, and I have only taken him around five times. The last time I walked him, he slipped his harness and chased a lady and her kids down the street to attack her dogs. Unlike many people, I do not try to fix problems that I know are beyond my range of skill because it can cause many more problems in the long haul. I have not walked Tank because I cannot control him if he decides he wants the dog on the other side of the street. He goes insane when any dog comes into view, female or male, German Shepherd or Yorkie. MY stepdad didn't take the effort to socialize him. IMO, if you don't have the time required to properly raise a puppy, you shouldn't have one.

My stepdad, who bought him purely on the premise of loving English Bulldogs, has nothing to do with him. Tank sits in a 6 x 4 cage almost 20 hours of the day, with exception to potty breaks and someone occasionally letting him out. I like Tank, and I think it is EXTREMELY unfair of my stepdad to keep him caged away. He cannot be let out with Aero and Buddy, as he is an instigator of fights (although he usually ended up in the vet with puncture wounds in his earlier days), so we have two packs going on in the house - Aero, Buddy, and the family, and Tank and Bentley. My stepdad refuses to neuter Tank (and trust me, I have suggested it on multiple occasions only to be waved away and told that "Tank will be a stud dog"), and he is, I believe, a cryptorchid. I cannot confirm this, as I'm not a vet, but one testicle appears to be undescended, which may mean he is sterile anyways. We all know the benefits of speutering, but apparently my stepdad was left out of this knowledgeable circle. There is even a lady wth four Englsh Bulldogs (the females are almost always bred on their heats, sadly), who offered a breeding to one of her female bullies. BIIIG no no. Never breed a dog with issues such as dog or human aggression.

My stepdad plays the computer for hours a day, whereas he could be walking the dog he loves so much. Recently, we have found someone who wants to adopt Tank - a good idea, IMO. He would be somewhere where he'd be loved, neutered (!), walked, and played with. He would be an only dog, so all their attention could be focused on him, like he deserves. Unfortunately, this hits a sour note - my stepdad refuses to give him up because he "loves him", and always suggests getting rid of OUR dogs (Buddy and Aero), although they are extremely well behaved family pets. The people are still willing to take Tank, but time and again it's refused. This is how I see it - Tank does not get exercise. He has spent most of his life in a cage, which I think is cruel beyond reason. My stepdad refuses to walk him, although he has plenty of time to do so and has more capability of controlling him should an issue with another dog arise. He also makes my siblings and I feed and water Tank... although he is usually sitting around 10 feet away from the crate, playing the computer. He loves Tank, but I think for him it's more the fascination with owning an English Bull. He certainly didn't do his homework when bringing the dog in, and now Tank is suffering for it. Sometimes I play with Tank, who loves nothing more than a good cuddle and playing fetch, but my stepdad has nothing to do with him unless it's the off occasion he decides he wants Tank out. He then spends about 10 minutes playing with the dog, and then goes back to his computer.

The situation angers me more than you know. I have told him to swallow his pride, it is in Tank's best interest that he goes to a home where there will be a more devoted owner, as has my mom, but he refuses to let go. It's sad seeing him sit around all day. My question is, what the hell do I do about this? As mean as it sounds, I've thought of letting Tank loose so that AC can pick him up and place him since my stepdad won't. My mom has tried to talk him down, as have I, but it just doesn't work. I am beyond frustrated by this.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Update on Buddy

I promised updates and Buddy, my obese lap dog, so here you go.

Buddy has lost about five pounds since I posted about him. The family is getting better at feeding, but there is still room for improvement. Currently (I know this will make me sound like a horrible owner), he goes on 3-4 walks a week with his brother about 45 minutes to an hour long. Also, my friend has brought my old GSD mix puppy Donovan to play with Buddy. At first, Buddy was a bit stand-offish, but them warmed up to him, realizing this was the puppy who he had spent three months with playing all the time. I've got to bring him over more often; Buddy spent nearly two hours running and playing with Donovan, and none of our other dogs are really that "into" playing with other dogs. They'd rather play with people. I'm working on upping exercise, but it has been gloomy and rainy on the days I have been home. None of my family is so inclined to walk any of our four dogs, so the job rests on me, even though I have 5 just-as-capable people in the household. I know I sound wimpy what with all you PNW'ers getting dumped on, but I'm a Cali girl whose town's temperature was somewhere in the mid 80's low 90's about two months ago, hehe.

I am now starting to be able to see a waistline, and his tummy is gradually shrinking upwards. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

An old man in need of a home.

Found this guy on Petfinder. This chilly holiday season, it would be nice for him to find a warm home and a family to love. Older dogs come with advantages; they're more often than not housebroken and many know basic obedience and even advanced commands.

Doesn't he look like a sweetie? His name is Adam. He is currently homed with the Washington German Shepherd Rescue in Arlington, WA., awaiting a loving home.

About Adam: "Adam lost his first home with a family move and was given to a second family...The second family ended up leaving him at their vet when someone in the household became very ill..and there Adam remained for 4 months..without a home. The vet office asked us to take him in and find him a new home!

Update: Adam loves to hang out with his doggy friend in the yard, ignores the farm animals (horses, chickens) and he does his best to keep up with the younger dog's energetic antics. He loves getting out and playing in the snow and has enjoyed just being outside with his family on short outings to finish the chores. He is an affectionate boy with great house manners, great with the cat in the household and he happily enjoys being inside with the family. Adam can be somewhat shy at first, but warms up quickly when given a few moments to get to know new people. Adam is a great dog to have around. He is easy to please, happy to be loved and eager to return his affection. If you'd like to give an old guy a comfortable retirement, please consider Adam.....he most certainly deserves the very best in his golden years. Adam is best suited in an adult only home.

Please fill out an application to meet me at The adoption process includes completion of an adoption application, a vet check, a home visit and a lifetime adoption contract."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pictures I dug up.

You know what it's like to go through a photo album. So, I present to you the dogs of my album. They are all either personal pets or pets of my relations. No sticky paws!

From top:

1) My dad's Golden Retriever, Tug, playing with their friends Malinois puppy.
2) Tank my stepdad's English Bulldog, as a puppy. Cheese! I love the fat little paws.
3) My uncle's APBT/Dalmatian/Pointer cross hiding from a thunderstorm in the cabinet. Isn't it strange how a dog who has lived in Florida for his entire 10 years can still be afraid of storms?
4) Bandit, my uncle's elderly border terrier who passed away a few months ago. He liked to play hide and seek.
5) My old Basset, Alex, and my uncle. Cute, huh? Nothing makes the heart melt like wrinkly, slobbering hound dog. Childhood dog.
6) Sister to my dog Buddy and his brother Aero as a puppy. She was probably 4 weeks old in the picture. Smartest dog I've ever had.
7) Older Qrikket, this time around 3 months old.
8) More Qrikket, featuring me. I was around 14...?
9) Buddy and Bentley, our Miniature Dachshund, cuddling. Please note, that's not my toe in the picture.
10) Buddy, Aero, and Tank hanging out with my cousin while camping.
11) Baby Black Bear hamster, runt of the litter from our old hamster Kush.
12) My friend's blue APBT puppy.

Got any candid cams of your favorite four legged friends? I'd like to see them! If you do not know how to create a link, feel free to post the URL. I'm sorry about the funky way everything's arranged. I can't seem to get it right, but you get the idea, right? :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Keeping your dog safe in the backyard.

I'd like to share with you a few things I've picked up along the way that come in handy as a dog owner. Everyone has their tools and tried-and-true methods, so here are mine.

When someone says that they have an electric fence to keep their dog from jumping over, I shudder. I can't stress this enough: electric fences are dangerous and are NOT an effective tool. Electric collars are designed to zap your dog once it leaves the boundaries of marked fencing. The dog is expected to stay behind the fencing. But what happens when the dog ignores the collar and goes over the fence anyway? An unpleasant surprise and a nasty shock. Not only does it cause physical pain, but can damage a dog psychologically, so much so that they may even be afraid to enter their own backyard. What do I reccommend in place of an electric collar / fence combo?

a) Vigilance. Keep an eye on your dog at all times in the yard.
b) A long lead with which to walk your dog in the backyard (10 ft and excess is good). These leashes are often seen on dogs who are learning recall, or are sometimes used by the conscientious owner to keep a hold on their dog while it's swimming. Note, I don't reccommend you go out and walk your dog with this same leash.
c) A run. If you set up a cable to have your dog tied to, make sure they can move freely with probably a 7 foot lead. Also, make sure your cable is tied securely and away from fences to prevent the chance of accidental hanging. Yes, it happens. A dog can go right over and never reach the ground on the other side. Make sure to provide food, water and shelter as appropriate when the dog is outside.
d) This is the simplest solution of all, but a bit more costly. If your dog is a notorious fence hopper/climber... get new fencing! On average, you should go two to three feet higher than the previous fence, but of course, depending on the dog, you may only need to go a bit higher. Wood is the reccommended material, chain link fencing, not so much. Dogs may get their toes or paws caught and injured.
e) Keep the backyard interesting. Hide treats, play games, stash toys around the yard. Kong balls filled with kibble and treats will keep your dog entertained, and if not, a bone would do good (I like to give my dogs raw shank bones).

A few tips to help you keep your escape artist in the yard. Enjoy! I haven't had internet access the past few days, sorry.

PS: To clear up the confusion: There is no problem between Fugs and I. I'm not quite sure where that comment came from, but it's totally untrue.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I know this is a dog blog, but this one hits a personal note.

About a week ago, my mom woke me up saying she had found a hurt stray cat. Upon further observation, we found kitty had two large bite wounds in his right side. Kitty was sweet. He never hissed or scratched, despite the pain he must have been feeling. After giving him a warm place to sleep overnight, my mom and her friend brought him to the Lake Elsinore Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter. Kitty, now dubbed Chester, is up for adoption. Unfortunately, as with many cases, the owner did not come forward to claim him. He was obviously domesticated and used to handling. He is now looking for a new home. If you have room in your heart, please visit their website.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ogle of the Day

Have a look at this. It's plagued me for a long time... "Old-Fashioned German Shepherds". Meaning an overweight, oversized, and generally unattractive (imo) version of a GSD. Something I certainly wouldn't breed, regardless of OFA scores. You see, I'm a person who believes that when you breed dogs, you should focus on the standard, rather than trends, eye appeal, or whatever other reason there may be for breeding poor quality dogs. Is it just me, or do these guys look like oversize, plush teddy bears? I'll give them kudos, as "Zack" is very cute. On the side of their page, it links more "oversize GSD breeders". OVERsized. Too big, wide load. Good thing you have OFA testing going on, because I have a feeling most of these guys' hips are going to cave in by the time they reach 6. While they aren't breeding the "roach-backed" GSD variety we so often see, it's still disheartening to see people trying to blow the GSD out of proportion and way off from the breed standard. And gluing puppies ears sounds kind of cruel to me. I know many people do it (we had a lady in our Schutzhund class glue her pups ears), but I just can't imagine how annoying it would be to have your ears glued together. I am a natural dog owner - let them stay as they sit! If your dog's ears aren't perky, then maybe it's time for better breeding practices (omg, yes, prick and non-prick ears are hereditary, who knew?) and maybe NOT letting your oversize drop-eared GSD breed so you can glue more drop-eared puppies.

I just don't get it - it's like breeding shortwide pits, IMO. I think "Old-Fashioned" GSDs are too bulky, and that takes away a lot of their utility and athleticism. The GSD loves to work, and the added weight just may hinder that ability. Maybe I'm a little stiff with my notions on breeding, but (with the exception of the brachycephalic breeds) the standard is there not only for looks, but with the dog's health in mind.

I'm not calling these people out as bad breeders or anything (most I have seen do OFA testing), but I don't support breeding outside the standard. If I had it my way, 3/4 of the canine population would be spayed and neutered... but I don't. :P

Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My Cuddle Buddy

Woah people, it's not what it sounds like. I swear, lol.

But, giggling aside, this is my dog Buddy. If you read my previous posts, he's my hybrid mix family protector / beanbag / aspiring lap dog. At about 120 pounds now, and his head just level with my hip (I'm about 5'6"), I'm afraid he may be a little too cuddly. He is overweight, and I'm concerned. My parents and siblings overfeed him. He's in a pen with his brother (that's their "house" when it's sleep time), so when it's food time, Buddy scarfs down a big silver bowl (no joke, like an industrial size mixing bowl) to keep Aero from eating. They never fight over food; Buddy just hogs it. Aero is a normal weight, about 95, and about a half inch shorter than Buddy. I do try to intervene. I take out the bowls, when I see them, and give each dog about 3 cups to eat separately, BUT... I'm not always there, and though I've spoken with my parents, they insist the dogs be allowed to free feed. I've tried to explain that yes, dogs can get diabetes, and yes, they can get arthritis and Buddy's fat isn't going to make him feel any better when it's bearing down on his joints. I no longer give Buddy table scraps. Next time I get money, I plan on buying him a doggie backpack and going hiking since it's getting cold outside.

So... thus begins the transformation. I can only try to get people to stop feeding him so much, but I can definitely up the exercise. Every once in a while I'll let you guys know how he's progressing (it's like having his very own Lifetime drama, lol).

I'd also like to request some information from the readers. If my parents are going to feed him so much, I'd actually prefer it be diet. I've never had to put a dog on a diet before, so I was wondering if any of you more experienced readers could drop me a tip. What are some good brands to look for when putting a dog on a diet? Right now they eat whatever gets picked up from the store (yuck I know, but at least we never bring home Ol' Roy or Kibbles 'n Bits or Beneful), but they're usually on Canidae... which, I heard, went through some nasty ingredient changes and kind of ruined it.