Sunday, August 30, 2009
I was with my mom the other day. While she was reading the paper, she showed me an article about how dogs are being used to rehabilitate prisoners. The prisoners in the article were not cold-blooded, rather young women who would up serving time in situations such as shoplifting. One of the girls who was in the program was planning on getting her GED after finishing out the program. Working to help her dog gave he a new hope. Being able to work with and help train a dog helped her realize what was really important in life.
There have been many programs sprouting up in this country as well as some places abroad. Dogs are brought into minimum and medium security prisons to let model inmates train them. Some dogs are trained so they can be socialized, others are trained to be therapy dogs. There's also a small fraction of dogs who are trained to be assistance dogs such as guide dogs.
With hard work and patience, life has more meaning for those serving time in prison. Yes, their crimes are what got them there in the first place, but after an inmate has served their time, what do they do afterwards? These type of programs give the inmates hope and a chance to start fresh.
The beauty of these programs is that it gives the prisoners a chance work in a situation where they are not judged. Since dogs love unconditionally, they don't need to put up walls or pretend to be something they're not. It helps prisoners to realize that there is hope for them when they finish their sentence. They get the reward of knowing they've helped make a dog's life better and fuller as a result of their hard work.
If you would like to read more about how these programs work you may want to check out 4Paws For Ability or Neads. Neads.org has an incredible video that really captures the essence of why these programs are so special.
Well, thanks for stopping in. I hope that you all are having a great day.
Friday, August 28, 2009
The Petco Chihuahua Races National Championship was originally supposed to happen this weekend. However, due to the fact that Tropical Storm Danny is headed for the New York Coast, it was cancelled in the best interest of the pets' safety. Petco will be rescheduling the contest for later this year.
While learning about the fate of the contest, I read an incredible story I'd like to share with you. In the Chicago regional final, one of the dogs Bella, whom is pictured above wound up winning second place. What is so special about that? Well, it turned out that Bella had ruptured her cranial cruciate ligament. Many of you may remember that Cookie had a similar injury. While Cookie has been lucky enough to not have surgery, —the only trade off being that she can't jump as high as she used to— Bella had to have surgery on the same ligament that required a lateral suture to help repair the injury. She had been recuperating for quite a few months. Her owners had her enter this race for the fun of it. It turned out to be ironic that she beat out last year's finalist Chalupa in the recent race.
If you would like to read the full story you can visit the link here. Well, I have to tell you guys that things have been a little more hectic for me lately with work, school and working on my friend's website. Thanks for stopping in and I will have more for you this weekend. :)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This Week's Pup
Here is the website link: Puppy Namer
Well, I hope you all are having a great week. Thanks for stopping in.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Ed Panosh and Molson, his dog in Chicago
While many of us are comfortably in America, there are many soldiers from other countries fighting for our freedom in the Middle East. One of the soldiers, Ed Panosh, 37, who is part of the Illinois National Guard, was lucky enough to have his dog called Molson, come home to him. It was no easy task. With the help of a charity that helps reunite soldiers with their dogs, they were able to fly Molson 7,000 miles from Afghanistan. She left on May 28 but didn't get to Chicago till July 15. She flew from a Canadian camp southwest of Kandahar, flown to Kabul, then to Islamabad, Pakistan, then to New York, and then to Chicago.
Panosh first met this dog as a puppy when some Canadian troops found her at abandoned checkpoint. They named her Molson after the beer that is a favorite in Canada. She was a great support and lifted the troops spirit. Now that she's living in Chicago, she is adjusting to small things like grass, people and the foot of her owner's bed as her favorite sleeping spot. Panosh, who is now a Chicago police detective is considering making her a therapy dog, so she can continue helping out people.
If you would like to read more about Molson, check out the following sites:
CBS 2 Chicago
Well, that's all for now. Thanks for stopping in.:)
Monday, August 24, 2009
Being that August is called the Dog Days of Summer, a great way to keep your dog cool is giving them ice cream that's made for dog. You can make your own or buy some.
The recipe I came across that I liked best was from the House Dog where she came up with a recipe for dog ice cream:
- 3 cups of water
- 1 cup of non-fat yogurt
- 1/4 cup of honey
2 cups low salt beef or chicken broth
2/3 cup water
2 or 3 ice cube trays
Small rawhide sticks
Mix water with beef or chicken broth and pour into ice cube trays R. Place in freezer and serve cold. Add a rawhide stick halfway through the freezing. This recipe is quick, easy, and fun. It's probably best to serve this dish outside.
4 cups rice milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey or peanut butter
Set paper cupcake liners into a muffin tin. In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Use a cup with a spout to pour the mixture into the muffin cups. Freeze.
To serve, remove paper liner and place treat in dog or cat bowl.
For a double treat, place a miniature dog biscuit in the filled muffin tin before freezing.
Although some of these recipes have yogurt, the amount of lactose in yogurt should be low enough, not to upset their digestive systems.
Also, there are some companies that make it so you don't have to do any of the work. Some of them are:
Cold Nose Creamery You can pick this up in Ayer, Massachuesetts and parts of Connecticut.
Frosty Paws This ice cream can be found in most grocery stores all over the country.
Waggs Foods in Britain also creates dog ice cream that was formulated by nutritionists. You can read more about it here.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The one thing all three of these dogs have in common is the fact they were very fearful when they came to their new home. Fancy, the mastiff is extremely fearful of strangers. Some of you may remember the post I wrote called Understanding Fancy. Fancy for some reason with me always felt threatened. I could be 10 feet away from her and she would still feel the need to bark at me. Being good with dogs normally, I did some research so I would know what to do in the future.
One of the best ways to overcome a fearful dog that likes to bark at you is to ignore them. If you pretend they are not in the room, they will not feel as threatened. (Come to think of it, when I was working in the kitchen, minding my own business, that's when Fancy was really quiet.)
Another thing is don't make any attempt to pet the dog. It's well intentioned sure but the dog thinks your wanting to reach out an hurt him or her. With the right amount of patience, the dog will come around on its own. Some will be more fearful than others. It could be that they came from an abused or neglectful household, or in Fancy's case, it's an inherent trait of the breed. Mastiffs in general, tend to be wary of strangers.
Finally, if you're an owner, it helps to train your dog to give them a job. The two dogs you see in the other picture, were taught how to play the game fetch by his owner. Before they had learned the frisbee game, they were so terrified, they couldn't get out of their crate. Now, that they have their job,--playing frisbee--, they get so excited when they see one of those flying discs. They know they have a job to do, and are ready to do it. All dogs can learn how to play fetch, but some you will have to work on it more than others.
When I play with Cookie, I can throw the toy down the hall and she'll be right after it. With Gigi, she likes to be teased a little and after that, I'll throw the toy. Gigi will wait a moment, and then go chasing after it.
If your dog is into fetch no matter what you do, then there are other tasks that can be taught. For example, if you have a big dog and you're taking it on a walk or taking it hiking, you can put a doggie backpack on the dog. Put some water bottles or suntan lotion and your dog's demeanor will change. If you have a dog like an Alaskan Malamute, you can get it in the habit of pulling a sled in the winter or a wagon in the summer.
I will be curious to see what will happen the next time I'm around Fancy. If any of you have any tips that helped you, please share by leaving a comment. Hope you all are enjoying the weekend! Thanks for stopping in.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Riley from the Cutest Dog Competition
Do you have the cutest dog in the whole wide world? What about the picture that captures its cuteness to a tee? If so, then you may want to check out the Cutest Dog Competition.
There are 12 weeks in the contest. Right now, they are on week #3. One lucky winner per week will win $500. From there, they will choose 4 finalists. The three runners-up will win $5,000 dollars and the grand prize winner will win $1,000,000 USD.
You need to know three things though.
1. Pictures can't be larger than 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels.
2. Your photo size can't be larger than 250 kbs.
3. You can enter only one picture a week. Anyone who enters more than once a week will automatically disqualified.
You can find out more at the Cutest Dog Competition Website. Thanks for stopping in. If any of you have entered this contest, I'd love to hear from you or drop a comment in our section.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Statue of Liberty
Go Get It!!!
As Always, I love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping in...
Monday, August 17, 2009
I've never really done this for a blog post before but as you all know, there are many good dogs seeking a good home. This one owner struck me because they have had no choice but to give up their dog. The dog resides in Georgia. If you live in the area and are looking for a new member to join your family, you may want to check out Buddy's story.
Thank you all. Hope your day is full of beauty and peace.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
One of Michael Vick's Dogs at Best Friends
*Photo courtesy of MSNBC
The biggest piece of news that caught my eye was the fact that Michael Vick has now found a team to call home. Just over two weeks ago, he was allowed back into football. For all of you who live in Philadelphia, welcome your newest player. It has been said that Donovan McNabb was instrumental in bringing in this guy. It's nice to see that he stuck his neck out but after reading Michael Vick's comments, I just can't believe what he's saying. I hope he's learned something from this, but only Vick knows for sure.
There are three ironic things about this story. One, Philadelphia was one of 26 teams that had made a public statement that they weren't interested in Michael Vick. Two, Michael Vick's agent said that as soon as a team had an injured player, interest in Vick would increase. Sure enough, a player named Kevin Kolb has been sidelined with a strained knee ligament. I don't know if that was the Eagles' management main desire to sign him, but it sure echoes what his agent said about the interest increasing when he was shopping Vick to other teams. Three, most of the fans in Philly are optimistic about this.
Well, if Philly is ok with this, this is a business decision and the Eagles are willing to give him a shot good for MV, then more power to them. While it's admirable that he's working with the Humane Society, is it genuine or is it part of an act to get back into the good graces of the public?
I think if it's about football, and the NFL finds that he didn't violate their code of personal conduct so be it. Please keep him away from living dogs though. He can do public service announcements with a large poster of a dog in the background but I think he should stay away from real dogs.
He's in a situation that is very volatile. Once he's playing in the game, the public will have a short memory about what he and his friends put those dogs through. I know there will be some who can't forget, but one can't deny the popularity of football and nothing gives sports fans greater joy than seeing their beloved team win. Sad, but true. If you would like to see what other sportswriters are saying about this you can see it all at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have a great night.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I'm finding that patience and calmness is the best course of action a person can take. If you let a dog's uneasiness get the better of your emotions, then the dog will sense that and it could have a snowball effect. I still have a couple more days to go, so maybe things will improve.
Have any of you ever had a similar situation happen? Well anyway, have a great day and thanks for stopping in. :)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Good Morning Everyone! Did you know that Petco will be having it's 5th Annual Chihuahua races at the end of this month? Actually, it will be on August 29. So far two dogs have won the regional finals. They are 8 pound Charley from Dallas and 11 pound Ivey from Chicago. They will fly with the other five winners on Jet Blue Airlines to New York City for the championship plus 2 Night double occupancy hotel package in New York City. However, this is for the areas that are far. Places like Philadephia will not offer free flights because of its close proximity to New York.
This is a great contest. The first place winner will receive:
- 1 year supply of Royal Canin Chihuahua Dog Food
- $300 PETCO Gift Card
- Traveling Trophy replica
If you would like to read more about this, please check out the Chihuahua Races website. The remaining cities to hold their regional finals are Boston, Miami and Philadelphia, this Saturday.
I have to tell you. I will be dog sitting for the next few days. I'll be with a beautiful Mastiff called Fancy and an adorable Chinese Crested Dog named Harry. My posts may be more infrequent because of this but I still have many good ones in store to read once I get back.
Thanks to you all for stopping in. I hope you have a wonderful day. I'm off to work. :)
Monday, August 10, 2009
*Photo from: The Daily Telegraph
...for the boxer you see above. An Israeli woman named Rivkah flying from Paris to Tel Aviv paid the airline $32,000 dollars to have her dog fly business class. She had lived with him in France for over eight years. El Al never had a request before but the fact that the lady had a strong bond with her dog and was willing to pay the extra money, they removed a row of chairs to accommodate her carrierThe 60 year-old woman did whatever was possible not to have her dog flying in the cargo section. If you would like to read this story in its entirety, please visit the Daily Telegraph.
As shocking as this story is I can see it from both sides so I have to say I'm torn. What are your thoughts? Hope you all are having a good week. Thanks for stopping in.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Rocky, SSR's 2009 Dog of the Year
There are many children in school that can find reading difficult. All kids have the ability to learn but some learn better using different methods. Chicago has a huge public school system. Many of the inner-city schools do not have the resources and have greater demands on their teachers. As a result, many of the children fall through the cracks.
When I first heard about Sit, Stay, Read a couple of years ago, I was thrilled. What it involves is having a dog sit next to a child and just listen. Dogs are non-judgemental and their presence is a comfort to the children. Children become less self-conscious and are able to focus on reading the materials they have in front of them.
Since the program began, there has been a 20% increase in their words per minute. I used to tutor students and the better the speed, the better their comprehension. The dogs used for the program are given a stringent test to make sure that they are not aggressive and are a good match for the program. If you would like to learn more, here is their website:
Sit, Stay, Read
I hope you all have enjoyed the weekend. If you have had anything like this in your city, please share it here. Have a great night
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Sherpa Pet Carrier
Some of you may have read about the airlines for pets called Pet Airways. However, for those of you who own a dog that's 22 pounds or less, another option for traveling with your pet, is the Sherpa Pet Carrier.
These carriers were originally created by the owner Gayle Martz, when she couldn't find a carrier she liked to transport her Lhasa Apso. After creating the carrier she liked, she then petitioned the airlines to accept her bag as a way to transport small pets without having to put them in the cargo hold. Now, it's a routine thing with a huge percentage of the airlines allowing dogs and cats in cabin, as long as they are properly contained. If you are wondering if your favorite airline allows this form of transport, you can check the airline list at Sherpa.
The prices for these carriers start out around $60 USD. In some places you may find some styles that are less. It's important to get a styled bag that you know will be short enough to slide under the seat. It is for these reasons that the weight limit of the largest bag goes up to 22 pounds. Any dogs that are larger may not fit under the seat because their height and/or width may exceed the carrier's specifications.
Have any of you used one of these for your pets? If so, I would love to hear about it. Feel free to drop a comment or e-mail me. Thanks for stopping in. Hope you guys are all enjoying the weekend.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I came across this video when I was doing some research for another article. This dog actually swims underwater. I was amazed by it so it's officially Too Kool Doggies video of the week. This guy seems to be having fun!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Pets are very similar to kids. They have lots of joy and emotion but can get distracted at a moment's notice. Snapping a great picture of your pet is no small feat.
After taking many pictures of my dogs, talking to my friend Boaz, who is a photographer and doing research, I came up with these pet photography tips.
- Try to avoid using a flash. When I try to snap a picture of Cookie indoors, she'll look at me once, and then she knows I want to take pictures, but after the first I get the cold shoulder . Flash also gives your pet the "greeneye " effect. So what are other options you have?
- Take pictures outdoors. You can get some really stunning pictures on a sunny day when your pet is tune with nature. They are in their element and are more relaxed. There's nothing like seeing a Golden Retriever laying on the grass, a Bichon Frise frolicking in the sand or a Siberian Husky playing in the snow.
- Use indirect light. You'll need sufficient light in the background to light the photo. An example would be by a window or if you have a skylight in your house, that may be a good source too. Also, If you take the lampshade off of a lamp and find a way to flood the light into the background, that may be a good way too. If you're outdoors, make sure the animal isn't directly in the sunlight.
- Keep the background simple. Put a white sheet against the wall with pushpins to keep the focus on your animal. If you're outside, take a picture where there aren't many objects to distract the focus from your photography subject.
- Have a favorite toy or bone handy. This was a tip from Boaz. It's a great way to grab your pets attention and snap them quickly.
- Have your camera set as fast as possible. Make sure your camera isn't left on the time delay mode. Animals move so fast that you have to keep snapping several shots to get that one ideal shot.
- If you're one of the camera dinosaurs that use film, get a high speed film such as 400 ISO or 800 ISO. Those are good ranges to snap pictures for animals. I must confess that as much I enjoy using my camera, I haven't been able to part with my film cameras as well. They offer you that element of surprise and a savvy photographer will be able to tell when that memorable moment was taken. Nine out of ten times, it has worked for me in the past.
- Take your dog for a walk before taking its picture. Animals have excess energy and they will be calmer after a walk. It will help them focus, especially the high energy ones.
- Catch them sleeping on the job. Animals have a look of contentment when they are asleep. If they are sleeping well, they won't care what you're doing and you'll be able to get a few good pictures in.
- Snap a picture at their level. If you take a picture at the level of the animal, it brings them to life. It tends to capture their true essence. Get a low angle shot if you want to give the photo a majestic air.
- Get Close up! The closer you get with your lens, the more the animal will be the focal point of the photo. You don't want to get too close because there is a chance the photo will lose sharpness and/or part of the animal will be cut out of the picture. Many portraits are done with a great closeup. Some even just get a shot of the animal's face and neck.
- Get an action shot. Nothing is cooler than snapping a picture of your dog playing fetch or even gnawing on his bone. If you have a dog that's not the type to sit around, this may be a better way to go.
- Enter a pet photo contest. This may be something for those of you are more advanced. Why do I say this? Well, if you enter a contest, usually the ones online will have a comment section. If you have a picture you want to share, entering a contest is a good way to find out if your picture is run of the mill or something extraordinary.
- Share your photo on social media sites. I love Twitpic for showing photos. It's a great application for sharing photos and getting feedback.
- Get your friend to snap a picture of you and your pet. If you are interacting with your pet in a low-key way where it's as if the camera doesn't exist, sometimes those pictures look better for which the animal is posing. You'll also have a unique photo of you and your pet.
- Have patience!!! This is one of the most important things you need to take a worthy picture. If you don't rush yourself and just enjoy the time, waiting it out may be the best thing if all else fails.
Here are some websites that may be a good source for additional information:
Digital Photography School
You may want to check out Boaz's site as well since he does lots of photography. His site is about music and photography called Cougar Microbes
I hope that you all will find these tips helpful. If any of you have some of your own, feel free to jump in below in the comments area. Hope you all have a great day and thanks for stopping in.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Today was the first day I had taken the dogs to the beach this summer. I had been meaning to take them sooner but with school and family demands I was always tied up. It turns out today was a perfect day for doing this. The weather was warm but not too warm to make the sand burn your bare feet. The water was a little cold but wasn't bad once I got used to it.
Even though I didn't get too wet, it seems that Gigi (my little black dog) wants absolutely nothing to do with the water and Cookie (my little gray dog) only likes to wade along the edge. Still, it was interesting to see how the dogs interacted and how some of them loved the water.
Well, I'm off for now. Have a great Sunday everyone! Hope you enjoy the pictures below.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Hi TKD Fans! I'm back sooner than I thought to tell you these two stories that I was compelled to share. These stories take place on the two coasts. One is good, one is bad, both are unbelievable.
The good one is the story of a 35-year-old woman named Krisna Torress saving her neighbor's chihuahua from choking to death. How did she do it? She did it by giving the dog CPR. Even more incredible was the fact that she was able to do so by watching it on tv. Catch more of the story at this site.
The not-so-good one was printed in the New York Daily News. It tells the story of Oreo, a one-year-old terrier mix who was thrown from a six-story building. The perpetrator was a nineteen-year-old named Fabian Henderson. There were at least one previous complaint to the ASPCA that the dog was being beaten. (Obviously, this teen had some anger management issues.) To top it off, he actually said the dog jumped off the side of the building. Never mind the fact that there were at two neighbors who called in the crime to the ASPCA and the fact that the wall was almost 3 feet 8 inches (1.2 meters) high. Oreo was a 45 pound female. Needless to say, the sweet girl had an angel watching over her because she survived the fall. To read this more in detail, check it out at the New York Daily News Website.
Well guys, it is the weekend. Hope you're enjoying yours and thanks again for stopping in!