Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Steve Dale & Partners for Healthy Pets

Sometimes little doggies like me get lucky and meet some really important people who have made a big impact in other dogs' and cats' lives. I was fortunate to have had an opportunity to meet some of those people through an invitation from Blogpaws. Laura Colar was very gracious and made me feel welcome providing detailed information on what was to happen at the Partners for Healthy Pets event in Chicago. I even got to meet a very special  fellow blogger - Dolly the Doxie with whom I had plenty of opportunity to share some sniffs and a water bowl (sending Dolly a great big WOOF!). 
Dr. Tracey Hlede  &  Mr. Steve Dale  - can you tell I am star struck!?
Steve Dale, a well known Chicago pet expert, certified behaviour consultant, journalist, radio host, guest speaker, writer, my hero and someone who has truly made a difference in the dog and cat communities -- was the special speaker at the event.  Steve discussed the initiative to reduce preventable diseases in cats and dogs by encouraging owners to bring their pets to the vet for wellness exams. Veterinarians have noticed that pet owners have been waiting to take their dogs and cats to the vet until they see a change in behaviour or it is too late. Sadly, people waiting until the problems get worse or after they have exhausted asking friends, neighbors or doing internet research before seeing their veterinarians could make a difference between quality and length of life for an animal. 
Dr. Hlede explains the importance for wellness exams
I also met Dr. Tracey Hlede from the local Ridge Animal Clinic. Dr. Hlede performed a thorough exam on her chihuahua Sadie.  She explained why it was important to have thorough check ups and what veterinarians are looking for when performing these comprehensive wellness exams.
Dr. Tracey Hlede demonstrates a wellness exam on her chihuahua Sadie.
The Partners for Healthy Pets committee of healthcare professionals from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. They look to help communicate, bring notice to and encourage regular vet visits and yearly wellness checkups. By bringing in your dog and cat for yearly wellness checks, you give your veterinarian opportunity to find any questionable issues or ailments and catch them early. As you now most of us doggies and kitties can't talk -- but we speak through our actions. The last time I was ill, I kept walking away to be by myself in another room and  stopped eating. My momma took me to the vet as soon as possible and we learned I had a little bit of stomach trouble. Thankfully, nothing serious. During the event,  we heard from another wonderful lady whose cat began to 'go' on her bed -- and this was a sign for her to take her cat to the vet. She learned her cat was quite ill and she was able to get him proper treatment.  Sadly, sometimes animals do not give any visible clues that they are ill, the more reason why you should bring your pets in for yearly wellness check ups. 

To learn more about Partners for Healthy Pets or for questions about what an annual checkup entails, needs veterinary referrals or would like to sign up to receive reminders for those yearly visits -- check out:

Mr. Steve Dale meets Sadie the Chihuahua (she's a cutie!)
Mr. Mike Grossman  he was first to greet me when I arrived!  Here I am giving him my card.
Mr. Steve Dale  invites audience participation. 

I even met a cute whippet girl named Rosie, who gave me a little kiss.  
Her momma is Crystal Alperin of the blog Parenting Without a Parachute.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: New Hat!

Just got this new hat  It is supposed to go well with my Bears football jersey for when I watch the game... if  only we could find it...
                        It's Bears football weather allright... so what do you think of my new hat?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Full Disclosure In Adoption is Important

Just yesterday I did a therapy visit at a local hospital.  One of the families we visited said they wanted to adopt a puppy but were not ready to deal with the bathroom mess.  I suggested they go to because they list almost every rescue and foster in the area and pretty much across the US.  I also suggested they go for an older dog that is perhaps 2 years old or more.  Explaining that this way, they know most of the baggage a dog comes with.  In example, if the dog is a barker, if it likes children, level of exercise needed, medical challenges, if it does better in a home with no other pets or if it gets along with cats. These are all very important pieces of information.    They may have been given up by someone who had to move due to losing their home,  not getting along with a dog the person already had, a new child or the owner passing away or moving.   

The truth is, one is better off choosing a pet already in the system if they want a dog for their family but they themselves are not necessarily dog lovers.  Now why do I say this? Because most people  who are not 'dog' people,  may have had a bad past experience.  Maybe a dog bit them, maybe it barked too much, maybe it was destructive or messed in their house - all common reasons why people give up dogs.  But, if this same person meets a dog who doesn't mess in the house, doesn't bark incessantly, is good with children and just behaves -- they may like dogs a whole lot more (even if they don't turn into 'dog' people).  A favorable outcome to ensure the dog's home is forever.    

In contrast, people who have always been dog lovers already have the expectation that with a newly adopted dog there may be barking, messes and required training - something a non-dog lover may not want to deal with.   So to all I say -- adopt a dog already in the system and learn everything you can about it.  This will help when you are deciding which behaviors you can accept in a dog.   

All these are reasons why people need to be honest about everything they find wrong about their dog when giving it up for adoption.  While one person can tolerate a dog who barks when the doorbell rings and at visitors, another may not because they have a baby that needs sleep. It is not good to make these discoveries after a person has adopted a dog.  That same person may give up the dog again or set it loose on the street.  Not good for the dog. 

Recently, a friend told me that she was fostering a dog along with her own dog and cat.  The dog seemed friendly and sweet.  Until she brought it to her house.  It terrorized her cat and would go into crazy attack mode.  She would try to keep the foster away from her cat, but the foster would make every attempt to get at the cat (within line of sight) causing chaos in her home.  It also went after her small dog, but appeared  more focused on the cat.  After several days, she brought the foster dog back to the shelter and informed them it should not be anywhere near cats and preferably, in a home with no other small dogs. Warning to keep away from cats as it appeared to view them as 'prey.'  Another woman on staff at the shelter took the foster dog home indicating she was not worried because her cat would always hide anyway and would stay away from the foster.  Sadly, within a few days the fostered dog attacked the cat and killed it.  The woman then brought the foster back to the shelter and the dog was adopted out to a single male.  My hope is that the man was given full disclosure and told what the dog had done - and that it should be kept away from cats and small dogs.  In cases like this,  it is very scary and good reasons why full disclosure is necessary.   
I encourage you to tell friends and neighbors planning to give up their pet to be honest.  Someone else may not mind a barking dog, or a dog that doesn't get along with kids or one that needs additional training.  You would only be doing what's best for the dog to get the best home possible -- and preparing future owners to deal with whatever the challenges may be.  To that, here is the current note we sent to the local chihuahua community about a dog we are currently fostering.  She is a challenge, but nevertheless worth the patience.    Please read on and see how we introduced her - and if you are interested, she is still available.  ;o) 

A Small Challenge If You Will...
This adorable tiny chihuahua is desperate for stability.  A home with no children and only older adults who are not planning to bring children into the home.  No cats, no other pets/dogs, and if other dogs, must be mellow, a non-puppy, relaxed and non confrontational, preferably male.  Will accept another small  dog  or chihuahua that is male.  She gets along with Monkey and Piranha just fine.
This little one has severe separation anxiety.  The trauma she has faced from having already changed several homes she thought were forever has made it difficult for her to trust.   When you pet or approach she may cower in fear or growl in belief you are going to hurt her.  So you will be challenged in that at first, she may not easily trust you.  Once she does, she will follow you around wherever you go.  But then if you leave her, again, separation anxiety will come back because she thinks you are abandoning her.  She prefers to nap, sleep, eat  and sit by you.  Now, you will find if you go to the store, the doctor or to take a shower, the little one will cry, and yes, here's the challenge, she will cry all night.  She will cry until you cannot take it anymore and bring her to sleep with you - she just wants to be with you.  But, if you decide to wait it out, she will become accustomed to being left alone napping with her little lamb. Oh, did we forget to mention she does not come alone?  She brings with her the only piece and constant in her short 6+ year old life.  A stuffed and raggedy little lamb.  The lamb is bigger than her.  No matter, she still carries it with her, sleeps with and lays next to it and cuddles it.
You will also find that this little one will never 'go' in your house.  We let her out several times during the day and night and she goes right away and comes back in.  But let's say you fall asleep on the sofa and she needs to go, she will bark and cry and let you know, doing her best to not mess in your house.
This little one's charms are delightful.  She will smile and grin repeatedly when she wants a bite of what you're having (she eats dog food but only gets people food if is safe for dogs). She will also sit pretty and try to get your attention.  She is a charmer who will capture your heart beyond words with her tiny little tail and sad little eyes, this 5.2 lb darling is the cuddle bug you need.  She is up to date with her shots and was recently spayed.  All she needs is people who are loving and extremely patient with understanding that things and trust take time.  Someone who will not abuse her or cause her pain.
Have it in your heart to say this baby will suffer no more, and bring her into your home to love and care for.  Sure she is a challenge and has special needs, but all she has had are circumstances where trust in people has been broken. Sort of like starting over after divorcing (and more than once) that cannot be easy.
Please let us know if you are interested in this little one, Requirements to adopt this little darling:
~No kids, no kids, no toddlers, no babies, no pre teens, no, no, no one coming to terrorize her
~No cats, no cats, no cats
~No puppies or overly rambunctious dogs that will rough house her to play
~A home without a dog, or if there is one, a non confrontational relaxed male is favorable
~Patience.  Lots of it. You will hear noise, you will hear crying, you will hear barking.  But once you are over the trust  hump, she is quiet as a mouse in your house and you will only hear from her if she needs to 'go'
~She eats little, she poops little and she does not take up much room
~She had a several recent check ups (as late as last week) and she was cleared at a full 100 percent good condition
This little baby is ready for her forever home.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thanks to All Our Veterans!

Freedom is not free and we are grateful for your service to our country.
Thank you for sacrificing your lives to keep us safe from harm.
A special thanks and woof to my Daddy who is also a Veteran.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Chihuahua Wrestling

 November is pet health month!
Playing together helps keep doggies like me active, healthy and fit.  Monkey and I chase each other around the house and play hide and seek.  Sometimes we try to see who can doggie wrestle the other off the mat.  It may look like I have the upper hand here - but Monkey is pretty clever.  If you look closely, Monkey sticks his head underneath me and bites my legs to get me to play! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

BOO -- Happy Halloween!

Birdie and I doing therapy assist work with kids at the library 
through the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: New Bed!

My Momma bought me a new cuddle bed.  Of course, out of all my doggie siblings, I must be the first to lay on it.  Did I ever tell you I am obsessed with beds? I must have at least 10 of them around the house and at least one in each car (ok, ok, so I HAVE to share them with my  siblings!).   Each time the beds come out of the dryer I push them down with my paws and lay on them immediately.  If I go to the store when my pawrents are shopping, I must stop to lay on as many beds as possible.   Sadly, my pain in the hind brother Monkey always tries to push or wrestle me out of the beds.  He also makes holes in them that my Momma doesn't find until they go in the washing machine (I think he is trying to sabotage my bed obsession).  Momma gets mad trying to get all the fluffies out of the machine and (of course) she has to throw the bed out and buy a replacement.    Hmmm... come to think of it, perhaps Monkey is helping me after all.  He is my bed obsession enabler!  I take back anything bad I said about him - WOOF!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Everybody Say Ch-Chi-Chihuahua!

Out of 36 takes, we only had two photos where no one was blurry, looking away or jumping off.  There were a lot more toys, but they all fell off from all the jumping.  Only one little chihuahua was too lazy to move from where he was... can you guess who that might have been?
Daisy, Monkey and me with some of our toys...
I thought I would ask... please vote for me to win a two page spread on Modern Dog Magazine.  You can vote daily and often and please share if you'd like.  I know that it is a long shot for me to win with all those beautiful dogs out there, but it doesn't hurt to try.   Click here to vote:

Thank you  in advance for your support. 
Click here to vote:

First Aid Class

More details coming soon!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: First Aid Chihuahua

We organized a pet first aid class last weekend and one of the things participants had to do was practice placing an emergency dog muzzle.  If it might save my life or another doggie's life someday - I am all for it!  I will be posting more photos about the class soon!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

YAY! We Have No Banana...

...I won't wear banana this year!  Well, after much thinking -- I have been spared.  My momma originally said I would be wearing my old banana costume for Halloween, but when she purchased a sailor shirt with funds going to the Anti-Cruelty society -- she could not resist.  She then went on a deep search to find a matching sailor hat.  She wound up finding one for cats on Etsy.  Who knew they sold such things?   I lucked out - I will not have to wear a banana piece on my head (even if my name is Piranha Banana)!  But I know she's saving the banana costume for another occasion.  

My old banana costume...I look like one of the conehead family members - WOOF!
This is my new Halloween costume for this year - WOOF WOOF!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Piranha Banana the Chihuahua to the Rescue

       I will no longer keep you in suspense -- good guess Ann Staub!  I was in a local health fair at  Encore Senior Living  letting people know about the benefits of therapy dogs -- and the work we do.   I had a chance to take a few pictures inside a real live ambulance with some of the emergency medical staff.  Sending them a big WOOF  for all the life saving work they do!   

It's been a loonnng day!

Birdie and I had a table at the fair, but Birdie hurt her leg the night before,
 so we brought in her photo instead. 
After a day of shaking paws and high fiving everyone, I was exhausted!  Can you tell?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Chihuahua to the Rescue!

                Can you guess where I am? 
  Check back in tomorrow for the answer and more photographs.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Outdoor Café Service


Dog Day at Chicago White Sox Baseball Game 2013

I always look forward to the Chicago White Sox's Dog Day.  Dogs of all types get to enjoy a day at the park with their pawrents.  They have a few giveaways, vendors, hot dogs and even a doggie 'go' area.  Each year, they give a limited number of families passes to go on the doggy parade.  The Parade Pass allows the dogs to walk the perimeter of the baseball field prior to the game.  Usually, the baseball players are practicing before the game and will  take time to stop and talk to those in the parade.   People and their dogs can also appear on television and on the giant screen in the park.   It is quite fun!  A lot of people dress up their dogs in funny outfits like giant glasses and wigs or baseball player t-shirts.  I did receive a Parade Pass this year, but we met a couple with a Great Dane who were upset because each year they come, they never receive parade tickets.  Their big white Great Dane was dressed in a pink tutu.  I offered them my Parade Pass and the woman began to cry because of all the games they had been to, they had never received the  parade tickets before.  They were extremely thankful and gracious and they told us it meant a lot to them.  Seeing their happy faces made it all worthwhile.  As for me, I've received Parade Passes before, so I felt quite comfortable with my decision.    This year we got there a little earlier so that we could have a better selection of seats in the bleachers section.  The bleachers section is open and one can sit anywhere.  So we picked our seats closer to the exit (for my daddy's 'treat' runs) and waited for the game to begin.  Check out the photos from my adventure. 
Who Says Chihuahuas don't like baseball?
I still say half a hot dog is not enough for a chihuahua!


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