Wishing you a wonderful and safe holiday!
Keeping your canine healthy is a major part to ensuring their happiness and giving you piece of mind. Finding a good vet is like finding a great doctor; hard to do. Unfortunately, we don’t get the same level of health insurance for pets like we do for people so price of care often times plays into where we go.
I think there’s a balance between cost of care and level + relationship of care. Costs can vary widely. I know when I first moved out to Washington (state, not DC) that I floundered in my attempts to find a good vet.
There is a new site called Fairvets that helps you locate or at least know the average cost of care before heading off to a vet. It’s a great site but it also needs more people to input vet prices. The site is reliant on individuals giving the costs of their vet care; the more people who participate the more information they’ll have to share. Currently, in the metro-Detroit area they only show 6 vets.
This will be a great site to bookmark and keep an eye on. Don’t forget to provide your own vet information to help their site grow!
I’ve seen the a post going around Facebook quite a bit over the past couple of days. Interestingly, this rumor has been making the rounds to dog lovers everywhere since 2007.
The post talks about how an owner, showing her dog gave him ice to cool down. After just a few minutes the dog began to bloat and almost died. According to the blog post, the vet told the owner she was VERY lucky as giving ice cubes can cause a dog’s internal organs and stomach muscles to spasm leading to GDV, a very serious condition that can lead to death.
Since we live in a ‘culture of fear’ and ‘take it as it is’ (if it’s on the internet it MUST be true), I had to check it out for myself as it didn’t just seem right.
According to Snopes, this information is absolutly false. Turns out it’s not the cold (and subsequent stomach muscle spasms) that could cause the GDV but rather consuming large amounts of water too quickly. If your dog is hot or has been running hard, before you let them gulp down large amounts of water (introducing air internally) you’ll want to walk them for a good 10 – 15 minutes to not only help stretch and cool-down the muscles but it gives the dog a chance to cool it’s temperature down as well.
Always good to double check your facts! Will it kill your dog if you were to stop giving them ice cubes? Absolutely not. No reason not to err on the side of caution if you’re still unsure, but it’s best tot be informed and not spread information in the ‘name of fear’. We all want the best for our four legged family members!
Click the links below to read both the original blog post that’s been going around as well as the Snope.com fact check. If you’re not into Snopes I’ve provided a few other links as well!
Looking for something to do June 20th – 22nd without leaving your home? Looking to learn more about canine behavior from experts in their fields? Grab your computer, a comfy spot and listen to the SPARCS 2013 Conference Livestream! This is an amazing opportunity to hear from animal behavior specialist, biologists and canine behavior experts on a wide variety of topics.
What is SPARCS? From their brochure:
Current dog training practices are based on outdated knowledge, with
even popular celebrity trainers suggesting techniques more than 50
years behind modern behavioral research. A Seattle non-profit has
started a revolution to change this. The Society for the Promotion
of Applied Research in Canine Science (SPARCS) has created an
open-access public platform where modern canine science can be
presented, discussed and debated by the greatest dog experts from
around the world.
I know where I will be June 20 – 22! Want to learn more? Click any of the links below to look at the schedule, read more about the speakers and topics and bookmark the livestream feed!
Yes, my title is harsh…but read on and you’ll understand. If you don’t then leave a comment and let’s discuss!
This past weekend was the 2014 UKC Premier and as is tradition I was there with my mom and friend. It’s tradition for us to stay in a hotel and enjoy all 4 days of the show. Usually I show my mom’s Silken Windhounds for her but this year I managed to seriously injure my calf while practicing flyball with my golden. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the show! I am currently processing the photos I took and will get those up here in the next few days. I have a few posts to write about the 2014 UKC Premier but I want to focus on something that happened that put a damper on our weekend for a bit.
The UKC Premier features all major dog sporting events: confirmation, junior showmanship, obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, weight pulls, dock jumping, and barn hunts (apologies if I missed your sport). We had spent most of the weekend ringside watching confirmation and decided on Saturday we wanted to go watch some obedience. Housed in another part of the expo center, we grabbed our chairs and headed off to watch obedience. There were several rings for rally and several for traditional obedience which was running novice and open. My friend and I decided we wanted to watch some Open, walked to the ring, put our chairs against the back wall about 6 feet from the ring and sat down. We weren’t sitting there more than 5 minutes when a ring steward came up to us and told us we had to move because we were a distraction to the dogs in the ring. We apologized, picked up our chairs and moved. Now mind you, we were a good distance from the ring and were positioned by the garbage can and doors; we weren’t talking and couldn’t have been a bigger distraction then the people coming in and out and walking past us. The dirty glares we were getting from other obedience exhibitors should have killed us on the spot. Seriously… you would have thought we were screaming with bullhorns at a ballet.
We set our chairs up and are promptly told we can’t sit there because it’s a fire hazard. We were a little perplexed. There were no signs and no indications of where we could and couldn’t sit. Another UKC representation comes up and tells us we have to sit behind the yellow line as per the Fire Marshal. We look around and realize that behind the line means squishing back against where all the obedience exhibitors were crating. There was very little space so we pull our chairs back and start to squeeze in. Now mind you, there is almost NO space for us to put our chairs so we’re trying to do the best we can. As we’re attempting to get settled, one of the obedience exhibitors very rudely says to us, “Don’t set your chairs up there, my friend will be coming back soon and you’ll be in her space.” We look around, flabbergasted. There is literally no other space for us to set up. The obedience exhibitor crates are literally wall to yellow line and then have their chairs set up in front. You couldn’t squeeze a chair in anywhere if your life depended on it. So, we picked up our chairs and left. What a shame!
I remember when I first started I showed in obedience and they were the most welcoming, easy going people you could ask for in the dog sport. What happened? We were so unwelcome and treated rudely that it put a little bit of a damper on our Saturday. The problem was compounded upon by several factors. First, the crating. Confirmation exhibitors aren’t allowed to crate in the same building so why should the obedience folks be allowed to? If it’s literally the only space for them then they should be limited in exactly where they can crate. Second, there was no set space for spectators. The exhibitors were literally taking up all available space behind the yellow line so a spectator could not watch. The UKC needs to set space aside that can’t be used for crating or exhibitors so that someone coming into the show can sit, watch, learn and enjoy this part of the sport. Third; the absolutely horrible attitude and treatment from the obedience exhibitors themselves. There was no reason they couldn’t have moved to make room for us. Instead we were told to not sit because that was their spot. Last time I checked, obedience was a dying sport and I don’t think having an ultra-elitist attitude is the way to bring people in.
I think what perplexes me the most about what happened is the attitude of ‘being so quiet you could hear a pin drop’ in the obedience building. I understand not wanting there to be kids running around screaming or other major distractions but since when do obedience trained competitors need a completely distraction free environment?! I remember when I trained we trained in all types of conditions and made our own distractions to help our dogs learn to focus. If your dog can’t handle a couple of gals sitting in chairs watching 6 feet from the ring then you probably aren’t ready to be competing.
Now, you might be reading this thinking I’m a confirmation elitist and I’m not. I have put obedience and agility titles on dogs as well as finished dogs in their confirmation championship. I have waited two years for a performance Border Collie to show in flyball, agility and obedience. I love all aspects of the sport and it pisses me off when one type of exhibitor acts like they are better than another. All aspects of the sport have their own challenges and require training, patience and dedication. We get enough gruff from those outside the dog sport that we don’t need to be assholes to one another.
I came across this blog post the other day on a site called Dogdose.com. The post, 13 Jaw Droppingly Beautiful Photos for Dog Lovers does indeed have some absolutely stunning photos of dogs. As someone who aspires to take pictures that tell a story like these do I was awed, as I’m sure many were. I almost posted the link back to my Facebook to share until I realized something. None of the images in the post are credited. Not a single one. At least it looks like none are credited. It’s not until you scroll all the way to the bottom and see the small text called ‘source’ do you get to see who actually took them.
The ‘source’ post gets it almost right. It lists a description of the photo (not the actual photo name) along with the name of the individual who took it directly below each image. However, there’s no links to the photographer’s personal site or Flickr Album or other source. I suppose this is fine for most folks as they just want to see an image and move on. However, there’s richness to be found in each artist’s portfolio if you take the time to dig further.
For example, this image has been one of my all time favorites:
I cannot say enough about this amazing image. If you give a direct link to the image (you can find it here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterprzybille/3915636451/ ) you’ll find a little more context for the image and the story around it:
Alaskan Husky Tex dreaming in the landscape of Northern Norway.
A typical day within the short and intensive period of “Indian Summer” in beginning of September. After the leaves have turned following an onset of frost but just before the first snowfall. I took along Alaskan Husky Tex on a day trip through the coloured scandinavian mountains.
While taking a break he immediately layed down to take a nap.
I could really feel his deep satisfaction resting in his northern territory.
When I took a look through his Flickr account I was blown away. This image is just one of many.
My ultimate point here is that we need to make sure we give credit in a way that is easy to find, immediate and allows us to easily continue looking at the artist’s work. In the day and age of everyone having a camera everyone suddenly thinks that they are a photographer and it’s easy to take images like this. It’s not.
Check these coat patterns out. Genetics are an amazing thing.
You’ll notice a new image on my sidebar. I found this great app that allows you to help your local shelters just by walking your dog!
Intrigued? Read on:
Don’t just Take your Dog for a Walk, Take your Walk for a Dog!
Walking your Dog just got a whole lot Better! Now you can Raise Money for your Local Shelter every time time you walk your dog.
Taking your dog for a walk is now not only good for you and your dog, it raises money to support all pets at your local animal shelter. The Take your Walk for a Dog program is a revolutionary Dog-powered fundraising tool for animal shelters that uses a free mobile App to promote healthy pets and healthy humans while raising money to support local shelters. Your Local Animal Shelter is partnering with WoofTrax, Inc., to introduce and promote the App in this area. “You walk your dog anyway,” says Mike Katz, Director of Community Relations for WoofTrax. “Now, for every mile you walk, we donate to to your local animal shelter.”
“There is no easier way to raise funds for our local shelter then using the app every time you grab for the leash!” says JoAnn Goldberger, Director of Development, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Center, Baltimore, MD. Whether you are walking with your dogs or by yourself, the App is a way to keep track of your walks, encouraging you to walk more every day. That’s good for your health and your dog’s health. Plus, you have the satisfaction of knowing that your walking directly benefits your local shelter.
One of the key developers of the Take your Walk for a Dog program is the “WoofDriver,” a world famous dog-powered sporting lifestyle expert. WoofDriver focuses on new and exciting ways to exercise, train, and spend time with your dog. You can see videos of the WoofDriver in action at Wooftrax.com.
Our community can now support us simply by walking their dogs. Proceeds directly benefit the many homeless animals that come to our local shelter each year and support the ongoing good work that our local shelter does in our community.
If you would like additional information about Walk for a Dog, or if you have any questions, visit wooftrax.com.