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Training 911

posted December 11th, 2015 by
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by Khara Criswell, MA, CPDT-KSA, CNWI

 

Holiday Training Tips To Keep Your Home Jolly And Safe

 

Fresh Water

If your dog is spending some time outdoors, check the water dish. Just because the temperature has dropped, it doesn’t mean your dog is drinking less water. If the temperature drops below 32 degrees, make sure you have chipped away the ice so your pup has a place to drink. Dogs eating snow could pick up dangerous objects or chemicals that may be hidden. Some dogs that eat snow can get an upset stomach and even hypothermia.

 

Warm Place to Stay

Dogs have fur coats, but even in extreme temperature changes a dog can get frost bite. If your pup lives outdoors, provide the pup a heated dog bed and adequate shelter. If you have a small dog or a dog with little or no hair, a sweater will help the dog retain its body heat. If you see your dog lifting its paw more than normal, check the paw. Some dogs’ paws are more sensitive to cold than others.

 

Kong Stuffed with Goodies

During the holidays, we might be too busy to pay as much attention as usual to our pets, so they need some other forms of mental stimulation. Stuffing and freezing a Kong makes for an excellent treat while company is over or during any hectic time. The dog is occupied while you can enjoy your guests or holiday prepping.

 

A Break or Retreat Zone

During the holiday season, your pup can get too much socialization or over-stimulation. Company can be tiring, so make sure your pup has a place to go to decompress away from the action. Start designating an area as the “dog safe zone,” so the pooch can get away, and maybe you too when you need to decompress. Sometimes the break could just be a walk with a familiar friend. One of the best things to train a dog to do is to go to a place/mat.

 

How to Mat Train:

Step 1. With a treat in your hand tell your dog, “go to your mat,” in a cheerful tone of voice and point to her mat.

Step 2. Pause a second or two (one-one thousand, two-one thousand), then lure your dog onto her mat by putting the treat up to her nose and slowly moving it over the mat. If you move your hand too quickly or too far away from her, she may give up and lose interest.

Step 3. As soon as your dog has four paws on the mat, give the treat.

Step 4. Tell your dog, “down/sit.” Give the hand signal or lure her if she needs helps. It is up to you whether you want to make her lie down or sit. If she doesn’t stay on the mat, you can take her to it. When she lies down, give the treat to her. Continue to give treats to keep her on the mat. After a few seconds, tell her “OK/free” and allow her to get up.

Repeat steps 1-4, gradually increasing the amount of time you ask her to stay on the mat. Mat training is great for working at your desk, watching TV, cooking in the kitchen, when guests are visiting (like during the holidays), or any time you need to get your dog out from under foot.

 

Practice

Practice this skill when you can pay attention—such as when you are answering easy emails, not when concentrating on a report due tomorrow, or when preparing a sandwich, not trying a gourmet recipe for the first time. TV commercials are a better practice time than engrossing movies.

As you increase the time the dog spends on her mat, throw in some shorter intervals to keep her motivated. As your dog gets better and better, space out the treats so she gets some for staying on her mat.  Eventually she will stay for no treats at all, but to keep the stay strong, give a verbal praise such as “thank you” or “you’re such a good dog.”

Troubleshooting: If your dog gets up before you release her, tell her “ah-ha” and immediately direct her back to her mat and into a down/sit. Don’t treat her, but make the duration of this down/sit short, so you can release her and repeat the exercise right away and reward for a successful result.

 

Beware of the Dangers

With the cold holiday weather and additional edible delicacies, keep these dangers in mind:

Antifreeze is highly toxic; although it tastes good to pets, it can kill them.

Human foods to keep away from Fido include grapes, raisins, avocados, onions, chocolate, anything coffee-related, macadamia nuts, tomatoes, and seeds from apples, cherries, peaches and similar fruit, and of course bones, which can break apart in the intestines.

Household items such as cleaners, rat and mouse poisons.

Christmas décor can be hazardous, including Christmas berries, Christmas cactus, sap, candles

Christmas Rose, the tree and all its parts (needles, tree water, holly, and mistletoe, tinsel, ornaments and lights). If you have a puppy, start the decorations on the tree higher from the ground than he or she can reach.

 

Call your vet or Animal Poison Control if you feel your pet ingested a toxin at (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe holiday and remember you’re never too young or old to have fun with your pup

This Holiday Season

posted December 10th, 2015 by
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Looking Back

Holiday SeasonHoliday Season

This holiday season remember those who serve others.  Vicki oversees our birthing center and the following heartfelt story says it perfectly.  Remember the shelters and rescues – – they need your help and support.

As most of you know, we had another litter of puppies born at our house on Thanksgiving morning. These are blessed events are part of Tom and I’s ministry here on earth. We have had countless puppies born at our house. Some have needed c-sections, others, such as Foxy would have died in the birth process, if she had been left in a shelter. When we lived in California, I was well schooled in the birth process of dogs by my then boss, Dr. Sue Buxton. Little did I know how handy that would be when we moved to Oklahoma, but the all knowing Father knew. It is funny how things work out, if we just follow His lead. Sometimes I feel like I am going blindly, but have to trust. Tom and I feel blessed to be entrusted with the care of these little ones that we know are precious to Him, but sometimes forgotten.

Unfortunately, the need is great. We long for a time when the birthing tubs and boxes are no longer needed. When people learn that their animals need to be spayed and neutered. I am not talking about the quality breeders of specific breeds, but the puppy mills, and backyard breeders, and irresponsible dog owners that have clogged our shelters and streets with unwanted pets. These unwanted ones face horrible tortuous lives. We must all become conscious of this problem. As animal lovers, if each of us could take up the cause, it would make a big difference. It does not have to be rescue and fostering, although that is extremely important, it is not for everyone. You could be a volunteer at your local shelter, even those who think they have no skills, can learn. Walking dogs, cuddling kitties, tearing newspapers, working at the desk as a greeter, helping with computer work, cleaning cages. I did all of this before I found my niche, so did Tom. If you have time constraints, but have a few extra dollars, they would most be appreciated to help defray the enormous cost of this effort. If you are unable to do any of this, talk it up, encourage people to spay and neuter their pets, help out with one of the many spay and neuter clinics run in our area. We in the business call them SNEUTERS. Share posts of available dogs on Facebook. Unlimited opportunities are there for people that want to help. It will help the animals, and make you feel so blessed.

 

Kay Stout, Executive Director    PAAS, Vinita, Oklahoma    628 S Wilson  918-256-7227

The Endearing History of Reindeer and Christmas

posted December 5th, 2015 by
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By Anna Holton-Dean

 

Christmastime is near, and we bet our mistletoe many of you will soon be singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” watching the iconic cartoon of the same name or even putting antlers on Fido for a holiday snapshot.

But have you ever stopped to ponder how reindeer came to be synonymous with Christmas? Or do reindeer even exist? While Rudolph alone might be a beloved, fictional character, reindeer are 100-percent real.

Spotting one might sound exciting, but reindeer are a common sight in  many regions where they are nowhere near endangered. They can be found in Europe, Asia, Greenland and even North America, particularly in Maine where they are known as Caribou; there’s even a town in Maine named Caribou.

Sometimes hunted for meat and  hides, reindeer are domesticated for milking and pulling things during Arctic or Subarctic winters, according to allpetsnews.com. “Caribou have large hooves that are useful tools for life in the harsh northlands,” according to National Geographic. “They are big enough to support the animal’s bulk on snow and to paddle it efficiently through the water. The hoof’s underside is hollowed out like a scoop and used for digging through the snow in search of food. Its sharp edges give the animal good purchase on rocks or ice.”

With that knowledge, it’s easy to see how a storyteller would choose reindeer for pulling Santa’s sleigh through snow. Throw in a little “willing suspension of disbelief” by giving them flight, now you’ve got a story!

“In terms of stories, Santa is much older than his trusted reindeer,” allpetnews.com says. As early as the 4th century, stories were told of a jolly old man dropping off presents during the Christmas holidays.

“But it wasn’t until the 1800s that reindeer joined the party. Previously, South Americans believed Santa rode a donkey, while Europeans thought he owned a white horse. Reindeer made their first appearance, it’s believed, in  the poem ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’ (which we now know as ‘The Night Before Christmas’), written by Clement C. Moore.” The poem made them a permanent fixture in American culture.

So what about Rudolph? He was made for marketing purposes. In 1939, Robert Lewis May created a rhyming book for promotional purposes for Montgomery Ward department store. His book, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” sold more than 6 million copies over the next 10 years, allpetsnews.com says.

In 1947, Gene Autry recorded the Rudolph song and, just as the lyrics proclaim, he will surely “go down in history.”

And the red nose? “Reindeer have 25 percent more blood vessels in their nasal region than humans, meaning more blood flows there. At higher elevations, their blood flow increases    in order to keep warm, turning their noses a shade of red,” allpetnews.com says. Spying a red-nosed reindeer is scientifically possible after all.

Perhaps there is more truth to the reindeer lore than we ever knew.

When words trump actions

posted November 24th, 2015 by
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Looking Back

When Words TrumpWhen words trump actions

This blog will be read by most people around the Thanksgiving holidays.  Trust me – I’m not going to write about family get-togethers, discussions, or traditions. This is about rescue.

Over the years I’ve frequently had “frying pan” experiences – where suddenly I just knew something.  One of my most memorable – and one that has stood the test of time is:  How do I want to be remembered?”.  There have been times I spoke up and, more often, times I zipped my lips.

I never forget that the dogs and cats who enter our lives do not care who we are – they’re just grateful we’ve saved them.  Those actions trump words every time.  The challenge, however, is too many passionate people who’re involved in rescue have no filter, or a really bad filter, on what they say and when they say it.  If you lose sight of saving the animals, the words that come out of their mouths will trump their actions.  When that happens, it’s the animals who pay the price – and they do not have a voice.

What puzzles me is why someone would want to be remembered not for the good they’ve done in rescue; but for the obnoxious, unprofessional, words that have spilled out of their mouths.  All too often those words derail a rescue, cause undue hardship, and create challenges for future collaboration.

At this time of year, if I had the power to give a gift to those in rescue, it would be the following:  Work together, zip the lip, and save lives.

Kukur Tihar

posted November 17th, 2015 by
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Kukur Tihar

From http://themindunleashed.org/

There is an entire day during a festival in Nepal dedicated solely to thanking dogs for their loyalty and friendship. The time itself is called “Diwali” celebrated by Hindus, and is a ‘festival of lights’ celebrated by millions every year in the fall, in india, nepal and elsewhere.

Specific to Nepal, there is a day during this celebration dedicated to all the Dogs, called Kukur Tihar, specifically to thank our 4-legged companions for always being our loyal friends.

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Image source: imgur

Tihar is a five day Hindu festival, but the second day is reserved for our loyal companions.

It is called Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja (worship of the dogs).

festival for dogs
Image source: Imgur

People offer garlands, tika (a mark worn on the forehead), and delicious food to dogs, and acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs.

festival for dogs

The garlands are a sign of respect for the animals.

Because dogs are the best people.

festival for dogs
Image source: imgur.com
festival for dogs
Inage source: imgur

The images honoring these animals are truly breathtaking.

tihar
Image source

The thought of this beautiful festival is lightening the heavy hearts of dog lovers everywhere, amid horrendous news bites from another kind of festival in Yulin, China, recently.

dogss
Image source: Rebloggy

With red powder, the dogs are marked on their foreheads as a sign of sacredness.

I really love this.

Turkey Dogs

posted November 15th, 2015 by
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Turkey Dogs

Turkey Dogs

Turkey DogsTurkey Dogs are coming!  Get ready to welcome our first group of Goldens arriving from Istanbul, Turkey just in time for Thanksgiving!
SGRR has partnered with Gold Ribbon Rescue in Austin to participate in the rescue of eighteen Golden Retrievers from shelters in and around Istanbul, Turkey. These Goldens are set to arrive later this month in Houston, TX and SGRR and GRR-TX volunteers will be there to welcome them to their new homeland. SGRR will bring four of these needy souls back to Oklahoma to start their new lives as spoiled house Goldens.

How Can You Help?

FOSTER a Turkey Dog!
We are looking for four families interested in fostering these Goldens when they arrive in Oklahoma from Houston. If you are interested in becoming a temporary foster home for one of the Turkey Dogs, please email us at [email protected] or call the GoldenLine at 405-749-5700 and leave your contact information. Please consider fostering a Turkey Dog!
DONATE to Support the Turkey Dog Mission!
As you can imagine, the costs associated with rescuing these forgotten Goldens is substantial so your financial support is critical to this and any future Turkey Dog operations. SGRR’s participation in this project will NOT jeopardize our ability to assist any local Goldens in need in our normal service area. Any participation in future Turkey Dog missions will depend on the financial support we receive from our supporters for this effort. You can donate through PayPal at our website: www.sgrr.org; or you can mail your check to: SGRR, PO Box 57139, OKC, OK 73157-7139. All donations are tax deductible.

Why Turkey Dog Rescues?

Istanbul’s struggle with a large population of stray animals dates back more than 100 years. Some people estimate that the number of stray dogs on the city’s streets exceeds 50,000 – not including the dogs that live in the city’s 30-plus animal shelters.

The ownership of purebred dogs has always been seen as a status symbol in the western parts of Istanbul. About 10 years ago, golden retrievers were the most sought after breed. They were becoming very popular in Hungary, Italy and Germany and initially, only those of means could afford to get one. When pet stores in Turkey began importing lots of puppies, more and more people purchased them and, becoming “common,” they lost their standing as a status symbol and were no longer valued.

When owners could no longer take care of the dogs or when they no longer wanted them, these dogs ended up in the forests surrounding the city or on the streets, abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The most common route to life on the street was a call to the local authorities who would pick up the dog and bring it to a shelter (there are 32 in Istanbul). Once at the shelter, volunteers would take the dogs to the vets to spay or neuter the dog, administer a rabies shot, tattoo or tag the ear to show it had received this care, and then let out the door to live on the street. The most unlucky ones are those let go, either by municipality authorities or their owners, in the forests around Istanbul where they usually fall prey to the feral dog packs that roam the areas. A very few lucky ones spend years in the shelters – that is as good as their life will ever get. Over the years, since being abandoned and set loose, the golden retrievers have gotten good at surviving on the streets of Istanbul, however, the life of a stray is not easy and food is not always forthcoming, shelter hard to find, and abuse at human hands is far too common.

There is no hope for these dogs in Istanbul. There is no adoption there. Without help from a rescue, they will live the remainder of their lives roaming the streets and begging to survive. All of these dogs are young – they do not live to see the “senior years.” We estimate that there are approximately 800+ purebred goldens living in the streets/forests/shelters in Istanbul…. A small percentage of the 50,000 which is why you don’t see many on the streets but those 800 are precious to us.

How did SGRR Get Involved?

A concerned American living in Istanbul saw these roaming dogs and contacted Adopt a Golden Atlanta [www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com] asking for help. After an exhaustive four month process, AGA brought the first thirty-six Goldens to American soil earlier this year. Since then, with support from AGA, other Golden rescue groups across the country have partnered to rescue a total of more than 150 Goldens to date.

SGRR heard of this need and our Board decided that we must join this national effort. This mission is supported by the Golden Retriever Club of America – National Rescue Committee. One by one, Golden by Golden, we make a difference.