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Studio D Cutest Pet Contest Winners

posted March 20th, 2012 by
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Gracie Mae

The winners are in!

 

Judges convened today to determine the winners of Studio D’s annual “Cutest Pet Contest.”   With a record 92 entries to view, they certainly had their work cut out for them!   Judging for this year’s contest were D’Ann Berson, Executive Director of the Tulsa SPCA, Lori Hall, Operations Manager of the Tulsa SPCA, and Marilyn King, Publisher of TulsaPets Magazine.

 

After much hard work and deliberation, they decided the Top Dog goes to Gracie Mae (owners, Steve and Sandi King).  Peaches garnered the second place title (owner, Stephanie Brucks), and third place went to Maggie (owner, Heather Ashcraft).

 

Contestants made a $10 donation to the Tulsa SPCA, and a whopping $731 was proudly handed over, which will be used for the great cause of helping the animals at the local Tulsa SPCA shelter.

 

Congratulations to the top winners, and to all the contestants who participated!

TulsaPetsMagazine.com

The Top Dog is...GRACIE MAE

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2nd Place goes to...PEACHES

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3rd Place goes to...MAGGIE

Invisible Dogs

posted March 15th, 2012 by
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by Nancy Gallimore Werhane

It was an exciting day at my house— the day I got to pet my foster dogs. This may not sound like a momentous occasion to most people, but those who have rehabilitated a seriously shy or under-socialized dog realize it’s a pretty big step.

My foster dogs are a pair of 4-yearold Dalmatians that were rescued from a puppy mill in Missouri and have no concept of life as a companion animal. Dubbed Jack and Jill, the two actually climbed onto my bed today and let me reach over to pet them. I could not face them directly, and I could not stand up, but we actually had a moment where my touch wasn’t such a terrible thing.

Training sessions on my bed? Well, not what I had planned, but if it works, I’ll run with it. Every dog is different, making every training plan a puzzle to be solved.

There are a number of factors that can cause certain dogs to be shy. For some, it can be blamed on a lack of proper early socialization. Puppies are like little sponges during the first 16 weeks of life. Dogs not properly exposed to human handling as young puppies will have a much harder time assimilating into our world as companion animals.

Dogs that experience stress can also become shy. A stray dog may learn that humans can’t be trusted. A dog in a shelter environment may start to withdraw. And of course, dogs that have experienced abuse or neglect may also become quite timid.

Then, there are genetics. Just as some people have a natural tendency toward shyness, so do some dogs. You can have a litter in which each of the puppies has been raised with the same level of socialization and interaction, but some of the pups might be shy while others are quite outgoing. Whatever the root cause, our shrinking violet dogs are often misunderstood and can be a source of frustration and embarrassment to their owners.

Truth be told, humans tend to be a bit narrow-minded when it comes to communicating with dogs. Usually our intentions are good, but our dog communication skills are often quite clumsy. While most dogs take it all in stride, shy dogs can find the human approach to friendship very overwhelming and confusing.

When humans meet, direct eye contact is expected. We tend to stand squarely facing each other. We immediately grab each other’s hand for a firm shake. It’s all very direct and considered polite.

Now look at things from the dog’s point of view. The average dog generally stands a couple of feet tall or less. Human strangers tower overhead. To greet a dog, well-meaning humans generally move straight toward the dog while bending forward at the waist, staring directly into the dog’s eyes and talking in a loud, high-pitched babble. Then toss in a hand immediately reaching out for a too-much-too-soonpat on the head.

So, when the shy dog backpedals and looks more than a little panicked, what do we do? Well, most people either scold the dog, drag it back toward the newcomer by the leash or collar, or a lovely combination of both. At the same time, the newcomer loudly proclaims that “dogs just love me” and proceeds to try even harder to make the dog submit to attention.

When you consider the dog’s perspective, it’s a giant recipe for disaster, isn’t it? A truly fearful dog who feels trapped and threatened might even resort to growling or barking at the stranger in an attempt to end the confrontation.

So, what to do? How can we help our shy dogs come out of their shells to learn to accept and, hopefully, enjoy socializing with our species?

First, be your shy dog’s champion. Understand your dog’s personality and work to help shift the perception from “new person equals scary” to “new person equals safe interactions and reward.”

Be prepared to explain to people interested in meeting your dog that he or she is a bit shy. Ask them to not acknowledge the dog for a few minutes, so your dog has a chance to smell the new person from a safe distance beside you. If possible, ask the new person to squat down or sit down at an angle to the dog. If the dog chooses to move forward to sniff the newcomer, let that happen without any attempt to interact with the dog. Just give the dog a little space and time to feel secure.

If you see signs that your dog is relaxing, you may want to just stop there. The dog has had a good experience and is starting to feel at ease around a new person. Resist the temptation to ruin that progress by moving forward with too much contact too quickly.

Let the dog move casually away from the new person and quietly praise the dog. By remaining calm yourself, you are setting the stage for your dog to remain calm and happy as well.

Another great tool in helping a shy dog gain confidence is to enlist the aid of another dog. In my experience, most people-shy dogs are good around other dogs. If your shy dog enjoys interacting with other dogs, enlist the aid of a friend with a confident, friendly dog to serve as a good role model. Take the two dogs out to socialize together. Ask people to pet and pay attention to the confident dog while pretending the shy dog is invisible. Just let the shy dog observe the interaction with no pressure to join in.

After a few outings, you may find that the shy dog will start approaching new people along with the confident dog. As this starts to happen, remember the “don’t overdo it” rule. Perhaps let the shy dog sniff the newcomer and maybe have the stranger offer both dogs a treat. End the interaction at this point, again walking away in a calm, matter-of-fact manner.

My shy dog duo is particularly fond of my personal dog, Howie. Howie is a very social, easy-going dog. By petting and playing with Howie, I’ve been able to start including Jack and Jill in the fun. Howie is the best teacher I have for these two dogs.

Formal training with your shy dog is another great way to boost confidence. A group class can provide a learning opportunity where no one dog is the center of attention, allowing a shy dog to blend into the class. If you do choose to take a group class with your dog, be sure to let your instructor know about your dog’s issues, so he or she can adjust lessons accordingly.

For some dogs, however, a busy training school might be too overwhelming. If your dog walks into a training facility and shuts down or panics, perhaps you should contact a trainer for a one-on-one private session. No matter where you train, make sure the methods employed focus on positive motivation training to help boost your dog’s confidence in a fun, engaging manner.

The more you can teach your dog, the more tools you have for helping your dog cope in uncomfortable situations. For example, if you are out for a walk and a neighbor comes to greet you, ask your dog to sit and stay by your side. You have now given your dog a “job” to focus on instead of allowing it to worry about the stranger standing nearby. When you release your dog from the stay, offer lots of calm praise and perhaps even have your visitor casually hand or toss a treat to your dog. This gives your dog a positive association with your neighbor and rewards appropriate behavior.

Another fun exercise I use in working with shy dogs is the touch game. Extend your flat palm to your dog. Most dogs will sniff your hand out of curiosity. When your dog sniffs your hand, or touches it, praise the dog and immediately offer a treat. Then, repeat. Pretty soon you will see that your dog quickly touches its nose to your extended palm when you give the verbal cue “touch.”

Once your dog catches on, you can move your hand from place to place in front of you, beside you and even behind. The dog will enjoy the fun interaction.

This game can then become a tool to use with a friendly stranger. Have a visitor sit and, without staring at the dog or trying to touch the dog, offer a palm in front of the dog and give the “touch” cue. The beauty of this game is that the dog gets to initiate the contact. Keep it simple, short and positive. Hopefully, you will soon see your dog feeling more comfortable around newcomers.

These ideas are just a few of a number of ways you can work to socialize your shy dog. Most importantly, vow to stay patient and, please, always obey the shy dog golden rule: Do not force your shy dog into the spotlight. As much as you want your dog to be social, and as much as people want to win your dog’s affection, trying to force your dog to like new people will almost always backfire.

As for my extremely shy foster dogs, training sessions on my bed with the help of mentor dog, Howie, continue. I look forward to helping them understand that people are a source of good things. In the meantime, I will celebrate every touch and every small step forward.

Tulsa Digital Photography Group Finds Shelter A Challenge

posted March 10th, 2012 by
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120303_TulsaAnimalShelter_0001

On Saturday, March 3rd, the Tulsa Digital Photography Group met at the Tulsa Animal Shelter on North Erie for a club shooting.  The Tulsa Digital Photography Group’s charter is to provide a platform for improving the photography skills of its members, which range from beginners to professionals.

 

The group met at 10:00 a.m., and member Bob Foshay gave some basic instructions in the techniques he has learned from photographing the animals at the shelter for TulsaPets Magazine on a weekly basis.

 

A total of 14 photographers participated in the event.  They went into the different kennel areas and practiced the techniques.  They all encountered the same difficulties involved in this particular shoot.  The yellow of the cages, the foreground of the fence, the moving subject and the difficulty of balancing all of that with dark colored animals proved challenging.

 

Research from various shelters around the country prove that providing the best photographs possible of shelter animals aids tremendously in the chances of those animals being adopted.

 

Following are some samples of the great photos they captured that day.

 

By Aaron Sheppard

By Amy Elizabeth

By Roberta Peake

By Bobby Acree

By Deborah Viuf

By Sunny Archibald

New Pet Travel Mugs

posted February 7th, 2012 by
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PetTravelMugStainless

Sebastopol, CA – Created to alleviate the problems of regular dog bowls while travelling, Pet Travel Mugs Inc. of Calgary, AB, Canada, has just released Pet Travel Mugs for dog owners on the go. These uniquely designed water containers fit snugly in car cup holders, making it convenient for owners and easily accessible for pets. Its spill-resistant rim reduces mess and damage. And it comes with a special clip so it can be attached quickly and securely to a kennel door.

Millions of dog owners who travel with their pet by car, truck, RV and boat can now keep dogs hydrated without the mess. The patented Pet Travel Mug is shaped to fit perfectly in cup holders while providing a wide opening for the biggest of snouts. The unique off-center design can better accommodate the dog and vehicle, making it easy to fill and to drink. It is a secure, improved way for travelling dogs to drink water.
The rolled-in rim of the  Pet Travel Mug stops water from sloshing over the sides, eliminating the need for a lid. Fitting snugly in cup holders, there are fewer spills from excited paws, messy drinking or a sliding dish. Bumps, swerves and sudden stops will also be less of a concern. Vehicles will stay clean longer. Pet owners will appreciate the efficiency. And dogs can drink in style.

TulsaPets Magazine If a kennel is required, or dog owners are simply taking a long rest stop, the kennel clip will keep the  Pet Travel Mug accessible. It easily latches onto kennels, fences or otherwise for smooth transitions.

 

The dog’s safety and comfort are reflected in the smooth, single-mold design, which holds 16 oz. of liquid. The  Pet Travel Mug is 7 inches high and 6.25 inches wide. It is available in stainless steel or plastic, which are both durable and washable.

“I travel a lot with my two dogs. And pouring water into a bowl on the floor just wasn’t cutting it. There was constant spillage and the bowl was in the way,” said Bob McClean, President of  Pet Travel Mugs Inc. “So I had engineers create the perfect, non-spill dog watering bowl. Judging from the response, dog owners are very pleased.”

The  Pet Travel Mug carries a MSRP of $19.95 and is currently available at www.WizardDistribution.com. Product information is also available at www.k9travelmugs.com. Contact Bob McLean by email at [email protected], or call 707-824-9400 for more information.

Publisher’s Letter

posted January 15th, 2012 by
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Dear Reader:TulsaPetsMagazine.com

Welcome to Volume Number 6, Issue 1, of Tulsa- Pets Magazine! This means we are embarking on our sixth year of publication, and I’m excited about 2012 and the stories we plan to bring you. If you have any ideas you would like us to cover, please email me at [email protected].

In early December, I hosted a luncheon for the magazine’s contributing writers, and all the “bylines” got to meet one another. Also attending were Casey Rose Largent, our Rescue Coordinator and Events Liaison, Steve Kirkpatrick, our web master, and Steve Bull of Sirius Photography. We had a good time brain storming ideas and plain talking pets, and here we are gathered in my backyard.

Would you like your pet to grace the front cover of TulsaPets Magazine? We will be auctioning off the front cover of the May 2012 issue, and the highest bidder puts his/her/their pets on the cover. All proceeds from this auction will benefit ARF – the Animal Rescue Foundation of Tulsa. We’re excited to launch this new adventure and we hope it will be very worthwhile to ARF. For more details, please visit our web site at www.tulsapetsmagazine.com.

The article from writer Ruth Steinberger is an announcement of a potentially huge breakthrough in controlling pet overpopulation worldwide, and we are proud to be among one of the first publications to announce this. It is a new rabies vaccine with the side effect of sterilization in female dogs. This technology could certainly aid to end the suffering of homeless pets in third world countries worldwide, so please do read the article and help us spread the word.

It’s with a heavy heart that I also announce the passing of Hero Kastma, the Broken Arrow police dog who was featured on the cover of my second issue back in March 2007. Hero partnered with Officer Scott Oelke for seven years and he contributed greatly to the safety of Broken Arrow citizens. Goodbye Hero – you will be missed by many. We also extend our deepest sympathies to Officer Oelke.

In closing, let me say a huge thank you again to everyone who helps make TulsaPets Magazine possible! We hope everyone has the best year ever in 2012.

Marilyn King

Publisher’s Letter

posted November 15th, 2011 by
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By Marilyn King

Happy holiday season to all the Tulsa pet lovers,Thank you for taking your time to pick up this November issue, and we hope you enjoy what’s inside! We’ve got a lot to announce, from changes in Tulsa’s drinking water treatment, to major shifts coming in the way adoptions are handled at our city shelter.

My friend Leonidas spotlights the front cover for this issue.  I’ve been a big Leonidas fan since I met him when I started the magazine, and I thought a perfect tribute would be to feature him on this cover.

He’s “stylin” in his red Christmas scarf and he’s truly a pleasure to photograph – so very laid back and well behaved. He doesn’t have a story, and he’s not famous, he’s just a really good dog! Owners of pet fish, reptiles and amphibians please take a moment to read the enclosed article on changes coming to the City’s water treatment system.   It’s important to know this information and take the necessary steps to protect your pets.

There are also significant changes coming to the City of Tulsa Animal Welfare (city shelter).  With a six-month transition, all adoptions of city shelter animals will be handled by the Humane Society of Tulsa. Some sort of change is needed, as I recently read that the city of Newark, New Jersey’s shelter puts down approximately 30 dogs per month. In August, Tulsa’s shelter euthanized 499 dogs and 366 cats, and in September, 418 dogs, and 296 cats. Of course it’s not hard to see that something is terribly wrong with this picture, and it’s urgent that all measures possible be taken to send these numbers the other way.  Time will tell if the new arrangement will benefit the animals, the only ones who truly count in this deal.  We encourage you to read this story and let us know your thoughts, and we’ll be reporting back on this situation.

We are proud to announce our new online pet business directory! It’s been totally revamped and is a true tapestry of the entire local pet community. It’s easier to access information than to use Google and will rival any phone book. Please take a moment to go and explore! 2011 has been a fast year, and it’s hard to believe it’s almost over. We’ve had a really fun time doing all the stories and have truly enjoyed each and every one of them.

Happy holidays to all, from TulsaPets Magazine. We are thankful for your support

and wish everyone and their pets a wonderful holiday season!

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