Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday's Telling: Woods Humane Society

Since we are focusing on Woods Humane Society for the month of April, I thought you might like to know about a couple of upcoming "events" --

April 10-11 - 2nd Annual Wine 4 Paws Fundraiser

April 10th-11th is the 2nd Annual Wine for Paws Fundraiser. Last year’s event featured over 30 local wineries and the shelter receives a portion or percent of the entire day’s tasting room sales. Visit http://www.wine4paws.com/ or email info@wine4paws.com for more details. In addition, do not forget that a great way to support the animals of Woods is to support the wineries that go out of their way to support Woods.

April 15th - Critter Camp Registration Opens

Woods Humane Society offers a summer “Critter Camp” for children between the ages of 8-11 years and is a week long day camp specifically focused on teaching humane education.

Today's adoptable pet feature... 

Meet Sammy!  Sammy is an Australian Shepherd/Collie mix.  He is black and tan, weighs 37 pounds, is 1 year and 1 week old, has been neutered, and is up to date with routine shots.  (Pet ID 9066).  For more information about Sammy or other dogs/cats available for adoption please contact Woods Humane Society.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday's Tip: Beaching It

Ahh, it's spring and the weather on the Central Coast of California is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!  With such nice weather, it is just a matter of time before my hu-mans take me to the beach.  I love, love, love to run on the sand, play in the water and chase the birds (don't worry, I've never caught one!). 

If you are preparing to take your loving sidekick to the beach, Cesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) offers these tips for beaching it:

•Know the local laws. Some beaches do not accept dogs. Others require that they be on-leash at all times. Find out before you head out.

•Prepare. You may not be aware that, like humans, dogs need protection from the sun. Talk to your veterinarian about protective goggles and canine sunblock.
•Be confident in your pack leadership. For a dog to get the full benefit of a beach visit, off-leash (where permitted) is ideal. But remember, the beach is full of interesting scents of the sea life there. This can send your dog into a very primal state. If you don't have your leadership skills down pat, you could lose your dog.
•Protect your dog from fleas. This is not an issue most people associate with the beach, but sand fleas are prevalent in some areas. Be aware that a wet flea collar is ineffective and can also irritate your dog's skin. Consult your veterinarian to find the best solution.
•Let your dog dig! This is the perfect spot to let your dog try to make that tunnel to China he's been dreaming of.
•Check conditions. Sea lice, jellyfish, undercurrents, and rip tides all pose just as much of a threat to dogs as they do to humans. Before you let your dog roam, verify with a lifeguard that the environment is safe.
•Keep your dog hydrated. Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water—and never let your dog drink salt water. It can make him sick.
•Be aware of your dog's physical and emotional state. A trip to the beach isn't the time to punch out. Your dog may be having so much fun that he looses track of how tired, hot, or thirsty he is. It is up to you to watch for signs of dehydration or over-exhaustion. Sand and heat can make a normal exercise routine more strenuous. Trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, call your dog back to rest in a shady spot.
•Be respectful of other visitors. Whether canine or human, other visitors to the beach may not appreciate your dog's company. Make sure to keep your dog in check.
•Be vigilant. Remember that many items washed ashore, like fishing lines, litter, plant-life, and dead fish, may not be safe for your dog. When he goes exploring, keep a close eye on the objects he finds.
•Pick up after your dog! Help keep the water clean and the beach pleasant for other visitors.
•Give your dog a bath. If possible, give him a good rinse with fresh water before leaving the beach. When you get home, make sure to wash your dog immediately! Chemicals from sea water can be harmful to your dog's coat and health.
Until next time, enjoy the beauty of today!  ~Zoe

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday's Telling: Woods Humane Society

Today we are going local, with Woods Humane Society.  My first encounter with Woods was for training -- after the Morro Bay experience.  I was very impressed with the staff, who works very hard to inform and instruct the public on how to be a responsible pet owner, and to ensure that animals taken into the shelter are placed in good homes.  According to their website,
Woods Human Society Is a nonprofit, privately funded organization dedicated to the humane care of unwanted animals in San Luis Obispo County. Our Staff, volunteers, and board of directors are dedicated to upholding our Mission and preserving the welfare of our present and future animals.

While we cooperate with the State Humane Association of California, the American Humane Association, and The Humane Society of the United States, Woods does not receive financial support from them. Only 20% of our revenues to care for the animals are generated by service fees, the other 80% is generated from fund-raising events, grants, wills, and mainly community donations.

Woods Humane Society is proud to be a leader among the nation’s humane organizations. Thanks to loyal and broad-based community support, and the diligent efforts of our dedicated staff and volunteers, Woods placement rate in fiscal 07/08 was 94%, an outstanding achievement.

None of this work could be completed without the incredible support of our community and our wonderful volunteers.
Woods currently has a number of dogs and cats available for adoption, and those featured on last week's KSTT radio's Furry Friend Friday are:

Diesel, a 3-year-old Shepherd Mix who has called Woods Humane Society his home since December. Diesel wears a beautiful brindled coat, is neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped, and leash trained. A high-energy dog—Diesel is looking for an active family. He will make a great jogging partner. Diesel participates in the shelter’s offsite program and gets to leave with our volunteers for hikes up Bishop’s Peak and trips to the beach. Originating as a transfer from the county Animal Services Division, Diesel has advanced quickly through his obedience work and training. He absolutely loves human attention and actively seeks out love. Diesel is a great dog that is being overlooked out here at the shelter. If you are an active person looking for an active K9 companion, please stop by Woods Humane Society and spend some time getting to know Diesel.

Mr Green, a 1-year-old flat-coated retriever who transferred in to our adoption program in January. Mr. Green is neutered, current on vaccinations, and micro chipped. Most likely house broken, he is good on a leash and great with kids. Characteristic of his breed—Mr. Green has a high level of energy and is looking for an active home with room to run. He will make an amazing jogging or hiking partner. Mr. Green is not dealing with the inherent stress of kennel life very well and is desperately seeking a new and loving home to call his own. If you are an active person looking for a dog that can keep up with you, please consider stopping by Woods Humane Society and spend some time getting to know Mr. Green. Oh and he said that it is perfectly ok to change his name.

and Trooper, a 5-year-old tan and white Corgi-Basset Hound Mix (Corset) who is a guest of Woods since December. Trooper is a sweet dog that is neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped, and leash trained. He is a little shy, but quickly warms up to anyone willing to give him a pat on the head. He rides very well in the car, gets along great with other dogs, and is perfect for someone looking for a quite, mellow dog that is easy to manage. Very responsive to treats and affection, Trooper would be great for a smaller home with older/considerate children. Recently, Trooper accompanied a pack of dogs and Woods Volunteers out for a night with the Central Coast Roller Derby Girls. He performed wonderfully at the event and has since become one of the shelter’s handpicked Pet Visitation K9 Ambassadors. A bit of a conversation starter, at first glance most people think that Trooper is cross-eyed. In reality, he just has a unique coloring to his eyes. Trooper wants nothing more than to find a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day so if you are looking for a companion that enjoys long walks on the beach, watching the sunset, and curling up to snuggle and watch a movie, consider stopping by Woods Humane Society and spend some time getting to know this great little dog.

I recognize that adoption is a big step, but if you are looking to add a dog or cat to your family, please consider a pet from Woods.  If you can't adopt, there are several ways you can still support their cause: 1) you can volunteer, 2) you can donate directly to Woods, 3) you can drop off dog treats or hard chew toys, and 4) you can purchase PawPrintArt cards & prints and 30% of the profits from March/April sales will be donated to Woods Humane Society.

And now, speaking of PawPrintArt, I am introducing a new form of PawPrintArt.  I mentioned it briefly in another posting, it is painted entirely from a digital PawPrint brush that my hu-mom created from my paw print.  Here is our first portrait...

-- it is of my Dad, Ruckus, when he was just a pup.  He is a purebred Golden Retriever and quite dashing, if I do say so myself. 

Well, thanks for letting me share about Woods, and remember, "An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language."  ~Martin Buber


Monday, March 22, 2010

Chapter 11: The Training Continues

With Puppy Kindergarten behind me it is now time to to go train with the Big Dogs.  My hu-mom signed us up for Dog training through the Morro Bay Community Center.  I got a little used to being the big dog on campus, (remember, I trained with a bunch of chihuahuas), so walking into the Big Dog class was a little intimidating.  I spent a lot of time on my back (being submissive), but eventually got to feeling comfortable around all of the dogs and started walking with a bit more confidence.

The class focused on much of the same things we learned in Puppy Kindergarten, only this class was offered to "older" dogs and their humans.  In this class the instructor was a no-nonsense kind of a lady, and was much more expectant.  When she said we were going to practic walking, I walked, and when she said we were going to practice turning, I turned.  She spoke with such command that I think all of us dogs did exactly what we were supposed to do! 

The class lasted for several weeks and reinforced my training.  It was a great bonding time for me and my hu-mom.  ~Zoe  

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday's Tip: How To Hire A Dog Walker

About.com offers 6 steps for hiring a dog walker:
  1. Determine how often you can and cannot walk your dog. Once you know how often you'll need extra help you'll be able to find a dog walker available to fill in whenever you won't be around.
  2. Get recommendations from other dog owners. Ask at your local dog park or speak to all your friends and family about dog walkers they've used in the area.
  3. Use an online resource such as Craigslist.org to find dog walker classifieds (see Resources below). You can usually find a number of dog walker advertisements as well as contact information.
  4. Call dog walkers in your area and arrange to have meetings with those you are interested in hiring. Be sure to give yourself at least three options in case you have reservations about some that you've spoken with.
  5. Ask a lot of questions of the dog walkers you call. For instance, you'll want to ask how much experience they have, what qualifications they have and how they handle disciplining the dogs. Also, you'll want to know how many dogs they walk at once.
  6. Introduce your dog to the dog walkers. This gives you a chance to see your dog's temperament around the dog walkers and allows the dog walkers a chance to determine whether or not they would feel comfortable with your dog.

Okay, this is how it SHOULD be done, now let me tell you how it is being done in our house...
  1. A little neighbor girl creates a flyer saying she is a "dog walker" -- my hu-mans ignore the flyer.
  2. The little girl shows up at our door with another flyer and my hu-man says, "hmmm, let me talk it over with my wife."
  3. The little girl shows up at our door with a new flyer, indicating that no one has taken her up on her dog-walking offer, so she is lowering her rates.
  4. My hu-mans talk and think this little girl has an entrepreneural spirit and needs to be given a chance, so my hu-mom "interviews" the little girl to find out more about her "experience"...

My hu-mom, "Do you have a dog?"
Little girl, "No."
My hu-mom, "Have you taken dog training classes?"
Little girl, "No."
My hu-mom, "Have you walked dogs before?
Little girl, "No."
My hu-mom, "So, what qualifies you as a dog walker?"
Little girl, "I watch Victoria on TV, you know, 'It's Me or the Dog."

With no experience, my hu-mom was still impressed with this little girl's attitude, so she set up a time to have us all "get acquainted."  The little girl showed up at our door yesterday afternoon and my hu-mom and I went out to meet her.  My hu-mom brought treats and we spent most of the time on the front lawn.  My mom explained about speaking with authority, the importance of letting me know that I was "the dog" and the little girl was "the dog walker".  We reviewed some basic commands, (just so the "dog walker" could get used to me and me to her, then when my hu-mom felt comfortable, we started walking.  My hu-mom held the leash and showed the "dog walker" how to correct me if I started to pull, and how to walk in a straight line, turn me around, etc.  Towards the end of the session, my hu-mom passed the leash to the "dog walker" and walked along side of us, then she eventually dropped back a bit, then stopped altogether.  The "dog walker" shows promise, and my hu-mom and I will continue with training, before my hu-mom relinquishes the leash to her entirely.

So, our methods are not entirely optimal, but we are making a new friend and helping to fulfill the dreams of a little girl...to be a dog walker.  ~Zoe


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Luck of the Irish to You...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Today, I celebrate the luck o' the Irish, by introducing an expansion to my PawPrintArt.  My hu-mom has made a digital paintbrush out of my paw print, and will be painting entire paintings using my PawPrint. 

In honor of St. Paddy's Day, we created a Celtic Knot -- just to give you a quick demonstration of what we are talking about.

This is what the brush looks like...

and when color, size and pressure variation are added, you get...

If you look very closely you can see the paw prints.  As soon as we have a painting or two under our belts, we will add them to my PawPrintArt shop on Etsy and they will be available for sale (with 30% of sales profits going towards animal (& human) rescue).  Also, if you are interested in commissioning a painting, we will accept commissions also. 

So what do you think of this new art form?  We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!  ~Zoe

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday's Telling: Cooper's Dog

So many of you were pulling for little Cooper -- the four year old, highly allergic and asthmatic little boy, who needed an allergen alert dog.  Well I am happy to report that Cooper's family has raised all of the money needed to buy the dog, AND get the training. 

And so, without further adieu, please let me introduce Kona.

Yes, in just 5 months, you with your support of prayers and support, have contributed to Little Cooper living a safer life, with more freedom.  Cooper will now have the opportunity to go to school, and as his parents say, "have a guardian angel by his side."

His mom shares, "As his mother I can not tell you how over joyed and overwhelmed my heart is. I am still in disbelief. I am so incredibly thankful. During this journey, I learned a very important thing..To always, always, always help those in need no matter how big or small. From the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU for your help, love, support and advice!! We will be traveling to Colorado in June or July for a mandatory two week training session with Kona (the dog) and the trainers. Please continue to visit our blog so we can share this event with you!"

So, to all of those who read my blog, thank you for caring...thank you for sharing.  I must say, our lives are much richer because of you! ~Zoe

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm back!

It has been quite some time since my last post.  I do apologize for that and will get back on track for regular postings.

You'll be happy to know that I have recovered from my intestinal illness.  My vet still doesn't know what caused it, but there was some discussion about my eating too fast that sent my hu-mom into action.  As regular food was reintroduced, my hu-mom would hold my bowl while I ate, then pull it away after a few seconds.  As she pulled it away, she would say, "Zoe, break."  If I tried to go after the food, she would give me the ever-so-popular "ah!" sound, which let me know I had better keep my distance.  After about 10 seconds, she would put the bowl in front of me again and say, "Take it."  I would eat for about 5 seconds and the whole series started again. 

Now, she doesn't have to hold the bowl, she just sets it on the floor and I dive in as usual, then after about 5 seconds she says, "Zoe, break".  That is my cue to STEP AWAY FROM THE BOWL!  I take a step back and wait for the "take it" command.  We repeat this dance until my food is devoured.  This new way of eating sure does cramp my style, but not my stomach!

Have a great day!  ~Zoe

"Every dog must have his day." ~ Jonathan Swift