A Grateful Heart

November 23rd, 2014 Comments off

“The year has turned its circle; the seasons come and go.

The harvest all is gathered in, and chilly north winds blow.

Orchards have shared their treasures; the fields, their yellow grain,

So let your hearts overflow with gratitude… Thanksgiving is here again!”

 

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time to celebrate the blessings of the season with friends and family, and with the huge assortment of home-cooked food, it is tempting to share a few tasty treats with your canine companions, but use caution when offering your dog bits of your bountiful feast. Veterinary experts warn that many of the traditional holiday recipes for people are dangerous to your dog’s health, but if you feel you must share, do it safely with a few choices that are healthy for dogs:

  • Small tidbits of white turkey meat without the skin
  • Plain baked or sweet potatoes without the skin
  • Steamed carrots or green beans without any better, sauce or seasoning
  • Plain canned pumpkin, but NOT pumpkin pie filling…just plain pumpkin
  • Sliced raw apples or raw baby carrots

Thanksgiving leftovers can also be dangerous to your dog, and should be stored or discarded out of paw’s reach. Turkey bones and skin, the string used to tie the turkey, and the carcass itself can be lethal if eaten.

If you want to bake a healthy Thanksgiving treat for her, try this recipe by Liz Palika for some sweet potato cookies:

Sweet Potato Cookies:

  • Combine 2 cups diced sweet potatoes, cooked until mushy
  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2.5 ounce jar of turkey baby food.
  1. Mix ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet
  3. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. (20-25 minutes)
  4. Cool and store in the refrigerator.

Happy Thanksgiving from a thankful dog! Enjoy a tail waggin’ true tale as told to his favorite human, Barbara Shaner:

Hi! My name is Teddy and it is Thanksgiving time in our house. The humans are happy and so am I. I am a rescued dog, rescued from the Pound Place where I was with other confused, frightened dogs. I was not a puppy like some of them—I was all grown up so it seemed like no potential family even looked at me.

One day a lady came and talked to me. I tried my best, but she left and went to talk to some puppies. Oh, well, I thought, as I sadly went to the back of my cage and sat down. Then the lady came back with a man and their two human pups. They took me out to the big yard where I ran and jumped and played with the human pups. When the lady said, “I think this is our dog,” everyone smiled… especially me.

I was so nervous at first that I marked the dining room table, and I growled at the resident cat.

I was afraid they would take me back to the pound, but they just said, “This is our dog, and we will work things out.” And I am so thankful that we did work things out and I am thankful for many things: I have my own toys and daily playtime with my family, my own place and bed to protect me from thunderstorms (and sometimes I sleep with the humans!). I am loved and have the best life possible. I try to show how grateful I am by doing stuff like offering to clean the meat pans. Mom says no, but she just smiles and gives me an extra dog cookie. I help my people get their exercise and meet new people. I wish for all canines around the world a loving family, a warm house, tasty food, a cozy bed, lots of snuggles, good smells, and happy playtime

… now about those meat pans

just a couple licks surely couldn’t hurt me, could they?

(If I make my very sad face, I may not get the meat pan, but I will surely get another dog cookie…life is good).

A grateful heart unlocks the fullness of life

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a simple meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.

A grateful heart makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow

—Melody Beattie

Senior Dogs

November 12th, 2014 Comments off

Animal Welfare Groups around the country salute our senior dogs during the month of November with National Senior Pet Month, but actually it is always time to celebrate our older dogs. One of my very favorite books is Gene Weingarten’s Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs, a collection of profiles and awesome photos revealing the unique appeal of man’s best friend in his last and best years. The book is a tribute to every dog who has made it to that time in life when the eyesight and hearing begin to go, when the step becomes uncertain, but when a dog attains a special sort of dignity and charm all his own. If you have ever been blessed by the company of an old dog, you will recognize him in this book. It would make the perfect gift…for yourself or someone else.

Another book that offers a loving tribute to our senior best friends is Beautiful Old Dogs, edited by David Tabatsky with photographs by Garry Gross, who writes, “ I think we need to have a change of mind, a change of heart, so that we can look at faces that are old, and actually see the beauty of them, not just dogs, but also humans. The dogs in this book are beautiful …they have love and compassion and are willing to give it to anybody who takes care of them…They’re faithful and they’re dedicated. It is my great hope that all of you will see the beauty in these senior dogs as deeply as I do. The older the better…dogs with soul in their eyes.” This book also includes a section listing resources for those who would like to get involved with senior dogs. Every dog lover needs a copy of this book…and it would make a great gift!

I sometimes feel like our TLC Canine Center is a Senior Citizen Center….we have quite a few older residents…there through no fault of their own…a death or an illness or sometimes just because they are old. These dogs have stories to tell…often sad stories, and all shelters and rescue groups have older dogs that are often passed by just because of their age. Most potential adopters are looking for a cute, cuddly puppy, and fail to see the wonderfulness of the older ones.

An Old Dog’s Lament

I’m sorry I’m not cute anymore. I’m sorry I got all big and old and you got tired of me.

I’m sorry you don’t have time to play with me, and think I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

It must be my fault that things turned out this way. Please forgive me.

Please tell me how to be cute again. Please don’t throw me away.

I am more tired than I used to be and I sleep a bit more.

I don’t see or hear as well, but what did I do wrong?

My human family I have been with for so many years is gone.

Here at the shelter, potential adopters pass right by me, pausing to let out a sigh,

“Too old… too worn…we want a puppy who will run and play, not one who limps.”

It must be my fault that things turned out this way. Please forgive me.

What did I do wrong?

—author unknown.

Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way that its animals are treated. I believe, we can tell even more by the way the older animals are treated. In today’s throw-away society, it seems that little thought is given to preservation or conservation , and little patience is applied to making possessions or relationships last. If it’s old or broken, obsolete or unattractive, just put it on the trash heap. Old dogs are truly the best dogs, and we urge you to get involved in helping these precious animals, maybe neighborhood dogs would enjoy some extra attention, or volunteer at your local shelter to visit older dogs, play with them, and get to know them. You will soon find yourself in love  Old dogs are devoted, grateful, and very faithful. You may even decide to take one home with you. We promise you will never regret loving an older dog.

 

Prevent Those Tiny Critters from Causing Harm

November 12th, 2014 Comments off

Sixteenth century poet John Donne once said, “The flea, though he may kill none, he does all the harm he can.” Parasites are definitely unwelcome guests at any time of year, whether they are microscopic bacteria or blood-engorged ticks the size of a pea, and these pests are more than nuisances…many carry diseases that can impair or even threaten your dog’s life. It is estimated that Americans spend more than a billion dollars a year in an attempt to get rid of parasites from their pets and homes, and when these jumping, biting pests appear in the spring, most pet caregivers rush out to buy preventative treatment in an effort to curb “the harm they can do.” However, as temperatures drop, many seem to feel that they can stop worrying about flea and tick infestations. The truth is that fleas can be more prevalent in October and November than at any other time of year. Throughout the summer, flea populations have increased and are peaking in the fall, and as the weather cools down, the pesky critters instinctively seek out warm bodies and other warm places to feed and exist and lay eggs. Fleas can lay dormant for long periods in the larva and pupa stages until environmental conditions rouse them, and unless flea preventatives are used well into the winter. Problems such as flea bite dermatitis and possibly tapeworms may develop.

Ticks have also been abundant all summer, and they are still alive and well, even though cooler weather has arrived. Ticks are tough, and can hibernate and survive very cold weather, and although they probably won’t invade your home like fleas do, they can bring diseases into the house by clinging to your clothing or your pets. Ticks have become synonymous with Lyme disease, but most ticks do not carry this disease, and even if they are infected, they only begin transmitting disease if they are allowed to remain attached and feed for sustained periods of time, so it is important to examine your dog every day to locate and immediately remove any ticks. Work through his coat with a fine-toothed comb, and use your hands to feel all over for any suspicious bumps and creepy crawlers. When ticks are engorged with blood, they are visibly swollen and purplish, but unfed ticks will resemble tiny brown scabs, and are easy to miss. There are effective products to deal with both ticks and fleas, but DO NOT buy over-the-counter products which may be toxic to your pet. Always check with your veterinarian before using any parasite prevention product! Other parasites that drain a dog’s vitality can be quickly identified by a fecal sample. Fecal samples should be taken in to your vet regularly, so if a bug is found, it can be treated and eliminated. It is easier to expend a little extra time, energy, and money to prevent parasites from causing major harm.

Mosquitoes have been terrorizing both humans and canines this fall, and mosquitoes are the culprits in transmitting potentially lethal heartworm. Unlike fleas and ticks that live on your dog, mosquitoes just drop by for a quick meal, and then are gone, but they have the potential to transmit life-threatening diseases such as heartworm which can be fatal to an animal. We encourage responsible pet caregivers to be diligent in the consistent use of VET APPROVED flea, tick and heartworm prevention products.

Everyone is afflicted by “the fleas” of life”—you know, colds, bills, broken bones, and little nuisances of one sort or another. Let’s strive to eliminate all the fleas—from our dogs, and from our lives.

—William Styron

 

‘Tis Pumpkin Season

November 3rd, 2014 Comments off

Here a pumpkin…there a pumpkin…everywhere you look there is a pumpkin…or two…or three…or more, and it is definitely the season for everyone to indulge in pumpkin-flavored sweets, and by everyone, we mean everyone, dogs included.   There are many human foods that you should definitely not share with your pooch, but pumpkin has health benefits for both two-legs and four-legs.  Loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc, and alpha and beta carotene, the health benefits of pumpkin can result in a healthier immune system, healthier skin, healthier eyes, and a healthier coat.  (Even the seeds are a doggy super food.) Wow!  That’s not too shabby for a treat that almost all dogs love.    Here are a few health benefits of pumpkin when given in small portions:

  • Some health care professionals believe that the oils contained in the seeds and flesh of pumpkins support urinary health in dogs, and anyone whose dog has had bladder or kidney stones, know how much suffering they can cause.  Supposedly adding pumpkin to his diet can help avoid this painful condition.
  • The antioxidants and essential fatty acids contained in pumpkin seeds help moisturize your dog’s skin   from the inside out.  Spread seeds evenly onto a lightly greased baking sheet, and roast in a 375 degree oven for about l0 minutes, and cool before serving one or two as a special daily treat.   (Leftover seeds should be stored in an airtight container).  Don’t overdo the portion sizes, since minerals like iron and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A can accumulate to unhealthy, even toxic levels.
  • According to Laci Schaible, founder of VetLive.com, pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix with spices and sugar…just plain pumpkin) is great for digestive health.  Adding a tablespoon or two (in proportion dog’s size) to their regular meal is known to help keep a dog regular.  It can also help dogs with indigestion or upset stomachs.  Again remember to not overdo portion sizes.
  • Most of our dogs seem to have the same weight problem as most of us humans, and dogs seem to naturally love pumpkin, so if you are looking to take a few pounds off your overweight companion, try reducing the portion of their food and mix it with a small amount of canned pumpkin.  The tummy will feel just as full, and she will enjoy the new taste treat.

November seems to be the month of putting delicious pumpkin into every baked food imaginable, so adding pumpkin to dog biscuits should be a no-brainer.   Hopefully you will forget about non-healthy commercial dog treats and try this easy-to-make recipe

PEANUT BUTTER – PUMPKIN BITES

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (plain pumpkin, not pie mix pumpkin)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 ½ cups whole wheat flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees while you mix the first four ingredients.   Then add the flour.  (I knead it with my hands).  Dough should be workable…not too sticky, but not dry and stiff.  (Add a few drops of water if needed).    Pinch off bite sized pieces and place on lightly greased cookie sheets.  Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.   If they get too brown, it’s okay…they will just be crunchier….if they are still soft, they will be chewier…dogs aren’t fussy…they love them any way they turn out!

 

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Howl-o-ween is not fun for most dogs!

October 23rd, 2014 Comments off

Halloween means parties, lots of candy, and fun filled activities for the two legged, but for companion animals it is often a time of anxiety and fright. We encourage all caregivers to adhere to basic safety rules to keep the four-legged safe and stress free.

  1. We recommend never leaving dogs outdoors unattended for extended periods of time, but it is especially important at Halloween when they become easy prey for pranksters who may tease, injure, and even kill pets. We suggest that they be kept inside in a separate room during trick-or-treating visiting hours. Too many strangers dressed in weird outfits can be scary for pets, and it takes only seconds for a frightened animal to dart out. ( Be sure that he has proper identification so that if somehow, he escapes and becomes lost, your chances will be better of his being returned to you.)
  2. Halloween costumes for dogs are bigger business again this year, with all the pet catalogs and pet departments featuring a grand variety of dog outfits. I admit that many of them are really cute, but I remind you that this is a commercial venture targeted to humans, not for the enjoyment of the dogs. Most pets prefer their “birthday suits” instead of wearing a costume that can be stressful and potentially dangerous. My advice again is to forget the costume…dogs are dogs; they do not need to be dressed up, but I realize many caregivers are going to dress up their pets anyway, so PLEASE make sure the costume is safe, and not too uncomfortable!
  3. Keep Halloween candy and edible treats out of your dog’s reach. That bowlful of candy for the trick-or-treaters can be dangerous for animals. Chocolate is extremely toxic to animals, and the foil and cellophane candy wrappers can cause serious problems if ingested, and many sweet treats contain the sweetener xylitol, which can cause serious health problems. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are not necessarily toxic, but they can produce gastrointestinal upset if ingested.
  4. Carved pumpkins are super decorations for the season, but caution is needed if you choose to add a candle. Pets (or small children) can easily knock over a lighted pumpkin and get burned or cause a fire. Dogs seem to have a fascination for wires and cords, so extra caution is needed to keep any cords from electrical decorations out of reach.

Since it is a night for treats, your dog would certainly enjoy some special chews. All you need is a sweet potato and five minutes preparation time for these healthy, inexpensive Sweet Potato Chews:

Sweet Potato Chews:

– Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

– Scrub the sweet potato….don’t even need to peel it.

– Cut it into thin slices…the thinner the slice the crisper it will be…and place in a single layer on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

– Bake in the oven for about 3 hours or longer for crunchy treats…or if you have a dehydrator, you can pop them in that instead of the oven.

We encourage parents and teachers to talk to the children about the importance of always showing respect toward their animal friends, and to be especially alert to any friends annoying, harassing, or pulling pranks on them. Ask them to tell you if they see anyone trying to antagonize an animal. A child who is abusive to animals is not just “being a kid”; there is a definite connection between violence toward animals and violence toward fellow humans.

Remember your animals depend on you to keep them safe and sound on this ghost and goblin night, and by using a few common sense cautions, it will be a Happy Howl-o-ween for everyone!!

Enjoy spooky music, chocolate treats and scary movies?

October 19th, 2014 Comments off

For most of us, Halloween is a festive time with spooky jack-o-lanterns, kids in costumes, and plenty of candy, and money conscious marketing experts are promoting the idea of putting the dogs in costume, and millions of Americans are following their suggestions. All the pet catalogs and pet departments are featuring a grand variety of costumes, and many of them are really cute…hard to resist, but the fact is that they are commercial ventures targeted to gullible humans, not for the enjoyment of the dogs. Do you really believe that your dog will enjoy wearing cheaply made, ill-fitting, sometimes dangerous clothing? If you are honest, you will probably admit that your dog would be more comfortable in her “birthday suit” than wearing a costume. Our dogs love us and have a deep desire to please…they will do almost anything to gain their humans’ approval, but who benefits from dressing them in costumes? Dogs are dogs, and most of them dislike the confinement of costumes, and dress up is usually a major mess-up for the animals. We encourage you to reconsider before you rush out and spend big bucks (or even little bucks) on that cute costume.

Now for another fact: I realize that many pet parents are going to ignore my suggestion, (some have already purchased the outfit), and so here are a few tips:

  •  Think safety, not cuteness…the costume should not restrict the animal’s movement, vision, or his hearing, and should not impede his ability to breathe or bark. I browsed through some really cute costumes in several pet departments, and almost all of them had small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces that the dog could choke on. Buttons, tassels, and ribbons can cause serious intestinal blockage, and poorly fitted outfits can get twisted or caught on external objects.
  • Does your dog have sensitive skin? The synthetic materials found in most of the costumes, besides being uncomfortable, can generate allergic reactions, which will result in an evening of uncomfortable scratching and skin irritations, even with non-allergic dogs.
  • Don’t wait until the BIG NIGHT to try on all costumes…you need to have several dress rehearsals, and if your pet seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, pay attention. If he starts to lick or chew at himself or the costume, it is likely that he is stressed. Sure he looks cute, but forcing him to do something that he does not want to do can result in bad behaviors and future conflicts. Is the “cuteness” worth the price? Wouldn’t he honestly be happier going “au natural”? And if you can’t resist parading her in a costume, never leave her alone. Ridiculously cute can quickly become downright dangerous.

It really is fun browsing through the catalogs and pet departments to see all the unique costumes, but ask yourself what your real motivation is…will your dog be happier with or without a costume? My advice is FORGET THE COSTUME! Your dog will appreciate a decision to settle for a festive collar or a cute bandanna.

Your dog has one aim in life—to bestow his heart… and he asks for little in return.

He may well be the most memorable friend in life,

one who loves you even when you aren’t very lovable.

Without a choice, without a voice,

your dog depends on his humans to make the best decisions for him.

—J.R. Ackerley

 

Autumn Safety Tips

October 13th, 2014 Comments off

Many people consider Fall their favorite season of the year…. brisk Autumn temperatures, the aromas of drying crops, and the variety of colors as the trees begin to lose their leaves, but although the seasonal changes have great appeal for people, they also present many potential health hazards for our dogs.

The pleasure of watching the colors of fall sometimes disappears because of the tedious job of cleaning up the seemingly endless supply of leaves. The noises created by leaf blowers may spook your dog, causing him to hide or even run away. Additionally, gas powered devices can leak oil or fuel, and create a source of toxicity if your pet licks a substance from the ground or on his paw and ingests it.

Piles of leaves remaining on your lawn quickly accumulate moisture, which promotes mold and bacterial growth which could cause digestive tract upset if swallowed, and burning dried leaves definitely can be become a fire hazard to both humans and pets.

Antifreeze works wonders in your car as cold weather comes, but it is a very dangerous toxin for dogs. Thousands of dogs are poisoned each year by ingesting antifreeze that drips onto garage floors and driveways, or is left in easy-to-open containers. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that makes it attractive to pets, and a dose of less than half a teaspoon per pound of body weight is a lethal dose. Most antifreeze products are almost all ethylene glycol, a potent alcohol that is readily absorbed once it is ingested. Some newer antifreeze products use 50 percent or more propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol, making them safer than older products, but they can still cause alcohol poisoning, so it is important to exercise caution with these products, and minimize exposure your dog may have to them by carefully cleaning up any spills, and keeping your eyes open for any suspicious looking puddles when taking a walk.

If you move your plants indoor during the winter, be aware that many plants are poisonous to pets. Just a few include amaryllis, aloe, lilies, carnations, chrysanthemums, daffodils, daisies, philodendron, some palms and grasses, poinsettias, holly and common herbs. For a complete list, go to www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control

Seasonal allergies can kick in for dogs in the fall, and although these are usually evidenced by skin allergies, they can also be allergic rhinitis, evidence by sneezing, loud snorting or snoring, and discharge from the nose. If your dog shows evidence of allergies, a vet visit is advised.

Ah, October…the month when the little mice start moving in from the fields. If you use poisons or traps to keep unwanted critters from taking residence in your home, be aware that any poisons that kill these little nuisances will also sicken or kill your dog, and accessible traps can injure a curious pet by snapping shut on an inquisitive paw or nose. There are no safe rodenticides, and whether out of hunger, boredom, or curiosity, your dog may consume these products, so it is important to keep any poisons in places that are inaccessible to pets and children.

With the shortened daylight hours, it is likely that you will sometimes be walking your dog during daybreak or twilight, and the best ways to keep you and your pet safe are reflective gear, flashlights or light up collars and leashes….all products that are available at pet stores or on line. Sometimes weather conditions make it difficult to walk outdoors, but regular exercise is important. You can exercise your dog indoors on a treadmill or set up an indoor “agility” course using household objects, such as clothes baskets, broom handles and furniture.

Dogs with short coats or no fluffy undercoat may need a doggie coat or sweater for their walks, but many dog coats are either worthless, difficult to put on the dog, or are obviously uncomfortable for him. Choose for practicality, not “cuteness.”

The fall season is a great time of year to enjoy the sights and smells of the season with your pet, and with just a few precautions, you can keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy during these crisp, cool autumn months!

Commit to your Dog’s Health

October 4th, 2014 Comments off

October is a busy month, filled with fall activities, and it is also recognized as National Pet Wellness Month, when caregivers are encouraged to re-evaluate your pet’s health and there are many tips to help keep them safe and healthy all year round.

  • Pet proofing your home is important whether you have a new pet or have had pets for years. There are many every day products, including medicines, pesticides and some household plants that can prove poisonous to our animal friends. It is a good time to go through your home and make sure that all potentially harmful objects are out of your pet’s reach.
  • Did your dog have a complete wellness check this year? If not, schedule one soon rather than later. It is important that dogs visit the vet more than just when they are sick or injured. A physical can ward off diseases by getting routine vaccinations, and allows your vet to look for any signs of potential health problems which may be effectively treated if caught in the early stages. If you have a senior pet, remember that pets age faster than we do, and therefore need check-ups more often.
  • If your dog isn’t already spayed or neutered, you are missing out on major health benefits. According to the ASPCA, female dogs that are not spayed have a much higher chance of getting uterine infections and breast cancer, and intact males have a higher incidence of testicular cancer.
  • Dental hygiene is an often overlooked area, and dental problems often lead to other health issues, such as heart, kidney, and joint problems. These are serious problems, and it’s worth taking the time to promote oral health. According to veterinarian Brook Niemiec, “The only time that dogs get bad breath is when they have serious periodontal disease, and by the time a problem manifests itself, disease is probably in an advanced state. With some breeds, as many as 90 percent will have some level of early gum disease by the time they are one year old. Taking care of your dog’s teeth is like changing the oil in the car. If you don’t do it regularly, you will have bigger and more expensive problems later on.” It is estimated that about 80 percent of all dogs over three years of age have oral disease, so it is important to perform routine home dental care and schedule regular oral exams by your veterinarian.
  • Most of us really aren’t prepared for emergencies, but it is important to put together a plan to keep your dog safe in case of a health crisis, or a natural disaster. Include a safe pet-friendly place to go, a list of any items you need for yourself, and also for your dog, with medications and contact numbers like your veterinarian or pet hospital.
  • Take a closer look at what you are feeding your dog. Not all pet foods are created equal, and you may need to rethink your pet’s food. Many foods contain cheap fillers that don’t provide your pet any nutrition, and wellness starts by what you give your pet for food. Deciphering a pet food label may be confusing, so www.dogfoodadvisor.com, an independent site ranks all of the major dog foods. Click on BRAND and they will rate any specific food, or you may also review all brands A to Z. You may be surprised to learn that many popular foods are not healthy foods. It is also important what treats you are giving your dog. Most commercial treats are not healthy and some are downright toxic. We recommend NO commercial treats, and especially not those that are imported from China.

Here is a very simple, easy to make, healthy treat:

1 egg

½ cup water

2 ½ cups flour (preferably whole wheat flour)

1 teaspoon sugar

½ cup non-fat dry milk powder

6 tablespoons of margarine.

Instructions:

Mix ingredients and knead until the dough forms a ball.

Pinch off small bits and drop on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees…

Note: if you want to make fancy looking cookies, roll to ½ inch thick and cut into dog bones… the dogs don’t care about their appearance, but if they are for gifts, they will be more impressive looking.)

 

Dogs give their human companions unconditional love and are always there with an encouraging wag of the tail!

They are indeed very special animals.

We need to realize that they depend on us to provide for their well-being.

Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

 

 

Celebrate Responsible Dog Care Month

September 24th, 2014 Comments off

Many people today consider their dogs’ part of the family, and every September, animal welfare groups shine a spotlight on the commitment it takes to have a canine companion, reminding caregivers that having a dog is not like having a car. When your dog misbehaves, you can’t just trade him in. If she gets sick, it is your responsibility to help her recover, and if your lifestyle changes, you must make every effort to accommodate your dog’s needs.

Dogs are awesome in their devotion, loyalty and friendship to humankind. Anyone who has ever been owned by a dog can attest to this fact. The wagging tail at the sound of the leash being taken down, the excitement your dog shows when you come home, even if you have only been gone for five minutes, and the head snuggled in your lap…just a few of the rewards of sharing home and life with a dog.

However, having a dog is not just a privilege; it is a responsibility. Dogs depend on humans for health, happiness, and well-being, not just for food and shelter. They were meant to share our homes with us and be our companions, and that is the right reason for having a dog. People who get dogs for the wrong reason, usually end up regretting their decision, and the dog often becomes relegated to the backyard, tied to a doghouse, surrendered to the dog pound, or simply dumped on a country road to “get rid of the burden.” Caring for a dog should not be a “burden;” it should be a joy. Caregivers need to accept responsibility for the animal you promised to love his whole life long. What is he thinking when you drag him off to the pound and drive away without him? MILLIONS of healthy, young dogs each year die every year because of thoughtless humans!

Responsible caregivers NEVER overlook responsibility for this living being and recognize that the dog’s welfare is totally dependent on people.

   HERE IN THIS HOUSE

Here in this house…I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of other dogs “out there.” I will sleep soundly, knowing that when I wake, my world will be safe. I will never know hunger, or the fear of not having enough to eat. I will never shiver in the cold or grow weary from the heat. My fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted, because I have a responsible caregiver..

Here in this house…I will be talked to, and even if I don’t understand, I can enjoy the warmth of the words. I will have my own name so that I may know who I am among many. My name will be used in joy, and I will love the sound of it.

Here in this house…I will never be a substitute for anything I am not. I will not be used to improve people’s image of themselves. I will be loved because I am who I am, not someone’s idea of who I should be. I will never suffer for someone’s anger, impatience, or ignorance. I will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by all, and I will learn my lessons well.

Here in this house…I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch…knowing that everything they do will be for my well-being. If I am sick, I will be doctored; if scared, I will be calmed; if sad, I will be cheered. No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and of great value. I will get to experience many fun activities that keep my brain and my body active, so that I will not be bored. I will get to go with my human on many trips, and will get the daily exercise that I need. I will never be cast out because I am too, old, too ill, too unruly, or not cute enough. My life is a responsibility, not an afterthought. I am learning that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs…

Here in this house…I am happy, healthy, and loved…because I have a responsible caregiver.

Light up the World for Orphan Pets

September 20th, 2014 Comments off

Don’t miss our Annual Woofs and Wags Day, Saturday 9:00 am to 3:00pm

at Century 21 in Storm Lake  (813 Flindt Drive, Storm Lake – across from the Dairy Queen.)  

 

Every year in the United States 3.4 million orphan pets lose their lives without finding a home. Yet only 30% of pets in U.S. households come from rescue facilities.  The TLC Canine Center is one of 219 organizations and rescue groups registered to raise awareness for homeless dogs this September. We will be lighting a candle to honor the millions of pets who lost their lives without the benefit of a loving home and shine a light on the millions of healthy pets who are still awaiting adoption.  This awareness campaign encourages individuals to light a candle in memory of these precious animals.

Moved by the staggering statistics of homeless pets who lose their lives each year, Helen Woodward Animal Center President Mike Arms put out a call to rescue organizations in an attempt to create an awareness campaign, explaining why he created this Remembrance Event, “My heart breaks for all those beautiful homeless animals and also for the people working in animal welfare who are forced to take the lives of pets they love.  I believe that this is a way for people to let the world know the sad   lives of many, many dogs, and raising awareness can help to increase adoptions, and decease euthanasia.” Grass roots programs and events have sprung up around the world, and last year thousands of candles were lit at ceremonies honoring orphan pets around the globe, bringing to light the plight of so many innocent pets.

                It’s time to make a change…it starts with one person.  Will it be you?

Who will light up your life?   It will be me!

Who will be your best friend?   It will be me!

Together we can make a difference; together we can save lives.

Join the movement to remember the pets who didn’t get a second chance

And to shine a light on the orphan pets who are still waiting.

Who will always be there for you?  It will be me!

Who will love you unconditionally?  It will be me!

–Emmy and Tony Award Winning Celebrity, Kristin Chenoweth

We will have a Remembrance Display at our Annual Woofs and Wags Event on Saturday, September 27, and would like to include your special dog in this display, so if you bring along a favorite photo, we will attach it to a special card for you to take home as a continual reminder to do your part to raise awareness of the plight of homeless pets. We do hope that you will join us for this special day.  The Walmart crew, under the direction of Lisa Billings, has been working hard to make the day a great one for both two-legs and four-legs. There will be a rummage sale, bake sale, and food booth, with all proceeds given to the local TLC.  Come meet and greet some of the TLC dogs! The Puppy Walk is scheduled for 2:00 and we know that your awesome dog deserves to strut his stuff  (and certainly deserves a sample of the home made dog biscuits which will also be available….along with the TLC Canine Cookbook which contains healthy, yummy treats.)  And the event will close with our candlelight remembrance ceremony immediately following the dog walk awards presentation.  

If you are not in our area or are unable to attend our Candlelight Remembrance Ceremony, we encourage you to create your own event!!!

Feel free to use any of the cards below or use our predefined template ( Light a candle in memory template ):

In Loving Honor of:

In Loving Honor of:

In Loving Memory of:

In Loving Memory of:

Light a Candle Poem

Light a Candle Poem