Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bake these

I love me some The Bark magazine. Thanks to them, I found this simple dog cookie recipe I have whipped up for gifting. They are Princess approved! Mack and Bella had 1 and scarfed them up as well, but I anticipate they will go bat sh!t crazy over the cheese twists I will be baking tonight as published in this months issue.

Really easy and pretty much stocked pantry ingredients:


Makes 5 to 6 dozen cookies.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup molasses
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Roll out dough on floured surface to about ¼ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes. Combine dough scraps and continue to roll out and cut into shapes until all dough has been used.

Place cookies on ungreased foil-lined baking sheets and bake in preheated 325ยบ oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

From The Home Spa Book for Dogs by Jennifer Cermak, published by Quarry Books, 2005.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sometimes everything goes to sh!t

On Friday, I found out that the spunky and sassy Hero passed away from Parvo. His brother Piglet is still in the hospital, but his outlook looks good. I'm still in shock that a puppy full to the brim with piss and vinegar is gone. I can still imagine what his little wiggling warm body felt like in the palm of my hand. It upsets me greatly, and in turn, makes me think of all of the animals being put to sleep in the time it takes me to write this. For those that don't know, that's on average 15.2 animals per minute. Does it make you want to puke as much as it does me? Which begs me to ask myself why I like to torture myself so much. So for now, my transporting and emergency fosters all must have pretty clear vaccination schedules and have to have at least 3 distemper shots before riding in my car, stepping foot on my back lawn, or entering my house for a period of one year. Parvo is the most hateful virus on the planet.

On Saturday, Bella gave me a minor anxiety attack with some inexplicable drooling out of one side of her mouth. It really scared me and for all my poking and prodding I found nothing. By the next day it had stopped, but not after my house was covered in drool and we had amassed a large collection of soaked drool rags. We went to the vet yesterday and he theorizes she ate a bug that potentially stung her. Good thing I gave her some Benadryl when the drooling started thinking it would be a safe way to cover my bases. She is now all UTD on shots, HW negative, and a little bit leaner which is a good thing for those aging hips of hers.

I dropped off Mack this morning as his anal gland infection is not clearing up after 2 weeks of antibiotics. Why is his bum broken you ask? Because the frat brat has been eating toilet paper and tissues like a heroin junkie. Very hard to control when everyone in the house has spent countless weeks sick from the swine flu and the regular cold. Little sh!t even ate the entire roll off the powder bath wall a few weeks ago... while he ripped the hardware off the wall, at least he didn't eat that. So today he's being knocked out for the 2nd time this year to get his glands flushed and packed. Fun times. At least I had the chance to meet the vet's other famous goat patient. We have heard all about one another in the 9 years I've been taking Mack to the vet.

In between all of this I have been frantically trying to save some dogs by networking. I was even trying to pull a dog to get to a foster home about 1,600 miles away. At the last possible second, the dog was adopted by hopefully a forever home. Phew.

Fingers crossed that Mack's butt will smell funky no more, ok?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Too many kisses!

1 toddler, 2 foster puppies, and too many kisses to count. Taken with our awesome and easy to use Flip Mino HD. If you don't have one, I highly suggest them as gifts!

Click here for the short video clip.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My most recent transport

11/6- I almost forgot this one for no reason other than it was blissful. It was later at night than most are scheduled for, so I hired a babysitter and drove it alone. My friend was going to join me, but then caught the lovely swine flu Becks and I have already had. I had almost forgot what it felt like to be in a car alone without a chatterbox toddler talking my ear off. I was actually able to opt for really loud music instead of a Disney movie! Woot woot! It's the little pleasures in life.

Tank and Gunner were the remaining bait babies from my prior transport that had a harder time recuperating. Also along was Romeo, a gorgeous owner surrender who only understand Spanish. I took Spanish when I was in the 7th and 8th grade and it did not stick. I tossed out my umpicito espanol and probably had him super confused. But he liked my world famous ear rubs so he forgave me the babbling. After only a few days of being boarded together, he became the puppies surrogate parent. They spent the whole trip cuddling together with the occasional break to pop up and see where we were.

My how fast they grow, here are their updated rescue pics and adoption info:

And I'm sad to see these transport passengers of mine still waiting for a home:

Aggression: Do you even know what that means?

In light of the self righteous mother dumping her dog on the mythical farm where all unwanted indoor pets go to live because it scratched her baby, a sure sign of aggression I am told by many other moms, I bring you this:

Dog Aggression

The Humane Society of the United States

A dog's bark may be worse than his bite, but most of us would rather not find out one way or the other.

Growling, baring teeth, snarling, snapping, and biting are all aggressive behaviors. Although these messages are among the handful of communication tools available to dogs, they're generally unacceptable to humans.

Because aggression is so complex, and because the potential consequences are so serious, we recommend that you get professional in-home help from an animal behavior specialist if your dog is displaying aggressive behavior.

Types of aggression
Dominance aggression is motivated by a challenge to a dog's social status or to his control of a social interaction. Dogs are social animals and view their human families as their social group or "pack." Based on the outcomes of social challenges among group members, a dominance hierarchy or "pecking order" is established.

If your dog perceives his own ranking in the hierarchy to be higher than yours, he'll probably challenge you in certain situations. Because people don't always understand canine communication, you may inadvertently challenge your dog's social position. A dominantly aggressive dog may growl if he is disturbed when resting or sleeping or if he is asked to give up a favorite spot, such as the couch or the bed.

Physical restraint, even when done in a friendly manner (like hugging), may also cause your dog to respond aggressively. Reaching for your dog's collar, or reaching over his head to pet him, could also be interpreted as a challenge for dominance. Dominantly aggressive dogs are often described as "Jekyll and Hydes" because they can be very friendly when not challenged. Dominance aggression may be directed at people or at other animals. The most common reason for fights among dogs in the same family is instability in the dominance hierarchy.

Fear-motivated aggression is a defensive reaction and occurs when a dog believes he is in danger of being harmed. Remember that it's your dog's perception of the situation, not your actual intent, which determines your dog's response. For example, you may raise your arm to throw a ball, but your dog may bite you because he believes he's protecting himself from being hit. A dog may also be fearfully aggressive when approached by other dogs.

Protective, territorial, and possessive aggression are all very similar, and involve the defense of valuable resources. Territorial aggression is usually associated with defense of property, and that "territory" may extend well past the boundaries of your yard. For example, if you regularly walk your dog around the neighborhood and allow him to urine-mark, he may think his territory includes the entire block. Protective aggression usually refers to aggression directed toward people or animals whom a dog perceives as threats to his family, or pack. Dogs become possessively aggressive when defending their food, toys, or other valued objects, including items as peculiar as tissues stolen from the trash.

Redirected aggression is a relatively common type of aggression but one that is often misunderstood by pet owners. If a dog is somehow provoked by a person or animal he is unable to attack, he may redirect this aggression onto someone else. For example, two family dogs may become excited, and bark and growl in response to another dog passing through the front yard; or two dogs confined behind a fence may turn and attack each other because they can't attack an intruder. Predation is usually considered to be a unique kind of aggressive behavior because it's motivated by the intent to obtain food, and not primarily by the intent to harm or intimidate.

Individual variation
The likelihood of a dog to show aggressive behavior in any particular situation varies markedly from dog to dog. Some dogs tend to respond aggressively with very little stimulation. Others may be subjected to all kinds of threatening stimuli and events and yet never attempt to bite.

The difference in the threshold prompting aggressive behavior is influenced by both environmental and genetic factors. If this threshold is low, a dog will be more likely to bite. Raising the threshold makes a dog less likely to respond aggressively. This threshold can be raised using behavior modification techniques, but the potential for change is influenced by a dog's gender, age, breed, general temperament, and the way in which the behavior modification techniques are chosen and implemented.

Because working with aggressive dogs can be potentially dangerous, behavior modification techniques should only be attempted by, or under the guidance of, an experienced animal behavior professional who understands animal learning theory and behavior.

What you can do

First, check with your veterinarian to rule out medical causes for the aggressive behavior.
Seek professional advice. An aggression problem will not go away by itself. Working with aggression problems requires in-home help from an animal behavior specialist.
Take precautions. Your first priority is to keep people and other animals safe. Supervise, confine, and/or restrict your dog's activities until you can obtain professional guidance. You are liable for your dog's behavior. If you must take your dog out in public, consider a cage-type muzzle as a temporary precaution, and remember that some dogs are clever enough to get a muzzle off.
Avoid exposing your dog to situations where he is more likely to show aggression. You may need to keep him confined to a safe room and limit his contact with people.
If your dog is possessive of toys or treats, or territorial in certain locations, prevent access and you'll prevent the problem. In an emergency, bribe him with something better than what he has. For example, if he steals your shoe, trade him the shoe for a piece of chicken.
Spay or neuter your dog. Intact dogs are more likely to display dominance, territorial, and protective aggressive behavior.
What not to do
Punishment won't help and, in fact, will often make the problem worse. If the aggression is motivated by fear, punishment will make your dog more fearful, and therefore more aggressive. Attempting to punish or dominate a dominantly aggressive dog may actually lead him to escalate his behavior to retain his dominant position. This is likely to result in a bite or a severe attack. Punishing territorial, possessive, or protective aggression is likely to elicit additional defensive aggression.

Adapted from material originally developed by applied animal behaviorists at the Dumb Friends League, Denver, Colorado. All rights reserved.