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Puppies on the Mend at Ruffles Rescue

The other day I posted a photograph of a tick-infested puppy on my Facebook page. To say it was tick-infested is an understatement.  It was not a pretty sight to say the least, it was revolting actually, and I know some were put off by it.

This pup was one of six and their momma rescued by Ruffles Rescue in Exeter, California.  They had posted a request for donations to help these pups who were now suffering from tick fever and were hanging on for dear life.

Because sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, the rescue group got such a response they asked people to stop sending donations and instead, asked them to consider donating to one of their local rescues. This is definitely the hallmark of a legitimate and caring Rescue Group.

Ruffles Rescue’s facebook page credits a group called Saving Grace Animal Rescue in Birmingham, AL, for being their angels.  Because this group and other generous donors, as of today, the puppies are starting to eat and play the way they should be. Their mom is also doing well.

I don’t generally put revolting photos on my wall. But in this case, all those shared postings with photo did help and I would do it again for that reason.  Many people asked, “Who would do that to a dog?” “How does a pup get like that?”

And that brings me to the most important part of my post.  If more people would help to get more cats and dogs spayed and neutered, cases like this would not be so frequent. It is alarming to see so many pregnant homeless companion animals that end up giving birth in the wild or at a shelter. Many will not find homes; it is just a sad fact.

Each month, I have my Pay Pal Account set to automatically deposit $2.00 into the Chip in Account of a Group called Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love. Last January, on the occasion of my birthday, I set up a birthday chip-in account which had a very nice result. Two dollars doesn’t sound like much, but at last check, I saw that they now have over 100 donors to this very legitimate cause. If only ten percent of my facebook friends donated $2.00 a month, we would save many lives because Spay and Neuter is one of the best forms of Rescue there is. If you wish to donate, here is there link: http://www.spayneuterlove.org/index.html

On a more writerly note, I was very happy when recently, a fellow author and friend, Tara Hall http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5286654.Tara_Fox_Hall/ blognominated me for a “Beautiful Blogger,” Award . Thank you Tara. It’s just a fun way to pick seven fellow-bloggers you think deserve a little recognition among the millions of blogs that exist now.  The catch, I have to list seven things about me…and pick seven other “Beautiful” Bloggers! So here goes.

Seven things about me:

1) I was born the year of the dog in Chinese Astrology. Most times I am a docile Golden retriever but when someone hurts or talks “bad stuff” about someone I care about, the well-trained by fierce rottie in me emerges.

2) If sleeping was an Olympic event, I would have more medals than Michael Phelps.

3) I have had no sense of smell for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I get a whiff of something, and I say, “I can smell!” Not as dramatic as, “I can see or walk,” and sometimes it can be misinterpreted as in I am smelly.

4) If I never see snow or feel temperatures below 70 again I would be more than happy.

5)I love to eat. Anything Italian or from the sea, especially, accompanied by a dry martini with bleu-cheese stuffed olives or really good full-bodied red wine.

6) If I could, I would outlaw the smoking of cigarettes and impose severe penalties for texting while driving.

7) I wish that not one more person would purchase another puppy from a retailer. I wish they realized that over 90 percent of those pups came from commercial puppy mill facilities and that every dollar they spend at these establishments keeps a dog in emotional and physical poverty somewhere in the nation. I wish that everyone would spay or neuter their pets whenever appropriate.

Bonus 8) I am blessed with a great husband, parents, friends (humanoid and virtual) a loving dog. Every day I am inspired by the good deeds those around me accomplish and for the support they lend.

Here are my “Beautiful Blogging” Seven, in no particular order! Now they are invited to offer seven items about themselves…and designate seven others as “Beautiful Bloggers.”

Kevin Middleton – http://thebattleofthegatehouse.webs.com/

Patrick Mahaney – http://teddyhilton.com/2012-05-02-dr-patrick-mahaney-rasing-puppies-to-adults

David Lender – http://davidlender.blogspot.com/

Nikki Moustaki – http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-blog/mutterings-with-nikki-moustaki/what-do-dogs-know.aspx

Jamie Wilsoncraft –  http://www.jswilsoncroft.blogspot.com

Willie Wonka – http://askwilliewonka.blogspot.com/

Alanna Chasin – http://chasinpets.com/

And I must add an eight: Marsha Zeringue  http://Coffeecanine.blogspot.com/

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"An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." Martin Buber

What happened when I asked some Facebook friends to donate just a dollar to a great group called Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love?  Stay tuned for a posting sometime next week with the gratifying results and enjoy an interview with the President of this organization.  Its Vice-president, animal advocate, “Willie Wonka” has launched an informative blog, too.  You can read the current post at http://askwilliewonka.blogspot.com/2011/12/i-need-to-help-thomas.html?spref=fb

The other day, someone on Facebook posted about a young woman who was promising the owners of aging horses that she would (for a fee) take their beloved horses to an animal sanctuary.  Turns out, she took their money and then sent their horses to a slaughterhouse.  This deceitful and arrogant “human” then said there was nothing illegal about what she had done…but ahh…she has now been charged with Theft by Deception. At least it is something.  In my next post I will introduce some material on the things all those who wish to be involved with only honest and reputable rescues and Chip Ins, should know.  It hurts animals, and good causes, when these groups are allowed to continue with deceptive practices.

Now, back to good thoughts and words….Yesterday, my husband said he  didn’t know what to read next.  I told him about Beautiful Joe, a book I had down loaded when I had received my Kindle as a gift last fall.  I loved the book so much, I always recommend it to others.  Rich  started reading it that day and commented on how it made him think about the feelings that animals are capable of. I noted that it is striking how issues regarding the welfare of animals,and the resultant literary works, appear to endure; always touching the heart and inspiring us to be better humans.

In my last post I mentioned that I had three writing projects in various stages of play…my short story collection became a soft cover book last month (See ABOUT for LINK) and my Young Adult Novel, Full Snow Moon, found a home and will be e-published next month (loving the cover the publisher has designed) and I’ve recently signed with McFarland Publishing  for the publication of my Biography of Will Judy and his National Dog Week Movement (2013). This blog was lovingly launched two years ago to build interest and support of this national celebration that occurs each September.  Busy times are in store, but I do have several new blog posts in development…please enjoy this “repeat.”

NOTE: Since launching the National Dog Week Community Page late last summer, we’ve added many new members.  Go on over and LIKE us.  I’ll be giving away a free copy of my book SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND at the end of the month to a randomly selected LIKER.  http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974.

Now, here is a post (slightly updated) borrowed from last year.

The other day, a Facebook friend sent me a message asking me if I’d ever read the book Beautiful Joe.  She said that the book reminded her of me.  I have to admit, I’d never even heard of it.  Discovering that it was available as a free Kindle book, I made it the first download on my new device. Beautiful Joe was written in 1893 by Marshall Saunders as an entry for a Humane Education Society writing contest. It is a fictionalized autobiography of a “cur” name Beautiful Joe, told from the dog’s point of view. The real story took place in Ontario, but the author “relocated” it to a town in Maine.

At its heart, a little terrier-mix is rescued from the hands of a brutal dairy farmer and becomes part of the menagerie of an animal-loving family.  Turns out author, “Marshall,” was actually a woman named Margaret who thought she had a better chance of winning the writing contest using a man’s name.  Not only did she win, but her novel was the first Canadian book to sell over a million copies, going on to sell millions around the world.

I am only half-way through, but the story is so moving and well-done.  But two things strike me most.  How the lessons from our animals can make us, especially young people, more sensitive and caring and that things haven’t really changed that much since 1893. One of the heroes of the story, a young woman named, Laura, is a saint to all animals.  She sees to it that the brutal dairy farmer is punished by law, while caring for the unfortunate animals that have suffered at the hand of bad humans, something I see a lot of people doing today.

Back in the 1940s, National Dog Week Founder, Will Judy, knew how important animals were for the development of care-taking behavior in the young. He wrote, “Caring for animals, which depend knowingly upon humans, pulls a child or an adult out of his selfishness and away from his own narrow cell.”  This summarizes the true message behind Beautiful Joe.

Because I teach, and write, I think my Facebook friend saw similarities between Margaret Saunders and me, something that is very flattering. However, I will say “write” here, I see myself more as a reporter of events, someone trying to give the “quiet heroes” a place where they can reach out to others.  They don’t have a glossy magazine, or a popular TV or splashy Radio Show.  But these people are the real deal, on the front line of meaningful reform and new ideas.  And most of the time, by the way, not only are they not making any money, but using their own funds to make things work. If you scroll back in the “Archives” you’ll see what I mean.

I’ve enjoyed learning about Will Judy, the man behind the National Dog Week Movement, a man responsible for making the world better for both dog and human.  At one time, National Dog Week was so popular that over 200 cities, including New York, went over the top to truly honor American dogs.  The week had slogans and posters with themes like “A GOOD HOME FOR EVERY DOG…” and celebrity spokespersons.  We are slowly but surely restoring its place of honor on the American calendar and hope you’ll  be joining us in September (and year-round), embracing its message.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from an author about the recent sale of his book to a publisher.  We happen to be represented by the same Literary Agent.  I asked him about his writing “path.”  It turns out that he is 84 years old and has had three agents.  He started writing using an old Underwood typewriter and wrote every single day of the year, even if it was just one page a day. He actually has three other books written and ready to go.  I congratulate him on his success and as he said to me, “Never give up.”  I thank him for this uplifting story…It is never too late to achieve what you’ve set out to do. Never forget this!

In closing, I would like to thank all of you who do so much, in the “real” world and on-line, for animals and people.  I thank you for taking the time to visit this blog, and for commenting here, in e-mails and on my Facebook page.  It really does mean the “dog-word” to me and it might even do some good.  I sure hope so.

Listen to the National Dog Week Interview with NDW Pet Health Consultant, Patrick Mahaney, Laura Nativo and me on Sunday, October 16th on Healthy Pets and People with Dr. Patrick  http://outimpactradio.com  as we talk about the relevance and potential of Will Judy’s National Dog Week Movement.  It also happens to be Laura’s birthday, so we wish her much success and happiness on this occasion. Congrats to Dr. Patrick, too, as he em-barks on his new role as Vet Team Contributor to PetMD.comhttps://www.facebook.com/#!/notes/patrick-mahaney/dr-patrick-mahaney-joins-the-daily-vet-team-on-petmd/258711987497815  and on his most recent post at  http://www.cattipper.com/tips/2011/helping-your-cat-lose-weight.html#comment-16428

We also are so happy to welcome singer/songwriter Van Preston http://www.vanpreston.com/Welcome.html who will be collaborating with us for a dedicated NDW song for its 84th observance next September and a music video, too.  I thank Robert Cabral for this special introduction!

Princess and Pugslee...to be captured on the canvas of Donald Brown

We also want to announce that we have our official winner of the Canines on Canvas Contest that ended on October 7.  https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974Congratulations to Amanda and David Haddock of Cedar Falls, Iowa. David’s entry was randomly selected and now the family pugs, Princess and Pugslee will have their portrait painted by Donald E. Brown, our NDW 2011 Artist. Donald has so generously offered his time and talents and done a lot of good.  Help support Donald’s work…visit his website and perhaps you will be commissioning a pet portrait of your very own! http://www.donaldebrown.com/ Dont forget to go and give us some Licks and LIKES~

Before I present Patrick’s first official interview as our NDW Pet Health Consultant, here is a word from Nikki Moustaki, Founder of the fabulous Pet Postcard Project and supporter of National Dog Week…Nikki has been a frequent guest of our blog.  http://betterwords.typepad.com/petpostcardproject/

“The spirit of National Dog Week is a celebration of our canine best friends, which those of us who live with dogs celebrate every day, all year long. It’s nice to have a week where we think about our dogs as more than just furry roommates. They are our protectors, our friends, our foot warmers, our eyes and ears. We look down on them every day (because they are shorter than us!), but this is a week to look up to them as paragons of faithfulness and gratitude, two concepts sorely lacking in human society these days. Our dogs know how to do both naturally. If we took a page out of their proverbial book, we’d be better to each other and to them.”–Nikki Moustaki, founder of The Pet Postcard Project, dog trainer, and author of several books on dogs and their care and training

The topic of Spay and Neuter Initiatives is no stranger to this blog.  Related posts can be seen in the Archives of June 2 and 8 of this year-interviews with Animal Advocate “Willie Wonka.”

Patrick, as we heard in our interview, you have an exciting role “My Cat from Hell”…Please tell us about your work on Animal Planet. Jackson Galaxy, the (human) star of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, asked me to lend my veterinary perspective on some of the cats he is behaviorally evaluating this season. As many feline behavior problems have root in medical conditions, it is important to diagnose or rule out potential causes to best manage their issues. For example, inappropriate urination is typically not merely due to your cat being upset with you for spending too much time at the office instead of at home. Urine crystals, bladder stones, bacterial infection, feline interstitial cystitis, cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, or other causes could play a role.

I am not yet sure of the air date, but I will make sure to give fans of NDW plenty of notice. Perhaps we can have a special National Cat Day feature.

As you are aware, one of the themes of this NDW is “Spay and Neuter so Every Dog can have its Day.” (This goes for cats too, of course) In your experience, why do some people fail to S/N their cats and dogs. When you have someone who is resistant to the procedure, how do you advise? In my experience, people fail to spay or neuter their dog for a variety of reasons. Ethnic or societal perspectives, economic hardship, general laziness, lack of awareness of the consequences of not having a pet spayed or neutered, or other reasons may contribute.

Upon encountering a dog or cat suffering from a disease that would otherwise have been prevented by performing a spay or neuter, I always stress the importance of performing the procedure instead of allowing the pet to suffer the consequences from neglect to do so. Many times I have performed a pyometra surgery to remove an inflamed and infected uterus from an unspayed female dog or cat’s abdomen. If the owner would have elected the ovariohysterectomy procedure within the first few months or years of life, the pet would never have gotten sick from such a life threatening and preventable condition.

Do you believe that dogs that are altered can make “better” pets? Why or Why Not? I do believe that altered animals can make better pets, as the role that sex hormones play in determining a pet’s behavior are drastically reduced post-spay or neuter. Without the biological urge to find a mate, our pets have less motivation to roam away from your home or get into hierarchical altercations over potential mating partners. Additionally, they will discontinue having estrus (female) and be less likely to show dominance behaviors (male or female).

I am aware that S/N procedures can represent over 30% of a Veterinary practice. What do you say to the practice in general that addresses the fact that many families who are struggling financially cannot afford S/N? The health benefits of performing a spay or neuter procedure greatly outweigh the costs of neglecting to do so. The fees associated with resolving a female dog or cat’s pyometra via emergency surgery, pursuing treatment for mammary/prostate/testicular cancer, or properly managing the health of a litter of puppies or kittens far outweigh the cost of the alter procedure. If a pet owner claims to not have the money to have their pet spayed or neutered, then they improperly suited (be it temporarily or permanent) to properly care for their pet. Pet ownership is a luxury that is not appropriate for all individuals or families.

Low cost S/N clinics seem to provide some relief…how can people find them and how can more vets provide their services for this initiative. People can connect to low-cost spay and neuter clinics by communicating with their local animal shelters, rescues, and veterinary facilities. Having a referral to a place where the operation is done for a cost-effective price while still practicing high quality surgery improves the likelihood your pet will have a successful procedure.

Chemical Sterilization is being introduced as a way to affordably reduce the number of unwanted litters in the Nation. Have you seen any of your colleagues exploring this option?  No, I am not aware of any of my veterinary colleagues in Los Angeles or other parts of the country performing the procedure. It will likely take considerable time to get the general population of practicing veterinarians to undertake this novel, non-surgical procedure.

Thank you Patrick, we look forward to your future posts! While I do agree with Patrick that Pet “ownership” or guardianship, can be viewed  as a “luxury,” I would hate to see socioeconomic factors deprive some young person of all the benefits pet care brings.  While the privilege of pet ownership should not be abused, and people should be aware that it entails a lot of time and some financial output, it shouldn’t just be for the well-to-do.  We all know that in these difficult economic times, our fates and life situations can turn on a dime. To that end, I think a post on affordable ways to maintain healthy and happy pets (and keep them in their homes) might be a good topic…Don’t you agree?  Here is a link for those who want to read about one form of Chemical Sterilization. http://www.acc-d.org/Esterilsol

Brick Township Library Display Case for National Dog Week Awareness during September

 “National Dog Week is not only relevant, but is quite necessary now. First, our violent society needs positive issues to focus on. This is a healthy and encouraging subject. NDW helps counter the effect of prolific violent crime and violent sports has on our youth.

Second, our society is going through a transition period. Many Americans are changing from the old way of viewing our “pets” as mere personal property. That old dishonoring attitude is giving way to many Americans seeing their companions as valuable family members.

We, in this enlightened group, are recognizing our responsibilities as guardians (like parents) over these vulnerable family members. This will help reduce the number of “irresponsible pet owners” who surrender huge number of companion animals to shelters and pounds.” Thomas Cole, Founder of Shelter Revolution  http://www.shelterrevolution.org/

Today’s Daily Pet Post: Rain Humane of Nassau County (Northern FL) needs HELP…On October 9 and October 13th, they need Walkers to ready pets for their ride on the RAIN Train to Broward County where they will get perhaps one more chance for adoption.  If you live in that area and can help contact rainhumane@yahoo.com.

BLOG NOTES: Congratulations!  Our NDW Community Page has over 400 LIKERS as of today, October 7.  Our Canines on Canvas Contest ends at midnight.  You must LIKE and post your pooch on our page’s wall for a chance to win an original pet portrait by our NDW Artist, Donald E. Brown. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974

This month brings us Adopt a Shelter Pet Month and Animal Safety and Protection Month. In honor of these occasions, Dr. Patrick Mahaney will appear in our next post in his ongoing role as our National Dog Week Pet Health Consultant.  He will discuss the vital role of Spay and Neuter initiatives in curbing the number of unhomed Companion Animals in the nation.  Plus, a special endorsement from the Pet Postcard Project’s Nikki Moustaki on the relevance of National Dog Weekbark on!

It was rewarding to see a widespread and greater awareness of this year’s 83rd Observance of National Dog Week.  I thank those in the media who mentioned my work, blog, and our National Dog Week Community Page that is growing steadily.   The Canines on Canvas Contest runs through October 7   https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974 I hope to have some fun give-aways for each month, with some artwork or dog-related products…keep watching for announcements here.

Each day I will post a Link, a photo, a plug for a book that I think is fun, poignant, thought-provoking, etc…the Canine Clock tells me there are 50 more weeks and 352 days until NDW 2012…plenty of time to get it together~!

Although NDW was established in 1928, due to wartime and economic influences, it wasn’t always recorded in history, leading many to think it went unobserved at times, thus breaking up its timeline. But each year, it was given some notice in the nation, so it deserves its full credit for 83 continuous years served! Also, many think NDW ends tomorrow…but it has always been observed the last FULL week of September…that’s okay, a bonus week never hurt and yes, I KNOW most say every week is dog week, but National Dog Week is the source of potential for (here are seven for each day of the dog week):

Focus– it can be a time of organized reflection and action, each year a new theme can FOCUS attention on energy on a specific cause or concerns. Spay and Neuter issues, for example, face different challenges within specific regions of the country…each region could focus on these particulars to bring about effective change.

Fundraising – in addition to raising awareness, monies needed for these specific causes can be acquired through creative events in different parts of the country during this week. For example, parts of the country blessed with wineries could host “Canines among the Vines” – once again, areas of the United States can use their unique regional or seasonal characteristics to help a cause. Like I say, be creative.

Fitness – emotional and physical fitness can be promoted through our pets – NDW reminds us to keep an eye on our diets and to get moving – dog walking is a great opportunity for that. Service and Therapy Dogs can also help individuals with special needs be an active part of society.

Friendship – Many social connections are made among like-minded individuals over concern for our companion animals – the dog at the end of the leash can be a friend finder, too… a love for pets can be forged and cemented through social media and awareness can spread here, too.

Fashion – Many of my friends on Facebook are designers of doggy wear…perhaps National Dog Week deserves its own signature leash, collar or bandana…this can be both profitable to a business person and can also raise FUNDS!

FunNational Dog Week reminds us to take some time and really enjoy our dogs and human friends, visit a Dog Park or beach. Even schools and libraries can include our canines in an entertaining manner as a way to enjoy our dogs while educating our young about the special place dogs have in our nation’s history. I had the pleasure of sharing National Dog Week by sponsoring a booth at the Brick Township’s Dog Fest for The Pet Postcard Project and Covers for Critters (launched by Willie Wonka and Brenda Yohman Frick).  I also used our Township’s library display case to promote National Dog Week(see photos above and below) filled with some relevant books and memorabilia of Dog Weeks dog-gone by!

Hoops and I collect for Covers for Critters

Faith – I leave you here to fill in the blanks…certainly with so many humans looking out for over 70 million dogs in this nation, you must have some ideas of your own…I have faith in you, too.

Steve Duno's book "Last Dog on the Hill" on display. Steve has been a guest on this blog!

“Try to be the god on earth, the all-powerful and all-mighty your dog thinks you are. Never let him learn his mistake.” Will Judy, Founder of NDW

As the Week of the Dog winds down, I would like to thank Dr. Patrick, Mahaney, NDW Artist, Donald E. Brown, Laura Nativo and all my friends and family members who have supported my efforts and my work.  It means the world to me. Catch Laura  hosting Dog Park Superstars on the Game Show Network this Sunday, 9/25 at 8:00pm.  Remember, the Canines on Canvas Contest runs until October 7.  LIKE and POST at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974

Painting, "HELP" - by Donald Brown, the inspiration for the NDW Poster

Below, some friends of National Dog Week give their thoughts on the occasion…

“Addressing animal rights and welfare are topics that I believe need to be addressed, as well as the specifics of dealing with the homeless pet population, Spay/Neuter programs, owner responsibility programs and ending the broken version of “sheltering, “as we know it. The lack of enforcement, lack of funding and lack of education need to be addressed and National Dog Week is the perfect platform for it.  Awareness does matter, Lisa, it is not just a corny expression. First people have to start asking the right questions. Publicity is the key to making that happen. An organized group with a specific date and intelligent, cohesive agenda can bring a lot of animal issues to the forefront and create a discussion that should continue for a lot more than a week.” Animal Activist and loyal friend and informative guest of this site working under the  name of “Willie Wonka.”

“We will celebrate today and everyday by showing the dogs that come into this world and get abused that there are good people out there that care for them and will help them have a better life.” Bigg Ant, on behalf of the cast of the Reality Television Show, Rescue Ink.

“Isabella and I are celebrating by a week of walks to the park, Frisbee fun and special treats! To us, every week is National Dog Week, but we love to send a bark out to all our 2 and 4 legged friends on this special week.” Ryan Rice, Houston Dog-Blogger

“We are also [in addition to having come to the aid of a pit bull and her nine new puppies this week] taking a trip to [our local]] SPCA to take a bunch of goodies and food to our furry friends there… Penny Lane and Lilly Pads are very excited because they get to play Santa in September.” Rose Russo, former NYPD Detective whose life was changed by the events of 9/11; a true friend and inspiring hero to both dogs and humans and a supportive Dog Week Fan.

 *     *     *     *

Two years ago, I thought about how I could use my abilities and experience to pursue something meaningful.  While contemplating, I happened upon  images of something called National Dog Week.  I don’t even know what search term I was using when the sight of pooches parading and  canines carousing in Rockefeller Center captured my attention.  I was hooked.  What was this week, was it for real, and if so, where did it go?

In that moment, you could say my life changed…I truly went to the dogs.  I set out to learn more about these seven special days in September dedicated to man’s best friends then launched a dog-week blog and then a book about it to share its true legacy with the world. I titled it Every Dog has it Week and found a Literary Agent to represent it, someone who believes in its relevance.

It hasn’t always been easy, but it has NEVER been boring.  There were times when I thought of changing the title to Every Dog had its Week as it is a daunting task to revive a Movement in an age when many live for the Moment.  Now, almost two years later, I have formed bonds with people who have enlightened and encourage my efforts.  Pooling from the Hollywood “Hoopla” and the less glamorous grass-roots level where the real grunt work is done, (just like during the hey-daze of NDW) these people who have influenced me come from all walks of life, from all areas of the nation. I have learned so much from them and I venture to say the book I am finishing now is very different from the one I started.

The other day, someone said to me, “I just don’t get this dog thing.  What is the attraction, what do they really do for us?” He isn’t alone in his pondering, many people actually feel this way. But far more realize the power of the paw.  Every day, somewhere across the nation, dogs find themselves assisting in schools, libraries, rehab facilities, Veteran’s Hospitals, crime scenes, in combat, search and rescue scenarios and many other places where their help is needed and appreciated.

As a substitute teacher, I enjoy working with young people.  They love hearing about National Dog Week, glad to learn that there is such a thing.  During a recent pre-interview for a local Public Access Cable Television Show, my interviewer pointed out that people living in senior developments are also great supporters of events like Dog Week as they recall when it was part of their lives and they have a lot of time, experience and love to give to homeless pets at local shelters.  So it is clear to me, the observance of National Dog Week can be a time of organized reflection on a national level, excluding no one …it is an equal-opportunity celebration of the canine and I hope you will strongly consider joining in.

Here are a few ways you can address some issues during the week, and beyond.

1) Be a dog-friendly ambassador, clean up after your dog, keep him on a leash, don’t let him bark all day in the yard; provide him with obedience training to work on disruptive behaviors.

2) Have your dogs (and cats) spayed or neutered.  Don’t think it will hurt them, make them less of a dog or feel bad that they never got to have pups.

3) Boycott puppy shops.  Close your wallet and open your eyes when you are lured in by that puppy in the window…These sales people are slick, there is a 300 percent markup on these dogs that are very likely to have health problems and were produced by adult dogs who suffer terrible conditions to pump out a “cash crop” of pups…don’t do it.  If you opt to use a breeder, ask around and do your research to find a reputable one.(You can contact me if you need help finding the right dog for your family).

4) Learn about different ways dogs can be housed in more humane ways.  Explore groups like Shelter Revolution http://www.shelterrevolution.org/  

5) If a young person wants a specific breed of dog, take the time to educate them about breed characteristics and the special needs a certain breed possesses.  Does it match a home or lifestyle?  Kids just love to learn about the breeds, too.

6) Pay attention to your dog’s health.  Feed intelligently and walk often, good advice for the human, too.

7) I leave this seventh item up to you…what  issues or topics are important to you and your dogs…let me know. Pst39crd@aol.com

Thanks for all the views and visits and inquiries.  It makes all the difference in the (dog) world!  Carry On. Plans for the next National Dog Week are in place.  Mark your calendars (September 24-30) for next year and help keep the motion in the movement…

“There is no man so poor but what he can afford to keep one dog.” Josh Billings, American, 1818-1885

In the next posts, read about West Coast Dog Trainer Robert Cabral’s Patron-sponsored event for his organization, Bound Angels and follow a young woman as she welcomes a special Service Dog into her life!

If you have enjoyed learning about National Dog Week or have benefited by being featured on this site, now would be a great time to go on over and LIKE my new page for National Dog Week. Blogging and maintaining social media sites take a lot of time and work, and I thank you in advance for helping spread the bark…NDW is observed the week of September 19th this year. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974Watch for exciting new announcements!

 Thomas Cole of Shelter Revolution http://www.nationaldogweekbook.wordpress.com is hard at work making changes in the way adoptable animals are cared for as they await new homes.  Allowing these animals to live in a more positive and comfortable environment, where those dog requiring social rehabbing can receive the help they need, Thomas envisions a more humane future for our pets and  more satisfying and safe adoptions.

Pet-advocate “Willie Wonka,” Vice President of Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love, http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240 reminds us all that the Spaying and Neutering of our pets is a crucial component of this goal. If we can reduce the large number of homeless cats and dogs introduced into the world each day, it can make the goals of Shelter Revolution reachable, serving as the model of the future for a kinder sheltering experience. “WW” is known for saying that we cannot rescue our way out of this mess. If you do the math, you know this is true.

In this interview, a follow-up to the one on May 15th of this year, I asked Thomas what it would really take to establish the model of his “dreams.” I am staying out of his way, and presenting the material as he organized it.  Please take time to read.  If there is something of note you feel you can help with, please contact Thomas directly at thomas@shelterrevolution.org, or me, pst39crd@aol.com.

Here is Part Two of the Shelter Revolution Series…

 The question always comes down to build new or revamp the old? New is always better but not always possible. Who wouldn’t want a 5-10 acre place in the country for the dogs and cats to romp in? Those inner city facilities will just need to focus on offsite rehab done by rehabbers in their homes (just like I have personally mastered!).

I have never had the luxury of beautiful buildings and a large paid staff. I had to make do with pole barns and volunteers. We ran a 100% no-kill operation back in 1963 with that kind of makeshift facility – long before the term no-kill was even used.   I can do it again and so can others with guidance. We don’t need millions of dollars.

Don’t get me wrong! I’d love to have the $5-7 million most new facilities cost to open their doors. If I did have that the money would go to designing a facility for animals not for humans. No fancy lobbies, no vaulted ceilings, no big offices. Maybe a daycare center for volunteers. But I’d certainly have a beautiful natural pond for the dogs to play in…

A pond in Chicago built by Thomas Cole

How would the facility be run?

 •  Open-admission

•  Displays in large open groups (25-30) only animals that get along.

•  A separate quarantine area will house new intakes and sick/injured animals.

•  Special fosters will provide extended off-site care for sick/injured/senior and neonatal during their recovery.

•  In-home rehab for those not ready for group living (and therefore, not ready for adoption) – provided by trained and experienced local rescuers and fosters.

•  Volunteers will provide most of the labor needed to serve the animal population at the Center.

•  Animal Control and catch poles will be euthanized, giving way to an unarmed “courtesy patrol” made up of volunteers trained in handling scared dogs and cats. No SWAT uniforms – the police will handle the cases involving violent people!  (i.e. enforcement is police work, investigations by trained & licensed animal control agents only)

 Benefit

Within 3-4 years the community will no longer be able to fill local adoption needs without going outside the community for a new supply of animals.

 Cost

• $1-3 million for Green (Gold LEEDS certification) buildings.

•  1-2 acre land costs to be determined.

•  Staff positions will be below market-rate salaries; this is non-profit work.

•  Annual operating budget (exclusive of special S/N funding) approx $1-2 million.

 Where

Marin County or Sonoma County – weather is good, they need a better example (especially Sonoma County).

Would benefit the fragmented Bay Area by pulling together local rescue groups and shelters.

 Housing

Need 3 buildings – don’t have to be fancy. Pole barns are fine. Dogs and cats don’t need fancy entryways, vaulted ceilings or grand lobbies.

•  Adoption Center display area (60-70 dogs, 40-70 cats)

•  Indoor play/exercise facility (for bad weather or emergency rescue situations)

•  Medical and intake holding area. Will need 3-4 outside fenced exercise and lounging areas (1-2 acres best) as well as a 1/8-acre manmade Aquascapes pond for the dogs.

 Rehab

I will train local rescuers and experienced fosters to work with “reactive” dogs and cats. These are animals who cannot get along well in a group setting. Rehabbers will return dogs often for group interaction (socialization) at the AC as their rehab progresses. This prepares them for reentry to the large groups and adoption.

 Staff

•  need 2 senior managers only to run the entire operation: an experienced medical person and a business manager to handle internal and external reporting, cash management, limited auditing. All bookkeeping will be hired out to a local firm to protect integrity. Monthly performance reporting will ensure transparency to the public. Annual audits will ensure system integrity.

 •  Volunteers will make up most of the work force including shelter operations, reporting systems, offsite adoption events, volunteer coordinating, and dog training for humans.

 •  I will personally customize with Endel Jurman, CEO of ChameleonBeach software, a fully automated operations reporting system using Chameleon software. Dogs and cats will wear collars with scannable (think UPC bar codes) ID tags for control through the system. This system will include modules for open-admission control of strays and seizures, interactive reports on all animals whether adoptable, in medical quarantine or in offsite rehab, up-to-the-minute photos and updates posted on-line by volunteers. This entire process will be run by volunteers.

 •  All animal areas, especially quarantine and stray impound, will have cameras installed for public monitoring.

 •  All area residents will be able to keep tabs ONLINE on animals and place a hold for adoption on an animal they like. Required licensing can be purchased on-line through the Chameleon system. Strays will be posted for reclaim online.

 •  Offsite “kiosk viewers” can be purchased and placed in strategic malls and pet stores to draw attention to available animals.

 •  Local rehabbers (former rescuers and fosters) will be provided free broadband internet service to post updates each week. They will be able to seek advice from a help desk and answer questions from interested adopters right from their home.

 •   Internships will be sought from local colleges and professional-level help from retired business people.

In their words and actions, Thomas and WW carry out the original goals of Will Judy’s National Dog Week Movement established in 1928. Without benefit of Social Media, Judy, this unsung hero to the American Canine, helped to educate the growing population of American dog owners…a leader of the human pack…He trained humans, not dogs, long before it was popular! To learn more, please see ABOUT.

Copyright © 2011 by Lisa Begin-Kruysman. All rights reserved.  No part of this blog, or book excerpts, may be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without the written permission of the publisher, except where permitted by law, or in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.  For information, contact pst39crd@aol.com.

Welcome to my blog, established to bring about an intelligent dialogue about the state of the dog in the states of the nation. Learn more…please READ ABOUT.

http://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/pages/National-Dog-Week/218596591491974 Please check out the new Facebook page for National Dog Week.

Please note that the on-line auction organized by Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love is still in progress until June 15th.  You can visit them on Facebook and join in the bidding that will help to improve the lives of many animals.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Save-Alabama-SpayNeuter-Clinic/223800927638796?sk=wall Please visit this site and show your support for the animal advocates in Alabama who are fighting to keep low-cost s/n clinics from being shut down!

Even back in 1928, the nation faced a problem with a large homeless pet population.  Will Judy, at the time the publisher of Dog World Magazine, a breeder, and internationally renowned dog show judge, established his National Dog Week Movement not to bring more dogs into the world, but to encourage American dog owners (and those abroad) to be better caregivers to the ones that were already here.  Now, nine decades later, have we done enough to embrace his mission?

Here is the second part of my interview with animal advocate “Willie Wonka” discussing his goal to have more animals spayed and neutered as one way to reduce the number of homeless  companion animals in the nation.  Here he talks about the health and behavioral benefits of having these procedures preformed. 

Please see Post of June 1 for the first part of this ongoing series.

Why don’t more people have their pets altered?  When I discuss Spay/Neuter now, I am certainly talking about every homeless animal first, and then every pet that is in a home that is not being bred. Unless they (the owners) specifically need them intact, these animals should be spayed and neutered.  It is healthier for the animals and there are no “accidents” – the 1000’s that happen every year. This needs to end – lazy and ignorant owners need to get responsible.  We need everyone to cooperate, or they’ll keep dumping puppies on country roads, or at shelters.  Either way, they die.

What do you say to those who don’t think these procedures are important?  Many are not aware of the health benefits of this procedure for their animals nor the harm that is done when their pets are allowed to have one litter.  The death of 5-7 million animals a year in Public Shelters is not the only reason S/N is important.  

Here are some other key points to consider:

 · Spaying your female dog before her first heat and neutering your male dog as close to six months as possible reduces tumors and some cancer possibilities by 200 times and will eliminate an infection of the uterus completely. In comparison, spaying a female before her second heat or waiting until a male is over a year old reduces the chances of tumors and cancer by twelve times.

 · The chances for developing breast cancer go down to almost zero if your pet is spayed before her first estrous cycle or heat (before she reaches sexual maturity).  Put another way, 95% of mammary cancer is eliminated when a female pet is spayed

· Early spays prevent unplanned, unwanted pregnancies. If your puppy or kitten becomes pregnant (puppies can become pregnant at younger than 6 months of age and kittens can become pregnant at as young as 4 months of age), it can be potentially damaging to her health, since she is very young. A young puppy or kitten is in no way suited for motherhood.

· If your male dog is neutered before he has learned to lift his leg and/or mount (at around 6 months of age), he most likely never will.  Neutering a male while he is young also reduces the desire to “wander ” away from his home.  Males tend to mellow out a bit.

Thanks again to our dedicated contributor, Willie Wonka.  Please watch for related posts about different organizations throughout the nation who are doing their part to help more pets receive procedures that will ultimately help them find homes and live healthier, longer lives.

If you would like to learn about low-cost spay and neuter opportunities in your community, please let me know and I will try my best to help refer your inquiry to the right party.

Welcome to my Blog, established to promote the mission of the National Dog Week Movement born in 1928 and my book that chronicles the life and times of its Founder, Captain William Lewis Judy.  To learn more, see ABOUT.

Thanks to all for sharing the link to my blog with so many on Facebook…it is really helping to spread the word about some great projects…I’ve approached a local Rotarian about soliciting the support of local lodging establishments in his area.  If you would like to use the letter I used as a template, please contact me at pst39crd@aol.com.

The first seven days of May is officially Be Kind to Animals Week and National Pet Week and while it’s a nice thought, I think it’s a safe bet that most of my readers honor them the other fifty-one weeks of the year, too.

But it’s a great opportunity to introduce the month with some real simple and effective ways people across the nation are especially kind to our companion animals.  One such endeavor is the Covers for Critters Project organized by my friend who works under the name of  Willie Wonka (named in memory of a beloved white poodle). If you are an advocate for animals you really should friend Willie on Facebook and “LIKE” the SitStayHeel and Project Pets pages, too, helping in the effort to revolutionize the American Shelter System and address America’s issues surrounding pet overpopulation. (You’ll love the photos of Willie’s rescued lab-mix, Jazz, too).

With the guidance of Willie, Brenda Yohman Frick has taken up the challenge to promote Covers for Critters, helping other animal-lovers across the United States to get involved. Brenda, who resides in Pennsylvania, shares her life with fiancé, Ric and two rescues, Hanna, a 6-year-old Great Pyrenees/Yellow Lab mix and Rachel a 3-year-old Black Lab. Somewhere along the way in her efforts to help animals in need, she connected with Willie through Facebook. Brenda can’t recall the circumstances but says, “I knew God sent Willie Wonka to me for a reason.”

Willie Wonka's dog Jazz taking a rest from working on behalf of the Cause for the Paws

Here, Brenda talks to me about her work on behalf of Covers for Critters:

How did you become involved with this project? One of our local hotels was doing a complete top-to-bottom remodel and they were throwing everything out. It was during this time that Willie posted a story about Pender County in North Carolina,  having so many dogs sleeping outside on bare concrete in the dead of winter.

A plea was put out on Facebook for doghouses and that need was met but they were still on bare concrete. It was then that I told Willie how I had come to be in possession of all these blankets and if I had their address I would mail some boxes of blankets to them for the dogs. One thing lead to another and as I got blankets, I would ask Willie for more addresses. So far I have sent out 7 boxes of blankets to 4 different states, NC, TN, FL and GA. That was around 5 months ago and the rest is history. It was Willie who prompted me to go “public” with it and enlist the help of every animal advocate out there and the response has been tremendous!

Is this being done in an organized way in other parts of the country? To my knowledge, this exact type of program hasn’t been done before. The hotels/motels that I have visited have been very receptive to the idea especially when I mention all of the positive publicity they will receive. Facebook is such a powerful tool and who doesn’t like getting recognition for doing something nice? I really don’t have a story of any unsuccessful “hunts.”I would love to see a major chain of hotels proud to announce that they donate all of their unwanted blankets to Covers for Critters. I can’t see why they wouldn’t be willing to donate, especially if one would happen to mention that their competitor down the street is doing it. 

Where do all these blankets go and how do they get there? We urge volunteers to donate to their local shelter/rescue first and when blankets need to go elsewhere they can contact Willie for an address of a needy shelter/rescue. Right now, I’m paying for shipping my blankets out of my own pocket. Eventually, I’ll ask the hotels that donate the blankets if they would like to donate money to help offset the cost of shipping. I can send a large box of 5-6 blankets for around $15.00. I know 5-6 blankets doesn’t sound like very many but remember that these are hotel blankets they are all full size or larger. Most were queen/king size. The nice Velour ones that won’t fray if you cut them, so they can be cut smaller to use in cat crates too and they launder beautifully.  I get my boxes from Sheetz, I like the Sub Roll boxes because they are thick cardboard and can stand up to the rigors of shipment, I also mail them USPS First Class or what some people call Parcel Post. This is the most economical way.

How many blankets have you collected? To date I have collected and mailed over 50 blankets. Now, let’s think about this for a minute…….let’s say half of the blankets were King size and let’s say that each one of those was cut in half, that would give you 50 blankets in addition to the 25 blankets that weren’t cut in half! That’s a lot of warm dogs and cats. I’m also thinking that in the future I want to hold a “blanket drive” at my property. Maybe serve hot dogs and lemonade and have everyone from the community drop off their unwanted blankets.

Brenda takes to the road....

 Cherisa Lamb from Ohio adds, “I worked for a rescue when I was 18 and I was working as a maid at a hotel and I learned how well the two (blankets and animal welfare) went together. It’s pretty easy. I call the various hotels and ask for their head of housekeeping. I explain what I want them for and make arrangements to come in and pick them up whenever they are getting rid of them. You don’t get them every day of course but once every 3 months per hotel you can get some. I have also gotten them from offices where doctors still use sheets and blankets on their exam tables. And thrift stores who throw out damaged donations.”

Willie Wonka says this project is, “simple, direct and cheap. No drama, just results…” adding that Project Pets-Spay Neuter, Love will pay for the mailing of blankets if needed. 

Willie would like to give Andy, the General Manager of the Falls Creek, PA Clarion a special thank you. Because of Andy’s generous participation, Willie’s organization has posted the chain on their Facebook Wall, and even called to thank him personally. Willie says that if a lodging is truly pet-friendly, they should have no trouble with this concept. A special thanks is also extended to Jo Burchfield, the President and supporter of (PetProjectSNL) for all her contributions.

Personally, I love this project. It’s good for recycling, good for the pets and the hotel and motel chains  receive some positive press, too! Make a copy of this post to bring to the manager of a lodging establishment. Tell them we’ll make sure their good deeds are known.

On my next post, I’ll talk about bags for cats, Kongs (for canines) and Mats4Mutts, and the Pet Postcard Project. Thanks to Willie, Brenda and Cherisa for sharing their experiences! Have a great week….and please feel free to contact me with your “pet project.”

Hooper

"Is it dog week yet?"

"Is it dog week yet?"

Michelle Mongelli and Wheezey

Pike, at Geiger Key

Hooper in the Keys

Hooper in the Keys

“Two Culprits” by Steven Hall

Logan & Koda

DJ

DJ Goes to Westminster

Zac and Cooper

"Look daddy, I can fly!"

“Hooper” – Best in Snow

Pita in Matt’s Garden

Hooper with cousin Roxy, Summer 2009

Me and my “Hoop”