Archive for February, 2017
Video stores and libraries aren’t the only places where you’ll find “night drops.”
Some animal shelters have them, too — areas where dogs and cats in need of homes can be dropped off after hours, anonymously, and under the cover of night.
A few weeks ago, a veterinary technician who was the first to arrive for work at the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter in Riverside County, California, found two boxers — one pink, one brown, both nearly hairless.
Both of the dogs, who were abandoned without a note identifying their previous owner, had a skin condition called demodex mange.
“I felt so badly for Artie and Asia when I first saw them,” said Jennifer Glover, a vet tech for the shelter in Wildomar. “But I was encouraged by the fact that we would be able to start helping them.”
“They were very sweet when they arrived but they were depressed,” Glover added. “Within just one day of having someone care for them here, they were so much happier and more outgoing.”
The skin condition is a treatable one.
The dogs have been responding well to treatment and both have been sent on to Last Chance at Life Rescue to be put up for adoption, according to People.com.
Asia, the pink one is believed to be about 10 months old, and Artie about 2 years old.
On top of the skin condition, caused by mites, Asia has a heart murmur, and Artie has some eye issues, but they otherwise seem healthy and playful.
“I assure you they were both unsettled with being dumped but they know very quickly that the staff at Animal Friends of the Valleys and the volunteers at LCAL are their ‘friends,’ and there to help them,” said Lisa Hamilton, founder and president of Last Chance At Life. “They are with us until we find their perfect home.”
Hamilton says people have already inquired about adopting the pair, and that anyone interested should contact them through the organization’s website.
(Photos: Last Chance at Life Rescue)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 28th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abandon, abandoned, adopt, adoption, animal friends of the valleys, animals, artie, asia, boxers, california, demodex mange, dog, dogs, hairless, last chance of life rescue, mange, night drops, pets, pink, pink dog, rescues, riverside county, shelters, skin, skin condition, surrender, wildomar
Rhino — the dog who was reluctantly surrendered to the Humane Society of Utah along with a 15-page instruction manual written by an eight-year-old family member — has moved on to a new home.
Rhino, a boxer, was returned to the shelter earlier this month with a small spiral notebook attached to his neck.
The family explained he was too rambunctious and they were worried about their youngest child.
The owner’s manual he was returned with was written by their older daughter.
Its handwritten pages were filled with advice aimed at whoever became his new owner, like “His cheeks make lots of slobber,” “He likes sleeping under blankets,” and “Please take him on two to three runs a day. The more he gets out the more he is well behaved in the house.”
Reading between the lines of swirly script, it’s clear that parting with Rhino wasn’t easy for her.
Rhino went home last week with a new owner, who took the time to study the notebook, including the advice that “His full name is Rhino Lightening then your last name.”
Rhino was adopted by Melanie Hill, who has another dog and plenty of land to romp on.
She told FOX 13 she’ll be taking the spiral notebook home with her too, and will follow all the instructions and stay in touch with Rhino’s previous family.
Hill said she already has a connection with Rhino. She was put up for adoption by her mother. “She dropped me off at an orphanage,” she told FOX 13.
She said she a saw story on TV about the dog and the notebook, and decided she had to meet him.
“That just broke my heart. I just kept replaying it on the DVR over and over again and I was like I want this dog. Instantly I fell in love with him.”
(Photo: Humane Society of Utah)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 27th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 8 year old, adopt, adopted, adoption, animals, boxer, dog, dogs, girl, humane society of utah, instruction manual, melanie hill, notebook note, pets, rescues, shelter, shelters, surrender
I was visiting the Forsyth Humane Society yesterday when word came back to the administrative offices that “Magdalene was back for a visit.”
Everyone rushed out to the lobby to see the dog who, before she was adopted about four months ago, had become a staff favorite (at least among those who admit to having a favorite).
The name rang a bell, and when I saw her I remembered that I was among those she had impressed — to the point where I was considering adopting her.
About the time I became the humane society’s volunteer archivist, Magdalene had entered the shelter. And I — who took the position partly so I could visit dogs — must have gone back to see her four or five times, each time leaning a little closer to taking the big step.
Big and gangly, she’s a classic mutt, who, while playful, seems to have the peaceful temperament that often goes along with a mix.
Alas, I (as I’ve done once or twice before in life) spent too much time thinking about it.
My dog, Ace, died last spring, and by the time fall came around, I was just about there, but apparently not quite.
One day, Magdalene wasn’t around anymore.
I adopted my new dog, Jinjja, about a month later from the Watauga Humane Society.
Magdalene went home with Amber Fuller, of Mocksville, who renamed her Dixie and, judging from her Facebook posts, couldn’t be happier about the dog she ended up with.
She was visiting Winston-Salem with Dixie yesterday and stopped by the shelter, where the staff seemed thrilled for a chance to see her again. And vice versa.
Fuller reports Dixie is doing great. If the video below is any indication– the humane society posted it on its Facebook page — Dixie is pretty relaxed in her new setting.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 24th, 2017 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adopted, adopting, adoption, amber fuller, animal shelters, animals, dixie, dogs, forsyth humane society, magdalene, mocksville, north carolina, pets, rescues, shelter, winston-salem
A former Army medic flew from California to North Carolina last weekend to reclaim the dog she lost more than six years ago.
Kelly Accettola reunited with her Italian greyhound, Bemis, on Saturday, according to the Gaston Gazette.
Accettola flew from San Diego, where she now lives, to Charlotte to get the dog that went missing while she lived in Norfolk, Virginia.
It’s unknown what happened with Bemis during the six years he was missing, but somehow he ended up 300 miles from Norfolk.
He was spotted on the streets of Gastonia by Tracy Tucker as she drove to work and taken to Wilkinson Animal Hospital.
“I opened up the car door and he just hopped right on in,” said Tucker, who says she often rescues and fosters animals in the area. “Right after work we came here and found his chip and everything.”
Accettola was notified last week that Bemis had been found.
Bemis is in good shape, but needs about $1,200 worth of dental work.
To help pay for her travel and veterinarian bills, Accettola started a Go Fund Me page, which has raised $575.
According to the Gazette, American Kennel Club Reunite, a Raleigh-based organization which helps connect lost animals with their owners each day, matched his microchip to an address in Sacramento, California — Kelly’s mother-in-law’s home.
The American Kennel Club has offered to pay for all of Bemis’ veterinary bills, the newspaper reported.
Bemis disappeared after being let out into the back yard one night, Accettola said. “I went out to the backyard to see what was going on and sure enough he wasn’t there. It was just like he vanished without a trace,” she said.
She adopted the dog about nine years ago while living in upstate New York with her husband, Donavon Both were in the military, Kelly was a combat medic in the Army and Donavon was a nuclear engineer in the Navy.
Upon reuniting with her dog, Accettola cried: “Oh, my gosh, Bemis. Hi sweetheart. You look just the same.”
“You know, you hear these miracle stories about people who get their missing pets back after years apart and you think, ‘That’ll never happen to me,'” she said later. “But my God, it has.”
(Photo: NBC26, Scripps Media, Inc.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 23rd, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american kennel club, animals, army, bemis, dog, dogs, found, gastonia, go fund me, gofundme, italian greyhound, Kelly Accettola, lost, medic, microchip, norfolk, north carolina, pets, reunion, reunite, reunited
The townhouse community in which I live is divided into bays.
On my bay — Bay 8 — there are 20 housing units. There are two or three children. And there are 27 dogs.
Every once in a while when the weather gets nice and the neighbors get coordinated, a dog party is scheduled — held at the bay’s dead end, right in front of my house.
Everybody brings beverages and appetizers and lawn chairs and their dogs.
And then the festivities begin.
With only a few exceptions, the dogs behaved exceptionally well.
One (not mine) got into the apple pie somebody brought. Another (mine) peed in the middle of the seating area. Otherwise, they behaved in an exemplary manner.
The humans did OK, too.
Based on their luxury cars, some neighbors assumed they were investors, who would buy the house and rent it. (Owner-occupied homes are preferred.) So there was some talk of sending all the dogs to that house to bark and poop and generally create a bad impression. (The dogs did not oblige.)
There were big dogs and small dogs, puppies and elderly dogs, the vast majority of them having come from shelters and rescues.
At least two of my neighbors have five dogs. They would bring one or two to the party at a time, return them to their houses, and then come back with more.
The plethora of pooches is one of the things that attracted me to the community, and Bay 8 in particular.
If ever a neighborhood needed a dog park, it is this one. There’s enough demand that the homeowner’s association recently gave the OK, at least unofficially, to letting people and their dogs use the fenced-in tennis courts, which are seldom used for tennis.
Everybody knows socialization is good for dogs, and good for humans. In communities like mine, where residents can often keep to themselves, dogs are probably the main way that people come together. And — though I’ve only been to one — dogs are far less boring and far more fun than homeowner’s association meetings.
If you’d like to see more photos of the dog party, you can check out the album I posted to the ohmidog! Facebook page.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 22nd, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bay of dogs, behavior, block, block party, community, dog, dogs, jinjja, neighborhood, neighbors, party, pets, sherwood west, socialization, socializing, townhomes, winston-salem
Leave it to scientists to confirm what we already know, and to do so using words we don’t begin to understand.
Case in point: Nervous dogs often have nervous owners. This is not to say a nervous dog can’t have a cool as a cucumber (coolus cucumberus) owner. Nor is it to say some highly twitchy (humanus nervosa) folks can’t have calm dogs.
Only that, as anyone who visits a dog park knows, nervous owners tend to have nervous dog at the end of the leash.
The new study buttresses the concept that our dogs tend to take on our personalities, and that tension — while it may not actually “flow down the leash” — is picked up on by our dogs, and often reflected in their own behavior.
It looks at the chemistry behind that.
The study at the University of Vienna — published in the journal PLOS One “investigated dyadic psychobiological factors influencing intra-individual cortisol variability in response to different challenging situations by testing 132 owners and their dogs in a laboratory setting.”
You might understand that, or, you (like me) might not know spit — or that cortisol levels can be measured through it.
In the study, the researchers measured the levels of cortisol — and the variability of those levels — in the saliva of dogs and owners put through stressful situations.
In addition, they assessed the personality of both dog and human participants — ranging from highly sensitive and neurotic to secure and self confident.
“We calculated the individual coefficient of variance of cortisol (iCV = sd/mean*100) over the different test situations as a parameter representing individual variability of cortisol concentration,” the study’s authors wrote. “We hypothesized that high cortisol variability indicates efficient and adaptive coping and a balanced individual and dyadic social performance.”
For a more reader-friendly account of the study, check out Stanley Coren’s Psychology Today blog:
“You can think of people who are high in neuroticism as being sensitive and nervous while people who score low in neuroticism are secure and confident. In this study, the dog owners who scored high in neuroticism had dogs with low variability in their cortisol. This suggests that dogs with highly neurotic owners are less able to deal with pressure and stress.”
“Conversely, dog owners who were more laid back and agreeable had calmer dogs. Those folks have greater variability in their cortisol response, suggesting that they are better able to cope with situations involving tension and strain.”
The study says the male dogs of female owners often have less variability in their cortisol responses and are often generally less sociable and less relaxed than male dogs belonging to male owners.
(That’s the study saying that females generally score higher on measures of anxiety and neuroticism — not me. I would be way too nervous to say that.)
“Owners behave differently because they are pessimistic or neurotic, and perhaps dogs read the emotions of their owners and think the world is more dangerous — so they are more reactive to it,” the study says. “It looks like people who are pessimistic have dogs which are worse at coping with stress than others.”
Of course, where a dog was before ending up with its owner can play a pretty big role, too.
I, for example, am the cool as a cucumber owner of a nervous dog. He came from a farm in Korea where he was being raised to become meat. That would tend to instill some nervousness in anyone.
Three months after being adopted by me, he still gets pretty nervous — around large groups, when hearing loud noises. I don’t know about his cortisol levels, but at these times he whimpers, sheds profusely — is there such a thing as projectile shedding? — and pees in inappropriate places, such as on my leg.
He is making great strides in every way, but Jinjja still needs to chill, and get less worked up by new situations.
Of all the factors that shape our dogs — genetics, environment, owners — time (and its cousin, patience) may be the most important ones of all.
So my game plan is to provide him with plenty of both, expose him to new settings and situations, and show him that not all the world is a dangerous place — all while being a mellow role model.
In other words, impossible as it might be, I’m going to have to become EVEN cooler.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 21st, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adrenalin, animals, anxiety, cortisol, dog, dogs, environment, factors, farm, genetics, humans, jinjja, korea, levels, meat trade, nervous, owner, owners, personality, pets, research, science, shape, stress, study, university of vienna, variance
A homeless Knoxville man plans to hitch his two huskies to a homemade dog sled made out of a lawn chair and a skateboard and travel 2,200 miles across the country to Venice Beach, California.
Georgie Cutright says the purpose of his journey is to see the country, spread some joy and, for once in his life, finish something.
“I’ve never actually finished anything in my life, you know?” Cutright, 41, told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “This is something that’s going to be really incredible to do, and it’s something that I’m really, really adamant about finishing.”
How adamant the dogs who will power his “urban dog sled” — Sarah and Lobos — are is another question.
He could face some questions as well from local authorities as he makes his journey, and possibly animal welfare advocates, given the dogs will be running the distance of two Iditarods, on pavement no less.
Cutright says he plans to outfit the dogs in booties and take multiple breaks, though, and that — given the trip is partly about sharing his love for his rescued dogs — they will be treated well.
Currently living out of his van, Cutright has been training his two dogs on the streets of Knoxville, and drawing crowds when he does so. He plans to sell the van to finance the trip, which he hopes to start soon.
“I was sitting on a skateboard and holding Sarah’s leash one day when she took off,” he told the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier.
He held on to the leash and rolled along behind them. After that, he says, he learned to balance on a chair atop the long skateboard as the dogs pulled him.
He uses his shoes as brakes and has taught the dogs commands: “Yah” to get them to speed up, “Whoa” to slow down,” and “hard right” or “hard left” for turning.
Cutright says he will take country roads that parallel Interstate 40, camping in a tent at night.
Originally from Mattoon, Illinois, Cutright said he became homeless two years ago after he lost his job as a carpenter. He said he’s been unable to secure another steady job because of a felony conviction for an armed robbery when he was 18.
A friend will be making the trip with him.
Cutright has already secured his first sponsor: HeadQuarters skateboard shop, which donated multiple sets of wheels and bearings for the journey.
He said he will stay in motels when he can, and in people’s homes when they offer to put him up.
Cutright said he got Sarah off Craigslist from a woman who was moving, and acquired Lobos from the police department in Venice Beach when the dog’s homeless owner was arrested.
“I just want people to know that if you put your mind to something, you can do it. Anybody can, even a homeless guy.”
(Photos: Kevin Kilhoffer / Journal Gazette & Times-Courier)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 20th, 2017 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2, 200 miles, animals, cross country, dog, dog sled, dogs, george cutright, georgie cutright, homeless, homemade, huskies, knoxville, lawn chair, makeshift, pets, pulling, skateboard, sled, tennessee, trip, urban dog sled