Wednesday, September 30, 2009


October is 'Adopt A Shelter Dog' month.

Three of my dogs, Libby, Pylon and Bentley were adopted in October. Our canine family currently has two mixed breed members. Morgan was adopted just before being taken to a shelter and Tsar was adopted from a shelter.

Could you ask for a cuter face that this? Morgan will be ten years old in November. She's a sweet little animal that is shy with anyone but her own family members, but she's a tough little girl that has overcome some health problems and is living life to the fullest.

Morgan was a neglected puppy who was malnourished.

Here she's taking her toy to show to her friend Spooky who lives across the street.

Morgan stays close by Rob. Here she carries her toy around while he paints. She's always ready to climb in the car and go with us and will try almost anything. She's loving and trusting and there's no better companion.

Tsar will be eight years old in November. He and his littermates were abandoned at a shelter. If the family didn't want puppies, why wasn't his mother spayed?

Tsar acts more like a cat than a dog. He's very aloof but he does like to play with Rob.

He's a very strong dog and has to be reminded not to nip when he plays, but he listens.

Everyone likes to have their backs scratched.

Rob and Tsar having a conversation.

These two dogs are pure joy to live with. They each have some baggage from their former lives. Many shelter dogs do, but it's nothing that can't be handled with patience and love.

I adore Portuguese Water Dogs and hope to always have some of them in my life, but I'll also always have an adopted dog that needs a home. There's room in my home and my heart for both.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Check and Recheck

We were reminded this weekend that we must stay alert and not take our dog's safety for granted.

Sky went to Dogfest with us and had a good time meeting people and other dogs. We stopped at almost every tent and checked out whatever the people there were selling or advocating or teaching.

At one tent there was a vet tech from one of the local vet offices (not ours) and she was teaching about microchips for identification. We told her that all our dogs were chipped when they were puppies. I saw a scanner on her table so I asked her to check Sky's chip to be sure it was reading well.

She stepped out and ran the scanner over Sky's back, but nothing happened. She ran it all over him from side to side and up and down from his head to his tail and still she got no reading.

She was using a scanner that looked like this, but it got no reading from his chip. When we left Dogfest, we went directly to our vet's office and asked the girls to scan him. They did, using two different scanners and nothing registered.

All our puppies were microchipped when they were eight weeks old and the older dogs were done when they were puppies.A tiny chip the size of a grain of rice was implanted between their shoulder blades. The chip has a rough edge that grips onto the muscle and each chip has a unique number that can be read with a scanner.

There are a couple of chips available. Home Again is one and Avid is the one we use. After implantation I registered each number with both Avid and Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) run by the AKC. Each year at their annual checkup I have the chips scanned to be sure they're reading correctly.

Now, suddenly Sky seemed to be unprotected. We're very careful with our dogs. They run loose in our fenced in yard but at all other times they're leashed when outside. Still we all know that unforeseen things happen. Someone might leave a door unlatched, or a gate open. Perhaps a leash might break or simply slip out of a hand. Dogs get loose and dogs get lost. We all know that no matter how careful we are, it can happen to us.

Today we took all our microchip certificates and all out dogs to see Dr B. He scanned everyone. We are very happy to report that all the chips are reading perfectly. The reason Sky's chip wasn't reading the other day was technician error. It seems that the scanner has to be held a certain way in order to locate the chip and register the number. If held flat against the dog, it doesn't work. It needs to be held at an angle.

This in itself is sort of scary. We need to make sure that the people who work at the shelters, including volunteers know how to use the scanner correctly. Those of you who volunteer your time at your local shelter, mention to whoever is in charge that it would be a good idea to have a refresher lesson on how to use the scanner correctly. It could mean life or death for some animals.

Of course it's good to have an ID tag on your animal, too. We all know though that dogs are very good at losing their tags and collars can come undone or be removed. A microchip is there to stay.Don't take chances with your pet's safety. Get them an ID tag and have them microchipped. It doesn't hurt and can help them get back home if they get lost. Be sure to register the chip with one or more registry who will notify you if your animal is found and don't forget to have the chip checked every time you visit the vet. Ask the workers at the local shelters if they have lessons on how to use a scanner and if not make calls to the managers.

It's the life and safety of your pet, be proactive.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dog Fest

Today was Dog Fest. Every September the dog park has a fundraiser and people get together to celebrate dogs.

This was Sky's turn to attend.

There were lots of tents with all sorts of merchandise and information concerning dogs. At first Sky wasn't sure he wanted to mingle, but then he started making friends.

There were a lot of Dachshunds. Some were taking part in the races, some were just there to urge their friends on to victory.

This is Isabella.

This very well behaved Soft Coated Wheaten is named Thunder. He liked posing for pictures.

This is Bella, the Pug.

There were dogs everywhere, but I didn't hear a single bark while we were there.

All the dogs were getting along nicely.

Many of them were eager to play.

This Havanese is camera shy.

One of my favorite breeds was represented. This is Grady, a seven month old Newfoundland.

The tables displayed all sorts of medicines and treats and other goodies. Sky got many treats, from flavor snacks to homemade cookies to ice cream. We even found some bacon flavored cookies to bring home to Morgan.

This is Polo.

This is Spuds.

Sky thought this Poodle was beautiful and he kept his eye on her for a long time.

This is a Bouvier.

This character is Spector. He's part Jack Russel Terrier and part Bichon.

This little girl got all dressed up for the event.

Sky rested in the shade of this enormous dog.

There were dogs of all shapes.

There were dogs of all sizes.

The entertainment was a Dachshund race. Here the contestants line up at the starting line.

The race is on.

Yellow was the winner.

There were lots of places for the dogs to get a cold drink.

Sky had never seen so many dogs in one place.

There were lovely gifts for friends with dogs.

This Akita is waiting for a turn to get a drink.

Greyhound rescue was there.

There were even some convenient trees nearby. I'm sure they were well watered.

This is Abe. He was coming in just as we were heading for the parking lot.

It was a fun event, well attended and all the dogs were on their best behavior. Everyone got along and they seemed to enjoy meeting each other. The owners all were attentive, too, which makes a huge difference.

To finish Sky's adventure, we stopped at McDonald's on the way home and he got some cheeseburger and fries. Now he's sound asleep.