A dog joke (prepare to groan)

Three handsome male dogs are walking down the street when they see a beautiful, enticing, female Poodle. The males are speechless before her beauty, slobbering on themselves and hoping for just a glance from her in return.

Aware of her charms and her obvious effect on the three suitors, she decides to be kind and tells them, “The first one who can use the words “liver” and “cheese” together in an imaginative, intelligent sentence can go out with me.”

The sturdy, muscular black Lab speaks up quickly and says, “I love liver and cheese.”

“Oh, how childish,” says the Poodle. “That shows no imagination or intelligence whatsoever.”

She turns to the tall, shiny Golden Retriever and says, “How well can you do?”
Howling dog saying "That was TERRIBLE!"
“Ummmm…I HATE liver and cheese,” blurts the Golden Retriever.

“My, my,” says the Poodle. “I guess it’s hopeless. That’s just as dumb as the Lab’s sentence.”

She then turns to the last of the three dogs and says, “How about you, little guy?”

The last of the three, tiny in stature but big in finesse, is a chihuahua. He gives her a smile and a sly wink, turns to the Golden Retriever and the Lab and says, “Liver alone. Cheese mine.”

Forget girls on trampolines; how about dogs, cats & foxes?

Yesterday, Life with Dogs featured a video of two American bulldogs playing on a trampoline. Here’s that video:

That tickled my funnybone and motivated me to search out more videos of dogs jumping or playing on trampolines. These are some of my favorites from my browsing today.

And lest you think only dogs enjoy trampolines, here’s a video of a cat playing on one.

I have to say, though, that cats don’t seem to find them as entertaining as dogs. The preponderance of bouncy critter videos were of dogs. Most of the few cat videos depicted a kitty annoyed by some 2-legger bouncing around while the kitty tried to sun itself. Then there’s the idiots who do mean things to cats on trampolines; I don’t bother commenting on those videos, but I report ’em for abusive content. But that’s another blog entry for another day!

And it’s not just domestic pets who enjoy playing bouncy. Check out these two wild foxes someone witnessed bounding and pouncing on his trampoline:

By the way, here’s a video showing a fox showing that same high leap and dive behavior, only going into the snow for prey:

My favorite, though, is Chago; this fella has it down to a science I wish the owner of that video allowed his video to be embedded outside of YouTube, but you’ll have to go there to view it.

This summer, we’re going to have to introduce Stella to someone’s trampoline. As much as she enjoys bounding up onto the couch and ricocheting off its back, we think she’d love it.

Pit bull terriers get a bad rap

This is a great video. The family’s pit bull bugged his owner frantically until he came with him to find out what was bothering him. The dog saved the baby’s life. This family has had their children saved by pit bulls not once, but twice.

There’s a reason Staffordshire bull terriers, a foundation for the American pit bull terrier, was called the nanny dog for years before the powers that be decided to make bully breeds the evil dogs of the decade. They’re extremely affectionate, loyal family dogs that are gentle with children and other animals when they’re trained to be.

There are many myths being spread about pit bulls, such as one that says their jaws lock. That’s just not true. You can read more about these erroneous claims at these links:

The media demonizes dog breeds, working people into a frenzy. Think about it. The media’s been shoving scary stories down our throats for decades. In the 80’s it was the doberman, then in the 90’s it was rottweilers. Now it’s the pit bull terrier and similar-looking breeds. Where will it end?

Dog Bites

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a report on dog bites by breed in the US. You can read and download it here. Be sure to read through it, though, not just scan the tables. The authors explain how the figures were derived and point out the flaw in just looking at numbers alone.

You will find that rottweilers, German shepherds and pit bulls have high numbers of dog bite deaths. So do great Danes. There’s no doubting that a big dog with a big set of teeth can really hurt a person. But also consider this: the numerous nips and aggressive bites from vicious small dogs will not only inflict a lot less damage, but will often go unreported. People tend to report large dogs because they perceive them to be more vicious.

You can read the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s paper, A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention.

Temperament Testing

Additionally, temperament tests done by the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) show pit bulls to rank very highly on their temperament tests. The higher the percentage of dogs that passed the test, the better the overall temperament of that breed. Here’s a sampling of some popular breeds in America:

  • Pug: 90.5%
  • American Pit Bull Terrier: 85.3%
  • Golden Retriever: 84.6%
  • German Shepherd: 83.7
  • Rottweiler: 83%
  • Beagle 81%
  • Doberman Pinscher: 77.4%
  • Chihuahua: 71%
You can view the test results of all breeds at this link.


Breed Specific Laws (BSL)

Punish the deed, not the breed. Aside from penalizing responsible dog owner, BSL’s just don’t work for the purposes for which they’re written. People who fight dogs breed for aggression and abuse their dogs; they also use their dogs as weapons. The pit bull naturally wants to please and protect its owner, and unscrupulous individuals exploit this.  People like that are going to produce dogs that bite because they encourage it.

It’s not the responsible, law-abiding dog owners who should be punished. The website Stop BSL’s (Breed specific laws) has detailed information regarding BSL and provides an excellent list of resources.

Some pit bull resources on the web:


Pitbull411: “…Here you can find everything pit bull including a history of the pitbull, the breed profile, pit bull photos, pit bull rescue and adoption organizations, as well as pit bull breeders.”

Pit Bulls on the Web: The site owner’s objectives: (1) Help dogs in need and the people who care about them, (2) educate Pit Bull owners so that unpleasant accidents are avoided, but Pit Bull ownership enjoyed, (3) promote responsible Pit Bull ownership and positive leadership, (4) continue to learn about the breed and stay true to my conjunctions, and (5) raise a loud voice against those who promote, support, or participate in the abuse and cruelty of animals.

Find the pit bull: Only one of the 25 pictures features a pit bull terrier. All the dogs pictured are purebred representations of their breeds.
It may not be as easy as you think. Can you spot the lone pit bull? Can your friends and family? It’s a real eye-opener!

Pit Bull Rescue Central:  “Pit Bull Rescue Central envisions a compassionate world where pit bulls and pit bull mixes reside in responsible, loving homes and where their honor and positive image is restored and preserved.”

I have one more video before I close. Please prepare yourself for images of a vicious pit bull, scary Siamese mix cat, and chicks. Get ready to rumble!

I hope that this entry, along with the links I’ve provided, will encourage people to challenge stereotypes. If you’re a pit bull lover and have additional resources, please drop me a comment or an e-mail and let me know. I can expand this list of resources. I know this is a controversial topic, but I will not tolerate rude or offensive posts in the comments; expect any such comments to be deleted.

After 5 years chained to a doghouse, flat coated retriever needs a good home

My friend Jessica is the lady who rescued  Stella puppy from a pound in North Carolina and fostered her until we adopted her in June. Jessica has another foster who needs a home and I thought some of my friends could spread the word about him. Here’s all about him from Jessica, in her own words:

Eli is a flat-coated retriever, who was given to a family as a Christmas present 5 years ago. At first, life was great. He had two young boys to play with and a warm bed to sleep in at night. After a few weeks though, the excitement of a little puppy was starting to fade, and the responsibility of caring for and training a dog was starting to set in. The boys were no longer interested in their old best friend, and the parents couldn’t find time in their busy schedules to help either.

So Eli went outside, for good. They got him a short metal chain which they attached to an old, rotting dog house, far enough away from the house that he couldn’t be seen. And that is where Eli spent the next 5 years of his life.

Flat coated retriever rescue needs good home

Once a week he would excitedly greet whoever came to fill up his automatic feeder. After a quick pat on the head, it was right back to his life of complete solitude. Five frigid winters, and five hot summers passed as Eli sat, imprisoned by a chain, totally forgotten and alone.

Eli, chained to a doghouse 5 years.

Take a second to imagine the torture of not being able to move out of the same three foot area for five years, day in and day out. Think about the fear he must have felt when it stormed, or how cold he must have been when it snowed, how miserable he must have felt when the summer sun beat down on his black coat. No way to escape any of it, no way of removing the chain wrapped around his neck.

The most painful to think about is the loneliness and rejection he felt and how much his heart must have ached for the loving family he once had. After five years, many would have lost hope, some may have lost their minds from total boredom, others completely enraged at people for sticking him outside and never giving his existence a second thought.

Flat coated retriever rescue needs good home

Not Eli, he spent those five years saving up and conserving all the love he had, anxiously but patiently awaiting that one person who he could give it to. One person that would see him and believe he was worth bringing inside, who would comfort him during the storms, give him a warm bed to spend cold snowy nights, and most importantly someone he could love and who would love him too.

They say good things come to those who wait, and Eli’s patience paid off. One of the boys who had loved him for those few short weeks got married, and when his wife saw Eli, she decided that she would be the person who would finally help free him. She posted a desperate ad on Craigslist, hoping for a miracle.

I think I’m more of a sucker than a miracle because when I happened upon the ad, my heart sunk. It was 10 degrees outside and all I could think about was how cold and miserable this poor dog must be. When I went to sleep that night I looked at my two pit bulls, comfortably hogging the bed like usual, snoring loudly, happy, content and warm snuggled under the covers, the guilt was overwhelming. This is what every dog deserved, not just my own. I called the lady the next day and made the drive through the snow to West Virginia to save Eli.

I was greeted by a dirty, ratty black dog, with a huge smile and wagging tail. I knew immediately it was worth it. I took him to my moms where Eli made himself at home in one of her bedrooms, and made himself his own little den in the closet. That night, I slept much better, and so did Eli, warm and safe, finally.

Throughout the weeks he has shown the true heart of a rescue dog. He is loving, humble, grateful, and far more forgiving than he should be. He is working very hard to overcome his fears, which at first included the TV, garbage disposal, dryer, and many other normal household noises.

Some emotional scars from a life of such neglect are harder for him to work through. He still paces back and forth, especially when he is really happy, and we think this is a byproduct of being chained and not being able to move for so long. He is timid around men, not aggressive by any means, just a little scared and likes that he has his own closet to retreat into when the situation gets too overwhelming.

He also has anxiety about being outside alone, which is understandable. This is actually a positive however, because in his desperation to get back inside he does his business very quickly and comes right back to the door.

His fears are quickly being replaced, almost daily, by small victories. He has recently learned to play and received his very own stuffed animal for Christmas this year, which was the first ever he got to celebrate with a family. He is also learning the art of fetching tennis balls (He is a retriever after all!). Despite his fears of the outside he picked up potty training quickly as well and lets you know when he has to go.

He has been vaccinated and de-wormed and will be neutered in the next week or two. And despite needing a good teeth brushing, the vet said he was in excellent health. He also just got his first bath and after all the burrs and knots were removed, and the dirt of 5 years scrubbed off, his coat is now a shiny black and matches his inner beauty.

The only thing Eli is missing now is a family of his very own. He has made a wonderful foster dog, his gentle, calm, sweet nature has made it easy to fall in love with him. He loves people and craves attention, and going without for so long means he has a lot of catching up to do.

However, finding him a forever home will open the spot back up for my mom to take in a new foster, and save another life. There are 6 million pets euthanized every year in the United States, which means there is never a shortage of neglected dogs in desperate need of someone willing to give them a second chance.

Flat coated retriever rescue needs good home

Eli’s perfect home would be with a couple or woman-only home, whose lifestyle is a little slower speed. Being a little older and very low maintenance, he is content to lie at your feet, and merely be in your presence. He gets along with the other dogs at my mom’s but the boys tend to bully him a bit. Her little female pittie, Gracie, seems to have bonded with him the most, and he spends a lot of time just watching her, learning how to act.

He needs a family willing to give him the time he needs to adjust and will help him continue to overcome his fears. Most importantly, he needs a family who will shower him with the love and affection he deserves. In return, he will be the most loving, loyal dog on the planet. He will literally worship the ground you walk on. Dogs like Eli never forget what they came from, and he will thank you every day for giving him a chance.

If you think Eli may be the dog for you, or you have any questions please feel free to send me an email or call me! Thanks so much!

Jessica

Please spread the word about Eli. What a sad thing for a social animal like a dog to be chained to a doghouse, alone, for so long. Dogs are pack animals and thrive on social interaction with other animals and, in their absence, their people.

I can give you Jessica’s contact info if you’d like to learn more about Eli.

Bear

This is my brother-in-law Steve’s big German Shepherd, Bear. Bear was skin and bones when Steve got him from the pound, but now he weighs about 100 pounds. His massive head is about as long as Stella’s body and his paws are bigger than a baseball…Just huge! Bear has hip dysplasia, plus Steve soon learned he has epilepsy. He now takes phenobarbitol like our dog Emma does. Because the vet told Steve Bear’s age (about 6 years old) and health issues would put him at too high a risk for anesthesia, he is still intact. Bear has a super mellow personality, a real sweetheart. He just stood still has Stella ran around like the Tasmanian Devil and jumped up to lick his face.