The Herald-Dispatch |

Fighting Dog Abuse
Check here for information on dog abuse cases, law and rescue group information. Tamara Myers-White also will answer questions or direct you to a link or e-mail of someone with the answers.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cold Weather Tips For You And Your Dog.

It seems hard to believe that winter is just around the corner, but it is. So, here are some very useful tips to help you keep your best friend comfortable in the cold. Most of your toy breeds, Chihuahua's, Maltese, Yorkies, etc., usually have "clothes" that their responsible owners put on them. Even large dogs, such as Boxers, that have only one coat, get very cold. If your dog shivers when outside and it is cold, it needs to have some type of a sweater or coat. You can find many different kinds in pet boutiques such as Just Dogs! Gourmet in the Huntington Mall, or Pet Palace in Huntington WV or some grooming facilities also carry clothes.

If a dogs internal temperature gets below 96 degrees F, it can go into hypothermia. Shivering is a sign of an animal being too cold. They shiver to produce heat, by the way.

The most horrific thing about cold weather, is anti-freeze. This is a very sweet tasting substance to dogs and cats. Even in a very small amount, it can kill. Anti-freeze poisoning is very painful. Some horrible people use it to poison dogs and cats that run wild because they will drink it.

When the snows come, people use chemicals and salt to melt the snow. These can be very painful to your dog's feet. The chemicals actually burn the pads. So, if possible, walk them in areas that don't have that on it. Also, you can buy a salve called Mushis's Secret. It can be applied to reduce the pain caused by salt and chemicals.

Ah, Christmas. The tinsel and ornaments on the pretty tree. While they are so pretty to look at, they can be extremely harmful to your pet if ingested. The tinsel will bind in the intestines and the sharp edges can actually cut the intestines. Symptoms of ingestion include: decreased appetite,vomiting, diarrhea, listlessness and weight loss. Also, blood in the stool or vomit. The only cure is surgery.

Last, but not least, dogs that have to live outside. Never use a chain choke collar to tie up your outside dog. The main reason, they can hang themselves. But, metal attracts cold and can actually burn, yes burn, your dogs skin. The skin will be black. Meaning it is dead. Always use a flat buckle collar made of leather or nylon.

I hope these few tips help when the weather really turns cold.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Smelly Things And Your Dog.

source: email from Purina Foods and personal experience and knowledge.

My dog, Chance is going to be 5 this Dec. When he was about a yr. and a half, he did something I thought was just absolutely crazy. One evening, I was on the computer, working on this blog, when he came over to me and started to really bug me by butting me with his head, under my arm.

Well, after telling him, on numerous occasions, to go and lie down, he asked to go outside. Well, to my relief, or so I thought, I let him out. He came back to the door about 5 minutes later and barked to be let back in. Well, my husband got up and let him in. The next thing I hear is, "Chance what in the world is all over you?" He had gone out and rolled in poop! He was telling me, in no uncertain terms, "hey, smell where I have been!"

Personally, I think he did it just to get me to stop and pay total attention to him. So, I had to stop what I was doing, and take him to the shower and give him a bath. Where I am going with this little story is, "why dogs roll in stinky stuff."

This, I believe, is an instinctual behavior that comes from the dawn of the canine. It was used by wolves, the top of the canine list, to mask their odors when hunting. I could go back further, to the first ever dog-like creature, and I am almost certain, that they did the same thing. Hence, that is why, in a related theory of mine, that pre-domesticated canines, (feral dogs), roll around in smelly things to let their pack mates know where they have been and what they have encountered during their hunt or time out of the den.

What do I do, you ask? First, don't get mad. Remember, this is a natural and very normal behavior. Even though it is repulsive to us, it is almost like perfume to them. There are steps you can use to discourage this behavior. Here are some ways to help you with your smelly buddy.

If your baby rolls in his own poop, clean him/her up immediately and then the yard. If you are going for a walk, keep your best buddy on a short leash to prevent the infamous "smelly thing" roll. Now, to ultimately stop this behavior, you can try to put an unpleasant reaction to the rolling action. By this, I do not mean, hitting or yelling or jerking the leash. I suggest using a citronella spray collar or an e-collar on the vibrate mode, only. More intense use of an e-collar should be done by someone that has studied the collar usage and has been trained in its use.

If you use the spray method, remember to use it right as the dog starts to go into the roll behavior. You can also use anything your dog finds annoying. Loud noises to startle them. But, above all else, be consistent!! Consistency is the key to all, and I mean, all training. I hope these little tid-bits will help you and your buddy have a sweeter smelling experience together.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hunters And Search And Rescue.

This might not be an abuse story, but it involves dogs. It may save a life.

If you are a hunter, this post might save your life someday. And, it is a tribute to the SAR (Search and Rescue) volunteers. Search and Rescue isn't just a dog and its handler. It is a group of highly trained volunteers that come to the aid of people in trouble. There are pilots, group coordinators, chaplains, dog handlers, radio operators and posse leaders. Each of these talented people come together at the touch of a button to help save a life or lives.

If you are a hunter, having these items might save your life and the lives of anyone with you. Always make sure that people know where you will be hunting. Before you start into the woods, make sure someone see where you start from. Whether it be someone at a roadside store or gas station, or just someone else that is hunting the same area. Introduce yourself. This might save your life.

If you get lost, build a fire with green boughs to create a smoke signal type fire. This will be able to be seen by a search plane. Pack extra orange vests to hang on trees and in the snow for a signal. Using logs to create an SOS signal can save your life. Make sure the logs are 10 ft. or longer. I know you have seen people in movies using a mirror to make a flash to attract a plane. This is not just a movie stunt. Practice at home with a mirror. You can also use a pot or even a credit card. This works, don't laugh!

Use a headlamp instead of a flashlight. This frees up your hands to do other life saving duties. Gathering wood, as much as you can, will keep you warm all night. Remember to take kitchen matches, several lighters and butane with flint to keep them going and kept in a plastic bag. Keeping everything in a plastic ziploc is a must.

Did you know that air flows downhill? Pitching your tent in a lee (a valley) with the opening of your tent parallel to with the wind direction, will keep the smoke out of your tent. Insulating yourself from the cold can be done by using a square cut, closed cell sleeping pad. This will insulate you from the ground. If you don't have that, sit on your pad. Hypothermia is a big threat.

Take a whistle with you. Yes, I said a whistle. Blowing 3 blasts at 5 min. intervals, will alert any SAR volunteers in your area. Remember, panic will lead to death. It also leads to dehydration. Using a pot, preferably titanium, weighing less than an ounce, can melt snow for warm drinking water. If you didn't think to bring a tarp, a quick shelter to build is a lean-to using a tree branch for the ridgepole. Always have a small camping saw. This can be used to saw branches for shelter purposes, or fires. Go to the library before going hunting and look up how to build a lean-to. Or, go on the Internet. This small inconvenience could save your life.

Getting a space blanket, the silver looking type blanket, will save body heat if you need to wrap up at night. You can find these online at Remember, when you build your shelter to have the branches pointing down to direct the runoff. Use snow, if there is any, to insulate your shelter by banking it up against the sides. Once you build a fire, get out of your blanket and tuck the sides under the shelter edges. This will create a reflecting wall. It provides warmth and light.

SAR volunteers work hard to save lives. You can make their jobs easier if you just think before you start out. Believe me, we want to find you alive, and not have to bring in the cadaver dogs to finish the job. Be smart and you will live through any ordeal in the woods.

Use branches to insulate your body from the ground. Make sure it is about 8 in. thick. Placing a retaining log at the opening of your hut to make a seat and keep the heat from melting the snow under your branch bed. Logs can be used to direct the heat of your fire to the shelter you have made. Remember, if you are wet, take your clothes off, put on dry ones, if you have them, if not, wrap up in your space blanket, and hang your wet clothes by the fire. Hypothermia happens very quickly if you stay in wet clothes.

When you are found, don't forget to thank the people that find you. They are volunteers and give up their lives to help find you. Stop and think before you leave for you hunt. It will save your life.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Chewing is Frustrating.

Does your dog chew constantly? Whether you are there or not? If so, there may be several reasons for this frustrating behavior. If you have a puppy, one reason may be teething. If your pup is teething, take one of their rubber toys and put it in the freezer. After an hour or so, take it out and give it to the puppy. This has a calming effect on the pup and has a numbing effect on their gums and teeth.

But, for the adult dog, there is probably an underlying problem. If you have a dog that isn't as active as they should be, boredom is probably the cause of their chewing. Giving your dog something to occupy their time is very important. While you are gone, toys like the Kong are great. Also, the Busy Buddy toys, carried at Just Dogs! Gourmet in the Huntington Mall, Barboursville, WV, are great, too. The Busy Buddy's hold treats and makes the dog work and think of how to get them out of it. Also, leaving a radio or TV on will help with the boredom and can have a calming effect on a stressed dog.

If you notice your dog panting excessively when you return home from work or running errands, he/she is most likely experiencing a panic or anxiety attack. Yes, dogs can experience attacks just like humans. Consulting your vet is your best option if you are afraid your dog is stressing out. There are meds out there, both prescription and natural, to help calm your dog's anxiety. But never administer meds without consulting your vet first.

Does your dog chew your child's toys? If so, they are not being spiteful, but just enjoying the remnants of juice and cookies. Dog's also chew by scent. I know of one incident where a mother dog chewed up the blankets from her whelping box, after they had been washed, because they still had the scent of her puppies on them. Scent is strong and a dog's nose is 100 times more sensitive than ours. There are predictable triggers to chewing. You just have to find out what is triggering your dog to chew. A video camera, if you can afford it, will aid you in finding out what is going on with your dog. If a video camera is not feasible, as it usually isn't, just watching your dog will help you figure out what is going on with them.

Teaching what is right and wrong is the key and a must. I use the command "no chew." Some use the term "leave it." Either is fine and whatever you are comfortable using. If your dog is chewing something they shouldn't, go over and pick up the item, using the dog's name and the command "no chew or leave it." Put the object up. If it is a toy, put it up for 15 min. and ignore your dog. They will do everything in the world to get your attention, but ignore them. After the 15 min. has gone by, get the toy and give it back to them. If they play with it correctly, praise them and give a small tidbit as a treat for respecting their toy. If they are chewing on, say, a couch leg, remove the dog from the area, using the terms I said above and give them a toy they are allowed to have, praising the dog the minute their teeth touch the toy and give a small treat.

Hopefully, some of the things I have said will help if you have a chewer in your midst.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

If You Camp - Read This.

If you are like a lot of people, including my family, when summer rolls around, you start to get fidgety to get outdoors. And, this means, camping! My family camps and Chance, my yellow Labrador, gets to go. But, before we head out, we prepare for our trip so we don't have any "surprises."

What we do to get ready is "scope" out the campgrounds. By this, I mean, checking out to see if dogs are allowed. And, if they are, what, if any, restrictions there might be. Making reservations are probably the most critical of everything you can do. If you don't, you run the risk of getting to your destination and being turned away. National Forest's are usually the best place to camp because the restrictions are minimal, with a few exceptions to this.

Being prepared is essential to a happy and safe time with your family and dog(s). Some important items you will need include:
Collar with ID tag and Rabies tag on it.
Leashes - at least 2, in case one breaks.
Tie out cable
Food and water bowls
Dog bed or crate
Treats - most important - at least that is what your dog thinks.
Toys - again, most important - to your dog.
Poo Bags - to pick up waste from your dog.
Flea & Tick prevention - if your dog is not on the monthly kind.
First Aid Kit - this should have everything from gauze pads to tweezers, scissors, sterile eye wash, diarrhea medicine, Neosporin salve, etc.

When you get to your destination, take your dog out and go for a walk and let your dog relieve themselves and then tie them in the shade with fresh, cold water, while you get set up. If you hike, make sure the trails are dog friendly and take your poo bags with you. No-one likes to step in poo while enjoying a hike. Don't push your dog if they are not used to exercise or if they are over-weight. Take a water bottle with you and stop frequently to give a good sip of cool water.

Remember, most dogs are not used to wildlife, so having your dog on his/her leash is a good idea. Most campgrounds require you to leash your dog at all times. They make a training lead that is anywhere from 14 to 22 ft. long and is a great way to let your dog have some freedom.

Ah, the campfire. The epitome of camping. If you want to sit by the fire with your dog, make sure that the smoke does not get in there face. Put a mat or blanket down, not too close so the embers will not fall on it, and let your dog lie there close to you. Or, if your best bud is small, let them cuddle in your lap.

Maintaining a routine is so important, too. If your dog gets out of routine, it can upset a lot of things. Make sure you feed at the same time you would if you were home, and the same with potty time. Dogs are just like us. If you get out of routine, you get constipated. Make sure you get the night-time potty done about 10 minutes before you are ready to call it a night. You want your best bud to be comfortable all night, just like you.

And, finally, if you have more than one dog, make sure they are people friendly and dog friendly. Being considerate of other campers is a must. This is just some of the camping etiquette we follow when we go camping. I hope it will help you when you get out to go.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Holistic Flea/Tick/Mite Treatment And What Mange Is.

Are you having trouble with fleas, ticks or mites? This time of year the fleas are out in full force, and so are the ticks. You can see these two, but the mites you would need a microscope for. Usually you will find them in the ears. But mites also can be seen in skin scrapings done by your vet. Mites are the cause of Sarcoptic and Demodectic mange. Also, this year has been one of the worst for ticks that I have seen in a long time. I found a holistic remedy for these 3 pesky parasites. It is cinnamon. Yes, cinnamon.

Cinnamon has sulphur in it. Ticks, fleas and mites hate sulphur. By putting a teaspoon of cinnamon on your dog's food once a day, you can supplement your flea/tick program without harming your dog.

Also, if you have a dog with itchy skin and nothing seems to work, try putting one capsule of fish oil on your dogs food every 3-4 days. You can find these capsules at Rite-Aid, GNC or any health food store. The oil will give your dog the added oil they need to alleviate the dry skin. Mix it up well in their food, though, as it smells like fish. Most dogs don't like fish.

Just a little information on the mites. The mite that causes Scabies is microscopic and this can be spread rapidly between dogs and on to humans. It is characterized by intense itching and hair loss, especially around the areas of the ears, elbows, legs and face. The second type, the Demodex canis, is also microscopic and lives in the hair follicles. It causes thick, red skin and hair loss. Eventually, it can cause the formation of pustules in the infected hair follicles.

This first signs of Demodectic mange in young puppies are small patches of hair loss around the eyes, forehead, muzzle, and forepaws. Dogs with this type of mange should not be used for breeding, as it is hereditary. Skin scrapings done by a vet can determine the type of mange, or what is causing the skin problems your dog may be experiencing.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tips To Protect Your Pets On The Fourth Of July.

Chance and my son, Keith, whom is a volunteer fireman with the Ohio River Road Volunteer Fire Department, want everyone to stay safe and be careful when putting off fireworks.

1. I know many people like to take their pets on outings, but resist the urge to take your pet to fireworks displays.
2. Never, never leave your pet in the car. With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
3. Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you've removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. It has been proven that leaving a television or radio playing at normal volume will keep your pet company while you're attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.
4. If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4Th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays.
5. Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn't leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death. People that chain dogs, really don't care about them anyway.
6. Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners. Micro-chipping your pet is a great way to ensure that you will be reunited, if your pet should become lost.

source for some of these tips came from the HSUS website.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Do You Have A Chewer In Your Midst?

"I'm just a lazy chewing for me anymore! "

Back in March of '05, I talked my husband into letting me get Chance, my yellow Lab. I already had Kallee, my Aussie Shepherd/Smooth Collie mix, whom had been at my side for 14 yrs. And when I say, "at my side," that is a literal statement. She went to work with me everyday and when home, she was constantly by my side. Chance was about 4 mo. old and a bundle of energy. If you looked out in the yard, he would be hanging onto Kallee's ear as she cruised around. When she got tired of him hanging onto her ear, she would shoo him away with a grump and growl (as I liked to put it). When she passed away on May 15 of that year, Chance was sitting by her head. She had passed away very peacefully in her sleep. He (Chance) had tried to wake her up by doing what he had done for those 2 months he was with her, chewing on her ear.

Little did I know that the chewing was not over. For one solid year, he chewed everything he could get his little teeth on. We had wood lattice work around our porch, he totally destroyed that. Then on to the tire cover on my spare tire. He chewed the bottom completely off it. Then he moved on to the mud flaps on my car. I have 2 Japanese Dwarf Maple trees that he chewed down to stumps. (luckily, they came back). Do you see a pattern emerging. My personal opinion is he was missing Kallee.

Why do dogs practice this behavior? Dogs are very oral. They don't have hands, so they use their mouths to investigate things. They chew for many reasons, really: entertainment, boredom, teeth cleaning and to strengthen their jaw muscles. Labs are notorious chewers the first year of their lives, too. And, they chew on their owners things, such as socks or shirts, because the odor reminds them of their owners.

You have to be very aware if you have a chewer. Swallowing objects is very dangerous. It can cause the blood supply to be cut off from the intestines if the object doesn't move on through them. This in turn means sometimes risky and very invasive and expensive surgery. Here are a few tips: 1. Know your pet. Pay attention to what your pet is particularly interested in chewing. 2. Keep a clean environment. This is self-explanatory. 3. Supervise. Keep a check on the toys to make sure they have not deteriorated, and supervise your puppy when he/she is playing with toys. 4. Train. Dogs sometimes chew due to boredom or anxiety. Certain commands are very useful, such as "drop it," or "leave it."

Here are the signs that might indicate your dog has something lodged in their stomach: diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, persistent vomiting or dry heaving, refusal to eat and restlessness. If your pet is exhibiting any of these behaviors, call your vet immediately.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

What It Takes To Properly Own And Care For A Dog.



1. I will have my dog spayed or neutered.
2. I will spend a minimum of 1 hr. a day exercising my dog.
3. I will spend 30 minutes daily training my dog in basic commands, socialization around people and other dogs and manners around people.
4. I will 30 minutes playing with him.
5. I will brush him daily and brush his teeth at least several times a week.
6. I will remember to give my dog heartworm medicine monthly and protect him against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes with one of the vet-recommended products for spring, summer and fall.
7. I will take him to the vet yearly for shots and more often if he shows any health problems.
8. I will keep my dog safe, healthy, well-groomed and happy.
9. I will keep my dog for life.

1. I DO have the time to feed, train, love and exercise my dog.
2. I DO have the money for annual vet checks and any other medical problems that might occur; food; toys; grooming; and all other pet supplies
3. I DO NOT have -- nor does anyone in my household -- any allergies to dogs.
4. I DO NOT have any restrictions on dog size where I live.
5. I DO have the money to fence in my yard.
6. I DO have a family member, friend or trusted pet sitter to give proper care to my dog if/when I go on vacation.
7. I DO have someone to take my dog out and feed him should I temporarily need to work longer hours that keep me away from home.
8. I DO NOT have any physical disabilities or limitations that will impede my ability to take good care of a dog for its entire life.
9. I DO NOT plan to use ANY excuse for getting rid of my dog: moving, allergies, having a baby, changing jobs, extended work hours, no time, dog is too big or has "behavioral problems," other pets or family members don't get along with it, etc.

Insure that your dog lives on and is well cared for after your death.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Hot Weather Update.

Chance likes to be inside in the a/c. So spoiled!

This is just a reminder that the heat is topping out in the 90's. If you have any animal outside, make sure they have shelter and plenty of fresh water. And, if you must take your dog with you, and you don't have a/c or it is broken, take a bowl with ice cubes in it. Any bowl with a tight lid will work. The ice will melt and your dog can have a good, cold drink if you have to be in the car for an extended time. If you are traveling with your dog, and have no a/c, take frequent stops and let them get into the shade. Remember, water, water, water. The bigger the bowl, the more ice, meaning more cold, fresh water.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Fish Hook Removal Tip.

Do you fish? If so, do you take your 4-legged best friend with you? If you do, would you have any idea how to remove a fish hook should your dog get one stuck in a paw or a lip? Here is the proper way to remove a fish hook.

Push the hook through the skin until the barb emerges and clip it off with pliers or a wire cutter. If the hook is small, you can attempt to remove it at home, if it is not lodged in an area that is not extremely sensitive, such as the skin of the leg or the body. Removal becomes very difficult if the hook is in an area of the face or feet, unless the dog is sedated by a vet.

Be careful if you use a treble hook. Dogs can get into these just as easy. If your dog gets into one of these hooks, cover the hook with a towel so your dog won't get more barbs in him/her. Dogs also will swallow a baited hook. If this happens, DO NOT pull the hook back out the mouth. It will get hooked on the esophagus or the stomach and will increase the difficulty to the vet that will do the surgery, as this is the only way to get a swallowed hook out. Cut the line as short as possible and immediately get to a vet.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hot Weather Tips.

Chance says, "swimming is the way to cool off."

With the hot weather here, heatstroke is a common occurrence. Animals can get heatstroke by being confined in a car with the windows up, kenneling them in poorly ventilated areas, or exercising them in the hot, humid weather. The signs are rapid, shallow breathing, rapid heart beat, very high body temperature, over 104 degrees, and then collapse.

It is vital that a dog suffering this be cooled down as quickly as possible, and treated by a vet immediately. To cool a dog down you can spray them down with cool water, ice packs at the groin and around the neck and head, and wrapping cold, wet towels around the dog. Again, it is vital that you get your dog to a vet after instituting first aid. This is because there are many complications that come with an elevated temperature. Stop the cooling process when the temperature gets down to 103 degrees.

Remember, to prevent this from happening, just use common sense. Never, never leave any animal in a car with the windows up. You should really never leave them in a car, even with the windows cracked. A car temperature can soar in a matter of minutes. If you have to leave your dog in the car, keep the car running with the air conditioner on. If your dog is outside, make sure that it has adequate shade to get under, and plenty of fresh, cool water.

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