Archive | July, 2011

Deadly Disease

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

Author: Sharon Mathers–Shared by Jeannine Kerr
From August 2002 issue of NCOTC On Lead

There is a deadly disease stalking your dog, a hideous,
stealthy thing just waiting its chance to steal your
beloved friend. It is not a new disease, or one for which
there are inoculations. The disease is called “Trust”.

You knew before you ever took your puppy home that it
could not be trusted. The breeder who provided you
with this precious animal warned you, drummed it into
your head. Puppies steal off counters, destroy anything
expensive, chase cats, take forever to house train, and
must never be allowed off lead!

When the big day finally arrived, heeding the sage
advice of the breeder, you escorted your puppy to his
new home, properly collared and tagged, the lead held
tightly in your hand.

At home the house was “puppy-proofed”. Everything of
value was stored in the spare bedroom, garbage stowed
on top of the refrigerator, cats separated, and a gate
placed across the living room to keep at least one part of
the house puddle free. All windows and doors had been
properly secured, and sign placed in all strategic points
reminding all to “Close the door!”

Soon it becomes second nature to make sure the door
closes nine tenths of a second after it was opened and
that it is really latched. “Don’t let the dog out” is your
second most verbalized expression. (The first is “No!”)
You worry and fuss constantly, terrified that your darling
will get out and disaster will surely follow. Your friends
comment about who you love most, your family or the
dog. You know that to relax your vigil for a moment
might lose him to you forever.

And so the weeks and months pass, with your puppy
becoming more civilized every day, and the seeds of
trust are planted. It seems that each new day brings
less destruction, less breakage. Almost before you
know it, your gangly, slurpy puppy has turned into an
elegant, dignified friend.

Now that he is a more reliable, sedate companion, you
take him more places. No longer does he chew the
steering wheel when left in the car. And darned if that
cake wasn’t still on the counter this morning. And, oh
yes, wasn’t that the cat he was sleeping with so cozily on
your pillow last night?

At this point you are beginning to become infected, the
disease is spreading its roots deep into your mind.
And then one of your friends suggest obedience classes,
and, after a time you even let him run loose from the car
into the house when you get home. Why not, he always
runs straight to the door, dancing a frenzy of joy and
waits to be let in. And, remember he comes every time
he is called. You know he is the exception that
disproves the rule. (And sometimes late at night you
even let him slip out the front door to go potty and then
right back in.)

Years pass—it is hard to remember why you ever
worried so much when he was a puppy. He would never
think of running out the door left open while you bring in
the packages from the car. It would be beneath his
dignity to jump out the window of the car while you run
into the convenience store. And when you take him for
those wonderful long walks at dawn, it only takes one
whistle to send him racing back to you in a burst of
speed when the walk comes too close to the highway.
(He still gets in the garbage, but nobody is perfect!)
This is the time the disease has waited for so patiently.
Sometimes it only has to wait a year or two, but often it
takes much longer. He spies the neighbor dog across
the street, and suddenly forgets everything he ever knew
about not slipping out doors, jumping out windows or
coming when called due to traffic. Perhaps it was only a
paper fluttering in the breeze, or even just the sheer joy
of running…

Stopped in an instant. Stilled forever—Your heart is
broken at the sight of his still, beautiful body. The
disease is trust. The final outcome, hit by a car.
Every morning my dog bounced around off lead
exploring. Every morning for seven years he came back
when he was called. He was perfectly obedient,
perfectly trustworthy. He died fourteen hours after being
hit by a car.

Please do not risk your friend and your heart. Save the
trust for things that do not matter.
Please read this every year on your puppy’s
birthday, lest we forget.

From Samoyed Update Volume 4, Issue 5
September-October, 2002

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Cotton Candy

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

Jennifer found this touching story and wanted to share it with us.

Cotton Candy
(aka Fairy Floss in Australia)

The smell is delicately sweet like the personality of a Sammy.

A Samoyed’s love is like the soft fluffy touch of cotton candy fresh out of the machine.

The thought of cotton candy evokes memories of carnivals and circuses from days long past; memories so similar to the memories of my first Sammy of a lifetime ago;

~the joy and excitement…of them coming to town…of coming home each day to a Sammy so happy to see me again;

~the thrill and awe…of the great feats of skill and strength of the performers…of the tricks and games and the obvious intelligence of the Sammy;

~the disappointment and sadness…when they packed up and left town…when my beloved Sammy took her last breath and quietly died in my arms.

by Alan R. Thompson, in memory of Princess

Samoyed Update Vol. 5, Issue 4
July-August, 2003
Jennifer is a Junior Member of the Spirit of St. Louis
Samoyed Club

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Missing dog to do list

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

Things to do now before an emergency

  • Be sure dog is microchipped
  • Be sure chip reads properly — your vet should test the scan
  • Be sure microchip company has current contact info– especially cell phones
  • Have current pix of your dog…both as it normally looks and dirty, grubby, muddy, wet, etc. (Think how the dogs will look if on their own for a couple of days or longer.)
  • Check collar and tags for current info.
  • Consider buying a collar that has the dog’s name and phone # printed, or a slide-on tag less likely to snag and pull off.
  • Padlock your gates and keep them locked
  • Have a current list of necessary phone numbers handy

Things to do in a missing dog emergency
Immediately

  • Unlock and open your gates so they can come back in and home
  • Think like your dog: alert neighbors, other dog walkers etc in your immediate vicinity to which he/she might go and ask them to help
  • Ask neighbors if they have seen the Animal Control patrol vans in the area
  • Walk, drive, ride bikes around your vicinity calling, singing — use your voice so they can hear you
  • * Be sure to take leashes and treats and cell phone
  • Take another dog with you if possible, and enlist the aid of other dog walkers you normally meet on your walks
  • If you spot your dog and he won’t come, lie down or sit down and scream, howl or make weird noises to make them come investigate

Within the hour

  • Alert the microchip company
  • Alert your city or town animal control
  • Alert your vet
  • Alert neighboring city animal controls
  • Put food and water out on backyard patio or porch
  • If you think your dog was stolen, notify police

 

After a few hours

  • Print pix and post and distribute to every vet in the area; post on telephone poles, at grocery stores, near schools.
  • Visit the local city shelters and take your flyer with photos.
  • Enlist the aid of local Scout groups and kids — kids always notice the dogs and dogs are more likely to go up to them than adults
  • Enlarge the search zone by alerting local rescue groups;  K9AmberAlert@yahoogroups.com ; Petfinder.com; Craigslist
  • Ask local bus drivers, UPS and FedEx drivers, meter readers, lawn workers – anyone who is going through your and adjacent neighborhoods to watch. Give them your cell phone number and treats for the dog.

Every day

  • Visit shelters regularly. Shelter people do not necessarily recognize breeds well, and you shouldn’t rely on strangers to recognize your dog, especially if he’s now so dirty and matted he looks more like a coyote.

Make the poster / flyer

  • Use pictures
  • Use dog’s name
  • Mention microchip
  • Use a phone number that has voice mail and caller ID if possible (will help if you get weird calls from people who may have stolen your dog or try to scam you out of reward money. Yes, they’re out there)
  • Mention infirmities, medications etc the dog needs. This may encourage someone who has the dog to call you or turn it in
  • Some say its best not to offer a reward for safe return. If you choose to, do not list an amount

Aside — Most of the above assumes the dog is a runaway, having dashed out of the door, dug out of the back yard etc. I recently found out we had a dognapper in our neighborhood that would snatch dogs and sell them at a local flea market for cash. Know your neighbors!

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Grapes and Raisins Can Be Dangerous

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

By Christine Wilford, DVM
Printed with permission of the AKC Gazette Vol.118, 10, p26
(as seen in OnLead, NCOTC, Nov. 2001)

Concern is being expressed about dogs that suffered
apparent kidney failure after ingesting grapes or raisins.
In the May 15, 2001 issue of the Journal of the American
Veterinary Medical Association, a letter to the editor
described preliminary observations of five dogs that had
ingested large quantities of grapes and five that had
ingested large quantities of raisins. All developed
serious medical problems. Information on the dogs was
obtained after a review of the cases in the computerized
database of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in
Urbana, IL. The estimated amount of grape or raisins
ingested was known in only four of the 10 dogs. In those
dogs, it ranged from 9 ounces to 2 pounds. When the
body weight of the dog was considered, the “dose”
ranged between roughly 1 to 2.5 ounces per pound of
dog’s body weight.

Of the dogs who ate grapes, three ate red, seedless
grapes. The grapes came from several sources,
including grape crushings and fermented grapes from
wineries. The raisins involved were mostly from various
commercial brands of sundried raisins. In all reports,
vomiting began within the first few hours after ingestion.
Most dogs vomited or defecated partially digested
grapes or raisins. Loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy
and signs of abdominal pain were also reported. Not all
dogs exhibited all symptoms. Signs continued for
anywhere from several days to three weeks.

Laboratory findings were consistent with sudden onset of
kidney failure. Abnormal blood values developed in
most of the dogs within 24 hours to several days after
ingestion, including elevated levels of calcium,
phosphorus, BUN (blood-urea-nitrogen) and creatinine.
Abnormally decreased urine output and inability to
produce urine was reported in 5 dogs. Some dogs
produced abnormally dilute urine. Two dogs died and
three were euthanized because treatment was
unrewarding.

Five dogs recovered after aggressive treatment, which
lasted up to three weeks in some cases. Intensive
treatment included intravenous fluid therapy, along with
medications to support remaining kidney function. One
dog underwent dialysis and recovered completely.
Microscopic examination of kidney tissue from one dog
revealed abnormalities, but those abnormalities were not
severe enough to explain the degree of clinical disease
experienced by the dog. At the time of publishing, the
results of screening tests for the presence of
contaminants in the dogs’ blood were negative, but the
results of some tests were not available yet.

Although no specific scientific reports have been
published, and there is currently no definitive
explanation, the authors advise that the ingestion of
significant quantities of grapes or raisins is a serious
situation and should be managed aggressively. If
ingestion is known to have occurred, try to prevent the
digestion and absorption of the grapes or raisins. To do
this, vomiting should be induced, the stomach should be
pumped, and activated charcoal should be initiated.
Fluid administration to maintain kidney function should
continue for at least 48 hours. Blood work should be
evaluated for at least 72 hours to monitor for the
development of kidney failure.

It is not certain what caused renal failure in these dogs.
Possible cause include mold toxins, high amounts of
vitamin D3, contamination with pesticides, heavy metals
or other environmental toxins, or some other unknown
toxin within the grape or raisin itself. Investigation into
this matter will continue.

Christine Wilford received her doctorate of veterinary
medicine from Texas A & M University.
She practices in Seattle (Reprinted from AMSCOP)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Several e-mails have contained the same or similar
warnings.
The following is from an item forwarded by a member of
the Samsmiles group:
“The ASPCA-run Animal Poison Control Center is
working hard to get the word out to people that raisins
and grapes are both considered toxic to dogs now.”

“They have a poison hotline – 888-4-ANIHELP (yes,
there is an extra digit there but never mind—this will help
you remember the number). They do charge for
immediate crisis poison counseling, but do NOT charge
people who call to provide information about a case, and
they are grateful for the data. So anyone who is quite
sure they’ve had a death caused by this, please contact
the center and provide the details.”

Samoyed Update Volume 4, Issue 4
July-August, 2002

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Bonding with the Adult Rescue Dog

Posted on 24 July 2011 by admin

© By Charlotte Mielziner
Member, APDT
Certified in Canine Behavior, Purdue University
Rally Judge, AKC and MBDC

Carolyn was frustrated. The lovely 6 year old Samoyed she fell in love with and brought home was not the affectionate, loyal companion she had expected. In all fairness, he was housebroken, gentle with the cat and walked well on lead, but it was something else. He would come forward for a treat, take it and back away. In the evenings, he would lay behind a rocker in the corner and stare at her as only Samoyeds can. He approached her when he wanted her to throw a tennis ball or to go out, but not for comfort. He frankly seemed better friends with the cat than her. Why didn’t he seem to like Carolyn?
The species from which dogs descended, the wolf closes its socialization window around the age of four to six months and rarely allows anyone else in their circle of friends for the rest of its life. Luckily, the dog remains pliable enough in its emotional makeup to bond at any age, but it can take longer once they are an adult. How long? It depends on many different factors. The age of the dog, its prior experiences, temperament, the new caretaker’s ability to provide leadership and consistent interaction. We cannot predict how and when a dog will finally bond with their new owner. Sometimes, they give their hearts with the first bowl of kibble, or it may take months. Be patient, there are things you can do to assist this process.

  1. Be the stable thing in your dog’s environment. Be the one person he can count on being there. Take him everywhere you can take a dog. Walk in the park today, stroll down a nature trail tomorrow and errands the next day. You must be the predictable thing he can count on. Become a pack of two, dedicated to each other in all life’s adventures.
  2. Take an obedience class. Even when your dog seems like he pays good attention and obeys basic commands, an obedience class is the single best method to help new owners learn to communicate and bond with their dog. It is also the safest venue to begin socializing your dog with other dogs. In just a few weeks, dogs go from lunging, barking whirlwinds of energy to calmer, focused partners with their handlers. An obedience trained dog is welcome in more places and has greater freedom in the home. The owner learns to focus on what the dog should do, not what they are doing wrong. But, be careful to whom you go. Work only with dedicated, professional positive motivation trainers.
  3. Use a house lead to keep in contact with your dog. A house lead is a six to ten foot lead that attaches to a buckle collar, not a training or prong collar, you always hold the other end, step on it, or tie to your belt. Many rescue dogs may spend a lot of time by themselves, in a crate or under a chair. It is as if they don’t feel welcome yet. Keep the dog on lead as many hours as possible and he is to go with you where ever you go in the house. If he is napping and you want a drink of water, he goes with you. A house lead is also a wonderful tool for helping the dog stay out of trouble until he learns the house rules.
  4. Touch your dog and speak to him as often as possible. The need for touch is just now being recognized for its comfort and as a method of unspoken reassurance. Stroke him as you put a bowl of kibble down, as you put on the lead and before you give him a treat. Bathe or brush him yourself, talking all the while about what a great dog he is. Make physical contact from you a pleasant thing by finding his favorite itchy spots and giving them a good scratch. You may even sit on the floor with him for a while each evening and give him a nice massage.
  5. Play with your dog. This does not mean sitting in a lounge chair and throwing a tennis ball for two minutes while you watch TV. Get up and move, give the dog your full attention. You may try having several tennis balls and as the dog goes for one, turn and run a few steps and throw another. Playing means getting a really good game of tug going, smiling, laughing and moving around with it. Truly have a good time playing and your dog will too.

Carolyn wisely chose to put all five of these tips into play. Some adopters can tell the moment their dog realizes he is truly in his forever home. She does not know when her dog finally bonded with her, but he did. She does remember the first time she said his name and he wagged his tail, “I knew we were on the right track!” He looks to her for reassurance, leadership and just plain fun. She thinks in this case, it was a process that took place over time. She says, “We sort of bonded with each other.” Trust grew and a real friendship between Carolyn and her dog evolved.

Today, Carolyn proudly states she regularly takes her Samoyed to a local nursing home as a therapy dog. Each morning, he watches closely as she gets ready for the day and waits for her gentle kiss on his nose. He dozes in the evenings with his head on her foot, so that when his special human moves he can be there, living a good life forever with his best friend.

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The Wee-Wee of Joy or Submissive Urination and What to do About It

Posted on 18 July 2011 by admin

By Charlotte Mielziner

In the Mielziner home, we use the term The Wee-Wee of Joy (as named in a Dave Barry article) to refer to what is really Submissive Urination. The little squirt of urine from a dog is actually an offer of appeasement. The dog is trying to communicate that yes, you are definitely higher in the pack order and please don’t hurt him/her during the encounter. You may notice that it most often happens during greetings, when the dog approaches, tail wagging furiously and then suddenly, your shoes feel wet.
Submissive Urination is one of the top ten most common behavior problems reported to consultants and is often the reason dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescue groups. We know temperament is inherited and while some dogs never let loose at all, it is almost a given in some breeds, such as Old English Sheepdogs. We know it usually decreases on it’s own by age two, but if not, help can still be sought and a good outcome is possible.
What to do about The Wee-Wee of Joy? First, NEVER punish it. The dog has no control over this behavior and punishment, or even just making a big deal by yelling, “Eeewww, that’s gross!” just makes it worse. Remember, the dog is programmed by nature to communicate like a dog not a human.
Often owners are very frustrated by this behavior and by the time they have reported it to a consultant or obedience trainer, great damage has been done to the human-animal bond. The dog has no confidence that the owner can be appeased by what he/she offers. The owner must understand that punishment of any kind is counterproductive.
Let’s provide a reasonable alternative by bringing the dog outside for greetings, if possible. If not, ignore the dog and enter the home quietly, keep your body language neutral and snap on a lead to take the little squirter out. Better yet, keep a short lead in your purse and snap it on at the door. Wait until the bladder is empty to do the Mommy’s Home routine. Quietly go about cleaning up accidents without the loud complaints that the dog will only interpret as more reason to appease you.
Obedience training is highly recommended, but make absolutely sure positive motivation techniques are utilized. Aversive techniques will only make the situation worse. Trained dogs are generally more confident in human interactions and less likely to see appeasement as necessary. Exposing the dog to many new places and people will also help him relax. Again, make sure that these are positive experiences.
Instilling an alternate behavior can also help. Behaviorists call this technique Response Substitution. Train a trick such as spin or wave and use it when the dog is beginning to look like The Wee-Wee of Joy is about to occur. Keep it light and happy, but low key.
Good luck and may you need fewer and fewer paper towels for The Wee-Wee of Joy.

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