Controversy and Conflict in Our Little Corner of the Dog World

Recently it was brought to our attention that one of our blog friends had “called out” a municipal animal shelter in the area for what this “blog friend” heard was going on there.

We have spent a good amount of time looking into it and thinking about it.

While we want to thank the person(s) for contacting us, (multiple times), after all things are considered, it is NOT our policy to put someone down or ridicule them for what they think, or say on their own blog. After all, a blog is meant to be a place to express ones thoughts and opinions and provoke discussion about them. And that’s exactly what this blogger is doing.

Wrong or right, it is our God give right, and our duty as citizens to question the actions of our government and the agencies that spend our tax dollars. Because we at IDT do not have any first hand knowledge about this specific subject, we can not in good conscience comment on the validity or accuracy of any statements made. That is up to the author of that blog.

What is NOT in question here is: the large amount of passion and commitment  this blogger has in making sure that all animals are treated with kindness and in a humane way.

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2012 Iowa Dog Trust “Pawlitzer Prize” Awards

If you read this blog yesterday you already know that Dog Leader Mysteries gave us a great vote of confidence by awarding us for our work on this blog. We see this as great praise and inspiration. It has inspired us to pass this inspiration on to other bloggers as well.

By doing this we hope to encourage more bloggers to help dog owners around the corner and around the world by offering them quality instruction, information and guidance. We will be calling ours: The “Pawlitzer Prize” Award.

This award will hopefully bring some added attention to some great but, lesser-known blogs too.

The rules for the “Pawlitzer Prize” Award are very simple.

  1. Nominated Blogs must contain at least 80% dog related content.
  2. Nominated Blogs must be active and post new items at least once per week.
  3. Nominated Blogs must have “G” or “PG” content that is acceptable reading for children as well as adults.
  4. As a way to promote all of the blog sites, we would appreciate it if nominees and winners provide a link back to this blog. It will not only promote each blog, it will also serve to make all of the blog sites more visible to Google, Yahoo and the other major search engines. This will bring more traffic to all of our blogs.
  5. Copy & paste our award image (above) on your blog with a link back to iowadogtrust.wordpress.com  This will insure that your blog will be eligible for our Annual Award Drawing.

You may also want to consider creating a “top five blogs” list of your own. Let people know about blogs that you feel are important or interesting. After you reveal your “top five” picks, let them know about it by leaving a comment on their blog.

Our First Five “Pawlitzer Prize” Award Nominees are:

  • http://peopleforanimals2011.wordpress.com/
    People For Animals is one of our favorite blogs because each article is designed to educate, update and inform readers (Iowans and non-Iowans alike) on animal laws,  stories and events, in hopes to get the ball rolling for tougher legislation to protect our companion animals.  Education is the key to getting this problems solved.
  • http://trainingaservicedog.wordpress.com/
    An Excellent blog about the trials and tribulations of training a service dog named Bambi. The owner hopes to someday help veterans train their own dogs but at the moment she is learning and documenting the training of Bambi.
  • http://www.dogleadermysteries.com/
    Deborah Taylor-French writes mysteries for children; full of animal rescue and positive dog leadership. She has taught as a guest artist for California’s Artists in the Schools, led numerous teacher workshops and has raised five adopted dogs. 
    She is also the one who provide the inspiration for this award!
  • http://iowadogblog.com/
    This blog celebrates and discusses all things doggie in Eastern Iowa and the Midwest. It includes Announcements and events about local and regional dog happenings, Stories about her dogs and other dogs she encounters as well as suggestions for places to go (walks or getaways), for people/dogs to see, and dog-related things to check out.
  • http://waywarddogs.com/
    Wayward Dogs is the bloggers attempt to keep track of — and if possible help – the lost and wandering dogs that she encounters. It’s also about a human search for meaning and community. It’s about sniffing around and scoping out the surroundings. It’s about venturing off (and on) trails of conventional living.

Please take a few minutes to visit each of these great blog sites and leave a comment for them.

We will be adding more nominees as the year goes by.  So if you have a dog blog, just “Follow” this blog, or “Like” one of our blog posts and you will automatically be added to our list to be considered for future Pawlitzer Prize Nomination. We are also working on some sort of prize giveaway or reward of some kind for our Annual Pawlitzer Prize Award. We’ll announce it at a later date.

 

Our First Award of Recognition

Over the past 4 months I’ve been working on this blog. I’ve tried to offer a well rounded variety of content from comedy to news to high value information that can make a real difference in our viewer’s lives and the lives of their dogs.

Today I received notice that the Dog Leader Mysteries blog has chosen to put IOWA Dog Trust on their list of the Five Animal Blogs I Dig . While it’s not a Pulitzer or a contract for a book deal, it a really nice feeling and validation that what we’re trying to do is touching the visitors to our blog.

The Iowa Dog Trust is all about helping young people and the dogs they interact with on a  day to day basis. Animal abuse has reached epidemic proportions and if we hope to stop it, we need to start teaching children before they pick up any BAD habits. That’s why we need to partner together with other dog groups and other websites like Dog Leader Mysteries.

Thanks for your recognition and your vote of support of our work!

Walkin’ In a Winter Wonderland – Frostbite and Your Pets

As the temps drop into the single digits and the wind chills drop to -20 F here in the Midwest, I thinks it’s time to talk about the effects of severe winter weather on you and your pets.

Some people think that because dogs and cats have fur, that they are not greatly effected by windchill. WRONG!!!

Frostbite is a very real danger for all living creatures. Frostbite is a condition that can occur in humans, our pets and all other animals on the face of the planet. Frostbite occurs as a result of exposure to freezing or subfreezing temperatures. At 1 degree below zero (Fahrenheit) with a sustained wind of 25 mph it only take 5 minutes to become frostbitten.

In humans it most commonly affects the extremities such as fingers, toes and ears. In dogs and cats, the tips of the ears, the tail, the scrotum, and the feet (especially the toes) are most at risk.

Frostbite occurs when a body part becomes very cold. When this happens, the blood vessels in that area become smaller to help the body conserve heat. But because the tissue then has much less of a blood supply it can eventually become as cold as the surrounding temperatures. If the tissue actually freezes, it will die.

The first signs of frostbite are a pale or gray in color in the skin or tissue. The area in question will be cold and hard to the touch. When the skin or tissue are warmed up the area will most likely become rosie red. In severe cases the exposed area will start to turn black in color. As the tissue warms, the frostbitten area becomes very painful.

In the case that you or your pet becomes frostbitten, you need to warm the area with slightly warm water. NEVER USE HOT WATER. The recommended water temperature is 100 to 105 degrees (F). Use a warm washcloth or hand towel or in the case of a hand or paw, soak the area in warm water. Do NOT use direct dry heat (heating pads or a hair dryer).Do not rub or massage the affected area.

After the area has been warmed to normal temperature dry it gently and thoroughly. Get medical assistance as soon as possible. In the case of pets, contact your veterinarian and have your pet examined immediately. DO NOT WAIT. Keep warm during the travel. A warm dry blanket can be used. Do not give any medication for pain unless you are instructed to do so. Many human pain relievers, including aspirin can be toxic to pets.

Winter weather is nothing to mes with, so be careful out there! Make sure you have a survival kit in your car. And don’t forget a big fluffy blanket for you and your dog to keep warm if your car stalls or get stuck in a show drift!

Dogs Playing Games and Playing with Toys

During the cold winter months we need to find ways to keep our dogs busy and happy.

Because most dogs are not able to spend inordinate amounts of time outside, it is critical that we find them things to do inside that will keep them exercised and their minds busy.

Patchs loves to go outside and run in the snow, but after a short time she gets cold and want to go back inside. But once she’s back inside she wants to play with her toys to burn off some of the energy she still has pent up inside. We play tug-o-war, toss a tennis ball and she has a Nyla-Bone that she likes to chew on.

Patchs tossing her toy in the air and catching it

We often play for 10-15 minutes, then take a short break, then we play some more. This  requires 30 minutes of my time 3-4 times a day. Because I work from home, I can afford to spend this kind of time.

In the past month or so I have found a way to burn off energy a bit faster and she seems to feel better about it too. We have started playing “mind games” …

One of these games uses 4 small yogurts cups with a hole in the bottom of each cup. I place these cups in plain view and I place a small piece of treat under one of the cups. When she comes in the house I tell her to “find the treat”. At first she would just knock over all of the cups in order to find the treat, but after working with her, she now sniffs the hole in each cup and only tips the cup that has the treat. When re-setting the cups, I remove her from the room. We do this exersize 4-5 times after every trip outside.

Another game she likes is to take “special kibble” (not her normal food) and I toss a piece and tell her “find it” … While she is going for it, I toss another one in a different area of the room. After she finds the first piece, I tell her “good girl” and I point the other way and say “find it” again. The kibble is about the same color as my carpet so she has to use her nose. Sometimes I toss it under something so she has to work to get to it. This game usually lasts for about 10 minutes.

By the time evening comes, she is usually ready to settle down and take a nap. These games are also helping with her level of concentration, her attention span is getting longer and it is gets her to watch and listen to me better.

What kind of games do you play with your dog?

Some People JUST dont get it!

Dog

Spend time building a bond of trust and respect w/ your dog before training begins

I’ve been meaning to share this for a few weeks but just haven’t gotten around to posting it. So here goes!
In a email received thru our “Better Dog For You” website at:  http://www.ABETTERDOG4U.com a visitor wrote and explained that they had just adopted a dog from a local shelter the previous day. When they took him home their 10 year old son tryed to get it to “sit” like the lady at the shelter did. The dog wasnt sitting, so the son put light pressure on the dogs butt and gave the “sit” command again. To the complete shock of everyone watching, the dog snipped at him and ran from the room to hide. Because of this they said that they are now thinking that this dog might be the wrong dog for their family.

After reading this I felt very flustered and even a little upset!

After taking about 10 minutes to calm down and think about it, I replied to the person and did my best to explain that the dog was most likely responding out of fear. I went on to say that they needed to build a relationship of trust before trying to do ANY training. I explained that the dog is in a new home, with people he doesn’t know or trust yet, and he needed some time to adjust.

I told them to just play and interact with the dog on his level for several days. I told them that they needed to play with toys, go for walks and just “hang out” with him. I also explained that after the dog gets used to the new home and the new people, he would relax and be more open to training.

In an effort to relate, I asked the writer to think about this experience like he/she were 5 years old and giving to a new family that he/she didnt know. Then asked he/she to imagine how he/she would feel if someone starting bossing them around and forcing them to do things.

In the reply to my email the person said, “Well the dog needs to know that we are in charge and it needs to do what we tell it to do” … at this point I thought to myself, “I think someone has been watching way to much “NatGeo Wild” on TV.” If you know what I mean!!! 😉
But I replied that if they took the time to build mutual trust and respect, the dog would respond to training much better and it would still know that the humans were the leaders. After all,  the humans were holding the leash, giving the commands, giving the rewards, and supplying the food and water.
I supplied them with a few websites and a few book selections, but I haven’t heard back from them again. I hope they took my advice!
I’d love to hear what you guys think …. so jump right in!