The Power of a Smile

There is nothing like coming home after a trying day and seeing the smile of your best friend.

It changes your attitude, and it puts life back into perspective. dsc02958

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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!

No Big Deal, It’s Just a Dog

No Big Deal, It’s Just a Dog

How many times have we all heard someone say, “No big deal, It’s Just A Dog?” If you are like me, you wonder what they really mean when they say it!

Many people look at our four-footed friends and say, “It’s just a dog” … and in most cases that’s OK. When they say it, it’s just because they simply have never had a dog in their life.

Some of the population only sees a dog as an animal that is used to guard a home from burglars, or used as a workout buddy, or as a babysitter for the kids, or as an accessory for movie stars and millionaires.

On the other hand the phrase “It’s Just a Dog” scares me a bit. And it is the reason our animal shelters and rescues are filled to capacity most of the time. I say this because these are the people who say it and really mean, “It’s just another thing that I own.”  These are the people that, once the newness is gone the dog is simply cast aside like a worn out pair of shoes or a torn coat. Most “Just a Dog’s” are left outside in the yard or kept in a small kennel with barely enough to eat, little or no shelter and very little (if any) human contact. In the worst-case scenario, these kinds of people drive them out into the countryside and dump them by the side of the road miles from home. They are left to fend for themselves. But theses aren’t the worst “It’s Just a Dog” people. Not by a long shot!

There is one more group of people that say, “It’s Just a Dog”. They are the ones who see nothing wrong with abusing dogs. They are the ones who hit, kick, fight, shoot and take pleasure from inflecting abuse.

This group of people has no respect for life, human or otherwise. They use and treat dogs like property. They use them up, throw them away like trash, and then get more. The really scary part is that a lot of these people are children under the age of 18. A study of children who have been convicted and treated for animal abuse issues are almost 3 times as likely to commit violent crimes after they reach the age of 18. (Source: Juvenal Justice Newsletter)

It is up to use to spend time and teach children from a very early age. They must learn that animals are not things that can or should be abused. The study showed that incidents of abuse started as early as the age of three.

It’s up to us. The ones who never say, “It’s Just a Dog” … We are the ones that know and respect what dog’s can do. We are the ones that need to educate those who do not know that there is no such thing as “Just a Dog”.

Please support the Iowa Dog Trust and other organizations like us. With your help, we can all make a difference.

Our Young People Need Our Help

I’d like to take a few moments to thank some old friends, and some new ones as well.

For several years now I’ve tried to come up with a way to “pay it forward” so to speak. I have several interests in my life, but none any stronger than my love and respect for dogs. As people who have known me for a while will attest, I very rarely go anywhere without mine. And to tell you the truth, I’d sometimes rather stay home than go out without my faithful companion at my side.

My passion for dogs began during my formative years. I’ve been around dogs for over 4/5th of my life. Dogs have been my playmates, my friends, my companions and even my teachers.

These wonderful relationships have recently led me in the direction of education. No, I’m not going back to college to get a degree. Instead, I’m forming The Iowa Dog Trust. The Iowa Dog Trust will be an organization designed to teach young people and adults about dogs.

Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve noticed an alarming amount of animal abuse cases among teens and young adults. I’ve also noticed that some of the people convicted of these terrible crimes against animals have no remorse for what they’ve done. They actually see nothing wrong with abusive and murderous acts. This just blows my mind!

Another thing that concerns me is the amount of disinformation that is available today. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not the fact that everyone has an opinion. It’s the fact that with this opinion, many of them tell others that because they have first hand information they are actually “professionals” in the field of dog training. It seams to me that in order to become a professional animal trainer these days, all you need to do is hang up a sign and your are a professional.

With all of the dog trainers that we now have access to via TV, the Internet and on DVD it can be confusing. And with the wide range of training philosophies these trainers use, it would also be very easy to confuse our dogs.

I feel that it is critically important for people to understand dog training from the dog’s point of view. Not the human point of view. Unless a proper dog/human bond is created and unless we as humans learn to communicate with them, we are simply training a response. The goal should be a relationship, not a dictatorship.

My advice has always been this:  If you really love your pet, and you really want what is best for it, you will take the time to find out what makes your pet tick. Any “professional” trainers that are worth their salt will ask you what your dog likes and dislikes and what you think the source of a curtain problem is before they form a strategy for training. They should also be concerned for a dog’s best interest and health during training. A dog that is exposed to physical or mental stress during training is not going to perform well. In fact, it will often time shut down.

This is why I feel very strongly that we need to educate the average dog owner and make them more aware of these kinds of issues. And that’s what the Iowa Dog Trust is all about.

So, Thank You to all of my old friends who have supported me over the years and are 100% behind me on this new effort. And thank you to all of my new friends who have come on-board recently to help further this worthy cause.

Please feel free to offer any comments and suggestions. They will only make our project better! And again, Thank You Very Much for your support! I am truly honored.

Welcome to the Iowa Dog Trust Blog

The Iowa Dog Trust programs are designed to teach both young people & their adults all aspects of responsible dog ownership. When fully implemented, our programs will supply dog owners with all of the information they need for daily life with a dog.

One of the main sources of this information will be an interactive website. We will also provide free and low cost instructional seminars, workshops, medical consultation and dog adoption counseling. 

For fun, the Iowa Dog Trust will organize statewide outings, fund raising events, exhibitions and dog fairs. With the help of area groups we will also be presenting all forms of dog sport competitions, including (but not limited to) Agility and Obedience trials, Dock Dog and Frisbee Disc competitions, Flyball and other trained disciplines. 

With community involvement we also hope to provide assistance across the state to those owners who, for one reason or another, are no longer able to afford the level of care or training that their dogs need. We believe that the loss of a job, displacement or illness should not affect the lives of our “best friends”.

This Blog will serve as a way for us to keep you up to date on the things that are happening and to share announcements of upcoming events.