Saturday, 21 January 2012

Nala the Boxer and Unspeakably Heartless Oafs


By guest writer Rita Rosenfeld, Ruminations

It's hard to believe that anyone in their right senses would deliberately create such a situation. The Outaouais SPCA workers discovered a dreadful occurrence when they found a boxer-mix female with her puppies in the back of a pickup truck behind their shelter early on Sunday. Someone had deposited the pregnant dog there, leaving her to deliver her pups and leaving her to die, in the miserably icy weather, unprotected and abandoned.

Nala, as the female dog was named by the SPCA workers, managed to survive her ordeal, along with five of her puppies. Four of the newborn puppies were found dead from exposure. It was estimated that Nala and her puppies were left in that truck for up to ten hours before they were discovered. It was clear on inspection that Nala had been neglected; underfed and thin, her nails allowed to grow uncommonly long.

Her vulva, having been exposed to the frozen metal of the pickup truck was injured. And she suffered frostbite on her upper lip. The puppies have red patches visible on their skin, as evidence of frostbite. They are all expected to recover. People are understandably upset and outraged that anyone could possibly be so heartless as to expose these beautiful creatures to dread weather conditions that no animal should be left in to fend for itself.

Nala and her puppies have been taken in by the Valley Boxer and Mastiff Rescue home, operated by France Turcotte. "I'm not angry about all this. But really, truly how I feel about this is I feel bad that (the owner) felt that was the only option available to him or her ... A dog is just not something you can throw out or throw in the back of a truck. People need to understand that a pet is a member of your family and they require money and care."

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Nala, a boxer-mix, and five of her newborn litter of nine pups were recovering on Monday after the dog was abandoned in the back of a pickup truck behind the Outaouais SPCA overnight Saturday night. Four pups froze to death before they were found by SPCA staff on Sunday morning.

Pet ownership is a commitment, a responsibility. How people can view the safety and security and well-being of an animal in their care with such a pitiless lack of concern is beyond intelligence. How anyone could conceivably be oblivious to the potential fate of a dependent, vulnerable animal, particularly a female about to give birth, and abandon her at her time of need is beyond belief.

For the next six weeks the puppies will remain in the care of France Turcotte, a caring and responsible individual whose volunteerism in the rescue of unwanted and neglected animals should serve as an inspiration to those who love animals. When they are ready to be weaned from their mother they will be returned to the Outaouais SPCA and put up for adoption.

One can only hope that Nala and her puppies will be taken in by people prepared to appreciate and nurture them, providing them with the affection and material needs that trusting animals require from those who sincerely propose to make them members of their families.

Saturday, 14 January 2012


Even if you don't have a lot of time you can help make a difference to the welfare of dogs, other domesticated and non-domesticated animals by taking a few minutes once a week you can make a difference - and it does not have to cost you any money!

Three simple ways to choose from...

One - You can sign a petition;
Two - You can donate a tweet;
Three - You can click to give free food and care to a homeless pet.

It is quick and easy, I will provide you with the links below! 
If you don't believe doing so will make a difference you are wrong! 

When enough people pitch-in we do have the power to make change. Here are a few very recent examples for you...

A man in Greece lured and then beat three defenceless dogs with a sledge hammer - one died, the other three survived, only because some people came by in time to see what this man was doing. The two surviving dogs, although horrifically injured they underwent extensive surgery and are now recovering. A petition was started to try to persuade the Greek authorities to take action. Well enough of us signed to make a difference - we spoke for those poor dogs who could not speak for themselves. More than 20,000 signatures. Well the trial occurred this week of January 9th, 2012 . Due to the pressure exerted by all of the signatures –  for the first time in modern Greek history a proper sentence (if there can said to be one) was imposed on the man – jail time and $10,000 (US $). Those few seconds it takes to sign can make a difference!

Another one I signed – a man had his gentle service dog taken away (in the USA) just because it was a Pit Bull mix, again so many people signed the petition the dog was returned and taken off of death row last week.

And this week I received notice that Bones the Pit Bull - was released to a rescue organization. Bones, like so many Pit Bulls had no choice about who acquired him. He was purchased by a man in NYC who was a thug. The man murdered an acquaintance and just because Bones was owned by the murderer, Bones was condemned to death. Well, a petition went out and enough of us signed and emailed. This week I received notice from the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene that they had decided to release Bones and not euthanize him - the pressure was too great - they have given him over to a rescue group. Bones is a beautiful boy and can now have the opportunity to live the life he deserves to live - to be loved and to give love like only a dog can.

We all have the opportunity to help change the future!

So if you would like to donate even a few minutes a week to support animal welfare, here are some excellent sites that will help you contribute to making the world a better place for our animals.

Petition Sites...

You can go to any of these sites to choose a petition of your choice to support. Most of these sites also have petitions for environmental causes as well.
If you do not have time to look yourself, you can always follow me on twitter as I tweet to share and exchange information (with other animal welfare advocates) many animal welfare petitions.

Center for Biological Diversity

Donate a Tweet...

If you do not want to sign petitions, but would still like to help you can choose an organization to donate a tweet to on a daily basis by going to JustCoz.Org, just browse and choose.

Donate a Click - The Corporate Sponsors Donate Food and Care
This costs you nothing but your time, when you click the sponsors donate food and care...

The Animal Rescue Site - Click to Provide Food and Care for Pets in Need

CARE 2 - Click to Feed Pets In Need 

Freekibble - Click to Feed Dogs 

Freekibble - Click to Feed Cats 

And my dogs would like to say thanks to you for reading this and helping other dogs and animals who need help!


Thank you everyone, woof :>)

Sunday, 8 January 2012


I let my dogs lick my face, as long as…

A -  I have invited them to do so;
B - They are not in an overly excited state;
C -  They have not been eating anything disgusting;
D - They lick in a respectful manner and know when to stop!

It is normal, healthy expression of joy and affection for a dog to give you one or two gentle licks as a greeting, or to share affection.

Licking behavior is instinctive in puppies. Puppies lick their mother’s face as a sign of recognition and respect. A mother dog will lick her puppies to groom them. A dog will also lick another dog to indicate subservience. 

My Australian Shepherd Tasha loves to groom my Chihuahua Carmen - when Carmen needs a grooming he always goes to see Tasha!

But when a dog licks in a dominating manner (never asks if you would like to be licked but just moves in and takes completely over) or incessantly licks in an anxious manner and refuses to stop it is time to put some limits in place.

Too much licking is not normal and indicates that your dog is either dominating you or is insecure and anxious. Left unchecked this behaviour can become obsessive. It can also indicate that your dog does not know how to relax. That is not good for the dog or you.


If you enjoy getting a ‘kiss’ from your dog but would like to teach your dog that it needs to stop licking after a couple of licks and that it needs to lick respectfully (gently, slowly - not hyper and fast). First make sure that you are not inviting your dog to lick you when your dog is very excited - you can end of overwhelming and stressing your dog! To learn more you can read this short article Affection and Your Dog.

One - Make sure you are calm (without excess emotion), and ready to coach with fair, firm confidence. Don't be aggressive, annoyed, frustrated, angry etc., don't raise your voice in anger. To understand more about how you can make sure you are communicating properly with your dog you can read about the Sensitivity of Dogs and Communication.

Two - Once your dog has licked once or twice you can touch your dog firmly but quickly with your fingers - at its neck or waist, you can snap your fingers and say 'enough' firmly, but not with anger. If your dog is too rough in the way he licks you can follow the same methodology and say ‘gentle’.

Three - Then tell your dog what you would like it to do instead i.e. 'go sit' etc.

Four - Follow through...if your dog goes back to lick you again - don't get angry, simply correct as per the steps above.


If you do not want your dog to lick your face, your hands etc;

If your dog always licks your skin cream off, or is insistently / obsessively licking anything else… here is the proper way to it them not to stop…

One - Make sure you are calm (without excess emotion),and ready to coach with fair, firm confidence. Don't be aggressive, annoyed, frustrated, angry etc., don't raise your voice in anger.

Two - get your dogs attention, you can touch your dog firmly but quickly with your fingers - at its neck or waist, you can snap your fingers and say 'hey' firmly, but not with anger. Never touch or talk in anger as you then lead by the wrong example!

Three - Tell your dog what you want i.e. 'no, don't touch' and then say 'leave it' I have ten dogs - different breeds, from tiny to large - they all understand this type of do the dogs I work with for my clients.

Four - Tell your dog what you would like it to do instead i.e. 'go sit' etc.

Five - Follow through...if your dog goes back to lick you again - don't get angry, simply correct as per the steps above.

And by the way - dogs use the placement of their body to takeover and own space - you can too! If you lean or walk into the space your dog occupies your dog will naturally move out of your space - providing you are calm confident...this is also an excellent way of telling your dog - in a language it understands - to give you space. This helps your dog to further understand that licking and invading your personal space is not appropriate at that time!

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Please note - this article is for information purposes and is not a substitute for an in-person Session with me. When working with dogs I use many techniques - it is important to note that this article may touch on one or several techniques but not all. I select the technique that I use for a particular dog based on my observations of the dog and an intuitive, instinctive assessment of that dog's and its human's individual requirements. For example when I am working with a dog that is hyper sensitive and very physically reactive I will not use voice or touch. I use a lot of therapeutic touch on some dogs, others require the use of herding techniques and so on. Each and every technique must be combined with:
  • an understanding of the real intelligence, sensitivity and capability of dogs;
  • an understanding of how to read a dog's face and a dog's overall body language;
  • an understanding of the full spectrum of ways that humans communicate and dogs communicate; 
  • understanding and recognition of the individual that is each dog - no two dogs are the same...taking a 'cookie cutter' approach to techniques is not the way to work with a dog;
  • a complete recognition and understanding of all the elements that feed a behaviour and create an issue:
    •  the vast majority of people can only identify one or two elements...which vastly inhibits the ability to resolve behavior issues;
    • behaviours do not exist in isolation - there are always many elements that feed a single behaviour, there all always multiple behaviours that create a behavioral issue;
  • self-restraint and discipline on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
  • sensitivity, awareness, intuition, instinct and timing on the part of the human who is directing the dog;
    • to understand, connect with and adapt quickly and effectively to a dog's learning requirements you must be able to employ the same tools a dog uses - acute sensitivity, awareness, instinct, intuition and timing;
  • kindness, endurance, consideration, patience, persistence, perspective, the ability and know how to let the past go, the ability to set realistic expectations at any one point in time;
  • the creation of structure, rules, boundaries and limitations for each situation at the macro and micro level;
  • understanding of all the elements that make up an instruction and direction to a dog...there are multiple steps involved in an instruction - not just one!
  • absolute honesty - if you cannot be honest with yourself you will not be able to communicate clearly with a dog.
These are just some of the techniques that I teach my clients - it is a holistic, all-encompassing approach. If you are missing any one element of the above mentioned your success rate will be affected to one degree or another in implementing the techniques offered in the article presented above.