Well, it’s that time of year again… Halloween!
Halloween just happens to be my favorite holiday next to Christmas. I just can’t get enough spooky. Plus, I get to dress up my dog! My old dog, Blue, wore a pumpkin costume each year that she looked adorable in (and didn’t even mind wearing it!) Look out for a blog about costume ideas coming up tomorrow!
But for today, I wanted to touch upon something very, very important when it comes to your furry friend and Halloween.
During this time of year, chocolate is around in bigger quantities, and we sometimes forget to be careful with where we put it. This heightens the risk of your dog getting to it. I am sure you all know by now that chocolate is not good for dogs. But in case you think the risk is exaggerated, or just want to knowledge yourself about why chocolate is so bad for dogs, I’ll provide some information courtesy of the ASPCA website.
- Chocolate contains methylxanthines, a caffeine-like stimulant and high amounts of fat
- The combination of these ingredients causes the following symptoms upon ingesting significant amounts: vomiting and diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death in severe cases
- The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is
- Though white chocolate has the least fat and methylxanthines content, it can still cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis
Chocolate is to dogs as prescription drugs are to humans. If you ingest a large amount of a prescription drug, you might die, just as dogs can if they ingest a large amount of chocolate. However, don’t think this means it is safe for your dog to consume any (even very small) amounts of chocolate. All dogs react differently to chocolate, just as all humans react differently to certain drugs. Any amount of chocolate can harm a dog.
So, enjoy your Halloween, but make sure your dog isn’t the one enjoying the chocolate!
Most dogs on K-9 units that we see are big, furry German Shepherds. But the training starts very early!
A tiny shepherd named Tuco is starting his training for the Boston Police Department. The picture of him trying on a too-big bulletproof vest has gone viral. The pup is only nine weeks old, which is why is drowning in the vest!
Troy Caisey, who is training little Tuco, typically only begins training dogs when they are 14 to 16 months old. Tuco, however, came to them earlier and can get a head-start on his training! It will take Tuco about four to six months to be fully trained for police work, though it might be even longer until he can fit in that vest.
The Vest-a-Dog organization, who put out the picture, works to raise money to buy protective vests for the police dogs that will help keep them safe. The organization put out the picture to raise awareness of the calendars they are selling of other K-9 dogs to raise more money for protective vests.
Naida is like one of those strangers you meet on the street that ends up helping you for no benefit of their own.
In Krasnoyarsk, Russia, four-year-old Andrei Pavlov was feeding ducks on the frozen water near his home when he fell through the ice. Immediately, a stray dog named Nadia started loudly barking and didn’t stop until she got the attention of a woman, Tatiyana Balashova, nearby who was feeding dogs. Naida got her attention by standing at the bank of the pond and barking repeatedly until Balashova noticed the boy who had fallen into the water. She rushed to get the attention of utility workers, who were nearby and quickly got the child out of the water.
Pavlov was alright, but only thanks to Naida. Typically, stray dogs are seen as threats in Russia. But Naida proved everyone wrong!
When I was growing up, there was a store called “Puppy Center” down the street from our church, and oftentimes I would sucker my mom into going in and looking at all the puppies (even playing with them.) But these memories soon won’t exist anymore for children nowadays. And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
While I covet the memories of looking at the adorable dogs with my mom, the restrictions that have been happening in multiple states are for the better. Smaller chains of stores as well as privately owned shops often are responsible for selling dogs. The problem with this is that many stores get their puppies from subpar commercial breeders and puppy mills. The conditions in these mills in poor, there is often interbreeding among dogs too closely related, and forcing pregnancy after pregnancy on dogs whose bodies are not ready to carry more puppies yet. These conditions often cause puppies to be born with bad defects or cause them to be predisposed to fatal illnesses. Many of these dogs live very short lives.
Florida is one state that has just recently banned the selling of dogs in all pet stores. While this will, unfortunately, put a lot of people out of business, it will help shut down bad puppy mills and require breeders to have better conditions. Healthier, happier puppies will be the result!
Today’s story involves another dog who lives up to her name.
Angel, at a young eighteen months old, saved her 11-year-old owner’s life four years ago in Boston Bar, British Columbia.
It was about 5:30 p.m. when Austin Forman was gathering firewood outside to help out his family. His mother, Sherri, says he came into the house at one point saying that Angel was glued to his side. Sherri thought this was strange, because though Angel usually likes playing around outside with Austin, she was never a dog that was attached-at-the-hip.
It is said that animals often have intuitions that humans don’t, and this seems to be true in Angel’s case. A cougar had been watching, and charged at Austin. Angel, however, intercepted the attack and began to fight the cougar off. The animals fought under the family’s deck as they called 911. Thankfully, an officer was in the area and was able to intervene. He killed the cougar before it could do any more damage to Angel.
Miraculously, Angel came out alright. She has some deep scratches and wounds, but healed well. The first thing she did when the cougar’s body was pulled off her was run to Austin to make sure he was alright.
Posted in: Blog, breeds, dogs
Saint Bernards – we know them as large and in charge! They run at an average of 30 inches tall and can weigh up to 264 pounds. Saint Bernards were actually at one time significantly smaller, but were bred with mastiffs upon their arrival to America and this is where their breed grew to the massive average size it is now.
Stephen King’s famous novel-turned-movie Cujo painted a pretty vicious image of Saint Bernards and it seemed that the Saint Bernard was the number one monster for a while in the 80’s. However, people soon came to their senses when they realized how sweet these gentle giants are!
While they are not aggressive by nature, Saint Bernards make very good watchdogs because of their massive size. Though not aggressive, these dogs can be troublemakers. It is highly encouraged to begin training Saint Bernards from the time they are a puppy. They can get quite rambunctious, and because of their extremely large size, are very difficult to control once they are grown. However, if properly trained, Saint Bernards can be loving, affectionate pals! Just make sure they don’t know over your children by accident.
As we all know, there has been quite the scare lately concerning the Ebola virus spreading. After one man, Thomas Eric Duncan, tested positive for Ebola and later died in a hospital in Dallas, Texas, the paranoia has heightened. In a recent update, a nurse from the hospital who breached protocol when she repeatedly visited the man, has also tested positive for the virus.
The nurse who tested positive has a dog, Bentley, who has been quarantined by the Dallas Animal Services, which set in even more panic. While the virus can be and is being controlled, this does not stop the worry from setting in. Soon people are thinking, “Will I get it? Will my family get it? My friends? My dog?”
Everyone, take a deep breath. Studies have shown that dogs and cats cannot contract the Ebola virus. Many people have been concerned that dogs and cats do not get screened on flights to and from countries. However, officials from the Center of Disease Control state that there is no evidence to suggest that it is possible for a dog or cat to get or spread Ebola.
So don’t worry, Bentley will be just fine, and so will your dog.
Kankuntu’s story is one unlike any of these other pooch heroes. You think you’ve heard it all until you hear his heroic tale, a dog saving his owner from pirates.
Peter and Betty Lee, a couple from the UK, were sailing their yacht off the coast of Venezuela when a fishing boat began rapidly approaching them at a high speed. The men on the boat fired a gun at the couple, then jumped aboard and moved in to attempt an attack. When one pirate raised his gun and aimed it at Peter, Kankuntu leapt into action. He attacked the lead pirate and his crew, and didn’t give up until he was shot and stabbed.
The pirates abandoned the ship, and poor Kankuntu remarkably survived his injuries. Even though it took a few days to get him back to shore for help, Kankuntu was strong for his humans. He not only saved their life, but held onto his own!
Posted in: Blog, Dogs, dogs
If you’ve ever seen an Irish Wolfhound, or even a picture of one, you know just how massive they are! These dogs tip the scale at 120 pounds and stand tall at 32 inches. They actually rank as the tallest dog breed!
Though one would assume they get their name because they resemble their canine cousin, wolves, they actually are called “wolfhounds” because they were originated to hunt wolves. Irish Wolfhounds are “sighthounds” meaning they hunt primarily by sight and sound, as opposed to most other hounds who hunt by scent (called scenthounds.)
Unlike most dog breeds who have distinctive characteristics associated with their breed, Wolfhounds are known for their unique quirks and individuality. However, qualities common in many are a boisterous, mindless play. They tend to be carefree over defensive or guarding.
Author and Wolfhound breeder Linda Glover refers to these dogs as “guardians” rather than “guard dogs.”
Posted in: Blog, breeds, dogs
A doggy staycare in Westbrookville, New York, run by a man named Roland Fox, has been exposed as a
filthy, unhealthy set of kennels. Fox, who claimed to be a “canine expert” ran a training center called
Fox K9 Instinct Barkour. This training center was supposed to serve as a place where owners could leave
their pets when they went on vacation and could be pampered. But as it turns out, Fox was doing the
The owner of two dogs, a golden doodle named Santana and a 10-month-old Charles King Spaniel
named Cappy, left his pooches with Fox while he went on vacation. He expected them to be cared for,
but instead, received a phone call while he was away from Fox saying that the dogs had been killed
by a black bear. Not only did Fox reveal this, but then said that he had the animals cremated without
permission because they were “starting to smell.”
This is every animal lover’s and dog owner’s worst nightmare. The dogs’ owner was so upset with
what happened that he hired a private investigator to look into Fox’s business. What they uncovered
was shocking. Fox was not at the residence he advertised. Instead, he was in a tent on the Catskills
mountainside surrounded by filthy kennels. Dogs were tied to trees and housed in filthy makeshift
kennels. The investigator reports many of the dogs looked neglected and even emaciated. Fox even
went so far as to lure a bear onto his property and shot it, claiming it was the bear that killed the
This is a sad, shocking, and unusual case. However, it certainly serves as a warning. When you leave
your dog in a kennel, however “luxury” the advertisements make it out to be, always look further into it
to avoid any tragedies like this.