Treat ’em Right Rescue is hosting a series of good manners classes specifically designed for bully breeds–AmStaffs, pits, English and American bulldogs, bull terriers and mixes of those types of breeds. Classes start February 4, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. and will be held every Thursday night. And the best part?! It’s only 5 bucks per class! Best value in the city!

Register online and see the gear you need to bring.

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Rescued Red Heeler Cruizin'I was looking at my blog stats and one of the biggest drivers of traffic are the search terms related to heeler/Australian Cattle Dog rescue.

It just so happens, I have connections! Texas Cattle Dog Rescue (TCDR) rescues and adopts out blue heelers, red heelers, Queensland heelers and Australian Cattle Dogs. TCDR rescues dogs from city and county shelters throughout Texas. They find new, loving homes all across the state for these incredibly loyal and intelligent dogs.

If you’re a heeler fan, this is a great resource. Check out the TCDR brochure.

This Thanksgiving, through the tears, I gave thanks for having my wonderful rescued golden retriever, Bailey, in my life for the past nine years. Sadly, she died suddenly from cancer.

The end for BaileVeterinary_symboly was at an emergency hospital after exams, procedures and ultrasounds. (Program the name/number of a 24/7 pet hospital into your phone. Seriously, you never know when you may need it. The one I’ve used is VERGI.) Emergency hospitals are not cheap. Fortunately, I had the money to cover these expenses, but I’m sure many would not.

There are some things you can do to better prepare for emergencies. I came across an article today about dealing with unexpected vet expenses. One idea mentioned is pet health insurance. This was not something I had for Bailey. After incurring expenses for her care over her life, I decided pet health insurance would be a good move for my younger dog. I did a lot of comparisons and selected Embrace Pet Insurance. (Some day I’ll do a post specifically dedicated to pet care costs and insurance!) I haven’t had to use it yet, but like my own health insurance–it’s good to know it’s there.

Costs can be managed. Make sure you have a good relationship with a quality veterinarian. Also, take a look at my list of Houston-area low-cost vet clinics and financial assistance for petcare emergencies.

Proof that Shelter Dogs Rule

September 15, 2009

Here I am, sitting in front of my computer researching. Researching any possible opportunity for my shelter foster dog, Raleigh. She’s a wonderful house dog and fun companion—that is until you introduce a cat, go on a walk or see a squirrel. Then she becomes a tornadic terror. Yeah, she has an issue or two. But one on one—what a great dog.

So I’m belaboring this problem and the possible solutions and I came across this wonderful story about shelter dogs and people dedicated to them. I think I’ll stop bitching about Raleigh for a while.

Just found this coupon for $2 off Nylabone. My dogs love the “Souper” size–they chew then down to a small nub with a sharp point. I always wonder if they’re trying to make weapons…

The Hairless Dog

April 16, 2009

Do dogs just seek me out? I was fixing my fence that had been tagged over the weekend when a dog walked up and stared at me. He has less than half his hair, isn’t neutered, has several sores and is underweight. Dammit.

I’d seen him in the neighborhood over a week ago—but at that time he wanted nothing to do with me. Well, not yesterday. Yesterday, I was his best friend. He gladly let me put a leash on him, feed and water him, and put him in the garage.

After about an hour, I went out to check on him and he’d busted out of the garage (if you saw my crappy-ass garage, you’d see just how easy that would be). I walked down the street and found him and he happily followed me back home. I put him in a crate in the garage, gave him more food, a treat and a Benedryl and went to bed—thinking about what I’d do in the morning.

Well, morning came and I decided to take him to my vet. If mange was his only issue (and likely heartworms) and he was young, I’d treat him and try to find him a home. If he was an old dog and had a long list of ailments, I decided I’d put him down and end what must be pure agony.

Well, other than being extremely unattractive, he’s a nice boy and young and in pretty OK shape. He has demodectic mange, which I’ve read about but don’t really have experience with. So the vet is treating his mange and hanging on to him for now.

He looks like he’s probably mostly black with white feet. He’s tall and maybe a lab/pit mix, but even the vet couldn’t tell. Because of the hair loss, he just looks like a really wrinkly, old fart dog. We’ll see how he progresses.

Pixie and Ivy

March 13, 2009

This is Pixie

This is Pixie

I’m taking a foster break. That’s what I have to tell myself every time I walk through BARC and see all of those sad eyes looking at me. Fostering is a tough job and sometimes you need a break to restore your sanity, your household, your bank account…

Apparently I fell off the wagon because a few weeks ago, I pulled a sweet mom and her pup from BARC. In addition to being on an alleged break, I also said I wasn’t going to foster any more puppies. Guess I messed that one up, too. And they’re small dogs. While I don’t have a thing against smaller dogs, I’m really more of a big dog gal.

Little Pup, Ivy

Little Pup, Ivy

Pixie, the mom, is by farthe easiest foster I’ve ever had. She’s house trained, quiet, well behaved, HEALTHY, cute, sweet–and she has an adopter! She’s going to her forever home with a very nice, caring couple next week.

Luckily, I have a great friend who not only comes up with excellent pet names (Pixie and Ivy), but is also fostering Ivy until Pixie gets adopted. Ivy is cute–seriously, damn cute. And she’s smart. An excellent combination of beauty and brains!

Any guesses on the breed mix for either of these two? I think dogs like this are the reason someone invented doggy DNA testing. I think Pixie (about 18 months old and 16 lbs.)  is spaniel/sheltie and Ivy (about 10 weeks old and 8 lbs.) is spaniel/Australian shepherd. Who really knows? And does it really matter? Not to me. Mutts rule.
 

Take a look at Elliot. This gorgeous purebred Labrador retriever arrived at BARC on New Years Day. His characteristics scream lab—friendly, active, loves to fetch, silly. I spent about 30 minutes with him Sunda0979427-elliot1ay taking photos and getting to know him so he could be marketed in this week’s BARC Starz email that features highly adoptable dogs. Lab rescue was also working to try to spring him from the shelter. Options—a lot more options than some shelter dogs have.

Isn’t he great? Don’t you think there’s a family out there who would just adore such a smart, attractive boy?

Oh, I failed to mention. He’s dead. That’s right. Twenty-four hours after receiving confirmation from Dr. O, the head vet at BARC, that Elliot would be ready and available to be featured in BARC Starz, she euthanized him due to “illness.” I spent half an hour with this dog two days ago. Firm stool, no coughing or sneezing, no injuries. In addition, this dog was fully vaccinated on intake and heartworm negative. So why, exactly, did Elliot have to die, Dr. O? Unfortunately, she has yet to provide a response.

One more bit of proof that Houston’s City Pound, BARC, is truly a disaster.

BARC’s head vet, “Dr.” Eunice Ohashiegbula-Iwunze (Eunice Ohashiegbula-Ozuzu), had her vet license suspended in New Jersey after she provided poor care that lead to the death of three dogs in 2003-2004. Oh, and she failed to mention it on her employment app with BARC. Apparently, a couple of years before, she also received a fine associated with poor care and poor record keeping.

Houston, the fourth largest City in the country, and this is the best we can do? How many times have I asked myself that very question when thinking about BARC?! Yeah, it’s a lousy job. But it’s also a job where you have a chance to make a difference and bring an ailing and backward program into the current century. It’s an opportunity to be a hero, a leader, a forward thinker. But the City of Houston hires an incompetent butcher and two-time loser? Houston animals and Houston tax payers deserve better.

Contents of pet food (and human food!) is still an issue and seems to be in the news constantly.

Take a look at Dog Food Analysis and see what your dog’s food contains. You may be surprised. The web site includes extensive information about what’s really in dog food and reviews. I visited this site about a year ago and checked out how my dogs’ food ranked. I immediately changed foods. My senior girls now eat Canidae Platinum and my young boy eats Innova. There’s some new dehydrated dog food I want to research, too.