Posts Tagged ‘humane society’

Dog Training Pays Off at Dogtoberfest

November 11, 2013

Last month I talked about how I fell short on dog training. Despite my shortcomings, Maya and Pierson have really come a long way. Maya’s behavior at Dogtoberfest reflected this. She was such a good girl!

Yes, when Maya first arrived she did try to drag my husband to the park where Dogtoberfest was held. But this was only because of her initial excitement. When Maya gets excited she is extremely difficult to manage. But I’ve learned that once her excitement wears off (about 10 to 15 minutes) she is much more manageable and will listen to my commands. So for the first 10 minutes of Maya’s arrival at Dogtoberfest there was pulling, barking, butt-wiggling, tail wagging, and all-around happiness. But for the rest of the day after that, Maya was relatively calm.

Dogtoberfest here in Lawrence was held downtown in South Park on October 6th this year. There were a lot of activities including a dog-walk-a-fest, disc dogs, canine good citizen, dog agility, dog training demonstrations, face painting for kids, bobbing for hotdogs for dogs, etc. In between activities, people could visit all the vendors and dogs up for adoption through the Lawrence Humane Society and various rescue groups.

Dog Maya Playing with Stick 2

There was not a single dull moment for my dog Maya at the Dogtoberfest. While I tended my booth, Maya found a stick to play with. Sticks are her favorite toys.

I was one of the vendors for Pet Auto so unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to check out all the activities and the other vendors. Maya stayed with me and showed off her new ClickIt Utility dog seat belt. She was an excellent model. And she was a good dog in other ways, too. Many people wanted to pet her. She actually managed to sit still in most cases. She did try to jump a couple of times, but I was expecting it and was able to keep her from doing it.

Dog Maya Playing with Stick 1

Yep, Maya really does love sticks. That red thing she is wearing, by the way, is her new ClickIt Utility dog seat belt.

Maya did very well with other dogs, as usual. Other than the initial excited barking in the morning of the event, she didn’t bark again for the rest of the day. I’m so proud of my Maya.

Have you had any recent breakthroughs in dog training?

Pawsh Wash Mutt N Strut to Benefit the Lawrence Humane Society

June 15, 2013

I decided to take Maya to another pet event benefiting the Lawrence Humane Society. Maya is over her doggy cold and the vet confirmed she is clear to go! This event was the Mutt n Strut and it was held in front of our favorite place to go get a dog bath – Pawsh Wash. We didn’t participate in the walking part of the event, but we enjoyed socializing. The event had a few pet supply vendors and some delicious food for both dogs and people. And we were able to sit down and enjoy the band.

Big Mastiff Dog

This is one big dog! I think his name was JuJu.

Mutt n Strut Pawsh Wash

Lots of people and dogs at the Mutt n Strut held in front of the Pawsh Wash.

Maya Ice Cream

Maya eating ice cream made just for dogs.

Twin Brindle Dogs

“I swear we’re not related.” These two dogs just met. It seems they have a lot in common.

Maya also got to play in the kiddy pool. She is a little wet in the photo above where she is eating a doggy ice cream cup. She is also showing off her new dog collar that we bought from one of the vendors, Daisy Diva Designs. Sarah is the owner of that business and I’ve bought these handmade dog collars from her before. I love how they are custom made. I almost always get a lavender design and a 1.5″ width.

There were also dogs there showing off their disc catching skills. We saw our friend Oscar doing some neat tricks. And we saw lots of dogs up for adoption.

It was a hot day, but cool misting fans were set up for both people and pets. And there were several kiddy pools. There were also some shaded areas under tents or trees. The event lasted from 5:30 to 9:00pm, so while it was hot at first, it did cool down.

Maya and I had a great time! I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was having too much fun.


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Mutt Mixer Adventure and Misadventure

June 8, 2013
Maya Mutt Mixer 1

Maya, lots of dogs, and lots of people at the Lawrence Humane Society Mutt Mixer.

What is a Mutt Mixer? It is an event put on by our local humane society here in Lawrence where the public is invited to bring their dog over for some outdoor fun. Our dogs and adoptable dogs hang out in one of several large fenced areas. Everyone has a good time socializing. We people get to ‘mix’ with other dog people while the dogs ‘mix’ with one another. This event gives the adoptable dogs get a chance to get out of their pens, practice their socialization skills, and show off their cuteness in hopes of getting adopted.

Maya Mutt Mixer 2

Lots of dogs at the Mutt Mixer. Maya is going to go introduce herself.

Maya Mutt Mixer 3

Ooops! Someone’s getting a really good sniff. Hi Maya!

Maya came with me to this recent event and had a great time. She loves socializing with other dogs and with people too. I had a good time as well for the same reasons. Unfortunately, Maya started showing symptoms of a doggy cold about a week later. I’m not sure if she caught it at the Mutt Mixer or not, but the vet seems to think so. Fortunately, it is not serious. She just has a slight runny nose and sneezes from time to time. She is almost over it, but now Pierson has it.

We were warned at the Mutt Mixer that although the humane society is not currently having issues with bordetella, there is still a possibility of it. Bordetella often happens when you get a large group of dogs together, even if you take all the precautions and keep the facility clean (as our humane society does). I signed a waiver saying I understood this. Before I attended the event with Maya, I also confirmed with my vet that she was up to date on her bordetella vaccination. So I don’t blame the humane society in any way for Maya getting sick.

What is bordetella? I call it a doggy cold. Like our common cold, there are many strains. So even though Maya had a bordetella vaccine, she still caught it because it was a different strain. Like our common cold, it is relatively mild and doesn’t last long. Also, like our common cold, it is harder on the young and old and it can be complicated if there are other health concerns. And like our common cold, the symptoms can vary. Mild symptoms include coughing, sneezing, or runny nose. More concerning symptoms include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, or even pneumonia. Maya has visited the vet and she does not have any of the more severe symptoms. Read more about bordetella, or kennel cough, on PetMD.

If having large groups of dogs together increases the likelihood of someone contracting bordetella, this means Mayta could just as easily get it at the dog park or doggy day care. I’m interested in knowing what you think of our Mutt Mixer event. Do you think Maya might have gotten sick from it? Would it make me irresponsible to take her to the next Mutt Mixer event in July? What are your thoughts?

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Cats Take Over the American Dog Blog

October 27, 2012

Color: Ginger Mackerel Tabby

In return for my support of the Humane Society of the United States, I get this great magazine called AllAnimals. The November/December 2012 issue I recently received has a lot of noteworthy articles, but one I found fun and interesting was the one about cat coat colors. What defines a tortoiseshell or classic tabby? Or a seal point or tuxedo? If you work at an animal shelter, you may find that you describe most cats as tabbies or calicos. But there is a lot more to it than that. Knowing the specific terms for their coat colorings can help the cats at your shelter be more distinctive and, therefore, special.

Color: Silver Mackerel Tabby

For example, did you know that there are five basic tabby patterns? Mackerel, which is the typical striped pattern; classic, which has stripes but a swirl pattern on the cat’s sides; patched, which is a tabby with patches of red; ticked, where each hair has bands of color which give the cat coat color a flecked look; and spotted, where the stripes are more like spots. How much more interesting would an adoptable cat be if it was named a classic marmalade tabby or spotted chocolate tabby instead of just orange or brown tabby?

Color: Brown Patched Tabby

Also consider calicos. Oftentimes, a shelter will call all cats with two colors plus white as just plain calico. But there is more to it. A calico with distinct solid black and red spots on white is a calico. But sometimes the colors are diluted so that they are gray and cream instead. And sometimes the tabby pattern of those patches shows through. When the tabby pattern shows through, you can call them torbies instead. Some examples of how you can get creative with describing a calico include silver classic torbie or brown mackerel torbie. If a brown/black and orange or blue and cream mottled cat has little or no white, they are called tortoiseshell or tortie. You can have a blue-cream tortoiseshell or a black and orange tortoiseshell.

Color: Blue Tortoiseshell

Cats with a solid color plus white can be called tuxedo, van, or harlequin. With color variations you can have blue tuxedo, ginger van, or silver tabby harlequin. Don’t forget the point colors which come from a temperature-sensitive albino gene. These colors are often (but not always) seen in Siamese cats. The points of color on the face, ears, feet, and tail come in a variety of colors, not just black or brown. You can have a flame point, seal point, cream point, blue point, or even a seal lynx point.

Color: Seal Point

Fun, right? There is a lot more than that. This magazine only covers a tip of the iceberg. If you rescue cats or work at an animal shelter, take the time to learn the different ways you can describe a cat’s coat color. Put it this way, if you were looking to adopt a cat, would you be more interested in the cat described as a brown tabby or the cat described as a chocolate mackerel tabby? Show people how extraordinary your cats are by giving them exceptional descriptions.

Color: Red Ticked Tabby. This is an Abyssinian cat breed but ticked can be seen in a regular domestic short hair breed too. A Silver Ticked Tabby, for example, may still have stripes on his feet and tail but his sides are flecked.

While many criticize the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for not actively rescuing and adopting out animals, they provide a great benefit for the welfare of animals. For anyone who has had to face our legal system in order to fight against unfair animal legislation (such as BSL) or fight for justice against animal cruelty, you know how much of an uphill battle that seems to be. While I support local animal shelters and rescue groups, I also support the HSUS so they can fight the legal battles. Check out their website HERE and subscribe to this great AllAnimals magazine.

Color: Brown Mackerel Tabby Calico

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – R-Bar & Patio

August 22, 2012

Last Wednesday, I took my dog Maya to the R-Bar & Patio for “Canines & Cocktails”. No, Maya did not get a cocktail, but she got to enjoy playing with other dogs while mom enjoyed a cocktail (or two) and the company of other dog lovers. Every Wednesday, the R-Bar & Patio welcomes people and their pets and donates a portion of the proceeds to the Lawrence Humane Society. If you live in the Lawrence, Kansas area, stop by tonight or next Wednesday night. If you are not in the Lawrence, Kansas area, check for other bars or restaurants with an outdoor patio in your area. More and more places are becoming pet-friendly.

For more great pet photos and pictures of Maya swimming at Young’s Pool, check out the Wordless Wednesday blog hop HERE.

Update on Our Search for Getting a New Dog

January 6, 2012

We are still in the process of getting a new dog. We have looked at a few at the Lawrence Humane Society, with a Aussie/Border Collie rescue group, and online at While the Lawrence Humane Society was willing to adopt out the same day, we did not find a dog that was right for us. The Aussie/Border Collie rescue group had a great Border Collie named Nick but he was a bit bigger than what we wanted. And we have applied to a number of rescue groups on PetFinder but they are still reviewing our applications and so we are still waiting to hear back from them.

This process is taking longer than I thought. But in a way I am grateful. My husband related it to buying a new house. We have to look at several so that we can make sure we get the right one. And even though many of the rescue groups are taking a long time with their review process, I am glad that they are going through so much work in order to make sure their dogs get into the right family.

This weekend, we will be visiting other animal shelters in the Kansas City metro area. And hopefully we will have a chance to meet some of the dogs we put applications in for.

I will keep you posted on the progress and share lots of photos when we add a new member to our family.

What To Do If You Suspect a Puppy Mill

July 23, 2010

Puppy mills are all to common these days. We are already a country with an overpopulation of pets, yet unscrupulous dog breeders continue to breed dogs with the sole purpose of making a fast buck.

What is a puppy mill, you ask. Anyone who breeds many dogs at one time should probably be considered a puppy mill. Generally, pairs of adult dogs live their lives in a cage breeding. They generally live in kennel-like cages, sometimes with both indoor and outdoor rooms. The cages are supposed to be roomy, but that is sometimes not the case. The cages are supposed to be heated and air-conditioned but this is also not always the case. There is supposed to be people to pick up after the dogs and provide general pet care, but this is also not always the case.

You may not know when you are buying a pet from a puppy mill, because the seller isn’t going to tell you. They are not going to let you come to their facility to pick out the dog. They will always have an excuse to meet elsewhere. And of course they are going to tell you about the high quality of the mother and father dogs, but most likely you will not get to meet them either. The mother and father dogs may indeed have come from a good blood-line. But unless you know a lot about the genealogy of dogs and what a good blood-line really is, you really have know way of knowing what sort of unhealthy genetic traits may have been passed on.

If you suspect a puppy may have come from a puppy mill instead of a responsible breeder, the Humane Society of the United States may be able to help. The have set up a task force to look into and take action against puppy mills. This task force works nationwide so it doesn’t matter which state you live in.

If you suspect a puppy mill, call the task force at 877-MILLTIP (877-645-5847).