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I’ve got a Bosjin Fieloxer!

I love fostering! Sometimes I’ll only get a dog or puppy overnight until they go to a new foster. Sometimes my fosters live in the IMG_1696Litt Palace of Puppy Love (LPPL) for several months. Then there is Oscar, a young Lab/Pit that came to the LPPL last year right after tax day 2014. I had him for about a week and then due to a family emergency, I had to give him back to the Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue shelter and head up to New York. A month later, I was back in Acworth and Oscar was still in the shelter. He had a few behavioral issues and hadn’t shown well at adoption events.

The day I got home, I called the Mostly Mutts director and told her I was taking Oscar back. I had just left my husband up in New York for who knows how long. I was sad and lonely for him and Oscar was so comforting. He was happy to come back to the LPPL. That was May 2014 and he’s still with me.

Enjoy this video I’ve prepared called Black Dog. I made this last summer after having him for a few months.  He had so many strikes against him – big, black dog that has Pit in him.  But I really thought he had more Boxer in him.

I have Labs and I’ve had Pits and Oscar did not seem like either to me so this fall, I decided to give Oscar a DNA test.  Guess what? No Lab and no Pit in him!  His DNA profile was extremely unusual for a “mixed” breed.  I love genetics and if you’ve followed me for long, I’ve written before about DNA tests.  Bailey, my All-American-Mixed Breed, did not have any specific DNA sets for her parents, grandparents or great grandparents but she did have trace DNA of a Boston Terrier, Belgium Tervuren Shepard and Rottweiler.

Oscar however had a very specific DNA reading for his Great Grandparents and therefore his Grandparents and his parents.  Bottom Line is his Great Grandparents were Boston Terriers, Korean Jindo dogs, Field Spaniels and Boxers.  This means he is 25% of each…a Bosjin Fieloxer!

Oscar - BoBoFielJinFor a black dog up for adoption that has the dreaded “Pit” in his description, this DNA report is very important.  Since we’ve updated his profile, he’s had a lot more interest in him.  I don’t bring him to adoptions every week but he’s been really good when I do.

Knowing his DNA make up makes me understand some of his behaviors and needs.  It helps me to understand what kinds of doggie sports we should focus on and he’s a quick learner too!  At this point, I can’t imagine my life without Oscar but I’m willing to consider all homes.  He needs a place that will challenge him, keep him occupied through training protocols and activities but most of all he needs a place that will love him!

If you are interested in fostering or adopting any of our dogs, please check out our website: www.mostlymutts.org

 

 

Thankfulness Doesn’t End after the Holidays

I wrote this for another organization i am involved in helping human peoples instead of my usual pals with tails. But the feelings I get with helping the two legged are quadrupled when helping my four-legged friends! As I write this I hear the Beatles playing…”All we need is love! Da Da Da Da Da” and I truly believe that. Love everypawdy!

Simple Needs GA

logo6568507_lgNow that the holiday season is over, life feels like it is getting back to “normal.” The one thing I miss, though, from the holiday season, is the many posts from people being thankful. The holiday season seems to put people in a reflective mood. They remind us to acknowledge the things we are grateful for…everyday things that we can provide our families. If you run out of laundry detergent or toilet paper, you just put it on your grocery list. When you see your child has outgrown yet another pair of shoes, you go to the store and get new ones.

The truth is, some of us are so used to having the everyday necessities we might not always put them at the top of our list of things for which we are thankful. I’m pretty sure I won’t hear someone say they are thankful for toilet paper or…

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Foster Record May Be in Danger!

Kibbles the foster pup

Oh, is this your seat?

Kibbles is still with us.  I think we’ve had him for about two months now, maybe longer because he had some weeks of sickness that we didn’t even take him in for adoptions.  He feels like my dog.  He acts like my dog.  He is dangerous.

He is dangerously cute and dangerously loving.  And he so hates going to adoptions!  Have I mentioned he is insanely smart?  He enjoys chasing the laser pointer (part cat maybe?) but the other day he figured out that the little red dot on the floor that is not attached to anything is controlled by my hand!  How many dogs would but that together?  I’ve been playing with laser pointers with my lab, Phoebe, for years and she still doesn’t even know that I am controlling that red dot.  (NOTE:  I am very, very careful about where I point the laser and never at their eyes!)

He comes with me to client mid-day walkies because he has never met a dog he doesn’t like and with all his energy he definitely needs the additional walks!  Our latest client, Yogi, is about the same age as him and they have a ball together wrestling and playing.

We just started clicker training and he is becoming a gifted student…of course he’s very food motivated!  Life with Kibbles is good but there are some down sides too.  He has definitely entered the “adolescent” stage of life.  EVERYTHING goes in his mouth — nail clippers, glasses, shoes, napkins, other dogs, toes, paper of any kind, batteries, paintbrushes, remote controls.  Anything that is on a table is not safe because he stands on his back legs and stretches until he can reach it.  The other morning he came tearing downstairs from the bedroom with a rectangular thing in his mouth.  He took Andy’s phone out of the charging station on his nightstand.

The adolescent stage of life is the most challenging time for dog owners.  These four-legged teenagers don’t understand words like “because I said so.”  They want to see what they can get away with so consistency in training is very necessary, even if it is your 27th time taking the remote away from him and giving him a more appropriate toy to chew. How you handle your adolescent pup today is going to shape him the rest of his life.  Just like human teenagers, they will grow out of it!

Kibbles, or Kibbie Coo Coo as we call him, still waits for his furever home.  My friend Eileen, also a volunteer at Mostly Mutts, thinks it is because he has already found his furever home at the Litt Palace of Puppy Love.  I sort of agree with her but if that is the case, the Palace will need to shut down temporarily for new fosters.  Unfortunately for Kibbie, the other half of the Litt Palace doesn’t agree yet so we continue to go to adoptions.  I bravely tout his qualities to potential adopters.  He always acts on his best behavior and let’s face it, he’s adorable.  But along with the good, we must give full disclosure and when I emphasize he is still a puppy and still puts everything in his mouth people tend to shy away.  What do you think?

How Can Twitter Help Pet Parents…

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I admit, up until a few weeks ago, I did not know how to “Tweet” and what the hashtag (#) was all about.  I knew I had a Twitter account.  I knew that people younger than me used it as a communication vehicle but I didn’t know how to use it or what value it had to me trying to get information to all the pet parents of the world.  And for those of you who don’t like pet parents, let me rephrase and say pet owners of the world.

Generally the only thing I used Twitter for to tweet out my blog posts into the webasphere.  I didn’t know who that was going to because I don’t think I had any followers but I had made the account so I was going to tweet darn it.  But my first tweets were without hashtags, or if you are old-fashioned like me, pound signs.

So let me tell you a little about the hashtag and its value on twitter and now even Facebook.  Twitter is an extremely fast-paced environment.  Perfect for the people who have a little touch of the ADD and go quickly from subject to subject.  Think of the hashtag of a mini search engine.  I almost always put a #kritterkeepers on my posts so if you were to go to Twitter and see what things did I post and did a search for #kritterkeepers, you would pull up all the Tweets.  If I post a cute dog picture, I use the hashtag #cutedog.  If I post a cute picture of Sophie I use the hashtags #cutedog, #sophiedog.

Twitter is a great way to get information out their but you need to be a little diligent about tweeting  One tweet on the subject might be missed but if you repeat the Tweet throughout the day, you can get your point across.

Then there are these gatherings of like minded people on Twitter.  I stumbled across one on pet dental health sponsored by Greenies and boy did I get some fantastic information from a Vet Dentist about tooth health.  Look for a future blog on that while I gather all my info.  I’ve got some great links to videos on tooth brushing and all sorts of info on cat and dog teeth health in general.

So, I’m trying to embrace new technologies to reach a broader audience.  Our pets are our family members and I want to share with other furkid parents what I’ve learned in my 30 + years of adult pet ownership, training, and caring for our mostly four-legged family members.

I hope this was helpful to people who are a little afraid of Twitter as I was.  I think it can be a valuable resource!

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

IMG_1332One of the things i do for the rescue I work with, Mostly Mutts, is take pictures of our animals up for adoption. These pictures go on our website, on Facebook, on Petfinder.com and every other social media outlet we have.  A picture can make a potential adopter come to adoptions or make someone fill out an application for one of our dogs.

As a pet photographer I have a lot of tools I use to take a good picture including dog toys that squeek or crackle, clickers, treats and now I have a special photo app on my IPhone!  The picture of Augustine above with the perfect head cock was after I used the Pose A Pet I phone application.  I have an older Iphone so the pictures are not great, however I can use this application to make a quirky noise and use my Cannon 7D to take a good picture.

IMG_1105 The application is free and has all the sounds you see here. You can also pay $1.99 and get a lot more sounds.  I have got back my $1.99 and more from this app!

By the way, this is totally an unsolicited review — I don’t know anyone who built this application or makes money on this application!

First Memories…No Wonder I’m a Dog Person!

Evidently, I was a pretty mischievous little kid and my family was always telling stories of what funny things I did.  I heard these stories so many times that I’m not sure if I remember the incidents or if I have a false memory based on the stories.  But I am pretty sure that my first real memory is of our collie, Blaze.  He was a real-life Lassie and from the day I was brought home from the hospital became my self-appointed guardian. According to the stories, he never left the side of my crib.

What I remember is throwing a tantrum because i had to go down for a nap.  The kind of tantrum that hurts to watch.  The kind of tantrum that turns your face red from not being able to breath between the screams.  Blaze jumped into my crib and laid down.  I was instantly calmed by his presence. I remember being enveloped in the feathers of his coat and I curled my little body into his.  He leaned his head against mine and there we slept.  That became the norm for nap time.  I refused to lay down unless Blaze was with me.  I didn’t need a blanket or a pillow – I just needed my dog.white blaze

Growing up in the 60s, we had a lot of unsupervised time outside away from the parents but never away from Blaze.  We lived on a corner lot in a small town in Massachusetts where everyone knew each other but occasionally a stranger would come to town.  One day while my older brother and I were playing outside a man walked into our yard and started to ask us to help him find his puppy.  We didn’t know this guy and more importantly, Blaze didn’t know this guy.  If you’ve never seen a collie with their hackles up, well it is a sight.  The low guttural growl that started in Blaze’s belly and amplified out through his nose was enough to scare the man away but Blaze didn’t stop there.  He chased that guy for a few blocks before coming back to his post over us.

I never feel safer than I do with my dogs to this day.  And I always fall asleep fast when snuggling with pups!