Archive for the ‘Dog Adoption’ Category

Think before adopting a new pet!

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Some of us think that adopting a new pet is a cakewalk. But we have to actually take the headlong plunge to realize what it takes to bring home a new member. We are too often induced into buying new pets after seeing them at some friend’s or relative’s place. But the responsibility that comes with it is paramount. So, before going for adoption we should be clear in our minds as to why we need a pet. Unless we have a determined purpose we wouldn’t be able to do justice to our pooch buddies.

There are certain things that should be kept in mind before going for adoption.

1. People normally go for adoption after losing a beloved family member or a pet. The sorrow is so profound that under these circumstances it becomes difficult to do proper justice to the new family member. However, the poor animal is oblivious to these happenings. So he seeks out your love and attention. In case you aren’t able to come to terms with your grief don’t go for adoption immediately. Give yourself time to cool down first and then take stock of
the situation.

2. If you wish to make your children disciplined, compassionate and loving, you can adopt a pet. Children who grow up with dogs nurture a feeling of unity and oneness. Teach them to respect animals and in this way they would learn to treat everybody around them on an equal footing.

3. We are more used to seeing dogs in the role of a protector. But you should always remember that they are more of a companion rather than a protector.

4. When you bring home a new member you should be able to adapt yourself to the changes in your lifestyle.

5. People who live on their own are usually inclined towards adopting a pet. But always remember that you have no one by your side to help you with your doggy chores. So, you should be self sufficient and just in case you are getting butterflies in your stomach you can brush up your training skills at an animal shelter, or by looking after an animal or watching a friend’s or relative’s pet.

6. Every time you move into a different surrounding you have to retrain your pet because they take time to get accustomed to a new environment.

7. If you plan to adopt a pet before the arrival of your first child you have to take extra precaution. It has been observed that once the couple’s first child arrives, the pet starts feeling forlorn. So, right from the very beginning you have set the rules in such a way so that your pet’s life doesn’t get jeopardized.

8. For some people pets are a welcome relief after their children leave home for higher studies or for work. Initially, pets can be very endearing but gradually they may start restricting your freedom.

9. Before adopting a pet think about your age, size of your residence and the number of family members. Also keep in mind whether you are a traveloholic or a home-oriented person and accordingly buy a pet. Small pets are suitable to travel with but big dogs aren’t.

These simple guidelines can actually help you to set fixed goals before adopting a pet.

Protect your pets from snatchers

Friday, September 11th, 2009

With the growing number of puppy snatching cases in the US, many state like Texas, California and Delaware have decided to pass a legislation that would address the menace. Although California and Delaware have considered regulating the illegal sell of roadside animals, the Texas legislature is contemplating making pet theft a felony.

However, in case you are thinking why would someone steal a pet after all let me tell you that these doggies can fetch up to $10,000. The snatchers make money either through ransom or by simply selling them off to unquestioning, gullible customers at exorbitant rates.

Take a look at some of the ways that can prevent you from falling prey to pet snatchers:

  1. You shouldn’t leave your pet outside for a long time without supervision.
  2. Be careful while taking your dog out for walks. Avoid divulging too much information about him to strangers.
  3. It’s not advisable to leave him alone in a car because apart from posing serious health hazards a parked car can also draw the attention of snatchers.
  4. Some of us are into the habit of tying them outside stores when we go shopping. We should avoid doing this as it can give invitation to snatchers waiting for the prowl.

But despite taking all the precautions, if you still lose your pet what are the ways in which you will can recover him:

  1. Equip your dog with a microchip collar and always keep your contact information updated with your microchip recovery service provider.
  2. If you think your pet has been stolen call the police and immediately register a missing complaint. You may also contact the animal control officer in the area. In case your pet has a microchip fitted to his collar you should post the unique serial number along with his description in the ‘stolen article’ section of the National Crime Information Center for better results.
  3. You should carry recent photographs of your doggy with you. Also have an accessible web account through which you can distribute information and photographs of your pet in case of emergency.
  4. You can also ask the TV and radio stations to air information about your missing doggy.

However, all these factors notwithstanding, you should exercise adequate caution while purchasing pets.

  1. Check on the breeders before purchasing the pets.
  2. Never buy pets from roadside sellers, newspaper ads or the internet. Chances are that they might be stolen dogs.

A little bit of awareness on our part can not only save us the hassle but also give our pets a safe and secured life.

How important is socializing for dogs?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Have you bought a puppy recently? How often do you take him for a stroll? They say, in puppies the period between 3-12 weeks is very sensitive for socialization. In the formative years of their life certain people and incidents leave an indelible impression on their minds. This play a big role in shaping up their behavioural patterns later on.

So from now on take him along more often when you go for a jaunt in the evening. You never know there might be hidden in your otherwise timid pet a very mirthful creature. Or if you can spare some more time take him to obedience classes. Even taking him to your friend’s place where he might come across another dog belonging to the same or different breed might work wonders.

So try and acquaint him as much as possible with all sorts of things that he may encounter in the journey of his life. It could be from different types of people, animals to unfamiliar noises on the road. If his initial reaction is a bit weird don’t panic. Give him some more time. He will automatically adapt himself to the vicissitudes of life around him.

Release These Hounds

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Organizations exist all across the country that train and place service dogs in homes where they are needed. These dogs go through a rigorous screening process and many, many months of training. It’s easy to find a home that needs one of these dogs. But what happens when it’s one of these dogs who is in need of a home? What happens to a dog that doesn’t make it through the screening process? That’s where people like Michael and Diane Levine come in.

Back in 1990, the Levines were living in Rhode Island and were looking for an addition to their family. They’d always loved dogs, but didn’t want to raise a puppy. That’s when they heard about Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization in New York that provides trained guide dogs for the visually impaired. They didn’t need a guide dog, but they were interested in adopting one of the program’s dropouts.

Dogs can be “released” from the program for many different reasons. According to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind website, the most common reason for a puppy to be released is that “the dog’s personality trait indicates a pup who seeks human support when under pressure.” Young adult dogs who have been through training may be released if they “show signs of worry in certain situations” or “appears to lack the fortitude for guide work.”

The Levines have welcomed three of these so-called “flunkies” into their home and couldn’t be happier. “I think raising a puppy is a lot of work,” says Levine. That’s why he thought this program was such a great idea. “They’re already trained,” he says, “They’re housebroken and they know basic commands.”

Taz was the first dog they adopted after being on a waiting list for about six months. Mandy was their next addition. She didn’t actually flunk out of the program, but rather, was released because of a medical condition. Although it was a minor problem, it is the policy of Guiding Eyes not to use guide dogs that have a health problem. A few years after they got Mandy, and after Taz had passed away, the Levines brought Jack into their home.

Levine says Jack flunked out of the program. “He was chasing squirrels or something like that,” he says with a grin. Levine says they would like to adopt another dog from a similar program eventually. The demand is so high for released dogs from Guiding Eyes that the anticipated wait for those who have already submitted applications is four years.

These released dogs make wonderful pets, and Mandy and Jack are proof of that. The adopted sister and brother are the best of friends, get to sleep on the bed and enjoy all the pleasures of being a dog. And Michael and Diane Levine get to enjoy all the pleasures that come with living with these two faithful companions. It is said that often the traits that make dogs unsuitable for “work” are the very traits that make them the perfect companion dogs.

Suzanne Jalot is a freelance writer and also the editor for Dog Living Magazine (www.doglivingmagazine.com). She can be contacted at editor@doglivingmagazine.com.