Monday M(C)uteness

It's here again isn't it? That.... Monday. 

So you go to work, why do I need to get out of bed?

Don't we all love Mondays ? No. Well, they will pass like every other bad phase. Good luck to all of you who have Finals this week!

Please see some of Mariah's stunning captures of yesterday's Pittie Party organized by our marvelous Katelyn of Pitbull Worldwide! Remember, most of the pups pictured are up for adoption! Contact Last Hope Rescue FL to adopt them.

Ok, so it wasn't exactly a Mute post. But I had to mention all this adoptable cuteness! So the point is Muoote.

I don't like this dog anymore

I hate that sentence. Yes, I am talking about owner surrender. And this post will be pretty preachy so I apologize in advance.  I do hope that you will not only listen but also help fend off the ignorance.

I am angry, and disappointed in humans who come up with the stupidest of reasons to 'give back' their dogs. This particular bout of anger stems from a recent story a friend told me about how she came in contact with these 'surrenderrers' and what their attitude was like - toward the dog and then toward her for trying to help. I don't wish to shame them in this post but I do want to highlight a few things one must do before they decide that 'the dog is bad'.

1. The dog is never bad. You just need to teach them what to do and what not to do. A simple Internet search on "Positive Reinforcement" is what you need. Dogs never do anything to intentionally anger you. You just need to tell them what does and what doesn't.

2. They need to expend energy. If they chewed up the sofa while you were gone, you should probably have exercised them before you left and left them a stuffed Kong to be busy with while you were away. They were bored, probably even anxious about you leaving, and they had energy to expend. Tiring them out and keeping them distracted discourages this boredom and anxiety.  If they chew in your presence, one firm NO in a low voice like a growl, is enough. No screaming, no shouting, no drama. If you have an explosive temper, learn to control it. It's part of growing up. (Gosh I am angry today, aren't I ? )

3. You need obedience training. Yes, you, not the dog.  It is really more for you. For you to understand how to train them. I learned through my first behavioral training to make my dog take me seriously when I need him to. The biggest problem I faced as a new parent was to not speak to him as a person. "Kahlua.. please could you not chew on the comforter.. i love you .. " .. Wrong! Sharp "NO". Job done. He even comes over to say sorry. The classes will teach you how to use the pup's food or play motivation to teach them commands like "Sit" or "Stay" .. or even "Give me a hug!"

4. Regular checkups - I cannot stress this enough. Annual (atleast) for adults and as and when puppy shots are needed, for the little ones. A stitch in time, does save nine.

5. Heartworm Meds - this is not optional. Heartworms may be treatable but they are the quintessential example for prevention is better than cure. One monthly pill. That is all. It could save his life.

6. Flea and Tick Meds - would you like to be constantly itchy? Would you like the possibility of  having a disease transmitted to you every time you went for a walk in the woods? I thought so. Get the meds.

7. Too many kids & too less time & now a puppy ? This is a tough one, but not impossible. Remember, you chose to bring the puppy into your life. If you did so for your kid, you should have read the fine print that you would need to do all the work. It is true. And it is not anyone's fault. But, you should know what you are walking into when you do this. Anyway, Two year old ? Teach them to put food in the dog's bowl. Eight year old - they can let him out in the yard to conduct business. Twelve and above - short walks can be their responsibility and the Sixteen year old can even drive him to the park and take the Thirteen year old along (please check your local dog park's minimum entry age- yes, they do have them).  I don't claim that this is easy. I admire you for doing this if you do. But all I am saying is the dog is a responsibility too - one that you chose to have. So let him be part of the pack. If you can't, don't dump him at the shelter. He will be put to sleep. Find him a good home, and keep him with you and happy until then. It does not take too much.

8. This dog is much too large and I can't handle him anymore. Really? Did you not know what he was when you got him? No. I adopted him. Not an excuse. The shelter will give you some approximation of what the dog is, and usually a Chiuwawa will not grow into a Great Dane. Yes, 8-10 lbs might fluctuate either way but you know what range of size you are bringing home. Did you look at the paws when he was a puppy? That should give you a clue. So suck it up and treat it like the joy it really is. Further most larger dogs are calmer, less talkative and need less bathroom trips.

9. You will not believe I have actually heard this. "He poops too much". Noone said to expect little silver pellets. Grow up. Get a bag and pick it up.

All they need is a little devotion, a little time, a little love and a little training. If you think you cannot financially, emotionally, or mentally provide this, do not get ahead of yourself and bite off more than you can chew.

Cutie Cannoli

Cannoli (singular Cannolo) usually have a creamy sweet center and their outside is a pastry crust. But this little Cannoli is creamy and sweet through and through. Look !

A 10 week old baby puppy (yes, I say 'baby puppy') abandoned along with his two siblings,  is now being fostered by my friend. The universe does work in miraculous ways :) But Cannoli still needs his forever home!

What kind of dog is he, you say? I really don't know! A cute one fore sure. When I cuddled, kissed and hugged met him, he seemed to have a lab face with doxin legs but really I am no expert whatsoever. I actually think he is mixed with a little Yoda. Look at those ears!

To see Cannoli's siblings please see a fellow rescue advocate's account of a Doggie Wash event this past Saturday.

You know what the most remarkable thing about this pup was ? It was literally his first day interacting with other dogs and he was so brave amidst two very energized labradanes!

The one (hyphenated) word that comes to mind when I think of him is "chilled-out". He just wanted to nap on the couch. The other two were not behaving their age playful and kept waking the poor baby. Even then, he didn't care, he just watched,  poised on the couch or on one of our laps. There were moments where he sought solace in one of our warm embraces or hid under the table, but wouldn't you too,  if two unknown someones, the size of Shaquille O'Neal were being very prancy around you? (No offense to him, I actually really like him in the Buick ads :) ) Cannoli was well enroute to being very social among these massive beings is all I am trying to convey.

My friend says from what it looks like he has sort of house trained himself. No accidents in the first two days that she has had him. And he seems to be all bladder inside that cuteness since he doesn't really wake her at the crack of dawn even. (A little after maybe..but for a pup of 10 weeks, that is remarkable!)

So hey, you want him? He would complete your family perfectly don't you think ? To give him the perfect permanent home he deserves, please email Last Hope Rescue at

Mom says I'm a Road Warrior

Hi Everyone! Mom is busy cleaning. Grandpaw and Grandmeao gave her a well needed reality check on being more organised about everything. So i'm being a good pup and updating this blog so she doesn't feel like she is falling behind.

This morning I was a happy puppy. No, wait, I am always happy except when I need to go on the road for a walk. There are all these really loud big objects that zoom past me and make loud scary sounds. I used to be very freaked out as a puppy, but when I did it a few times I realized that they usually stay on that rough grey part of the road.. and they don't come onto my grey part. But sometimes on my grey part, there is these other strange mobile objects whizzing past, not as loud, but pretty fast. I am pretty sure that there are humans mounted on these too, because they usually exchange pleasantries with Mom. But I am not totally sure, since they are grey too. Everything is grey. It's not like I can see fifty shades of it anyway.

So anywho, we went out. Oh I hated it so much! Why does Mom choose the busiest road! I stuck my behind to my part of the grey road. Did not move, but damn it she made me! We walked and walked. But when we passed that big place that actually sells those awful moving loud objects I saw they have those gi-normous cloth banner things with something written in human .. I had had enough. "I ain't moving, ma and you can't make me" I said. But she did. Although I think she realized I had had enough and that I had met her halfway. You see,we both are stubborn. These things don't skip a generation.

So we found a quieter little street. Now why can they make all of them like this I say! We walked and walked. And I swear we were almost home, but Mom .. she cheated me. We went the other way! She told me she didn't feel like we had exercised enough. Oh what a load of bullocks ! Anyway, I waddled along .. it was a pretty street, not much of them machine monsters. Just one of those other strange ones, but I did not feel as upset as I usually do with those. The human seemed nice enough! You see, there are these two little humans always whizzing around on those where I live, and they really seem to like me. Mom wrote something about the little humans that I think all big humans should read and understand. I think that these two little humans might be helping me understand all the other little ones a little better. Still, we will take it one pawprint at a time.

Finally we reached home. And Mom was so proud of me! She declared me "Road Warrior". Look I even got a Medal. (A hot dog would've been just fine too!)

She says I am brave, and protective, and beautiful and very well behaved and she loves me.
 I know how pawesome I am y'all! And I love her too. I am not sure about this whole "Road Warrior" deal.. I would prefer the title of  "Sleep Warrior".

Happy Weekend Everyone!

The Ultimate Blog Party 2013

I read about UBP13 on a fellow rescue advocate's blog and at first, I was confused. But hey the words blog and party are in the same sentence right? That can only mean good things! I'm a little too late into this and the party ends in two days but here is my stab at it! Cheers :)

Ultimate Blog Party 2013
My name is Shalini and I'm not fully grown up just yet and I don't think I will ever be. Just like my rescue dog  Kahlua, who I suspect will always be a puppy. I write mostly about what he has taught me and about our journey together. I also try to encourage adoption of shelter dogs through my posts. I try and write about other ways to help animal rescue too.

By profession I'm a technology consultant. I've had a few good years worth of battling with computer programming and been on the verge of kicking my CPU ever so often.. and I love every minute of it! I used to write about those battles too. And I am not sure why I stopped! But this blog revolves around dogs - because I think that they are better people than people. I believe that they are wonderful, amazing, loving and forgiving creatures and often times human beings do not deserve such love in their lives for they way they treat these animals. 

With this blog, I hope to increase our comprehension of doggie dynamics and our perception of their behavior!

So grab your favorite wine or party snack, and read on! I would love to hear from you!

A Dachshund Afraid of Human Touch

I received this in an email from the ASPCA. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am a strong supporter of the ASPCA. Please help rescue dogs by reading below, donating if you will, and spreading the word. Or, read about another ASPCA related effort here.

Terrified Dachshund Learns to Trust 

Most dogs love a belly rub or scratch behind the ears—but for Pepper the Mini Dachshund, being touched is utter agony.

When a behaviorist reaches for him, he is gripped with terror. He tucks his tail, widens his eyes and tries to become as small as possible while tensing every muscle in his tiny body. Pepper is a spirited little guy, and he wants so much to be social with people. He just can't—yet.

Earlier this year, the ASPCA rescued Pepper from a hoarding situation where he lived with nearly 50 other dogs. Human touch—much like going outside, using stairs or wearing a leash—is completely new and very scary to him. But thanks to the brand-new ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center for dogs, there's hope for Pepper.

At the ASPCA Behavioral Rehabilitation Center, located at St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in New Jersey, we're treating dogs like Pepper who are rescued from puppy mills, hoarding situations and other cruelty. This new, first-of-its-kind facility is giving them the time and intensive support they need but can't get anywhere else.

As part of the inaugural class at the brand-new rehab center, Pepper is receiving the attention and rigorous treatment he needs to learn to trust. And he's already progressing.

As you read this, Pepper is learning that an outstretched human hand means only good things. When Pepper graduates from the program, he'll be placed for adoption. We can't wait to see his happy ending—and we're also thrilled that what we learn rehabilitating Pepper will be part of a study that will help so many more dogs.

"The fact that we're able to help Pepper here is wonderful," says Kristen Collins, ASPCA Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Rehabilitation, "and what we learn will help us improve the lives—and even save the lives—of countless other dogs across the country."

We're thrilled to launch this groundbreaking initiative—and so grateful we can count on your support to change animals' lives. Please consider making a gift to the ASPCA today. Together we can do great things for animals like Pepper.


Tails of a (Boarded) House Puppy

[(P)update on the two labs featured in this post; They are low HW positive. WCAC is accepting donations to help treat them so a rescue will pull them!  Donations can be taken over the phone at Crawfordville Animal Hospital. (850) 926-2089!]

Kahlua is a house elf  puppy. And there are times I need to board him. *Sigh* Yes, I know you feel my pain. Let's chat about pet boarding now, shall we ? I read a fellow rescue advocate's post about A Sleepover and the consequent light-bulb led to this post. We all have interesting boarding stories. I would love to tell some of mine (because god knows I talk so much) and I would love to hear some of yours (hey.. I can listen too, just not as well as Kahlua can. But I might tilt my head if that makes you smile.)

Special shout out to my close friend and roommate Nadine who was the best co -pet-parent /Sibling/Aunt to Kahlua  in the world (yeah, talk to those two if you want to figure their relationship out!)! Pupzilla and I miss you!

I honestly do not know of many pet boarding facilities out there, but I toured one of them way back when, and loved them. With each separation my faith in them has just been more and more reinforced.
Adoptable 3 year old lab mix - Louise

During the first separation, I called them every couple of hours. Kahlua wasn't eating. I was panicking. But the owner of the facility would entertain my endless worry over the phone with immense patience. She would also remove him from the facility into her own office and have dinner with him so that he would have some peace and quiet to eat. She augmented his dry food with beef bouillon or eggs or rice to make it a more attractive prospect (because, let's face it,  he is a bit of a diva, and he was missing his mother.). I was so grateful for this personal care and love that they showed him. When I saw him again, he had shed a few pounds but was happy and healthy!

I apologized to the owner for my incessant calls.  Her answer was what makes me keep going back to them:  "Shalini, it's the parents who don't call I sort of worry about." This is not to say that she thinks that those who don't call, don't care. But the fact that she saw that I needed her reassurance at that point, showed me she understands the value of the babies she and her crew are watching over.

I don't know what Kahlua was thinking because when we got home he pranced around the entire apartment and sometimes appeared to be checking if all of it was still..there. He jumped from couch to couch, checked for his toys and then went and settled in for a good long sleep.
Subsequent  separations got easier and my phonecalls less frequent. He took about three visits to actually befriend the doggie pool and when he did, they promptly called me to check the doggie cam if I could. And sure enough the lab in him had come out to play!

The best phonecall I've received so far was to ask me this: "Shalini - you do know your dog has a little bit of a wild child in him ?" I cracked up. He had been playing in the pool like crazy and refused to be kenneled at the end of playtime. Every time one of  the playgroup humans came to get him, he'd jump in the pool to escape them. They would eventually need to wade in to grab him.

So he has a blast when he is boarded. But it's still rough for me. I feel guilty for leaving him, even if it's just for two days. The last time I dropped him off  there, I left but watched through the window. (Don't ever do this, it's stupid.) He was refusing to go into the facility from the reception area.  He just sat there, looking lost. Finally one of the crew  gently picked him up and took him in. I was crying as I drove away feeling like the worst mother in the world. But hey, two hours later I got the wild child phonecall!

Adoptable 4 year old Lab mix - Thelma

What do you feel when you leave your fur kid behind ? Do you have any fun boarding stories ? Do you prefer that someone house-sits for you ? Please share your thoughts with me via comments! They will undergo moderation so don't be disappointed if you don't see your comment immediately :)

Both dogs in this post are adoptable through Wakulla County Animal Control. There is a special place in my heart for black dogs because they're often not adopted or often treated poorly due to their color. There is also a special place in hell for the humans who do that to these beauties. Please email to adopt either one. If you can't adopt, email anyway to see how you can help. Please share this information with your friends and family too. Visit their FB page  to see more adoptable dogs and cats.  You may just save a life!

Pre-weekend-Wigglebutts- Happy Hiatus

There will be a post coming real soon, about a fun topic! I am on vacation from work and consequently keeping a safe distance from computers, tablets, phones and all such weapons. More time with the family and my sweet labradane. But, do stay tuned and don't forget about us!