Why We Prefer Older Dogs

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Our 3 dogs – Mr Budro (Buddy), Rudi Roo (Rudi), and Miss Millie Mouse (Millie) are aged 11, 4 and 5 respectively.

Actually, we don’t really know how old Millie is… she was adopted via Maine Lab Rescue from a high kill shelter in Georgia and the various vets (4 of them – the one in Georgia, the one in Maine who spayed her, our original vet, and the new one we’ve started using) all thought she was probably between 4-5 years old when she came to us a year ago, which would make her 5-6 years old now.

So our dogs are all grown up, and we know what to expect from each of them.

Puppies are cute… wicked cute.  We both love the fat, fuzzy little critters, with their awkward gaits and sparkly eyes.  There’s nothing more fun than a pile of round little pups climbing all over you, sticking their puppy faces in yours.  And the smell of puppies… pure heaven.  I could smoosh my nose up against a puppy for hours, just breathing in that baby dog scent.

Love

But puppies rarely stop moving.  They’re into everything – non-stop – until they suddenly just plop down and fall asleep.  In the meantime, however, you’d better stay on your toes because you never know where you’ll find them.

And puppies pee and poop.  A lot.  Indiscriminately.  On anything that happens to be on the floor when they have to go.  It’s surprising how many things get left on the floor that one doesn’t even think about.  Shoes.  Books.  Grocery bags (sometimes with groceries still in them).  Tools.  Dirty laundry.  Clean laundry in baskets.  The list is surprisingly endless.

And puppies chew.  A lot.  Indiscriminately.  On anything that happens to be on or touching the floor.  At an average of $60 a pair, I lost literally a thousand dollars or more worth of shoes to Rudi when he was a pup.  My fault of course, but still…

Shoes, while apparently the preferred chew toy for puppies, aren’t the only things in one’s home that the little chew-monsters will target.   We have pillow cases that are now rags because one foster puppy ate holes in them.  Plants have been decimated.  Stuffed animals have given up their lives to puppies.  Two decades ago, my daughter’s border collie/black lab mix Buster practically ate through the legs of both a dining room chair AND the dining room table.  In one afternoon.

More recently, a foster pup chewed the floor (huh? how did he do that?) in the man cave, and the bottom of the newell post in our front hall.  We’ve heard horror stories of leather couches being decimated.  The upholstery in a friend’s truck was destroyed by her Westhighland White Terrier when she left him alone for a few minutes.

a.aaa-Sorry-I-am-late

To enable them to chew so very well, puppies have amazingly sharp little teeth.  Sharp like needles, they HURT!   When Rudi was a pup, he would jump up and sink his teeth into our hands, completely without warning sometimes.  Yes indeed, we were quite pleased when we were finally able to get him to quit pulling that stunt (or maybe he just outgrew it).

So puppies, despite their complete, totally lovable plumpness, are not our preference.

We love love love adult dogs.  And we love older dogs.  We love their eyes, so full of wisdom and gratitude.

We love their sense of dignity, their rituals and habits, their desire to snooze and cuddle for hours on end.

dog in hotel

We love them for their defined personalities, and who they’ve grown into as beings.   We love them… and are so grateful for the way they love us.

Adopt an adult dog, an older dog, a senior dog.  You’ll get back far more than you give.

For more reasons why adult dogs are the best, check out this blog:   10 Reasons Why You Should Adopt an Elderly Animal

Tommy’s Feral Felines – Bake Sale Fundraiser, Dec 14 & 15

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Tommy's - December 14 & 15 2013 Bake Sale

From Tommy’s Facebook post:

On Saturday and Sunday, December 14th and 15th, Tommy’s Feral Feline Friends will be hosting its annual Christmas bake sale at Big Lots in Auburn.

If you would like to bake we surely would appreciate it. If you don’t have time to bake then come over and purchase some of the best baked goods in New England.

All of these proceeds will help the many animals in our care who desperately need medical care and surgeries. It has been an extremely tough year for these animals. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

If you would like to send a donation you could send it to Tommy’s Feral Feline Friends;P.O.Box 274,Greene,Maine 04236.

If you need more information please contact normblais39@yahoo.com or 207-650-8374.

I’ve been doing this for over 35 years and my partner and I have never seen so many animals in need of our help. Any small act of kindness could help save their lives.

Thanks, Norm.

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Tommy’s Feral Feline Friends is the Designated Non Profit for the 2014 Greater Androscoggin Pet Expo to be held Friday & Saturday, September 26 & 27 at the Lewiston Armory on Central Avenue in Lewiston, Maine.

For more information about Tommy’s, check out their page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tommys-Feral-Feline-Friends/144388569019006 or visit their website at http://www.tommysferalfelinefriends.com/.

They do the work of angels, and on a shoestring budget, in the freezing cold, in the rain, and in the sweltering heat.  Unlike most shelters and rescues that work mostly from indoors, Tommy’s volunteer staff work outdoors in the elements, because that’s where the feral cats live.

Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

Adopt a Kitty! From the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

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From the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society.

GAHS - 12 12 13

Meet some of our new arrivals this Saturday. We will have new dogs, puppies, kittens and cats available for adoption!! Stop by and see them, and maybe take a new friend home for the Holidays!!

You can find them on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/gahumane or check out their website at http://www.gahumane.org.

I’ve been involved with the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in some fashion or another for decades, mostly by adopting our cats and dogs from them.  They’ve always been amazing, and clearly work very hard on behalf of the animals.  And their adoption numbers are huge!  People line up for hours in advance some days, just to be the first people in line to adopt.

Support… volunteer… donate!

Fosters Needed for Craigslist Puppies – Maine Lab Rescue

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Maine Lab Rescue - Fosters Needed for Craigslist Puppies

From Maine Lab Rescue’s Facebook page.  (We love Maine Lab Rescue; we’ve fostered for them many times, and our own Millie is a “Foster Failure”… I couldn’t bear to let her go once she came to stay with us!)

We’ll try to post updates from other rescues here, too.

*** SOUTHERN/CENTRAL MAINE FOSTERS NEEDED ***

PLEASE SHARE:

Many of our regular followers will remember the litter of pups we took that were listed as “Free on Craig’s List” in early November.

Honey Lynn, one of our regular fosters in Macon, was ready for her next foster when we found these pups.  Immediately she went over and took one pup; it looked like that might be all we could get of the eight.

Coincidentally, while chatting with another foster, Teresa, about the pups she was sending up that same week, she asked what we had for her next.  We sent her the link, which said free pups listed on CL.

Her immediate response was “I’ll take them. I hate to think what could happen to them.”

Our goals were to make sure they were kept out of the shelter system, and out of the clutches of anyone considering them for bait dogs. Hunter (not shown here), Honey Lynn’s foster, arrived last weekend and is already adoption pending.

This weekend his siblings arrive, they are in need of foster homes.

Please email info@mainelabrescue.org if you can help.

Event: Maine Lab Rescue Adoption Event, Saturday, December 14

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Maine Lab Rescue - 12 14 13 Adoption Day

*** ADOPTION EVENT ***

PLEASE SHARE: Join them on Saturday, December 14th at Pet Quarters, 486 Payne Rd, Scarborough, ME for an adoption event.

They’ll be on site from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Meet the Maine Lab Rescue volunteers, learn more about fostering and meet their available pets!

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My husband and I have fostered through Maine Lab Rescue, and are what’s known as “foster failures”… we adopted one of the foster pups!  (She’s absolutely the best dog I’ve ever lived with!)

We can’t say enough good things about Maine Lab Rescue!

FMI: https://www.facebook.com/MaineLabRescue and http://www.mainelabrescue.org/

Maine Lab Rescue is not for labs only… and they rescue cats, too!

Franklin County (ME) Animal Shelter Challenge

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Franklin County Shelter

Help them get to 5,000 likes on Facebook… when they do, every Facebook fan get get $15 off any adoption in the shelter!

As of 5:00 am, Tuesday, December 10, 2103 they’re at 4,771 likes… not all that many left to go!

From their website:

The purpose of Franklin County Animal Shelter is to provide temporary care and shelter to stray, homeless and abandoned companion animals.

Medical treatment including vaccinations and sterilization is provide to all animals prior to adoption.

FCAS serves the community as an adoption facility where loving families and pets needing homes come together.

The Shelter strives to educate the public in the proper care of pets including increasing public awareness of the companion animal overpopulation issue.


Paw_sDid you know that the adoption fee only covers 25% of what each animal costs the shelter?  

Never Give Puppies or Kittens Away for Free!

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I’ve been amazed recently by the number of people who STILL don’t realize they a) should never ever give a cat or dog away for free, and b) who think their pets are safe running around loose. Years ago we were told not to advertise “free kittens” or “free puppies”, because there were those nasty creatures out there who would take them and then sell the animals to testing laboratories.

More recently, the dregs of humankind will take the animals and use them as live bait in dog fights. On one animal group on Facebook, a lady said, “Oh, it’s okay. I check them out to make sure they’re dressed well and have a decent car before I give them the puppies”. How clueless is that?

Here’s the most recent from the Humane Society of the United States. You can scan the article below, or click on the link to see the pictures and get more information.

email_inset_shy_guy_ARI
http://action.humanesociety.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=73362.0&dlv_id=78001

Help Protect Dogs from Suffering

Dear Friend,
Can you imagine dogs sold by an unscrupulous animal dealer to a laboratory to endure painful procedures, and dying — all for the sake of an unnecessary experiment? That was the fate of dogs like Shy Guy who were sold to Georgia Regents University by a Class B animal dealer, subjected to cosmetic dentistry experiments, and then killed.

Shy Guy had his teeth removed and replaced with implants. Then he was killed — just for a small sample of his jaw bone.

Random source Class B dealers who sell animals to research institutions round up dogs and cats from “random sources,” such as auctions, flea markets, and other questionable means — some of them were even family pets. The notorious Class B dealer with whom Georgia Regents University is doing business has been formally charged by the USDA with a series of legal violations.

Join actress and advocate Kim Basinger in telling the USDA to take strong action against Class B random source dealers and urging Georgia Regents University to not only stop acquiring animals from these dealers with a long history of unlawful activities, but also to end these unnecessary dental experiments. Watch our new undercover video, and take action»

Sincerely,
Wayne Pacelle
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

Ten Ways to Help Your Local Shelter or Rescue

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Reprint from HSUS. Click on the link below for more info.
http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/resources/tips/help_shelters_rescues.html?utm_source=potw110313&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fall13&goback=%2Egde_55100_member_5806053724518379521#%21

Give a hand to the groups that do so much for animals, people, and your community
Shelters and rescues are amazing! They help untold numbers of animals and people, usually with limited resources and very little publicity. Do you want to give back to the these unsung heroes and organizations who contribute so much to your community? Try one—or all—of the following ten ways to help shelters and rescue groups. Don’t be surprised if you end up feeling good and having fun.

1. Share your love
Tell the world how you feel about your local shelter or rescue by using The Humane Society of the United States’ Facebook share graphics.

This Person Supports - Dog

This Person Supports - Cat

Just click on your favorite to add the image to your Facebook page. (If you think they’re both too cute to choose a favorite, swap them out every day.)

2. Get to know your local shelters and rescue groups
Start the process by locating all of the ones in your area. You may be surprised how many groups nearby are helping animals.

3. Learn before you leap
Before you adopt, go to the Shelter Pet Project to learn what to expect when adopting a pet. You’ll be much less likely to become frustrated and return your new pet if you understand the challenges and rewards of adopting a pet beforehand.

4. Say “thanks!”
Take a minute to express your gratitude to the people who work at your local shelter or rescue groups. If you’ve adopted a pet from one of them, show how well your pet is doing by sharing an updated picture via a letter, email, or posting it on the organization’s Facebook page or website.

5. Get crafty
Combine fabric, yarn, recyclables, and imagination to bring much-needed fun into the lives of local shelter and rescue pets. There’s no end to the toys you can make. Try braiding strips of fleece into fun for dogs, or cutting and folding a surprising household object into a cat distractor.

Are you a born match-maker? Create attention-grabbing “Adopt-Me” vests to spotlight available pets at adoption events held by shelters and rescues. We’ve found DIY options for those of us who avoid sewing as well as sewing-machine wizards.

6. Become a fan
“Like” the Shelter Pet Project on Facebook. Then, if possible, “like” the individual groups in your community, too.

7. Make wishes come true
Shelters and rescue groups always need towels, toys, and other supplies. Check their websites for wish lists or call them to find out what’s in short supply.

8. Volunteer
Even if you can’t adopt a pet just now, you can help make life better for homeless animals by volunteering with your local shelter or rescue organization. Do you have experience as a carpenter or electrician? Are you a marketing or dog-walking whiz? All of these skills are valuable!

9. Help at your own home
Make the jobs of shelters and rescues easier: Outfit your cats and dogs with collars and proper ID (a microchip and ID tags) at all times. As soon as you bring them into your family, have all of your pets spayed or neutered. Keep your cats indoors, where you can keep them safe (though it’s great to take them on walks if they are comfortable on a harness and leash), and keep dogs on leashes when off your property.

10. Help your shelter make positive changes
If you see or hear anything at your local shelter that concerns you, follow The HSUS’s guidelines for addressing that concern in the most effective way.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen

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The post below is copied directly from the AKC site… it gives a great test of “Good Citizenship”. This is good stuff.

http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm

AKC

AKC’S CANINE GOOD CITIZEN®

Training/Testing: CGC Test Items

Before taking the Canine Good Citizen test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. Owners also agree to show responsibility by doing things such as cleaning up after their dogs in public places and never letting dogs infringe on the rights of others.

After signing the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge, owners and their dogs are ready to take the CGC Test. Items on the Canine Good Citizen Test include:

Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog. The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness.

Test 2: Sitting politely for petting

This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.

Test 3: Appearance and grooming

This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility. The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.

Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)

This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog’s position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler’s movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops. The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.

Test 5: Walking through a crowd

This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.

Test 6: Sit and down on command and Staying in place

This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler’s commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers). The dog must do sit AND down on command, then the owner chooses the position for leaving the dog in the stay. Prior to this test, the dog’s leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler’s commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance. When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.

Test 7: Coming when called

This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to “stay” or “wait” or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.

Test 8: Reaction to another dog

This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of about 20 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.

Test 9: Reaction to distraction

This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane. The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.

Test 10: Supervised separation

This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, “Would you like me to watch your dog?” and then take hold of the dog’s leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness. Evaluators may talk to the dog but should not engage in excessive talking, petting, or management attempts (e.g, “there, there, it’s alright”).

Equipment

All tests must be performed on leash. For collars, dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, and electronic collars are not permitted in the CGC test.

As of November 4, 2010, body harnesses may be used in the CGC test. The evaluator should check to make sure the harness is not of a type that completely restricts the dog’s movement such that it could not pull or jump up if it tried.

We recognize that special training collars such as head collars and no-jump harnesses may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to equipment that allows the evaluator to see that the dog has been trained.

The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring the dog’s brush or comb to the test.

Encouragement

Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.

Failures – Dismissals

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

Courtesy Post: Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting

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Kick Off Meetings - Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting
Kick Off Meetings – Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting

We are not involved with this group, other than to support their mission. The text below is taken directly from the Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting Meetup page.

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting is seeking to enact long-overdue protections for Maine’s bear population. Bears are majestic and beloved creatures, in Maine. Yet it is the only state to allow statewide hounding, baiting, and trapping, cruel, unsporting, and unnecessary practices that do not reflect Maine values or hunting tradition. It’s time for fair bear hunting. This fall, we will begin gathering 80,000 signatures to put this important issue on the 2014 ballot.

For more information visit our website, http://www.fairbearhunt.com/events or give the office a call.

We hope to see you at one of our fourteen kick off meetings across Maine! Even if you cannot attend, we’d love for you to get involved! Visit http://www.fairbearhunt.com to learn more about the campaign and to sign up to volunteer.