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> Shelter Dogs, from the Humane Society
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DesertRose 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 09:15 AM
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I have started volunteering at our local Humane Society. I have a heart for these animals. I cannot adopt kitties, as much as I love them cause I am so allergic to them, but I go in the kitty room and talk to them and they all get up and stretch, meow and rub their facies against the cages. These are such really beautiful creatures and hard to believe anybody would give up these gorgeous beings. The dogs? Some are very sweet and some very fearful and aggressive. I did become a guardian angel to one dog. She is half Border Collie and Lab. She is sweet as can be and someone threw her out of their truck! How the heck a person can live with themselves after having done such a thing is beyond me. Anyway, I paid for her adoption fee and named her Maggie. I hope and pray she gets adopted to a really great home. I literally cannot stand the thought of perfect healthy animals being euthanized because they cannot be placed in a home. It just breaks my heart.


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2cabee 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 09:25 AM
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Don't the people that just throw out animals make you sick? I have a soft for animals and am always saving them. There is a little creek by our house that they are always throwing out puppies that I then rescue and find homes.


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Swanny 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 10:22 AM
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censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif censored.gif

That is all Ihave to say about such 'people'.


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DesertRose 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 10:46 AM
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QUOTE (2cabee @ 25-Aug-2006, 09:25 AM)
Don't the people that just throw out animals make you sick? I have a soft for animals and am always saving them. There is a little creek by our house that they are always throwing out puppies that I then rescue and find homes.

Well good for you 2cabee and Swanny!! I can get pretty livid about this subject. If there was any way I could stop the euthanization of healthy animals, I would. How do you all think we can?
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Elspeth 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 11:21 AM
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We've adopted 2 dogs and picked up a stray kitten. All are 'fixed'.

If everyone took home a sweet thing... *poof* problem fixed!

My cousin's wife is continually getting cats 'fixed' that are dropped off at the farm. People treat the farm like an animal depository. Even longhaired housecats get dropped off. Think how terrifying all that big machinery is to them! Not to mention the other cats, dogs, strange people and wide open spaces.


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valpal59 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 03:53 PM
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Two of our Labs were unwanted dogs that we took in 11 years ago. Cody's owner was going to dump him out in the country and a farmer found Max and brought him to us. He had been abused and was malnourished.
3 weeks ago a stray cat took up residence in our backyard and had a litter of kittens. I couldn't let them starve, so I have been feeding them and trying not to get attached to them. I think I am losing the battle. smile.gif


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 04:24 PM
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With the number of dogs I have I have to be selective in what I take in.With 33 mouths to feed, I can't just take all comers. So I take in sled dogs. As Swanny will atest,they are NOT for everyone! I have taken in cat killers, cow chasers, "run aways" and excavators. They are incorrigable escape artists, and are NOT porch or lawn ornaments. They WILL get loose and WILL roam! So they all come to "The Dog Man" and live here until I can find a home where they understand that they are not like other dogs. It breaks my heart that I can't take ALL the dogs that need homes, but I do what I can. sad.gif


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Swanny 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 04:40 PM
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QUOTE
If there was any way I could stop the euthanization of healthy animals, I would. How do you all think we can?


The only way to eliminate the euthanization of healthy animals is to either reduce the population of animals to a point where there are more people wanting animals than there are animals to fill the need, or reduce the population of irresponsible censored.gif who own animals, allow the to reproduce indiscrimnately and then feel no compunction or remorse about dumping them into the wilds.

QUOTE
As Swanny will atest,they are NOT for everyone!

LOL - I can indeed attest to that, but I can't imagine NOT loving sled dogs. Of course I also can't imagine navigating around a dog yard without cavernous holes or going to the post office in Two Rivers, Alaska and NOT seeing "lost sled dog" posters or every so often catching a dog or two at the place, puttin' 'em on pickets and posting "found sled dog" posters at the post office.

Meanwhile, we all do the very best that we can do. We adopt the homeless, help others who adopt the homeless by donating time or money, and we make sure that our own dogs are properly cared for, managed, run (if sled dogs) and loved.

That's all that any individual can do, and that is much more than most will ever even consider.

Swanny

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Dogshirt 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 05:45 PM
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QUOTE
LOL - I can indeed attest to that, but I can't imagine NOT loving sled dogs. Of course I also can't imagine navigating around a dog yard without cavernous holes or going to the post office in Two Rivers, Alaska and NOT seeing "lost sled dog" posters or every so often catching a dog or two at the place, puttin' 'em on pickets and posting "found sled dog" posters at the post office.


lol.gif Such is the day to day life of a musher. ANY time someone finds a dog that MIGHT be a sled dog, I get a phone call wanting to know if I'm missing a dog.


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Swanny 
Posted: 25-Aug-2006, 10:48 PM
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I imagine mushers are relatively rare where you live. That would certainly explain 33 rescued dogs in the yard. Up here it's way different because you can't throw a rock without hitting a musher or one of his/her handlers. \0?

Not too long ago a cheechako in Two Rivers called animal control to lodge a noise complaint. They were nice enough to actually drive up for a visit and explain the facts of life in Alaska to the lady. They explained that there are seven racing kennels and three or four recreational kennels on her road alone, and easily a half dozen more within 1/4 of her house. They explained that the borough doesn't have a noisy dog ordinance and that even if the borough did no animal control officer in his or her right mind would be suicidal enough to dare try to enforce it.

Bottom line - if you don't like hearing dogs howling, don't move to the sled dog capital of the world.

Things usually operate pretty smoothly in this area, though. Just because there are SO many mushers here. If a dog is lost / found it is usually reunited with its owner in very short order simply by placing the posters in the post office, the (yep, singular) store and the laundromat. Even pet dogs are readily reunited. I once picked up a stray Jack Russel Terrier at the garbage dumpster station and two hours later handed her over to her very relieved owner. She is the pet dog of a truly world famous Iditarod champ. I won't name names, but he's the only one in history to win the race five times.

I really love living in a place where we all watch out for each other.

I'm not suprised that the nice cheechako lady decided to move back "home" to San Diego. Living in Alaska wasn't quite what she expected, I'm afraid.

I spoke with Janece Rollet this evening, and she tells me that every shelter and rescue in the Lexington KY area is full to overflowing, and that is common throughout the nation this time of year. Apparently at about back to school time a lot of folks decide that the puppies they adopted last spring are developing "unacceptable" behaviors so they feel it's time to "re-home them". In other words, dispose of them in the most convenient means legally available. Another major contributor is college students who suddenly find they are unable to find an apartment or room-share that will accept their dogs.

So long as people think of animals as disposable property I guess I'll something to loudly complain about.

Swanny
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DesertRose 
Posted: 28-Aug-2006, 07:01 PM
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I just got through speaking to someone who takes in pitbulls and has for years. She had a puppy come into her home and all her young children loved that dog and treated it like a human. Then when the pitbull got to be about 1-2 years of age it suddenly attacked one of her young children! so she had to make a choice, she felt, to get rid of the dog. I saw on the news where this couple had a pitbull as a puppy. Raised it like its baby. It was supposedly a wonderful dog and then about 2 years old or older, the dog for some reason bit her lip off! I don't believe in bad dogs, but how the heck do you explain something like this to an owner who thinks they did everything possible to love and take care of this animal and it one day behave like this when they come into the shelter? When I was in the shelter the other day, I saw a couple of German Shepherds who I have heard can be "red zone" cases as well. Do I watch the Dog Whisperer? You betcha! so any dogs who have aggressive, attacking behavior are considered red zone cases. so what do you say and do? Many thanks!

I wish they would outlaw euthanization, but don't ever see it coming. I am more into rehabilitating a dog. Maybe I am naive. unsure.gif
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 28-Aug-2006, 07:20 PM
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ALL dogs are the result of their breeding and upbringing! First , I would suspect bad breeding. Just because you have two of ANY breed is no excuse to breed them! The temperment and stability of the parents ARE passed on to the offspring!
Next is the upbringing of the pup. If the dog is mistreated there is a strong chance of problems with the dog, but if it is raised as "one of the family" and is not given any limits then you will have much the same problem! I raised Malemute/Wolf hybrids for almost 20 years, and had no problems. But when it came time to look for new blood, I could not find one that I would breed to. And when I DID have pups, I let them know EARLY where the limits were!
I remember one lady that had Hybrids that came to me to breed one of her females. The first time I saw the "dog" I was impressed with her looks and confirmation. But when I got close to her and ran my hands down her legs she growled and snapped. The lady said "OH! She doesn't Like that!" I threw the dog on her back and held her down till she peed and we got along fine, but AS LONG AS THE LADY LET HER PULL CRAP LIKE THAT WITH PEOPLE, THEN SHE WAS NOT A CANDIDATE FOR BREEDING TO ANY OF MY BOYS!
So, yes, SOME dogs are bad dogs, but MOST are the result of bad breeding and/or bad upbringing!


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Swanny 
Posted: 28-Aug-2006, 09:32 PM
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In reenactment circles there is a term that is used when questioning the authenticity of a historical interpretation. That term is "FARBY". Allegedy the term "FARBY" is short for "Far be it from me to question your expertise, but....."

Dogshirt, wolves and hybrids are very special cases. I do not believe that everything (or maybe even 'anything') that applies to wolves and hybrids also applies to dogs. When you consider that dogs were originally domesticated anywhere from 20,000 to (some argue) as long as 200,000 years ago and that DNA evidence shows conclusively that dogs and wolves are not the same species, using wolf behavior as a model for training dogs seems akin to using cimpanzee behavior as a model for parenting children.

The dominance theory has some very serious flaws when applied to dogs. Since you are dealing with wolves and hybrids, your best model is indeed wolves, but for those of us dealing with dogs the methods that work best with wolves may actually be conterproductive when applied to dogs.

Dr. Ray Coppinger's 'official' bio states "- a biology professor at Hampshire College, co-founder of the Livestock Guarding Dog Project, author of several books including Dogs : A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution; and an extremely well-respected member of the dog training community." What his bio fails to mention is something I'd bet money to donuts Dogshirt already knows. Dr. Coppinger's interest in dog behavior started when he was mushing sled dogs and winning more than his fair share of New England races. Some gray-bearded old mushers who know and lost races to him tell me that he has forgotten more about mushing than they ever learned. In regards to the dominance model and alpha rolling - Coppinger writes "I cannot think of many learning situations where I want my learning dogs responding with fear and lack of motion. I never want my animals to be thinking social hierarchy. Once they do, they will be spending their time trying to figure out how to move up in the hierarchy."

Here are a couple of articles that I think make some pretty compelling and important points when it comes to applying the dominance theory to training dogs.

The History and Misconceptions of Dominance Theory

Debunking the Dominance Myth

I agree that breeding plays a role in temperament. The most even tempered sled dogs I know are in the kennels of the Streeper brothers, Eric Lancer, Egil Ellis and the Denali Park kennel. Though their dogs have vastly different blood lines, the common factor is that they all breed for temperament as well as for the physical attributes needed to meet their mushing goals.

Socialization to both other dogs and to humans plays an even greater role. It doesn't matter how great the parents are, if the puppies are not exposed to other dogs and lots of people in a huge variety of circumstances behavior problems are inevitable. I don't think this can be stressed enough.

Withing the past week I have reviewed 3 case studies involving very serious dog bites. Two of the victims required hospitalization, and though the third victim suffered puncture wounds requiring only E.R. care, observers on the scene reported that the dog attempted to shake the victim - which makes this a "kill bite", the type of bite dogs use to kill prey animals. The oldest of these dogs was four years, the youngest was a bit more than two years. All were for all appearances reasonably well trained dogs. One was a purebred German Shepherd Dog from lines with no known bite history, one was a medium sized mixed breed dog and the third (the one that delivered the kill bite) was a Labrador Retriever. None of them had a previous bite history and in each case the bite was apparently unprovoked. The victims included a 12 year old boy with facial bites, a 54 year old professional dog handler, and a 33 year old kennel worker. The only thing that these bites have in common is that in each case the owners of the dogs stated something to the effect of "We raised that dog from a puppy just like we would raise a baby."

Dogs are NOT fuzzy little people who can't speak - they are dogs. Just as wolves need to be raised and trained as wolves and humans need to be raised and trained as humans - dogs need to be raised and trained as dogs. That which works for one specie does not automatically work for all.

Rose, I think that every bite case needs to be examined individually and the dog assessed by a certified and experienced dog behaviorist. Can some of them be salvaged? Yes, some can. Unfortunately, many others can not and a dog that has a history of a significant unprovoked bite is like leaving a stick of dynamite and book of matches in a two year old's playpen.

In those cases human safety dictates that the dog either be kept in isolation the remainder of its life or humanely euthanized. I believe the cruelist thing we can do to a dog is deprive it of contact with other dogs or with humans and I believe it is doubly cruel if the dog is a working dog. As much as I hate to see good dogs put to death I have to admit that humane euthanization is often the only practical solution.

Holy Cow - time does fly out of control. I have to get off this thing and feed my dogs.

Swanny
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DesertRose 
Posted: 29-Aug-2006, 01:03 AM
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Oh my! Well I hear what you both are saying. When it comes between dogs and humans, especially children, the latter always comes first. A very sad situation.

I always have at least two dogs at a time. I feel that dogs need to be with each other as well as with humans. I want very much to foster this one dog, a Border collie/lab mix. Hubby says no. but when I think about it. the two breeds together will require a lot of energy, time and attention. I have a very small back yard. Not condusive to a dog who needs to burn off a lot of energy. So I am fearful she will not be adopted, like many large dogs and be euthanized. sad.gif

Thanks much, guys!

Swanny, we use the term "farby" in my re-enactment circles! Interesting as I had never heard of it before till I started re-enacting.
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Swanny 
Posted: 29-Aug-2006, 11:17 AM
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As much as I enjoy working and playing with rescued dogs I don't think I could work in a shelter setting in which unplaced dogs are automatically euthanized. It wouldn't be good for my head.

Working with the dogs would be cool, but dealing with the irresponsible humans would likely result in some human-directed aggression on my part.

Swanny



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