Meet …

… the newest foster, Leo, a 10-month old Shih Tzu. Leo is in the assessment stage but

Leo

Leo, a 10-month old Tzu

will be available for adoption in the next four to six weeks or so (pending assessment and behavior). Placement in Northern Colorado is preferred.

Leo is a cocky young fellow who needs a job, i.e., obedience, rally and/or agility. He is wicked smart and catches on quickly. A confident dog, he works well with distractions.

He will need a dog-savvy owner that has some training skills. He is not a dog for a “soft” or first-time owner. Leo needs an owner that can set boundaries and follow through with consistency. Leo is crate trained, house trained (with supervision, he is still a puppy!) and walks nicely on a leash. He does NOT do well with children so will need to go to an adult-only home.

Interested?  Contact ApsoRescue@aol.com to start a dialog on this boy.

Night Tigers …

Bet you’re wondering what fits that definition.  And I’ll bet you’ve probably had one (or more) in your area whether suburban or rural.  While you may not be aware of their presence, they are definitely aware of you and what’s wandering around in your yard at dusk, midnight and dawn.

The Night Tiger … also known as  the Great Horned Owl … is common and the second most widely distributed owl in the Americas.  With its six-foot wingspread, it is capable of hunting and carrying off a great variety of animals including porcupines, dogs and cats.  In some areas of the country, dogs and cats are used as a readily convenient food source.owlperched

Hubby found owl pellets in our yard about a month ago … a sobering find as we had two small foster Tzus in residence at the time.  Weighing in eight and nine pounds, they are prime prey for the winged predators in our neighborhood.  Both owls and hawks have been spotted flying low over the yards; last year a hawk family was fledged in a neighbor’s trees.

For more information, please tune into this YouTube video prepared by East Mountain Pet Alert in New Mexico and friend and artist, Katy Widger

Birds of Prey Attack Small Pets

Be safe, be aware!  And keep those small pets under your direct supervision.

 

Short Dogs and Blizzards

Colorado was slammed with a spring blizzard on Wednesday … not unusual for Colorado but certainly not welcomed by humans or dogs alike.  To be sure, we need the moisture so won’t complain there. However, the driving snow and 50-mph winds did little for dogs or trees in our neighborhood.  Four of our trees sustained significant damage from the snow caking on branches.  The weight eventually snapped the limbs off completely or split the trunks.  A maple, two crabapples and a hawthorne all lost limbs … time will tell as to if the trees will make it or not.  The top of one crabapple was completely snapped off.  Bummer.

We set up a dog run of sorts in the winter for a couple of reasons … one, it makes a smaller footprint to have to scoop for the dogs and, two, it keeps the dogs from accessing areas which have not been scooped so they don’t come back in looking like a giant snow ball (see last photo).  Unfortunately, even having a dog run that had been scooped twice didn’t help with this blizzard.  The potty run filled up quickly and it’s hard to potty in 6+ inches of snow when one is less than 11-inches tall at the shoulder!  All told, we got 18+-inches of snow out of this storm in less than 12 hours.

Dog yard 2016

Soooo, what’s a small dog to do?!?!?  Thankfully, I’ve trained my three to potty in an exercise pen (x-pen) from the time they were small puppies.  Dante and Jentry are old hands at it … Teller was a bit confused by it all.  I set up a small x-pen in the garage, lined it with potty pads and everyone was able to relieve themselves until we could dig out.

Let’s talk about equipment … in my book, x-pens are a “must have” for the dog owner. They come in different heights and I use 24″ or 30″ depending on the application. Definitely prefer the 24″ as I can actually step over that one.  At 5’3″ and a 28″ inseam, a 30″ pen is out of my reach, both to step over and to lean over to pick up a dog.  Those of us who are height challenged have to consider all the angles, literally.  If you have a dog that can jump/climb 24″ you’ll probably want a 30″ pen.

One x-pen will make a four-by-four pen (I prefer the Midwest brand of pens, without a door).  The pens are open ended so you can add extra panels to make a larger pen or connect two pens together for a substantial space.  We use several pens connected together for a dog run during the winter as we have a large patio to cover to get to the grass. The pens make good markers as to snow fall since the sections are set up in vertical increments of six inches.  We’ve used the pens when camping as an area for the dogs to hang out so they’re not constantly on a leash.  Throw in a bed, toys, coop cups for food/water and they’re all set.  Drag up a comfortable chair, an adult beverage and you’re all set.

As all of my pens were out in the yard, I used a small fold-up pen that I keep in the grooming room and/or take to dog shows.  Dog shows typically have outside areas for potty runs (this works if a small venue and one can easily get to “outside”).  However, if the weather outside is bad, toileting can be an issue.   In the case of the large Denver shows, they set up penned-off areas inside, full of sawdust.  Not good for dogs in full coat … and can be a source of disease/germs.  So, we use a lightweight six-panel pen made by Mardel that’s easily transported and set up (scroll down to find the mini-exercise pens).

Potty pads … given that I don’t use them all that often, I buy Assurance underpads  from Wal-Mart. While they cost more than the pet-specific pads, they absorb more and come in a 30 x 36 size (two will cover a small x-pen nicely, for about .52 cents each). The boys are sent out first with belly bands so they’re not peeing out the sides of the pen, solid wastes are bagged and set outside (use of the belly bands also keeps the pads clean so the boys are not walking in urine).  Jentry is then “exercised” in a basically clean pen.  Depending on what’s going on and where we’re at, I may cover her pee spot with newspapers so she’s not walking in urine and the pads are good for a second use.  When done, it all gets bagged up and put in the trash bin outside so we don’t have to worry about odors.  I have also used this set up in a hotel room — a heavy-duty sheet of plastic is unrolled in an area and then the pen and potty pads are set up.

Flying with a dog and can’t get to the potty area?  Pack along a potty pad and then take the dog to the restroom (easier if the dog is a male so you can use a belly band as well). All good reasons to train your dog to:  (1) potty on command and (2) potty in an x-pen as it gives you and the dog more options when nature calls.

Belly bands … having used several different types over the years, I’ve found Playapup to be the most comfortable for the boys.  They are narrower on the ends and the neoprene material has some stretch to it.  This brand doesn’t tend to bunch up because of excess material as with other bands. Line it with an incontinence pad and it can be used for potty runs as noted above or used in conjunction with training for males that mark indoors.  They wash up easy/dry quickly and I always have at least two on hand so they can be changed out on wash days.

So there you have it … tricks of nature, nature calls and traveling with small dogs.  What tricks have you utilized for inclement weather or while traveling?

Snow pants

Let’s Talk About …

… hair!  Dog hair to be exact.  No, not the stuff that finds its way onto every piece of furniture or item of clothing you own … the stuff that forms hair bunnies and herds itself around the corners of the house.  We’re talking about face hair.  If you own or have owned any of the long-coated breeds, you know the ongoing challenge of keeping the hair out of the dog’s eyes as well as keeping the eyes from being poked with the bloom of ever-growing hair on the muzzle.

From time to time, I take my crew in for a professional grooming.  On each dog’s kennel card, there is a notation that the hair on the muzzle is *not* to be scooped out with a clipper and nothing below the corner of the eyes and down the muzzle is to be trimmed.  When grooming the dogs myself, I follow the same protocol.  “Why?” you might ask, knowing that the hair on the face is going to look like a chrysanthemum in full bloom as it grows out.  Because clippering or scissoring this hair sets you and the dog up for a never-ending trim/grow/poke in the eyes/watery eyes/can’t see/trim cycle

Teller - head shotHere’s what I do on literally all my dogs, pet and show … I let the hair grow out until it lies flat to the muzzle.  You only have to grow it out once and then keep the length trimmed up at the chin area.  This also preserves the soft facial expression of the dog.  In the photo to the left, Teller is several weeks out from a groom so the hair above the eyes is in need of a trim but you can see how the hair lies flat on the muzzle.  He can still see despite needing a trim!Teller side

Teller 2In the photo to the right, you can see how the hair is grown to the beard length and then trimmed appropriately.  While growing the hair out on the muzzle, I will use an alcohol-free hair gel or KY jelly to keep the hair tacked down and out of the eyes.  Since the hair grows fairly quickly, it won’t be long until it is laying flat and out of the eyes.  I find that keeping the muzzle hair in this fashion also helps with the eye discharge, i.e., less of it and easier to clean out.

Remember, you only have to grow it out once.  Unless you forget to tell your groomer …

Choices …

CH Everglo Zijuh Tomba

I have long been an advocate for rescue, taking in dogs that need a second … or third or fourth … chance at a new home. However, I also respect those owners who decide that, for their lifestyle and family, a predictable and purpose-bred dog is the better choice. IOW, they know what the size of the dog is going to be as an adult, what type of temperament it will have and the grooming requirements of a specific breed. They will also have that breeder behind them — and the dog — for the life of the dog.

I came across this recent posting on FB and wanted to share it …

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“I have been helping a friend find a puppy. She wants a specific breed, for a specific purpose, with a specific temperament. I have found her several responsible breeders who I think would have puppies that would fit all of her criteria. Then she says to me, “I just want you to know that I am not spending $1,000 on a dog. Not when so many need homes.” And you know, if that was the end of what she said, and she wanted help finding a rescue dog, I would have been all about helping her. But she is still not opposed to buying a puppy… just not one for $1,000. So, at first, it didn’t really register what she said, but as I thought about it, I became more and more offended. Because basically what she said to me was that as a responsible breeder, my dogs are not worth any more than Joe-shmoe’s down the block… that all the time, effort, and money that I have put into health testing, temperament testing, training, proving, and selecting my dogs for breeding has no value. I have to say, this really got under my skin. Maybe it’s because I have driven my girls as far as CA to breed to the most perfect stud dog that I could find… or that I just spent over $2,000 on progesterone tests, and I still don’t have a litter to show for it… or maybe it’s because I have proven my dog’s over and over again, and it just plain pissed me off that someone doesn’t see the value in that.

So, what do you get for a $1,000 puppy? Proven temperament and trainability… mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and great-grand parents for many generations are trained and temperament tested- and they have been to a million dog shows, earning titles to prove it all. Proven health… mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and great grand parents for many generations have had their hips, elbows, knees, eyes, heart, & thyroid tested, they are clear of all genetic disease that I can possibly know of. They are to breed standard… which may not mean a lot to you, but it should. It’s what keeps a Rottweiler from looking like a Black and Tan Coonhound, or a Bernese Mountain dog. It’s what maintains structure and soundness, and what makes a breed a breed. You also get me. You get a knowledgeable breeder and expert in your breed. You can call me day or night, and even on holidays. I am there for you through all your joys and frustrations, sickness and health. I will do anything I need to do to make sure that owning one of my puppies is the most wonderful experience of your life. You have the peace of mind knowing that no matter what ever happens to you, your dog, your best friend, has a safe place to live out the rest of his life.

So what about that $400 puppy out of the paper? You get a puppy with unknown temperament, health and type. You get nothing else. You can potentially get a dog genetically predisposed to fears and aggression, a dog with debilitating health issues, a dog who will never be able to fulfill the goals that you have set out for him. And if you ever needed to return that dog (life can sometimes throw you a curve ball), that person will not take your 5- or 8- or 10-year old dog back … you will be stuck putting your dog up for adoption or euthanizing him.

So, who’s making money? I have never actually figured it out, but I would guess that I lose about $1,000/puppy. I don’t breed dogs to make money. I breed dogs because I love my breed and I believe that there are wonderful people out there who should have the opportunity to own wonderful dogs. The person selling the $400 puppy is making a profit of about $350/puppy. That person breeds purely for profit. Oh, I am sure they love their dogs, and their breed, but not enough to be any benefit to anyone other than themselves.

I guess people don’t really understand value. It is not about the price you pay, but what you are getting for that price. And in the end, if what you are getting for $1,000 is not worth anything to you, then by all means, the $400 puppy is a much better value.”

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It’s all about choices, folks. If your choice is to open your heart/home to a rescue dog, then I’m behind you 100% and will help you find that perfect match. Conversely, if your selection is a well-bred dog from a responsible breeder, I can respect the thought process and reasoning behind that choice as well.  For some, the allure of a dog bred to type goes beyond the health and temperament, connecting one to the rich history and culture of the sturdy mountain dog as a landrace in it’s native country … Tibet.

Paws on the Promenade 2015

Sammy & Budha, waiting for breakfast ...

Sammy & Budha, waiting for breakfast …

Update:  Sammy and Budha were adopted this past weekend (June 20th).  Wishing them and their new owner many happy, healthy years together.  And we are just thrilled that the new owner decided to take them both … dogs are pretty darned happy too!

Always a good time to interact with the dog community … Paws on the Promenade at the Shops at Centerra!  Come on out and join the fun on Saturday, May 16th with a variety of events as noted below.  We’ll be there with our foster Tzus, Sammy (l) and Budha (r), for a meet/greet.  Hopefully, the weather will be better by Saturday … anything but pouring rain or blowing snow!

Sammy is a five-year old Tzu that would love to find a retired or semi-retired couple on which to work his charms.  He’s a cuddle bug and gets along well with other small dogs.

Budha is a two-year old Tzu, originally from Wyoming.  We think he looks like Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon.” A sweet boy, he’d do well with with an active couple and gets along with other small dogs.

10th Annual Paws on the PromenadeSaturday, May 16, 2015
10 am to 3 pm at the Main Plaza, the Shops at CenterraIt’s a fun-filled day for you and your dog!  Enjoy giveaways, dog adoptions, live demonstrations by the Larimer County Sheriff K9 Unit and the Longmont Fire Arson Dog, Yappy Hour, dog contests for prizes & so much more!

Schedule of Events:
10:00am    4-H Agility Demonstration
11:00am    Dog Costume Contest
11:30am    Larimer County Sheriff K9 Demonstration
12:30pm    Longmont Fire Arson Dog Demonstration
1:00pm      Dog Trick Contest
2:00pm      Yappy Hour

This event is free and open to the public.

Gracie …

Gracie ...

Gracie …

Update:  Gracie has found her new family and was adopted!!

Calling folks in the Midwest … or someone willing to travel/fly!  Gracie is a retired champion looking for a home to call her own.  Some things prospective adoptive families should know:

  • Is a heavy chewer and will need plenty of good chews;
  • Loves attention, to the point of pushing out other dogs for attention (this is a training issue, under resource guarding);
  • Needs a fenced yard to run and play (no invisible fencing allowed);
  • Is crate trained;
  • Needs a home with someone home most of the time or working less than 40 hours a week;
  • Needs to be an only dog or with only one other dog in the house; and
  • An experienced dog owner, someone with no young children.

Please see the flyer for contact more info; an application process is required.  If interested, please contact: jen@sunriselhasaapsos.com.