Fairy dog mother?

I have found that most ‘dog people’ I meet support various charities that show their love of dogs. I am no exception. Today, however, I stumbled across a special charity that would allow me to become a Fairy Dog Mother.

They are Fairy DogParents, a non-profit in the state of Massachusetts.  The founder’s dog, Ladybug, was the inspiration behind the initiative.  Ladybug was already a senior dog when she was adopted from a shelter and her adoptive family considered themselves lucky that they could afford Ladybug’s medications for kidney disease, dementia and other ailments.  When Ladybug had to be put to sleep, her owner asked that the vet’s office re-distribute Ladybug’s un-used medication to someone who could use it.

Ladybug, in whose memory Fairy DogParents was founded

Ladybug, in whose memory Fairy DogParents was founded

And from there, the idea grew.  There are many dogs who are surrendered to shelters because of economics.  Their families simply can’t afford their care, particularly as they age or develop special health conditions.

Fairy DogParents has a simple application process for owners in need.  They serve Massachusetts residents only but hope to expand.  As with most non-profits, they are always in need of donations of goods, money and time.  Want to be a Fairy Dog Mother?  Follow the link below:

Fairy Dog Parent

Kennels may not be something to dread

New research suggests that dogs who spend a short time in boarding kennels may not find it unduly stressful and – quite the oppositie – could find the change of scenery exciting.

Photo courtesy of Jerry Green Dog Rescue

Photo courtesy of Jerry Green Dog Rescue

The research team, which included academics from the University of Lincoln, UK, University of Birmingham, Queen’s University Belfast and The Royal Veterinary College, measured a range of stress parameters in 29 privately-owned dogs – both at home and in one of three private boarding kennel establishments in Northern Ireland.

This study aimed to test the validity of a range of physiological, physical and behavioural welfare indicators and to establish baseline values reflecting good dog welfare.

Physical measurements included skin dryness, nose temperature, core body temperature and amount of food eaten. Behavioural measurements included spontaneous behaviours such as lip licking, paw lifting, yawning, shaking and restlessness. Physiological measures included stress hormones (corticosteroids) and epinephrine (adrenaline).

The study revealed that dogs have higher levels of arousal, colder noses and were generally more active in kennels than when they were at home.

Based on existing research it was assumed that dogs would show higher levels of stress in the kennel compared to the home environment.

The most widely used physiological indicator of canine welfare is urinary cortisol (hormone secreted following activation of one of the major stress response systems) and creatinine (chemical waste product created by the liver) ratios (C/Cr), which is considered a valid measure of acute and chronic stress in dogs. However, the reliability of this has been questioned.

The study revealed that C/Cr was significantly higher in the kennel compared to the home environment but cortisol levels have also been found to increase after exercise and excitement, and appear to provide an indication of arousal without specifying the emotional reason of that arousal.

Dr Lisa Collins, from the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, said: “Many owners find leaving their dog at a boarding kennels a stressful experience.  However, this study suggests that although dogs appeared to have a higher level of overall arousal or excitement in kennels compared with their state at home, this arousal is not necessarily due to dogs experiencing kennels as negatively stressful. The emotional reasons for the behavioural and physiological responses of the dogs were ambiguous and no definitive evidence was found to suggest that dogs were negatively stressed by kennelling.”

“Our findings did strongly suggest that C/Cr, epinephrine and nose temperature are robust measures of psychological arousal in dogs. Nonetheless, these measures can be easily misinterpreted and do not provide unequivocal indicators of psychological stress. Findings appear to suggest that the dogs in this study did not perceive admission to boarding kennels as an aversive stressor and perhaps, instead, perceived kennelling as an exciting change of scene, at least in the short-term.”

The team recommends further investigation to determine the validity of measurements tested as indicators of acute and chronic stress in domestic dogs.

Their study has been published in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

Source:  University of Lincoln media release

Cute and cuddly…to start your weekend

I know I cover a lot of serious topics on this blog…but every now and again it’s time to simply celebrate dogs in all their shapes and sizes.

I have just found this site – Animals with Stuffed Animals – a compilation of photos showing pets with their own soft toys.   Too cute!

Here are a few examples…go to the site to see more.  And have a great weekend!

 

Source:  imgur

Source: imgur

Source:  bassets

Source: bassets

SOF dogs and their memorial

Photo courtesy of SOF K9 Memorial Foundation

Photo courtesy of SOF K9 Memorial Foundation

Special Operations Forces (SOF) dogs are very special indeed.  These dogs serve on tours of duty in places like Iraq and Afghanistan and help to detect explosives and intervene when their handler or other soldiers are in danger.  Many SOF dogs never make it to retirement because they are killed in action.

A very special statute to honour these dogs has been placed at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Fort Bragg, which has a SOF kennel, is not far away.

SOF dog statue

When unveiled in July 2013, dog handlers from the various wars including Vietnam and WWII were in attendance.  These men have enjoyed a very special bond with their animals and often the handler adopts their dog once it has been retired from active duty.

Handlers who have lost their dog can apply to have a memorial stone placed in the surround of the statue.  There is also funding available for handlers to have memorials erected at their home base.

The SOF K9 Memorial Foundation welcomes donations to their cause from military personnel and others who want to honour the service of these remarkable dogs.

 

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Wordless Wednesday, part 40

Leroy

Dog ACL Injuries – Know Your Options

DoggyMom.com:

ACL injuries – know your options – this is a great message for anyone whose dog has been diagnosed with a cruciate ligament injury.

In my canine massage and rehab practice, I work with dogs from the acute injury stage through to rehabilitation.  Many owners would prefer not to have surgery, for a variety of reasons including concerns about the costs and post-surgery care responsibilities.  Low level laser therapy, massage, acupressure, nutrition and weight control, plus other techniques like targeted exercise programs and braces can effectively be used to support dogs with cruciate injuries.  In some cases, surgery is definitely required and rehab is important.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Originally posted on allmycaninecompanions:

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Lately, perhaps because the weather is warm, I’ve encountered a lot of people during our walks asking me about Alex’s brace, and I am more than happy to stop for a couple of minutes and chat with them.  Do you know what I found surprising?  Every single pet parent that asked me about Alex’s brace told me the same thing, “I thought that the only option for an ACL injury was surgery,” to what I responded, “No, that is not the only option”.  By the way, I do not get any monetary compensation from WoundWear Inc., what I like to do is talk about the products I buy for Alex and Bella and give you my poin of view, a consumer’s point of view. 

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Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:

What is your dog wearing?  Is it a brace?  Is she injured?  Alex is wearing a brace…

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Daisy’s 14th birthday cake

Yesterday, Daisy reached the geriatric age of 14 – an achievement for any larger sized dog.  We of course celebrated with a doggy birthday cake, which was a wheat-free apple and banana cake with a low fat cream cheese frosting.

I decorated the cake with a vintage Disney carousel ornament – the heat from the candles makes the carousel turn.

(Excuse the singing – it was the best I could do with a cold and sore throat)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand