Category Archives: dog adoption

Mutual Rescue™

Mutual Rescue™ is a trademarked initiative of the Humane Society Silicon Valley.  Aimed at changing the way people think of animal welfare and adoption, each year the Society asks for submissions from people to share their story about a special connection they have made with an animal.

These stories of inspiration and transformation have come about because a person walked into an animal shelter and adopted a pet.

Four new videos will be released in early 2017 after over 400 stories were submitted for consideration.

Below is the first Mutual Rescue™ video released last year – the story of Eric & Peety.  I particularly love the way the drawings have been introduced to the film.

Please also note that Eric’s naturopathic doctor recommended a dog as a key part of his treatment for obesity…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Season’s greetings

In 2012, I went to Best Friends in Kanab, Utah for the first time.  I was there to take a workshop and to volunteer my skills.  What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with a dog, Dumpling, in the Old Friends section of the Sanctuary.

Unfortunately, Best Friends has a policy about adopting dogs to overseas locations where quarantine is required (rightfully so, they feel their dogs have been through enough and the USA and Canada offer plenty of re-homing opportunities).  The situation was further complicated because Dumpling had heartworm and would require treatment.

She was my sleepover dog for several nights including my last night and then I returned her with a heavy heart.  I watched her status on the Best Friends website and had mixed feelings when the site confirmed that she had been adopted in December 2012 (and successfully treated for heartworm) – because I was heading back there again in 2013 and she would not be there.

But I did manage to check in with the Adoptions Coordinator when I arrived and asked if they would be willing to pass on my contact details to the adoptive family. And now each year around Christmas (Dumpling’s anniversary), I get an email from Dumpling’s Dad, Stuart, about her.  dumpling-sleeping

This year was my fourth update:

Kathleen, Good morning and Happy Holidays.  It’s time for our annual update on Dumpling.

Hard to believe it has been four years now since this sweet girl joined our family.   Given all her issues, we had no idea how long we would have her, but I am very happy to say she is showing little signs of slowing down.  She does have some minor medical issues but nothing that cause her any problems.

She still dances about when it’s time for her walk or when I get home from work.  Her energy level is still great.

Over the past year she has stopped getting up on most of the furniture.  The exception is the love seat in the bedroom which she claims early in the morning (3:00-4:00 AM) and will stay there until mom calls her for breakfast.  I don’t think it’s that she can’t get on the furniture, I just think she likes to be able to choose the bed she wants to sleep in depending on if she wants to be alone or with us.  There are 8 dog beds in the house & garage for two dogs.  Not like they’re spoiled or anything.

The Lab in her comes out anytime she is near water.  Get her close to any body of water and she walks right in.  Even the rain doesn’t bother her.  Her sister Callie will avoid the rain at all costs but Dumpling will go out and run around like any other day.  One new thing is she does like to be dried off now.  I think she likes the physical contact more than the drying.

I just wanted to check in and let you know she is doing great.  We consider ourselves very lucky to have her.

Please have a very Happy Holiday.

Warmest Regards,

Stuart

I hope Dumpling has another good year and there will be a 5th update in 2017.  Most of all, I am forever grateful that she found such a safe and happy home after many rough years.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Crate training

I like crate training, particularly because it helps ‘future proof’ your dog.

If your dog needs surgery or rest from an injury at any time, having them used to comfortably resting in a crate saves a lot of time and stress (for both dog and owner).

If you need to travel with your dog, whether for a holiday or for relocating, crate training helps you manage your dog’s comfort as well as your own (e.g. limits the risks of accidents in hotel rooms that will charge you an additional cleaning fee).

Greyhound in crate

Izzy, mostly in her crate, but enjoying a summer breeze coming from the back door. Izzy’s crate is her safe place (the way it should be)

Crate training can be particularly useful for re-homed dogs because dogs will seek out a place that is safe (den-like if you are thinking of wolves).  Giving a re-homed dog a place they can retire to – and not be bothered – is useful for getting them accustomed to life in a domestic home.  It’s also a useful boundary for children to learn.  If the dog is in its crate, then leave it alone.

Unfortunately, over the last 10 or so years, as crate training became more normalised as a concept, it also has been abused.  Owners who are not consistent with their training or not taking the time to truly get their new puppy or dog settled in their home (taking on a dog is a lifetime responsibility, but initially you have to put in the time to get your dog set up for success  for life), have begun using crates as a cage.  A place to go when the owners are out at work (all day, in most cases) or when the dog has mis-behaved and the owner has had enough.

That’s the wrong use of a crate.  There were even stories of dogs locked in their crates during the Christchurch earthquake of 2011 – the dogs were up to their necks in liquefaction by the time they were saved.  That’s not a heartening story if you ask me.  That’s a story of an irresponsible dog owner.

There are many resources to help owners learn crate training.  The Humane Society of the United States, for example, has this useful video:

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Jingle and Bell for the holidays

Jingle and Bell are plush/soft toys sold by Hallmark.  This year, Hallmark is donating the sum of $100,000 to Best Friends Animal Society to support animal adoption.

Jingle and Bell

When these toys are purchased from a Hallmark Gold Crown store, Hallmark will include information about Best Friends to help spread the word about the no-kill movement and the benefits of adoption.

Corporate sponsorship in the right direction, I say.

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

Personality match

When I heard about Paws Like Me, a site with a personality quiz for matching prospective adopters with dogs up for adoption, I had to go look.

This site provides people who must re-home their dogs with a place to list them as available for adoption.  The site encourages shelters, through its partner program, to refer people to list their dog with them directly so that shelters have more room for other needy animals.

Sorry, this site is only for USA adoptions – not available in New Zealand.

I took the personality test, which took less than 5 minutes.  It seems pretty accurate based on the types of dogs I have had during my life:

Your ideal dog!

You are a very active person, but because the dog will be home for long hours alone you need a dog with less energy. High energy dogs do not do well with long periods of down-time and are likely to find their own outlet for their mental and physical energy. You like a dog that is fairly easy to train to basic commands and a few fun tricks. The dog should be able to focus his attention on something for a decent amount of time. You don’t mind a dog that is a bit reserved in new situations or around new people. You can be patient and take the time to teach him that there is nothing to fear. You like an affectionate dog that will snuggle with you, but you don’t want him to be in your face trying to get attention constantly.
Izzy the Greyhound riding in the car

Izzy

I think Izzy would agree that we have been a good match!

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

What pet should I get?

“I want a pet, I want a pet, what pet should we get?” is the mantra of the latest Dr Seuss children’s book, published for the first time in July 2015.

The manuscript for this book was found amongst the papers of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss) almost 25 years after his death.

What pet should I get

From what I can see, the illustrations are classic Dr Seuss, as is the rhyming language he liked to use for his young audiences.

I grew up with Dr Seuss – Horton Hears a Who was a favorite.  And so it is rather nice to think that a whole younger generation of kids can talk about the newest Seuss book.

Critics say the book is dated because the children go to a pet store to find their animal (rather than adopting).  Let’s hope the teacher, parents and grandparents who read this story to the children are able to explain why going to the pet store “isn’t the way we do things nowadays…”

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

Another pack member

Today, I had a consult with a new client who also suddenly suffered the loss of her younger dog just a few days ago.  Since I’ve been through my own loss of Daisy in July and I am now co-sponsoring a pet loss support group in my area, I think I was able to provide her with the understanding she needed at this painful time.

We also discussed when it is ‘right’ to bring another dog into the household.  There is no single ‘right’ answer to this question.

For me, I was not doing well in a dog-less household.  I missed the companionship and unconditional love that Daisy gave me willingly for over 10 years.  But, I knew that replacing Daisy was never going to happen – she was unique.   And I don’t believe we ever replace a dog that has passed; we only open our hearts to a new relationship.

I had to find a dog that needed me as much as I needed them.

This is my way of announcing the adoption of Izzy, a greyhound, from the Greyhounds as Pets adoption scheme.

Izzy, with a selection of her toys

Izzy, with a selection of her toys

Initially withdrawn and a bit overwhelmed at being in a pet home after over 5 1/2 years in a kennel environment, Izzy is now experiencing her second puppyhood.  I have had a few household items destroyed (including a tv remote) and I’m learning to schedule play time for us at least twice daily (in addition to our twice-daily walks).

I am finding great joy in giving a home to a dog who didn’t have one.  The time was right for a new pack member;  I think Daisy loved me enough that she would approve.

In the months and years to come, I’ll be sharing stories about Izzy and our adventures together…but I have no plans to change the banner on this blog.  Daisy was my heart dog and soul mate and it is a fitting tribute to keep her image on the advertising for DoggyMom.com.

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