Monday, September 30, 2013

Davey of the Beagle Freedom Project found saf

UPDATE: Call off the dogs, Davey was found safe and he's home!!! Hope to have more details soon.


This is Abe and Davey. Davey is the one on the right with the white face. The two boys spent their lives in a research lab, and were freed by the Beagle Freedom Project. They were adopted by a lovely family in Encino, California, where they live as brothers.

On Sept. 30, something dreadful happened. The gardener, a longtime family employee, accidentally left the gate open and Abe and Davey got out. While they were able to get Abe, Davey disappeared, and neighbors say he was picked up by someone in a blue van.

But this is what happened next.
"Everyone can breathe easier. Little Davey was found this morning around 4:30 AM. He was in a state of panic, understandably, but responded to his Dad’s call and then scooped up and brought home where he is now safe, with Abe, and is resting. 
"The early story about Davey being picked up by a blue van was later clarified. Once a fluent Spanish speaker interviewed the woman who reported this, we realized she saw someone in a van TRY to pick up Davey, but may not have succeeded. With this in mind, a neighborhood canvassing effort was redoubled. 
"A large banner BFP volunteers created and hung over a free-way over pass generated sightings and location tips all night long. Finally at 4AM BFP President, Shannon Keith, fielded a critical call and directed Davey’s Dad to the scene. Davey was visibly shaken but knew his Dad and responded. 
"Thank you to everyone who shared this story, called with tips, personally walked neighborhoods, and literally stayed up all night searching for this sensitive little guy. In times of crisis this community of supporters pulls together like no other. Although this was a stressful 20 hours we were confident this volunteer army would leave no stone unturned until we had our Davey back! 
"Abe and Davey, from our Midwest 10 Rescue, are two of the sweetest and most sensitive beagles – and they love and rely on each other. We are so happy to report they are reunited!"
Everyone give your dog a special hug today in appreciation for this happy ending!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

9 things I learned about the American Humane Association

So a few weeks ago I as privileged to attend an amazing summit with a group dedicated to improving the lives of both pets and kids.

The Be Humane Summit covered everything from medical research to protecting farm animals to training therapy dogs, in just a day and a half. And some amazing things came out of this summit.

I'll be talking more about in the coming months, but first, here are 10 things I learned at the Be Humane Summit.

1) There's an organization called American Humane Association. This may sound silly, but I had never heard of AHA until I got the news release on the summit. Remember, I'm still relatively new to the world of animal advocacy.

AHA has been around since 1877, and it's the first humane association in the country. The initial task was to protect farm and working animals from abuse. Soon they were also exposing child working conditions in slaughterhouses, and working to fight child abuse.

2) Red Star Rescue is a division of American Humane Association. If there's a major disaster, Red Star Rescue is there to help care for animals caught in the middle. For instance, Red Star Rescue was at the recent Colorado floods. They were also in Moore, OK after the tornado. They have a huge mobile unit that comes complete with even living quarters. It's all to help care for animals after a disaster or a major rescue.

But Red Star Rescue is more than a rescue for dogs and cats. The rescue got its start in World War I, caring for injured horses on World War I battlefields. And it's still caring for animals of all kinds to this day.

One of Red Star Rescue's huge mobile units.
3) AHA is the reason "no animals were harmed" is on lots of movies. When you see "No animals were harmed in the making of this film" at the end of a movie, it's because of American Humane Association. Since 1940 the group's representatives have been on sets monitoring the condition and care of animal actors on projects ranging from commercials and music videos to full on feature films.

The AHA website also has a section with reviews of films with animal actors, and its own ratings system based on how the animals were treated. For instance, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone got an acceptable rating. The recently released "The Long Ranger" got an outstanding rating.

4) American Humane Association is changing what we know about the bond between humans and animals. One of AHA's most recent studies is the effect pets have on children suffering from cancer. The study shows there's great potential for therapy dogs to help relieve stress and distress for children with cancer. More research needs to be done, but research so far seems promising.

AHA is also the group behind Be Kind to Animals Week. It's not just about reducing the instances of animal abuse and neglect, or saving pets from shelters. It's also about celebrating the important bond between animals and us.

5) AHA is pushing to change the way we make medical breakthroughs. There are almost 2,700 research groups for cancer. Is that the best use of money, resources and time? During the Be Humane Summit, Dr. Patricia Olson called for changing the way we approach medical research. That involves more collaboration, less emphasis on money and publication, and more on management. And also, risk! It's also about looking at the whole picture -- are we looking at research into cancer in pets and seeing how that can be compared to cancer in kids?

To that end, AHA is running a study looking at autism in kids, and autism tendencies in three breeds of dogs: Bull terriers, doberman pinschers and Jack Russell terriers. The goal is to find ways to diagnose autism in kids earlier because the earlier you diagnose autism, the easier it is develop a plan for living with autism at a higher-functioning level. 

6) AHA protects nearly 1 billion farm animals. American Humane Association works to make sure farm animals raised for food production are humanely treated.  AHA claims this is the fastest growing program of its kind in the world.

From the Be Humane Summit news release:

“Every year, 10 billion animals are raised for food on America’s farms and ranches, and all animals deserve to be treated humanely,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s president and CEO. “Yet 90 percent of them still do not live under scientifically-based welfare standards in independently-verified living conditions."
Red Star volunteers in Colorado.
7) Going into disaster areas takes coordination, communication and some amount of training.  Working in news, I can't tell you how many times I have gotten complaints from people who say they have offered to help groups as volunteers, and get told they don't need that help. They prefer money.

This gives groups a bad reputation. But what I learned from the Be Humane Summit is there's a very good reason. Justin Scally, who heads up Red Star Rescue, said untrained volunteers, or convergent volunteers, can often cause more harm than good. That's because 1) these volunteers don't necessarily know the system of communication used in the field. 2) There are numerous dangers to consider, from downed power lines to open sewage lines.

So what can we all do? Well, anyone can join Red Star Rescue or other rescue groups to become volunteers. That way you get trained in the event of a disaster. This is an especially great idea for groups with special equipment (say air boats or ATVs).

What else can you do? Find the community volunteer centers in communities where disasters happen. This way you can find ways to help even if you are not trained. Not every community has one, so check before you go.

Smiley the dog sits during the Therapy Dog Session at the Be Humane Summit.
8) Good therapy dogs are born, not made. I learned a lot about what it takes to become a therapy dog at Be Humane Summit. For instance, there are three certification organizations: Delta Society pet partners, Therapy Dogs Int'l and Therapy Dogs Inc. Any pet can be a therapy pet. But they have to have the right kind of personality. But there are also lots of ways a pet can provide therapy. Dogs can be therapy or comfort dogs at:
  • Court rooms
  • Airports
  • Funerals
  • Camps 
  • Shelters 
  • Libraries
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools
  • Hospitals 
9) Cats are other to most people. Which makes no sense to me.

Jackson Galaxy, host of "My Cat from Hell," gave the closing keynote for the summit. One of the big breakouts at the summit was on cat welfare and trying to stem the tide of cats ending up in shelters and being euthanized.

Galaxy said part of the problem he's experienced in his 20 years working with cats is that many people see cats as "other." They have their own way of doing things. They are not necessarily here to please us, like dogs are. Galaxy said cats don't compromise, so we people feel we have to compromise with the cat, which we don't like to do.

I got to talk to him about it afterwards, because I was confused. I have always called myself a confirmed cat lady who got a dog. I feel like I never had to compromise with a cat they way I had to compromise with a dog. I can leave Galadriel for a few days as long as she has food, water and a clean cat pan. I can't do that with Lulu. It means I need plan my day, or my excursions around what I can do for my dog. That's compromise. Cats are way easier to care for.

Jackson Galaxy agreed, and then he told me something I never knew -- he was raised with dogs. He says it's up to us to change perceptions.

So these are the nine things I learned at the Be Humane Summit. I hope to talk more about some of these things in the months ahead.

If you want to learn more about the American Humane Association, the group's website is amazingly detailed. You should especially check out their timeline.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beagles of the week: The Tillmans, PLUS beagle adoption in Kentucky

I've added a new page! I have become a Coupaw affiliate. So if you go to Coupaw Deals of the Week, you'll see my recommended picks. Not a member of Coupaw yet? Join up!

In my searches for rescue beagles, I've found some parts of the country have more beagles in their shelters than other parts. And that's very true about Kentucky.

I have a friend in Kentucky, Carma Poodale and her mom Bunny. They work at Owensboro Humane Society, which is a no-kill shelter in Kentucky. Bunny and Carma tell me there are lots of beagles in Kentucky shelters. There are lots of hunters in the area, and as a result hounds end up being overbred, or are abandoned after a hunt either on accident or on purpose. This article explains that.

So I went to Petfinder.com and picked out some beagles in animal shelters who need homes. There are more -- lots more. Please consider checking out Petfinder if you are looking for a beagle. Don't live in Kentucky? There are always ways to get the dog to you.

Here is James Ray:

James Ray is a male adult beagle at the Green River Animal Shelter in Columbia, KY. Not much is said about James, other than that he's very sweet. I think a picture is worth a thousand words, and that one kinda says it all.

You can call the shelter at 270-385-9655, or email the shelter at gras@windstream.net for more info.

Here's Nora:
She's seven months old and is at Powell County Pound in Stanton, KY. This is what the description says about Nora:
Nora is several months old and her personality is gentle & loving.  She is on the calm side upon our first meeting.  She has a cute face and pretty, soft coat.  She gets along well with people and the other dogs.  She also walks well on a leash and seems eager to please.  Her size is about 35 lbs.
Shelter pets are the BEST!  Please visit our shelter and get your new best friend today.  These pets are all at risk not to be saved.  Shelter hours are Mon-Fri. 9 till 4 except Thurs. till noon.  Call and leave a message to inquire. 606-663-0021 or alternate # 606-663-9802 (part-time volunteer)  Saturday appts are available.
 Then there's Joey:

Joey is a senior beagle at Garrard County Animal Shelter in Lancaster, KY. He's adorable! He also would prefer a home without dogs.

You can contact the shelter at 859-792-1562 or eharrisgcas@yahoo.com

 Head to Petfinder to find more adoptable beagles!

And now for our Beagles of the Week!

This week I chose from my friends who follow my Facebook page (do YOU follow my Facebook page? Like Life With Beagle!). When I saw this picture, I couldn't resist.

Angie is one of three beagles who belong to the Tillman family. The other two are Abbie and Isabel.

Here's what Tracie Tillman says about them:
"We are parents to three beagles. (All rescues.) Isabel, age 5, rescued in 2010. Abby & Angie, both age 9, rescued in March 2013.
 "Of course, being beagles they love all kinds of food, but their official meals consist of Purina One Maturity blend. Abby is the only one we have ever had that LOVES fruits & veggies. She is especially excited when we have watermelon or carrots!
 "They all love to explore the latest scents in our fenced backyard. They also enjoy barking at people (with or without dogs) walking or jogging past our yard! Isabel is the only one who will play with toys. She has her own toy box which she enjoys emptying throughout each day!
 "The best part about owning a beagle is their willingness to cuddle with you and their soulful expressions. They are such gentle little dogs who are always wanting to please us. We can always depend on them to be gentle with our grandchildren when they are visiting. As you can tell by Angie's picture she is very cooperative during dress-up play with our granddaughter!
"The only problem with owning a beagle is that they cannot be let off leash! They will follow their nose without a backward glance if allowed! We love our beagle babies and plan to keep rescuing as many as we can for as long as we can. They continue to be a constant source of joy to us!"
Every week we feature a beagle or group of beagles and pair them with beagles in shelters who need a forever home! Do you have a beagle you think should be beagle of the week? Email me at czizo@cfl.rr.com.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

5 steps to take when your dog eats something bad

Lulu LOVES her Heartgard meds.


She loves them SO MUCH that a few months ago... she ate all of them.

I had given her one, and put the rest of the new pack on the breakfast nook, exactly where I'd put the last pack. I came home that night, and all of them were gone. I don't know how she got them, I don't know why she decided to go after these and not the last pack, I didn't really care at the time.

I was FREAKING OUT.

I went to PetMD. I went to the Heartgard page. Nothing about what to do when your pet eats all the pills.

So I looked up an emergency vet and called.

I was practically laughed at.

Turns out Lulu would be totally fine. Heartgard is very safe. Lulu would have to eat two or three packs before we needed to get concerned.

But there was a moment when I didn't know what to do, and it was tough to figure out what to do. I revisited this feeling a week ago when a Facebook follower was scared because her dog had eaten something in the trash that was old. It was tough to find an answer for her, besides inducing vomiting.

So, here are five things you can do when your dog eats something they shouldn't:

1. Don't panic. You aren't helping anyone, and there is nothing you can do until you have more info.

2. Observe your dog. If your dog is acting normally, there may not be a problem. Dogs are incredibly resilient when it comes to their stomachs. They may also be able to vomit up their problems on their own. Offer them a small meal. If they take it no problem, you may have nothing to worry about.

3. Call your vet. If it's at night or a weekend and your vet doesn't have an answering service or an on-call service, call an emergency vet. Some emergency vets will offer advice without needing to come in.

You can also call the poison control line offered by ASPCA. That costs money though, so be aware. ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center is 888-426-4435.

4. Induce vomiting. With a little hydrogen peroxide, you can induce vomiting. Don't do this without doing the first three.

PetMD explains how to do that well. Also, be sure to measure properly. And this is just for your dog. Don't do this with your cat.

5. Take your dog to a vet. If nothing works -- if the dog is still not well, if he hasn't vomited, if you can't induce, if you are told to -- take your dog to a vet.

Every dog eats something they shouldn't -- what's the worst, grossest thing your dog's ever eaten? Tell me below!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Join Pet360's beagle board and enter to win a prize!


Pet360.com is a great website for people who love pets. It's a resource guide, a site for news and trends and tips on being a pet parents, from health to training. They also have a store, and most important of all, community forums.

Right now Pet360 is running a giveaway on the Beagle Crazy board. We're trying to get more beagle lovers to join in on the forum and grow the community (I'm the moderator!).

To access it, head to the forum at THIS LINK. You'll need to join Pet360 (it's FREE) and you'll need to join the beagle group to post (it's easy to join, just click the big orange button!)

Then, reply to the giveaway post with a picture or video of your beagle sniffing, tracking, doing anything with their nose! Be sure to tell us who your beagle is too!

The winner will get an awesome beagle umbrella!


The giveaway ends on October 4, so hurry in, join Pet360, and show us your beagle!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heard of Coupaw? Get daily deals for your dog and cat

First, The winners of my recent giveaways!

Last month I gave away a designer pee pad from Spoiled Pup Boutique, and a coupon for free Natural Balance Fat Cat or Fat Dog food.

Here are the winners:
  • Spoiled Pup Boutique -- Shelley P.
  • Natural Balance Giveaway -- Danielle Murgia
I'll be emailing the winners shortly, so watch your inboxes.

And now lets talk deals.

Ever heard of Coupaw.com? When you subscribe to the website (it's free to subscribe), you get deals on all kinds of pet supplies, from treats to pet beds.

Here are some good deals going on this week:





Antlerz quarter cut jumbo deer antlers on sale for $9.99. But the sale only lasts for 10 days, and you get free shipping.

These ceramic dog food bowls are $13.99 and come in different styles. The sale also lasts for 10 days and there's free shipping too.

And, here are some cool Halloween costumes from Animal Planet and Puparazzi.

There are six different costumes, and they are all available at varying prices, some as low as $12.

These costumes are only available on sale for about five days, and if you click on the link, you'll notice one of them sold out.

Not all the sales are as good. For instance, the Dogsbutter deal isn't very good. So be sure to check the deals before you commit, but most of them are pretty good, and there are lots of great companies involved, like Zukes, Kong and Nylabone.

So sign up for Coupaw today!


DISCLAIMER: I am being compensated for spreading the word about Coupaw.com, but this blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pets still have back to school blues? Some tips from Pet360

Photo by Maxim, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Most everyone with kids should be back to school by now, right? But sometimes it's a big change for your pet, having to deal with a new routine. Especially if it changes things like when to use the bathroom, or how much activity they get during the day. It could lead to bathroom accidents, or separation anxiety and other behavioral issues.

I'm an ambassador for Pet360.com. And they have some great tips for how to help your pet get acclimated to the new routine. Here's a few:

1. Treats, Puzzles and Toys: Sturdy toys, treat toys like Kongs, and puzzle toys are great ways for your pet to entertain themselves. With these toys, they can spend time, they get something special and they tire themselves out.
2. Get your dog some doggy time: Doggy daycare or doggy playdates helps tucker your dog out. A tired dog is a happy dog. Also, if you replace time with the kids with time with four-legged friends, they won't miss them as much when they're at school. 
3. Training. Enroll your dog in obedience training, and be sure to include the kids in that training.

See more tips on Pet360.com, include tips for cats.



Meanwhile, Pet360.com is hosting a Fab and Furry Back to School Giveaway in their community section. The giveaway includes all kinds of awesome grooming supplies for your dog and cat.
To enter, head to the Pet360.com Community Board. The contest ends Sept. 30.

DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Pet360. I am being compensated for spreading the word about Pet360.com, but this blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colorado beagles need homes PLUS San Diego Search and Rescue team

Hey all! We'll get to our beagles of the week in a moment, but first, I just want to mention efforts to help flood victims in Colorado.

BlogPaws Be The Change put up a list of local shelters that could use some help:
 More information can be found on the BlogPaws website.

I also want to feature some beagles from Colorado who need out of the shelter. The more dogs are out of the shelter and in homes, the better it will be for places caring for flood victims.

This is Yoshi:

And this is Chocolate.
There's not much info about them, but both are at Aurora Animal Shelter. 

Chocolate is an adult girl, and her shelter number is A158955. 
Yoshi is an adult boy, and his shelter number is A158954.

Just to clarify: These dogs were already at the shelter. They are not flood victims.

Here's the info for the shelter:
Aurora Animal Shelter, Aurora, CO

This week, we are talking about San Diego's team of search and rescue beagles! Proof that beagles can be trained for the tough job of search and rescue.

Pam Medhurst has five beagles who volunteer for search and rescue.  I've shown these dogs before in a training video off Youtube.


Here's my questions for Pam Medhurst about these beagles.

1) Who are your dogs and how old are they? 
 Snickers- age 11, Danie age 10, Charlie age 9, Wishbone age 5 Huckleberry, age 3 

Pam and her pack!
2) Where did you get them? 
 A local beagle breeder.They are beagles.

3) What's their favorite food? 
 EVERYTHING is their favorite food!

4) What's their favorite thing to do? 
Such good-natured boys, ready for everything. They love their walkies, runs at the beach, going for rides and they do love their search and rescue work

5) Favorite toys? 
Snickers loves tennis balls. The others love soft squeaky things.

Wishbone and Pam at the 9/11 Stair Climb.
6) Do they take part in any special activities (i.e. therapy dog, service dog, spokes dog, etc.) ? 
All are service dogs. They are certified search and rescue dogs with San Diego Sheriff search and rescue. They are scent specific, which means I give them a scent article and they track the missing person. Danie and Charlie are also cadaver dogs -- trained to look for the deceased. We have had many finds together. Charlie is also a certified therapy dog. We do read aloud programs at the library 

Danie in a doggy hazmat suit prototype.
 
7) What's the best part of owning a beagle?
The best part of owning beagles is how gentle they are with others yet so dedicated to the work we do. ready at a moments notice to either work, play or cuddle.

8) What's the worst?
I guess the only downside to beagles is their voice, but that's only what my neighbors might say -- to me, it's music! Barooo!
9) Anything else you would like to add?
See Search and Rescue Beagles on Facebook for more info on them and lots of pictures.

Every week we feature a beagle or group of beagles and pair them with beagles in shelters who need a forever home! Do you have a beagle you think should be beagle of the week? Email me at czizo@cfl.rr.com.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hero dogs of 9/11: Dog Files' tribute on Animal Planet

I can't believe it's been 12 years.

I won't tell you where I was or what I was doing or thinking.

I want tell you about a story I don't recall hearing much about in the immediate aftermath.

One of the rescue dogs at Ground Zero.
On Tuesday, Animal Planet aired "Hero Dogs of 9/11," a one-hour special about the 300 dogs who helped in the search, rescue and eventually recovery effort in the aftermath.

The special came from producer Kenn Bell, creator of The Dog Files. On his website, Bell talked about how this special came about, and why it was so important to him:

"One of the things I noticed were the dogs that some of the emergency workers walked with. At this point, Dog Files wasn’t even a glimmer in my eye but I knew something special was going on with the dogs. The workers gathered around the dogs. Some workers hugged them, others cried. The dogs were a great comfort to the exhausted workers. Probably more than the cheering crowd was that I was a part of. It was cathartic to all who watched."
Bell created a short called "Hero Dogs of 9/11," which was soon a viral hit. But that short only gave us a visual look at the dogs who worked tirelessly at Ground Zero. That hour long special went much deeper, with interviews with the handlers, and with survivors from the towers. 

Nikie the therapy dog and his handler, Frank Shane, after Sept. 11.
Not all the hero dogs were rescue dogs. There was also Roselle, a seeing eye dog who helped her human, Michael Hingson, get out of the towers before they collapsed.

There were therapy dogs, like Nikie, who helped not only the victims, but also the Ground Zero workers by providing them with a furry friend to curl up with and confide in. Their place in the history of the day is just as important.

And then there was Sirius, a bomb sniffing dog, and the only dog to die in the attacks. Sirius' handler, David Lim, had left him in his crate while he went to help people evacuate from one of the buildings. Lim was trapped under the rubble and survived the collapse.

These stories touched my heart because they demonstrated the unbreakable bond between humans and animals, even when times are dark.

Right now it does not look like Animal Planet will be airing "Hero Dogs of 9/11" again. I hope that changes. Or at least I hope they put it up on their website, or release it on DVD.

However, you can see two shorts about the dogs on Dog Files -- the original, and "Hero Dogs of 9/11: Legacy.

Thank you to Kenn Bell for reminding us that heroes are not just human.

Almost Wordless Wednesday: My pets give me strength

I had one of those days at work Tuesday where I just wanted to go crawl somewhere and hide. By the end of the night I was tired, cranky and frazzled -- and then it turned out the day wasn't over quite yet.

I had to pass a little time between assignments, so I perused Pinterest. And I found this:

And it occurs to me -- that's exactly what I do.

I will come home and lie next to Lulu and Galadriel and just listen to them breathe and sigh and purr. Just having them with me is therapeutic.

I suppose I should want human companionship. But for now, this is all I need.

Do you find this kind of comfort in your pets?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beagles of the Week: The Beagle Bratz, plus a beagle needing rescue

 First, a couple housecleaning notes. I know I have to announce the winners of my two giveaways from last month. I will announce those this week.

Meanwhile, I'm moving Beagle of the Week to Tuesdays to make it part of the Tuesday's Tails Blog Hop, which features animals who need rescue. You'll find other blogs featuring animals who need homes at the bottom of the post.

So, our rescue beagle of the week is a little girl in Pasco County Animal Services in Florida's Tampa Bay area.


This girl is an adult with no name (just a number: 20292137) or any other info, except that she's spayed. Pasco County Animal Services is a high-kill shelter that is constantly full with pets. Please consider adopting her. I think these cases are the saddest, when the shelter puts nothing out there about them.

You can find this beagle girl at Pasco County Animal Shelter in Land O'Lakes.  Call 813-929-1212, or log on to their website: http://www.pascocountyfl.net/index.aspx?nid=408.

AND NOW, time for our Beagle of the Week, or should I say Beaglez! These are Shiloh and Diva Shasta of Team Beaglebratz!


The beagles have their own blog and Facebook page, which you can visit any time. Their mom Kim was kind enough to answer our 10 questions.

1) How old are they? 
Shiloh (AKC - Ringo’s Little Boy Shiloh) is now 10 y.o. and date of birth is 3/26/03. Shasta (AKC – Tess’s Sparkling Shasta) is now six y.o. and date of birth is 10/8/06. 
2) Where did you get them? 
Some people think of backyard breeders as a bad thing and granted, some are when they are doing it ONLY for the money. HOWEVER the family I got Shiloh from weren’t really doing it only for the money and I consider them a hobby breeder. They are a farm family who lived a little ways north of Topeka. They hunted with some of their Beagles and all of their Beagles are family pets. I got to see Shiloh’s dad and uncle plus his mom of course. All of the dogs were well taken care of and up to date on their shots. Three years later, I returned to that same family to get Shasta – her mom was the runt of that litter I got Shiloh from – Shiloh is Diva Shasta’s uncle. 
3) How long have you had them? 
I got them both as eight-week-old puppies so they have been with me most of their lives. 
4) What’s their favorite food? 
Well, they ARE Beagles so I would say FOOD is their favorite food. Anything they can eat, it’s like eat and swallow first and then find out later if we are suppose to eat that. However lately we have discovered Greek Yogurt and I have got to say that I have never seen them lick the bowl clean with such gusto – especially Shiloh, who then hangs out in the kitchen a couple of minutes waiting to see if there will be more. 

Greek yogurt and berries have become a favorite for the Beagle Bratz.

5) What's their favorite thing to do? 
Of course they both LOVE being outdoors - sniffing and pretending to hunt. I’ve always said that Shiloh believes he is God’s gift to the hunter. They both do a lot of napping since I am at work most of the day. Shiloh has his favorite chair, a swivel rocker, and Shasta likes using Shiloh for a pillow when he lets her. And of course like most Beagles, they both love to eat – Shiloh will counter-surf to check and see if any food got left out. My little Shasta is too short for this so IF she gets it this way then it is because her uncle knocked it off the counter but missed it before Shasta got it. 


6) What's their favorite toys? 
 I don’t know if either Shiloh or Shasta has a FAVORITE toy – they both like squeaky toys that they can de-stuff. For some reason, when I get home from work and let Shasta out of her crate then she MUST run back to the living room and grab one of the stuffed squeaky toys to try to sneak outside. On the rare occasion I allow this to happen then, as soon as she runs across the deck and gets to the yard then the toy is promptly dropped and forgotten. I have absolutely no idea when or why she developed this little habit. They both also love their antler chews which they will chew on for an hour or more. 
7) Do they take part in any special activities (i.e. therapy dog, service dog, spokes dog, etc.) ?
Shiloh and Shasta have been my first two Beagles and when I got Shiloh, my first, I was fortunate enough to come across two online groups specifically for Beagles and their owners. The most common thread I heard all the time was “train your Beagle” – that is obedience training is a MUST for Beagles. I took this to heart and both Shiloh and Shasta went through almost every available class at Petsmart. Shasta even went through an extra class with a local trainer who, along with his wife, are members of a local therapy dog group. Both Shiloh and Shasta have earned their Canine Good Citizen standing and currently Shasta is a registered therapy dog. Shiloh was until this year when his therapy dog registration lapsed during the time I was having some medical issues. I do anticipate renewing this because he loves his therapy visits. 

Shiloh has also been a Reading Education Assistant Dog and Shasta enjoyed a brief show career before her first birthday – we did it mainly for fun, the shows were local and she really isn’t true show quality (I thought maybe she was but I was wrong – so said the judges). At our annual fundraiser for the local animal shelter, Shiloh has won the best pet trick category on three different occasions – he loves an audience and loves doing his tricks.  

8) What's the best part about owning a beagle? 
For me, a big part of it has been learning Beagles are not as dumb as many in the pet media business would have you think. It is all about the training and finding out what it is, what it will take to get your Beagle to learn. Even in our local therapy dog group, that professional trainer once told me that “You’ve done a really good job with Shiloh and Shasta. That is a compliment I will not soon forget - and yes, ONLY positive reinforcement is used here. Of course there are the snuggles and kisses - they have always been my snuggle-buddies. But when I stop to really think about it - it is what they have brought to my world. 

I am disabled and somewhat stay at home doggy mom - they have opened my world up to where I like to get out with them, talk about them, volunteering like I do when I take the dogs visiting is not something I would do on my own. But I see how happy it makes Shiloh'n Shasta and the people we visit - I love watching their interaction and I love being able to share my Beagles in this way. I know many different breeds and mixed breeds can do this but I am sure the easy-going disposition of the Beagle helps. Or somehow Shasta can sense when a storm is coming and will seek out a little reassurance from me that everything is ok. 

 9) What's the worst? 
Oh I won't even say that Beagles are perfect and everyone should own a Beagle - FAR FROM IT! To me, one pre-requisite that everyone should follow - MUST be an EXPERIENCED dog owner, maybe do some serious research as to what to expect. I had raised mixed breeds and been around family dogs most of my life so I did have that going for me. Beagles can be challenging and strong-willed (to use nice words). Your patience will be tested over and over and over again, whether dealing with a puppy like I did or even an adult. That is something else that Shiloh especially brought to my world - I developed an immense wealth of patience (at least when it comes to Shiloh'n Shasta). One more thing and that is only because I live close to my neighbors and in a duplex - as with any "great hunter", Shiloh is not afraid to aroooo til the cows come home with Shasta coming in a close second. I really love hearing the sound, watching them follow that scent with their beautiful Beagle tails waving proudly - but at 5 am - I doubt that my neighbors are loving it so much. 

10) Anything else you'd like to add?
As for anything else to say - actually I could go on and on however I think I have probably said enough. Shiloh'n Shasta have a blog - it can be found at http://beagle-home.blogspot.com

You can also check out the Beagle Bratz Facebook page

Think your beagle should be Beagle of the Week? Email us at czizo@cfl.rr.com, and tell us why! 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Boardwalk Empire? How about Dog walk Empire!

On Sunday night one of my favorite TV shows returns on HBO: "Boardwalk Empire."

This show is deep and intriguing and historical and sexy. Not for children. May not be for pets either.

So I thought we could have a little fun. If this show was cast with dogs instead of humans, which dogs would be good for which characters?

I will start:

Basset hound as Nucky Thompson.
Main character Nucky Thompson is descending further and further into darkness. But he also has this side of good in him that helps him walk back. It's obvious he has been hurt a lot by the past, and he is trying to move on but he can't. Actor Steve Buscemi's eyes tell a lot of that, and when I look at those eyes, I see basset hound.

Pit bull as Richard Harrow.
Richard Harrow is a World War I veteran with a horrible injury. He's quiet, gentle, and fiercely loyal. And he is often misunderstood because of his injury. That says pit bull to me completely.

Now it's your turn! Have you seen the show? Pick a character and choose a dog breed for that character! Post them below in the comments section!

"Boardwalk Empire" returns Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Don't let your dog fake you out during training

Lulu does this sometimes.


For instance, when we do sit ups, she will get down, but not completely -- her butt will still be in the air (think downward dog). Or she'll do another trick -- settle down -- because she doesn't want to do sit ups, and knows I will give treats for settle down, which my trainer finds hilarious, by the way.

Here's a video of what I'm talking about.


She's trying to fake me out. I don't allow it, and when you're working with your dog, you shouldn't allow it either.



Pet360.com is a great pet resource and pet community site, and in a recent article, they describe how and why dogs do this.

Of course, the most obvious reason is they want that treat, and they will do anything to get it. But if you say "ok close enough" and give them that treat, they will believe they don't have to perform the whole trick properly.

As with any dog behavior, in the end it comes down to the owner's willingness to be thorough and consistent.

Here's what one trainer says in the Pet360.com article:
“Dog owners frequently underestimate their dog’s intelligence but overestimate their cunning. Dogs are very specific and learn exactly what you teach them,” said Sarah Westcott, CPDT-KSA and owner of Doggie Academy in Brooklyn, New York. “They pick up on patterns that sometimes we are not even aware of.”
 It's not just tricks though -- did you know a dog will even try to fool you into thinking they've gone to the bathroom outside if they know they'll get a treat? Read more in the Pet360.com article "How Your Dog Deceives You." 

Meanwhile, if you are looking for help in teaching your dog new commands, Pet360 has short videos available, plus other articles. See them now on Pet360.com.

DISCLAIMER: This post is sponsored by Pet360. I am being compensated for spreading the word about Pet360.com, but this blog only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

9 things I learned about pet blogging at Barkworld 2013

Time for our annual trip up to Atlanta for Barkworld!

Me and my #petchat pals at Barkworld!
Barkworld is a conference for dog lovers of all types -- from bloggers to rescues to businesses. But the primary goal is to teach us how to get our messages out to you in the most effective manner possible.

But even better -- we get to see the friends we talk to online all year long, and our dogs get to meet too.

This year, I learned a lot more than just about social media. Here are the nine things I learned at Barkworld.


1) When you've got dogs in the car, ALWAYS have the child locks on the windows and doors. We almost lost Mom's dog Cappy on the way to Barkworld. He had broken the tether on his car seat, and he tried to get over my shoulder to the front. He put one of his paws down on the window button in the back seat and was almost sucked onto I-75. Fortunately I was able to grab his leash and pull him over my shoulder. Very scary. 

2) Come to brands with more than questions. Come with ideas. 
I got to meet a number of groups and companies this weekend, especially Thursday at Blogger Speed Dating. What I learned is that you can't just come to them, flash a media kit with your numbers and say "What can you do for me?" But at the same time, you can't just offer them the same old stuff everyone else does -- ads, sponsorships, etc. Companies are looking for new ideas. So come up with new stuff.

For instance, I'm starting work on a couple campaigns for the next couple of months that you'll hear about soon. My hope is that we'll do some giveaways with it!

Lulu at the Barkworld Opening Night Party.
3)When your dog starts dancing on the dance floor, take pictures!
We had a welcome party Thursday night, and there was a dance floor. Lulu did a few turns on her hind legs. Very impressive for a beagle. But I didn't get any pictures! I'm hoping someone else did and are willing to share.

Matt Silverman's keynote at Barkworld.


4) The key to success with killer content is a killer headline.
The first keynote speaker at Barkworld was Matt Silverman from Mashable.com and the Fluffington Post. And aside from his feeling that pictures rule the web (cat pics, HELLO!), this was a big take away for me, and an interesting one. When I'm not here blogging I work for a TV station, and we were taught how to write searchable headlines. So that's what I try to do here. But maybe I need to do a better job balancing the two sides.

5) Lulu has come a long way!
Last year, Lina, one of the top trainers for Petco, borrowed Lulu for onstage demos. At the time, she'd only had a couple of private lessons. Now she's been through almost a year of classes, and gotten her CGC. You can see the difference. She was calmer around MOST dogs -- she didn't bark at Pudgie the bull dog, or Carma Poodale (YAY!). She didn't bark at Pepper either. She did bark at Fabulous McGrady. I kept telling her that barking at a dog who was deaf was useless, but she didn't listen. And she still doesn't like Norman the Scooter Dog.

Here is Lulu last year.


(I'm trying to get this year's video up. I will add it when I can.)

6) Know the signs that your dog is not feeling well.
I realized that Lulu wasn't eating all of her food before Barkworld. I didn't know why, but I was prepared if she didn't want to eat that, at least mentally. What I wasn't prepared for was her sudden desire not to poop, and then for her tail to start drooping and her back reacting negatively to touch. It's the first time Lulu was doing anything like this, and while I tried not to panic, I couldn't help myself. Fortunately I was surrounded by more experienced dog people -- bloggers, rescue peeps, and vets. But Lulu wasn't well the rest of the conference. Poor baby!

Lulu wearing a heating pad on the last day of Barkworld. As you can see, the tail is not up.
 7) People really want to know how to work with the media effectively.
I facilitated a roundtable discussion on working with the media the Saturday of the conference. I was amazed at how many people came to our discussion. I hope everyone liked the information I gave. Perhaps I will write on the topic here at some point.

8) "If you drink tea and juice on a daily basis you are a blogger. If you drink whiskey and beer on a daily basis, you are a journalist."
This was the takeaway from one of the other roundtables, and being on both sides of the coin I totally find this to be true. But what I hope that, one day, more people consider themselves "journalist-bloggers. That's how I consider myself. Tea and beer. Though more wine for me.

9) I am bi-petsual. Are you?
I participated in a discussion on cat bloggers vs. dog bloggers. I learned that since I have a dog and a cat, I'm bi-petsual ( and I need to start writing more with Galadriel). 

One of the conclusions we also made was that we cannot be just dog bloggers or cat bloggers. We should say that we are pet bloggers, even if we only write about one pet. Why? Because we want people to understand that pet blogging is more than just a hobby. We are out to help people take better care of their pets, and to save pets by raising awareness. That means we need to be more unified to get people to take us seriously.

COMMENT BELOW: Where you at Barkworld? What was your biggest takeaway?

We got a sneak peek at the new Star Wars collection from Petco!


 
Ruff and Mews from Petco.
The bowl I painted Friday night at the Nutrish Block Party.
Lulu with Victoria Stillwell. She already wasn't feeling well by then.