Flea-Ridden Dog Ignored by Passersby Finally Gets Rescued

Flea-Ridden Dog Ignored by Passersby Finally Gets Rescued

This comes from The Animal Rescue Site, which, in addition to featuring fan-submitted rescue stories, offers a wide selection of clothing, jewelry, home décor, pet supplies, and other gifts.  For each purchase made, sponsors donate food to shelter animals in need.

Submitted by Joan B. of St. Petersburg, FL:

I was walking a husky and a chow mix for a client (I’m a pet sitter) when I noticed a woman in her driveway with a little unleashed dog toodling around at her feet. I asked her to make sure her little dog didn’t run up to my big dogs. She said he wasn’t hers, she was on her way out and he was covered in fleas so she didn’t want him in her house.

By this time the dog had seen my dogs and bolted. He stayed in view for a while and I saw him go up to two other people. He was clearly asking for help but they each shooed him away.  Heartbreaking. Then I lost sight of him.

I got my dogs back to their home, then drove around and around until I spotted him. He came right over. He was dirty and scrawny and his back end was raw and half bald from the chronic fleas. I told him, “You’re just a little monkeybutt aren’t you?”

I put him in a crate I always keep in my car. He put his chin on his paws and heaved the biggest sigh his little self could heave. He was not microchipped. The vet estimated about three years old. I posted him on our local lost/found sites but no one came forward. My plan was to bring him back to good health, get him neutered and then find a good home for him.

I am a cat person and wasn’t prepared to take on a dog with my seven-day a week pet sitting schedule. But Monkey had a plan of his own! He’s been with me for a year now, he gets along with my cats and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Why Socialize Your Puppy? A Guide to Why and How

Why Socialize Your PuppyThe importance of socializing a puppy can never be over-emphasised, but what exactly does it mean? And how does one go about it? This article will explain to you what socialization is and how to put it into practice to ensure your dog has few, if any behavioural problems later in life and is able to interact well with dogs and other species.

Socialization is the process whereby a puppy learns to recognise and interact with other individuals of its own species, with people of different ages, races and genders, and with other animals that she is likely to come into contact with, such as cats and horses. The dog will learn the skills necessary to communicate with and interpret the other animals’ intentions, thus avoiding unnecessary hostilities. The dog will also learn to cope with stress and will suffer less as an adult in stressful situations. When talking of socialization, we often include habituation, that is, getting a puppy used to different places, sights and sounds so that she becomes confident in new situations and gets used to as many different stimuli as possible.

There are certain periods in a puppy’s development that are more important than others. The most sensitive socialization period begins at around 3 weeks of age and begins to reduce by 12 weeks. Peak sensitivity is between 6 and 8 weeks of age. It is important to remember that many young dogs need continual social interaction to maintain their socialization and failure to do so will mean that they regress or become fearful again. The 6-8 month period is another sensitive time for socialization and owners and trainers can use this window to further habituate and socialize their puppy to different surroundings, people and animals.

So, now we know why and when socialization should be carried out, we must look at how to undertake this. It is recommended that your puppy be introduced to new stimuli and other people and pets in a systematic and controlled way. Remember that these formative experiences will shape the behaviour of your pet for the rest of her life, so the idea is that they should be pleasurable and fun. They may well also be challenging, but if done in the right way, the puppy will learn that there is no threat and that she is safe to explore and meet new friends and situations without being fearful. This ensures the best chance of her developing a sound temperament and capacity to cope in all circumstances.

Early socialization is, of course, in the hands of the breeder and if they are conscientious and responsible they will ensure that the puppies are handled frequently, as well being exposed to normal household stimuli such as the television, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, doorbell etc. Puppies who are raised in a quiet kennel or room will have trouble adapting to a normal family environment.

So once the puppy is at home with you, it is your job to continue carefully introducing her to different people, animals and stimuli. It is however important to introduce the puppy to new people, places, objects and situations only when you can completely control the experience. A frightening experience will be detrimental – avoid unfriendly dogs and adults and children who do not understand how to be kind and gentle with animals. Invite friends to your house soon after you bring your puppy home to teach her that guests are friendly and welcome in her new home. Give your friends treats to give to the puppy so she is rewarded. Introduce her to one or two other friendly, healthy, fully-vaccinated dogs – she can join in with bigger groups once she has all her shots and has learned some dog social skills and has over-come any fear. Always be ready to intervene if your puppy is scared, threatened or being bullied by another dog.

When socializing your puppy, you must evaluate your lifestyle and environment and assess what situations are lacking. For instance, if you live in the country, take your puppy to town and gradually and carefully let her become accustomed to crowds of people, noise and traffic. If, however, you live in a town and these things are no problem, take your puppy to the countryside so she can see and smell farm animals and become accustomed to them too. Make sure your dog meets some cats who are dog-friendly. Don’t let her chase them as this will start a life-long habit that will be difficult to change. If your household has no children, introduce your puppy to some children who can regularly play gently with her. Always supervise them to ensure the children are gentle and that your dog is responding well and not becoming nervous or aggressive.

Remember always to protect your puppy’s health, before she is fully vaccinated. Don’t put her down on the ground where there may be dog urine or faeces, and don’t let her interact with other dogs that may carry disease. You can still socialize your puppy by carrying her into different situations and taking her in the car, allowing her to see many different things in a safe environment and she will get used to trips in the car at the same time. Use treats and praise to reinforce good behaviour. Do not comfort your puppy if she is fearful as this can be interpreted as praise for the wrong behaviour. Simply change the situation (i.e. ask an approaching person to step back or pick up your puppy to get her out of a difficult situation) until she feels safe and secure once more.

All interaction with your puppy at this age involves consistently rewarding desirable behaviour which will increase the likelihood the dog will repeat this behaviour. It will also help to prevent the development of undesirable behaviour.

Another helpful step would be to enroll in puppy socialization and training class. This provides a great opportunity for puppies to socialize with other dogs, for puppies to learn obedience training in a playful environment with plenty of distractions and also for owners to learn training and communication techniques.

Where Does Your Cat Nap? Make Him As Comfortable As Possible

Where Does Your Cat Nap Make Him As Comfortable As PossibleGiving your pet his own snoozing area gives you the ability to take back all of the space in your house that he has taken over. You may even want to give him several places to call his own to keep him happy!

You’ll find a cat bed that fits your tastes, and your pets, because there are so many out there to choose from. You’ll find a colorful cat bed in fun pet prints that will add a touch of whimsy to the room you put it in. You’ll find designer brands to choose from as well. You can also choose based on how the bed feels too.

Many cat beds have a pillows made of fleece to keep them warm. They are oval shaped and have high sides or they may be completely enclosed. Cats like to find a secure, warm spot to rest. For many, getting into the tight warm couch cushion seems like the ideal place.

You will find that some beds you can choose from are heated as well. If the cat spends time on the porch or in other chilly areas, you may want to give him one of these heated beds to warm up with.

Have you purchased a great bed for your cat but he’s ignoring it? Don’t be surprised at this. If he just doesn’t seem interested, add a catnip toy to the bed to attract him to it. Make sure that you place it in a cat friendly location too which will help to make it appealing to him. Cats don’t want to nap in low places so you may want to put the bed on an end table or platform that is just a bit off the ground. You’ll need to keep it from being in the midst of heavy people traffic as well. He needs to be able to relax and sleep there or he won’t want to be there.

Does your cat shed? Place the nap mat where your cat normally sleeps and then store it when you have guests. The cushions that are under the mat will then be hair free.

Some pets enjoy a perch. These are padded shelves that have become very popular. You can attach the cat perch to your windowsill so that the cat can look out the window at the birds or just bathe in the sun.

More than one cat can means more than one bed as cats are territorial and don’t like sharing their beds. You may be able to look for a kitty version of a play gym or a cat condo. These allow several cats to nap in elevated spots. And, the cat condo has areas where they can climb and sharpen claws.

If your cat likes to nap on your couch cushions, giving him a bed is the ideal way to make him comfortable and provide him with a place other than your furniture to nap on!