Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
Bite Prevention Week Continues
As this is Dog Bite Prevention Week I, (along with other bloggers) was contacted
by Mark Saunders of the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters to post Seattle bite stats (postal workers) and useful tips for dog owners to help keep the carriers safe when they deliver the mail. Here is a link to my previous blog.
The press release included a link for interviews and I chose to
interview someone from a Kirkland PO.
My next point of contact was U.S.P.S spokesperson, Ernie Swanson who put
me in touch with the postmaster at my Kirkland branch, Cindy McCracken
who then put me in touch with the supervisor at this Kirkland PO, Angela Emery.
All contacts were very nice and like the U.S. mail, swift with their response.
Angela currently works at the Kirkland PO Off of 6th street and has 22 plus years
with the postal service. She is also a dog person and proud owner of a Chihuahua,
not a breed that strikes terror in the heart of postal carriers. However, as many
of us in the training biz know, Chihuahuas can be tough ankle biters. And,
when they target tasty ankles this feisty little breed can make even the most confident person dance as if they were walking on hot coals.
Postal carrier safety seems to include two components.; How to be proactive when spotting a loose dog and how to stay safe should a furry 4 legged surprise come charging at the carrier when that carrier is out of their vehicle delivering a package.
Angela shared the following protocol for all carriers :
- Postal workers on a walking route can use their satchels as a barrier if approached or charged by a loose dog
- Each postal worker carries pepper spray or as Angela called it, dog spray as a deterrent
- Postal carriers should not dismount their vehicle if they observe a loose dog
- Postal carriers will leave warning cards to any replacement carriers to warn them of loose dogs in a particular neighborhood and also warn the carrier if a dog is chained up
- Postal carries do try to work with homeowners who have a history of the family dog escaping the back yard or bolting out a door by suggesting the family dog be restricted from access points during normal delivery hours
- Should there be a history of a dog aggressing at or charging a carrier and that
homeowner or renter opts out of containing the dog and later moves, a warning
card will follow that homeowner or renter to the next PO
- Carriers should not give dogs treats as Angela told me the dog then expects a treat.
She went on to say that should the regular carrier be on holiday and another
carrier takes the route, a loose dog expecting treats can be assertive to get that treat.
Angela told me that a guinea hen that was used to getting a treat
from the regular carrier went after a replacement carrier to get that treat.
No Mail Delivery
An incident such as a dog aggressing at or charging a postal carrier
will be investigated by someone from the post office. The dog owner
will receive the documented safety protocol that will need
to be implemented by that dog owner for future mail delivery.
If the dog owner refuses to do the responsible thing and contain
a nuisance dog during hours of delivery , the post office will
no longer deliver mail to that homeowner or renter’s home and
that person must pick up mail at the post office.
Seems quite fair to me.
Angela shared with me that this status will affect the neighbors as well
and they will not get their mail delivered at home. My response was that
approach, with carrier safety in mind, was a good idea to get the dog
owner to act. Peer pressure or in this case, neighbor pressure may light
a fire under the dog owner to perform.
Angela shared a story with me that on her route, a dog charged out of the gate,
went under her vehicle targeting a neighbor with her baby. After the attack,
Angela quickly invited the woman to wait with her in her vehicle until
paramedics arrived after her call to 911. Animal control was involved
with this incident as well. The paramedic got the dog back into the fenced
yard but in the process the dog charged him . The dog did bite the neighbor with
the baby and I asked Angela the extent of the injury and she said it more of a scratch.
The homeowner decided to euthanize the dog. Again, a preventable event where the
dog paid with its life.
I asked Angela for any stats on dog bites to Kirkland postal carriers and she did not have
that information but said Kirkland is not that bad.
The protocol set forth by the postal service is not only for the safety of the carriers
but also for the safety of the dog.
Thank you Mark, Ernie, Cindy and Angela for your time. Very appreciated.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
Tricky Cases at One of South Florida’s Busiest Avian and Exotic Animal Clinics
Whether it’s emergency surgery on a squirrel monkey or X-rays on a skunk, there is no such thing as a boring day at Dr. Susan Kelleher’s exotic animal ER. Each episode, rock-star-vet Dr. K and her talented team brace for injured animals that run, fly, crawl or slither through the door.
The Spice of Vet Life
Most Veterinarians treat dogs and cats and specialize in their small animal practice. For other Vets, dogs are
cats are great but these Vets prefer to treat the incredible variety of the exotics such as sugar gliders, ferrets,
reptiles and more. Meet Dr. Susan Kelleher who, in her second season will bring her expertise to the line-up at Nat Geo Wild.
Nat Geo Wild, a channel I absolutely love will feature Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER that premieres Saturday, May 21, 9/8c. Programs featuring the day in the life of Veterinarians have become quite popular allowing the viewer into the ER; that back room off limits to the pet owner. and are a gift for those of us who relish the education.
Back-Story on Dr. K
Dr. Susan Kelleher (Dr. K) is originally from Buffalo, N.Y., where she explored her love of animals by volunteering at the Buffalo Zoo in high school and college. She received her bachelor’s degree with a dual major in chemistry and biology from Alfred University in 1990 and went on to veterinary school at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
After graduating veterinary school in 1995, Dr. K moved to South Florida, where she worked for small animal practices for 3 1/2 years. As her following of avian and exotic pets grew, she started her own practice, opening Broward Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital in 1999 to focus all of her attention on the special needs of unique pets.
As we know, once a dog is featured in a movie, TV program or used as a prop by celebrities the popularity of that animal explodes. Immediately the busy mill system churns out that trendy animal to supply the demand. After the novelty wears off that new pet usually ends up dumped in the street, the woods or a shelter.
I am hopeful there are buyer-owner beware statements included with this programming. The illegal pet trade is big business in Florida where Dr. K has her practice and is growing across the country. These animals, especially exotics do not always find sanctuary once the novelty wears off or if expensive medical care is needed.
Enjoy the show; do not buy any of the pets featured on any show without fully researching breeder and lifetime needs of the animal. If you cannot give the animal lifetime commitment and proper daily care,
then please pass on the impulse to buy.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
National Bite Prevention Week
Postal Service announces New Safety Measures
The Postal Service announced that 6,549 employees were attacked by dogs last year as it released its annual top dog attack city rankings. It also shared information on new safety initiatives it is putting in place to help protect its employees.
“Dogs are protective in nature and may view our letter carriers handing mail to their owner as a threat,” said USPS Safety Director Linda DeCarlo at a news conference in Houston, where postal employees suffered 77 attacks, more than any other city. Fifty-one cities make up the top 30 rankings (see chart below).
Enhancing Employee Safety
DeCarlo also announced two new safety measures to alert USPS Carriers of dogs on their delivery routes. The first goes into effect May 13 on usps.com’s Package Pickup application. Customers will be asked to indicate if there is a dog at their address when they schedule a package pickup. The second goes into effect later this spring.
“The Mobile Delivery Devices that letter carriers use to scan packages to confirm delivery will include a feature that allows carriers to indicate the presence of a dog at an individual address. This is especially helpful to substitutes who fill-in for letter carriers on their days off.”
DeCarlo was in Houston to kick-off National Dog Bite Prevention Week: Sun., May 15 – Sat., May 21. The Postal Service, joined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Humane Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance are driving home the message that dog bites are a nationwide issue and that education can help prevent dog attacks to people of all ages.
Of the 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs annually, half of all victims are children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many attacks to children are by the family pet or a dog familiar to the child, so it’s important to keep children and dogs separate, especially if a dog is known to act aggressively.
DeCarlo encourages the news media to share the following tips and use the hashtag #preventdogbites when reporting on this critical issue.
- If a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
- Dog owners should keep the family dog secured. Parents should remind their children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.
- The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.
2015 Dog Attack Rankings by City
Note: A total of 6,549 postal employees were attacked by dogs in calendar 2015. Fifty-one cities comprise the top 30 rankings as some cities reported the same number of attacks.
Seattle ranking is 14 out of 51 cities
2015 dog attacks (postal employees) 34
2014 dog attacks (postal employees) 29
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
By Guinnevere Shuster
Disclaimer: I received this book for review. No compensation was offered
or given in exchange for a positive review. No incentive
needed as I loved how this photographer captured the
personality of each sweet dog looking for that right family.
Guinnevere Shuster, a professional photographer
began volunteering her time photographing homeless pets
and turned her labor of love into a full-time position
with the humane society of Utah. Rather than featuring the usual
photos of adoptable dogs looking pitiful, sullen, depressed and photographed
behind bars, this dog lover opted to feature each wonderful dog
in a different light, literally to capture more personality.
The press release stated that due to her photographs,
the adoption rate at this shelter skyrocketed. And, a portion of the proceeds
from this book will benefit the Humane Society of Utah
and Best Friends Animal Society.
Each page features 4 images of the selected dogs.
Under each photograph is the dog’s name, a little
overview and date adopted. Excellent idea and a heartfelt,
positive approach to helping every dog she photographs meet
a family offering a forever home.
In the back of the book, Shuster shares photographs of
some of the adopted dogs with their new family. Very heartwarming.
There are so many amateur and professional photographers
in every city around the country looking for images to shoot or
just wanting to volunteer some time so this idea could just be the
ticket to do your heart and your camera skills some good.
Guinnevere Shuster is the social media coordinator at
the Humane Society of Utah. Guinnevere adds that she
tries to “focus on dogs that may need a little
extra help getting adopted or that don’t do well in a shelter setting.”
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
By Amy Luwis
If you are looking for a gift for someone who recently
added a puppy or adult dog to the family, I highly recommend
you add this book to the doggie gift basket. Luwis covers many important topics
including first aid and accidental poisoning due to dangers inside and outside the home
in an informative quick read, quick access format. Many of Luwis’ guidelines and tips
are referenced with clever illustrations.
The author includes quotes from Veterinarians with helpful tips
on accident prevention.
This user friendly book could even serve as an educational
and literacy opportunity when read with children.
Cover to cover, For Dog’s Sake is a winner. Well done!
$11.54 on Amazon
Amy Luwis is an author/illustrator and an animal activist.
Amy’s deep love and respect for animals led her to co-found
the nonprofit, Adopt-a-Pet.com which has turned into a
powerful advocate for animals in need and tirelessly
works on behalf of shelter animals.
Disclaimer: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my review
Andrews McMell Publishing
$3.84 million pledged to equip 57,000-square-foot facility opening in 2017
Seattle animal lovers showed their fondness for four-legged furry friends by generously donating $4.26 million at Seattle Humane’s 27th annual “Tuxes & Tails” auction and fundraiser held at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency on Saturday, May 7.
The special “Fund-A-Need” project was the highlight of the annual gala and raised $3.84 million for Seattle Humane’s Capital Campaign – named “Animal People Can” – to equip a new 57,000-square-foot shelter, adoption center and veterinary teaching hospital scheduled for construction on its campus in Bellevue. Over $27 million has been raised since Animal People Can was launched in 2014.
A silent and live auction, featuring one-of-a-kind experiences such as dinner at Canlis with friends Seahawks kicker Steve Hauschka and former Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller, brought in $420,000 with those funds dedicated to the direct care of the animals at Seattle Humane.
After completing phase one fundraising for Animal People Can, Seattle Humane is ready to begin construction of a $30 million animal shelter, adoption center and veterinary teaching hospital that will be capable of placing 10,000 pets per year.
“Now it’s time to fill the building,” said CEO David Loewe. “These extraordinary funds raised tonight from our Fund-A-Need project will provide equipment needed to keep dogs, cats, and small animals happy and healthy during their stay with us as well as make the shelter a warm and welcoming environment for the public.” The equipment includes x-ray machines, anesthesia and dental machines, caging for dog kennels and cat cubbies, and materials for building separate surgery, ICU, recovery, and isolation areas.
Tuxes & Tails guests received a surprise announcement during the Fund a Need portion of the evening: a $1 million match by philanthropists Jim and Bet Schuler, long-time supporters of Seattle Humane.
Seattle Humane has been saving animals and completing families since 1897, and the impact has been tremendous. In 2015, Seattle Humane placed 7,000 pets into loving homes, rescued more than 4,500 pets from other shelters, and spayed and neutered 1,200 pets belonging to low-income families, all while achieving a 98.3 percent life-saving rate, one of the highest in the nation. The new shelter, slated to open next summer, will allow Seattle Humane to place 10,000 animals each year, and spay and neuter over 7,000 pets each year.
“We are so grateful for the support of our generous donors at tonight’s event,” said Loewe. “We invite everyone in our animal loving community to join us in our mission to save more lives!”
Diane Rich Dog Training
ABOUT Seattle Humane
Founded in 1897, Seattle Humane proudly promotes the human-animal bond by saving and serving pets in need. We provide adoption services 7 days a week, plus pet workshops and training, a pet food bank, a low-fee spay/neuter surgery program, humane teen club, a visiting pets program and more. Seattle Humane located in Bellevue, at 13212 SE Eastgate Way. For directions and more information, visit www.seattlehumane.org or call (425) 641-0080.
Seattle Humane celebrates with 50 percent off adoption fees for adult pets
Shelter pets are the best! We’re celebrating National Adopt-A-Shelter-Pet Day April 30th with 50 percent off the adoption fee for every pet 1 year and up at Seattle Humane. That includes any cat, dog, or critter in our care. Visit Seattle Humane in Bellevue this Saturday to find your new best friend for half the normal adoption fee. Good news – we’re open until 8 p.m. on Saturdays!
Get a sneak peek at just some of the hundreds of pets who will be available for adoption!
Cats & Kittens
Dogs & Puppies
Go to: seattlehumane.org for more information
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
Club Producing Video Content From Dog Events
Across the US To Promote the Sport
New York – The Westminster Kennel Club is producing video content from a select number of US dog events throughout the year to promote the sport online and on cable television. This is one of several initiatives the club is developing to educate the public, promote dog sports and responsible dog ownership.
A Westminster production team will visit dog shows and trials in several regions of the country to videotape members of the sport as they travel on the “Road to Westminster”. The edited news clip content will include interviews with exhibitors, club officials and general show footage with an emphasis on educating the public about dog sports and the people involved in them.
The content will cover a variety of topics from the sports of conformation, junior showmanship, agility and obedience. The topics within each sport will range from basic education, such as Agility 101, to interviews with a Best in Show winning dog’s breeder to how to start in Junior Showmanship.
The show calendar and programming content was developed with the club’s media partner, Dog News: The Digest of American Dogs who will be supporting the effort through their online and print publications. The inaugural event for this initiative will be May 7, 2016 at the Bucks County Kennel Club show in Erwinna, PA.
The content produced throughout the year will appear on the Fox Sports news cable program and online through the Westminster and Fox Sports’ websites and social media accounts. Additionally, live coverage of “Road to Westminster” dog events will be streamed through Westminster’s exclusive channel on Waggle, a new platform for pet owners and animal lovers from Broadway Video Ventures. Broadway Video Ventures is the digital media arm of Broadway Video, the company behind SNL, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Portlandia.
Westminster Kennel Club President Mr. Seán W. McCarthy, sees the club as leading the charge in promoting the sport, “We have a great story to tell. The people involved in our sport are dedicated, passionate people who love their dogs. It’s our responsibility to promote our sport, its people and dogs through the media outlets we have access to.”
The Westminster production team will consist of the club’s Director of Communications, Gail Miller Bisher with the assistance of Katherine Wright.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
About The Westminster Kennel Club – The Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. Established in 1877, Westminster’s influence has been felt for more than a century through its famous all-breed, benched dog show held every year at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Today, America’s dog show has expanded into Westminster Week which includes the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and the Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster, both held at Piers 92/94. More than 3,000 dogs from the US and abroad makes Westminster Week like no other.
Westminster. There’s only one.
Visit us at: www.westminsterkennelclub.org or follow @WKCDOGS.
Just Say No to These Cute Baby Pets for Easter
Every Easter, adorable baby rabbits, chicks and ducklings are given as gifts. Sadly, many are often abandoned
or admitted to shelters when the holiday is over. This Easter, you have a chance to make an important contribution
to your children’s education by teaching them that adding a pet to the family is a big responsibility.
Rabbits make wonderful household pets. They’re affectionate, playful, social, and can even learn tricks!
Bunny care fits into most work schedules as they are most active in the mornings and evenings and sleep
through the day and night. Bunnies require a responsible owner who will provide them with a special diet,
indoor care and a 10-year commitment. In return for your love and care, you’ll be rewarded with a bounty of bunny love!
In addition to cute critters, Easter is a time for beautiful decor, delicious foods, and family and friends to
share them with. With a few helpful tips from Seattle Humane, you can include your furry family members
in your planning and still be sure that your pets stay safe and enjoy this holiday, too!
You know your pet best so you can anticipate how they will react to holiday visitors. Make a space available
in a quiet room, away from commotion, and provide classical music, a soft bed, water, food and toys. Adding
a piece of your clothing to the bed can provide comfort.
The foods we enjoy cooking and eating can be a problem for your pet. Rich, spicy or fatty food
can cause problems ranging from stomach upset to severe pancreatitis. Make sure they have healthy
treats and reduce their food at mealtime accordingly. Additionally, don’t leave candy out.
Chocolate can be fatal to animals, especially cats and small dogs.
This common Easter basket filler is tempting for our pets, particularly cats. When ingested, Easter
grass can cause irritation or obstruction of your pet’s intestines. These digestive problems can result
in a decrease in energy level and appetite, vomiting and diarrhea and could require several days in the vet hospital.
Although these flowers are beautiful and festive, they are poisonous plants if ingested by our pets.
Common symptoms are vomiting, lethargy and loss of appetite. If you suspect your pet has eaten a lily,
seek veterinary care. Instead of chancing a trip to the vet, try faux lilies for the same look, but without the risk!
Pets are curious by nature and their noses are much more sensitive than a human’s nose – they can’t
resist all of the delicious smells. Keep a close watch on your pet to ensure a safe holiday for everyone.
Most chicks, ducks and bunnies are no longer the cute novelty they once were
before the Easter holiday. Many Easter pets are dumped at a shelter or even worse dumped at a park or
by the side of a road. Should you be unable to say no to your children who are begging for one of these animals
before the holiday think about adoption. I may add, should you currently have a dog or cat, your
resident best buddy may not be so welcoming to the new prey animals you bring into your home.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
ABOUT Seattle Humane
Founded in 1897, Seattle Humane proudly promotes the human-animal bond by saving and serving pets in need.
We provide adoption services 7 days a week, plus pet workshops and training, a pet food bank, a low-fee spay/neuter
surgery program, humane teen club, a visiting pets program and more. Seattle Humane located in Bellevue,
at 13212 SE Eastgate Way. For directions and more information, visit Visit seattlehumane.org to see our adoptable
pets and learn how to be a responsible pet owner or call (425) 641-0080.
March 12-13, 2016
There’s something for everyone at the city’s biggest dog event of the year.
Earlier this month the American Kennel Club announced that for the 25th consecutive year the family friendly Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in America, according to its 2015 registration statistics.
Once again, the Lab is the most-entered breed in the Seattle Kennel Club Dog Shows March 12-13 at CenturyLink Field Event Center, with 41 competitors, followed in the Top 10 by the Great Dane 30, Papillon and Havanese 28 each, Australian Shepherd 25, Doberman Pinscher and Rhodesian Ridgeback 25 each, Golden Retriever 24 and Newfoundland and Vizsla 23 each.
Seattle’s most popular dog event has 1,371 entries representing 169 breeds on March 12 and 1,333 entries with 164 breeds the following day.
As usual, the shows have everything for every member of the family. In addition to the standard conformation offering, there will be junior showmanship, obedience, agility and rally.
Add to that the popular Meet the Breeds feature, where members of the public can get up close and personal with a wide array of breeds throughout both days and discuss breed maintenance, temperament and exercise requirements of each with the experts.
But the public’s opportunity for breed interaction and discussion with breeders doesn’t end there. Fifty-six breed booths will be manned with personnel to answer your questions. And, of course, the featured breeds will be there to interact with.
If you’re a dog-show newcomer and have questions as to what you’re about see, you will want to take a guided tour led by a Seattle Kennel Club member from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. both days. These high-demand tours are limited to six guests each and perennially book solid. New for 2016 are online advance reservations for $3 per person to guarantee your spot and preferred time. http://seattledogshow.org/product/2016-show-tour-advance-reservation/ Further availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis at the club table at the front doors.
Action-packed demonstration events will feature Olympic Disc Dogs, Emerald City K-9 Freestyle Dancers, R2Agility, Ewe-Topia Herddog Training and others.
Special demonstrations this year will include national celebrity Amy, a pig, an introduction to lure coursing with puppies, featuring the Cascade Coursing Club; a University Canine Learning Academy interactive demo that serves as an introduction to clicker training.
New breeds competing at the Seattle Kennel Club shows this year include the Berger Picard (5), American Hairless Terrier (5) and Miniature American Shepherd (1).
Add to these more than 40 vendors who will be selling a wide assortment of canine products and you have another can’t-miss event for the entire family.
Show hours each day are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is adults $14, children under 4 free, children 4-14 $7 and seniors over 62 $12. Only dogs entered in the show events will be admitted on the premises.
Show information will be updated regularly in coming weeks on the show’s web site, http://seattledogshow.org.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC