Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
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
The Man Behind the Voice
Canine enthusiasts recognize the familiar voice of David Frei
as that dog guy, that dog expert who is the co-host for
the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
For 26 years that voice has pronounced breeds like
the Xcholoitzcuintli (Show-low-eats-queen-tlee) with
ease while most of us would trip over our own tongue.
David loves talking dogs, is passionate about the
dog show world and has a heartfelt addiction to volunteering
his time and the love of his seasoned, registered therapy
dogs at the Ronald McDonald house and the
VA Medical Center in New York. His canine partners
include Grace, a Brittany and Angel, a Cavalier King
photo: Betsy Dallas
Behind the voice is years of experience in the show ring
as David is a handler, breeder and in 1991 became a judge.
He is licensed now for Afghan Hounds, Cavalier King Charles
Spaniels and the Brittany. David has traveled the world
showing or judging dogs.
David recently announced that 2016, his 27th year would
be his last as the co-host for the WKC at Madison Square
Garden. That announcement did not fare very well with
his world-wide fan base. Why, because for 26 years he
warmly invited the TV viewer into the show ring offering
snippets of facts on the dogs, handlers, and judges who
earned the privilege to be a part of this experience.
In addition to commentary about the entries every year,
Frei shares a little history with viewers about previous
winners who once graced the Garden with primped
paws and poise. The family dog that may be sharing
the couch with their human during the telecast may be
our best friend but this co-host has a gift of making
dog people feel he too, is their best friend.
Looking back a couple decades to around 1990, David was
no-where near Madison Square Garden. He said
he was minding his own business living in Woodinville, WA.
and owned a couple of sports bars in the Seattle area.
David told me that one-day, Chet Collier, the show
chairman and long time President of Westminster
contacted him. Collier, who died in 2007, is remembered
as the man who made Westminster into the world’s
most famous dog show. As David puts it, Chet found David,
when David was living in the woods in Woodinville, called
him and flew him out to Boston in 1990 for an interview
and audition. I was intrigued to learn how Collier
set up the audition. Collier pulled a tape of a recent
dog show featuring a Hound group and the two men
role-played as co-hosts and commentators for that
dog show and, David was hired.
David said that Chet believed in him and became his first
mentor. He warmly states that he feels Chet on his
shoulder every year when he is doing the commentary.
David commuted from Woodinville to New York from
1990 to 2002 to co-host Westminster. That commute got
old and he moved to N.Y in 2002. He pokes fun at himself
stating he must be hard to work with as he has had 9 partners
in 27 years. He worked with Bud Collins for a year and from
1994 to 2002 worked with the great Joe Garagiola who is
going to be 90 this year. Another partner for 3 of those
years was Lester Holt, the news reporter and current anchor
of NBC’s nightly news. Another partner and current member
of the Westminster team is Mary Carrillo. David spoke
very highly of Mary and told me he enjoys working
Taking another step back in time to 2004,
David, while at Westminster founded the
non-profit dog therapy charity, Angel on a Leash.
This organization has since become an independent
501c3 charity creating and administering therapy
dog programs around the country. David proudly is
its President and is an active volunteer.
Best in Show Westminster winner, Uno is clearly one of
David’s favorites. Just mention this Beagle who
won the coveted title in 2008 and David’s eyes light up
with genuine affection. Uno, is also a therapy dog
and puts smiles on the faces of everyone he visits while
David is on the other end of his leash. Uno is also a frequent
guest at the Frei doghouse in New York.
From 1990 to 2016 the Westminster Kennel club
has hosted 71,098 entries from 142 breeds and
varieties to 199 breeds and varieties today. In doing
the math that is an increase of 57 breeds and
varieties during David’s 27 years as co-host.
This year will be NBC’s last year producing Westminster
and the show will be going to Fox Sports1 in 2017.
David wants his fans to know he will continue co-hosting
the National Dog Show sponsored by Purina with
John O’Hurley. The National Dog Show, always a
hit with dog enthusiasts captures the attention of
25 million viewers. David will also be a consultant for
Carson International’s Incredible Dog Challenge that
produces dog events from around the country.
Carson International is headquartered in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Frei will be with NBC as a consultant working on other projects.
I asked David what he would like his fans to
remember about his 27 years at Westminster.
He thought about the question for a few moments
and responded that he hopes the viewers
had a good time and encourages dog owners to
celebrate the dog in their lives. He also emphasized
during our interview, as he does during the Westminster
telecast the importance of responsible dog ownership.
David said, my daily quote is “I thank my dogs every
day for letting me be on the other end of their leashes.”
I wrapped up our interview asking David what breed
would best describe him. His answer was quick, the
Cavalier or Brittany as they are breeds that like people
and like to be around people. This answer makes sense
as David enjoys being around people especially dog people.
In closing, David added that dogs bring us together
and are icebreakers. Thank you, David Frei, America’s
dog guy for bringing dog lovers together and being
part of our lives during your 27 years at Westminster.
I would like to also thank David for sharing the photos
for this story. For more info on the 501c3 please
go to: angelonaleash.org
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW BREEDS WILL BE FOLLOWED BY
A DEMONSTRATION BY AGILITY COMPETITORS
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2016 AT 11:00AM SHARP
WHERE: Madison Square Garden – Chase Square (Box Office Lobby – 32nd Street and 7th Avenue)
WHAT: In celebration of the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, come meet the
seven new breeds that are eligible to compete for the very first time. Also appearing are four
Masters Agility Championship competitors demonstrating their talents and the American Kennel Club
will have an exhibitor from their popular AKC Meet the Breeds® event which is part of the
Westminster Kennel Club and American Kennel Club Meet and Compete presented by
Purina Pro Plan® event on Saturday, February 13 at Piers 92/94.
The seven new breeds that will be onsite competing this year are:
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’s Madison Square Garden. The show is America’s second longest
continuously held sporting event, behind only the Kentucky Derby. For additional information, log on to
Tickets available through Ticketmaster Charge By Phone (1-866-858-0008) and all Ticketmaster Outlets.
Tickets are will also be available in person at MSG Box Office and by visiting thegarden.com/WKCDogShow.
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC