Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
Fundraiser for Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue: Doberman Pinchers
”Wine to the Rescue”
Come join us for Wine Tasting, Light Snacks, Dobermans and Fun!
Saturday, June 22
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m
11909 124th Ave NE
Kirkland, Washington 98033
This fundraiser is organized by the volunteers of Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue’s (SPDR) to raise awareness and funds for abandoned or homeless Doberman Pinschers.
Advance tickets are available for $10 online and $15 at the door – 100% of the proceeds goes to the SPDR Doberman Fund which helps pay for transport, foster care and Veterinary costs.
The fundraiser consists of a wine tasting and a chance to meet breed experts and “ambassadors” including those Dobermans currently available for adoption.
Award winning Northwest Cellar wines exclusively labeled with our own “Doberman Theme” will available for purchase with a percentage of sales allocated to SPDR. A small silent auction will be cash or check only with the draw at 3:30 – must be present to win!
Leashed, friendly dogs (of any breed) are welcome!!
Hope to see you there.
If you cannot attend you can still donate to this great cause. All dogs deserve forever homes. Mixed breeds and purebred dogs need our help.
For more information and to purchase tickets;
Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC
How Does your Garden Grow?
Like many people I love springtime and always look forward to gardening. Through doing research about dog friendly plants I learned that in some cases the whole plant is toxic to pets and in other cases just one part of a plant if consumed by your dog is toxic.
Some dogs love to pluck beautiful flowers right off the stem. You may want to teach the family dog not to eat plants or flowers.
So, if you only have one space for your dogs and a garden consider building a separate dog proof fenced area for your gardening needs.
Contact with some plants and flowers can cause a variety of reactions from a rash or dermatitis, tummy upsets with the result being diarrhea or vomiting, to organ damage or even death. You may also want to keep your Vet’s number handy along with the number of your local 24 hour emergency Vet hospital.
Poison Control Center @ ASPCA
For any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.
Information on either of these two links is incredibly thorough. The ASPCA not only lists toxic plants but also lists non toxic plants so you can check on what is currently in your garden. Both lists are long.
This link includes info on what part of the plant is toxic to pets, also lists reactions to look for if any part of the plant is consumed by your pet, how to protect your pets from these plants and what to do in case of an emergency http://www.livingwithmyhome.com/diy-do-it-yourself/poisonous-plants.aspx
Postal Service Promotes National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 19-25
|WASHINGTON — As a prelude to National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the Postal Service released its dog attack city rankings today and urged pet owners to help reduce the incidence of dog bites to letter carriers.“If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver,” said Ken Snavely, acting postmaster of Los Angeles, where 69 postal employees were attacked last year, placing the City of Angels as the most vicious for dog attacks. Nationwide, 5,879 postal employees were attacked.Snavely noted that in situations where a dog roams the neighborhood, delivery to the owner’s neighbors could be curtailed as well. Additionally, when letter carriers come to a customer’s door, pet owners are asked to place dogs in a separate room and close the door, as many canines have been known to jump through screen and glass doors.Dog attacks are a nationwide issue and not just a postal problem. Nearly 5,900 letter carriers were attacked last year, but that pales in comparison to the 4.7 million Americans annually bitten by dogs — more than half of whom are children — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. Postal Service, the medical community, veterinarians and the insurance industry are working together to educate the public that dog bites are avoidable by declaring May 19-25 as National Dog Bite Prevention Week.
“Many dogs are cherished members of their family and people believe their dog won’t bite, but given the right circumstances, any dog can attack,” said Snavely. “Dogs do not reason like people do and they will react to their instinct to protect their family and territory. Working with animal behavior experts, the Postal Service has developed tips to avoid dog attacks, and for dog owners, tips for practicing responsible pet ownership.”
How to be a Responsible Dog Owner
The National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners offer the following tips:
The Postal Service; the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), aap.org; the American Humane Association (AHA) americanhumane.org, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), microsurg.org; the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), avma.org; the Insurance Information Institute (III), iii.org; State Farm Insurance, statefarm.com; and Prevent The Bite (PTB), preventthebite.org, 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.
Advice from the Experts
Note: Journalists are encouraged to contact National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners for in-depth interviews.
American Academy of Pediatricians
“Parents, please don’t ever leave a young child unsupervised around any dog, even a dog well-known to your family,” said AAP President Dr. Robert Block. “Even very young children should be taught not to tease or hurt animals. And with school almost over for the year, children will be spending more time in parks, at friends’ homes, and other places where they may encounter dogs. They need to know what to do to minimize the risk of being bitten.” Contact: Gina Steiner, email@example.com, aap.org, 847-434-7945.
American Humane Association
Children should be taught to never approach an unfamiliar dog. Infants and young children should never be left alone with any dog; interactions between children and dogs should always be monitored to ensure safety for both the dog and the child. Children should be taught to treat the dog with respect and not engage in rough or aggressive play. American Humane Association has a brochure “Pet Meets Baby”, available for families with infants, that is available online americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/interaction/pet-meets-baby-2013.pdf and offers many helpful tips. Contact Mark Stubis, firstname.lastname@example.org, americanhumane.org
American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery
“Most children love dogs and like to put their face up close to the dog’s face. Parents should never permit this,” said Dr. Joseph Serletti, president of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. “Even the friendliest dog may bite when startled or surprised. Be cautious, once a child is scarred they are scarred for life. We hear this line all the time ‘The dog has never bitten anyone before’. A dog’s reaction to being surprised or angered is not predictable.” Contact: Krista Greco, email@example.com, microsurg.org, 312-456-9579.
American Veterinary Medical Association
Any dog can bite. Protect your family and community and the welfare of dogs with early education programs. The Blue Dog Parent Guide and CD is targeted and tested for children from 3 to 6 years old and is intended as a tool to be incorporated as part of a more comprehensive prevention program. Visit avma.org/dogbite for information on dog bite prevention material from the AVMA and its National Dog Bite Prevention Week partners. Contact: Sharon Granskog; firstname.lastname@example.org, avma.org, 847-285-6619.
Insurance Information Institute
Dog bites account for more than a third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability if your dog injures another person or damages someone else’s property. The best way to protect yourself is to prevent your dog from biting anyone in the first place. Contact: Justin Shaddix (national) email@example.com, iii.org, 212-346-5522.
Prevent The Bite
A nonprofit organization devoted to keeping children safe from dog bites, Prevent The Bite meets the national standards of education, and makes it possible for anyone to teach children how to avoid being bitten. Dog attack victim Kelly Voigt is available for interviews. Contact: Kathy Voigt, firstname.lastname@example.org, preventthebite.org, 847-223-5084
State Farm Insurance
As the nation’s largest property and casualty insurer in the country, State Farm understands the damage that a dog bite can do. In 2012, the company paid more than $136 million dollars as a result of nearly 4,500 dog bite claims. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners. State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns in the United States. Instead, we urge owners to be responsible with their pets. Visit learningcenter.statefarm.com/ for information on keeping your family and pets safe. Contact: Holly Anderson; email@example.com; statefarm.com; 309-735-7745
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
Water Safety for the Family Dog
It’s that time of year for most of the country when sun and warm temperatures lure people to the beach, a local lake, river or just to the backyard pool. And you know what that means, the beloved family dog gets to join in the fun.
Benefits of Swimming
I enjoy watching dogs swim. They can’t seem to get enough. Then there is the health benefit. Swimming is easier on joints than impact activities like running with you or quick turns and quick stops needed for flyball and agility. Swimming is also great for for muscle development and helps build overall stamina. Swimming or specific water therapy is often recommended by Vets for dogs during rehabilitation from an injury.
Many people are surprised that the family dog may not exude the same type of excitement about that first summer plunge as most dogs don’t instinctively know how to swim! And, some dogs would just rather not get in or near the water at all. However, many dogs once intimidated by water learn to enjoy it.
Here are some things to consider:
You want to drown proof your dog in and around the back yard pool and can do this by teaching your dog where the steps are to get out. Some steps are too steep for young or small dogs so keep this in mind as they may need your help. Some clients have had steps or ramps built specifically for the family dog so she has easy access in and out of the pool. Dogs that run around the edge of the pool barking at family members or getting excited around all that stimulation could slip and fall in the pool or even in the jacuzzi so a watchful eye is still necessary for that dog’s safety. If your dog looks at the pool as one big water bowl and consumes a large amount of chlorinated pool water that could also contain other chemicals this water can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Don’t Assume your Dog Can Swim
Some dogs are intimidated at the water’s edge due to the lapping sounds of waves on the shoreline or just the movement of a series of waves hitting the shoreline. They may be fine walking into the water until they are no longer on solid footing. Even water dogs with feet that include webbing between toes made for swimming may need a little assist with their introduction to water. Never just assume your dog can swim. And never just throw your dog into the pool or lake making them figure it out.
It is important to understand that swimming isn’t appropriate for certain breeds. If you want to swim your Bulldog, Doxy, Basset Hound, Greyhound or some such breed and they appear to be interested in this activity, best to make that introduction slowly to the pool and be IN the pool with the dog, support the dog’s midsection while they learn to use their legs to paddle. You may find their front legs paddle but the back legs don’t have the power to keep the dog afloat. These dogs may benefit by a properly fitting life jacket that not only keeps their body buoyant but some jackets are made to help keep the head up above waterline.
Does your Dog Like to Swim?
I believe no matter the activity be it agility, therapy service, nose work, schutzhund training, competitive obedience or swimming if your dog isn’t enjoying the activity why push it. However, if the dog’s introduction to a water activity is met with patience, gentle guidance by helping the dog feel safe and using a positive association with something the dog likes you may get your wish.
30 minutes before this photo was taken, this rescue dog’s first exposure to the lapping of waves scared her. With patience we helped her overcome her fears. She now loves the water and swims every opportunity.
c Diane Rich 2013
Pups and senior dogs need your help. Neither end of these age groups may be up to the aerobics of swimming. Senior dogs that once loved swimming may tire more easily or have a health condition making it more challenging to endure too much fun. A pup doesn’t have the stamina for long swims without some rest.
The Ocean Usually Wins
The ocean is not the safest place for fetch games for your dog. There could be rip tides or undercurrents surprisingly close to shore. An undercurrent or rip tide can pull a dog under and the dog may tire and drown fighting these currents when frantically trying to swim directly back to shore. There is a quote that I strongly believe in when walking the coastline, “never turn your back on the ocean.” There is something called a sleeper wave and this type of wave can catch your dog by surprise and pull the dog into the water.
When I am at the coast, I see people tossing sticks as far out as they can for fetch games even though most of the hotels have warnings at the check in desk about the dangers of rip tides for both humans and pets.
Also when at the beach make sure the dog does not drink salt water. There is a condition called salt intoxification and can be fatal if that dog drinks too much salt water. You want to bring clean, fresh water so the dog will have access to fresh water and can hydrate frequently throughout the day.
Lakes, rivers and the ocean water temperature can be quite cold, even in the middle of summer. Just because your dog has fur and is a water dog does not mean it won’t succumb to hypothermia even with brief exposure.
Duck, Duck, Goose
Dogs that like to chase wildlife may be stimulated to chase ducks and geese into the water. The water fowl swim farther from shore and the dog may continue to go after them but not have enough strength or stamina to swim back to shore. This is where prevention and obedience training in and around water is important can be a life saver. Keep in mind your voice does not carry well over water so I recommend teaching the dog to come to a whistle. Easy to carry with you when near water.
Lakes and rivers may contain algae, chemical contaminants, parasites and bacteria that can threaten your pet’s health through skin exposure or ingestion. Sometimes your local beach may be closed due to sewage runoff or red tide. If the beach is closed to people it is also closed to pets.
Splish Splash for a Post Swim Bath
After a swim be it in the lake, ocean or pool it is necessary to wash off any chlorine , algae or salt water. Make sure to tend to ears and dry them thoroughly so they don’t become infected. Isn’t it interesting that many dogs love to swim but hate a bath?
I wrote a blog a couple years ago about a case where a Pointer jumped in the lake after a stick for the usual fetch game. This dog impaled itself on a stick that was not visible from land. The emergency clinic saved this dog’s life but barely. So keep in mind there may be underwater hazards. Unfortunately, some people use lakes and rivers as a personal garbage can, so your dog could step on a fishhook, glass or sharp edges from a beer or soda can. Bringing the proper supplies in a first aid kit could help you manage any bleeding or protect a wound until you get to the Vet.
These 3 dogs are investigating this part of a creek that is shallow, but farther out there is a strong current and deeper water. They were all trained to respond off leash before allowing this kind of freedom
c Diane Rich 2013
c Diane Rich 2013
Many dogs, especially those dogs with light coats out in the blazing sun can get sunburn. Dog noses are susceptible to sunburn. Talk with your Vet about appropriate sunscreen. Keep in mind they will lick sunscreen right off their noses so make sure the product you use is safe for dogs.
Have you ever burned the bottom of your feet on hot sand? The pads on the dog’s paws can also get burned so keep this in mind on hot days.
I have taken my Dobermans boating many times and have clients with dogs that also enjoy time on the water. I strongly recommend fitting your dog with a life jacket just in case he jumps in the water or accidentally falls off the boat
Bottom Line: Use common sense, safety protocols and supervision when your dog is around or in the water.
Wishing you a safe and enjoyable summer
“Tails” of a Very Original Poodle and Her Very Happy Life in the Town She Calls Home, New York City!
Written and Art Directed by Elizabeth Frogel
Featuring the lovable, inquisitive, life-of-the-party Charlie Girl, the 2 ½ year old Standard Poodle and true cosmopolitan canine! In this introductory book, you’ll read the story of her love for New York and everyone around her, from her owners to the doormen and the people she meets along the way. Charlie Girl loves playing in Central Park, riding in taxis, shopping, and even visiting art galleries! Sometimes she gets into mischief, but at the end of the day, she is still our favorite poodle.
A well groomed Standard Poodle seems to project the epitome of elegance, sophistication, confidence and high fashion. So, featuring this happy go lucky real life main character in New York City enjoying all that this amazing city has to offer is a no brainer.
For volunteers involved in a pet therapy service program where you need a book for the kids to read to dogs,
this is a book to consider adding to that library.
I truly enjoyed the creative illustrations by Ashley Quigg of Charlie Girl enjoying her life with her loving family. Don’t we all wish we lived in a city where dogs were allowed just about everywhere?
National Pet Week is Celebrated from May 5-11
The Goals of National Pet Week Are
1. To promote responsible pet ownership
2. Celebrate the human-animal bond
3. Promote public awareness of veterinary medicine.
April was autism awareness month but for a parent of a child diagnosed with autism, every day is “awareness” day.
Over the years I have worked with many clients who have a child with autism. Parenting any child is full time and if a child has autism it is more so and can be overwhelming for the parent. I have observed the many benefits of a trained, calm family pet for these children.
Meet Canine Companions for Independence or CCI. Generally, people think a service dog just provides assistance for people who are blind or hearing impaired. But dogs can provide so much more talent for people with a specific medical condition. That talent can be applied to people with autism.
I had a lovely interview with Angie Schacht from CCI who contacted me initially regarding autism awareness month and about a placement here in Seattle.
CCI breeds their own dogs specifically for service work and predominately uses Labradors and Golden Retrievers or a cross between these two purebred dogs. CCI has a network of puppy raisers to help with the pup’s socialization and foundation training. Then these young dogs go back to CCI’s training centers around the country where they learn more advanced training and skills specific to the medical condition for the benefit of a potential handler and family. Once the dog is trained and matched with a particular family the whole family trains with CCI for two weeks.
CCI is a nonprofit organization and provides dogs to families free of charge. Angie states CCI has placed 155 dogs in homes for children with autism.
Canine Companions’ Skilled Companion dogs are trained in 40 different commands to help people with a wide variety of disabilities. For children with autism, a dog that walks calmly and steadily in a “let’s go” while in public is important, as are the “visit” and “lap” commands. “Visit” is when the dog places its head on the recipient’s lap, and “lap” is when the dog places the front half of its body across the recipient’s lap. Both of these can provide deep pressure, which can interrupt self-stimulating behaviors like repetitive hand movements or repetitive speech. The dogs can also be trained to perform a parent-directed nose nudge to interrupt these behaviors.
Aside from the command-specific benefits listed above, the dogs provide many others. The benefits are often difficult for someone outside of the family to see, but the dogs provide a freedom to these families that is hard to quantify. The dog attracts people, acting as a social bridge to other children and adults when in public. Parents have reported a number of benefits, including easier transitions from one location or task to another, fewer meltdowns, improved behavior at school, sleeping through the night, and increased empathy.
To learn more about CCI go to www.cci.org.
Fake Service Dogs There are many “fake” service dogs out there. People think just because a dog provides comfort or emotional support that alone makes it a service dog. This is legally not the case but that doesn’t stop people from lying to a landlord or a business owner stating they have a service dog so they can gain access or compliance where dogs are not allowed. Service dogs are not pets.
ADA The ADA (American disabilities act) states that a service dog must provide specific tasks for an individual. All our dogs provide us with comfort and emotional support but that doesn’t make our dog a service dog. Updated information on service dogs. http://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm.
KUDOS to CCI. This organization is amazing!
Local Disaster Preparedness Program Says: Protect Your Pet with a Kit for 7-10 Days
SEATTLE – Here in Seattle, where 25 percent of households have dogs and nearly 30 percent have cats, we take our pets seriously. So, it makes sense that local disaster preparedness efforts include our four-legged family members when planning for what to do to make it through a serious earthquake here in the Puget Sound region.
The cornerstones of disaster preparedness – make a plan, build a kit and help each other – are all about giving families the tools to survive, whether they have children, elderly relatives or even a family pet. JoAnn Jordan, public education coordinator at the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, provides these tips for pet preparedness.
Make a plan—for pets: Before the disaster, make arrangements with a neighbor or relative that lives nearby to care for your pet, in the event you are unable to return home immediately following a disaster. Identify hotels and motels nearby that allow pets, in case you need temporary shelter. Make sure that your pet has current ID information on their collar. It’s even better if your pet has an ID chip. If your pet does not have an ID chip, take a photo of you and your pet, so that, if the pet is lost, you will be able to prove that you are the owner.
Build a kit: The most important thing you can do is build your pet a disaster preparedness kit for seven to 10 days. That is the length of time that all of us, including our pets, need to be prepared to go without essential services based on the magnitude of earthquake that’s likely to occur here in the Pacific Northwest. Local pet supply store Mud Bay has created helpful displays and offers money-saving coupons to help you assemble pet care items for your kit. (Mud Bay is a campaign partner.)
Jordan recommends pet owners build a kit with enough of these items to last for seven to 10 days:
· Food and water for at least seven to 10 days (that’s one gallon per day for an animal the size of a large dog)
- · Spare collar, current ID and leash: Even if your animal is accustomed to the outdoors, they need a leash after a disaster, when scents and neighborhood landmarks may be different
- · Pet carrier: Be sure your name and current phone number are marked on the pet carrier, and tape to it a waterproof bag containing a copy of vaccination records and the name and phone number of your veterinarian/kennel
- · Current photo of you and your pet in case you get separated
- · Pet chip ID number
- · Nearby kennels and animal shelters’ name and phone number
- · Blanket
- · Medications and stress/anxiety reducers
- · First aid kit
- · Bags for waste clean-up
- · Plastic litter box and clumping cat litter (if needed)
Help each other: If you’re away from home when catastrophe strikes, call a neighbor to ask them to check on your pet to make sure they’re safe and secured inside. Neighbors, if pet owners can’t return to their homes, offer to help check on the pet regularly.
“It’s really important to plan for those seven to 10 days before essential services are restored,” said Jordan. “So many of us have cats and dogs that are absolutely part of our families, and we can plan ahead to protect them. ”
This is excellent advice.
About “What to do to Make it Through”
Local agencies across Puget Sound are teaming up to educate and encourage citizens to prepare for catastrophic events with a regional campaign called “What to do to Make it Through.” The program is made possible by a grant from the Puget Sound Offices of Emergency Management, with the support of partners including Mud Bay, KOMO-TV, KOMO News Radio and Star 101.5. The program serves to educate the public that catastrophes can happen at any time and encourage residents to prepare for the right duration—at least 7 to 10 days. To learn the three most important things you can do to survive a catastrophe and start planning, visit: www.makeitthrough.org.