A Second Chance… Read Closely.

second chance

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A Bling Dog Accidentally Falls Into The Freezing Waters Of Lake Ontario, Prompting A Miraculous Recovery, And Inspiring Onlookers And People Everywhere.

When Jim Argo opened his car door allowing his 11 year-old bling dog Inge to ‘go potty’ before a trip on the ferry, what was expected to be an easy trip quickly turned into a life or death situation.

Just as Mr. Argo was on his way to wait in line for the routine trip, Inge, a blind Samoyed, mistakenly took a step backwards, finding herself in frigid waters swimming for her life.

As onlookers watched, Mr. Argo had to think on his toes, knowing the trouble Inge was in. He was about to jump into the waters and try to save his dog, but luckily enough the Fire and Rescue Squad had already been called and was two steps ahead of him.

Claude Duval of Kingston Fire and Rescue jumped into the waters in his rescue suit and made his way to Inge’s side. As the rest of the squad prepared the proper equipment to retrieve Inge as soon as possible, Duval comforted the panicked canine.

The rescue team first tried a rescue pole to help pull Inge to safety, but when that failed they used their stretcher to successfully bring Inge to shore.

Relieved and beside himself, Mr. Argo embraced his loving pet with a warm blanket as the crowd behind him cheered and roared with happiness.

Thankful for a happy ending, Mr. Argo and Inge were safely treated to a ride to the vet by the wonderful Fire and Rescue squad who saved Inge’s life. She would soon be assessed by a veterinarian after ‘a very scary morning,’ according to her owner.

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To Help Restore Your Faith In Humanity – Meet OPERATION ROGER.

I was recently informed about Operation Roger by my amazing pet loving mom. Boy, was this a great find.

Imagine a group of volunteer truckers who give ‘hitch hiking’ adopted pets a ride to their forever homes… that is Operation Roger.

This group of men and woman work together with shelters and rescue groups across the United States and Canada to give adopted animals a second chance. They are pet lovers who understand the human-animal bond better than most. They also have transported military pets who otherwise would have difficulty meeting their family at their new homes.

Being a truck driver means long hours on an open road. Loneliness comes with the job description. However, having a pet to travel the long distances across countries during all hours of the day and night makes the time go by.  These volunteers know the importance of animal companions, and help make that dream a reality for others.

I read a recent success story that brought a tear to my eye and made me fall in love with these people even more.

Here is a summary of Sage’s story, a 5 month-old Lab mix who was at a shelter in Aiken, South Carolina –

Sage, a 32 pound, 5 month-old Lab mix, was described in a Facebook post as being on death row. She would be euthanized if not adopted soon. This caught the attention of Alicia P. She decided to adopt Sage and save her life. Trying to figure out how she would get Sage from South Carolina to Boston where she lives, Alicia found Operation Roger through Google. She explained that 5 months old was too short of a life and desperately needed help to get her new family member home. Driver Mark O wanted to help Sage get to Boston as much as Alicia did. After difficulty trying to arrange a meeting with the ‘shipper’ to get Sage closer to him, Mark took it upon himself to pick Sage up in Aiken, SC and the two traveled together all the way to Boston. Sage is now happily residing in the resilient city of Boston, MA

This is just one of many success stories Operation Roger has completed. Since starting Operation Roger in September 2005, these VOLUNTEER truckers have successfully transported and delivered 696 needy pets to their new homes. Now that is something to be proud of. Keep up the incredible work Operation Roger!

Below is a link to their website with contact info and more success stories. Oh and if you’re feeling as inspired as I am, they also accept donations.  

http://www.operationroger.com/

 

 oprog

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Tough-guy NHL Players Kiss Hundreds Of Shelter Pets.

Please take time out of your day to watch this beautiful and touching video about shelter pets. The people in these 3 minutes make me hopeful that one day every animal will know the reality of a loving home. I am proud to call them friends. This represents shelter animals to the core. They are loving, resilient, gentle, and patient. They love you without knowing you, and only want to be loved in return. So, as the message says, “open your mind, open your heart, open your home”. Let them save you. <3

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WORLD SPAY DAY!

Some of you may not know that February is my birthday month….as well as Spay/Neuter month!! This is an extremely important month for animal welfare and rescue organizations.

I won’t fill you with heart breaking facts about how many pets enter shelters each year (approximately 6-8 million) and how many are euthanized (approximately 3-4 million, some simply because they cannot find homes). It is no secret that rehoming and rescuing pets is a constant battle and crushing cycle.

Did you know that if never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years?! Now that is a shocking fact.

Vicki Stevens, the Humane Society of the United States’ World Spay Day Coordinator explains that, “Euthanasia is horrible for everyone: for the people who work at the shelter and for the animal who dies prematurely in a shelter. Much of it is so avoidable by neutering. Shelters do their best, but there are not enough resources for all the kittens and pups who need homes.”

Not only is sterilization important for shelter pets, it is also imperative to the health and welfare of pets already happy in their forever homes.

For females, spaying protects them for uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal to about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. This also means females won’t be going into heat, which helps behavior problems and overpopulation.

For males, neutering helps with possible behavior problems associated with aggression, and getting out of the house in search of a mate. It is also cost effective in preventing future health risks like testicular cancer, and unwanted litters. If we properly spay and neuter our pets, our lives and theirs will only benefit from the outcome.

With that said, now it is your turn to be a part of the solution and help promote World Spay Day. By visiting www.worldspayday.org, you can find nationwide and international events benefitting World Spay Day. There is also a Pet Pageant inviting animal lovers and pet parents alike to upload photos of their pets. Help educate yourself and others about the importance of this day.

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World Spay Day is presented by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International in collaboration with animal welfare organizations, veterinary professionals, businesses, and individuals worldwide to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as a proven means of saving animals’ lives.”

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Happy LOVE YOUR PET DAY!

Today, February 20, 2013, is National Love Your Pet Day. Take the time out of your busy schedules to give your pet an extra hug, kiss, treat, walk, toy, tummy rub, or whatever it is that makes them the happiest.

I love my dogs because of the joy they bring into my life. No matter what kind of day I’ve had, when I open the door and see them wagging their tails and grabbing a toy to show me, I smile uncontrollably. They are goofy, loving, curious, caring, loyal, and my best friends. They know all my secrets, and don’t judge. They love me for me.

I trust in the phrase that ‘everything happens for a reason’. Ultimately, I am thankful that someone chose to leave a 6-week-old puppy under a car, because it brought Kiki into my life. I am thankful Gumper was returned to the shelter twice, because it brought Gump into my life.  I am happy that fate chose me to protect them and them to protect me.

Never underestimate the influence animals have on us. Pets have such short lives and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home. So today, on National Love Your Pet Day, when you come home and see your pet, give them the extra special attention they deserve, because to them, every day is love your owner day.

 

“Pitbulls are beauty without vanity, strength without insolence, courage without ferocity, and all the virtues of man, without his vices.”

 

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But Puppy It’s Cold Outside…

‘Tis the season for family, friends, food, and you know it folks – COLD WEATHER! Winter is ah-coming quicker than ever. In many areas, Jack Frost has already arrived with Nor’easters on the east coast and mounds of snow on the west!

Last week was the official first snowfall in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Everyone loves the first snowfall. It’s as if we forgot the long, depressing days of last winter when our pasty faces begged for summer’s arrival. It reminds me of the feeling when you saw your school on the scrolling list for a snow day. You peak through the early morning windows, press your nose against the ice-cold glass, and smile as you see the fresh powder on the ground. It’s playtime and it’s beautiful.

I don’t know who enjoys the first snowfall more, my dogs, or me. Patiently waiting for their morning potty is like children waiting to go sledding. They sit with their winter jackets on (green for Gumper, pink for Casey), inching closer and closer to the door as we dress in our winter bests.

When we finally make it outside, the dogs are taken over by their emotions. They bounce up and down on their front paws while sniffing each sections of fresh snow as if they’re hunting some mysterious snow creature. Gump decides he is going to lick the snow as much as possible. He is amazed that not only is snow fun, but a treat as well! Casey chomps right down on the snow as if she is getting an extra breakfast. Glazing up at me with a white face and cheeky smile, it is as if she has pulled a fast one. They love this time of year.

Although it is an exciting time in our household, winter weather also brings the cautionary owner out in me.  As tough as snow can be on our cars, houses, skin, and boots, the cold, wet, season can be tough on our pets as well.

Just as the weather man/woman does, I have compiled a list of winter advisories, watches, and warnings to be reminded of this season. With that said, enjoy the holidays and stay warm!

WINTER ADVISORIES, WATCHES, AND WARNINGS:

1. Just like the hot summer months, the car is a dangerous place for a pet in the cold winter. As awful as those moments are before the heater is warm and the car feels like an icebox, it can literally act like a refrigerator for your pets if left alone. They may have a fur coat on, but if the weather is cold, do not leave them alone in the car. Like my summer rule, leaving the car on with some comfortable heat and locking the door is an alternative. Just be sure to always carry your spare key with you if need be.

2. Did you know that more dogs are lost during the winter months than any other time of year? Owners who let their dogs off leash during this time may run into a problem. With the addition of snow on the frozen ground, scents are much harder to pick up for dogs. Therefore, if you let your dog off leash, they might not be able to find their way back to you and become lost. During this time, allow your dogs to enjoy the pleasures of the outdoors while still safe and connected to you on their leashes. *Warning: Do not let your dog run on any type of frozen water no matter how solid it may seem. Each winter there are reports of dogs falling through ice and drowning due to lack of common sense in owners. If you’re near frozen lakes or ponds, keep your dog on leash and be safe.

3. Invest in a coat for your dog. If you’re in an area that gets a significant snowfall and cold temperatures, your dog could benefit from an extra layer on them while outside. This is especially important for dogs like mine who have short, thin coats. *Warning: Frostbite and hypothermia are threats for dogs, just like people, so be sure to be aware of the length of walks you and your dog go on.

4. If your dog will tolerate them, booties can be an awesome addition to your dog’s closet. During the winter, sidewalks and streets are covered with all kinds of snow and ice melting remedies (ie. Salt, sand, chemicals, etc.). These remedies can be great for melting, but terrible for dogs’ paws. If booties don’t work (tried and failed in my house), and you can’t avoid the de-iced areas, be sure to keep a towel and cleaning solution in your house as soon as you return. *Warning: It is important to wipe down your dogs paws and bellies to ensure they don’t lick the possible toxic materials off their feet. Also, keeping their nails clipped short during the winter is essential.  Long nails will force a dog’s paws to spread out more allowing for snow to get between their pads easier, creating a bigger problem. Trim the fur between your dog’s pads if they have long hair. This can help prevent ice balls from forming, which feels like they are walking on rocks. Protective balms are available to help keep your dogs paws safe. Also, pet-friendly de-icing materials are great for your own sidewalk and driveway. You can encourage your neighbors to do the same!

5. Be aware of the effects of ANTIFREEZE.  Avoid any excess dripping if you use it for your car or to winterize your pipes at home. Keep it out of reach from your pets and be careful visiting other homes or vacationing during the months it is used most. Antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common poisoning for small animals. *Warning: Symptoms include dizziness, fainting, seizures, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive urination and drinking, and rapid heartbeat. It is a good idea to keep an animal poison control phone number on hand in case this may occur.

WATCH: Older dogs and puppies can struggle during the cold winter months. If you decide to get a puppy during this time, be aware that potty training in the freezing cold may be an issue. You may want to paper-train them at home if they seem sensitive to the cold or only take them outside to go to the bathroom. Older dogs find it harder to regulate body temperature. Also, with age comes an ailment like arthritis that is worsened by cold weather. Adding a sweater to their wardrobe, or keeping them warm and indoors as much as possible may be a good idea.

All in all, these months should be as jolly for your pets as they are for you. Be sure to keep them warm and cozy by your side as you sit by the fire drinking hot cocoa. Use common sense regarding dos and don’ts during these months and be aware of your dog’s behavior and surroundings. It can be a slippery time for all of us out there, so use caution, avoid problems, allow your dogs to become snow bunnies and have fun!

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