Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Old Blue by The Byrds

Take a moment to enjoy a song about dogs because it's Dog Song Saturday at Talking Dogs.  Time to relax, unwind, and spend some quality time with your dog(s).  Kick off your weekend with Old Blue performed by the Byrds in 1969.  Old Blue is accompanied by a beautiful music video slide show of dog photographs and art that any dog lover is sure to enjoy.  If you want to sing along, the lyrics are right there, too.

So, grab a dog.  Sit.  Stay.  Relax and enjoy today's dog song, Old Blue. Then be sure to scroll down below the dog music video to explore some barking good dog and cat blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Long Term Shelter Dogs: Part 2 How Long is Too Long?

My brain is on overload with all the things I want to be able to say in this post, including my response to questions and issues raised in the comments yesterday about Hailey, a long term shelter dog.

First of all, when I read the article about Hailey in my newsletter from Dogwood Animal Shelter, I immediately wanted to know more. I clicked to their website and read more about her.  Then I surfed to Petfinder only to discover no photos of Hailey and another reference to Black Dog Syndrome.

What stunned me about Hailey was that she's spent all but 2 months of her eight years of life in a shelter.  

She's not alone.  Over the years I've read about other dogs who have spent years in various animal shelters waiting for a forever home.  I'm aware of some shelters and rescues that even waive adoption fees after an animal has been with them for over a year.

I'm well aware that if Hailey had originally been taken to a "kill" shelter, she may have been euthanized long ago.

Could Dogwood have done (and still do) more for Hailey in terms of getting her adopted.  Sure.  Of course.  For starters, they could get that Petfinder photo uploaded.  They could do a youtube video of Hailey.  They could network with Labrador Retriever rescue groups to place her.  

They could re-word Hailey's description. "She is particular about what dogs will be her friends." is a yellow warning light blinking in my head.  What exactly does that mean?

What I know for sure is that Hailey is one of 250-300 dogs and cats living at Dogwood.  In 2011 this "no kill" animal shelter took in 664 pets and adopted out 651.  They have an army of volunteers who raised the funds to build a state-of-the-art animal shelter and offer low cost spay/neuter clinics, obedience classes, elementary school education curriculum and much more.  Dogwood is funded solely on donations and funds raised by volunteers at events and their thrift store.  They hold adoption events on site and at nearby shopping locations.

Are they perfect?  Heck, no. Every day they are faced with difficult decisions regarding keeping their facility operating, how to adopt more dogs and cats to good, loving homes and which ones to feature in their adoption marketing efforts.

They are not alone.    Every animal shelter and every pet rescue group needs more resources, more volunteers, better marketing, more networking...   It's a long list.

Thoughts of Hailey consume me.  Yes, she's never known life outside a shelter, so she doesn't know what life could be like. However, how many other dogs like Hailey are out there? Dogs that have spent months, or even years, in a shelter.

Why has Hailey not been adopted?  What more could have been done for her?  Good questions.

For me, though, the real question remains:  how long is too long?  Is there a "too long?"  Is life in a shelter better than no life at all?

My answer is yes, life in a shelter is better than no life.  However, as I watch my own dogs roust at play, patrol their yard, lounge on the sofa... I am haunted by Hailey and the other dogs like her who have been overlooked.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Long Term Shelter Dogs: How Long is Too Long?

Yesterday I received my e-newsletter from Dogwood Animal Shelter.  Dogwood is the no kill animal shelter we adopted Jeffie from after finding him on Petfinder.  They are 100% privately financed through donations and their thrift shop, where we periodically take donations.  

Each Dogwood newsletter highlights cool things donated to the thrift shop and special sales, fund raising events for the animal shelter, and pets available for adoptions.  Which leads me to this blog post.

Like most animal shelters and rescue, Dogwood is coping with more animals than they have space for.  In February they ran an adoption special and have now extended it to include the entire month of March.  

All kennel dogs who have been in an "Adoptable" status for over 90 days will have half-off adoption fees.  Adoption fees include all shots, spaying or neutering, and a microchip.

Take a good long look at Hailey, the dog pictured here.  She's a beauty and those eyes tell me she's a sweetheart, full of fun.  Now, notice that white hair on her muzzle.  At our house we call that "sugar lips" and we insist the kisses are sweeter.

Hailey is celebrating her 8th birthday.  She has been at Dogwood Animal Shelter since she was two months old.  This is the longest a dog has ever been at Dogwood.

As their newsletter notes:  it is a bittersweet birthday.

If I had to spend my whole life in an animal shelter, Dogwood would be one I would wish for.  This is a relatively new physical facility with an virtual army of volunteers, including their Canine Coaches program that works on obedience and sees to it the dogs get exercise.  For all the cat people reading this blog, rest assured, Dogwood's cat rooms are fantastic!

However, Hailey reminded me of other dogs in other shelters that I've stumbled across in the last few years.  Dogs that have spent years and years in a shelter.  I'm a "no kill" girl myself... but how long is too long to spend in a shelter?

Is life in a shelter better than no life at all?  What do you think?

Take another long look at Hailey.  The Dogwood Canine Coaches have taught her well.  Hailey  minds well, is great on a leash and is reported to be extremely sweet and loving.  She loves to roll in the grass, though she doesn't get many opportunities to do that.  She's a bit particular about what dogs will be her friends.  She's spayed, house trained, and weighs 64 pounds.

Hailey is a black lab mix.  Well, black with a bit of white, including that ancestral St Johns Water Dog medallion marking on her chest.  

The good folks at Dogwood surmise that Hailey has been overlooked because she is a black dog.  The plight of big black dogs and Black Dog Syndrome has been written and talked about for years, especially the disproportionate number of black dogs that are euthanized in shelters across our country.

So, Hailey is lucky.  Right?  Any day now someone could come along and adopt her into a loving home.  It's happened.  We've all read a few stories about senior dogs finally finding their person.

However, how many dogs live out their years in a "no kill" animal shelter?

How long is too long to live in an animal shelter?. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: It's Spring at Talking Dogs

Jeffie can't help but smile;  it's spring!
Listening to the neighbor who's spreading fertilizer on his fields and trying to catch a good whiff!
Skeeter couldn't care less... there are crunchies to munch!

Can you smell these cherry blossoms?
Have a barking good day!

Monday, March 26, 2012

HUGE Pet Adoption Event in Kansas City March 30 - April 1

This is no early April Fool's Day joke!  If you live near the Kansas City area, don't miss the KC Megamatch Adoption Event.  Three animal shelters are working together for this amazing national pet adoption event March 30 through April 1, 2012. 

All adoptions will be $25 and include spay / neuter surgery, current vaccinations and microchipping! 

Sponsored by the ASPCA, participating animal shelters are:  Heartland SPCA, KC Pet Project and Wayside Waifs.  For more information visit the KC Megamatch Adoption Event on Facebook at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adopt a Horse

Always wanted a horse or pony of your own?  Believe in rescue?  Take a look at Jester.  He's a gelded brown Pony and Tennessee Walking Horse cross that is looking for a forever home.

Jester was born at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch on April 1, 2010.  His mother was rescued from a terrible situation and not long in her pregnancy at that time.  Luckily the good folks at Longmeadow had time to get her healthy before she gave birth.  She has already been adopted and now her colt, Jester, is available for adoption.

Jester is currently 13.2 hands high and may only grow to be a large pony size.  At only two years old, he's young and very playful.  Jester loves people and always is on the lookout for a pat from people passing by.

If you have room in your heart and in your pasture for a horse or pony, please consider Jester.  Fetch more information by calling 636-583-8759.  Jester's animal ID number is A484399.

Longmeadow Rescue Ranch is a division of the Humane Society of Missouri and provides a haven for hundreds of abused and neglect horses, cows, goats, pigs, ducks and other farm animals.  Located in Union, MO, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch hosts Adoption Days on Fridays from 12 pm to 3 pm and Saturdays from 11 am to 3 pm.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Cha Cha Chihuahua

It's Saturday, so time for a dog song at Talking Dogs.  Today's song about dogs is Cha Cha Cha Chihuahua and is accompanied by a slide show video of adorable Chihuahua dogs and the lyrics for this cute song.
Grab a dog.  Sit. Stay. Get ready to smile.  Relax and enjoy Cha Cha Cha Chihuahua.  Fetch more dog songs at Talking Dogs to get your weekend started right.  Then be sure to scroll down below today's dog song music video to explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missouri Puppy Mill Legislation and Farmers Wake-up Call

What do puppy mills have to do with farmers?  Plenty, as evidenced by the recent campaigns to institute new puppy mill and commercial dog breeding laws in Missouri.  

My own rural Ozarks neighborhood was filled with campaign signs warning that the government would soon be telling you how many horses, cattle, hogs, and other livestock you may own and how they must be cared for.  You may recall my own remarks about Missouri's Prop B and farmers during the campaign.

Missouri puppy mill compromise legislation was passed and many Missouri commercial dog breeders have gone out of business.  At the same time, Missouri farmers are still angry and feeling very threatened.  So are livestock producers in other states.

I usually do not quote press releases in their entirety, however, this is important information that I want to make sure I get right.  The information below comes from "Mo. dog breeding vote 'wake-up call' for farmers" written by Alan Scher Zagier of the Associated Press.

A 2010 ballot initiative to toughen oversight of dog breeders highlighted the rift between Missouri farmers and national animal rights activists. Two years later, the divide has only deepened.

Twenty-five farm groups ranging from the Missouri Pork Association and the state Beef Industry Council to agribusiness heavyweights Cargill and Monsanto have united under the banner of Missouri Farmers Care.

Their target? The Humane Society of the United States, which pushed the dog breeding initiative and is now the primary financial backer of Your Vote Counts!, a proposed state constitutional amendment requiring a three-fourths majority vote before the Legislature could override voter-approved laws.
That's just what lawmakers did last year, reversing many of the new rules for dog breeders endorsed by a slight majority of Missouri residents just months earlier.

Farmers' anger was on full display at a recent Missouri Farmers Care meeting in Monroe City, 20 miles from the banks of the Mississippi River and half that distance from Mark Twain's birthplace in Florida, Mo.

Vehicles sported bumper stickers warning HSUS and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to "get your paws off our laws." Missouri Farmers Care flyers set on a table said, "Their goal is to end animal agriculture by increasing the cost of food and even through outright bans."

Activists view animals as "cuddly, furry things, not what we use to make money in livestock operations," said state Sen. Brian Munzlinger, a Republican whose district includes 13 northern Missouri counties dominated by hog farms and grain elevators.

"They weren't going to stop at pets," he added. "They're going after all of our farm animals."

Rural lawmakers such as Munzlinger have headlined a recent series of Missouri Farmers Care town hall meetings across the state. From Clinton and Harrisonville to Salem and St. Joseph, hundreds of farmers turn out twice a month for political rallies that bring together soybean growers, dairy producers and other agricultural groups that more often have focused on their own narrow interests, said Dan Kleinsorge, the farm group's operations manager.
"Prop B was a wake-up call for agriculture," he said.

Farm groups in other states also are heeding the call, Kleinsorge noted, as HSUS and other animal rights groups target not just Missouri but two dozen states that allow signature-driven petitions to appear on ballots.
In neighboring Nebraska, Gov. Dave Heineman caused a stir this month when he referred to HSUS in saying, "We're going to kick your ass and send you out of the state." Farm groups there have formed a "We Support Agriculture" coalition as a pre-emptive move against potential HSUS-supported ballot efforts.

In Ohio, the state Farm Bureau formed a Center for Food and Animal Issues as part of its successful push for a 2009 ballot measure that created a livestock care oversight board. And in Iowa, farm groups stung by the release of videos of chicks being ground up and pigs being beaten convinced lawmakers to make it a crime to lie on a job application to get access to farms to make secret recordings.

While the Your Vote Counts! effort makes no mention of agriculture or "cuddly, furry" pets, Missouri campaign finance reports show two-thirds of the more than $345,000 donated to the petition drive through the end of 2011 came from HSUS. Another $50,000 was donated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Just two of the 11 individual donors to Your Vote Counts! in the fourth quarter of 2011 live in Missouri.

Missouri Farmers Care has raised significantly less — about $127,000 through 2011 — but nearly all its 290 individual donors in the last three months of 2011 were Missourians. Most gave in relatively small amounts.

Dane Waters, the Your Vote Counts! campaign manager, acknowledged HSUS is the primary force behind the proposed Missouri ballot measure. His group must still collect signatures from two-thirds of the state's congressional districts equaling at least 8 percent of the votes cast in the 2008 gubernatorial election. That amounts to between about 146,000 and 178,000 signatures — though the group is aiming for 234,000 names.

"With any initiative effort, there's always a primary supporter or a primary donor," said Waters, who worked on Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and is also political director for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, an HSUS spinoff group that works to change state and federal animal protection laws.

"At the end of the day, it's irrelevant where the money comes from," he added. "Because only Missourians get to vote on it."

Waters agreed that the dog breeding initiative led to the latest fight, but he disputed the idea that his group was anti-agriculture. He said it has no plans, nor interest, in other agriculture-related political campaigns in Missouri beyond this year.

"There's a tremendous amount of misunderstanding about what HSUS is," he said. "Our goal is to not to fundamentally change the agricultural society in Missouri. Our goal is to work within the agricultural framework."

Farmers and their supporters remain suspicious. Steve Yates, a 59-year-old retired high school agriculture teacher who attended the Monroe City meeting, summed up the unease shared by many there.

"It threatens our livelihood, but it's a bigger issue," he said. "Whether you're a commodity producer or not, it affects the way we live. If you think the price of food is high now, just wait."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Airing Out the Dog Paws in the Spring

I think we might all be able to agree that our Talking Dogs young yellow Lab, Rudy, is cute.  However, not everything Rudy actually does, is cute.
Here's Rudy enjoying a beautiful spring day from the comfort of our home.  From this spot he can keep an eye on the yard and be ready at a moment's notice to defend his kingdom.
Notice that Rudy has altered the screen on the patio door to allow his paws to air out and allow his nose first class access to all the sights and smells of the outdoors...  while still being able to lounge comfortably on a rug indoors.  Can't deny it - Rudy's a creative fellow.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

March is Black Dog Month: Adopt a Coonhound!

March is Black Dog Month at the Humane Society of Missouri.  They're celebrating with an adoption special!  Save $50 when you adopt an adult black dog.  

The dog must be 6 months or older and 35+ pounds.  In addition to the $50 savings on adoption fees, the adopter will receive an official Black Dog Club t-shirt.

View black dogs available for adoption online or visit any of the HSMO shelter locations to find your new best friend:
Macklind Avenue Headquarters Center in St Louis City (1201 Macklind Ave), Cheterfield Valley Center (17357 Edison Ave),  Westport Area Center in Maryland Heights (2400 Drilling Service Road).

Fetch more information about Memphis, this adorable black and white English Coonhound (Redtick Coonhound) and Labrador Retriever mix breed dog.  She's 4 years old and available for adoption from the Maryland Heights facility 314-951-1588.  Her Animal ID number is A523500

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Border Collie Puppy Irish Dancing

Not only is it Saturday, so time for a dog song at Talking Dogs, but it's St Patrick's Day!  Are you ready for a little Irish dancing?  Well, today's dog song is Little Pack of Tailors performed by Irish musician Michael Black. 

Listen closely to the lyrics to find out what happens to the dog.  It's accompanied by a charming video of a nine week old Border Collie puppy doing his version of Riverdance.  Seriously!

Grab a dog!  Sit.  Stay.  Relax and let your toes tap to Little Pack of Tailors. Happy St Patrick's Day!    Be sure to scroll down below today's dog song music video to explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Lost Pets Resource in St Louis Missouri Area

Image: Animal Care Arlington
There's a new resource for folks who have lost their pets in the St Louis, Missouri area.  STL Lost Pets is a collaborative effort by the Animal Protective Association (APA), St Louis County Animal Care & Control, and the Humane Society of Missouri.

If you've lost a pet, you can search their comprehensive list of Found Dogs and Found Cats which include photographs.  You can also contact local shelters (exhaustive list of contacts provided) and submit a Lost Pet Report.

STL Lost Pets offers this advice for anyone looking for a lost pet:
  • Start looking immediately.  Do not assume that your pet will "come back when he's ready."  Animal shelters are required to hold stray animals for only five days, after which they may be placed into a new home or humanely euthanized.  Don't give up!  Many pets are found after being missing for weeks or even months.
  • Check with all neighbors within 4-6 blocks of your home.  Sometimes pets, especially cats, are found a short distance from where they live.
  • Post signs in your neighborhood with a photo detailing your pet's color, size, breed, age, sex and any identification.  Offering a reward might speed your pet's return.
  • Visit ALL animal shelters in your area as often as possible.  Animals might be picked up in one area, but taken to a shelter in a different place, so be sure to call and/or visit as many shelters as possible.
STL Lost Pets strongly encourages microchipping your pet and they even offer discounted microchipping services to pet owners.  

A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time.  Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time.

You can find out more about STL Lost Pets at their website


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Treats Begging Technique

Jeffie and Rudy demonstrate their dog treat attraction skills.
Rudy has developed an excellent hopeful demeanor...
...with no trace of over confidence, which usually results in an "aww..." from the human.
1, 2, 3 ... all together now:  Awww...give that poor, sweet boy a dog cookie.
A close up of the key ingredient in Rudy's (highly successful) technique.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mr. Chewy Online Pet Food Retailer: Product Review

We love Mr. Chewy!  Mr. Chewy is an online pet food retailer offering over 70 brands and subscription based ordering for hassle free delivery.  They ship throughout the continental US and offer free shipping for any order over $49.

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Chewy offered us a special $50 promotional code to use on their website in exchange for an honest review of their services.  We were happy to agree.

Living in a very rural area, we have limited resources for pet food.  When we switched to natural, human grade ingredient dog kibble a few years ago our options were extremely limited.  In fact, there were only a couple brands available locally.  Our situation is very similar in terms of dog treats.  Most online sources we checked had shipping fees that made our wallet cringe.

Not only did Mr. Chewy have our usual brand of dog food available, once we added a package of dog treats to the cart, the shipping really was free.  Well, the truth is that we were so excited by the selection available, we added more than one package of treats to our shopping cart!

We loved how easy it was to shop at Mr. Chewy.  Products are categorized logically and it's super easy to find your usual brand.  When shopping dog treats, we found we could narrow products by pet, brand,  life stage (age), and/or specialty.

In addition to dog food and dog treats, Mr. Chewy offers potty pads, cat food and cat treats, cat litter, and popular flea and tick treatments.  Their website has live chat to answer questions.  If you're uncomfortable ordering online you can call the Mr. Chewy toll number during business hours.

We placed our online order for a 40 pound bag of our usual dog food, plus several packages of treats, on March 4.  We received a prompt email confirmation of our order and, on March 5, a notice our order had shipped.  Our order arrived on March 8 via FedEx delivery.  Super fast service!  This was a big, heavy carton, but even with that hunky bag of dog food, the contents were so well packed that our dog treats arrived in great shape.

Here's why we love Mr. Chewy:
  • Convenience - Quick and easy online ordering with super fast delivery to our front door.
  • Selection - access to a wide variety of brands and products (Especially important for we of the rural persuasion.)
  • Competitive Prices
  • Free Shipping with orders over $49 (and it is very easy to achieve that price point in the cart)  Orders under $49 ship for a flat shipping fee of only $4.95.
And, finally, we love Mr. Chewy's Refer Your Friends Program.  We signed up to see how it worked.  We received a referral code that will allow any friends using it to receive 10% off their first order.  PLUS, Mr. Chewy will donate $10 for each friend that orders from my code.  Donations go to the North Shore Animal League, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, and Bideawee.

We highly recommend Mr. Chewy!  If you'd like to save 10% off your first order, use our referral code at checkout:  SUE5251    Shop in the convenience of your home, have your pet food delivered to your front door, and support organizations that help animals!

Today is Tasty Tuesday - a blog hop celebrating good food, so fetch some new dog treat recipes, great giveaways and more from these blogs!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Missouri - Horse Slaughter Capital of the World?

Image: Stop Horse Slaughter
In November, the US Congress lifted a 5 year ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.  Wyoming based Unified Equine is planning a new plant in Mountain Grove, Missouri, that will slaughter somewhere between 200 and 400 horses per day. 

Only a handful of states allow the plants.  Missouri is among them.

So far, the Mountain Grove plant is still in the planning stages.  The meat produced would primarily be shipped overseas, but some would find its way to specialty stores in the US.

Horse lovers and other Ozarks folks are not all happy about this proposal.  [A petition to oppose the horse slaughter plant can be found on]  And not all residents want Mountain Grove to be known as the horse slaughter capital of the world.  

Proponents of the slaughter plant often suggest this is a solution for the problem of suffering old or ill horses.  

However, as Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, points out:  "According to the company's own literature, the plant would not be for old or sick horses."  This plant will be "procuring mature horses that are in good shape and free of disease.  The company is also not ruling out the possibility the plant may get horses bred specifically for slaughter.

Critics say horse slaughter is always fraught with terror, pain, and suffering.  You may view Humane Society of the United States undercover video showing still conscious horses being shackled and hoisted by a rear leg before their throats are cut.

The Missouri Ozarks already has a reputation for meth labs and puppy mills.  Horse Slaughter Capital may be next.

Dog Trots Globe - To Paris and Provence Book Review

Like many dog lovers, Sheron Long always dreamed of taking Chula, her 9 year old Shetland Sheepdog, on vacation with her.  Last year she did it and traveled all the way to France.  Long wrote about their adventure in a new photo book and travelogue called Dog Trots Globe - To Paris and Provence.

Published by OIC Books, Dog Trots Globe - To Paris and Provence is told from the dog's point of view and includes over 100 color photographs and 4 videos.  The videos are embedded in enhanced eBook editions and available online for readers who choose print or standard eBook editions.

This is a fun story.  Traveling from Carmel Valley in California to Paris and Saint-Remy-de-Provence over two months time, the author, her husband and Chula, the Sheltie dog, explore market days, bristros, French traditions, and the city lights of Paris.  You'll find lots of beautiful photographs and recommendations of dog friendly places and spaces. 
Chula in Provence: Sheron Long photograph
Though I'm usually not keen on stories told from the dog's mouth, so to speak, I found the narrative in Dog Trots Globe charming.  To set the mood for fun and adventure, there are even music videos that accompany the story.  

This is not at all just a story of a traveling dog, but very much a travelogue of things to see and do while in France - with a dog or not.  For example, the book includes a list of the Markets of Provence, accompanied by a map and the days they are open.

I found the the book's Afterword very helpful in giving specific directions to prepare to take a dog with you to France.  In fact, the Extras that accompany the book on the OIC website, give a wealth of helpful information for planning your trip to France.

Enjoy stories about dogs?  Planning a trip to Paris or Provence?  Then, you should read this book.   Dog Trots Globe - To Paris and Provence is available for purchase in hardcover (with online extras) for $19.95.   eBook additions are available from your favorite booksellers.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Irish Setter Dog Jewelry Celtic Bracelet

This one of a kind Irish Setter dog bracelet was hand crafted with St Patrick's Day in mind.  It features one of our Irish Setter dog charms, silver Celtic symbol beads and deep green malachite gemstone beads.

A barking good dog lover jewelry bracelet for any Irish Setter dog owner, especially for St Patrick's Day.  For Love of a Dog also has other Irish Setter dog breed jewelry available, including brooches and pins, bracelets and necklaces.

Our sweet dog breed charms are entirely handmade individually.  They are not flat cut outs, but are dimensional and true to dog breed standards.  Available in many dog breeds and combined with gemstones for necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.  Fetch more dog breed jewelry for gifts or as a special treat for yourself.

For Love of a Dog Jewelry and Gifts offers handmade art jewelry for dog lovers in specific dog breeds, mutts and mixed breed jewelry and dog rescue jewelry.  We also offer dog leash holders, dog breed Christmas ornaments and one of a kind eco-friendly elevated dog feeders.  Shop in the comfort of your home and enjoy our fast, free standard shipping.

Adopt a Dog: White and Black Boxer Mix Xena

Xena needs a forever home!  Right now this beautiful dog is living at the Humane Society of Missouri Maryland Heights animal shelter.  Let's network and help Xena find a family!

Xena is a spayed female Boxer dog mix about 5 years old.  She walks nicely on a leash, appears to be housebroken and is friendly girl.

If you have room in your heart and home, call HSMO at 314-951-1588 and ask about Xena, animal ID #A523602

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Like My Dog by Billy Currington

It's Saturday, so time for a dog song at Talking Dogs.  We hope you enjoy this country music tune Like My Dog by Billy Currington.  Don't usually care for country music?  We bet by the end of this song your toe will be tapping while you smile at this sweet puppy dog video slide show.

Celebrate the amazing acceptance and love we all receive from our canine best friends.  Wouldn't we all like people to love us like our dog?

Time to grab a dog!  Sit.  Stay.  Relax and enjoy Like My Dog. If this puts you in the mood, fetch some more dog songs and videos at Talking Dogs.  Be sure to scroll down below today's dog song video to explore some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Random Thoughts and a Puppy Video

Since I'm not in the mood to stick to my list of things I am supposed to blog about...  I thought I'd share some random thoughts.

Our Mr. Chewy order arrived last night.  Such incredibly fast service that I'm really looking forward to writing my review!  Look for it early next week.  Jeffie and Rudy were particularly happy with the delivery because I ordered some new dog treats to try. 

Earlier this week we had another delivery:  our new video camera.  This promises to be fun, though it comes with the challenge of learning to edit video.  (Just what I needed... another challenge.)  At any rate, hopefully, soon we'll give you a laugh with our efforts.  In the meantime...

I was trolling for some new dog songs and dog music videos when I tripped over the video below.  I don't know about you, but some days I just need a "puppy fix" and this one really did the trick for me.  Can your heart resist melting while watching 3 1/2 weeks old Australian Shepherd puppies explore the outdoor world for the first time?  Mine couldn't! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dog Fighting Crackdown in Missouri

Dog rescued from a MO dog fighting operation 2009 (CBS News) 
According to the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation (MAAL), at their request Missouri Senator John Lamping has introduced legislation to crackdown on dog fighting.

In Missouri one of the largest impediments to suppressing dog fighting is the problem of what to do with the fighting dogs seized during the investigations and raids of dog fights.  Currently, state prosecutors can seek a disposition hearing for animals that have been cruelly treated and subsequently seized by law enforcement officials.

A judge can order such animals to be surrendered to the appropriate animal control authority or an animal shelter. This ensures that the animals will not remain in the control of those who have abused or neglected them and expedites their adoption into good homes. Unfortunately, the law authorizing a disposition hearing does not apply to dogs abused in the vicious sport of dog fighting since our law against dog fighting is in a different section of the state's anti-cruelty codes.

In the absence of a disposition hearing, animal shelters and municipalities have to bear the cost of housing fighting dogs indefinitely until a defendant can be prosecuted in criminal court. The criminal process can drag on for months and even years. Municipalities and animal shelters can't afford to house seized fighting dogs on a long term basis. 

Defendants are aware of this and many seek continuances hoping the authorities will drop the charges against them in an effort to escape the mounting bills for housing and caring for such animals. Dogs utilized by dog fighters have to be housed individually and with special care and frequently require extensive veterinary care and long periods of rehabilitation. The animals can suffer additional stress from prolonged confinement.

The inability of shelters and local governments to house and care for fighting dogs for an indefinite period of time has prevented authorities from investigating dog fighting. Law enforcement officials know they have no place to house fighting dogs and are discouraged from following leads of dog fighting activity.

Senator Lamping's bill would extend disposition hearings to dog fighting victims and provide an expeditious disposition of these dogs so they can be rehabilitated and placed in loving homes.  If you live in Missouri, please contact your state senators and representatives and ask that they support SB 903.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life with Cush Dogs - Guest Blog Post

Cush Dog Jeffie - 8 weeks old
Today we have a Talking Dogs guest blog post from the dog daddy at our house.

Life with our "cush" dogs...

Sue introduced me to the concept of a Cush dog many years ago.  I don’t remember exactly when, but I do remember the circumstances because we have relived them many times. 

Cush dog is short for cushion dog.  When you have a pet who is becoming aged, the reality of their short life begins to sink in. You realize that one day you will have to go on in life without them and you begin to feel the need for another pet to cushion you against that loss. 

I realize that not everyone’s lifestyle will allow for more than one dog in your life at a time.  However, I would find it unbearable to lose a loving companion and to be utterly without one. I count myself as lucky that I am able to have more than one dog in my life at a time. In fact, up until about 6 months ago we had four.

About 6 years ago, with Lucy and Tucker being close in age and beginning to experience some health problems, we decided it was time for a Cush dog. We began our search and thanks to Petfinder, Jeffie came into our life. His full name is Thomas Jefferson Davis Canine Kottwitz, but Jeffie seems to fit him well.

I could not imagine a better Cush dog. As readers of this blog know, Tucker left us last October and Lucy followed him this February. Even before Lucy was gone, Jeffie began to gravitate more to Sue, and now whether she is in her office, her studio or anywhere else, Jeffie is by her side or close by. Just like Lucy used to be. 

I have no doubt in my mind that he senses her loss and is trying to fill the void. You see, Jeffie has always been the most sensitive dog I can remember.  At the slightest sign of physical or emotional upset from either of us, Jeffie is there. Even if a curse word is uttered he will be at your side and put a paw on your leg to comfort you.

We have also noticed that he is also grieving the loss of his sister and brother. He is much more subdued and spends a lot of time watching us closely. So as any dog lover can imagine, we are blessed to have Jeffie as our Cush dog.

Then there is Rudy. He came to our family about a year and a half ago. He was not a designated Cush dog. Sue just wanted a puppy.  I fell in love with him and Sue wasn't far behind. However, he is also functioning as a Cush dog. With Jeffie spending more time with Sue, Rudy is always available to me at the drop of a hat. Still being a puppy, he lifts our moods with his antics and can usually get Jeffie up and playing.

So you see we are all still grieving here at For Love of a Dog, but our Cush dogs are helping cushion us from our, and their own, loss.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Branson Tornado: Humane Society of Missouri Responds

Within hours of tornadoes that struck the Branson, Missouri area this past week, the Humane Society of Missouri Disaster Response Team was on site.  The video below shows the horrible conditions they found and tells a bit about their animal rescue efforts.

Given the high anxiety levels of our pets when we took cover from the same storm, I find it hard to imagine what these newly homeless pets and their owners are going through.

The Humane Society of Missouri has been named by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency as the lead animal welfare agency in response to disasters and other emergencies in Missouri.  HSMO's Disaster Response Team is traned and experienced in all kinds of animal rescue situations including tornado rescue.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Adopt a Dog !

Sundays are the day when Talking Dogs features dogs available for adoption from animal shelters.  We especially like to share video clips of the dogs so you can get a better idea of their personalities around people.

Many animal rescue groups and shelters have teamed with professional photographers to let their homeless animals put their best foot forward.  In fact, a good photograph really does help an animal get adopted.

We suspect videos help greatly, too, and wish more dogs needing a forever home could be presented in video.  Take a look at the charming dog adoption video below and see if you don't agree.

And instead of featuring just one dog today, we encourage you to go to Petfinder and search your local animal shelters and pet rescue listings to find that perfect furry addition to your family.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dog Song Saturday: Time Together - Tribute to a Doxie Dog

It's Saturday, so time for a dog song at Talking Dogs.  Today's selection is a very special original song written by Michael Franks.  

Time Together is the title track from Michael's Time together CD and a touching tribute to his beloved Dachshund, Flora.  Time Together is dedicated to all who have lost a much loved animal companion and the royalties from this song are donated to Hearts United for Animals in Flora's memory.

Time Together is accompanied by a lovely video tribute to Flora, the doxie dog.  Be sure to listen closely to the lyrics. 
Someday when all our heart are reassembled
Love will connect us once again
And we'll resume our time together.
Fetch all of the lyrics for Time Together at Michael Frank's website.

Grab a dog.  Better snatch a tissue or two.  Sit.  Stay.  Hug that dog.  Relax and enjoy Time Together.  

Be sure to scroll down below the dog song video to check out some barking good dog blogs because today is a Pet Blogger Hop.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Dog Serves Himself Ice Cubes Video

Wow, I don't dare let Rudy see this video.  It will give him ideas!  

Rudy loves ice cubes and rushes to "help" whenever we fill a glass.  We might just drop a cube.  If so, Rudy's on it like a duck on a junebug.

He also loves it when we clean out the big ice cube bin.

I'd decided that today we needed something just plain fun and I found it. 

This video will put a smile on your face. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pet Safety: Tornado Season Comes Early to the Ozarks

Tornado Image:
Night before last my sleep was disturbed by a strange voice.  I ignored it.  The third time was the charm and it penetrated my sleep when the voice mentioned my neighborhood and order:  "You should be headed to your shelter."

That opened my eyes!  I shook Gary to tell him what was happening and headed out to the family room.  Jeffie and Rudy were thrilled we were getting up so early.  It was a little after midnight and the local television stations had all switched to live coverage of the storm system bearing down on the Ozarks.  It came bearing gifts: tornadoes.

I ran back to our bedroom to grab clothes, shoes, and try to get Gary to wake up enough for the warning to register.  Then ran to the mudroom to grab the dog harnesses, leashes, and my new halogen lantern. Gary joined us in our shelter after he'd grabbed the radio and there we road out the storm together.

The whole time I was thinking about Joplin and Kari Wilkes.  When the EF 5 tornado hit and demolished Joplin, Missouri last year, Kari Wilkes was headed into her shelter when the storm literally pulled her dog, Hanah, out of her arms.  Kari and her family know Hanah survived the storm thanks to a couple of picture taken by someone afterwards.  That person was trying to seek help for the injured, distressed, white American Bulldog.  In fact, someone in a black SUV reportedly picked up Hanah to carry her to safety.  However, Hanah has not been seen since.
Kari Wilkes' White American Bulldog, Hanah, is still missing.

Kari Wilkes launched a massive effort to recover her dog,  Hanah, and you can read about it at Bring Hanah Home.

What does this have to do with us cowering in our tornado shelter the other night?  Well, in spite of both Gary and I having grown up in tornado country and feeling a sense of personal bravado about these storms, we now have a weather alert radio.  Set for our geographic area, it emits a long squawk and then gives the specific weather warning.  It repeats until you turn it off.

Our dogs are microchipped.  They now wear their collars with identification tags 24/7.  Their harnesses and leashes are handy to our storm shelter.  We've taken other steps to keep us all safe, too, using ASPCA Disaster Preparedness guidelines.

The Joplin tornado disaster forced us to pay attention.  Hundreds of people and pets were left homeless by the tornadoes that hit Joplin.  Many pets never again saw their people.

Cavalier though we were, we now are determined that all of us - people and pets - will ride out the storms together as safely as possible.

We were lucky this week.  No damage here at the For Love of a Dog homestead and we're all fine.  We're doing our best to keep it that way.