Having Littermates/Multiple Puppies

Original Post: March 29th, 2011
Edited: March 6h, 2017

Since 1996; I have had a 4 sets of litter-mate puppies; (2 Golden Retriever Rescues- full brothers, different litters, 7 months apart – and 3 pairs of same litter Great Danes puppies – one being brother/sister(2004) and two being brother/brother(2006 & 2014) – of which my present Dane pair – Ice & Zero are brothers  and are now almost 3. They will turn 3 in June.

At the time that I did add these boyz to my heart/home in 2014, I did have older Great Danes too(My oldest Dane is now almost 10 – Multi CH Bronson tuns 10 in June 2017 and my GSx tuns 13 in July 2017).

Additionally, I added a new show puppy to my home when my 2 littermate brothers, of Dyce and Soul were both only 14 months of age and Bronson was almost 4 years old. When Bronson was 16 months, I added my third show puppy; TAIN who has long since crossed over. In September of 2010; I added another Great Dane – Sir Maestro; my last show prospect who is now turning 7 in July 2017 and in November of 2010; I then added another Special Needs – Bleach(Blind/Deaf) who has also now sadly crossed over. We have been a multi dog home since 1996.

I have not found it all that much harder in the housebreaking, training, socialisation etc. in having two pups/dogs over one. BUT one has to be committed, dedicated, do proper integration, training, socialisation etc. and is not wearing blinders or lazy; and only then; would I say that having two at the same time is perfectly fine for the right person/people in the right home.

I am also aware that I am also not the ‘typical’ dog owner home with what I do professionally. 😉

I have also not found that they have necessarily bonded more to each other than to myself (though they are close) and when I do their training/socialisation; I do it in groups, just them and also as individuals. In regards to Vet bills, one must be prepared IMHO to ensure that they can afford the bills for vetting, altering, microchipping(important in my opinion), emergencies etc. for the additions including the higher food bills costs.

It is definitely not something for everyone and not something I would recommend that everyone out there rush out to do and I stand by that ONLY in the right home with the right personality pups; two can be wonderfully busy.

If the whole family is not on board with the idea of having two, that is a big ‘red’ flag to me that it is best to wait at this time. It can be hard to be patient BUT it will be so worth it in the end if things are done the ‘right’ way and people are not setting themselves, their current Dane(s) and any possible new addition up for failure. My general recommendation for most homes is to wait until their current addition is at least 12-18 months.

Time, patience, consistency, obedience, love and structure are your best tools/aids along with a properly qualified Training Professional of which sadly, is one of the least regulated professions in Canada.

Just my two cent’s worth as always.

PRONG Collars & Quebec

UPDATE: Sent my way from Nevenka René on March 5th, 2014:

Good evening,

I saw the comment on your blog requesting the information pertaining to the prong collar and electric dog collar interdiction in Québec.  It’s actually as per Section 26 of the “Règlement sur la sécurité et le bien-être des chats et des chiens ” which states « Le collier de l’animal ne doit pas gêner sa respiration ni lui occasionner de la douleur ou des blessures. »

It basically says that the animal’s collar mustn’t cause him pain or harm nor block his respiration (?)- sorry English is not my first language.

As you mentioned in your comment, the infraction could result in a 600$ fine.

I hope this helps.

I also wished to thank you for the work you’re doing, as a Great Dane owner I know how much care giant breeds actually request and that not all rescue can take them on.

Thank you,

Nevenka René

January 9th, 2014:
***I have yet to find the actual law re: this that was sent my way today. I have found literature that states that the unsupervised use of prong and shock collars, is punishable. I am continuing to research this as correct information needs and should be imparted.  If anyone is able to locate the actual ruling re: this, please do pass it along. It is so important that only real facts are relayed***

L’utilisation des colliers à pics est interdite au Québec (l’interdiction
de vente sera bientôt officielle). Si vous voyez un chien blessé par ce
type de collier vous pouvez communiquer avec le Ministère de l’Agriculture,
des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec au 1-800-463-5023 (600$
d’amende).

The use of prong collars is illegal in Quebec (and their sale will soon be
illegal as well). If you see a dog that has been injured by this type of
collar, report the incident to the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Food and
Fisheries by calling 1-800-463-5023 (There is a $600 fine).

http://www.banshockcollars.ca/comments.php

 

THINKING of Getting a GD Puppy/Dog?

As someone that has been owned and has worked with and rescued Danes for the past 25 years plus has been showing them since 2006; I always impart the following:

I always tell people begin to develop that relationship first and in time; all your researching, patience, and efforts now will give you the best results of having that wonderful companion Great Dane puppy that you are seeking come to light. There are far too many people seeking the 'now' puppy and if bybers, puppymills etc. are supported, it only perpetuates the cycle of more puppies being bred and born for 'greed' money and not for the breeds best interest.

ONLY one of my 7 Great Danes(he happens to be a show boy, now a Multi CH.) is from Canada and he is also from the province of Ontario. His Breeders have had one litter in his just shy of 6 years. Do not limit yourself to one area of 'looking' is one of my recommendations.

I strongly believe that as someone dedicated to animal welfare; I can do my part in assisting plus working together with reputable/quality/responsible Breeders to ‘preserve' the Great Dane Breed standard by showing/handling/competing with the dogs to various titles and thereby also gaining added confirmation of true temperament plus conformation of Breed Standards. A favourite quote of mine is 'doing it the right way, not the easy way.'

Pet/Companion or Show, all puppies in any litter from quality Breeders are bred for health, temperament, conformation and longevity. Breeders are not only breeding to preserve the breed that we love so much yet are constantly out there working to improve their own lines.

I also feel that just because a Great Dane earns his/her Championship is no reason to be bred. I also believe that any animal that might ever be considered to be bred must earn not just one Championship Title yet must earn titles at both ends of their names to best be proven in the pillars of the Great Dane Standard as I term it. Those pillars are Conformation and Temperament plus the added pillars required are Health testing and breeding for Longevity. Equally important is breeding per the Colour Code of Ethics.

http://www.gdca.org/colorcode.html

Showing is such a great networking tool and the Great Dane world is truly much smaller than many might think. Being a responsible/quality Breeder is so much more than just putting two dogs together to have puppies. Breeding should be taken very seriously.


Reputable/Quality Show Breeders breed to not only preserve the Great Dane standard yet they are constantly working hard at improving their own lines. They will stand by their dogs, be a resource 24/7 and take any of their dogs back should a home not be able to keep them.


You should choose your 'colour' and go to shows, develop that relationship etc. as posted above.


AND do remember that just because a breeder dabbles in showing, does NOT make them r/q. OR just because they are CAN KC or AKC registered does NOT make them r/q either. AND r/q Breeders do not breed often and many do NOT even have websites yet, have long waiting lists for their dogs.

I have created an educational/community education blog on our rescue site on this topic and it is in below called the 'Marmaduke Effect' with lots of information to be found there.

http://www.birchhaven.org/?cat=75

Contacting a rescue to adopt a Great Dane is also a great option too!

 

Grieving…Losing a Pet

I am often consulted when a home has lost a beloved pet; either suddenly or passing away from lengthy illness or injury; and they have at least one other dog still at home. I have decided to post the following blog and perhaps it might assist others.

As always just my humble professional opinion FWIW.

As mentioned, at the end of the day, whatever decision(s) you make will be supported by your friends and family. I just caution people to not just rush……

Here is my professional positioning on the loss of a pet when I am consulted:

  • Provide the surviving dog with more attention and affection. Try to take her mind off it by engaging her in a favorite activity or activities. If she/he enjoys human company, invite friends that she likes to visit and spend time with her. OR have her go with any friends that you trust and she loves for play dates, day trips etc.
  • Use environmental enrichment techniques such as toys to help keep her busy. Hide toys or treats at her favorite spots for her to find during the day or in a KONG etc. – IF she is that type of dog
  •  If he/she is too depressed over their companion's loss, she may not respond to extra activity right away. The old saying, "Time heals all wounds, has meaning to our dogs.  – walks/hikes, car rides might be more her ‘thing’.
  • Based on the results of one ASPCA study, most dogs returned to normal after about two weeks but some dogs took up to six months to fully recover.
  • If your surviving dog is vocalizing more, whining or howling, barking, do not unconsciously ‘enable’ her by giving her too much attention, treats to distract her or you might unintentionally reinforce this behaviour in addition to creating SA types of behavour. This is ‘negative seeking attention’ getting and she would be encouraged to continue said behaviour(s). Giving attention during any behavior will help to reinforce it so be sure you are not reinforcing a behavior that you don't like. Passively ignore. Try a calming word/signal and passively ignore(do not make a big fuss or deal).
  • Give praise and additional attention at a time when your dog is engaging in behaviors that you do like, such as when she/he is resting quietly or watching the birds or out hiking or walking etc.. As the pain of the loss begins to subside, so should SA and other ‘dependent’, ‘confusing’ and other ‘depressive’  behavours, as long as it is related to the grieving process.
  • Rescue Remedy
  • We all grieve in different ways and staying busy is most important – the mind and her body. Keep her stimulated.

 

If you are thinking about adding another dog, wait until you and your surviving dog have adjusted to the loss. Introducing/integrating your dog to get to know a newcomer can often add stress to her already anxiety-ridden emotional state. And be patient. Your surviving dog clearly misses her canine companion as much as you do. Do not rush. If people ‘rush’ out to get another dog too soon, it can actually according to some studies increase some SA type of behaviours.
*There are two very different camps on this and I feel that losing a dog suddenly is much different than if one has a ‘dying’ dog and brings in a new addition to assist themselves plus their current dog.

There shall be one there for you; when the time is right; yet do not ‘settle’ on the quick fix solution. If your current dog is not ready for a new companion, there can be resentment, jealousy, acting out, indifference including lack of bonding. The same can apply to humans who act too soon.

Others embrace a new addition really well sooner than others. You know your home and your surviving dog best. Many people begin an adoption process for example within a couple or few weeks after losing a pet for they know that the process can take some time and if a home is very particular about colour, sex, the longer it can take for that right matched personality fit to come.

Your current dog has lived her life with her companion that has now passed and their scent is all around her environment and a dog's scent is so powerful. When that daily scent of their beloved companion is suddenly gone, and the daily routine is absent, your surviving dog will certainly become confused and actually disorientated. Once again there are two camps on the removal of items that have the scent of their lost companion. I advise not to remove dog beds or toys etc. that have belonged or were played with by the dog that has passed away. Others will say get rid of it all. The scent of your lost pet is going to long be there even if you do remove these items and by taking all of it away can possibly cause more confusion to your surviving pet and seems like there is something to ‘hide’. I believe we need to move from denial(natural part of grieving) to acceptance(natural part of grieving) and in order to do this, items that cause us memories and feelings evoking strong emotions should not be thrown out. Some feel they need to pack it all up and re-visit it later and I am in the camp of total avoidance not being a healthy thing.

So because she doesn't understand what happened, and because she can't play or smell her friend like she used to, and her normal daily routine is completely and abruptly turned upside down for her, she might just lay around all day. The familiar regular daily smells are gone. She might not eat or drink. She might just plain look miserable and depressed. Just as humans go through the stages of grieving, dogs must as well – from isolation to SA to depression to acceptance through the healing process and as you heal, she will ‘feed’ on your emotions.

Remember as a general rule of thumb for dogs – 7 days our time = 2.25 months their time.

But one way to comfort a pet whose friend has passed might be to introduce him to a wide variety of other people and other animals (thus lots of different smells!). It might happen that she will take to another human or animal. This can help perk her up and even get her to start eating and drinking regularly again. Perhaps even to play!

Realize that you do not need anyone else's approval to mourn the loss of your pet, nor must you justify your feelings to anyone. AND when you feel it is ‘right’ for you and your surviving pet; then you add another beloved addition. I have always said that animals need their own ‘social network’ and give to each other in ways that as humans we cannot – companionship, communication, social networking etc. Therefore, I am in completely support of multi-dog homes.

Other Information:

Many professionals believe there are seven stages a person passes through as he or she deals with grief. These stages may occur in any order, and some stages may occur simultaneously. They are:

1.    Shock and Denial:
Many people react to learning of a loss with numbed disbelief. They may deny the reality of the loss at some level in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may be short-lived or may last for weeks. Symptoms of denial may include a lack of tears, or a failure to accept or even acknowledge the loss.
After suffering the loss of their pet, some pet owners find it difficult to accept a new pet into their home because they believe a new pet would violate the memory of their deceased pet. This feeling should not be confused with the feeling of many pet owners who wish to have a brief “pet-free” period in their life to allow them to grieve the loss of their deceased pet.

2.    Pain and Guilt:
As the shock of the loss wears off, it is often replaced by a feeling of unbelievable pain. Although the pain may be excruciating, it is important that the person experiencing the loss experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it through the excessive use of alcohol or drugs. The pet owner may feel responsible for their pet's death, or may feel that he or she should have taken action earlier and only prolonged their pet's life because they couldn't bring themselves to say “good-bye”. During this stage of grief, life may feel chaotic and scary.

3.    Anger:
Frustration over not being able to prevent the loss may give way to anger, and the pet owner may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Although this is a time for the release of bottled up emotions, angry outbursts may permanently damage relationships with those who are trying to help. If such anger becomes prolonged or vicious in nature, professional help may be warranted.

4.    Depression, Reflection and Loneliness:
Depression is a natural consequence of grief and if not addressed properly can leave the sufferer powerless to cope with his or her feelings. The pet owner should not allow himself or herself to be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. It is at this time that the individual will finally realize the true magnitude of the loss, and it is this realization that may bring on depression. Purposeful isolation, and intense feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, and/or self-pity may bring on feelings of emptiness and despair. If this occurs, professional intervention may be appropriate.

5.    The Upward Turn:
As the person experiencing the loss starts to adjust to life without his or her pet, life becomes a little calmer, more organized, and some sense of normalcy begins to return. Any physical symptoms that may have been experienced following the loss will have lessened, and any “depression” that may have occurred will have begun to lift slightly.

6.    Reconstruction of Life Without the Beloved Pet:
As the pet owner becomes more functional following the loss, he or she will find that their mind starts working again, and they will find themselves seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by life without their beloved pet. They will start to work on practical problems and reconstructing themselves to face life without their departed pet.

7.    Acceptance and Hope:
There is a difference between resignation and acceptance. The pet owner must accept the loss, not just try to bear it quietly. During this last stage of the grief process, the person experiencing the loss will learn to accept and deal with the reality of his or her situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil the pet owner has experienced, he or she can never return to exactly the same life that existed before tragedy struck. However, they will find a way forward. It is at this point that the grieving person will be able to reminisce about the deceased pet with sadness, but without the intense emotional pain experienced earlier.

Hope some of this has helped.

 

Gwendilin Boers, BA. Hon. Crim., BA. Hon. Psy. & MA. Psy. Animal & Child Development/Behaviour
PHd Animal Behavoural Student

**Originally Published February 1st, 2011 @ 0:37 AM**

Tail Wagging – Happy?

I am actually writing a article to be published on this very topic.

A wagging tail can be most complicated in its meanings. Dog behavior is complex and signals that dogs send are often very subtle. A dog’s tail can tell us many things about their feelings. The dogs’ tail is an important method of communication and in combination with their other body language signals; are cues to help tell what our animal(s) are trying to say to us. Most people believe that a wagging tail means a happy dog.

Confidence/Fear/Dominance/Submission/Play and Play Invitations/Aggression/Relaxed/Alert/Excitement/Anticipation/Insecurity are all possible 'emotions' with a wagging tail.

A dog's tail is just one tool that the dog uses for communicatino. The dog also uses vocalization, scents and other aspects of body language such as eye and ear movements, pupil dilation and general body positions. Therefore, the dog ha to be taken as a whole to best determine what they are saying instead of just focusing on the tail position and/or level of wagging being done.

Wagging also spreads pheromones which are hormones produced in glands near the anus of the dog. The pheromones can be detected by other dogs and enable them to determine each other's sex and social status. It serves as another aspect of canine communication.

Tail language actually has three different channels of information: position, shape and movement. Movement is a very key and important aspect of the signal; since dog's eyes are much more sensitive to movement than they are to details or colours. This makes a waving or wagging tail quite visible to other dogs.

A new workship that I am adding to my programs this fall shall be on 'WHAT IS YOUR DOG TRYING TO TELL YOU' – Reading Body Language.

We also have to be very careful about not 'humanizing' our dogs for while they are capable of a wide variety of feelings/emotions, they are not humans…. 😉

Back in September of 2010, I decided to add this running blog based upon the numerous emails, letters, stopped on the street discussions and phone calls I receive re: everything from nutrition, exercise, vetting and training of Giant Breeds to owning more than one, or littermates, how to find a reputable/quality Breeder or Rescue and the list goes on and on.

I also wish to utilize this blog for my 'comment thoughts' of the day and/or other 'impact' situations that arise such as 'deaf' or 'senior' or other 'special needs' experiences re: BHRR and the animals under our care or even my own. Feedback and comments from the public are always more than welcome.

Hoping that this blog will provide some really good indepth further community awareness / education plus to just share a common love of Giants AND/OR the Special Needs with others and to impart the knowledge, experience and professional plus personal views of myself who posseses almost 25 years in 'these trenches' of rescue, training, medical and behavoural rescue plus rehabilitation of the Giants/Equines with the focus on the Special Needs.

To learn more about myself, please visit my Biography Page.

The Gwennie! Comment of the Day:

'No animal is perfect….we can only make them as perfect as they can be'
-Remember behavour cannot be changed, only modified to make it the best behavour possible!

Tri-Pods

Many will say, myself included that it is easier on a dog to 'lose' a back leg over a front leg based upon balance, weight distribution when getting up/walking etc., co-ordination and that when most dogs do run, it is a three-beat run.

We do a lot of leg amputations at BHRR as we focus on the SN's in our program(s). We have done both front and back leg amputations and all dogs have gone on to lead wonderful and quality filled lives; regardless if it was a front or a back leg.

We even have a tripod, BHRR's Potter; in our BHRR Haven Program at this time having removed his one hind leg due to an aggressive MCT. He was given an 85% chance of having Cancer return within one year post-amputation and he celebrated his one year survival anniversary last November!!!

Prong Collars

I am also not a fan of a prong collar for many reasons and in almost 25 years of working in Rescue plus in Training/Behavour; I can count on one hand the number of times I have ever used one and twice was on my own Goldens, my own – brothers and then only used for couple of times and the dogs 'got' it and I then could move to a flat buckle collar as should the be goal of any one to be able to walk on loose lead with your dog in a flat or side release collar. I have not used a prong since 1996 in my own programs.

So many Trainers(and I use that term loosely for as many know, this area is a pet peeve of mine due to the complete lack of regulation surrounding the profession) do not teach the owners how to properly utilize a Prong and then there are the owners and also trainers that use the prong as a 'crutch' or 'quick fix' instead of a temp measure(and that really should be defined) as the owners do not work towards the ultimate goal of moving away from what I call a 'teaching tool/aid' of the prong to the flat/side release collar.

I see so many Giant Breeds in prongs and many of them puppies and I continue to try and educate plus make that difference where I can to those that ask or would listen. In working in Rescue, we often get those 11 month, 18 month old, 2 year or 3 year old untrained, jumping, pulling, yanking, jerking etc. Great Danes and all have learnt through time, effort, patience, consistency with positive training/guidance and leadership to become assets to not only their home yet the community and this sans the use of a Prong collar. Additionally, as part of our adoption contract, there is an obedience clause whereby each home must take their new adoptive addition to a full round/session of obedience classes to carry on this training, creating a great bonding opportunity PLUS it is a great social network for both dog/human. Lack of training is one of the top reasons why we have Great Danes surrendered to BHRR and when many people realise they can no long 'man'handle these dogs, they look to myself as a Rescuer or as the trainer/behavoural expert to assist them.

Trainers need to train the owners how to continue the training at home and outside of class or training sessions.

I have seen much damage caused by the improper use of prongs in not only Rescue yet at the Hospital.

Choke chains can and do cause its own share of damage to a dog.

Nothing should be used as a quick fix or a crutch in place of a proper training regime and program. In March of 2010, we had an addition to our BHRR program of a very obese 191.80 pound 2 year old female Great Dane(with two blown cruciates) and when she first arrived if she wanted to go somewhere, she took me along for the ride. Even with her 2 blown cruciates she just walked off with me attached to the lead(what little walking she was capable of doing with her weight/cruciates). Less than a week later and she was walking wonderfully on her flat buckle with me. My time, consistency, routine, repetition, commitment to her training has made the difference. I use both treats and praise and through time, weed out the treats or toy and while they still get them here and there, they never know yet praise is always present.

One thing that I learnt very early on is that 'common' sense to me is not to others and all of us could and do benefit from going to a proper and certified trainer. I know I still do with some of my dogs just because and even with the training plus education that I have; I still learn things, good things when I do! AND I live quite rural and it is not unknown for me to drive up to 1.5 hours or so one way in good weather to attend classes taught by others! As has been mentioned previously, 'IT is that important'.

I also will say that what will work with one dog will NOT always work with every dog. One has to be resourceful and if one method that has been truly tried does not work, another method might. Yet you have to give that method a good shot first. I find some dogs do better with their show collars over a flat and others work better in a martingale yet prongs nor choke chains are not used in the classes I teach nor with my private training and/or behavoural clients.

The term 'correction' has often been related to 'punishment' for many people and trainers yet I always use the word 'correction' as being positive based.

JMHO FWIW as always.

The ‘BHRR’ Experience – One Volunteers Blog

Below is a note that the approved BHRR Volunteer wrote on her fb wall about her BHRR 'EXPERIENCE' in taking care of BHRR/our home while I had my first family vacation in almost 6 years. With her permission, it has been posted below. As I say so often to others plus posted this as a response to her fb wall post:

"AND I would love to 'share' your note with others interested in BHRR – either by adopting, volunteering, learning more about our stellar programs etc. – with your permission. I could never say any words better than what those themselves that are involved could say about the BHRR 'EXPERIENCE'. It is all of you that are the 'voice' making that 'CHAIN OF SUCCESS' so strong…"

 

Day 12 – Novice in Rescue , My Adventure at BHRR – Home coming for all

by Suzanne Desjardins on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 9:13pm

 

Is there ever anything sweeter than being home ???? I am very certain Gwen,Sean and kids feel the same…I have made some personal journeys in life but this is one for the bucket list 4sure …

I  will never think of rescue in another way except wow, the work involved is just staggering ….and i wasn't even training or rehabbing…..just reinforcing.  BUT the REWARDS are PRICELESS………

If anyone reading this note or my prior notes wonders how they too could be involved…DONATE DONATE DONATE…The amount of food that i fed over the 12 days was mind boggling …FOOD is life for this small respectable,reputable ONE OF A KIND rescue ….so the next time time you are in the pet store or grocery store , buy a bag and and let Gwen know you have food……..Towels, sheets, comforters, pinesol, treats, ALL very much needed …………..

I had tears in my eyes as I left today… there are several that I loved prior to this, and they have cemeted themselves in my heart forever…Potter, Soul and Albert, his trust in me was moving….Bleach is AMAZING for a deaf/blind puppy ….the way he motors around is nothin short of WOW………

 Gwen…. I thank you …………

Let’s Talk About Bloat…

Let's talk about Bloat….

Sean called me at work tonight and the first thing he said was 'I know I might be being paranoid (not only have we had our own terrible experiences with Bloat/Tort yet we know many that have also had dear ones fall victim) yet I am worried…' and before he could finish the sentence I finished it for him. I asked 'who' did he think is bloating – Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus ("GDV").

He then proceeded to tell me that one of the dogs had vomited with foam at least 3 times in a short span of time and that he had narrowed it down to BHRR's Porridge based upon his behavour. He said that BHRR's Porridge was acting cranky(AND for those that know BHRR's Porridge – he is anything but cranky except when it comes to nail trimming!) plus was not keen on having his belly touched. Sean told me that he did not see any distended belly and then I went through the gamut of questions – there was no restlessness, biting at sides, dark red or pale gums, rapid breathing, panting, pacing, whining, temperature/pulse/heart rate(had not yet been taken), hunching or arching, drooling, weakness etc. BHRR's Porridge wanted to be comforted yet did not want to be touched and would 'bark' at Sean if he did go near his belly. THIS is not his normal behavour.

AND what I told Sean is what I keep telling so many that contact me re: bloat; time = life and better to be safe than sorry and to go to the Vet PLUS that I will not diagnose, especially over the phone. What some people do not realise that bloat can kill regardless if there is tort / twisting (volvulus) involved.

I am always happy to meet people at the emergency or their own Vet Hospital and tell people it is better to look 'silly' and be told nothing is wrong than to wait too long and then there is little to no chance of survival.

Not being there to see and not being able to get my hands on BHRR's Porridge, I was not going to make a decision that could cost any dog their life, so, I advised Sean to pump GasX in to BHRR's Porridge and to head over ASAP. I gave the head's up to all that Sean was on his way and should be at KAH by 7:10 PM . In hearing the sounds that BHRR's Porridge was making in the background while Sean was trying to feel his stomach, I knew that he was very uncomfortable and for sure something was wrong and I believe he was filled up with gas and if not already actually bloating, well on his way.

GasX & Zantac Dosages Information Chart that I have put together for the BHRR website.

I called Sean about 12 or so minutes later to get an update and Sean said that that the GasX sure was doing its thing for  BHRR's Porridge was having 'gas' coming out both ends, and that was putting it mildly. BHRR's Porridge began to instantly feel better and was asking for full body snuggles and cuddles and wanting to zip and zoom(to which Sean put a stop to that part!).

I told Sean to give more GasX and also some Zantac(will help with pain too) to BHRR's Porridge and updated plus cancelled the alert to those working with me at KAH. The Vet asked if I needed anything to bring home and I felt I was ok with all that I did have in medications plus have tubing on hand if needed. I thanked the Vet for her time plus willingness to have see BHRR's Porridge on such short notice. The reality is and something I said to the Vet and they concurred is that now the risk is much higher for BHRR's Porridge to go through this again.

Our PPSS, lives on GasX with every meal he has. You can visibly see his tummy swell up with gas as he is eating and even more so, after eating. Due to his immature digestive system, he is not very effective in getting air out and it is getting worse as he ages(5 years in April).

I have also updated the Bloat Information that I had put together for the BHRR website under 'other places to visit' and then 'animal health'.

One of the lessons that can be learnt from this experience is that do not just look for 'physical' signs/symptoms of bloat/torting; look for behavoural changes. There was very little in regards to physical changes with BHRR's Porridge and the same could be said for our RIP beloved BLK's Maggi. Know your dog and know when he/she is not acting right.

As for why *I* think this happened to BHRR's Porridge – I can only answer with one word –  'stress' of which excitement is also a form of stress.

My Response to a Cesar Millan Fanatic

For the hundreds of supportive and in agreement emails, notes etc. that have been received regarding my 'CM Experience Blog' post; I would like to share what was sent my way by someone that is very pro-CM.

Just before going to bed in the wee hours of today, I was checking my email and I came across a submission entry to our BHRR Guest Book from one Ms. Bebenek. This person was very quick to fire off accusations and some erroneous comments not to mention an insult or two made about my Blog post re: CM; such as CM having more experience. Well, in fact; as someone that is not even 6 months younger than CM; my Career is to work with dogs all day, every day. 😉 AND I have almost 25 years of hands on direct experience to date. This person was very strong in stating that Cesar Millan never uses 'fear, anger, exhaustion, or treats as a means of training dogs'. I particularly loved the comments about how *I* was not providing my name?? Hmmmmm, is it not all over the BHRR Website, the BHRR FB Group and on our BHRR Twitter Page plus in the biography section about who I am? 😉

This person defended CM's use of a treadmill and found it acceptable that if a person cannot get out to walk them, it is ok to treadmill them. 

I also found it very interesting regarding their comments about the Saint Bernard named Riley and for the benefit of Ms. Bebenek; please do let me post this video linkAND in fact, this is an 11 month old Saint Bernard being 'choked' with a choke chain. I would like Ms. Bebenek to show me and others who have watched this video 1) WHERE is he NOT using the metal choke hardware around the Saints neck? 2) WHERE is CM not running this dog outside first and not once yet the video indicates 3 times? 3) WHERE is CM not using force to drag this dog up the stairs? Ms. Bebenek is 100% convinced that only positive training methods are being used here and that they 'have 'never seen CM use a prong or choke collar'.

AND they state that CM does not use the world 'loyalty'….hmmmm, lets see 7,500 people in Kanata alone that night and the word 'loyalty' was actually on his presentation slides and gosh, how many times did he mention that word. On another note, what is wrong with CM using that word anyway??

Something else I found quite amusing was that they felt that I had spent thousands of dollars in my education and was 'frustrated' because of that whereas CM learnt all he did for free in Mexico……OMG! Seriously?? Clearly proper Education is of no import to Ms. Bebenek.

I am so glad that Ms. Bebenek is going to send their child to the person who's been taking care of children for 40 years and not the one who's read about them in books. I am so glad that they are going to hire the gardener who's been gardening for years as opposed to the one who's been educated on all the varieties of plants through books. Furthermore, I am also SO lost as to how these words of theirs applies to myself when I possess not only 10+ years of current formal education(and another few+ more years to come re: my Ph.D.) but almost 25 years of experience in the behavoural and training trenches that so many others will never even touch because of the type of the cases that I do.

AND another part I loved in this person's message was that how CM is successful every time, another CM fanatic out there for sure you are Ms. Bebenek! 😉

Yet here is more food for thought, can you please explain to myself and so many others out there how CM is NOT choking Shadow(in more metal hardware – choke chain) in the attached video link? The poor dog is on the ground opening and closing its mouth gasping for air, it has been so deprived of Oxygen. AND here is input on this Cesar Millan video by Debra F. Horwitz, DVM, ACBD, a board-certified veterinary behavourist. Some of which I am posting here –

"I admit, it was a difficult video to watch. In this video, Cesar Millan uses a choke collar to subdue an aggressive dog, finally pinning it on the ground. Millan is bit several times in the process, and I question the health of the dog during this clip (blue tongue). Within the first 5 seconds, the handler kicks the dog in the abdomen.  When the dog turns toward him he is jerked off his feet.  A struggle ensues where the handler gets bitten several times and the dog is seen to be struggling for air. Finally he gets the dog onto the ground and the dogs tongue is blue and the dog is gasping for breath.  When he finally gets the dog up it appears that there might be urine on the ground and that the dog voided his bladder in distress. What you have witnessed is not dog training but abuse.  Not only does the dog suffer, but clients are at risk if they attempt these interventions themselves.  These are not appropriate measures and compromise the welfare of the dog and the safety of people.  His explanations are false and not based on science as we know it. '

Here is a Website for you Ms. Bebenek – Beyond Cesar Millan

AND in my very short email summary response to Ms. Bebenek, I typed; 'How unfortunate it is that the importance of what was being written about in my earlier Blog has been completely lost on yourself.'

My original Blog post is 'my' own personal and professional positioning and one that is not only shared by other professionals in the same areas of expertise yet many on a personal level too. A message to everyone, 'love' the Man or not; that is each person's choice; yet with everything; I would hope/recommend that people would make their decision based upon that decision being a a well informed one at the end of the day.

My Cesar Millan Experience

As someone who possesses their Masters in Animal Behavour/Development and is currently working on their PhD and does a lot of behavoural consulting; last night I had the opportunity to witness Cesar Millan firsthand at the Scotiabank place in Kanata, Ontario. THANKS so much to Dr. Wright for the amazing 107 level tickets for myself and my son and we were 12 strong from KAH with 5 more of my own behavoural clients in attendance. KAH was also the hospital in attendance on hand in case there was a cause for medical intervention. Contrary to what I have seen posted on at least one board; KAH did not 'choose' the dogs that were in attendance at the show. I even ran into my handler plus her family there! BIG social time! 🙂

While I deeply disagree with many of his techniques and have always been so honest about my viewpoint and professional plus personal positioning when asked – His use of force, intimidation, fear & exhaustion techniques such as treadmilling plus that he has had no formal training is a cause of deep concern for many of the behavoural and training experts in the world –  he did present a few good basic core messages to the dog owners out there. AND that was so surprisingly wonderful to experience him doing so. 🙂

Before attending the show last night; I had read yet two more anti-CM articles sent my way along with a disturbing video of CM running a young Saint Bernard until they were heavily panting and then literally dragging and choking it (it was wearing either a choke or a prong collar; hard to tell for all I could do is mostly focus my eyes in horror upon this poor animal with what was being done to them) up a flight of stairs. Positive training methods????

However; last night; he was quite general and as I have said over and over again, training is one of the least regulated professions out there and many are self-taught or do a 1 month online course and then call themselves trainers. WORSE, so many of them now consider themselves behavoural experts and truly, after 10+ years of formal education in this area and another almost 25 years of experience AND another 3+ more years of formal education to finish off my PhD to come; I am still learning!!!! RESEARCH! RESEARCH! RESEARCH before taking on a 'trainer' or 'behavoural' expert. So many will also want to push one 'training registry' over another as being the best and only 'true' training registry in all of Canada and that is not necessarily true either. I tend to sit back and only input when I do feel absolutely necessary when this debate gets very controversial on the boards for like many other topics, there is not one easy answer BUT I do know that by all of these people 'fighting' instead of working together; it is only going to continue to drag on without effective resolution. I fear that not in my lifetime will something that I am so passionate about and try to educate and fight so hard for shall ever become properly regulated. 🙁

One should have a minimum of a Masters Degree in Animal Behavour to be considered part of the behavoural consulting/expert world and there are so few of us in Canada yet many would like to lead you to believe otherwise. I ONLY know of 12-15 of us in ALL of Canada yet is seems they are on every street corner. AND while those of us in the behavoural trenches are also or were trainers – VERY VERY VERY few trainers are behavoural experts. KNOW the difference! Once you start delving into the trenches of aggression, fear, separation anxiety; you are no longer on the surface of the basics of 'sit', 'down' and 'stay' training. I receive hundreds of emails every day from people that have used X Trainer or X so called Behavoural Expert for help with their dog but now the dog is either not better and in many cases much worse and can I please fix the dog. I do not work just with dogs, I work with the owners so that they are properly armed with all the tools/aids needed to be not just good owners but great responsible/accountable owners so that they can be a team with their dog(s) to be assets to not just home yet their community. My job is easy as I tell them for I have rules from the moment I begin to work with them and their dog(s). I do not let the dogs take a mile from day one; whereas they now have to be retrained as do their dog(s) on what is appropriate and acceptable behavour. While having someone such as myself working with you and your dog(s) is not cheap, it is also can be one of the best investments out there so that your dog can be the best he/she can be and for the owner(s) to be the best that they can be. NO dog is perfect, you can only make them as perfect as they can be and behavour is not changed, it is modified! That is something so many people do not understand….. So many want that quick fix solution and if you are not dedicated, committed, responsible, patient and consistent, failure is destined to happen. People need to stop trying to make the dog into something the dog can never be…..people need to make their dogs the absolute BEST they can be!

Now back to Cesar Millan – He talked about respect, leadership, trust, education, calmness(that I also interchange with the words 'control' and 'settled' in my own programs), humanizing(what I term the 'projecting too many human emotions upon') plus common mistakes made by owners and he used one of the best kept secrets that my handler and I were even talking about in the foyer before the show last night; SHOW COLLARS as a great training aid/tool! BUT what he did not talk about was using this tool/aid to do a transition to a flat/side release buckle collar as that should be the common goal of any training program.

He used words like 'assertive energy' whereas I use the words 'calm, settled and controlled leadership' with my dog(s) and in working with Clients and their dogs. He uses the word 'loyalty' and I use the word 'bonding' in a similar context. He also talked about 'excitement' mistakes people make plus what I term 'passive ignoring' and 'carrying on/moving forward as if it was nothing big'.

What also was interesting to note that as two puppies he was demonstrating with were no longer food motivated(they had eaten before they came to the show); he lost some patience and interest in trying to find other means to 'motivate' them to listen and be trained. Many dogs are not treat or food motivated and you have to be resourceful in finding other tools/aids to get them to be motivated for at the end of the day; YOU have to be the most exciting, important and interesting thing to them to then WANT to listen to you. OR in his words; to be that 'PACK LEADER'  😉 Yet to CM, if they were simply not interested in the food in the dish he had, forget it re: training them to do what he wanted them to do.

He also talked about how people make the common mistake of giving to much affection and not enough training and discipline in working with their dogs and this has also be a huge core message of mine with clients, especially with those that either adopt from us or rescue from other means. DOGS live in the 'moment' and making a past of abuse 'up to them' is not in their best interest. You can truly kill by 'kindness' and I have posted many a blog post re: seeing Danes and other dogs as just heads and stick legs on a whale of a body due to obesity. HOW does this 'help' your dog besides shortening their life span, increasing their chances of many health problems etc. Not to mention about the resourcing and separation anxiety behavoural issues that can develop with this type of spoiling affection that I term using 'ruination' affection!

I also did very much like his words surrounding 'breed' bans and that banning a breed does not solve the problem, the importance of rescuing animals, not supporting puppymills and that we need to target the 'humans' behind the dogs.

AND what I was not in agreement either were his views that the 'name' of a dog being last on his list of importance. Living in a multi-dog household and that many of my own clients have multi-animal households, the name as an 'identity' is very important as is associating a 'command' with the 'action' being requested of that one specific dog or more than one dog out of many that may be present in a home or park or other training environment by using that very important name(s) ie their identity(ies).

Cesar Millan is very much a HUGE entertainer(lots of laughs last night!) and boy, does he have a 'cult' following. It was almost surreal watching how hypnotized and glazed over so many were at the show. It was almost like being at a rock concert – wait, he did have rock music at several points last night! cheeky !

AND for me, while I am still not a 'fan' of CM, I can honestly state when others say 'well, you have not watched his show, read what he has written, you have not seen him in person' that….I HAVE in fact watched him AND was extremely close to him last night! I am further enlightened re: his methodologies and mindset re: training and some behavour positioning and am much more prepared to have further indepth conversations with my Clients, on some of the boards I belong to or am a Board of Director Member of or Behavoural Advisor of and also in my discussion groups for my PhD etc.

Thank you SOOOOOOOO much again Dr. Wright for presenting this wonderful opportunity with the free tickets to myself and also to my son to be part and witness to CM LIVE and in PERSON! I truly had a very entertaining time – Perhaps CM should do comedy in his spare time 🙂 and I not only hope yet think so many have come away from his show with more to think about and much to talk about!!!!

Jan Bethune, SWO, ON

I just finished reading the latest Gwennie novel on the BHRR site. HUGE KUDOS to you Gwen! There's great info there for everyone and you made so many important points…….especially about deafies having a name!! 🙂 After living with 2 deafies (I have the honour to be mom to BHRR'S Little Tyke and BHRR'S Lil Linus),… I just can't find enough words to say how truly special they are and how lucky I am.

Training Special Needs Dogs

I currently own one deaf and almost blind Great Dane – Soul and we are also a Rescue that focuses on the special needs that includes those that are deaf and/or blind and we can have any number of deafies etc. with us at any given time.

My biggest piece of feedback when it comes to owning a deaf dog; is that one CANNOT be lazy. You cannot just `call out` to ask your dog to get their nose out of the garbage or to put that shoe down that they are walking off with. That is why it is so important to teach them the `watch me` or ‘look at me’ command. I even have used a squirt bottle to ‘alert’ to get their attention during training times with some dogs. I have also used a gentle finger on the rump or under the chin to get them to take the focus off what is they are doing and to look at me. I will point at the ‘garbage’ for example and then use the ‘dogs name’ and then the ‘No’ command and then re-direct to an appropriate thing for them to be doing.

I train my dogs as individuals, in pairs and in small groups to maximize their training and bonding experiences with me. Lots of body language plus facial expression really assists with in training a deafie. AND I also talk to my deafies all the time. Soul loves to cuddle with me and just ‘feel’ the vibrations as I talk to him.

I can honestly say that our deafies often ‘listen’ better than many hearing dogs I know. I teach all our hearing dogs the same thing for I believe it to be equally as important for them too(and many will lose quality of hearing and eyes sight as they age as is) and use a combination of ASL and made up hand signals. One has to be very consistent about the signal they are using to associate ‘what’ command to ‘what’ action is being requested. I use touch training, light training(flicking lights on and off when they are outside in the fenced in yard at night for example), scent training and vibration training(we do not do vibration collars here) but use our floors and door jambs. I am now getting more immersed in ‘clicker’ training with deafies yet I am still out on the jury on this one at this time.

I also teach a regular course that is specifically designed for owners and their deaf dogs.

The one other thing I have found in relation to deaf dogs is that many do not feel it necessary to ‘name’ them. I am not sure why people feel that a ‘deaf’ dog does not need a need a name, because they are deaf. To me, that is like saying, we should not name our deaf children or address our hard of hearing or deaf elders anymore by name etc. A name is an identity and if one is living in a home with multi dogs; especially deaf one’s(we live with 3 at the present – Soul and a BHRR Haven Dog – Potter and our now 11.5+ year old Kona is pretty much deaf and visually impaired yet still living a grand quality filled life); using a dog’s name is very important. If I am doing recall training in my almost 2+ acre fenced in yard; if I want Potter and Soul to come to me, I use their ‘names’. If I want Potter to come over Soul; I signal his name. I am not in agreement with those that say that it is not important to name your deaf dog. Their names are no less important to them or to me. When I signal Potter’s name, his tail wags and the same applies to Soul and each knows when I am `speaking` to them over the other or if I am communicating to both. They are proud of their own identities and how it makes them feel unique and special just as each hearing dog feels unique and special with their own names. To me, it is also a huge safety thing in regards to teaching emergency stops, recalls etc. They learn their names as much as they learn the `watch me` command; right from the get go.

I also highly recommend working on the ‘startle’ reflex while they are sleeping or napping.

One more thing to note is that many Special Needs will ‘stare’ at other dogs as they try to figure out what is being communicated. They are not doing this to be confrontational. As they are deaf/hearing impaired and/or are limited in sight; they will rely  more heavily on other senses and can often be seen really looking at other dogs without any ill intent whatsoever. I liken it to how us Canadians would call a ‘stare’ in Canada is no more than a ‘glance’ in Europe. Many dogs can and do take some exception to this and you have to be careful that nothing escalates.

Deaf dogs will also often get really ‘up’ into another dogs’ face in order to understand what the other dog is ‘communicating’ or is like. Many dogs can and do take offense at this when none is being given and so you have to be careful to ensure that your special needs dog is safe from harm. They are only trying to read the other dog with their other senses. Many deaf dogs also have some form of visual impairment. Could be minor, could be major. Another reason why they get close up to other dogs and people too just to make sense of what is around them.

I teach everything from:

Their Name – I use the first letter of ASL of their name

Watch Me – I use a toy or a treat to begin and have them follow it to my face – general eye/nose area to look at me and reward – this changes to praise only through time where I then use just two fingers index and middle, slightly bent. I want them looking at me, not looking for the treat. I do not ask them to ‘look’ me in the eye. Behaviourally many dogs are not comfortable doing this and they will look at me from the corner of their eye or have eyes slightly averted yet they are watching me and I can see when I avert my own eyes a bit, that they will look more fully at me. There is a difference between having them look and watch you and having them stare at you. Dogs that have self-esteem issues and confidence plus trust issues, do not feel 100% comfortable, at least at the beginning to understand that it is ok to look at me at me eyes and that I am not asking them to stare or seeking conflict.

Off – Finger pointing off for example, the furniture

Up – Finger pointing up

No – ASL sign for no or shake finger sideways a couple of times and can include head shaking in a ‘no’ manner

Lay Down – Finger pointed towards floor or touch the floor/ground

Shhhhhhhhhhh – Finger to the mouth with lips

Quiet – Pretty much like SHHHH

Enough – One palm flat and the other hand makes a firm chopping motion up and down a couple of times

Get out of there – the thumb and hand position of someone hitchhiking, tilted on a slight angle and wiggled a few times

Now – One finger firmly pointing down right in front of me

Come – Waving motion towards me and can be one hand or both

Sit – I use one hand, two fingers curled down and motion up and down a couple of times

Stay or Wait – One finger pointed at them and then flat palm facing them for a second or two

Heel – point to my heel

Close – two fingers pointed down by my side

Kiss – make a kissing face with lips

Good – Big smile, clapping, head nodding up and down or thumbs up and variations on this with how ‘good’ they have been! I have even jumped up and down I wanted them to know how happy I was.

Yes – Same as above

Boy – ASL sign

Girl – ASL sign

In – Four fingers bent motion wave towards the direction I want – as ‘in the car’

Out – Same thing with motion to come out

Eat or Meal Time – Slightly open mouth and motion either with or without treat towards mouth

Gentle – ASL sign for gentle

Whoa/Easy – One hand palm out towards them and slow back and forth a couple of times motion

Thank you – ASL sign

Check Back with me – I motion them over during training and social times and when they come, I do a palms up, then a thumbs up and a double pat to their sides or chest as praise and sometimes also reward with a treat….through time, though it starts off as a ‘fun’ game for them, they learn to quickly come back and often to ‘check with me.’

Go There – Point at where I want them to go such as when we have visitors and I want them to lay on their dog beds until people get settled

Release or Go Play – Both hands motioning outwards from my body on an angle

Bed time or what we call sleepie time – hands placed together on one side of head and resting

With each command, I use their ‘name’ sign and the command as much as possible. I tend to try and use many signals that require only one hand use for I am often holding something in the other hand – treats, toys, their leash, bag, tote, purse, more than one dog, etc.

They know quite a few more signs too and what works for one dog might not work best for another, so being resourceful is important….yet I have written a HUGE Gwennie novel!

It never ceases to amaze me when people learn that any of our dogs or those in our Rescue program are SN’s. So many get this ‘pity’ or ‘sorry’ look on their faces and think I am doing them a disservice keeping them alive or they think the dogs are dumb or stupid…which could not be further from the truth. Soul is even a Therapy Dog. Education and awareness has been key in communicating to a lot of people. Yet with anything in the world, there are idiots.

Deafies have been a weakness of mine for almost 25 years now and LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

Names & Deaf Dogs

This is a post that I made on August 1st, 2009 on the blogs of the animals that were in our BHRR programs at that time. I feel compelled to re-post it here as a 'education and public awareness' opportunity.

I feel almost compelled to write this blog post for BHRR's Lil Linus and BHRR's Potter. I am not sure why people feel that a ‘deaf' dog does not need a need a name, because they are deaf. To me, that is like saying, we should not name our deaf children or address our hard of hearing or deaf elders anymore by name etc. A name is an identity and if one is living in a home with multi dogs; especially deaf one's(we live with 3 right at the present and our now almost 10.5+ year old Kona is almost deaf); using a dog's name is very important. When I do training, I train the dogs as individuals, small groups and in larger groups. If I am doing recall training, even in my larged fenced in yard; if I want Lil Linus or Soul to come to me, I use their ‘name'. If I want Potter(he is working on his name) to come over Soul or Linus; I signal his name. I am not in agreement with those that say that it is not important to name your deaf dog. While my dogs might have chosen different names if they could 😉 ; their names are no less important to them or to me. When I signal Lil Linus`s name, his tail wags and the same applies to Soul and each knows when I am `speaking`to them over the other or if I am communicating to both. They are proud of their own identities and how it makes them feel unique and special just as each hearing dog feels unique and special with their own names. I find it hard to understand why people, especially those that say they are knowledgeable about deaf dogs etc., would feel that it means nothing to give a deaf dog a name and so a name is not important. To me, it is also a huge safety thing in regards to teaching emergency stops, recalls etc. They learn their names as much as they learn the `watch me`command; right from the get go. The other thing that I wish to address in regards to `deaf dogs`is that they do not HAVE to always go to a home that already has a hearing dog. That is also not necessarily true. Just as many hearing dogs do well in a home by themselves as the only dog; the same goes with deaf dogs. We have placed many a deaf dog as the only dog in the home and we have also placed many a deaf dog in a home that already has a deaf dog as their only dog. OWNING a deaf dog is not necessarily any harder than owning a hearing dog. My biggest piece of feedback when it comes to owning a deaf dog; is that one CANNOT be lazy. You cannot just `call out` to ask your dog to get their nose out of the garbage or to put that shoe down that they are walking off with it. That is why it is so important to teach them the `watch me`command. Deaf dogs learn equally as fast, if not faster than some hearing dogs and they are not dumb, stupid and not all deafies have visual impairments or health issues either. When it comes to Boxers; just as with Great Danes; `white`is not albino; that does not exist in these breeds. It is estimated that about 18-20% of all Boxers are white and they can be hearing or deaf and they make just as lovely and wonderful of pets as does their hearing counterparts. Each parent must carry for the `white`gene for it to be passed on to create a `white`boxer. As with Great Danes, many deaf boxers can be found having a lot of white about the face, head and ears. What bothers humans about dogs being deaf; does not bother the deaf dog. Dogs that are born deaf, do not know any different and dogs that lose their hearing as they are older, can also be taught hand signals(I teach them at all ages); touch training, light training, scent training and vibration training(we do not do vibration collars here) but use floors and door jams in order to continue to have a great quality of life in a world that no longer is `hearing`to them. 😎 I also teach a regular course that is specifically for owners and their deaf dogs; and just as I do in that course; I am going to state it here; education is key. 

The Gwennie! Comment of the Day:
"Ignorance is truly not bliss"

Adopting vs Buying – Definitions

The Gwennie! Comment of the Day:

One does not 'ADOPT' from a Breeder, one BUYS/PURCHASES and one 'ADOPTS' from a Rescue
-Please do ensure that you are doing your research so that you are supporting ONLY reputable/quality rescue organizations/Breeders. There is no excuse for 'ignorance' in this day and age of such amazing technology to knowingly be aware of what 'right' over 'wrong' is and then to still go out there and purchase or adopt from a disreputable place.

For more information on researching and 'red' flags; please visit my Marmaduke Effect Blog.