Tag: Care 2 Causes

Dog tired!

Going to slip away for a few days.

I am taking a days off.

So will repeat some posts from a year ago.

ooOOoo

6 Ways to Tire Out Your Dog Indoors

1396453-largeBy: Lisa Spector December 18, 2016

About Lisa

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we’re in the midst of rainy season. It never let up today. It’s only the second time in the life of my dogs that I didn’t get them out for a walk. I tried, but they didn’t want to go. Particularly on days like today, it’s important that I find other indoor activities to keep them stimulated and tire them out. Here are a few of my rainy day tricks:

1. Train

Behaviorist, Dr. Ian Dunbar, says that mental activity tires a dog out more than physical exercise. Gina is a high-drive dog. I often joke that the more I exercise her, the better shape she’s in and the more she exercise she needs. Add some agility training to the mix, and she tires out much faster. Did you ever notice how tired you are when you’ve taxed your brain at work all day? It’s the same for dogs. Instead of doing one long training session, best to add in a few minutes of training frequently throughout the day.

impulsecontrol-443x3322. Teach Impulse Control

There is no better place to start teaching impulse control than indoors, where there are less distractions than outdoors. Tonight, I placed strips of sweet potato on Sanchez and Gina’s paws and had them wait for my cue to eat them. Gina is much better at “Look at me,” so that was added to the “leave it” cue. They waited, and waited, and waited… and were rewarded with a yummy sweet potato treat after I released them with “OK.”

sanchez-nose-work-443x3323. Nose work

K9 Nose Work defines this sport as “the fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people. This easy to learn activity and sport builds confidence and focus in many dogs, and provides a safe way to keep dogs fit and healthy through mental and physical exercise.”

I enrolled Sanchez in classes a couple of years ago, and now we play “find” games at home. I hide pieces of liver in boxes spread throughout the living room. He searches for the piece of liver and is rewarded with more liver in the box when he finds it. He LOVES this search game.

ginafoodpuzzle-443x2724. Work for food and treats

Instead of just placing down a food bowl, have your dog work for her food or treats. She’ll slow down her intake of dinner and treats while using her mental abilities when you use a food puzzle. Other choices are stuffing soft food, such as a banana and almond butter, in a kong and then freezing it.

5. Tug

Tugging is not a game of war. It is a game of play and is a way to bond with your dog. It’s commonly used to increase drive and focus before agility runs. Tugging is also a great training tool during high distraction environments, an opportunity to reinforce “that’s enough” (meaning “game over, release the toy”), and it’s helped Gina tremendously with dog distraction. Tugging has been a way of teaching her that the best things in life happen in reinforcement zone with me, not with the stranger dog running by. Rain or shine, this is part of our daily routine. But, when we can’t get outside for walks, we do more tugging indoors, as it really tires her out.

6. Retrieve

Even though I have two Labrador Retrievers, Sanchez no longer retrieves. He’s 13 1/2 and he’d prefer to lay on his dog bed and have me bring him his toy. However, I want to engage him when I play a fun game of retrieve with Gina. So, I toss her ball down the stairs. She retrieves it and while she’s running up the stairs to bring me back the ball for the next round, I toss treats to Sanchez down the stairs. He uses his nose to find them. Fun for all! We generally do this nightly, no matter the weather.

ooOOoo

Lisa’s description of her Sanchez: “… he’d prefer to lay on his dog bed and have me bring him his toy.” sounds like my kind dog to me! 😉

Best wishes to you all.

Another life-saving dog!

There’s no end to how dogs protect us!

Last Tuesday, I published a guest post that had been sent to me by my sister, Eleanor, who lives in Johannesburg in South Africa.

Then a day later I read on the Care2 site about a therapy dog that alerted a group of schoolchildren to potentially very unsafe drinking water.  I must share that with you as well.

ooOOoo

Therapy Dog Helps Alert School District to Lead in Water

A therapy dog belonging to a San Diego elementary school teacher proved to be a potential lifesaver – but not for what you might think.

When the teacher filled his bowl with water from the classroom sink on Jan. 26, the dog refused to drink it. The teacher took a good look at the water in his bowl and noticed a sheen on its surface. Concerned, she notified school officials.

After testing samples from around Emerson-Bandini Elementary and the San Diego Co-Operative Charter School 2, which share a campus, results showed the water was contaminated with lead, exceeding the allowable level in the state of California.

School officials contacted the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, which supplies the water. Because that therapy dog that refused to drink it, the city is now testing the water at each of the school district’s 187 campuses.

The tests, however, won’t begin until April 4, San Diego Unified Chief Operations Officer Drew Rowlands announced last week. In the meantime, students are getting bottled drinking water.

A notice sent to the schools’ staff and parents said the water is safe for handwashing. Since cafeteria meals aren’t prepared on campus, they’re not affected by the contaminants in the water, according to the notice.

The testing of the water, which is expected to be completed by the end of the school year in June, will take place early in the morning, before school starts. At each campus, up to five samples will be taken from water fountains and cafeterias where food is prepared. The test results will be posted online.

If excessive lead is discovered, the contamination source will be determined and school district staff will take “appropriate action on a case-by-case basis,” said San Diego Unified Chief Operations Officer Drew Rowlands. Those appropriate actions could include replacing plumbing fixtures and making repairs.

Making Drinking Water Safe for Schoolchildren

Coincidentally, just one month before the therapy dog refused to drink the San Diego school’s water, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Division of Drinking Water launched a program that requires water providers to test for lead in the drinking water at all K-12 schools in California.

“Recent events in the United States have shown that lead in drinking water remains an ongoing public health concern, particularly for children,” the SWRCB stated on its website.

How does lead end up in school water fountains? Although lead rarely occurs naturally in California’s drinking water sources, it can contaminate water that flows through old plumbing fixtures or the solder connecting them. It’s less likely that the water came from a contaminated source, as was the case in Flint, Mich.

Children younger than six are especially susceptible to the effects of lead poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about half a million children between the ages of one and five have blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, the level at which the CDC recommends the initiation of public health actions – although no “safe” blood lead level in children has been identified.

A problem with lead poisoning is that there are no obvious symptoms. By the time children show the signs, such as weight loss, irritability and lack of appetite, dangerous amounts of lead may have accumulated in their bodies.

This is a compelling reason for more states to follow California’s lead and require water to be tested in schools. Thanks to a teacher’s therapy dog, students at two San Diego schools got a jump start on having safer water available.

Photo credit: Irisdepiris

ooOOoo

 There is no end to the way that dogs love us, protect us and make us better persons!

Unchain every single dog out there!

Independence Day should also apply to our beloved dogs!

So today is July 4th. One of the key days of the year in the American calendar, if not the key day.

Freedom and independence are the corner stones of a healthy nation. That ‘nation’ should include our dogs. Ergo, I have no hesitation in republishing the following that first was seen on the Care2 site.

ooOOoo

How to Help Chained Dogs in Your Community

3182140.largeBy: Natalia Lima June 28, 2016

About Natalia Follow Natalia at @TheNatiLima

The sight is heartbreaking: a sad animal, exposed to the heat or the cold, often without shelter, chained in a backyard. Sometimes all it takes to secure them is a thin rope tied around their collar on one end and a dog house on the other, in others it’s a thick metal chain that keeps the dog from moving away from a tree. Whatever the case, it’s enough to inspire any animal lover to change that dog’s life, but how? The answer is simpler than one would imagine: build a fence.

“Building a fence really changes the relationship between dogs and owners,” explains Michele Coppola, President of Fences for Fido, a nonprofit organization that builds fences in houses that have chained dogs so the dogs can run freely in the backyard. “Many times dogs who were outside 24/7 go on to become a family member, spending time in the house and outside because they’re no longer a location.”

Since 2009, Fences for Fido has been helping dogs in the Southwest Oregon and Washington state areas. People can anonymously nominate a house with a chained dog on their website or people can nominate themselves if they don’t have the means to build their own fence. According to the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, who helped Fences for Fido get started and has been building fences since 2006 in North Carolina, that lack of resources is the most common reason why people keep dogs chained.

“When we first started we thought we would we would build this fence and solve a problem but we quickly saw the problem is not chained dogs, it’s poverty,” explains Lori Hensley, Director of Operations at Coalition to Unchain Dogs. “No one wants to chain a dog. They just don’t have the means to build a fence.”

Other common reasons are not understanding that dogs are social animals that need to run around, an owner not knowing how to address behavioral problems and trying to keep the dog from running away, says the Humane Society of the United States.

“People chain their dogs for a variety of reasons so we always approach them without judgement because most times we’re not seeing the whole story,” says Coppola adding that those issues are addressed when building a fence for someone to make sure they’re educated on why chaining their dogs shouldn’t be a solution. “Maybe they didn’t have a fence to start with and someone, maybe a family member, dumped a dog with them and they’re keeping it out of the goodness of their hearts but they don’t have a fence. You don’t know.”

Between the two organizations, over 3,400 dogs have been freed from chains but since they only operate locally, they have created resources for people in other parts of the country who want to help. Unchained Planet, a Facebook group of volunteer fence builders, offers advice and tips to anyone looking to start their own fence building organization and a DIY tutorial is also available for free download.

From materials needed to step by step instructions, anyone can start building a fence to help chained dogs in their communities, though to complete novices, the guidance of a seasoned builder or a professional is encouraged.

“If you’re starting out for the very first time, it might be a good idea to pair up with a fence company who may be willing to help and even donate the materials,” suggests Coppola. “Or you want to find somebody who’s done a fence before and can kind of show you how to go about it.”

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

ooOOoo

Fences for Fido is an Oregon-based organisation and I’m going to contact them and ask for more information to share with you all.

I am also going to contact local charity The Toby Fund of Wolf Creek (Oregon) who do great work in unchaining dogs and seek an article from them for you.