Tag: Dog Leader Mysteries

One calculating dog, and

… one unsuspecting human.

The title and sub-title are almost the complete sub-title to a book from Colin Chappell. As sub-titles so often do, they offer the flavor of the book to come.

OK! Let me start properly!

Some time ago, Colin and I agreed to do a book swap and then review each other’s book. We duly exchanged books and Colin held to his side of the agreement! I sent Colin Learning from Dogs and Colin sent me Who Said I Was Up For Adoption?

For reasons that now escape me first I gave the book to Jeannie and she read it and very much liked it. I was going to ask Jeannie to dictate a review for me but, oh I don’t know why not, that never happened. To add to me embarrassment, I still haven’t read the book myself plus Colin ages ago published his review of my book over on his blog Me and Ray.

So when author Deborah Taylor-French reviewed the book on her blog Dog Leader Mysteries I held my breath very tightly and asked Deborah and Colin if I might republish her review here.

I am delighted to say that both were very happy for me to so do! Here it is.


Overcoming challenges to adopting, Ray

By Colin Chappell, Guest Blogger

When Ray came to live with us, he brought with him many issues. We had been advised that he had no social skills. We had ascertained that he had no training relevant to living in a home, and we knew that he was very cautious around people and other dogs. It was not long before he displayed “Startle Response” (never touch a sleeping Ray!), and “Fear Aggression”. The “Fear Aggression” was Ray’s way of handling uncomfortable situations such as being close to other people and dogs. Ray was a fast learner at home with us and, while he made some mistakes, he was trying to adapt to his new life. He did seem to want to please us, just as we wanted him to be happy. The first thing we had to do however was to arrange for him to have a full medical. When the vet called us to discuss the results, we knew we had a problem.

His dog’s diagnosis? Read about a heartbreaking medical condition.

Medical professionals assess Heartworm status as Stage One to Stage Four. Stage Four, the most advanced, is considered terminal. They estimated Ray at Stage Two, which provided hope that treatment could be successful. Treating heartworm is very expensive and offers no guarantee that the dog will survive the treatment, and so we now had to make the difficult decision of how to proceed with a dog that had lived with us for only a short time. There were some theoretical options for consideration.

1. Commit a lot of money to a treatment program, which may kill Ray? – We were fortunate in that we could manage the estimated $3500.00 financial burden of the treatment program, but did we want to? Ray had not been with us very long and was carrying a lot of emotional “baggage” from his past. While it would be nice to believe that he would adapt to be a lovely family pet, nobody could offer us that guarantee so that we would be investing a considerable amount of money in a dog with unknown potential. Furthermore, treatment consisted of a series of deep muscle injections with an arsenic-based compound, which should kill all the heartworms, however, when heartworms die, the pieces of worm can cause restrictions or even a blockage.

There was a significant possibility that Ray could die from congestive heart failure. To reduce the risk of this potential outcome; a dog must be kept as calm as possible to maintain a very low heart rate. Life for Ray, and for us, would be complicated for the next six months or so.

2. Do nothing? – An option but, in reality, a cruel and irresponsible decision. His quality of life would have slowly deteriorated as the heartworms spread, causing damage to his lungs and other organs throughout his body. Death would have been his only escape.

3. Return Ray to the shelter? – We knew they would have taken him back, but that raised some issues. We would be avoiding making the difficult decision by transferring the responsibility to the shelter. This rationale is against my core belief of accepting one’s responsibilities. Returning him also had some very questionable ramifications in that they would probably not be able to adopt him out again.

Who would want to take on an unknown dog with a serious (and expensive) health issue? Would the shelter be prepared to finance the treatment of a single dog when they are dependent on voluntary financial contributions and are constantly fund-raising to maintain their day-to-day services?

Given our excellent relationship with the shelter, we presented them with our dilemma and asked what they would do if Ray were returned. The answer was, not too surprisingly, very diplomatic. They would not be able to make any decision until he had been reassessed as a possible candidate for future adoption. They also made it clear that whatever decision we made, they would support it wholeheartedly. While their support was appreciated, my feelings were that his future would probably not be too long if returned.

4. Euthanize Ray? – The thought of euthanizing Ray gave me a lot of problems because of Skeeta, my first cat in Canada. Skeeta always seemed to love the company of pretty much anybody and her original owners did not feel that they had the time for her any longer, and so were looking for an alternative home for her. She made a tremendous impact on us all but, after only three months she was distressed. The diagnosis came that she had feline leukemia. Her condition considered untreatable, so the medical staff recommended euthanasia. Looking back, I still struggle with Skeeta’s death. (Terms like “euthanize”, “put down”, and “put to sleep” are all gentle words that only mask the reality of killing.)

The issue with Skeeta was not that her life could not be saved, but that it was far too easy to euthanize her. To have an animal killed, regardless of the justification, should take far more than signing a piece of paper and handing over a relatively small amount of money. Such a simple process was somehow offensive to me in that it resulted in the death of a living creature that had displayed an unquestionable ability to connect with us on an emotional level.

The more I thought about Skeeta, the more I decided that Ray deserved an opportunity to live and it would be my goal to ensure that he had that opportunity. My decision, therefore, was to keep Ray with us and start treatment as soon as possible. Fortunately, Carol had come to the same conclusion, and so treatment was scheduled for the summer.

It did cross my mind that Carol may not be able to justify the cost of the treatment so while I was not anticipating an issue over this, I had made plans to cover the cost on myself. Less than three years old, Ray had not enjoyed a good start to his life. Now Ray worked hard to adapt to our family environment. This big dog had already made a niche for himself in our family. Ray showed signs of wanting to stay with us.

Most importantly to me, Ray was a dog who had invited me to be his friend**.

Friends for life, rare and welcome as love and kinship.

What sort of friend would I be to walk away from him, and leave him to whatever fate would await? Ray could well die during the heartworm treatment, but then he could also survive it. I committed to whatever became necessary to ensure that he had the best chance possible of a long and happy life. I suddenly realized just how important he was to me. I loved this guy!

** The details of this life-changing moment (for both of us) are in his book.

About Colin Chappell: Born in England, part of the post-war “baby boomers” Chappell moved to Canada in 1975 with a wife and two children. Through no planning, he happened to fall into a position that included a mandatory deduction for a pension plan. Less than 30 years later, he retired and pursued new interests. When his children had grown he chose a fresh start. Chappell explored music and, due to lack of finances, he bought a “fixer upper” for his new home.

All photos by Colin Chappell

A few years later, Chappell found himself in a new relationship. The question of owning a dog often came into their conversations. It resulted in him being adopted by Ray, and their lives have never been the same since.

Experiences and day-to-day incidents with Ray prompted starting a blog using Word Press, Please visit meandray.com Writing this blog he got the idea of writing a book about Ray. Find this book on Amazon at Who Said I Was Up for Adoption?

Chappell’s writings continued and, after experimenting with some poetry, decided to put together a book of simple, but hopefully thought-provoking, verse.

Just Thinking by Colin Chappell


Colin, I do hope this makes up somewhat for me not sticking to our agreement!

In fact, me reading this post out aloud to Jeannie yesterday evening, and being most moved by your words (and photographs), makes it easy for me to read your book without delay!

A tiny bite of this could kill your dog!

Please read, digest and share as widely as you can!

Fellow author, Deborah Taylor-French, recently posted a stark warning for all dog owners. Deborah wrote on her blog, Dog Leader Mysteries, the following:

1 thing more toxic than chocolate for dogs

More toxic than chocolate?

Yes, and it’s everywhere.

Please visit my guest blog post on 4Knines blog “One common thing that is more toxic than chocolate for dogs”  Then please comment! Of course, after you comment, I’d love it if you would share far and wide for the love and lives of dogs. After working on this post for about a month I shared it as a guest post so that it may reach a larger audience of dog lovers, beyond my WordPress blog.

(I also can’t resist including the following photograph of Deborah and Syd that was in that post!)

Syd the kid!
Syd the kid!

So the balance of my post today is a full republication of Deborah’s guest post as it appeared over on 4knines blog.


One Common Thing That is More Toxic Than Chocolate for Dogs!

Standing for our puppies

Protecting the health of our puppies.

Making sure this is as widely known as possible.

With kind thanks to Dog Leader Mysteries for permission to republish in full.


Puppy Nylabone Bone Recall

Puppies need to chew so give them something safe.
Puppies need to chew so give them something safe.

Keep your dog healthy

Please buy your dog food and your dog products from a local pet store or a farm supply. Ask if the business owners or managers subscribe to daily updates on potentially harmful foods, treats and supplements. Ask if they track all lists of recalled pet products everyday they are open.

Use a trustworthy pet food store

A caring and knowledgeable store will pull all recall items each morning then ship them back to the sellers before the pet shop opens their doors to the public. They don’t want your dog getting sick from anything they sell. Naturally, they want to keep your business and have you refer friends and others to shop with them.

The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly valuable in many ways to dog lovers. Be picky when it comes to buying and giving products to your dog for eating or chewing.

We shop at Western Farm because they assure us that they check all product recalls and pull them off the shelf to be returned to each company that produced any and all pet product recalls.

Recalled Nylabone puppy chews 2015.
Recalled Nylabone puppy chews 2015.

Salmonella tainted Neptune, NJ Nylabones

“April 22, 2015 — Nylabone Products of Neptune, NJ is recalling one lot of its Puppy Starter Kit dog chews because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.” The Dog Food Advisor

“The recalled Puppy Starter Kit consists of one lot of dog chews that were distributed nationwide, to Canada and through one domestic online mail order facility. The recalled product comes in a 1.69 ounce package marked with Lot #21935 and UPC 0-18214-81291-3 and with an expiration date of 3/22/18.”

A few responses on Dog Food Advisor

“Be so careful with chew bones, especially if your dog’s a fast eater. I lost a wonderful friend due to a blocked intestine. It was a large chunk of a “digestible” chew bone.”

“I just bought these for my puppy not too long ago. And he chewed up the dark bone and ate it! Next thing I know… He was throwing up for the next 24 hrs – 7 times! Took him to vet and they diagnosed him with an intestinal infection….. Wonder if it was because of the nylabone!”

“Same with my dog! Vomiting and peeing blood! He has a urinary tract infection they said. Same symptoms of salmonella. Call nylabone!! They should foot your vet bills!”

Read more on the Dog Food Advisor

Action, return & complaint

“Consumers who have purchased the affected product should discontinue use of the chews and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Those with questions may contact the company at 877-273-7527, Monday through Friday from 8 am – 5 pm Central time. After hours and weekend calls are covered by a third-party poison control center.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area. Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.” The Dog Food Advisor

“Consumers who have purchased 1.69 oz. packages of the Puppy Starter Kit from affected Lot 21935, UPC 0-18214-81291-3, Expiration date of 3/22/18, should discontinue use of the product and may return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-877-273-7527, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Central time (after hours/weekends covered by third-party poison control center).” FDA.gov “Safety Recall

Visit The Dog Food Advisor

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s recall notification list now. [Jean and I have done this!]


Great alert to all dog owners and I am certain that Deborah, over at Dog Leader Mysteries, would have no problem in this being shared and circulated as far and wide as possible.

Only one way to close!

With a picture of a puppy!

Picture taken of puppy Cleo on the 13th April, 2012 when she was then aged 11 weeks.
Picture taken of puppy Cleo on the 13th April, 2012 when she was then aged 11 weeks.

We are what we eat.

Integrity and honesty should certainly apply to what we eat!

Published author Deborah Taylor-French has her own blog Dog Leader Mysteries. She and I follow each other’s blog and I’m very grateful for the connection, as indeed I am with so many other fellow bloggers.

Thus that was how I came to learn of a recent post from Deborah about how rabbit meat is being used for human consumption.  On the face of it, nothing wrong in eating rabbit but wait until you have read Deborah post, that is republished here with her kind permission.


Tell Whole Foods: Do not sell bunnies

Tell Whole Foods, “Don’t sell bunny meat!”

Farm animals suffer greatly in the United States of America. Plus this suffering comes to us well documented. Before the U.S. Congress passes laws allowing Ag-Gag [see my footnote] states to make it illegal for people to photograph, video or report animal abuse inside or outside their meat plants.

The disturbing truth? Pet rabbits now sold for meat at Whole Foods Market come from being raised in U.S.A. Ag-gag states. What’s wrong with that? Everything.

Big farms doing business in Ag-gag states operate free from animal welfare laws.

In fact these huge meat farms have made laws against taking photographs, video recording or any reporting of animal abuse. What have they got to hide?

Enough. All too many cruel animal farming practices already hurt farm animals, enough to make most of us sick. The Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Defense Fund continue working to legally raise farm animal welfare practices. Most Americans know that farm animals do not receive acceptable room for walking nor a humane standard of care. Before we let another category of animal become victims of Ag-gag farm cruelty, we need to improve farm animals welfare.

Adopted from Rohnert Park Animal Shelter.
Adopted from Rohnert Park Animal Shelter.

Rabbits die of fright.

They share the species lagomorph.

There are about eighty species of lagomorph include thirty species of pika, twenty species of rabbit and cottontail, and thirty species of hare family. Wikipedia

I learned about this issue of Whole Foods Market, selling a new category of animal for meat through a volunteer at my local shelter. Kathy, along with volunteers from Save a Bunny and a Southern California group, are working to raise awareness pet rabbits should not end up as mainstream Big Farm meat products. Why?

Whole Foods Market buys meat rabbits from Ag-gag states. If Whole Foods succeeds, farm animal suffering will fall on whole other category of animals, pet rabbits.

It comes as no secret in United States that farm animals end up being raised inhumanely. If you have ever read about the Ag-gag states and how they are able to prosecute anyone willing to go undercover and take photographs and videos to report the truth on this ongoing unnecessary torture of farm animals. What meat animals endure in the U.S.A. is nothing less than cruelty, it’s time we changed that, before adding anymore farm animals.

Nine facts hidden in Ag-gag pig farms

  1. Millions of meat pigs live, eliminate and sleep in cramped spaces.
  2. The environment these pigs endure smell rank. Their wastes drain into a central open sewer and their housing is so unclean many of them die.
  3. Meat pigs lack all exercise to the extreme point that their legs break.
  4. Pigs housed in huge warehouses with thousands of other pigs, hear others screaming day and night from pain.
  5. Female pigs, sows, live horrible lives in gestation crates.
  6. Gestation crates built for female pigs force them to stand up for 24-hours per day. Farmers do not allow pigs to walk or lie down. Gestation crates, notoriously painful for animals, need to be banned. Often the pigs’ legs break because their bones grow soft, due to not being allowed to walk.
  7. Big meat farms build bars underneath sows to brace broken legs.
  8. The meat pig lives in constant physical pain, terror, fear and unhappiness. When piglets die, often in these unsanitary conditions, their bodies get ground up and mixed into the food the sows eat. So mother pigs eat their own young.Pigs do not live as cannibals. Why should they be forced to eat their own young?
  9. What horrible animal welfare to make pigs eat their own young. It’s incomprehensible that animals must live like this so that people can eat pork barbecue, pork steak and pork ribs.

How can they call these farms? Not giving animals room to walk, sit or lie down? Meat farm animals get denied their normal and natural behaviors. They never see the light of the sun nor feel the earth nor wind.

What U.S.A. meat farms won’t let us see.

After four years of hesitation and never mentioning recordings of farm animals lack of good welfare, I break my silence.

Much of the time I avoid eating meat. From now on, I will be seeking out small sustainable and local farms. We have several nearby that do not inflict senseless cruelty on pigs, chickens and cows. After study of commercially farmed pork and chicken and beef, I have returned to my original vegetarian and fish eating ways.

My footnote. As a non-American I didn’t fully understand the phrase “Ag-gag”. Deborah kindly explained it as follows:

Several states have passed laws against anyone photographing, video recording or reporting on animal abuse inside massive meat farms. The Humane Society of the United States keeps working (under cover to film the truth of this unsanitary and cruel business) but now they can arrest anyone caught, send reporters to jail and sue anyone trying to inform the public.


I know for a fact that Deborah would love that this item is shared and republished as far and wide as possible. Please help.

For spreading the word and being very careful about the meat that we eat are the only ways to put a stop to these unbelievably cruel practices, and the ‘Ag-gag’ laws.

Please sign for the Irish Greyhound

Very grateful to Deborah over at Dog Leader Mysteries for today’s post.

The following appeared over on Dog Leader Mysteries last Monday and is republished with Deborah’s permission. Please share this as far and wide as you can.


1 minute for Irish Greyhounds

Featured by dogleadermysteries

Please help Irish Greyhounds by signing this Care2 petition

Save greyhound dogs’ lives in less than 1 minute

Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the United Kingdom

I will not submit my readers to the horrors racing greyhounds endure or lose their lives from. I never thought any thing could be worse than dogs bred in puppy mills. After reading the Care2 petition’s explanation of the conditions and animal cruelty in Ireland’s dog racing world, now I feel sadder but an informed and wiser person.

My friend, Rosee Riggs, sent me this petition. The situation and welfare for dogs on Irish racetracks distresses all animal lovers everywhere. Without boring you with research and background, the essence of this petition effort targets raising Irish greyhound racing rules to match those in Great Britain.

4 great things about greyhound dogs

When living in a home with a family

  1. Greyhounds love to snuggle
  2. Greyhounds enjoy being couch potatoes
  3. Rescued track greyhounds often hate to run
  4. Greyhounds cannot swim. They sink due to extremely low body fat

Myth buster: Not true that former track greyhounds become runaway dogs!

This is Rosee’s dog, Speedy. Read more about him on her site Good Dog Practice.

Former Irish greyhound, now safe and happy. Photo credit: Judith Utner

From Care2: legal changes needed to better protect Irish track greyhounds

  • Have a veterinarian present at all race meetings, trials and sales trials who must inspect every greyhound before it runs;
  • Provide the veterinarian with appropriate facilities;
  • Provide suitable kennels, diet, hygiene standards, for all greyhounds that are going to run in a race or trial and for the dogs NOT to be muzzled for 23-24 hours a day; Ensure that the greyhounds have access to an outside area for exercise and be supplied with food and water.
  • Only allow greyhounds that are healthy, micro-chipped, registered and, were required, tattooed, to run in a race or trial.
  • Keep up to date records of owners, trainers, greyhounds and any injuries/deaths to greyhounds.
  • Monitor all licensed and private Breeders to reduce excess Dogs thereby reducing the need to euthanize/kill unwanted puppies.
  • To regulate Ireland’s greyhound breeders, not governed by the same regulations & welfare stipulations as the UK. All aspects of greyhound dog breeding, training and kennelling.
  • To provide adequate travel facilities, breaks (on long journeys) and water/food as required.
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland. Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer
Speedy came as a racetrack rescue from Ireland. Photo credit: Katrin Bargheer

Care2 Petition Bring Irish Greyhound Racing Regulations in line with the UK

Please sign and share

Thanks for reading, Deborah Taylor-French


Delighted to say that at 15:30 PST yesterday, the Care2 Petition site read:

we’ve got 169,061 signatures, help us get to 170,000

and went on to explain the background to the petition:

There are major concerns about animal welfare issues relating to the racing greyhound industry in Ireland. Many puppies and older dogs which don’t perform to racing owner expectations are killed simply because they won’t make money for the owner. They are discovered in mass graves with their tattooed ears hacked off so they can’t be identified – so that their owners can’t be held accountable.

Dogs are generally kennelled, constantly muzzled, for 23-24 hours a day for their entire racing life. There are usually at least two dogs per small kennel, sharing one bed (with straw if they are lucky). The kennels are overcrowded, not properly maintained and badly cramped.

In the UK there are regulations which provide some protection for racing greyhounds. These regulations do not exist in Ireland where most racing greyhounds come from. Changes need to be made to bring the laws in Ireland in line with those in the UK. These rules aren’t perfect but they do offer a lot of improvements to the lives of these beautiful dogs.

Please sign the petition to show the Irish Greyhound Racing Board that the public cares about these dogs, to encourage them to support laws to protect these dogs.

At least 20 greyhounds a day, either puppies, which do not make the track because of lack of “prey drive”, or ‘retired’ dogs, aged between 18 months to 3-4 years, simply ‘disappear’ according to “records”. All dogs should be identifiable by the tattoos & registry records. When they are tattooed the dogs are roughly handled & dragged around by their ears with pincers.

Continue reading “Please sign for the Irish Greyhound”

A very joyful dog!

A lovely way to start a new week. Back on the 7th February, over on the blog Dog Leader Mysteries, Deborah published a post under the title of Returned to Owner: joyful dog + family. It is such a wonderful story that it is republished here, with Deborah’s kind permission.


Returned to Owner: joyful dog + family

What a story plus a happy ending!

This true story comes from animal lover, dog rescuer and Redwood Writer, Brigid Wasson. I highly recommend you find and friend Brigid on Facebook and visit her Website. I posted Brigid Wasson’s bio sketch and links to her Facebook Pages at the bottom.

Brigid Wasson wrote on Facebook.

Tonight renewed my faith in the “RTO (Return To Owner) Program” that Sue Padgett and I started so long ago. Too little emphasis is placed on owner reclaims of “stray” pets in shelters, something I am working hard to change. A young couple was in a major car accident, leaving the woman disabled and in a wheelchair. Without transportation and unable to work, they fell on hard times after the accident. They had to move in with a relative who later kicked them out, and the person they trusted to care for their dog dropped him off at the County shelter. The dog wasn’t doing well at the shelter, so the director called and asked if I would take him to the humane society. We had no room, so he went to a foster home. A week later, the County shelter director called again and said the real owners had been identified. When they went to get their dog back from the person caring for him, they learned of the deception and felt devastated. Tonight, we delivered the dog to his owner in Ukiah. As soon as I turned into the parking lot of Safeway, he saw him and went crazy, whining and jumping at the window. I opened the door and he leaped into his arms, licking his face and howling “I love you.” The owner burst into tears and hugged him tight, thanking us many times. I had intended to get a photo for Facebook, but in the dark, in the rain, it was a private moment too sacred to capture. Even so, it will be in my mind forever, reaffirming why we do what we do.

I love my mom.
I love my mom.

Return to Owner story replies on Facebook

Comments: I am so happy with this outcome and glad that you were able to play such a pivotal part in getting this dog reunited with his family! I have every confidence, that as time goes by, I will be reading more stories like this as more shelters get on board with aggressive RTO efforts! Good job, Brigid! So very touching. It’s not always easy to understand why other have to drop their beloved animals at a shelter. At the time we were so quick to condemn. So glad you were able to help. Animals always remember us. Brigid’s reply

We are so quick to judge when most of us are one injury or illness away from disaster, and life can change in a moment. We gave them our numbers and assured them that they can call us if they run into trouble again.

Awesome story! Never enough happy endings! You are good, good people. This is one thing that pulls at my heart strings. Seeing a grown man cry so hard when we open the truck door and his little dog leaped into his arms and started licking him on his teary eyed face. It was a great reunion for all of us. OH WHAT A STORY! I Love it!!! Thank you for being you Brigid. Great story Brigid. Those are priceless rewards we at shelters need to hear. What a wonderful story, reaffirms my faith in The goodness of people We live for these moments! yes, by all means


Please visit the Website of Brigid Wasson Good Dogs Pet Sitting and her Facebook Page Animal Shelter Success. Brigid Wasson worked for the County of Santa Clara Animal Shelter as their supervisor. She now owns and runs two business, Good Dogs Pet Sitting and The Path Ahead Animal Shelter Consulting. Since it was too dark for photographs or video, here’s another wonderful Return To Owner story. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLpXnoI_hJ8


Here’s my closing thought. Dogs so often bring out the best in us humans!

Loving our dogs

A reposting of a blog from Dog Leader Mysteries about a dog food recall.

Quickly stepping over the observation that today’s post is about as far removed, topic wise, from yesterday’s post as one could possibly imagine, nonetheless this is important and needs to be widely shared.


Raw food recall: J J Fuds Frozen Pet Food

J. J. Fuds Raw dog food recall expands

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

Because you signed up on my website and asked to be notified, I’m sending you this special recall alert.

On January 27, 2015, J. J. Fuds of Valparaiso, Indiana, announced it is expanding its recall of select lots of J. J. Fuds Raw Frozen Pet Food to include 2 other products due to unspecified contamination.

To learn more, please visit the following link: J J Fuds Raw Frozen Pet Food Recall Expands

Please be sure to share the news of this important safety alert with other pet owners.

Mike Sagman, Editor
The Dog Food Advisor
P.S. Not already on our dog food recall notification list? Sign up to get critical dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. There’s no cost for this service.

I copied this email notice from The Dog Food Advisor. I highly recommend you sign up for this list.

Please share to save dogs’ lives

We don’t feed Sydney raw meat. We do feed organic raw vegetables in limited quantities. We care about pets and want our readers to share this important news. Also we want you to know that we receive the Dog Food Advisor’s updates. Mike Sagman never stuffs our email box, but sends out notices as fast as he receives them. We asked our local pet stores if they receive notices before opening each day. You can do that. Ask when and how pet foods get pulled from their shelves, your pet’s life depends on this.

For the love of dogs and the people who love them

This blog continues to evolve yet our purpose never changes…to save dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity.


Thanks for reading and sharing, Deborah Taylor-French


Please get the message circulated to as many dog lovers as possible.

Thank you!


Animals make us human.

Animal and human happiness.

As I have mentioned in the past and undoubtedly will do so again in the future, one of the most wonderful aspects of this world of blogging is the way that connections are made. Just a few weeks ago, a connection was made between Learning from Dogs and Dog Leader Mysteries. DLM’s byline is: Saving dogs’ lives and dog lovers’ sanity. Dog Leader Mysteries is written by author Deborah Taylor-French.

Anyway, out of the exchanges that have taken place between Deborah and myself, came a reference to a post about animal happiness that was published on Deborah’s blog in October, 2013.  It is very interesting and I am delighted to be given permission to share it with you.


Neuroscience key to animal happiness

…research in neuroscience has been showing that emotions drive behavior, and my thirty-five years of experience working with animals have shown me that this is true. Emotions come first. You have to go back to the brain to understand animal welfare.

Animals Make Us Human : Creating the best life for Animals

by Temple Grandin & Catherine Johnson

Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park.
Water dogs having a blast in Spring Lake Park.

By Deborah Taylor-French

Those of us who live and/or work with animals know…

animals have emotions.

Temple Grandin has made the understanding, care and handling of farm animals her life’s work. I refer to her book Animals Make Us Human because not only has she studied farm animals, but she also loves and lives with pets. In her books, especial this one, she insists that we must understand how animals brains work, how they see, hear and smell every sensory detail in their surroundings.

Animals emotions drive their behavior.

To make a better life for our pets, for domestic and wild animals we must understand the main emotions that drive behavior. This will help us to turn on their positive emotions and avoid turning on FEAR, RAGE and GRIEF.

Example: Rabbits and horses are prey animals.

  • Never chase either rabbits or horses.
  • Teach your pet rabbit or horse to come to you.
  • Always reward them for recognizing their name and coming when called.
  • When you chase a prey animal, you make him or her fearful of you!

Emotions are the gifts of our ancestors. We have them and so do other animals. We must never forget this. When it comes to animal welfare we can always do better. Most of the time “good welfare” is not “good enough.”

The Emotional Lives of Animals by Marc Bekoff.

Dogs Depend on us for freedom from fear and safety

  • Never tie up your dog unless it is in your company in a human training session.
  • A dog needs to feel he can flee to safety.
  • Be sensitive to your dog’s fear signals and show him you will protect and calm him.
  • Increase your dogs positive emotions by interesting, but not overstimulating activities.
  • Always stop training before your dog gets tired.

Dogs are the only animals that live with us inside of their flight zone.

Dogs depend on us for positive and playful lives

When you help increase an animal’s curiosity, you turn on his or her positive emotions of SEEKING and PLAY.

Example: Dogs love to play.

  • Find a time and place when both you and your dog seem relaxed.
  • Invite your dog to play by doing a play bow or picking up his favorite toy.
  • Use an excited and happy tone of voice to call your dog.
  • Run away.
  • When your dog chases you, stop.
  • Wait for your dog to run then chase.
  • Always stop before your dog seems fearful or overexcited.

Dogs love this game, which dog lovers know dogs play every chance they get.

Temple Grandin Website and Book Orders

Thank you for reading.


Please share for the sake of all animals, because as

Temple Grandin says,

“Animals make us human.”

Please visit and share Blog for the Change for Animals

Animals defy our tendency to define their lives and their limits.

For further information on brain research, emotions in animals and the primary-process emotional-affective networks of mammalian brains read US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health on the work of Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression.


Follow that, as they say!

A wonderful insight into dogs.

The republication of a wonderful post about a dog that rides a bus!

I’m in the middle of reading Jean Donaldson’s book The Culture Clash.  Here’s a summary of what the book is about from the Dogwise website.


Summary: The book that has shaped modern thinking about canine behavior and the relationship between dogs and humans has been revised. Dogs are not humans. Dogs are clever and complex creatures that humans need to take the time to understand in order to live together successfully. You must read this book… because your dog sure can’t!

Here’s an extract from page 13 of the first chapter: Getting the dog’s perspective.

We crave anecdotes about genius dogs and these abound. Everyone knows a story that illustrates how smart dogs are. But a fundamental question has never been answered by proponents of reasoning in dogs: if dogs are capable of these feats of brain power at all, why are they not performing them all the time? Why never in controlled conditions? What is the most upsetting about these claims is the lack of rigour in evaluating them.

You get the picture of where Jean Donaldson is coming from!  (And I’m still only just into the book myself.)

So with those words echoing around your mind, just hold your breath while you read this article from author Deborah Taylor-French‘s blog: Dog Leader Mysteries.


Bus riding dog: Photo Friday


Can your dog do this?

Have you read about this dog? A friend shared a news clipping on this dog’s unusual behavior in Seattle, Washington. Eclipse, as an independent city dog, seems to know to walk only on the sidewalk, get on the bus, take a seat and look out the window, all without assistance from his person. Eclipse even knows, which bus stop to get off at for the dog park. “Bus riders report she hops onto seats next to strangers, and watches out the window for her stop. Says commuter Tiona Rainwater, “All the bus drivers know her … she makes everybody happy.”

A Metro Transit spokesman said the agency loves that a dog appreciates public transit. The City of Seattle representative suggested that it would be safer for Eclipse to wear a leash and be with her human when she rides the bus, but with a dog this smart, is it a problem? I don’t know the answer. Black lab rides bus alone to dog park USA Today Network Associated Press 1:01 p.m. EST January 14, 2015.

What do you think, can dogs take the bus without their human families?

No dogs off leash.
No dogs off leash.

We know that big dogs differ in temperament and dog to dog communication from little lap dogs. But what makes a dog mature and experienced enough to take on full independence in the confusion and untranslated rules of human life? Yes, free-roaming dogs ride trains in organized and peaceful groups in Russia. Yes, often those who live with dogs, like we do, find they understand far more of our human lives than we think possible. After watching dozens of dogs off leash on city streets of Baja California Sur, Mexico. No dog seemed homeless and all but one stayed on the sidewalk.

Do dogs ever become 100% street-smart?

Street smarts or leash required?
Street smarts or leash required?

What do dogs know? What do dogs remember? We know dogs learn. We know some dogs show exceptional learning abilities, much greater than other dogs. Somewhere I read that the average dog has the intelligence of a human toddler. Now, none of us would let a toddler walk city streets, get on and off a bus alone. But what of special cases? History shows exceptions to rules and to the “average.” Clearly, Eclipse breaks the rule, the average and reshapes our expectations of what dogs can and should be able to do.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi

Have you read Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote? Of book talks, life and books by Kerasote can be found on his Website his 2014 Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, in paperback, looks to be interesting to those of us who want our dogs to live the longest, healthiest lives possible. Find more about this top creative nonfiction author on his Website Kerasote.com.

True dog story (tearjerker ahead)

A Marin County ethical keeshond breeder shared this true story of their longtime and favorite dog. For years and years, the behavior of their family dog and top champion male looked totally stable. His nature showed pure calm and obedience. They all got into a pattern of allowing this canine patriarch time to lay on the front lawn in their neighborhood circle street. He always remained serene, watching, never chasing, barking or moving.

On afternoon as the kinglike keeshond patriarch lay on his grassy lawn – the unthinkable happened – he ran in front of car. Now fortunately, this big keeshond did not die. But he suffered, ever after with epileptic fits. Makes me wonder if we fool ourselves in imagining that dogs can navigate city streets safely.

Please share, comment and sign up for my blog updates. Thanks, Deborah Taylor-French


So leave it up to you to assess the brain power of dogs, especially that bus-riding black Labrador dog. To help you make your mind up, take a look at the video.

Published on Jan 14, 2015

Seattle’s public transit system has had a ruff go of things lately, and that has riders smiling.

You see, of the 120 million riders who used the system last year, one of them is actually a dog. Seattle’s KOMO-TV reports the 2-year-old black Labrador mix, named Eclipse, has become a regular fixture on the city’s D-Line after she figured out how to ride the bus alone to the dog park.

“All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does,” fellow rider Tiona Rainwater told KOMO. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?”

The dog’s owner, Jeff Young, lives next to the stop. He said Eclipse sometimes hops on board without him if he’s not yet finished smoking his cigarette when the bus arrives. The pup has become a regular on the route, riding three or four stops before exiting at her destination of choice. “I catch up with her at the dog park,” Young explained.
Miles Montgomery, a Seattle radio host and D-Line commuter, was taken by surprise when Eclipse hopped into the seat next to him on a ride last Friday, looked out the window, then got off at her stop. Montgomery snapped a bemused selfie with the commuting canine, adding the caption, “Bus is full this morning:”

A Metro Transit spokesperson told the AP they’re happy a dog can appreciate public transit, though Eclipse should really be on a leash. King County says dogs are allowed to ride buses at the discretion of the driver, provided the animal isn’t a hazard and doesn’t create a disturbance.

Seattle isn’t alone in having a streetwise dog. Stray dogs in Moscow, Russia, have learned to commute in and out of the city from the suburbs by riding the subway, even watching out for other dogs to make sure they exit at the correct stop.

Get along, little doggies.


Golly, I have just seen how long I have spent getting this post written.  Poor old Shelby must be wondering if I really did want to play with him; should have made my next move simply ages ago!


Mind you, I so rarely win against him!