The Myth Of “Normal” Dogs

Wishing you had a normal dog?  One that doesn’t get stressed from being left alone?  Or that doesn’t roll in stinky stuff?  Or one that doesn’t bark?  If your dog does those things or other things we humans find problematic, you already have a “normal” dog. What we really want are abnormal dogs.  Casey Lomonico does a great job looking at what a normal dog is really like. She also looks at normal dog owner behavior—a sad commentary, to be sure.  Casey is a dog trainer & behaviorist and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner.

Friday Fun: DIY How To Wrap A Cat Or Dog

(Psssst, keep your eye out for coming information on how to enter the upcoming giveaways!)

Of course, PetProject does not recommend actually giving animals as gifts!  But, here’s a tutorial in case you need to know how to wrap one.

Here’s a demo of how to wrap a dog, sort of.  Gold star to mom for being so good about praising Rosco for doing what they asked!  We humans are a goofy lot, aren’t we?

DIY: 3 Knit & Felted Dogs Toys

I love these cunning dog toys.  All three tutorials are for knitted & felted toys.   Don’t forget to use wool yarn so it will felt.  Felted knits handle more like fabric and are more durable.  (Here are a few tutorials on felting, in case you need them: this one covers both hand & machine felting,here is a printable one on machine felting, and another on hand felting.)

First, is a great tutorial for this cute dog dumbell. It’s aesthetically pleasing and a neat toy!  I especially like dog toys that are fun for the dog, but also also look nice on the livingroom floor. This dumbell kind of looks like it could be modern art.  The pattern comes from Tara over at Tara’s Knits.

Second, is a nice tutorial for these wonderful ducky dog toys. You can use the pattern to make a mallard & a duckling, as shown, or any bird you can dream up. This pattern comes from Ever Green Knits. She has other free patterns and makes some lovely things.

Third, is a tutorial for a tug toy. It has details for a short & a long version.  You could make a nifty one using variegated yarn.

Cookie—Just Another Dog

Last December many of us were deeply moved by the Just One Dog video of sweet Stanley’s rescue from a California shelter.  Sadly we have another stark reminder that Stanley’s story is only unique in the he was noticed by someone who could help.  Cookie, pictured above, was just another dog suffering a tortured existance in a Georgia county shelter that appears to have some serious problems.  Fortunately, he is out of the Floyd County shelter, is now being treated by a vet, and is getting pain medications, treatment to ease his itching, and treatment for all his underlying problems.  Cookie has a Facebook page documenting his progress.

I think so many public shelters in the U.S. are overburdened, understaffed, and underfunded and the Floyd Co. Shelter where Cookie was found is no different. For instance, in 2009 a proposal to expand the facility was stopped by the County Commission.  Earlier this year though, the Floyd County animal shelter began working with volunteers from 52 rescuce groups to improve things.  Then in September, the Georgia Dept. of Agriculture investigation of a case of animal hoarding lead to the discovery that not all of the resuce groups were following regulations.  A press release from the county says:

reference-checking has been delegated to others outside of Floyd County, animal tags have been falsified, and licenses apparently used improperly in the rescue of animals….animals from the Animal Shelter (were) transported to uncertified rescues and persons who are not legally compliant in their home cities/counties…

So the volunteer program was suspended until it could be reexamined.  Shelter director Jason Broome and the County Commission are ultimately responsible for these problems and Broome has publicly said he takes full responsibility.  Cookie was found in the aftermath of this upheaval.

If there is to be any finger pointing though, I think that finger should be pointed right back at us, the public. I believe a lot of us don’t want to think about what goes on in our public animal shelters.  I know I don’t.  And the problems there can seem insurmountable.  However:

  • We need to speak up and demand that our animal control departments recieve proper funding.
  • We must demand that progressive, qualified directors be hired to oversee operations and to set goals.
  • If we visit a public shelter and see problems, we need to act—contact the director to politely voice your concernes & contact your representatives to let them know.
  • Spay & neuter your pets.  Don’t contribute to the numbers of unwanted cats & dogs.
  • And, please, think long & hard about buying a pet when there are so very many cats & dogs in shelters who desperately need someone who cares.