FAQs and Other Animals

It’s hard to imagine we’re coming up on one year of business at Your Pet Space.  Wow! But even in the last ten months, we’ve had many many clients ask us variations of questions or present us with situations somewhat dissimilar to those listed on our Frequently Asked Questions Page.  So I thought this might be a good place to answer…

black dog

1.) How is Doggy Daycare better than taking my dog to the dog park or letting him loose for a run in the desert?

Well, dog parks are great places–but there can be issues you won’t find here–not usually with the dogs…but with the owners!  Because very few owners at the dog park know how to read dog body language, or have any idea how thier dog with react to yours.  A dog who has his owner present may feel an urge to protect him, and go into defensive mode.  Worst of all, owners sometimes think that–left to their own devices–dogs will just “work it out” when they have an issue.  Sadly, this often results in a fight with injury to one or both dogs.

Dogs of different breeds can use various forms of body language to signal things like, “I don’t want to meet you,”, “I feel afraid” or “Let’s play!”.  These can often be so different that the other dog doesn’t get the message clearly–somewhat like a speaker I heard at a conference once, telling a story.  He was from Spain, and giving a talk in Brazil, where they speak Portuguese.  The languages are similar, and yet not exactly the same.  He asked in Spanish if he could remove his jacket.  Then he realized the attendees were giving him wild looks because in Portuguese he had asked about removing his clothes.  Similarly, a dog may think the other dog is signalling a readiness to play, when he’s actually being challenged or warned away.

Can you be safe taking your dog to the dog park?  Sure.  If you are well versed in how dogs talk to each other with their body language, and your dog stays fairly close to you.  And as long as you know when to take your dog home (namely, as soon as you spot another dog whose body language signals spell trouble.)

dog in the desert

As to the desert… I have spoken with a few clients and acquaintances locally that let their dog run off leash in the desert on a regular basis.  Honestly, the idea makes me cringe, as there are so many incidents every year of dogs coming to harm off leash and uncontained in a safe space.  Also, even if you think your dog will not leave your side you are really gambling with any instinct that causes them to chase an animal or shy away from an unexpected noise or other event.  Please, for the safety of your pet, reconsider this option.

In comparison, doggy daycare at Your Pet Space is supervised by staff well versed in dog body language, (many have graduated or are attending the Animal Companion Program at NMSU), trained in canine First Aid and CPR, and in addition the other dogs playing with your dogs are evaluated on a point value off leash play assessment, so that we know they are very unlikely to be dangerous to your dog. Unlike the desert, there are no rattlesnakes here, either.  😉  And since we have full air and heat inside our building, your pet will be comfortable no matter the weather.

standard measuring cups

2.) How can I ensure my dog is fed properly when he stays with you?

First, although our FAQ recommends you bring your dog’s own food since it’s easier on their stomach than switching to ours, it’s also important to give us clear instructions on each boarding stay.  Why do we ask you do this at every stay?  Simple: we may have no idea what changed since we last cared for your dog overnight.  Does he have a new allergy or medical condition?  Have you changed his food, and therefore the quantity is different?  Or is the amount we should give different because your dog has moved from puppyhood to adolescent?  Is your dog dieting?  It never hurts to double check and see what we have for your pet on our feeding schedule.  And of course always give us written instructions in standard measurements–the food scoop you use for your dog may be left behind or not of a standard size…so just saying “1 scoop” isn’t precise.  And we so want to get it right!  😉

digging dog

3.) Why does your form ask so many questions about how my dog behaves and commands he knows?

We ask details about your dog(s) so we can ensure their safety and understand in the way you do what they’re trying to tell us.  For instance, if your dog is a digger, climber or chewer we need to know this to make sure they are never in danger.  If your dog barks when he is upset instead of whining, we want to know that, so we can reduce his stress.

Although most dog body language is consistent, these details will help us give your dog the best stay possible.  And please don’t be embarrassed to tell us your dog has trouble with some commands.  We can help!  We routinely teach all dogs that come to us to sit and wait before going through gates, and to wait before eating, and we can help if your dog pulls on the leash or jumps up on people, too.  Just let us know what you need.

sleeping dog

4.) Why do you have doggy naptime?  How do you make my dog nap? What if my dog won’t nap?  What if I must check in or out during doggy naptime?

In a 6,000 square foot playspace, your active dog could hurt himself running around for the entire day.  We have seen large facilities where this happens!  One of the facilities we worked with in Ohio also had a three hour time of the day when they were closed and the dogs were sleeping…and when our own dogs came home from there, they were significantly less stressed than at previous facilities.  Our prime directive is always to make your dog’s time with us as stress free as possible–and the more closely we stay to a routine your dog would have at home (like taking an afternoon nap), the better we are able to accomplish this.

When we begin naptime, we mimic night by lowering all the lights in the facility, and turning on the “stars” in the Milky Way sleeping area! (Ever noticed the tiny Christmas lights that are over this area?)  Since the sleep patterns for dogs are diurnal, most of the dogs will just walk in, pick a comfy bed, and go right to sleep.  In fact, many of our regular dogs will line up about 1145am each day and doze in a line along the Milky Way fence–because they know it’s almost time to go in!  New dogs usually pace around a few minutes, confused, but when they see everyone else is sleeping, they lie down too and are soon asleep.

Once in awhile, we have a younger or more active doggy guest, or one that has arrived close to naptime, so they have a bit too much energy and would rather play than nap.  That’s ok–we just put them in an area away from the Milky Way with a toy or another active dog.  And they can have their fun while the others sleep.

Oh!  And if you ever have a check in or out that MUST happen during doggy naptime, just call us ahead so we can close for naptime a bit later (preferably no later than 1pm), or open earlier (preferably no earlier than 2pm).  This still gives the other dogs a solid naptime, and prevents the upset of everyone being awakened and stressed during the excitement of someone coming in.

I hope these answers have helped clarify some more Frequently Asked Questions.  If you think of something else you want to ask, feel free to comment here, e-mail me or call us at Your Pet Space!

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, Publisher, is also the Vice President of Your Pet Space, a cage free dog boarding facility serving the greater Las Cruces, NM area. She is also a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

 

Loving Your Pet’s Smile

dog face

You Can Brush Your Pet’s Teeth!

My dog, Seba, loves giving kisses!  But sometimes they’re smelly, if I’ve forgotten to brush her teeth.  What?  Brush my dog’s teeth?  Yes!  Not only does she tolerate me brushing her teeth, she expects it and there are some things she seems to enjoy—such as the peanut butter flavored toothpaste!

Here’s a vid of me brushing Seba’s teeth.

Ok, so yes–you should brush your pet’s teeth.  But how do you know when?  Ideally, a pet’s teeth should be white (not yellow, brown or gray), their gums should be bubble gum pink—except in the case of pets whose gums are a different color naturally—and they should not have bad breath.

Pets do not usually develop cavities the way children do, but they can contract periodontal (gum) disease due to buildup of tartar.  Once the gums are infected and inflamed, they can lose their teeth.  But a long time before that happens, they may be having pain that they won’t show in the same way you would…

In addition, once infection sets in, their immune system becomes compromised, and this can lead to heart and other types of disease.

I was lucky with Seba, because greyhounds are quite used to being touched all over and handled with humans doing all kinds of strange things to them—including dressing them in racing silks, winning banners…and later, when they are adopted to a home, everything from fancy collars with dangly bling to coats to booties for their feet in the winter!  So it was an easy segue to start putting a toothbrush in her mouth.

canine dental

But HOW Do You Brush Your Pet’s Teeth?

But, if your pet isn’t used to this, the way to start is by using something on your finger that the pet loves—like tuna juice for cats or plain peanut butter for dogs (just be sure to avoid any peanut butter containing xylitol as a sweetener, since this is highly toxic to our canine friends).  You want to approach the pet from the side, not face to face.  A smaller dog or a cat you can place on your lap, with its face away from you.  Our cat lovers may want to try a Cat In The Bag as an easy way to brush your feline’s teeth, and it can be used in many other instances, as well.)

Seba knows when Momma is talking baby talk to her, she is safe and something good is coming in the way of treats and pets.  But any reassuring sound you make or praise you give throughout the process will create a pleasant association for your pet.  Start for short sessions on a regular basis and build up to a full mouth brushing, starting at the back  on the inside and using short, circular strokes with the brush.

cat roar

The Facts About Pet Gum Disease

You may have thought that gum disease only affects humans, but in fact pet gum disease is the leading dental problem vets see, and affects 80% of dogs and 70% of cats.  In general, pets are more susceptible as they grow older, but toy breeds are particularly so, because of tooth crowding.

Gum disease in pets is caused by the same things as in humans: bacteria from leftover food particles causes plaque along the gumline.  If not cleaned away, the plaque hardens into tartar, which clings strongly to the teeth.  This can happen in as little as 3 days.  Gingivitus, bad breath and inflammation of the gum follow which, if still untreated, can cause loosening of the teeth, abcesses and further infection.  All during this process, the pet is in pain–and, unlike you, will not be able to schedule an appointment for themselves!

Signs of periodontal disease in pets are:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive Salivation
  • Loose or Missing Teeth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Obvious pain or difficulty while eating
  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Yellow brown tartar deposits

dog mouth

But What About The Dental Treats I Give My Pet?

Like a lot of other pet products on the market, these are well loved by owners–but keep in mind they do not replace a toothbrush or professional cleaning.  Treats should not be soft (or become soft as in the case of rawhides) as hard food and treats help remove built up plaque from the pet’s teeth.  You want a tough, chewy treat, but not extremely hard like cow hooves or pig ears.  Hard objects can chip and wear down teeth prematurely.  However, in general, providing your pet a chew toy is beneficial, even if you spot some bleeding of the gums, as in particular dog gingiva is more sensitive than that of humans.

Healthy gums should be bubble gum pink with no signs of redness or irritation.

cat teeth

At The Vet

As part of your pet’s routine, your vet should be checking their mouth, gums and teeth.  If they find your dog needs a cleaning, they will use one of two methods (generally, under anaesthesia): manual or mechanical scaling.

Manual scaling is used for mild cases of tartar buildup or as a followup to a mechanical scaling procedure.

Mechanical scaling uses ultrasonic scalers powered by compressed air.

After scaling off the tartar, the pet’s teeth are polished, just like a human’s.  This is a key process to ensure the natural nooks and crannies of the teeth are smooth, and less easily able to allow tartar to adhere.  Irrigation with a water based solution is the final step in the process, rinsing away any further debris.

Sometimes, your pet may need teeth removed–especially if they are extremely loose, broken beneath the gumline or split.  This ensures your pet can have comfortable meals after healing and that any infection cannot spread throughout the body.

So here’s the takeaway: yes, you can brush your pet’s teeth!  And you should.  It can lengthen their life considerably, not to mentione their enjoyment of it.  Plus–no smelly kisses!

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, Publisher, is also the Vice President of Your Pet Space, a cage free dog boarding facility serving the greater Las Cruces, NM area. She is also a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave (below). When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Who Is The Beagle Freedom Project?

beagle freedom project logo

History of the Beagle Freedom Project

In December of 2010, Shannon Keith learned that beagles being used for animal experiments in a research lab were to be given a chance at freedom.  The mission for the Beagle Freedom Project was formed and they have been rescuing and re-homing beagles ever since.

Beagles for the research industry are generally obtained from commercial breeders, who breed them specifically for this purpose.  This breed of dog is known to be friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving–in short, perfect for lab use.  In addition they adapt well to cages and are fed inexpensively.

The Beagle Freedom Project legally removes beagles that are no longer used in testing and transports them to forever homes.

Beagle Freedom Project is a service of Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME). Founded in 2004, ARME is a nonprofit advocacy group created to eliminate the suffering of all animals through rescue, public education and outreach. ARME has found homes for thousands of homeless and abandoned animals. In 2004 ARME organized the first-ever “Shelter Drive” to provide creature comforts to homeless animals such as beds, toys and treats. ARME’s Shelter Drive became an annual tradition uniting volunteers with businesses that allowed drop boxes for donations. ARME also helps feed and shelter displaced animals when Southern California fires strike residential areas.

animal testing brands

Types of Testing Beagles Are Used For

Universities and research labs use beagles to test commercial products such as medicines and pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and household products.

Challenges In Adopting A Lab Beagle

As the greatest majority of these dogs have lived all their lives at either a breeding facility or a lab, they have never experienced meeting children, cats–even other dogs!  They are not house trained, but they learn quickly.  They have never seen grass…or felt the warmth of the sun.  They must adjust to a diet other than what they were provided by the lab.  They have never had treats, toys or soft beds, and may never have been on a leash.

At the lab, they may have had irritated or infected paws from living in a cage with a wire bottom.  They may be frightened and may haven been surgically de-barked at the breeder, with an ID number tattooed inside the ear (similar to greyhounds).  Adopters are given very little info about their beagle’s medical history.  The type of testing they were used for is usually not revealed.

However, the transformation of these dogs after they are freed is nothing short of amazing!

Projects In Process Now

Beagles are not the only animals used in laboratory research.  Many people are surprised to learn that cats are also, and many need adoption.

laboratory cat

The Identity Campaign

As a 501(c)(3) organization contributions to ARME are tax-deductible. To donate please see www.arme.tv.

 

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Product Review: Acana Regionals Dog Food

 We are required to let readers know that we are compensated for our product reviews. We personally test the products to be able to provide the honest reviews you will read of products offered through our website.

seba

Many of you have read previous posts about my greyhound, Seba.  When she first arrived home from the track, she was transitioned to Diamond Naturals, which was what her foster mom was feeding.  After learning about Dog Food Advisor and that they consider Diamond a Four Star food, I switched her to Acana Regionals Grain Free, a Five Star.  Here’s a dog food review to tell you why.

dog food advisor logo

Pet Food Can Be Controversial

At Dog Food Advisor, they study the ingredients in a particular food, as well as the meat content.  Some ingredients in pet food can be “controversial”, meaning the jury is out on whether they are good for your pet–or even necessary.

Cost of Food VS Cost of Vet Care

I’m not going to lie to you.  Acana is one of the more expensive brands.  But, since we know that what you feed your own body affects your health sooner or later, here’s the way I figure things: I want Seba with me for as long as she can be.  And I don’t want to have huge vet bills if I can avoid it, nor do I want her health to deteriorate so that she becomes a victim of a long but unhappy and painful aging process.  No matter what I do, all things end.  But if there’s anything I can influence to change any part of that, I will.  That’s just me.

What I know is this: she loves all the varieties of the Acana food we’ve tried (and our other dogs constantly try to steal it from her bowl!).  She has thrived on this product.  Coming from the track, where nutrition was poor at best, her thighs were nearly bald. But after switching her to Acana, her full fawn coat came in thick and shiny.  She was beautiful when she came home–but now she’s gorgeous!  And now, 3 years later, she’s as full of energy as she was when she first came to live with us.

acana logo

Who Makes The Food In This Dog Food Review?  

(From Wikipedia and the ACANA Website)

ACANA is manufactured by Champion Petfoods which was founded in 1985 by Reinhard Muhlenfeld. Champion Petfoods believes in making Biologically Appropriate™ dog and cat food from fresh regional ingredients.  This is a new class of foods designed to nourish dogs and cats in keeping with their evolutionary adaptation to fresh meat and protein-rich diets.  The rules of the biologically appropriate mindset are: meat concentrated, with diverse meat ingredients, protein rich and carbohydrate limited, with whole fruits and vegetables and all fresh ingredients.

Champion has been an award-winning, independent Canadian pet food maker for more than a quarter century.  Their ingredients are sustainably raised and delivered to them  fresh, so they’re never frozen, and always preservative free.

ACANA Regionals feature foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters.  Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavourful ACANA recipes feature 60-65% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.

Varieties

ranchlands dog food

I started Seba on ACANA RANCHLANDS, because it was full of red meat, which she was used to from the track (although it was of very poor quality there).  The ingredients were largely Angus beef, lamb and bison, all free range.  But this food also has a high degree of fresh fruits and vegetables including Burbank potatoes, pumpkin, Red Delicious apples and spinach greens.

After awhile, of course, Seba inevitably started to get bored.  But I really liked how she was looking healthier and the high energy I noticed with her.  So I wanted to stay with ACANA.  I decided to switch her to their flavor called GRASSLANDS next.

grasslands dog food

GRASSLANDS main ingredient is lamb, but it also has generous portions of whole eggs, wild-caught fish, cage-free duck and infusions of New Brunswick herring.  Seba dug right in and let me know she loved it!  This one also has apples, butternut squash, Burbank potatoes and spinach greens.

wild prairie dog food

WILD PRAIRIE was the flavor we tried next.  The main ingredient is cage-free Cobb chicken and whole eggs, with wild-caught fish. This variety also has apples, butternut squash, Burbank potatoes and spinach greens.

pacifica dog food

Speaking of fish, we next tried ACANA PACIFICA.  Loaded with Pacific salmon, herring and flounder from North Vancouver Island, I must tell you that this will leave a faint fish smell wherever you store the bag, until it’s gone.  But with the same results as we’ve had all along, I can hardly complain.  This one also contains 40% of fruits & vegetables including apples and Bartlett pears, butternut squash, Burbank potatoes and spinach greens.

At this point, I had exhausted all of the ACANA GRAIN FREE REGIONALS line, but still wanted to give Seba as much variety as possible.  So I ordered some of the CHICKEN & BURBANK POTATO (still ACANA but not part of REGIONALS).

chicken dog food

ACANA Chicken & Burbank Potato also features cage-free Cobb chicken and whole eggs, wild-caught flounder, and Okanagan Valley fruits & vegetables–but for the first time, although Seba loved it, she had some digestive issues with this one.

The Burbank Potato was also an ingredient in the previous REGIONALS flavors, but I suspect there was much more of it used in this one, and it was just too much for her stomach (and my nose!) to handle.  So we won’t be buying this one again–your mileage may vary.

Where to Buy ACANA

You can usually find ACANA products easily and inexpensively on Amazon.  But be careful.  Make sure it’s shipping directly from Amazon, if you can, because with their huge distribution network, that product moves quickly and has not been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for a long time.  That’s death to foods without preservatives!  This happened to me once, when I wasn’t paying attention.  The result?  Moldy ACANA.  Not the manufacturer’s fault, but since Amazon was out at that time I had ordered from a third party provider (Corner Pet Supply) that did not have enough sales to turn over product in a timely manner.  Petsolutions is good third party provider, if it is not in stock at Amazon when you go to buy.  😉  Below are some links you can use:

Acana On Amazon

Thanks for reading–and no matter what food you choose for your pet, keep in mind the long term effect of weighing cost of food vs cost of vet care.  And think about the quality and variety you want in your own food.  Sure, everyone eats junk once in awhile–but when we do this over many years, it weighs heavily on our bodies.  The same is true for your pet.

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Homeless With Pets

man cares for dog

Shortly after Dave and I moved to New Mexico, I began noticing how many of the homeless people here have pets with them.  There’s a mission here in town that we visited about six weeks after we arrived.  They have a food kitchen, and we wanted to take some donations there for Thanksgiving dinner.  Next to the food kitchen was an office where people needing work could sign up to be helped.  And outside, along with all the downhearted, poverty stricken people, were their pets.

A few weeks after that, we were exploring a new part of town, looking for a particular store in a strip center, when a homeless man walked by carrying a guitar…and at his feet walked a perky little puppy, head held high–just like any other dog, happy to be walking at his master’s side.

Most recently, Dave and I went to the local farm coop store where we buy our humanely produced meats and organic produce.  Outside on that particular day, enjoying the warm February weather, was a homeless man and his two dogs.

All of these encounters made me start thinking about the percentage of homeless people that have pets…and how in the world they manage to care for them when they can barely get along themselves…

homeless with pets

Why Do Homeless People Have Pets?

We’ve all read the stories of, and some of us may even personally know, people that had children hoping to be loved.  Then the children went on to betray or disappoint the parents.  In some cases the children are even abused or neglected–all because human beings seldom are able to fulfill the expectations others set for them–love not withstanding.

But the love of a pet doesn’t work that way.  Without judgement or agenda, against all odds and reason, they simply love.  And for the homeless, this may be needed most of all.

Man with dog

Meet Chris and Brandy. Chris is very protective of his pet, since a previous dog was taken by Animal Control because she was unlicensed.

Where Do The Homeless Come From?

Statistics tell us that in the U.S., more than 3.5 million people experience homelessness each year. 35% of the homeless population are families with children, which is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. 23% are U.S. military veterans.  But…who are they really?

I saw an interview once with Neale Donald Walsch, the author of the Conversations With God series.  In it, he revealed that he had spent a year on the street as a homeless person.

Before, Walsch worked variously as a radio station program director, newspaper managing editor, and in marketing and public relations. In the early 1990s he suffered a series of crushing blows—a fire that destroyed all of his belongings, the break-up of his marriage, and a car accident that left him with a broken neck. Once recovered, but alone and unemployed, he was forced to live in a tent in Jackson Hot Springs, just outside Ashland, Oregon, collecting and recycling aluminium cans in order to eat. At the time, he thought his life had come to an end.

When asked why he hadn’t turned to his children for help, he replied that there were two reasons: 1) he thought every day would be his last and 2) he was too ashamed.  He went on to add:

“Don’t pass anybody on the street,” Neale says. “We’ve all got a quarter or a dime or a dollar or a fiver, that we can let go of. And you can make somebody’s whole day with 50 cents or a dollar. So try never, ever, ever to pass anybody in need. When you see them holding up the sign, ‘Will Work for Food’ or when they walk up and ask for a little bit, share. Share. If you see somebody on the street who’s got his hand out, try to get off your judgment and be generous.”

What’s important to remember is that in a world where one missed paycheck, an abusive spouse or a serious medical condition can put someone out of their home, not every homeless person is dangerous or lazy.

homeless man with dog

How Many Homeless With Pets Are There?

The National Coalition for the Homeless estimates that between 5%-10% of homeless people have dogs and/or cats.  It could be more like 25% in rural areas.  These numbers may differ across the country due to a number of factors: weather, the local economy, and the cost of living.

homeless dog gets water

How Can The Homeless With Pets Care For Them?

When I saw the man at the shopping center, though, the first thing that struck me was how the dog didn’t know its dire situation.  He just pranced along in the sunlight, happy to go wherever his man went.  But I wondered for a long time after we gave him money for food, how the man would prevent fleas or heartworm for this wee puppy.  What would he do if the dog were injured?

Even the kindest benefactor often won’t approach a homeless person on the street to offer help for their pet.  And many homeless are fearful if they accept, their pet will be taken away from them.  Often, their pets are the only comfort they have, and their only link to reality.

homeless man with cat

Luckily, there are organizations that can help.  Chief of these is Feeding Pets Of The Homeless. They are a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides pet food and veterinary care to the homeless with pets in local communities across the United States and Canada.  For us here in Las Cruces, New Mexico, the local agency that distributes food and medical care for pets of the homeless is Action Programs for Animals, whom we have worked with in the past and plan to again in future.

Here’s a video about their important work:

Many of our readers follow us from Albuquerque and our home town of Cincinnati, Ohio.  There, you can contact these local distribution centers:

St. Martin’s Hospitality Center
1201 3rd St. NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
505-242-4399

Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry
2319 Madison Ave.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
513-275-5842

Pets In Need
520 W. Wyoming Ave
Cincinnati, Ohio 45215
513-761-7387

Faith and Deeds Food Pantry
6921 Morgan Rd., Unit A
Cleves, Ohio 45002
513-638-5024

If your city isn’t listed here, Feeding Pets Of The Homeless has an awesome search feature on their website.

man holds umbrella over dog

Shelter for the homeless with pets is somewhat more problematical.  However, if you are homeless due to domestic violence, you can contact:

Albuquerque, NM

SAFE House

800-773-3645
shelter@safehousenm.org

Statewide New Mexico

Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM)
Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE)
CARE Hotline: 844-323-CARE
APNM.org/CARE
ADMIN: 505-265-2322

Batavia, Ohio (Cincinnati area)

YWCA House of Peace
513-753-7281 or 1-800-644-4460

Another Resource for The Homeless

Sunrise House

Word of mouth travels quickly in homeless communities.  Once a food bank or soup kitchen starts distributing pet food, they come.  Some find out about the programs through the websites by accessing the internet at public libraries.

It is our sincere hope that someone reading this post finds the answers they seek here.

 

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Leonard Nimoy’s Pet Shop

nimoy with his cat and dog

Nimoy, with his own cat and dog.

Sadly, I’ve been saying I was going to get around to this post for more than a year–and now it’s happening in the wake of Leonard Nimoy’s death.  Sorry, old friend.  But I know somehow you’ll understand…

Nimoy with horse

Sometimes we forget that this business was created to be not only about pets and the people that love them, but also our branding grew out of our deep love of science and science fiction.  No one in science fiction was unfamiliar with who Leonard Nimoy was.  And when he died, every single fan felt it as though he was truly a part of their family.

Because you see, Leonard Nimoy belonged to us–and us to him.

Leonard Nimoy’s Pet Shop

Would you be surprised then to learn, that Leonard Nimoy had a pet shop?  I was!  I actually learned this in the same way that most online wisdom is gleaned–from googling something else.  🙂

nimoy in catspaw

In her 1970 article on Nimoy’s Pet Pad, Michele Jaques says, “Nimoy would have liked Mr. Spock to have a cat or dog on board the ‘Enterprise’.”  For most of his fans, this brings up the Star Trek episode “Catspaw,” where Spock is shown stroking a lovely black cat, who later turned into a woman.  Me-ow, right?  It is obvious though, from his handling of the cat that Leonard loved animals and they loved him.

In the episode “The Enemy Within”, a dog is dressed as a space alien, and once again Nimoy holds a small, furry one in his arms.  This time he looks worried, and rightly so!  In the story, the dog has been divided by the transporter into one angel and one devil dog!

alien dog

According to Jaques, Nimoy went through a bit of a spiritual transformation when Star Trek was cancelled in 1969.  Above all, he spent the years after dedicating himself to doing things that had meaning.  And he considered his pet shop in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley a spiritual venture.  There, he had such animals as chipmunks, monkeys, crocodiles, boa constrictors, even a South American otter!  Leonard himself had a dog and cat, a hamster, two rabbits and a tank full of fish.  His children had a pet tortoise that lived in the back yard.

Nimoy’s Pet Pad lasted only a couple of years…but it was a worthy effort made by a truly Renaissance Man.  Thank you, Leonard.  Thanks for letting all of us know you–really know you.

nimoy with wife and dog

 

Joy Jones  Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Who Knows The Best Places To Shop For Pets? We do!

We are required to let readers know that we are compensated for our product reviews. We personally test the products to be able to provide the honest reviews you will read of products offered through our website.
question markIt occurred to me the other day that I’ve been adding affiliates left and right to our pages over the last year.  I know every one inside out…but if I were just coming to our site for the first time, would I know how to choose the best place to pet shop?  Probably not.  So…that’s what this post is all about.

Our Pet Food Providers

Dave and I use a variety of pet food providers–and we like to change things up once in awhile–either to give our pets some variety, or for nutritional reasons.  For instance, I just started giving our dogs ground flax seed with their food again–they’ve been getting some dry skin since we moved to New Mexico.  In the past, we only might have to give them this ingredient in the dead of an Ohio Winter.  But with less humidity here, we’ll need to give them this all year long.  In addition, Hoagy, our basset hound, and Little Dingle, our European tabby cat, need weight control food.

Because we need a variety of foods, we shop at a few different places through our website.  Let me highlight a few and their best features…

petbrosiaPet Food Providers For Dogs or Cats With Allergies, Special Diet Needs or a Nutritional Issue

We recommend Petbrosia–for food custom designed for your dog or cat. Their wholesome diets are matched to your pet’s health needs, made from all-natural ingredients grown and raised in America. Petbrosia matches your pet’s diet according to their breed, age, weight, and other health needs.

You can read here about our dog Hoagy’s vomiting issue and how it was solved with this product. Buy Petbrosia at Your Pet Food Space.

Only-Natural-Pet-StoreNatural Treats And Foods For Dogs And Cats

We buy from Only Natural Pet.  Our dogs love their natural training treats!  They have an unacceptable ingredients list you can view, so you fully understand what’s in your pet’s food.  They offer a 100% guarantee, support sustainability with their natural treats and foods for dogs and cats, and often feature sales of overstocked items. Shop Only Natural Pet at Your Pet Supply Space.

pet food direct logoIf Cost Is Your Main Concern, Try These Pet Food Providers

Pet Food Direct–Run by the same company as Only Natural Pet (Pet 360), they have an auto ship option on the least expensive foods so you get the best deal and never run out.  They also feature small pet food and accessories for birds, reptiles and fish.  And every purchase earns you PFD rewards–which can be used to get discounted items for your own pets, or donate food to shelter animals.  Shop Pet Food Direct in Your Pet Food Space.

petsmartPetsmart–A large variety of top brands and they often run specials through our website.  If you want to purchase products you saw in your local store but want the convenience of having them shipped to your door, buy at Petsmart through Your Pet Supply Space.

I want to also put in a plug here for the Petsmart training program, of which our training editor Tina Caldwell, is a member. With the SmartPet PromiseSM policy, training customers are guaranteed 100 percent satisfaction or they can take the class again for free (see your local store for details). And you can read about Tina here.

doggyloot logoDoggyloot–If you love a good deal and like shopping for bargains, you’ll love this! They dreamed up Doggyloot for two reasons: they think dogs make the world a better place, and they wanted to create a new, fun way for dog lovers to discover the very best chews, toys, treats and more at the very best prices.  Doggyloot aims to extend these same good vibes to your shopping experience. They help you find exactly what your hound craves at competitive prices, and then ship it all free, straight to your door. Their product team carefully researches and tests everything they sell–and do not carry any edibles made in China.  You can save up to 75% on treats, beds, even pet themed jewelry!  Check out their Toy Of The Month auto ship in Your Pet Supply Space.  We love it!

amazon logoAnd of course, Amazon!  Have an Amazon Prime Membership?  You can use it right on our site and get free two day shipping on most items.  When it’s critical we find the absolutely best price and the greatest variety of shopping options–we go here.  Shop Amazon at Your Pet Supply Space.

cherrybrookDog Show Supplies

Check out Cherrybrook–They are the exclusive sponsor of the American Kennel Club Online Store, have been the only general grooming and show ring supply vendor at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for over forty years and were named a Retailer of the Year by Pet Product News for their Outstanding Holistic Approach.  They carry everything from tack crates to agility training supplies–and even offer special colognes, stain removers and other enhancing items for your dog’s coat.  In addition, they carry cat supplies. Shop Cherrybrook at Your Pet Supply Space.

I certainly hope you can find everything you need in our shopping areas–and please feel free to drop us a note on the Contact Us page or engage us in Live Chat if there’s ever anything you need and cannot find on our website.  Until then…happy shopping!

Joy JonesJoy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.

Book Review: Ask Your Animal

Marta Williams

Marta Williams has a BS in Resource Conservation from the University of California at Berkeley, and a MS in Biology and Systematic Ecology from San Francisco State University. She spent many years studying wildlife in the field, rehabilitating ill and injured animals, and working as an environmental scientist.

Vanessa Williams

This book, by animal communicator Marta Williams, contains a forward by actress Vanessa Williams.  Vanessa describes a harrowing experience in which her dog was stolen by a ring of dog thieves, and she was only able to find him with help from Marta.  Marta was in contact with Vanessa’s dog for several days, during which she was able to relay that her pet was well, had been taken by a man and a woman…and eventually his exact location.

Marta Williams now teaches animal communication, and her students have also had amazing experiences: one of which involved someone who was able to communicate with their newly adopted dog, and convince him that continued biting would only mean his eventual death.  Another communicated with a lost and injured dog on the way to the vet, and was able to correctly identify his owner when she arrived by his description.

White Stork bill-clattering

Among other advice on animal communication, Marta also shares insight on talking with wildlife, managing garden pests and working with herbs.

The first step, she says, in learning animal communication is to tune in to your own intuition (those feelings we sometimes ignore about others, and label them unreasonable).  And she tells stories: a friend whose Malamute refused to let her walk down a certain section of beach where, in the morning it was discovered a murder had taken place; another who sold her horse to someone she thought she could trust–only to find it had been sold seven times.  During the time she was trying to track the horse down, she had dreams of her, which she now believes corresponded to times the horse was being mistreated.  Eventually, she was able to buy her horse back.

dog and girl

Animal Communication and Quantum Linguistics

Marta’s science background gives the tone of this book a very practical, down to earth (not spooky or woo woo) kind of feel.  And she talks science for a good portion of it, citing terms like “quantum linguistics” and “zero point field”.  But that in no way makes the book hard to follow.  If anything, quantum linguistics lends credibility to a subject some might fight challenging to accept has any validity.

Marta’s theory is that if we had not been conditioned since childhood to suppress our intuition, that everyone could easily understand animal communication.  And she provides exercises in the book that teach you things like how to really talk to your animals as if they understand you–because they do!

As many others have said, not only does Marta say animals have the same emotions we do, but also with the same intensity.  So there are also exercises to do with sending feelings and images to animals.  In much the same way people-oriented psychics have explained, Marta gives a quick course in clairaudience, clairsentience and clairvoyance in order to communicate with animals.  But she also encourages you to reward and even use your logical inner critic to help in the process.

The stories of people communicating with animals in random places are really quite enchanting, and even if you don’t believe in animal communication at all, this book places the very gentlest wedge in the mind about being kinder and more thoughtful of animals.  Marta even encourages you to ask your own animals to question YOU.

“The Pack Of Two” was a new concept to me, but basically what it comes down to is that a bond is formed between each individual pet and you–and that this is all our pets really want, is this connection.

friendly horse

Incidentally, horse lovers will appreciate this book, because there are tons of great stories of horse owners having successful communication and solving problems.

She Uses Techniques That Dog Experts Like Cesar Milan Recommend

If you have problems with your pack getting along with each other–or even other human  members of your household!–this book is also for you.  Marta incorporates many of the techniques that dog experts like Cesar Milan recommend, such as keeping calm and using assertive energy, and even offers advice on using complementary treatments such as herbs and flower essences to calm stressed pets.

dog meets cat

Learn How To Introduce Animals To Each Other

There’s a section on how to communicate with animals you’ve just met–such as when you’re adopting a new pet, to see if you’re a good fit for one another.  And here you can also learn how to introduce animals to each other.

Instead of advocating the methods some other experts do, such as dominance theory or establishing yourself as pack leader, Marta believes that establishing yourself as an encouraging guide–or coach–to your pet works better after learning to communicate with them intuitively.

Marta gives super advice in this book about how to tell if what your pet is doing or saying to you is better served by a vet or trainer than an animal communicator–what is a training issue and what is a medical one.  There’s even a section on interviewing your animal!

Dealing with aggressive animals, animals in distress–even some Hurricane Katrina stories!  They’re all here.  Dealing with feral animals is discussed as well.

cat handshake

Sometimes, Marta works with animal spirit guides. This can be useful in cases involving physical or emotional trauma to an animal, severe illness, or even assisting with passing into death.

Animal communicators have long been sought to help lost pets get home.  So there is an awesome research section in this book, made for the purpose of leaving no stone un-turned.

pet memorial

Helping Your Animal Say Goodbye

Of course no such book would be complete without a section on helping your animal say goodbye at the end of its life with you…but Marta also spends a respectable amount of time discussing the grief that comes afterward, and how to honor the feelings and take care of yourself during this time.  She also has come to believe over the years that animals can and do re-incarnate, just as some believe humans do–and it’s possible for them to return to you.  She even suggests that you communicate with your animal before death and ask them to return!

According to Marta, you can also talk with household pests such as insects or rodents, and ask them to refrain from coming into your space.  You may laugh, but the old peoples of this planet routinely did such things, she explains: and regularly spoke with plants, trees and animals as well.

So–basically, no matter what your question or skepticism is about animal communication, this book has a thoughtful, scientific approach to it.  I’d love to hear from anyone else who has read this or any other books by Marta Williams.  And if you want to get a copy yourself, the link is here:

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

What Is Bad Behavior?

bad dogIf you’re new to the world of canines, this first section is for you!  If you are an experienced dog owner, you can skip to the next heading.

If You’re New: How To Not Assess A Dog For Bad Behavior

The other day I read a story on the web and was really shocked.  A Doberman rescue worker had been called out to assess a dog for bad behavior and determine what needed to be done to re-home it.  From what the worker had been told, the dog was so out of control that drugs might be needed to calm the animal down.

When she arrived, she was told the dog was making it impossible for the owner to work at home, things were so bad.  But when she asked to see the bad behavior, she was in for a surprise.

The dog’s “bad behavior” consisted of putting her head on the owner’s knee when she was sitting at the desk, and sniffing inquisitively when she opened a cabinet!  The rescue worker was overjoyed that in fact this was NOT a dog with bad behavior, and would be relatively easy to re-home.

But I was appalled: how could this owner not know that in fact the dog was crazy about her and not a problem at all?  Then I thought about the fact that everyone out there isn’t like me (I have ODD, Obsessive Dog Disorder!).  You might really not know, if you’ve never had anything to do with dogs before.  And you might not know if you’re watching someone else’s dog and you have no experience of the animals.  Thus this blog post was born!

dog barking

So let’s start with the basics and keep it simple.  What IS the right way to assess a dog for bad behavior?  If your dog shows any of these signs, it’s bad:

  • Aggression
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Destructive Behavior e.g. digging, chewing, jumping
  • Hyperactivity
  • Problems With Basic Obedience

But the real question is: how bad?  And what’s the best way to handle it?

intermediate logo

Dog Behavior For The Intermediate Dog Owner

Of course, you can think you know everything there is to know about dogs and how they think and feel, just because you grew up with them–and then end up adopting a breed new to you or an abused rescue or puppy mill dog…even a senior dog when you’ve never had one before!  And then it’s back to square one.

So, dog behavior for the intermediate dog owner first consists of: Know Your Breed.

dog reading book

It’s not enough to just read about the breed you’ve chosen.  Talk to some other people who love the breed–and preferably own more than one!  They’ll tell you some things you’d never read in a book–both good and bad.  Know what to expect going in, and you won’t make any stupid mistakes later.

I know whereof I speak–after all, how do you think I contracted ODD?  🙂  Seriously–you get it when you find yourself cruising the internet late at night until your eyeballs bleed in an attempt to learn everything you can about your furry best friend that, as cute as she is, cannot tell you why she’s acting out.  (And you’re tired of guessing.)

seba

Seba, my fawn greyhound.

Here are some things, for instance, that I didn’t read about my greyhound in a book:

 This breed likes to snap their teeth together when they’re excited–in your face!  It’s not an aggressive gesture with them.  They are just overjoyed about something.  (With Seba, she’s usually greeting me at the door, or getting ready for a walk or to eat.)  By now, I’ve gotten so used to seeing this that I just pull my face back out of the way and go about my day.  But it would be pretty scary if you didn’t know she was going to do it.  We have no small children at my house–but if one were to come visit I would make sure it was not in the same room with an excited Seba–little fingers can’t get out of the way in time.  And even though *I* know my hound would never hurt anyone, a baby’s parent wouldn’t appreciate the snapping.  (Incidentally, does this mean greyhounds can’t live in houses with small children?  No way!  But you do have to teach the kids what’s special about this breed and to protect their fingers and faces from excited snaps.)

Also, greyhounds take particular exception to being awakened suddenly.  They can sleep with their eyes open!  So we learned to be cautious if there was any possibility we were waking her, or risk a snarling leap off the couch.  Again, no way would my dog hurt me–this is just the way they all are.

If Seba were exhibiting true aggression, I would have consulted a professional, though.  What is true aggression?

growling dog

Aggression can stem from fear, frustration or poor socialization.  I’ve seen dog owners who are ignorant or simply in denial think it’s okay for their dog to bite them, or another dog!  This is never okay.  Some situations with anxiety or pain can cause dogs to bite from fear.  You’ll know if this has escalated into aggression if the dog barks furiously, then nips people entering the house or coming into your proximity.  Dogs that intend to bite will usually growl first.  If you have a dog that is a “silent biter”, this is highly dangerous.  If you are not sure if your dog is exhibiting true aggression, see a professional.  The good news here is that most dog aggression problems can be solved.  Only in the most extreme cases are they truly insurmountable.

screaming woman

One of the next things I wasn’t prepared for was Seba’s first “Greyhound Scream Of Death”.  One afternoon, she was lying quietly on her bed taking a nap–and the next moment was uttering a high, loud squeal of pain and limping around the room!  I thought at first she had injured herself playing in the yard–but then realized she had been indoors for some time and sleeping awhile.  What the–?  I Googled, and found that leg cramps are pretty common in greyhounds if they’re not drinking enough water or have a vitamin deficiency.  Just like I sometimes awakened in the middle of the night with a charlie horse, she had, too!  I did some more research, and began adding a little calcium-magnesium supplement to her food.  Problem solved–at least, mostly.  She still has cramps sometimes–but it’s rare.

So–bottom line: know your breed.  And, if you have a mixed breed, do everything you can to know all the breeds involved.  You’ll be happy you did later.

expert is in

Dog Behavior For The Seasoned Owner

Okay, so you’ve had dogs for awhile–and you know your breeds.  You’re out of the woods, right?  Not so fast!  Do you know your dog’s personality?  And do you know that, just like a human, it changes with age?

Dog behavior for the seasoned owner is mostly about not thinking you already know it all!

As for anxiety, Seba had some of that, too.  Namely, she is afraid of the dark!  This took some trial and error to nail down that it was not an issue with her eyesight, but instead simple fear.  And some of this goes back to breed.  When another dog is fearful, it might bark or whine–but greyhounds RUN.  (Or freeze, like a deer.)  None of my greyhound owning friends had experienced this problem.  I was on my own to figure it out.  And Seba herself was actually pretty helpful.  Unless she “forgot” (like a young child might) when she was running outside with the other dogs, she stayed inside when it even looked like it was near sunset.  And to this day, if we are out walking and it’s getting late, she will insist on turning back toward the house.  I may never know what caused her to be this way–but I respect it.  I know her.

Castle as El Diablo

Castle, our own personal El Diablo.

Just like I know that my Brittany, Castle, likes to chew things.  She never outgrew this after puppyhood.  It’s just…her.  Lucky for me, I know the things she prefers: like paper napkins and the occasional pair of earbuds.  So I keep those things put away and we’re good.  I also know that my Basset boy does not know the difference between inside and outside.  It’s all the same to him!  So, as soon as he is finished eating or drinking water, he is invited to step outside to do his business–lest he simply walk to the nearest vertical surface.  Because, like Honey Badger, he just don’t care!

So–do I have dogs with “bad behavior”?  Just like kids–sometimes. After some experience, what it really comes down to is knowing your dog, and knowing yourself.  If you can, start by choosing a breed that fits your lifestyle.  A great source is the Dog Breed Selector at Animal Planet.  Then talk to other people that own a few of the breed you’re thinking of.  After that, get to know your pooch.

Because no dog should have to be given up simply because it’s loving and curious.

Joy Jones

Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Book Review: The Call Of The Wild

husky face

photo courtesy of Asia Jones of Canada.
http://echiax.deviantart.com/

Re-Reading A Beloved Pet Story

These days when it seems as though reading an actual paper book is a lost art, I’m feeling a wee bit like a schoolchild, writing a review of this classic novella that I first read when I was young.  But, on the off chance that some of you out there may never have enjoyed it, here goes…

The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel’s central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara valley of California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska, he reverts to a wild state. Buck is forced to fight in order to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.

This, of course,is the book jacket blurb of the story–what I was amazed by as I re-read it, was how much I remembered of the original book.  Because of this, I know it affected me deeply.  And I suspect that it was the first book I read that made me fall in love with the survival story, as a genre.

malamute

Books From The Point Of View Of Animals Always Appeal

Similar to Black Beauty, this story is told from the dog’s point of view.  Written in 1903, it is filled with the careless, mostly cruel attitude of the times about animals, and dogs in particular.  And yet there are brief, warming passages of kindness, as well.  In some places, the outright stupidity of man is heart-breakingly displayed.

jack london quote

A Pet Story About Dogs In A Harsh Climate–In More Ways Than One

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the American Humane Association was originally formed to champion abused and neglected children.  However in 1894 (about the time in which The Call Of The Wild is set), they began to speak up about the link between domestic violence and child abuse and that of animals as well.  In 1898 they were then instrumental in influencing Congress to pass a bill making it unlawful to dissect live animals in schools.  This bill also at that time placed scientists practicing vivisection under supervision of the government.  No doubt, being as well read as he was, Jack London was aware of these changes in how people were just beginning to see animals.  And this comes through clearly in his writing of John Thornton, an important character to Buck in the story.

st bernard dog

Buck is a St. Bernard/Collie mix, a big strapping boy, who easily outweighs the local timber wolves he encounters–and yet Jack London writes the dog’s attitude toward them with a respect and awe that bleeds through as obviously his own.  Since he lived most of a year in the Yukon himself, London knew the wildlife and the environment.  The character of Buck was based on a real dog London knew, owned by a friend in the Klondike.  Likewise, the ranch Buck is stolen from in the story is based on the friend’s family home.

photo courtesy of Asia Jones of Canada. http://echiax.deviantart.com/

photo courtesy of Asia Jones of Canada.
http://echiax.deviantart.com/

Books From The Point Of View Of Animals Were Not The Norm

When The Call Of the Wild was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1903, London was accused of “attributing unnatural feelings to a dog”.  But he was followed later in the 20th century by such greats as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, in his theme of man (or beast, in this case) throwing aside social convention and going back to nature.

Greenland Dog

A Pet Story That’s Easy To Read

Despite all those literary names, the book is an easy read–most likely due to Jack London’s simple-man writing style.  The book was a smash hit from the moment it was published, and has been re-made as a film many times: by D. W. Griffith in 1908; a second silent film was made in 1923. The 1935 version starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young expanded John Thornton’s role and was the first “talkie” to feature the story. The 1972 The Call of the Wild starring Charlton Heston as John Thornton was filmed in Finland.

samoyed

The Characters Of Dogs In A Harsh Climate

Not satisfied with Buck having a personality supposedly unwarranted in a dog, London also introduces each dog in the book with its own special personality:  Spitz, a huge white dog and Buck’s arch-rival, is as treacherous as they come.  Dave, a dog described like a Malamute, likes to be left well alone, but loves pulling in the traces.  He teaches Buck how to be a sled dog.  Curly, a friendly Newfoundland, is Buck’s best dog friend.  Billee and Joe, brother Huskies, are as different in temperament as night and day.  Sol-leks, an older Husky and rather anti-social, is always hulking in the background.  And Pike is the camp thief.  Later, a motherly Irish Setter named Skeet is introduced as one of John Thornton’s dogs, along with her sidekick, Nig, a Bloodhound/Deerhound mix.  Was this author a dog lover or what?

owl and books

More Books From The Point Of View Of Animals

If you like survival stories and/or books from the point of view of animals, you may also like: White Fang, also by Jack London (about a wolf-dog with the opposite story of Buck’s, as he moves from being wild to being tamed), The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein (about a dog), Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (about a horse), Watership Down (about rabbits), The Plague Dogs and Shardik (about a bear) by Richard Adams, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien and Warhorse by by Michael Morpurgo.

sled dogs

Today’s Dogs In A Harsh Climate

It’s also interesting to note that even with the advent of snowmobiles, sled dogs are still used today by some rural communities, especially in areas of Alaska and Canada and throughout Greenland. They are also used for recreational purposes: events known as dog sled races, such as the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. Numerous sled dog breeds are also kept as pets or raised as show dogs.

Canadian Inuit dog

Canadian Eskimo dog, ”GRIZZLY”–photo courtesy of Beverley Arseneau of Arctic Ice Kennels of Canada. http://arcticicekennels.tripod.com/

To learn more about the sled dogs of today, you’ll want to find out about breeds such as the: Alaskan Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Chinook, Greenland Dog, Samoyed and Siberian Husky.  And you might be surprised to know that breeds such as the Poodle, Irish setters, German Short-Haired Pointers, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland and St. Bernard have also been trained as sled dogs.

A good place to start learning about the dogs of the time is Jack London’s The Call Of The Wild.  And even if, like me, you’ve read it before, try it again–I think you’ll be drawn in right away with Buck, the dash of snow against the runners of the sled…and the distant voice of wolves.

Joy Jones Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at joy@yourpetspace.info as well as follow her on Facebook or Twitter.