Archive for May, 2012

Like we really need an excuse to hug our kitties but hell, we’ll take one!

But is that food in your hand?

Sincerely, Ricky

Thank You.

Posted: May 26, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , , ,

As Memorial Day approaches we are giving thanks and rememberance to the soldiers that have served past and present. While the first thing that generally comes to mind is the human soldiers, we should also be thanking our dedicated and faithful K9 soldiers as well. They serve loyally by their handlers side and follow them into hell and beyond. They willingly sacrifice their lives to save their human comrades.

You may simply Google “military dogs” and the pictures of K9 and human soldiers side by side is endless. Dogs jumping from helicopters, standing watch over sleeping soldiers, searching for bombs and landmines. Their jobs are numerous. They bring even the smallest amount of comfort to soldiers in the trenches of war. Don’t forget the dogs that take care of our wounded soldiers when they come home.

Most of the time we will never know their names or perhaps that they even existed or the heroic things they did that saved lives. But that does not mean that we cannot give thanks. This Memorial Day remember and give thanks to our veterans, human and K9, past and present.

It promises to be 85 degrees and above all weekend here in Michigan. Time to cool off at the lake!

My dog Ozzy and his buddy Jake (right) hit the cool shores of Foch Lake last summer.

George, a resident of SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary. (http://www.sashafarm.org/node/4)

Every Sunday morning I volunteer at a farm animal sanctuary. (sashafarm.org) Yesterday was a hot hot Michigan day, so myself and another volunteer were making sure everyone had fresh cold water. While we were trying to fill up the big BIG pigs water trough they all came over and blocked the way. Some even attempted to take the hose from my hand. *Light bulb* They wanted a nice cool shower as well!

I was more than happy to oblige. Once everyone had their morning shower (and they really needed it, covered head to butt in mud) I was finally “allowed” to fill the drinking water up as well. While we waited for it to slowly fill I sat on the wooden fence that protects the pump from getting destroyed. Mid conversation with the other volunteer and suddenly I was floating through the air and dropped down gently on my feet a foot away. This giant pink pig had lifted me up with her head and set me down because apparently she needed to scratch an itch on the wood. Since her head was still covered in mud, I now had a glorious mud print on my rear. But how could I possibly be mad? She had done it gently when she could have easily tossed me through the air to land in the entire mud pit since I weigh a whole whopping 105 pounds.

Instead I have spent the past two days being entirely too amused that I rode a pig. Unintentionally, but I rode a pig! *Laughs*

Oh the adventures you can have on a farm.

I have noticed lately, a surplus if you will, of people just walking up to my dog and petting him or loving all over his face. Luckily for them, he is just a big walking teddy bear and adores every minute of it. But for the life of me, I simply cannot fathom why people don’t ask first anymore. 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog in this country alone every year. It seems to me that this number could be reduced greatly with a simple five word question, “May I pet your dog?”

As a dog lover, I hate seeing anyone get a bad rap. It is not just the dog, the dog owner, or the unknown approaching stranger at fault, but a little bit of everyone is responsible. So in lue of Dog Bite Prevention Week, let’s take a look at the easy steps in avoiding an accident.

When Approaching a Strange Dog:
1. Always ask that pivotal question (“May I pet your dog?”) before going any further.

2. Squat down to the dog’s level. Towering over them may be considered threatening to some animals.

3. NEVER put your face up to a strange dog’s face.

4. Pay attention to the dog’s behavior. If they seem fearful, do not press yourself into their personal space. It is always best to let the dog come to you. If they do not come to     you, leave it alone. You’ll get a chance to pet another dog somewhere who is more open to the affection.

5. NEVER stare a dog in the eyes. This is considered a challenge to a fight. Some dogs may back away but there is always a dog who won’t back down.

When a Stranger Approaches Your Dog:
1. You know your dog better than anyone else. If the person does not ask for permission and you know that your dog isn’t that friendly. BE VOCAL. Tell the person that it is not a wise idea. They may think you’re a jerk but what it is really important is avoiding an incident and/or a lawsuit.

2. Training and socialization are HUGE in a dog’s development. Be a responsible owner and take the time to properly train your dog and socialize them to various environments. The more your dog is used to, the less likely an accident is to occur out of fear.

3. Always walk your dog on a leash. Whether they will stay by your side or not, there are other people out there who do not train their dogs that well. Having control of your dog in a hairy situation can be crucial.

4. Be alert for any potentially dangerous situation. Acting promptly can make a world of difference.

5. Spaying/neutering will help to control your animal’s behavior when they aren’t being bothered with hormones that can easily cause fights.

The most important lesson of all is to make sure your children know the rules when it comes to other people’s dogs! Children are the most common victims in dog bite cases. My father taught me at a young age to never approach a strange dog without the owner’s permission. I am 25 years old and have never been bitten by a dog. Yes, that can change at any moment but following these guidelines has proven truly useful.

(I didn’t have a spare fake hand laying around, nor would my dog cooperate with acting “tough” for a picture so I stole this little photo from Google. ~_^)