Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beautiful day at the dog park!

I am a proud mama today. The girls were angels at the dog park. Bijou made friends with everyone and actually PLAYED with other dogs. Summer decided that playing fetch is now her new favorite game. And then there was a comment Matt and I heard as we walked around the dog park.....

"Every pit bull I have seen here is always so well behaved. Like that one [referring to our very own baby Summer]."

For every pit bull owner, this is huge. It made me so proud not only of my own baby but of every other pit bull owner who goes to that park. 

Now Summer and Bijou are not always complete angels at the park but Matt and I are learning how to make every time a positive experience. Just this past weekend I told Matt I wanted to walk around the entire dog park a few times when we first walked in. This helped Summer who has issues with dogs running up to her face (she will snap at them). It gave her the opportunity to view all the dogs from afar and if a dog did approach she could keep moving instead of turning to snap at them. It worked.

Seriously though, it was as close to perfect as we can get at the dog park. It was extremely motivating to hear that comment but a small part of me is bothered by it. The reason our pit bulls are so well behaved is because of how people would react if they were not. Yet there are so many other dogs at that park that go quite often who have terrible manners and owners that have no understanding of dog behavior. Though I loved hearing how well behaved all the pit bulls are, I would much rather hear how well behaved ALL the dogs are.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Natural Flea and Tick Remedy - we need YOUR input!

It's not Bijou, it's DA Bijou!

Good morning everyone! My dogs are out of flea and tick medicine and as today is payday I was perusing the interwebs in search of the best price for the usual stuff. Then a thought occurred to me and I can't believe I was actually looking to use these toxic chemicals! Our girls have been on a raw diet for almost two months now and they are doing great. Summer barely has any dandruff and her coat is looking shinier. So how could I go and put toxic chemicals onto her skin??? I have no idea what I was thinking.

So this is where you, my readers, come in. I want to know if you use a natural form of flea and tick prevention. If so, what do you use? If not, what are your thoughts on going natural or why wouldn't you? 

Thank you so much, your input is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yay! An award!

Thank you to One Pibbles Wish for awarding me with the Liebster Blog Award!


1 - Copy/paste the award to your blog - Done!
2 - Link back to the blogger who gave you the award - Done!
3 - Choose five blogs with fewer than 200 followers and let then know you've given them the Liebster Blog award - Done!
4 - Hope the five you've chosen will continue to spread the love!

Congratulations to the following blogs... (sorry if this is a repeat!)

Redberry Cottage
The Doggy Blogger
A & A Friese
Shit My Pit Does: Real Life Stories of a Pit Owner
Trinity's Love

Please visit these wonderful blogs!

School is extremely busy so apologize for the lack of blog posts. Currently Bijou and Summer are napping and running in their dreams :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tricks for Treats

The girls wanted to share their favorite tricks with everyone....

please check your sound as Bijou talks very loudly at times.

Bijou and Summer would love to know what other tricks you think they should learn!

Would you agree to this?

From culture.wnyc.org

Mitt Romney put his family dog on top of their car in the dogs carrier. I don't care how many people are in my car, my dog would NEVER go on top.

Here is a link to the story on NPR. Read the full story.

I would love to hear your feedback on this and if it would change your view on a presidential candidate.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deer Antlers

I can not tell you how many people told me that Deer Antlers are great for dogs and last forever. Both our girls are excessive chewers and can destroy anything. I have yet to find something they can not tear apart. So after hearing how awesome these Deer Antlers are, I finally broke down and bought Summer one for her birthday.

Bad idea.

If I hadn't taken it away they would have finished it within hours. HOURS.

I don't think that comes close to forever. Man do people exaggerate. That or my dogs are just ridiculous chewers.

Moral of the story - if you have an aggressive chewer do not spend a ridiculous amount of money on a Deer Antler like I did. You're welcome.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What breed of dog is best for me?

What breed of dog is best for me? This was the title of a yahoo article that actually bothered me when I started reading it. I understand there are certain characteristics of breeds that may fit your lifestyle but when it comes down to it, personality-not breed-is what matters.

Okay, I'm guilty of stereotyping dogs by breed. I have this thing against Huskys (would that be Huskies? Not sure how to spell that). Not only did I almost lose a finger when one tried to bite me, my little dog Bijou was also attacked by one at the dog park (Bijou is very dominant and this dog had her cowering). I have met some nice Huskys but I am always wary of them.

Despite this I always try to think about the individual dog its self and not the breed. Just like people you can't judge someone by the way they look. Yes, certain breeds have particular traits. But I have met some dogs that act nothing like their breed says they should.

So when you're looking for a dog don't think 'what breed is best for me'. Look for the dog's personality that is going to complement you and/or your family's personality and lifestyle.

When I went looking for a dog I contacted a rescue after seeing a gorgeous Irish Wolfhound on their Facebook page. I really wanted a larger dog (I LOVE great danes!) that would be a good couch potato. Once I started talking to the rescue we realized that the Wolfhound would not live well in an apartment. So in my next e-mail I sent them a short bio about myself and what kind of dog I would like to find. They replied with about 6 different dogs that would do well with apartment living, wouldn't mind being left for long hours, and liked to go for walks. I was skeptical of Bijou being that she was only 30 pounds and I still wasn't convinced when I adopted her! But the rescue was extremely encouraging and told me that Bijou would really warm up to me in a few days. And of course, they were correct.

 Bijou and I on adoption day. January 24, 2010.

Although Bijou was very different than what I originally went looking for she was exactly what I needed. She is an amazing little dog that finds her way into your heart :)

Some photos of our 'firsts'...

First full day home and she had already claimed my pillow!

On the way home from our first visit to the dog park. Who wouldn't love that smile?

First snow! Bijou was not impressed.

First adorable snuggle!

First day of sunshine! At grandma and grandpas.

First day at the barn and learning how to listen to mommy with lots of distractions.

First time meeting her cousin Charlie. 

First time meeting her baby sister.

Alright that's enough firsts! I would love to hear everyone's stories of succesful adoptions/rescues. Share in the comments below or link to a post where you have shared the story on your own blog. I just love happy 'tails'!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Doggie Birthday Cake Recipe

Go on over to my baking blog to see the recipe for Summer's Birthday Cake! Gluten free and didn't cause any upset tummies!

Sarah Loves to Bake my gluten and dairy free baking blog. Even though I absolutely love my dogs I also LOVE to bake! Check it out, and also read why I started the blog. It's something I'm very proud of :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Summer is one!

The girls found a patch of sun to warm up in this afternoon. Far left is Bijou, Summer in the middle, and Abby on the right (Matt's roomate's dog).

Today is Summer's first birthday! One year old! I can hardly believe it was almost a year ago that we got the little tiny puppy who has now grown to be huge! I love our baby girl and she has quite enjoyed her birthday festivities. Check my baking blog tomorrow for the recipe to her Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Bone Cake (Sarah Loves to Bake).

This is Summer, today as a one year old...

and Summer as a tiny barely 6 week old puppy :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Backyard Breeding"

So I have this term, "backyard breeding". It refers to those who breed their dogs for fun or for monetary gain. Many of these puppies end up in shelters at some point down the road or living in horrible conditions. I am always a bit put off when people ask if Summer is able to breed. I understand our dogs would have PRECIOUS puppies but that is NO reason to breed a dog.

Now, Summer came from what I would term a 'backyard breeder'. Summer's parents were bred because of their temperaments. I love Summer and treat her as my child but I do not like why she was bred. The owners of her parents did a pretty good job of finding these puppies homes and there are people out there who do just that. But when there are so many good dogs sitting in shelters, being put to sleep on a daily basis I see no reason for backyard breeding.

I'm an advocate for a shelter in rural Georgia and they get a lot of Pit Bulls. Recently I found out that these pits come from one area (some say its a family). I'm not sure if they breed them on purpose or if they just refuse to spay/neuter their dogs. Regardless, too many of these gorgeous pit bulls are put to sleep every week. At this shelter only rescues can pull pit bulls making it even more difficult to save these dogs.

I honestly don't think breeding should be completely banned as there are great reputable breeders out there breeding dogs for showing or working reasons. However I am really bothered by those who breed dogs for monetary gain. It is these types of breeders who end up inbreeding and causing many health problems within the breed. It's also how pit bulls got their bad rap.

To sum it up...

We need to crack down on those who participate on backyard breeding. There should also be regulations put in place to protect those who are responsible breeders and help those who are not. Instead of shutting down an operation (there is a huge on in atlanta...) they should be required to follow regulations. This will stop puppy mills, prevent inbreeding (and hopefully health problems that become associated with breeds), and hopefully lower the number of dogs in shelters.

So many rescues follow the motto 'rescue until there are none'. And I think that's great. But honestly I don't believe that is realistic. I love helping rescues, don't get me wrong, but I prefer to focus my efforts on preventing more dogs from entering shelters in the first place. The first place to start is with education. Which is exactly why I started this blog in the first place :)

What do you think about backyard breeding or regulations on breeding? Please comment I would love your feedback!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why the U.S. needs regulations for breeding

So this is an issue I feel very strongly about. Th United Kingdom has a breeding law that was put in place in 1999 called the Puppy Farming and Dog Welfare Act. This law states that it is a criminal offence for a person to breed five litters or more within a 12 month period without an appropriate license. The number of litters is not restricted to a single dog. This law is very basic, as the local authorities grant the breeding licenses based upon guidelines. It also gives the Court power to revoke a license if the breeder is found guilty of breaking any provisions of this law. This simple law makes it almost impossible to run a puppy mill yet still allowing reputable breeders to continue their business. Why can't the US be this smart? Then again Pit Bulls are pretty muched banned in the UK. My favorite quote I found, "If they [pit bulls] are properly trained, however, they're no more likely to bite you than a Jack Russell". 

HA. The Jack Russell is definitely more inclined to bite. Work in a doggy day care and you will quickly learn that the smaller dogs are more apt to bite than the large dogs. However, the smaller dogs don't usually hurt as bad and so it's not reported as much as the larger dogs. But Jack Russells have the worst Napolean complex.

From a raid on 2.08.2012. These dogs were lucky enough to have pens instead of wire cages. However the conditions were extremely filthy.

Back to the point of this post - There are entirely too many puppy mills in the United States. Petland still receives all their puppies from these facilities. I know they look precious sitting in their little windows but their living conditions are horrendous. Too many of them are inbred and end up with many health problems. The bitches kept in the puppy mills never see the light of day and then are killed when they can no longer breed. Don't think you are saving a puppy when you buy one from there. You are only making room for them to continue to breed more. There have been too many raids on puppy mills and those puppies that you buy for over $1000? You can find them in a shelter or rescue for less than $200.

A 10 year old Shih Tzu that spent his entire life in a puppy mill until Mostly Mutts him. He has no teeth from chewing on metal bars causing his tongue to stick out. (This is the same rescue my Bijou came from!)

Our country needs to have laws in place to prevent these puppy mills. It's not going to fix all the stray dogs we have, but it is a step towards solving this problem. If we stop the puppy mills it will help prevent those people from buying a puppy just because he looked cute. It will keep those puppies from being turned into a shelter when they become too much work for an unprepared owner. It will prevent those puppies from being bred irresponsibly. And hopefully it will help those who are responsible pet owners find another means of obtaining a pet, like adoption.

I honestly don't have a lot against reputable breeders. There are some great breeders out there that take outstanding care of their dogs and make sure the puppies are taken care of for life. I do think breeders should obtain licenses to prevent "back yard breeding". And that is another story for another day.

So what did we learn here?

Puppy mills should be banned. If you don't think they are a problem or don't believe what I have said you MUST watch this movie, Madonna of the Mills. Can you believe "78% of Americans still don’t have a clue that pet store puppies come from puppy mills?" That is outrageous. Knowledge is power. Visit that site, read the Puppy Mill Facts, and become educated. If you decide to do something about it, visit the Humane Society of the United States OR go sign the pledge to stop shopping at your local store that supports puppy mills.