"Bark 'n' Scratch"

Volume III - Issue 17:  May 27, 2005
Published by:
Christopher Aust, Master Trainer

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In Today's Issue ...

=>  Just Visiting? Please Subscribe Here.  ->
=>  Christopher's Drool
=>  Augie's Doggies
=>  Quote of the Week
=>  Mail Bag
=>  Recommended Stuff
=>  Different Worlds

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Christopher's Drool

Hey Everybody,

The newsletter this week isn't that long as I have several projects I have absolutely had to get done. I am hoping that next week I will be caught up enough to be able to start running the Breed of the Week section again.

While this issue is shorter than normal, I am really excited about this week's article. It's very inspiring and I believe it shows there's hope for us old farts in the youth of today. In fact, over the last few weeks as I have worked on it, I have walked away each time simply feeling good. You don't want to miss this one.

I have been mentioning the on-line Dog Exposition on June 10-12 being sponsored by Co-Op World. There will be lots of fun competitions, presentations from leaders from every part of the animal community and vendors with the latest gear and trends in the dog world.

What is so cool about this is, first, it is on-line so you can visit at your leisure. Second, you will be able to talk directly to the presenters and company reps in most cases just as you would if you flew to a normal convention. It also appears there are going to be a number of freebies available for attendees offered by the organizers and some of the vendors.

Best of all, it's free! Now if you have ever attended a convention or exposition before, you know that this event being free is a huge deal. You could easily spend a couple of thousand dollars attending an event like this.

If you are in the pet care/training/supply industry, and are interested in being a vendor, please go to http://expo-order.com. They have several ways you can become a vendor regardless of your budget. You will also have the opportunity to be a speaker at the Expo.

If you are interested in attending the Expo as a spectator, and I highly suggest that you do, go to co-opworld.com/member/51750 and register with the community. I will be posting more information about the Expo and also some of the other benefits of this dog community soon.

Keep those letters and suggestions coming. They are greatly appreciated.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!



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Augie's Doggies

As many of you know, I have no problem going after individuals and organizations that I feel, in any way, manipulate, exploit or take advantage of dogs or the people they own. I have never cared whether they are a local trainer or an international non-profit organization. I have always done my best to call it as I see it and lose no sleep over calling a snake a snake with venom. (Excuse the pun)

Admittedly, these articles tend to be the most widely read and generate the largest amount of reader mail. Most are as surprised as I at the information the articles provided but sometimes I think we, as humans, like to read the negative more than the positive. I guess it's just our nature.

Every week, I scour the internet looking for feel good news about dogs because I like to include these in the Drool section. These little bits get a paragraph or two but it usually takes me twice as long to find something good as it does to write my featured article. I would guesstimate that for every ten pages of the negative, I am lucky to find one positive bit. I must admit, this is rather frustrating, as I would like to think there is more good than bad out there.

A few months ago, a friend wrote to me and told me about a web site where an individual has rescued a number of dogs over the last few years. He didn't tell me much more about the organization other than sending me the site address and what I have already told you. It took me a couple of days to get to it, but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised when I went and took a look.

Now, I was not only impressed with the number of dogs she has rescued. Having been involved in rescue myself, I can tell you that averaging twenty rescues a year is no small task. In fact, it's a full time job. However, what I was most amazed at was the individual who ran the organization.

Augie's Doggie Rescue is operated by a fifteen-year-old young lady, Augusta DeLisi, who started the organization when she was just twelve. During that time, she has rescued over sixty puppies and dogs from kill shelters in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey and Ohio. Fifteen years old!

“I started Augie's Doggies when I was 12 1/2. One day I was searching petfinder.org when I found out about these dogs at this one shelter in Philippi, WV that were only given 5 days to find homes. When their 5 days were up the dogs would be euthanized using a gas chamber.

I was shocked. I had no clue that this was going on in shelters. I went to my parents and begged my parents to let me do something about it. My mom and dad finally gave in and said if I could find them homes, we could take some in. After that, I contacted the shelter and let them know that we could take in some dogs. The shelter workers were thrilled when they found out I could help. On September 14, 2002, my dad, sister, a friend and I all drove 2 1/2 hours away and took in 8 dogs. After that I realized that this was what I loved. I had no clue that day would change my life the way it did.”

She is fortunate to have a great support network by way of her family and other local rescues she works with.

“All of my relatives and friends are very supportive of what I do. My dad is the designated driver on our rescue trips. My mom allows me to keep the dogs in the house, which is a big deal because like every mother in America, she loves a clean house! My five brothers and sisters like to help out too.” she says.

“The funding for our rescue comes from my family's own pockets. On average, we spend $200 - $250 on each dog, so when we receive donations from people, they are very much appreciated. We have an adoption fee of $150 for puppies and $125 for adults so we make no money at all from doing rescue.”

Unlike many rescues, Augusta decided to go with an all breed rescue.

“I decided to go with an all breed rescue mainly because mixed breeds were most of he dogs that were in shelters.  I realized that every shelter we work with has an excess number of a certain breed or breeds of dogs that people just don't want in that area. So, I decided to try to help whatever dog needed help, no matter what their breed.” she says.

All of the dogs rescued by Augusta are given complete vet checks, spay/neutered and given basic obedience to teach them their manners. Additionally, they are socialized with other dogs to facilitate a successful transition to their new forever homes. Any medical issues, such as Parvo, are also addressed prior to being released to the adoptive family.

While it may seem her life is consumed with rescue, she still manages to go and do the other things teenagers like to do. She was recently in her school musical and finds time to hang out with her friends. However, she hopes to go on and become a dog trainer and, hopefully, a veterinarian as well.

I conducted my interview with Augusta in two parts: one a Q&A and the other on the telephone. I have to tell you I was extremely impressed with her knowledge of the issues that surround rescue. She had a firm and intelligent grasp on things like responsible ownership and breeding, Breed Specific Legislation, the need to train our furkids and the necessity of spay/neuter. I have met adult rescuers in my day who were far less informed.

As many of you know, I regularly speak with kids about these issues, and I am often asked, by the kids, what they can do. Many just don't seem to believe they are empowered enough to make a difference or affect change. Normally, I suggest they simply be responsible owners, select a rescue from the pound or encourage them to form clubs in their schools where they can fundraise money for their local shelters or rescue groups. I am often faced with skeptical expressions.

Augusta DeLisi epitomizes the abilities our teens have to make a significant change for the better that rescue dogs so dearly deserve. Not only has she saved as many dogs as some rescues (with many adult volunteers) have during her time, she has done most of it single handedly. In all my years in the business, I have never seen a teen with so much desire, knowledge, drive and passion for what she is doing. On top of all that, Miss DeLisi is just a darn nice kid!

We need dozens of Augustas out there working in rescue and promoting responsible ownership, and I think she could very well be the “poster child” in showing our youth exactly what they can do. With this in mind, I am asking all of my readers to help Augusta continue her efforts. There are a number of ways this can be done.

  • Make a cash donation

  • Send her a gift certificate to one of the major chain pet stores

  • Donate new or slightly used gear

  • If you are in the pet industry, donate products to help her care for her rescues
There are other ways you can help as well. If you are a web site designer, you could help her with her web site. If you make signs, perhaps you could make one for her that she can take to fundraising events. Maybe you could even help her produce flyers she can hand out at these events as well. Publish her story in your newsletters and place a link to her on your web site. Be creative. We all have something we can share.

Most importantly, share her story with every young person out there. It really doesn't matter if they are interested in rescue or not. Having teens, I know there always comes a time when they have to take on a project that leaves them feeling as though they can't do it. I am betting her accomplishments will inspire them.

Master Dog Training
To make a donation or meet Augusta, go to:


You can also send donations to:

Augie's Doggies Rescue
1603 Brimfield Court
Sewickley,PA 15143

When I first contacted Augusta and her parents and asked permission to interview her, she responded by telling me she was honored I wanted to write about her and her efforts. After having the opportunity to meet this young lady, I can only say it is I am who am honored - and inspired.

This article may be republished using the following attribution box:
Copyright ©2004 Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies
Subscribe to the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter: subscribe@Master-Dog-Training.com
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Quote of the Week

Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.

~ Franklin P. Jones ~

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Mail Bag


Just to let you know, the "banish" exercise has worked fantastic...she has only had to be in the bathroom 4 times since we started and the "No, quiet" command has been working inside AND outside.

Thank you sooo much; our vet suggested training, but the classes are always full and twice I called a personal trainer to work with her, but her agenda was full also.

This has been the biggest help! Thanks again, and I will definitely order the "Chill" spray.

Thanks again for your assistance.  You have changed our lives ... and Leia's too:)

Constance Swift

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Joke of the Week

Different Worlds

Two nicely dressed ladies happened to start up a conversation during an endless wait in the LAX airport. The 1st lady was an arrogant California woman married to a wealthy man. The second was a well-mannered elderly woman from the South.

When the conversation centered on whether they had any children, the California woman started by saying, "When my first child was born, my husband built a beautiful mansion for me."

The lady from the South commented, "Well, isn't that precious?

The first woman continued, "When my second child was born, my husband bought me a beautiful Mercedes-Benz."

Again, the lady from the South commented, "Well, isn't that precious?

The first woman continued boasting, "Then, when my third child was born, my husband bought me this exquisite diamond bracelet."

Yet again, the Southern lady commented, "Well, isn't that precious??

The first woman then asked her companion, "What did your husband buy for you when you had your first child?"

"My husband sent me to charm school," declared the Southern lady.

"Charm school," the first woman cried, "Oh my God! What on earth for?"

The Southern lady responded, "Well for one thing, instead of saying 'Who gives a crap?' I learned to say, 'Well, isn't that precious?'"

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Thank You For Reading!  Have a Terrific Week!

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The Legal Mumbo-Jumbo

The BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter is published by Christopher Aust Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the express written consent of the publisher or contributors.

We accept no responsibility for your use of any contributed information contained herein. All of the information presented in BARK 'n' SCRATCH is published in good faith. Any comments stated in this newsletter are strictly the opinion of the writer or publisher.

We reserve the right to edit and make suitable for publication, if necessary, any articles published in this newsletter. We reserve the right to publish all reader comments, including the name of the writer.

Christopher Aust, Master Dog Trainer & Creator:
The Natural Cooperative Training System (NCTS) for Dogs
The Instinctual Development System (IDS) for Puppies

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