Christopher Aust, Master Trainer
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In the last issue, I revisited the issue of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) due to Denver's passage of law, which allows officials to round up and execute dogs of certain breeds even if the individual dog has never posed a danger to anyone. I told everyone they need to stay informed of what is going on in their communities and tell their elected officials they oppose such legislation.
Less than an hour after the newsletter went out, I received an email from a reader who informed me that a Senator in my own state has introduced SB 681, which will alter Section 31683 of the Food and Agricultural Code to allow BSL. Previously, BSL was not allowed in the State; it had proven itself to be ineffective and costly by Governor George Duekmejian in 1989.
Now, I like to feel I am fairly well informed on these issues but this one nearly sneaked by me. In fact, I had less than eight hours after receiving the email to contact the Agriculture Board to get my opposition on the books. I contacted all the Senators on the board as well as the “Governator” Arnold Schwarzenegger by fax and email.
Since sending out my faxes and emails, I have been contacted by an aide to one of the Senators who asked what a viable solution was. I explained it would take more than a phone call to explain and that I would put something together, to which he agreed.
Now you all know I feel the answer lies with responsible ownership and, as I guess a play on words, owner responsibility. Here are some of the things I am planning to suggest, but I want to hear your thoughts and comments before I do.
1. Mandatory spay/neuter of all rescue dogs.
2. Mandatory humane education for all who adopt a dog from the shelter or rescue.
3. Three Strikes rule for dogs involved in bites of other animals or humans. This would also be based on the severity of the bite and circumstances.
4. Severe penalties for allowing your dog to run loose.
5. Severe penalties for violating leash laws.
6. Mandatory humane education in schools.
7. Passage of vicious dog legislation based on the actions of the dog and not the breed itself. Severe penalties for individuals who knowingly harbor a dog they know exhibits vicious propensities without taking actions to address the behavior and safeguard the public.
Please let me know your thoughts. I want to see all sides of the issue from different perspectives, so don't be afraid to let me have it if you think I am off base.
Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!
Dog Chewing the Sofa? Puppy Eating Your Shoes? Or WORSE?
We recently had a dog park open in our city but I have been a little worried about going there for safety reasons. My dog gets along well with other animals but I am concerned about the other dogs that might be there. I was also curious if there was a risk of my dog becoming sick from another dog that might not be vaccinated? Should I be concerned or am I just being paranoid?
A few weeks back, I went to a fund raising benefit for a future dog park that is being planned in the town I live. There were the usual vendors you see at such events and, of course, lots of dogs from every category. It was a fun day and I didn't see any incidents between any dogs while I was there.
While there have been dog parks around for several years, they have been growing in popularity recently. Some are operated and maintained by the local municipality and others by non-profit community organizations or volunteers. If you have never seen one, they are basically a large fenced in park where dogs are allowed to run free off leash.
All and all, they can be a fun and safe place to take your dog and allow them to get some exercise. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before cutting Fluffy off leash in a new place.
Most dog parks have a set of rules users are required to follow. Generally, they are posted at the entry gate to the area. They are pretty much common sense, but be sure you give them a good reading before entering the park so you don't inadvertently make any mistakes.
The first few trips to a dog park can be a little over whelming for even a well socialized dog particularly if they aren't used to being around a large number of dogs at one time. As a result, I always suggest the first trip to the park occur at non-peak hours. Normally, this is about mid-day during the week or early in the morning on weekends. This way there are fewer dogs around and your dogs have time to acclimate themselves to the new area.
It is also advisable they be kept on leash for their first visit and maybe even their second or third. This allows you to walk the area with them and let them become accustomed to all the new sights, sounds, smells and relieve any anxiety or curiosity they may have about the new environment.
It will also allow you to make introductions to other dogs in a controlled manner, which is important to teach your dog. We have to keep in mind that some dogs don't like to have another dog just run up on them. This can often lead to a dog becoming protective or aggressive as they may feel they need to protect themselves.
Most dog parks require that all dogs that use the facility be vaccinated. They do this to look out for the welfare of all the dogs that use the park. Unfortunately, there is really little that can be done to enforce this rule in most cases.
Keep in mind though that, even if all the dogs have been given their vaccinations, there is still the chance your dog can become sick as the result of contact with another dog at a park. The best thing you can do for the health of your dog is make sure they have a strong immune system. A dog with a healthy immune system is better able to fight disease and reduce the risk of catching something from another dog.
There are a few things that really irritate the hell out of me when I go to a dog park. The biggest is a lack of common courtesy by some of the people who use them. It comes in a couple of forms, but I will just mention the ones that get on my nerves the most.
Clean up after your dog. There is nothing worse than stepping in a steaming turd someone else's dog left strategically placed just for your new Nikes. Most dog parks I have been to even provide bags to pick up after your dog and trash receptacles to dispose of the mess. There is no excuse for not picking up after your dog.
Now this one may seem like common sense but every once in a while some knucklehead will show up with a dog that is either dog or human aggressive. If you know your dog can be cranky then the dog park is not the place to bring them. They need to be with a trainer or behaviorist.
You should have at least a little control over your dog when off leash. Come and stay at the very least. This is not only as a courtesy to people who don't necessarily want your dog all over them but also a matter of safety. If for some reason a dog fight does break out between a couple of dogs or someone leaves a gate open, you can get your dog back to you and prevent any accidents.
Do not make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans or they will treat you like dogs.
Essential Oils and Our Pets by Kim Bloomer
Aromatherapy is often a word you'll find associated with the essential oils. The phrase was first "coined" by French chemist Dr. Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, Ph.D., in 1920. One day while he was working in his laboratory he had an accident that caused a third-degree thermal burn to his arm and hand. His immediate reaction was to plunge his arm into what he thought was a vat of water but rather it was a vat of lavender oil. So, he continued to use the lavender oil to treat his burn, which eventually healed completely and left absolutely no scar!
Now please keep in mind that most of the essential oils on the market today have synthetics added to them as they're basically made for the cosmetic industry and are not nutritional. However, there are some excellent therapeutic grade oils on the market that are pure, unadulterated oils that can be used internally, topically and inhaled as powerful immune system builders.
While these essential oils for the most part have been created with humans in mind, many people are using these essential oils in their pet care successfully, and I'm one of them. The essential oils work synergistically with the body to maintain, help, repair, and renew it right down to our DNA. The "oil" from the plants is similar to our blood and immune system so they work very harmoniously within our bodies. They go in and oxygenate and detoxify our blood simultaneously and create an environment where pathogens cannot live! Even more exciting is that when the oils are either directly inhaled or diffused (using a cold air diffuser) they will cross the blood-brain barrier and clean out the petrochemicals. Due to their adaptagenic qualities they go into our blood streams, cells, etc., and seek out where they are needed like little therapeutic agents.
You might be thinking, well but I don't have any petrochemicals in my brain or blood and even if I do, my pets don't. Think again. Dr. David Stewart, PhD, wrote in his article "Essential Oils for Things That Bug You Around the House" the following:
"Among the many chemicals in our industrial environment that get into our systems and make us sick are the pesticides we use in our homes. We use them because we they are toxic to the creatures that bug us, but they are also toxic to us. Sometimes the toxicity is immediately apparent: we get a headache, get sick or feel nausea from the fumes or other contact.
Sometimes the toxicity is subtle and can accumulate resulting in chronic complaints and disorder (including allergies, cancer and miscarriages) that can be serious and even deadly over time. Sometimes we even put poisons on our pets to deal with ticks and fleas, not realizing that these substances are not healthy for us nor our animals."
Pesticides normally include some kind of petrochemical. Meaning if we don't take responsibility for our health and the health of our pets, we can become sicker and sicker through the use of all these pesticides, herbicides, and chemical cleaning products in our homes. What affects us can affect our pets even faster and more readily because they are lying on our chemically cleaned floors and in our chemically treated and fertilized yards. There is hope though! By using therapeutic grade essential oils, we can eliminate much (if not all) of the poisons from our homes and in our bodies - and that includes our pets' too! While I can't go into depth in one single article I can leave you with some links to follow up on and a few of the essential oils you may want to get immediately to start implementing the change in your lives and the lives in your pets.
When using therapeutic grade oils, you can use them "neat" (undiluted) on skin, inhaled, or even internally with some oils. To apply any to your pets, you may choose to diffuse them in a diffuser until your pets become more used to the oils. With cats it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution and either diffuse them or apply diluted to their hind feet (using more mixing oil than essential oil) or tips of their ears. I only use one brand of oil and do not use any others. I know my source and these oils and trust them. Do your homework before embarking on the oils for your pets, especially your cats.
Lavender oil has many useful benefits, including the one at the beginning of this article; for burns, cuts, scrapes, sunburns, it is an all-purpose oil. Add to that the calming effect and wonderful smell, you can't go wrong with this oil. It can be used on bee stings and insect bites also and is a good oil (when diluted with an organic mixing oil such as olive or almond) for cleaning your dog and cats ears (VERY diluted on a cat!). When you use any of the oils (neat or straight undiluted), the oils act as an insect repellant. When you mix them with water, they act as a natural pesticide. This oil is a good repellant for chiggers, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and ticks!
Peppermint oil: this oil is great for relieving doggy flatulence (and human!), diarrhea, indigestion, as an anti-inflammatory, and can reduce fevers. You can also use it before or during a workout to boost your mood and reduce fatigue - I do daily! Oh and the best part - it can curb your appetite! This oil is also good at getting rid of the following bugs: ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, fleas, flies, lice, moths, plant lice and spiders.
There are many, many more oils to help you for nearly every single medical protocol for you and your pets. Here are some articles you can read along with Dr. Stewart's above:
Aromatherapy Research and Education: What is AFNOR?
Kim Bloomer is a natural pet care consultant. Visit her website
Aspenbloom Pet Care: http://www.aspenbloompetcare.com
Visit her dog's blog at Bark 'N' Blog http://www.bark-n-blog.com
to learn about natural pet care from a canine perspective!
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The group surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked, "What are you doing with that dog?"
One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog."
Of course, the reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten-minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don't you boys know it's a sin to lie," and ending with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie."
There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend
was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the
smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him
* Have a joke you'd like to submit to us?
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the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter to:
Newsletter Archive: Master-Dog-Training.com/archive/
Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
Don't forget to send your comments, questions and suggestions on the BARK 'n' SCRATCH Newsletter to:
Newsletter Archive: Master-Dog-Training.com/archive/
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