Christopher Aust, Master Trainer
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I am writing this issue with a sick feeling in my heart due to Hurricane Katrina. I had been following it for over a week before it hit land and have continued to do so since it did. Whether it was family or friends in the affected area, evacuees being brought to our communities, or volunteering to help, I think everyone has been affected in one way or another. My love, thoughts and prayers go out to everyone down there.
When I was in the service as a K-9 officer, I had my experiences with a couple of natural disasters. In 1989, I spent several days searching for bodies when a series of tornados hit San Antonio, Texas flattening nearly the entire warehouse district on one of the local bases. I was also deployed to assist with rescue and clean up efforts when a large monsoon hit South Korea.
Those storms combined don't even begin to compare with the destruction of Katrina. When I look at the images of New Orleans, I find it difficult to imagine what it must be like to have lived there and gone through what those people have.
Over the last few days, I think everyone has tried to figure out what they can do to help and who they should donate too. When it comes to helping the animals affected, there is only one organization I would recommend at this time: Noah's Wish. Noah's Wish is a non-profit organization whose sole focus is keeping animals alive during disasters. They don't get involved in any type of animal rights issues.
I have thought about putting together a foster program for the animals but Noah's Wish has already done it. In fact, their disaster relief program is so complete, the best I can do is get their information out there and beg for people to donate to them and support their efforts.
They have an extensive wish list on their web site and of course they will need money. All their personnel are volunteers and the money donated, you can be sure will make it to the animals unlike other groups like HSUS whose finances I have found on many occasions to be questionable.
If you want to be sure your money is making it to the animals affected by Katrina, then go to:
Please donate everything you can. Write to them and become a foster home for one of the animals. Please do what ever it takes to help these animals.
For anyone who donates $250.00 or more to Noah's Wish, which is tax deductible, I will give two one-hour telephone consultations and training reports. Additionally, if you foster a dog from Noah's Wish, I will be at your disposal to assist with any behavioral issues and training. There is no excuse for all of us to not assist these desperate animals.
Okay, that's it for now. I'm outta here!
Dog Chewing the Sofa? Puppy Eating Your Shoes? Or WORSE?
Regardless of where we were, we always seemed to have had a plan. This is something that continued into adulthood for me, probably because I went into the service as a law enforcement officer and we trained to respond to disasters. Admittedly though, I have lapsed in my vigilance over the last several years. I assure you, Katrina has remedied that.
In this article, I am going to provide you with some tip for surviving a natural disaster with your dog that will really apply to just about any pet. I will also put out what I would consider to be the “must haves” when it comes to survival supplies. Before I get to that though, we need to address one issue.
Katrina has shown us how our lives can be turned up side down very quickly. When planning to evacuate due to a natural disaster, we have to make good choices when we are deciding what to take with us. Everyone has things in their home that they treasure. Wedding pictures, heirlooms etc. While I know we cherish these things, they can't save our lives in a catastrophe. Leave them behind.
I bring up this next point because my oldest son made this mistake. Don't be complacent! He has been going to college in Alabama for the last couple of years and was in Mobile when Katrina hit. I spoke to him and other family members about four days before the storm hit to make sure they were planning appropriately. Of course, they weren't.
The night before the storm hit, I spoke to them again and they had the same blah, blah attitude. That was the last I heard from him for two days and it scared the crap out of me. Fortunately, he is safe. They have no power and a couple of families are holed up together sharing what resources they have.
I realize there were many people who didn't have the resources to escape this disaster and my heart aches for these people. In fact, it aches for everyone affected no matter what their circumstances were. However, if you have the resources don't hesitate to get to safety ASAP. Nothing is worth your life.
When we start to plan for disasters, we really need to make two sets of plans. One for staying put and one for evacuating to a safe place. For the most part, the supplies you will need will be the same but maybe utilized differently. Regardless, it's important to plan for a worst case scenario. Better to be over prepared than under prepared.
Often, disasters happen without warning and prevent us from evacuating. For this reason, it is critical to have your emergency supplies stored where they are readily available. You don't want to take the time to put together an emergency kit, only to store it behind all the Christmas decorations in the back of the attic. Keep them where they are accessible to all the family members. This will also make it easier to rotate out any perishable supplies. (A complete list of supplies is below.) When possible, shut off the gas and electricity to the house at the main switch. This will prevent an electrical surge from starting a fire and also help prevent a gas leak from causing the same. This should be done if you evacuate as well.
Have a contact person outside the affected area who will know to expect a call from you. This way, if you are unable to contact them, they can get a hold of rescue officials and get help on the way to you. It is also advisable to spray paint “Help” in fluorescent paint on the outside of your home if possible. This will also assist rescuers in finding you.
Make sure all the family members know what they are supposed to do and who to contact if possible.
Even if you plan to stick it out in your home, you still need to be prepared to get out of town. One of the biggest problems many evacuees experienced was the mad dash to get out of New Orleans at the last minute. As a result, many people on the highways were literally moving only one mile per hour. For this very reason, you need to establish at least two different destinations and two different routes to each. This way, if one route or location is clogged, you have an alternate.
We have all seen the news stories where store shelves are stripped bare of essential supplies when a community is faced with a storm or other disaster. For this very reason, it is imperative to have your supplies in place before an emergency is immanent. Some of these are self-explanatory but I will elaborate on others.
I personally recommend Meals Ready to Eat. These are the field rations given to our soldiers when they are in the field. One meal will provide you with enough calories to sustain a person for two days. They are compact, light and fairly inexpensive. You can buy them online or through many camping and survival stores.
Walkie Talkies with five-mile range
Flashlight with Extra Bulbs
First Aid Kit
As we are seeing from Katrina, there are many animals that were separated from their families and have suffered injuries. Many of these dogs have been found with no identification making it difficult to find their owners. For this reason, I strongly suggest getting your dog a microchip.
Then, when it is registered, have them include a phone number to a family member or friend who doesn't live near you. This way, if you are seeking shelter somewhere, they can at least contact someone who can either claim the animal or help you to reunite with your pet.
You also want to have a picture and detailed description of your pet so if there are any ownership disputes you will have the necessary proof of ownership. It might be wise to have some fliers with the picture on it prepared so they can be given to various rescue organization that may encounter your dog.
One Weeks Supply of Food
Food and Water Bowl
Stake Out Chain with Cork Screw Mount
Waste Clean-Up Supplies
Additional Tag for Collar
Earlier in this issue I mentioned Noah's Wish. Please go to their site right now and donate all you can. Even a few bucks will help. There is going to come a point where officials are going to have no choice but to start putting these animals down due to a lack of funds and space. Those dogs are someone's pet. It could be yours. Please!
Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices. This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery, if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just Tribute to the Memory of BOATSWAIN, a Dog.
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Only in America ... do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
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Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
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Thank You For Reading! Have a Terrific Week!
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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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