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TANNER and BLAIR

posted October 24th, 2015 by
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The IncrediblePair

By Sherri Goodall

 

Remember Tanner and Blair?

One (Tanner) born blind with a seizure disorder, and one (Blair) found with a gunshot wound to her pelvis and, in turn, extremely distrustful of people. It seemed like a God thing that the two would not only meet, but turn into a pair assisting each other, both physically and emotionally.

Their story not only went viral throughout the U.S., it was translated into 12 languages and touched people all over the world. Their story was reported in 2012 by Burt Mummolo with Channel 8, and picked up by 29 countries. Reported on by Diane Sawyer, Katy Couric and Jeanne Moos, ABC, CNN and Huffington Post were just a few of the news organizations that picked up the story.

Blair, a Labrador mix, was found with her sister by a Good Samaritan and taken to Woodland West. Her sister was quickly adopted but Blair was very shy, scared, and unfriendly to people.

In January 2010, Tanner came to Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue after his owner died. He was just a few months old, blind since birth with seizures. He was fostered out twice, but neither owner was able to care for him with his multiple issues. Unable to care for him herself, Pam Denny of SGRR took him to Woodland West Animal   Hospital where he spent weeks in their care supervised by Dr. Mike Jones.

There were many mornings when Dr. Jones would come in and find evidence that Tanner had seized during the night. This occurred almost every night regardless of the medications Dr. Jones gave him. So frequent and severe, Dr. Jones called  Pam Denny to talk about putting Tanner down as the most merciful solution to his many problems.

One fateful February day, Blair ambled into the yard where Tanner was. As if she was on a specific mission, she trotted up to Tanner and took his leash in her mouth and their bond was sealed. They were inseparable from that moment on. They ate together and were crated together, which is a no-no—especially overnight—but each morning Dr. Jones found the two happy and no evidence of Tanner seizing.

Tanner, who used to seize nightly, had a total of three seizures in the few months since being with Blair. His anxiety issues dramatically decreased, resulting in fewer seizures, and his medications were greatly reduced.

Dr.  Jones said, “We recognize the human-animal bond. We know that this bond helps decrease blood pressure in humans.  Simply petting a dog lowers a human’s blood pressure. We should also recognize the animal-animal bond, and the good it can do as well.”

Blair had become a better dog—more friendly, trusting, and outgoing with people. She seemed happy with her new life as Tanner’s assistance dog.

When their story made national and international news, calls came in from all across the globe. SGRR received over 100 applications from L.A. to New York from people wanting to adopt the pair.  There would be much to consider in choosing the right home for these two with their special needs.

Finally, after many reviews, the Sibley family of Jenks, Okla., was chosen to become the “forever” family of Tanner and Blair. Prior to her adoption, Blair was made an “honorary member” of SGRR. To add to the mix, they would have a new brother, a chocolate Lab named Louie, who also had a seizure disorder. The Sibleys were no strangers to dogs with issues. It didn’t take long for  the three dogs to bond. Blair remained ever protective of Tanner, still leading him around with his leash.

Shortly after the adoption, Tanner had cataract surgery and a lens inserted. The hope was to improve his vision, no matter how minimal. His owner said he still bumped into things, but possibly saw shadows. Not to worry, with Blair ever  ready at his side, Tanner now had a constant in his life.

I wish this story had a happy, ever-after ending, but four months after Tanner’s adoption, he had a severe series of seizures over a weekend and had to be euthanized. The outpouring of sadness and affection on Tanner and Blair’s Facebook page was astounding.

Blair, however, is doing quite well. The Sibley family moved to Washington with Blair and Louie. The latest update from Tiffany Sibley says Blair is doing fabulous. She thinks she is a lap dog and loves to be cradled in her family’s arms like a baby and will just fall asleep. Her buddy, Louie, is also doing well. They hate to be apart. If one goes to the vet, the other is quite anxious until the other returns. The bond between them seems permanently forged as was Tanner and Blair’s.

Blair’s favorite toys are stuffed hedgehogs. Louie tears the stuffing out, and Blair carries what’s left in her mouth.

Sweet Blair turned 4 in July.

Tanner’s spirit hangs lovingly over Blair, the Sibleys, and Louie.

Connection

posted October 23rd, 2015 by
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Connection

There is documented evidence of the connection between domestic, elder, animal and child abuse.  Sadly, they are all too prevalent in our society.  All you have to do is ask anyone who works in rescue, child welfare, law enforcement, education or religion.

 

For all the negative aspects, there is hope of breaking the cycle of violence through intervention.  One proven, winning, solution has been the interaction between animals, especially dogs, with those have a history of being the recipients of abuse – or were the abuser themselves.

 

My first encounter with the latter was the dog training program at Lexington Prison.  Thanks to a documentary underwritten by the Kirkpatrick Foundation, The Dogs of Lexington, tells the redemptive story of shelter dogs, prisoners, and people.  Sarge was a growly, grumpy, nippy schnauzer mix, deemed unadoptable.  Today Sarge is the resident therapy dog for the Norman, Oklahoma Veterans Center.  I personally watched the magic happen.

 

Last school year, I spent one day with middle school students in rural Oklahoma.  It was disheartening to realize how many of their lives were chaotic, except in the classroom.  The value of therapy dogs in schools, like this one, would pay rich rewards as the students transition through high school and then try to find their place in society.

 

What I have learned is that doing nothing – – solves nothing.  The abuse continues, more lives are affected and the cycle grows and grows and grows.  It has to stop somewhere – it can stop with you, the person reading this article.

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

Pet Travel Guide

posted October 23rd, 2015 by
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Pet Travel

PET TRAVEL GUIDE

Pet Travel is becoming more and more popular. Bringing your pet on holidays with you adds to the fun of your trip and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with them while you’re away. Before travelling, you need to do your homework. Planes and cars aren’t designed with animals in mind. You also need to know what to expect when you do reach your final destination. There are a lot of rules and restrictions in place from country to country. By planning your pet travel ahead of time, you can make your hard earned holiday a truly relaxing time for everyone involved. To help you and your jet-setting animal companions, Greyhounds As Pets have produced an infographic that shows you the most important things you need to know about taking them on holidays with you. The Website URL is http://www.gapnsw.com.au/dogs-for-apartments/

Tom Clarke
Marketing Manager

greyhounds as pets
Building B| 1 Homebush Bay Drive Rhodes NSW 2138
t : 02 87 67 0535 | f : 02 97 64 6244
Website: www.gapnsw.com.au

Pet Travel

Lost and Found in OKC

posted October 21st, 2015 by
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Lost and Found in OKC

Pet Lost and Found can be a harrowing experience

These guidelines are thanks to OKC Animal Welfare

Lost Pet:

Not being able to find your pet is an especially traumatic experience. Here are some helpful tips that will increase your chances of finding him or her.

 

Visit our Shelter Daily:

OKCAW takes in lost pets and stray animals every day at our shelter located at 2811 SE 29th steeet. Lost pets and stray animals are held for three days if they have no identification and five days if they are identified in order to provide you with enough time to visit the shelter and find your pet. If no one claims the animal during the holding time, the animal is evaluated for placement options. When you arrive at the shelter to look for your pet, go to the front counter and tell the staff member that you are looking for a lost pet. Bring in ID for yourself as well as for your animal. You will fill out a short form and a staff member will escort you through the building. While you’re at the shelter, take the time to look at every cage; this will eliminate the possibility of you passing a cage that your pet may be in. We recommend that you visit at least every two days.

 

Ask the front desk for a blue “lost card”.  Make sure to fill this out completely and in detail, and it will be posted on our lost and found board.

 

Search our Website’s Found Pets Database:

Pictures and/or descriptions of animals that have been brought to our Care Centers are posted on our website hourly. To search the database of found animals in our care:

  • Go to http://www.okc.gov/animalwelfare
  • On the left hand side select Search for Pet
  • Animal Type: select which animal you are searching for
  • Animal Gender: select No Preference
  • Animal Age: Select No Preference
  • Animal Size: Select No Preference

 

The last page shows the most recent animals we have received.  Please start on the last page and work your way back to the beginning.  If you find an animal that resembles yours please write down the animal ID so that one of our representatives can point you in the right direction once you arrive at the shelter.

If you see an animal that fits the description of your lost pet, visit the shelter to reclaim your pet. Please make sure you come in with the animal identification number from the website and pictures of your animals for identification purposes.

 

File a Lost Pet Report Online:

A report filed with OKCAW will be entered into an online database that searches our computer records and will send you information if there is a match. This report will be valid for 30 days and will continue to send you information if applicable during those 30 days.

When filing the Lost Pet report, please remember to upload a photo of your lost pet (a clear full body photo, if possible). Also, please leave the top check-off box unchecked so to allow a copy of your report to be sent to OKCAW. If you check this box, our Lost and Found will not be able to reach you if a match is made.

  • Go to http://www.okc.gov/animalwelfare
  • On the left hand side select I Lost a Pet
  • Click the appropriate link for dog or cat
  • Fill out the report with as much detail as possible
  • Attach a photo of your pet
  • Click the “Submit Request” button

 

Found Pets:

Thank you for taking care of the lost pet you have found. Below is a list of options to assist you in locating the family of the lost pet.

If the animal has identification, contact the owner. Identification comes in many forms, so please check the animal thoroughly for a tag, tattoo or microchip. You can bring an animal to most shelters and veterinary hospitals to scan the animal for a microchip. Some owners write their phone number on their pet’s collar. If the animal has an OKCAW rabies tag, call 405-297-3100 during normal business hours or send us an email to [email protected] and we will return your message as soon as possible.

 

Bring to the Pet to OKCAW:

If the animal was found in Oklahoma City, you may bring it to the shelter. OKCAW takes in lost pets and stray animals every day from 9am-5:45pm at our shelter located at 2811 SE 29th St in Oklahoma City. Lost pets are put on hold for three days if they have no identification or five days if there is identification in order to provide the owners with enough time to locate their pets. After three or five days, the animal gets evaluated and made available for placement. Note: If you are a finder of a lost pet and are interested in adopting the pet after the hold period, please be at the facility by noon on the day the hold period is up to adopt. All adoption criteria apply.

Please note that all animals that come into our care are scanned for a microchip. If the animal has a current chip or other form of identification, we make every attempt to contact the owner to reunite them with their pet.

 

Keep the Pet at Your Home:

If you want to keep the animal during the hold period, please come to the shelter to fill out a green “found card” (ask the front desk for one).  We will post this form on our lost and found board in the building. Also, file a found report on our website.

File a Found Pet Report Online:

A report filed with OKCAW will be entered into an online database that searches our computer records and will send you information if there is a match. This report will be valid for 30 days and will continue to send you information if applicable during those 30 days.

When filing the Found Pet report, please remember to upload a photo of the found pet (a clear full body photo, if possible). Also, please leave the top check-off box unchecked so to allow a copy of your report to be sent to OKCAW. If you check this box, our Lost and Found will not be able to reach you if a match is made.

  • Go to http://www.okc.gov/animalwelfare
  • On the left hand side select I Found a Pet
  • Click the appropriate link for dog or cat
  • Fill out the report with as much detail as possible
  • Attach a photo of your pet
  • Click the “Submit Request” button

 

Other Tips on Locating the Owners of a Found Pet:

Post flyers within a 2-mile radius of where you found the pet. Your flyer should include a detailed description of the animal, pictures and your contact information. Post this flyer with permission in as many places around the neighborhood as possible: pet shops, veterinarian and doctors offices, supermarkets, police precincts, bulletin boards, bus stops, taxi services, laundromats, delivery people, schools, etc. If someone responds to your flyer, make sure you see proof of ownership prior to releasing the pet to the person. Pictures work best. Do not forget to remove all flyers once the pet is reunited with his or her owner.

Place an ad in local and state newspapers, as well as in online publications. Most newspapers do this free of charge. You may also create a Twitter account and/or Facebook Page.

The Nitty Gritty on Nail Trims

posted October 17th, 2015 by
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The Nitty Gritty on Nail Trims

Pups and Pedicures

By Nancy Gallimore, CPDT-KA

 

Get a pedicure?

You don’t have to ask me twice. Why, yes, I would love to have someone pamper me for an hour or so. Count me in.

Ask the same question to just about any dog? You might as well ask him if he’d like to be abandoned in a desert filled with wild animals and broken glass. The mere hint of a nail trim will generally result in a mixed look of pained shock and brimming terror clouding a dog’s normally trusting eyes.

And yet, keeping nails properly trimmed is important to the overall health and welfare of your dog. According to Dr. Patrick Grogan, medical director at VCA Woodland East Animal Hospital, nails allowed to grow too long can actually alter the way a dog plants his foot, causing discomfort, and potentially even a lack of desire to exercise properly.

Another risk of neglecting trims is that longer nails are more likely to snag on things, potentially causing the nail to break off into the quick, the fleshy cuticle inside the dog’s nail. Not only is this painful for your dog and potentially quite messy for you, there is a healthy blood supply in the quick. Dr. Grogan says that if a portion of the nail is still attached or the cuticle is exposed, the dog may have to be anesthetized so your veterinarian can treat the injury.

“Most dogs should have their nails trimmed about every six to eight weeks,” advises Dr. Grogan. “This can vary depending on the size and activity level of your dog. The nails of smaller dogs or less active dogs may grow out faster than larger, active dogs that get a lot of normal abrasion and wear on their nails.”

Dr. Grogan also says that regular trimming is required to not only keep a dog’s nails a good length but to also keep the quick from growing out too long. If nails are neglected and the quick is allowed to grow out, it can be very difficult to return the nail to a  proper length.

If you want to learn how to trim your dog’s nails yourself, Dr. Grogan suggests taking some time to familiarize yourself with the anatomy of a dog’s nail.  The fleshy, tender quick is wedge-shaped and follows the contour of the nail itself, almost like a smaller nail inside the nail.

“The part of the nail that can be safely trimmed generally hooks down a bit and is thinner at the point where it clears the tip of the quick,” Dr. Grogan says. “Ideally, you want to trim the nail two to three millimeters from the tip of the quick.”

If you are lucky and your dog has light colored nails, you can actually see the pink quick inside the nail. If your dog has black nails, it’s a bit trickier. Dr. Grogan suggests snipping just a little at a time.

If your dog will accept it, you can also use a grinder to smooth the tip and edges of the nails. If your dog’s nails are very long, trim them back first and then use the grinder to smooth the edges. Be sure to keep the grinder moving, just lightly tapping the dog’s nail. The sandpaper and friction get very hot if held to the nail surface too long and can cause discomfort.

OK, it’s one thing to know how to trim your dog’s nails, but it’s another issue to convince your dog it’s a good idea. Well, my certified-professional-dog-trainer take on  the situation is that with nail trimming, and many other important grooming tasks, we tend to take an ill-advised all-or-nothing, grab-‘em-and-force-‘em-to-accept-it approach with our puppies and dogs. Obviously, this is not the best of plans for the long haul.

Dr. Grogan and I agree that while most dogs do not naturally like to have their feet handled, you can teach them to accept nail maintenance with graceful resignation (don’t go so far as to expect tail-wagging joy). The key word here is “teach.”

It’s a great idea to spend some time prepping your dog for the idea of a nail trim. If you grab the dog and start issuing commands, pinning your dog to the floor, and grabbing his feet and trimming away, my guess is that you’re going to be met with some serious resistance that will get worse with every attempt.

But if you teach your dog to accept a nail trim in a positive fashion, it doesn’t have to be a battle. Think about it: if you go in for a pedicure, the technician doesn’t just grab you, pin you to a chair and start trimming your toenails. I know my pedicures start with a relaxing foot bath… a little massage… the offer of a cool beverage.

While your dog doesn’t necessarily need that level of spa pampering (or does he?), it’s a good idea to have your dog relax on the floor beside you while you give belly rubs and lightly touch each paw, rewarding with treats as you do so. The idea is to give your dog a very calm, positive experience in conjunction with having his feet handled.

The next step would be to touch the nail clippers to each toenail with plenty of calm praise and rewards sprinkled throughout  the process. When you feel ready to start trimming nails, Dr. Grogan offers some   great tips:

Purchase good nail clippers. You may want to ask your local pet supply store for recommendations.

With your dog in a calm environment, trim just one foot per day over the course of four days. Keep it short and sweet. Don’t rush the process.

Offer lots of treats and praise after each snip.

Enlist the aid of an assistant. One person distracts the dog and gives treats while the other person trims the nails.

If you do accidentally trim a nail too far back and see blood, don’t panic. While nails can bleed impressively, Dr. Grogan says it is not cause for huge concern. You can apply pressure for a few minutes, or you can apply a clotting powder like Quick Stop if you have it on hand.             Dr. Grogan says you can even just let your dog go relax outside or in an area where a little blood won’t be a problem. The nail should clot within 10 to 15 minutes.

In the event that you do cut into the quick, the trainer’s note here is to also try not to make it a big issue with your dog. Don’t panic and apologize like a crazy person. Talk calmly, reassure your dog and offer a good jackpot of treats to make amends for your mistake. Then take a break and try again in a day or so.

If you still feel a bit squeamish about diving in, ask your veterinarian to show you how to trim your dog’s nails. “We are always happy to show owners proper nail trimming techniques,” says Dr. Grogan.

If you aren’t willing and/or able to trim your dog’s nails yourself, there is no shame in leaving the procedure to the professionals. Your veterinarian will always be happy to give your dog a nail trim, or you can use the services of an experienced, professional groomer who will work with your dog to help him accept a little pedicure. When the pros are on the job, the trim is generally over before your dog even realizes what is happening.

If you have a dog who has had a previous bad experience during a nail trim, or one who is overly sensitive about having his feet handled, you may want to enlist the aid of a qualified dog trainer to work with your dog. A good trainer can help condition your dog to accept different types of handling and grooming procedures in a positive manner.

The overriding lesson is this: you teach your dog where to potty; you teach your dog what to chew and what not to chew; you teach your dog basic cues like sit, down, and to come when called. The teaching must continue when it comes to basic maintenance routines such as nail trims.

With a little work, a little patience, and perhaps a good number of hotdogs, you (or your veterinarian/groomer—it’s OK to bail) can give your dog a perfect pedicure. Keep calm and trim on.

Getting Dumped

posted October 16th, 2015 by
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Getting DumpedGetting Dumped

Getting dumped in the country is not OK.  Not sure why too many pet owners make the decision that it is.  While they may think that the farmers/ranchers in this area are just waiting for a new dog or cat to join the clan – – the real answer is not hardly – – no way.

I realized just how frustrating it is for all of us today when I got royally chewed out by a very irate person.  She had lots of dogs and a few cats/kittens that needed new homes today and she wanted to bring them to the shelter.  Once she heard the word “no” in our response the conversation did not go well.  Did she yell – – absolutely;  was she mad – – without question; did it change the situation – – no.

The area shelters and rescues work tirelessly to find homes for as many dogs and cats as possible.  All of us are committed to saving lives – – each organization may do it differently – but in the end – – we’ve collectively made a small dent in the problem.

The heartbreak is that for all our hard work and expense – there will still be more dogs and cats needing homes.

My ears are no longer ringing from the irate person on the other end of the line. I know it will happen again and again and again.  However, all I have to do is look into Megan’s eyes, or see Zelda go out the door purring – and even being yelled at with threatening words is still worth knowing we make a difference.  For me – it has been a significant contributor to my white hair.