Saturday, December 19, 2015

Special Needs Dobermans wants to Make Santa Pay!

That's right, via generous benefactor, Special Needs Dobermans is again running their Make Santa Pay! fundraiser.

Donations are being matched, dollar for dollar, from December 15 to December 31.

As always, there are a number of General Funds cases who really benefit from any funds that SND can receive, in addition to the Senior Doberman Project and the Seniors Medical Fund. So let's get that info out there and help these Dobermans have a healthy and happy holiday and year to come!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

ProjectDog Fundraiser: Vestibular Deafness in Dobermans

A few years back (in 2012, I've been blogging here for awhile!) I wrote about ProjectDog, and how they had a Doberman survey. I was contact recently by a breeder who would really like to see ProjectDog get some much needed funds, asking me if I was willing to blog about them again. I was provided with a linki to a fundraising campaign to fund research on Vestibular Deafness in Dobermans (affected dogs are referred to as "dings", but I'm going to use the other, less mean sounding, DVDob). It's "vestibular" deafness rather than the usual sort, because frequently it also severely impairs the dog's equilibrium.

According to this article (which quotes Ann Ramsbottom, the Doberman breeder who uses the Cambria prefix, who has had a lot of very beautiful and successful dogs), a gene for DVDob was isolated in 2012, and is an autosomal recessive mutation. Meaning that, like Von Willebrand's Disease, a dog who is a carrier can be bred to a dog who is "clear", and the resulting puppies will not be affected by DVDob. But they still don't know if the gene is related to other things, more prevalent in certain lines, associated with other genes, etc. and would really like the research to move forward. Frequently puppies are so badly affected that they are euthanized before they get very old. To paraphrase the Cambria breeder's quote from the above article, They seem to be in constant discomfort, have trouble locating the nipple to nurse, have trouble latching, and that's if the mother doesn't push them away.

Breeders don't want to have to watch their puppies suffer, and definitely don't want to have to make the tough decision to euthanize puppies when they're still only a few weeks old. It would be a great boon to learn more about DVDob and its causes, and build a database of dogs who are carriers, clear, and affected to be aware of these factors as well while breeding.

And before you think "It's just deafness, what's the big deal?", take a look at the video on the top of the Go Fund Me page for ProjectDog to study Doberman Congenital Deafness. It's of a three week Doberman puppy affected by DVDob. The puppy struggles around on the surface where he was placed (granted, there's only so well three week old puppies move anyway), unable to even maintain an upright posture. His head movements are jerky, unnatural and heartbreaking, as are the little cries he's making. He looks, to me, like a wounded animal. It seems rough to say, but it doesn't surprise me that a dam would reject a puppy like that, if the rest of the litter seems "normal" and viable.  There's another video on the page of a 10ish week old puppy affected by DVDob, and these physical symptoms have not gone away. She falls over for no reason, she cries, she staggers around. It breaks my heart (and might break yours, so if you don't want to sit weeping at the computer, perhaps don't watch those videos).

So, if you're able, I urge you to donate what you can to ProjectDog so they can resume funding research in this area.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Bonnie, with Illinois Doberman Rescue, is SND Senior of the Week

This is Bonnie. She's the Special Needs Dobermans Senior of the Week!

(picture from her Illinois Doberman Rescue page)

Bonnie is a 7 year old cropped and docked red girl who's with Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus.  According to their page, she was surrendered to a shelter when her elderly owner died, and was adopted out. Unfortunately, she and the resident dog were not a good fit, and when her subsequent owners returned her to the shelter, the shelter contacted IDR+.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Georgia Doberman Rescue T-shirt fundraiser

The Georgia Doberman Rescue is selling T-shirts on (which didn't show me the picture, but I saw a picture on Facebook [which I've screen shotted below] an they do seem like nice shirts) to help raise funds to help Dobermans in need. They currently have 15 dogs in rescue (with 6 currently listed on the site), and unfortunately, there are always more who need help. The goal is to sell 50 shirts, and they've sold 20 so far, with 6 days to go. With every shirt they sell, money goes to GDR, so more shirts means more money for Dobermans in need!

GDR is a 501(c)3 Not for Profit Doberman Rescue which relies on volunteers and donations to run. According to the stats on their website, they rescued 30 Dobermans last year, and adopted out 19 dogs. If you don't read this post in time to do the Booster fundraiser, they also have a Zazzle store with T-shirts and hoodies.

Monday, September 7, 2015

DDR fundraiser is a success!

So my last blog post was about the Distinguished Doberman Rescue fundraiser to reach a total amount of $10,000 ($5k in donations, matched). And they did it! Exceeded it, in fact.

It's great that DDR, inc. will be able to continue doing their good work, thanks to the generosity of the donors.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Help Distinguished Doberman Rescue, inc raise $10,000

Distinguished Doberman Rescue, inc. has a blessed and mysterious benefactor, who has said they will match donations up to $5000, for the months of July and August. That means, if people like you and I get the total to $5,000, DDR,inc. will get another $5000 from this individual for a total of $10,000 to help Dobermans in need!

No amount is too small, and DDR,inc does amazing work for Dobermans who have nobody else in the world to help them.

(poster from DDR,inc Facebook page)

In addition to cold hard cash, you can check out their Fundraisers page to see how else you can support Distinguished Doberman Rescue.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Product Review: Kurgo Tru-Fit Dog Harness

Recently, I was contacted by reps at Kurgo, to see if I wanted to review their Tru-Fit Dog Harness. You see, they'd recently revamped the design and then crash tested it at the University of Michigan (and you can watch the video at the above link). I said YES, because continued improvement on the safety of car harnesses for dogs is always fantastic in my book!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sadie with Illinois Doberman Rescue is Senior of the Week

Sadie is this week's Special Needs Dobermans Senior Doberman Project Senior of the week. This 7 year old docked tail, natural eared girl was picked up as a stray and then surrendered to IDR when her owner was located an found unable to care for her. She's in the care of Illinois Doberman Rescue plus.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

Safety First

I've realized lately that lots of our training, and lots of our equipment, has to do with safety.

Elka is on a collar and leash when we go outside, to make sure she's safe. She can't decide to run into the road, or chase something and get off our property, anything like that. On our walks, she's on a harness and collar, with liberty's attachment to make sure more than one thing will have to fail to put her in danger; not that I'm sure she'd just hare off somewhere the instant she had a chance, but better safe than sorry. See, there it is again.

In the car, she has a harness which hooks to the built-in child seat anchor vehicles have. In the case of an accident, it will hopefully protect her, and also the humans in the car, preventing the 75 pound dog in the back seat from becoming a missile within the vehicle. It also keeps her from just jumping out when a door is opened, so her exit can be controlled to a safe place and situation.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

MY FIRST PUBLICATION! "Adventuring", in Daily Science Fiction

YOU GUYS!  I got my first story really-truly published. Like, "they're sending me a check" published.

It's a very short (read: flash fiction) fantasy story, entitled "Adventuring", inspired by things like Tolkein and playing D&D. You can read it (and rate it!) on Daily Science Fiction.

There are no dogs in this story, however. Maybe the next one?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

April 8 is Dogfighting Awareness Day

Evidently, April 8 is Dogfighting Awareness Day. I didn't know/remember until I visited the Blogpaws site to get onto the blog hop for Wordless Wednesday.

I should think it goes without saying that dogfighting is a reprehensible act. But clearly it doesn't; there are many, many people out there who think it's perfectly acceptable. Who are culturally mired in it, caught up in it, don't give dogs a thought other than as equipment or a means to an end.

The ASPCA has a portion of their website dedicated to dogfighting awareness; FAQs, a tipline to call if you suspect dogfights in your area, and a form to fill out to send to the Department of Justice. If dogfighting makes you angry, makes you sick, take a couple minutes to have a look at those resources. Even that small thing might make a difference in some dogs' lives.

Friday, March 27, 2015

UPDATED: Daisy WAS ADOPTED!! through DOBER, inc.

This is Daisy. She's in a foster home and available for adoption through DOBER, inc (Dreaming of Better Endings Rescue).

(picture from Dober,Inc Petfinder listing)

She's a natural eared fawn girl with a docked tail. Daisy is 11 months old, housebroken and crate trained, according to her foster mom. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Elka does not know the difference between skunks and cats

I did not witness this particular adventure; my fiancé related it to me after coming back in the house. I have no pictures of this adventure, so I'll provide you with some stock photos and you can use your imagination.

Because the backyard is still techtonically snowy and icy (spring is here or coming or something), we're still just letting Elka out the back door and into the fenced area to go potty (which reminds me, I'm going to need a new poop scooper for when that is no longer the case). We're working on self control, so she doesn't just bolt out that door as soon as it's opened, but rather waits to be released.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I literally have no idea what this dog does and does not understand

So, the other day, we (the household, Elka included) were sitting on the couch, watching a movie. Night Watch, for those interested. It's a Russian urban fantasy film based on the first of a series of books by Sergei Lukyanenko. Very much worth checking out.

But I digress.

(this is a blog stock photo, it's not warm enough yet to have the door open, not by a long shot. But this is approximately where she was on the couch, anyway)

Friday, March 13, 2015

*Does* music soothe the savage beast?

Sometimes Elka is whiny and anxious for no reason that we can tell. Sometimes it's something we can do nothing about at the moment, like ice falling off the side of the house (note to self: insulation).

She can be distracted, and sometimes consoled, but the same thing doesn't work all the time. A peanut butter Kong only does so much when you stop licking it periodically to mohawk up and grumble around the first floor. I think it's worse for her if we know what the deal is, because we can't make her understand. Sometimes "leave it" just isn't good enough. In a way, this is a "willful disobedience" sort of situation; we're telling her, "it's okay, get over it", but she's like "no, for serious, THERE'S SOMETHING DANGEROUS WHY DON'T YOU CARE??!!?!?!"

Monday, March 9, 2015

Product Review: Surprise My Pet Box

I was approached by Surprise My Pet to do a product review of one of their subscription boxes. I haven't yet personally committed to an ongoing subscription box of my (or Elka's) very own, but I love the principle of them, and they're always fun to try.

Surprise My Pet was no different.

We got the box and I set it on the floor for Elka to peruse. She promptly nosed it, because that's how she interacts with most things, so I apologize for the blurry action shot.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Adventures in Winter Recall

Our -12 degree potty routine, our three feet of snow potty routine, is send Elka out back, call her back when she's done. And she gets done pretty quickly, and with good efficiency, as I've mentioned. Lately, though, some of that distractibility has crept back. God knows why, it's still -12 some mornings, and there's still three feet of snow out there.

But, I've begun to utilize the three count. I'll tell her to go potty, I'll say hurry up, and then I start to count. If I reach 3, I call her back and we go inside. Mostly, she gets busy at 2, if I even need to count.

Monday, February 23, 2015

It's been awhile....another chewed library book

It's been awhile since I've had a thoroughly chewed library book come across the counter. But last week, somebody came in with one. Their dog is about a year old, and they're making gestures at leaving the dog out of the crate when they're not home.

The dog really showed some ingenuity, actually. The patron said the book was in the middle of an otherwise empty table, and it was the only thing dog chewed. Also, the cover isn't chewed, and the book is chewed in sections. I try to take these things in good stride, obviously. Elka never chewed any books, thank God, but she did chew things. So I understand. What I said was "That was some good problem solving! Give that dog a job."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Today is Love your Pet day!

Well, we're hanging on here in frigid central New York. Persistent single digits, lots of snow, wind's been a brutal winter. Lots of laziness, lots of huddling on the couch in hoodies and under blankets. To add insult to injury, even sunny days aren't warm ones. Quite the opposite!

But evidently today is Love Your Pet Day.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Some flash fiction

At work, I'm running a writing workshop from now (started 2-7) through the end of May. I've done it in 6 week increments twice now, using NaNoWriMo as the leaping off point, and those were successful enough that we're doing it "for real" now, from under the NaNoWriMo umbrella.

In the the previous workshops, and it looks like this one too, we did a lot of writing prompts. Basically, I give a sentence, or an idea, or "include five words", and then set a timer and we all see what we can come up with.

Dogs frequently sneak into my writing, and did at least once yesterday, so I thought I'd share my little bit of "flash fiction" with you guys.

The prompt was "In the pile of leaves, I found...." to be used either as an intact phrase, or a situation to keep in mind, whatever. As I said to my writers, make the prompt work for you. If you're not into it, do something else.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

So we had a bit of weather....

Sunday night into Monday, it SNOWED here. Quite a lot. I have Mondays off now anyway, but the library even got a snow day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

It's a twofer!

So lately we've had a potty breakthrough. A strange thing to say as the owner of a five year old DOG, not child. But lately, when we let Elka out back, a few things have changed.

For one, we can let her out back and she runs out there and gets to business. Sometimes she'll bark at a squirrel or an imaginary squirrel first, and that's fine. It genuinely seems to be keeping them away. But then she poops or pees, and then she performs the other function as well, so you get what we refer to as a "twofer". 

This was not always the case, but either it's been too cold or Elka is growing up. She also used to, when turned out back without a leash, think it was obviously playtime and just gallop around in big circles. Or, if you stayed inside, she would bark at the house because you clearly had committed a grave error.

Of course, when it's not-winter we'll be taking her outside the fence again for her "business", not just letting her loose to poop willy nilly in the play space. When the thaw happens, we pick it up and rake things over and it rains a bunch besides. But perhaps the twofers will continue, even on leash? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Elka understands what blankets are for, just not why they don't do what she wants

You know how they say dogs and their owners resemble each other?

Well, I haven't attained a supermodel physique like Elka's (yet!) but she definitely shares a very strong opinion with me: she doesn't like being cold.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Holiday Tips for Traveling With Your Dog

Let's face it, if you  know me, you know I'm not super organized. Not a "planner", per se. I pull it together most of the time, but I lack foresight. So sometimes, getting Elka into the car and going to New Jersey for Christmas isn't always as hitch-free as I'd like.