The name Michael Vick.
The name ‘Michael Vick’ is in the media again and still a hot topic.
So in my circle there seem to be two views on Michael Vick and not much compromise. The dog & animal lovers would LOVE to hear updates about his former dogs, at least sometime, when the name ‘Michael Vick’ hits the media. Sadly, dog fighting did not end when Michael Vick served his sentence. And the sports fans are tired of hearing about it. My sports loving friends often tell me “you’ve got to let it go; he’s served his time.”
Is there a happy medium or will these two sides not see eye to eye? Can we all turn our strong feelings into something positive on the topic?….I cannot answer that for sure, but in the spirit of compromise I’d like to try - or at least help the sports fans understand a little about us dog and animal lovers. I agree Michael Vick has severed his time, according to the law and court system. For those of us unsatisfied with his sentence, we should probably be lobbying our law makers at this point.
But what about the dogs? As long as some of Vick’s former dogs are still in recovery shouldn’t we being putting out updates to the public; shouldn’t the public still care? Dog fighting is terrible, but burying our heads in the sand won’t make it go away. Best Friends Animal Society recently offered a piece that might be a potential conversation with President Obama. The article is here if you’d care to read it; I would recommend it. It’s a great reminder of the horrible acts of dog fighting and that some of the dogs are still struggling for a normal life. I’d also encourage you to read sports writer, Jim Gorant’s book, “The Lost Dogs” for more insight to the unspeakable acts of dog fighting and the journey of Michael Vick’s former dogs. It’s a great read and beautifully written.
For me, it’s not about Michael Vick anymore; it’s about his former dogs and all the many other dogs out their suffering the horrible life of dog fighting. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I don’t care about Micheal Vick anymore. I sincerely hope and pray he’s a changed man but at the end of the day that is between him and his maker.
I believe we have to keep talking about it; dog fighting has to remain an issue as long as it still exists. If we pretend dog fighting doesn’t exist or that it’s too awful to talk about we cannot help stop or change it; we almost become part of the problem. For me, at least on occasion, I’d love to read or listen to a sports article that takes the time to update us about Vick’s former dogs or reminds us that dog fighting still exists.
Is this a fair compromise to you?
Love your dog
Love and be thankful for your dog today.
Why do you love walking your dog?
If we don’t know this when getting a dog, we learn very quickly that a daily walk with our dog is not optional, it’s a necessity!
I enjoy walks for many reasons; peace is definitely one of my favorites! Peace on the walk, appreciating nature and a sniffing or obedient dog and peace after when the home is quiet and calm! Walking with some obedience commands or other training uses your dog’s energies too, both mind and body! A tired dog is a good dog! (I love this expression and use it often!:)
Walking is a great way to bond with and grow closer to your dog. Some busy days it seems to be the only “quiet time” I find to gather my thoughts! Perhaps my favorite reason is remembering just how truly lucky I am to have that special dog in my life!
What’s your favorite reason for walking your dog?
Teaching Kids About Dogs
So last week I asked what would you want your child to know about dogs. As a dog mom and dog walker, I have a few ideas about what I would and will teach a willing child. In pondering this question myself, I also discovered a terrific website, www.safekidssafedogs.com. I encourage you to visit and explore this website; it really does offer a lot of great information! And check out the online kids book too!
That said, here are a few of the items I’ve learned in walking dogs that I believe children (and adults) should know:
1) Walk don’t run when approaching a dog (and leave your bike, skateboard or other toys at a bit of a distance as to not scare the dog).
2) Always ask the human about the dog first (and don’t take it personally if the human says “no;” it’s probably to protect YOU!).
3) Do not approach a dog if the dog is alone.
4) Always let the dog sniff you BEFORE you pet the dog (See my entry titled “Make a fist” for help with this.).
5) Be gentle and move slowly.
6) Pet the dog on the shoulder, back or chest; avoid reaching over the dog’s head.
7) Always pet the dog with the fur not against the fur.
For extra credit, learn some basics about reading a dog’s body language and know that some humans assume their dog is friendly because they themselves don’t know how to recongize the dog’s body language or signs of discomfort.
Add to this list or make your own, but please join me in teaching a child about dogs today!
What would you teach a child about dogs?
While walking a friend’s dog this morning, we stopped to visit with a young boy who approached us. The boy jumped and fiddled when the dog tried to sniff him. The boy eventually pet the dog’s back, rubbing the dog’s fur in the wrong direction. (I did correct him to change this method.) He also wanted to teach the dog to jump using an arm command. Perhaps my greatest concern was that this boy shared with me over and over that his parents would get him a dog when he was 10. I couldn’t bring myself to ask his age but he looked to be about 8.
What would you teach a child about dogs? What do we teach children about dogs when we don’t teach them anything? What would you like your child to know about dogs?
Make a fist
Make a fist….not to fight, but to protect your fingers.
Many of us are lucky to have had parents or adults teach us as children about letting a dog smell us. But think about it, what was the style? I can still hear my mom saying “Hold out your hand so the dog can smell you.” Out goes our hand, fully extended, palm up, right? We all do it; often without even thinking about it.
It’s always good to let a dog smell or sniff us first. But, the method could be improved upon. Have you ever noticed, that given a chance most dogs will walk right up to us and start by sniffing our leg, pants, or jeans (or whatever is at their nose level)? For me, this is always the ideal - hands are safe! Realistically, many of us struggle with our well-trained instinct to extend our hand. Consider this, instead of offering your extended hand, palm up, try making a fist and offering that hand folded into a fist. No, we’re not going to hit (it’s never ok to hit) or do anything negative with that fist. It is merely to protect our fingers should the dog feel scared and bite in defense. The dog can sniff our fist or leg, just as easily as our extended hand, but when using either of these “new” techniques we can protect our fingers from a potential bite. Once the dog has sniffed us, we can get to the good stuff: lots of petting! Will you join me in retraining our method when meeting a dog?
Are you supporting Prob B in Missouri?
Best Friends Animal Society is asking for our support on Prop B in Missouri! Please start your research here, “Puppy Mills: A National Disgrace.”
I too would like to see Puppy Mills become something of our past lives. Dogs and puppies in puppy mills do not know the love or kind touch of a human, the green grass, or the comfort of a soft bed to sleep on. More often their treatment inside
a puppy mill is neglectful or bordering on something many of us would call abusive. If you are looking for a specific breed of dog, please remember to check the many rescue groups (often breed specific rescue groups exist for the breed you’re looking for). Please do your research before taking on the additional challenges of a puppy too; be sure you understand what you’re getting! They are oh-so-cute, but do require a lot of your time and energy.
“If you live in Missouri, vote yes on Prop B. If you know someone who [lives in Missouri], ask them to do the same.”
How did you celebrate Vet Tech Appreciation Week?
Did you know that October 12 - 18th was and is Vet Technician Appreciation Week? Did you take a moment to thank your pet’s vet tech this week?
Just as with nurses in human care, veterinary technicians are invaluable to our pet’s health care too. Vet techs work with our pet, us, our veterinarian and behind the scenes. Vet techs are drawing blood, catching urine, running lab tests, expressing anal glands, monitoring our pet during and after surgery, trimming our pet’s nails, and these are just a few of the many things vet techs do every day when they’re not working with our pet and us in the exam room. Great vet techs (& vets) sometimes will cry with us when it’s time to say good-bye too. The position of vet tech is intense at times, does not always pay well, and offers high burnout; great vet techs do it for the love of the animals and it shows.
You will find a great vet tech working for a great veterinarian and both are priceless! Both will care about our animal as if he or she were their own. Often both will greet our pet before they greet us. (I love this!) Great vet techs always offer kindness and patience with our pets and even us, the learning and hardly perfect humans. Sometimes it isn’t exactly in the actions as much as it is in our “gut instinct” that we know we’ve found a great vet with great vet technicians.
However it is that you know you have a great vet tech, remember to celebrate her, him, or them this week and always. Our pet’s veterinary experience is better because of the great vet techs! Happy Vet Tech Appreciation Week!