Monday, March 28, 2011

LITTLE BROWN DOG SAVED! Thanks to those who pay attention to things like this!

"Patrick" the miracle dog!
Good Morning all!  Here we are at Monday once again and I thought I'd start the week off with a "happy ending"!  I'm publishing this story so that we can all sit back and realize that we can make a difference! Yup, all of us can actually make a statement about the things we feel strongly about and I want to thank everyone who follows all of our stories about abused animals, animals that truly need everyone to be concerned! You've all shown that when we get together and make our voices known, things happen!

Here's the follow up on a shocking story that was published on one of my favorite blogs, "Dogs, cats and crap I talk about!" These guys do a great job of bringing us some of the best rescue information around.  Please bookmark their blog so you can stay on top of their stories!  Thanks to T. Castle for providing such great info too!

It's great to know that these animals can and will continue to be helped simply by each of us staying on top of things and making our valuable opinions known.  Please check out the latest update on "Patrick, the little brown dog" who was saved.  In the latest up date, you will find a link to the facebook page of the person who is responsible for starving Patrick!  Let's let this person know exactly how we feel about a fellow human being that could do something like this to a defenseless animal!  I'm sure she'd like to know exactly how "real human beings" think and take care of God's creatures. 

Please feel free to send us your own great stories!  We love to hear from all of our readers and we try to answer and post everything that comes to us!  Send us some of your favorite pics of your dog or puppy too!  We'll be dedicating an album for all of our friends out there!  Page should be up this week!

Have a great Monday and keep up the great work guys!  Our animals will be all the better for your efforts.  And remember, YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

Thanks for reading!  Denise & Max!
Max and I thank ALL our readers
for being so involved in our causes!

Woman Devastated Over Dog Being Euthanized!

Article first published as Woman Devastated Over Dog Being Euthanized on Technorati.

Woman Devastated Over Dog Being Euthanized

Author: Denise Blackman
Published: March 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm
 We are told over and over again to "read the fine print" on everything we sign or agree to. We hear it so much that most of us just take it for granted and really don't think about it too much. 
Denise Wilkinson and SunnySuch was the case for Denise Wilkinson of Largo, FL when she decided to take Sunny, her Rottweiler-Mastiff mix, to Pinellas County Animal Services on March 2nd. Sunny had become larger than the weight limit for dogs at Ms. Wilkinson's apartment complex and she had not been able to finalize the agreement with his new owners before the apartment complex's deadline to remove him from the premises.

To remain in compliance with her apartment complex's rules, she decided to drop Sunny off at the Pinellas County Animal Services for a day until she could get the arrangement finalized. When she went to pick the dog up the next day, she was told that Sunny had been euthanized. "I cried instantly, Wilkinson said. "I was so upset."

In an article titled "Woman upset after dog unexpectedly euthanized at pound", published on News Channel 8's website, the Senior Animal Control Officer John Hohenstern said Sunny was aggresive and caused concerrns about the safety of shelter workers. "It was determined that because of the aggression in the dog it was not an adoption candidate," Hohenstern said. "We couldn't do anything with the dog." "Caution" is written on Sunny's paperwork at Animal Services. It also states Sunny didn't like cats and had once tried to attack one. Wilkinson said she told them Sunny had chased — not attacked — a cat.

Fingers are being pointed in all directions over this story. Claims of unclear wording in warnings published at the Animal Service office. Claims that wording at the Service's web site were also "unclear". What IS clear is that Sunny was indeed euthanized after just one day at the pound and Sunny's owner had NO IDEA when she dropped her dog off at Animal Services to spend the night, that this would be her last goodbye! 

According to the article in the Tampa Tribune, "Pinellas County Animal Services makes no promise, actual or implied, regarding holding time, treatment, adoption or disposition of this animal." 

The same language is posted on the wall at Animal Services. Since the incident, the wording has been changed.  The website and all posted warnings now say: "There is no guaranteed holding period for an animal that is surrendered by the owner or owner's designated agent. Animal Services Veterinary staff will thoroughly examine the animal(s) as soon as deemed possible for two very important things; health and temperment."  The site also reads that if the animal is deemed to be aggressive or severely ill, it will be humanely euthanized.

According to the web article, Wilkinson said that if the revised language had been on the website when she looked at it, she wouldn't have taken Sunny there.  She said she hopes the change to the website's language "saves another dog's life."

Please make sure you read everything, even the fine print, when dealing with leaving an animal at any Animal Services location. It's always best to deal with a "no kill" shelter whenever possible and "Sunny" is proof of that! 

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Pet Shop or Pound...That Is the Question?

Pet Shop or Pound, That is the Question!

 Article first published as Pet Shop or Pound, That is the Question! on Blogcritics.

Whoopi from her facebook pageLast Fiday's episode of The View had actress Whoopi Goldberg defending her right to buy a puppy from a pet store starting quite a controvery from the animal shelter advocates. “You don’t know what you’re getting when you get a pookie-dingle-doodle from the pound,” the website Hollywood Dog reported her as saying on the show.

In defense of Whoopi's statement, it is a fact that you really don't know everything about a shelter dog's past. Although shelters do make every attempt to gain information regarding a shelter dog's history, the fact remains that, when push comes to shove, you really have to rely on the information offered by the person or persons bringing the dog to the shelter. In most cases, unless that person is an officer or humane society personnel, the information is probably questionable at best!

Shelter advocates often respond that "puppy mills" have horrible conditions, the animals are not well cared for, breeding is for profit and, therefore the pet you purchase may have inherited genetic faults that can cause them to have a lifetime of problems, and so on. Although this is sometimes true, it does not mean that every pet shop owner is guilty of perpetuating puppy mills.

And, herein lies the controversy! Pet shop or shelter? That is the question.

 On her Facebook page Wednesday, Whoopi wrote that she doesn’t like puppy mills, but that she does think puppies in stores can be just fine. "We discussed one state that wanted to close all pet stores. I have friends who own pet stores; they love their animals and insure their health and well being. Mills should be shut down. All agree, but don’t paint everyone with the same brush. That was my point," she said."

Now, I have to agree with that particular part of her statement. We simply can't "paint everyone with the same brush". I know that this statement will probably not win me any points with my animal advocacy friends, but, in all fairness, I am sure that there are, in fact, some local pet shop owners who do care about their animals, the conditions in which they are kept, and, where they came from!

A local pet shop is a business, that, in today's economy, is rough to keep up! Therefore, we do have to understand that someone is going to run this type of pet shop, they must have an appreciation for animals, or they simply wouldn't do it!

With pet superstores popping up all over the place, a local shop may have a rough time competing as far as prices go. It's kind of hard to compete with companies that can buy 100 times the quantity of just about everything you sell. So, the point I'm getting at is that the statement is true.  You can't "paint everyone with the same brush". There are some pet shops where the animals are taken care of and it would be unfair to suggest that all of them are "puppy mill" supporters. These people know from the start that their business is not going to make them a million dollars overnight, and, for the most part, probably not even in their lifetime or the store's. For a state to suggest closing down all pet shops is ludicrous and a blatant slap in the face of free enterprise! Since when does a state or any government body have the right to suggest that a certain type of business is off limits? Unless, of course, the business is illegal!

We can't stereotype all pet shops as bad simply because they sell puppies or dogs. Also, there are many breeders who do an excellent job at keeping their particular breed of dog free of genetic problems and inherited diseases. These breeders should be commended for their ongoing mission of perfecting a breed. Without them, and, left to their own resources, many breeds would become obsolete and laden with problems. I do, of course, support the adoption of a dog or puppy from a shelter over puchasing one from a pet shop when adopting is an acceptable alternative to buying, especially from a shop that supports the practice of puppy mills! But, I also support the pet shop owners who are simply "making a living" at doing what they love the most, which is spending time with animals!

That being said, my idea is this: perhaps shelters should work with legitimate shops to help find some of these dogs and puppies good homes. Now, think about it. Someone who goes to a pet shop looking for a dog or puppy has a couple of plusses going for them. One, they must have the money to pay for the dog. And, two, they obviously want a dog or puppy!

Like Whoopi, they might be under the misconception that all shelter dogs must have problems, or, they wouldn't be there! (By the way Whoopi, just as you can't "paint everyone with the same brush" when it comes to pet shops, the same is true for shelter dogs! A dog should not be labeled as "undesireable" simply because it comes from a shelter.) There are many reasons why a dog or puppy might have found it's way to a shelter. Perhaps the dog's owner simply couldn't afford it; maybe the owner died and no family members were available to provide a home for him. Or it could be that the dog might have become lost and the owners could not locate it! The fact remains that a "cameraderie" of sorts between pet shops and shelters could provide a much needed addition to the many ways shelters try to find homes for un-claimed dogs or puppies!

What would be so wrong with a shelter, who has a litter of pups, giving that litter to a local pet shop to help in finding good homes for the pups? What would be so terrible about a local pet shop owner regaining the few dollars spent on food and housing for the puppies while they were at the shop? Even if the shop were to actually make a few dollars in the transaction, I don't see the harm! Of course, everything would have to be made public.The fact that the puppies came from a shelter would have to be made known. But, simply put, what would be so wrong with that picture?

The puppies find a loving home with a family that was, obviously, looking for a puppy, and could afford to buy one. The shop owner could bring people into his shop where they might possibly buy other items necessary for the puppy and, therefore, increase his sales slightly. And, the shelter finds homes for puppies that would otherwise be taking up valuable space at the much overcrowded shelter. I think, sometimes, that our need to express or prove our point, can also prove to be detrimental to our cause.

Sounds like a simple fix to me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Doggy Allergies! Does This Sound Familiar?

Article first published as Help! My Dog Is Chewing Himself Raw! on Technorati.

Help! My Dog Is Chewing Himself Raw!
Author: Denise Blackman
Published: March 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm
protect pets from pollen imageYour dog has just come in from your usual walk, then, all of a sudden, he's itching and scratching and chewing himself!  In fact, he's doing it soooo much, that you just can't stand it anymore! What's the problem? More than likely, he's got allergies!

Yes, just like you and me, your dog and cat, and yes, even some of your other pets, can have allergies, just like you and me.  According to an article on "Fox, Tampa Bay" this morning, entitled "Protecting Your Pets from Pollen",  "Most dogs are allergic to tree pollens, weed pollens, sponge spores and mold spores," said Dr. Timothy Lassett, a Bay Area veterinarian.

The difference?  Your pet will itch and scratch and bite himself till you just can't stand it anymore!  They will do it  24/7.  Even waking you up in the middle night with the sounds of the chewing and licking and foot bouncing.  So, now, you ask, how do I fix it?

For most cases, it's simple. According to Dr. Lassett, "The most simple method for cases that aren't severe would be a combo of antihistamines and fatty acid supplements: omega three and omega six," Lassett said.  You can use the standard choices like Chlorpheniramine, Zyrtech or Benadryl.  Although, Benedryl is the least effective for dogs, based on studies.  These over-the-counter drugs are safe for dogs, but, you need to consult your veterinarian for dosages.  Do NOT administer any over-the-counter drugs to your cat as some of these medications can be fatal to felines. You can also see what other symptoms your dog might be showing by viewing the article "Dog Allergy Symptoms" also shown on "The Fox Tampa Bay" news site.

The tree pollen count is higher than ever this year, so, make your pets as comfortable as possible by making sure their allergies aren't making them, and you, miserable!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Financing Fido! The Cost of Owning A Dog

You have made your decision to get a dog! You have done all your research and you've even picked him out. Hours have been spent choosing just the right name. You have "the talk" with your kids about animal ownership and the responsibilities that come with it. You pack up the kids, head to the shelter, leash in hand, but, do you really know what that dog is going to cost you?
Financing Fido might cost more than you think!The shelter fee is $50.00, right?  Sure, but Fido comes with a bit more financial commitment that just the shelter fee. Your new "best friend" has needs too! According to "Cost of Owning a Dog" an article published at, "very few people have any idea how much owning a dog really costs and (most people) grossly underestimate it." This could definitely explain why many dogs adopted from shelters eventually find themselves back to the shelter or, worse yet, homeless.

Dogs, just like children, require time, care and money. The financial obligations of dog ownership tend to get overlooked in the excitement of procuring the dog.  It's only human nature!  Everyone is excited about the prospect of bringing home the new puppy until, suddenly, that puppy starts making significant changes to the household budget.

Based on national averages, Drs. Foster & Smith, Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, have come up with some shocking figures. Based on their independent study, the average cost of owning a 50 lb. dog over a period of 14 yrs., (the avg. lifespan of a 50 lb. dog), is $12,468.00!  And, this is just an average figure.  All things taken into consideration, according to Drs. Foster & Smith, these figures can vary from $4,242.00 on the low end to an astonishing $38,905.00 on the high end!

These figures could explain the high ratio of dogs returned to shelters within the first year of being adopted.  Even though most shelters require the prospective "new parents" to fill out an application that, in most cases, blatantly asks the prospective clients to "describe what they think they need to budget into their household expenses" for their new pet, apparently, more attention needs to be given to this detail.  To make sure you don't become part of a "growing statistic", make sure you can afford Fido, before you bring him home!  A little extra accounting homework can make the difference between a "happy ending" or just a different "chapter" in a shelter dog's life!

Article Author: Denise Blackman
I guess I'm just your average gal next door with a passion for animals. I have spent most of my life around them, training them, and just being friends with them! My background in Arabian horses led to my first real animal related career as a trainer and riding instructor. …

Visit Denise Blackman's author pageDenise Blackman's Blog
Read comments on this article, and add some feedback of your own

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Friday, March 18, 2011


The "Doggy Mall" is now open for business at "Maxwell and Me!".

Stop in and see what great doggy accessories and necessities you can get at the best prices in town!

Enjoy your shopping!

Dee & Max!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The How's and Why's of Dog Training - What Are Your Options?

Dog training is a task that must be taken on by all dog owners.  This can be a fun and most rewarding experience for both the dog and the owner.  It can also be a little intimidating for the inexperienced or new dog owner.  Many decisions need to be made when deciding on the training methods to be used.
The following article, written by Jill Ennis, M.S., an animal communicator, based in Syracuse, NY looks at the "Compassionate Training" method. Jill, a guest author here at "Maxwell and Me!", will be sharing her canine expertise in a series of articles.  We'd like to thank Jill for her contribution and we look forward to an ongoing series of articles regarding her dog training and communication methods. 

Photo by Wendy Colucci -
Because You Love Him: A Rationale for Compassionate Training

You know the story.  You’re swooned by those big brown eyes and happily wagging tail, and commit wholeheartedly to providing that dog the forever home he deserves.   And then he shreds your good shoes, pounces on your guests, and nearly pulls your arm out of its socket on his walks, turning your puppy love song into the “No-No!  Bad Dog!” symphony. 

As a dog parent, I sympathize with the desire for the quickest fix in restoring harmony at home.  But as an animal consultant and advocate, I stand firmly behind my belief that our relationships with our dogs, like with other people, are worth the time and effort it takes to build them.   Chances are you probably wouldn’t squeeze a pronged choke collar around your best friend so he can’t move faster than you or zap your crying child to get her to quiet down. 

Photo by Wendy Colucci
Compassionate training is a method that emphasizes positive reinforcement (rewarding good behavior) instead of positive punishment (disciplining bad behavior).  Positive reinforcements, such as food treats, toys, or attention and praise, are offered at the immediate moment the dog performs a wanted behavior.   Unwanted behaviors are either ignored or redirected to a safer or more desirable alternative as much as possible.  The driving premise is that human attention—positive or negative—is the ultimate reward sought by companion dogs and they’ll work to find the fastest way to get it.  This means that to Spot, your shooing motion and “Get down!” is just as enticing as your scratch on the head and “Good boy!”  In fact, it may be even more enticing since you’re likely saying the former with a lot more urgency and excitement in your voice.  And, oh, do dogs love excitement.

The tactics advocated by coercion-focused trainers—designed to help shape desirable behaviors by compelling the dog to avoid harsh corrections for undesirable behaviors—will usually resolve a problem behavior rapidly.  However, since dogs simply want attention, these methods often times punish a dog for what in essence is him just being a dog.  And when that dog is stressed or anxious, resorting to forceful methods to alleviate it seems even crueler. 

A recent client contacted me for assistance with her rescued Labrador Retriever who peed herself in submission whenever a human made eye contact.  The coercion trainer she consulted suggested that this gentle dog needed rigid discipline and structure to help her find her sense of self—and luckily, the client’s intuition made her suspect enough to seek another opinion.  “I don’t want a robot dog,” she told me. "I want my dog to have fun and keep her personality.  I just don’t want to have to shampoo my rug every time we have a visitor."  I showed her how to introduce a basic “focus” cue, where the dog is rewarded for making and holding eye contact, and encouraged her to practice this with each new guest who comes in.  This not only felt better to the client, but also helped keep her carpet beige instead of yellow.

Working in tandem with the dog’s natural instincts through compassionate training requires dedication, consistency, and patience—that’s why it’s called “compassion training” and not “convenience training.”  The longer a dog has gotten away with (or been inadvertently rewarded for) unwanted behaviors, the longer it may take to reshape them.  When frustrations surmount, revisit the reason you brought him home in the first place. You fell in love with him just the way he was—a dog.   

Jill Ennis, M.S., is an animal communicator based in Syracuse, New York.  Her mission is to strengthen relationships between companion animals and the people who love them through intuitive readings, energy healing, training consultations, and a blog about her own endeavors to practice what she preaches.  Learn more at