Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Fix (7/28/2012) - Merle

By Christy Hess

The book that I am currently reading "Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog" by Ted Kerasote really got me thinking. The book shows the great interaction between man and dog. 

From Amazon: "While on a camping trip, Ted Kerasote met a dog—a Labrador mix—who was living on his own in the wild. They became attached to each other, and Kerasote decided to name the dog Merle and bring him home. There, he realized that Merle’s native intelligence would be diminished by living exclusively in the human world. He put a dog door in his house so Merle could live both outside and in.

A deeply touching portrait of a remarkable dog and his relationship with the author, Merle’s Door explores the issues that all animals and their human companions face as their lives intertwine, bringing to bear the latest research into animal consciousness and behavior as well as insights into the origins and evolution of the human-dog partnership. Merle showed Kerasote how dogs might live if they were allowed to make more of their own decisions, and Kerasote suggests how these lessons can be applied universally."

If you want to understand your dogs perspective on things and figure out how he/she learns in our world, get this book. It is amazing at how Ted reads his dog's reactions to the world and to his person. The next time you scold or praise your dog, after reading this book, I have become more sensitive to what my body language is saying. Dogs gather so much information just from our body language, so don't be surprised when the dog misinterprets what you are saying. Your body language may just be expressing the bad day at work, and the dog is not sure how the mood applies to him/her. The great thing about Ted is that he tries a training method, and when it doesn't work, he tries to think of why it doesn't work and what else he can try.

Puppies are great at expressing their moods with body language. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Loving the grass

Classic puppy play bow!

Watching and ready for some fun!

The interaction and love between dogs is amazing to me.

Awww come on play with me!

If you look at the ears one of these dogs is curious and one is reserved. 

Am I cute or what?

Puppy play bow with a ball - what a playful puppy.

Please be kind and patient with your puppy - they are trying their best to understand you the best way they know how.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fix (7/20/2012) - Gracey's Story

By Monica Martin

This is Gracey's Story

Being a volunteer with Colorado Puppy Rescue for the past 4 years, I have been fortunate to see thousands of puppies come through the door, go into foster care and on to find wonderful forever homes.

On March 2nd, 2010 the Rescue brought in a frail, skinny 16 week old Shepherd mix from New Mexico. She was called “Julia” and her story made several volunteers (including me) cry.  

On Feb. 4th the pup had been found along the Highway with her litter mates and two adult dogs on a frigid, -8 degree night in Taos, New Mexico. A wonderful woman named Maxine Nakai  was notified of the litter and drove to pick them up. The adult dogs took off but the pups were rescued. Julia was thought to be dead at first as she was found underneath all the dogs, cold and stiff and skin and bones. She was breathing though, but hypothermic and shaking uncontrollably. Maxine took the pups home and cared for them.  All of the pups but Julia were transferred to another amazing woman named Pat Steele who regularly works with Colorado Puppy Rescue in bringing rescued puppies to our organization tirelessly and humbly.

The other pups were strong and healthy enough to go up for adoption at CPR’s event that weekend and find homes. Julia was still very weak. She had been fed warm goat’s milk around the clock for days, and when she was a bit stronger was taken to the Animal Care Clinic in Taos. She weighed a mere 11 lbs. at 3 months and the Vets there determined she had brain deficiencies from near starvation that would cause her to have a shaky stance, difficulty walking and controlling her head. This Neuromuscular condition would most likely be permanent.

By March 4th Julia was strong enough to come to Colorado Puppy Rescue to be given a chance at a life with an adoptive family. At the event, nobody was interested in adopting her. My husband and I had already fallen in love with her and brought her home as our foster. It took  exactly 5 minutes of watching her interact with our two dogs to know we would adopt her.

Her name is now “Gracey” . She has a huge heart, is strong at 66 lbs. and her tail never stops wagging. She is determined to be like any other dog and that’s how we have treated her from the beginning. Her head still  bobs and shakes, she still stumbles if she gets going too fast, her feet come out from under her when she’s excited, but as far as she knows, she has no handicap. Gracey is smart, playful, sweet and gentle with all the foster pups we bring home. She captures the heart of everyone who meets her.

Here is a video that was made when Gracey first came to Colorado Puppy Rescue.

Currently at CPR we have an 8 week old puppy that came to us with her two sisters and her Mom when the pups were just four weeks old. As they became more active, the staff noticed that “Scooch” was walking unsteadily, running into objects and shaking. This adorable little girl has been checked out by our Vet and is healthy in every other way. She has a vision impairment and stumbles sometimes when walking.

This is a wonderful opportunity for a caring, patient adoptive family to give this special baby a safe and secure home to live a happy, normal dog’s life. Please take a moment to view this short video of Gracey and of Scooch and of their play time together.

Thank you very much for reading Gracey’s story,
Monica Martin
Volunteer at Colorado Puppy Rescue

Special Thanks to James for the fabulous videos montage!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Fix - Dog Days of Summer (7/13/2012)

By Christy Hess

It has started off as such a hot summer and there is no relief in sight. I thought I would go over a few things to watch for with dogs in the summer.

A dog's foot pads are the toughest part of his/her skin, and absorb the shock and pressure on his joints from standing, walking and running. However, a dog's pads can easily burn and blister as a result of walking on a hot pavement or through hot sand. If you take your dog for a walk on these super hot days, make sure it is early in the day and that there is plenty of shade.

Also watch for dehydration and heat stroke in your dog. Dogs do not sweat so they do not tolerate high temperatures as well as humans do. Dogs depend upon panting to exchange warm air for cool air. But when air temperature is close to body temperature, cooling by panting is not an efficient process.

My best advice is to keep dogs out of hot cars and make sure they have plenty of water.

Sometime dogs love having a kids wading pool to play in.

Really - I think this dog is having a fabulous time, just doesn't know how to show it.

Dogs version of butterfly stroke.

You can always combine other games like fetch with a wading pool.

What says summer fun more than puppies in a wading pool? Running in the sprinklers of course.

Keep your dogs (and yourself) cool this summer.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Fix - Mama (7/6/2012)

By Christy Hess

This week I want to show the world a dog that has my heart. She came into the shelter with porcupine quills all over her belly. The staff at the shelter was able to remove the quills, but her belly was still swollen. They determined that she was expecting puppies.

The puppies were born in the shelter then Mama (aka Patches) and puppies were transferred to us when the pups were just 4 week old. We just don't get to see this very often. It is really fun to watch the puppies grow and this mama is so good with them.

Brook got a few great videos of mama playing with her babies.

She is such a great mama. She allows people to cuddle her puppies but she keeps a constant eye on you. When she knows her pups are safe, she will come out and gently ask to get her ears scratched. Or she puts her head on your shoe so you can't move without giving her a little attention.

What is your breed guess? She has an underbite and what looks to be a natural docked tail. She is approximately 2 years old. She is tall and lean and weighs about 40-45 lbs.

The babies are black with small amounts of white and they are very big for their age.

Mama and puppies will be up for adoption shortly - keep an eye on the website ( for them, but would love to hear your best breed guess. Consider her our mystery mix of the week.