In southern Alberta, Canada, homeless "rez" dogs are now getting a helping hand from the Dogs with No Names project. Animal health technologist, Lori Rogers, and veterinarian, Judith Samson-French designed a pilot program in 2009 to reduce the population of homeless dogs on two First Nations reserves in southern Alberta by implanting a contraceptive under the skin of female dogs.
To date, volunteers with the project have successfully implanted more than a hundred dogs and prevented the birth of hundreds of thousands of pups.
To support this effort, Dr. Samson-French has recently published a new book,Dogs with No Names: In Pursuit of Courage, Hope and Purpose; 100 percent of the profits go to the project.
National Geographic's Traveler of the Year, Theron Humphrey, a photographer and adventurer, has taken that idea to a whole new level. Theron and his rescue Coonhound, Mattie, explored the back roads of the United States. They covered 65,000 miles. Maddie was always "on" to things.
Competitive nosework: focusing on games to exercise a dog's mind rather than on how to play by the rules.
I found a great new DVD, Nosework Search Games, by Norwegian dog trainer,Turid Rugass, author of the classic book Calming Signals) and one of her students, Anne Lill Kvam. Much of the film's footage is from actual seminars the two women conducted throughout Europe. It is a Zen-like experience to watch.
In the DVD, there are step-by-step instructions on how to train your dog for "the lost retrieve," "the square search," and the "search for treats" (an easy one for my dog!). The women often call dogs "harmonic," and talk about letting dogs be themselves.
After the credits on the DVD, Turid talks about her dog following her car tracks to town without her knowing. You can really feel the love and admiration she has for dogs.
Did you know that your dog can spread a common disease to you?
Yes, ringworm (also known as dermatophytosis) is not caused by a worm at all but a fungus that lives on the skin. It is more common in cats than dogs, but dogs do get it as well. A ringworm infection typically results in itchy or red skin, hair loss, and crusts, scaling, or scabs on the skin.
Ringworm is considered highly contagious and is spread from person to person, from animal to person, or indirectly from contaminated objects or soil. The associated spores from the mature fungus can live for years in the right conditions. Ringworm typically infects three sites: scalp, body and nails.
A great precaution is to always wash your hands after handling your dog. Not only does it curb the spread of ringworm, it also helps fight other contagious diseases.
Wouldn't it be great if our beloved dogs could add a few more years to their lives?
Ted Kerasote has written another inspiring book which addresses the issue of how to give our dog the longest life possible. The book is a combination of anecdotes about the author's dog, Pukka, and research about the factors that may effect the lifespan of our pooches: genetics, inbreeding, lifestyle, diet, vaccinations and other traditional veterinary practices, environmental toxins, and more.
A MUST READ for all dog owners!
Ebbie and I get outdoors everyday for a walk or skate on the Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia, Washington. Exercise and socializing her with other dogs are healthy options for a long life. And for us too!