Posts Tagged ‘rescue’

Golden Retriever Saves Helpless Fawn!

Terrier Budleigh asks, “Why?”

Read the latest Ask a Terrier column on our litter-mate blog, Sleeping between Giants.

World peace will ensue.

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By Dave Jaffe

While Halloween is a whimsical time for children, it can be disquieting for dogs and even more troubling for dog owners unaccustomed to working with the violent criminally insane.

Halloween spending this year is expected to reach $6.9 billion dollars, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. Of that, the NRF release states, nearly $350 million will be spent on “fashionable and fun costumes” for pets.

As a dog owner, let me clarify for the NRF. Dogs don’t consider any costume “fashionable and fun” unless it smells like it’s already passed through them once or twice, if you know what I mean. And I hope you don’t.

Halloween-costumes FINAL

Dogs don’t really enjoy wearing costumes, even those constructed mostly of tuna. This aversion dates back to prehistoric times when Early Neanderthal hunters would lure prey using Early Wolf cubs wrapped in bacon, until Early Wolf mother heard about it. Then that was the end of Neanderthal.

Today’s domesticated canines are more tolerant of wearing costumes, once you get the hood past their snapping teeth. However, a dog’s acceptance of a costume chiefly depends on whether or not they’re a terrier.

Budleigh is our one-year-old rescue dog who, as near as the vet could determine, is a mix of half-terrier and half-some-other-terrier. Despite Budleigh’s early life on the streets boosting cars and running numbers for the Mob, he’s very social and well adjusted.

But he has no intention of being put in a costume without first clearing it with our nine-year-old, baseline model, bell-curve dog, Brisby.

BUDLEIGH: “Brisby! Wake up! WakeUpWakeUpWakeUpWakeUpWakeUp!”

BRISBY: “Shut up!”

BUDLEIGH: “OK! Brisby, the giants want me to wear a costume. Should I wear a costume? What’s a costume? Is it tuna?”

BRISBY: “No. Shut up!”

BUDLEIGH: “OK! Can I have your ball? Can I have your ear?”

BRISBY: “No! Everything is mine.”

BUDLEIGH: “OK! Can I have your tuna?”

BRISBY: “Shut up!”

When selecting an appropriate costume for your dog, think safety first, cautions such animal humane groups as the ASPCA, an acronym for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Sorry! It’s an acronym for The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the oldest animal-protection organization in the Western Hemisphere that also has access to Weapons of Mass Destruction.

The group counsels that costumes must not interfere with a pet’s movement, hearing or “ability to breathe, bark or meow.” Good advice, because if my dogs meow I need to know immediately, as does YouTube!

The Society also suggests that owners try costumes on their pets before Halloween in case it turns out that, as I’ve already implied, they’re a terrier. Costumes needn’t be elaborate. A simple, cheerful, child-friendly bandana tied around your pet’s neck perfectly complements the blood-drenched, rotting Donald Trump corpse replica decorating your front lawn.

The other giant and I decided to go the bandana route. Brisby, a poodle-schnauzer mix, would be no problem. Nature’s Perfect Animal, Brisby splits his time between ministering to lepers, rolling bandages for the Red Cross, and eating goose poop. Budleigh would be the challenge.

Tying a bandana around a terrier is no different than tying a bandana around the Death Star. Both should be attempted by someone other than you. A well-behaved terrier usually won’t bite so long as you’re relatively chipmunk-free, but they tend to be less cooperative than, say, North Korea.

To win Budleigh’s trust, the other giant and I first dressed Brisby in his bandana – a complicated ritual that involved raising his head slightly from the pillow he was asleep on, then tying on the bandana. Brisby roused himself enough to roll us a few bandages, then went back to sleep.

Now, oozing the charm of a carpetbagger we approached Budleigh, warmly assuring him that he was A GOOD DOG and A VERY, VERY GOOD DOG and A DOG WITH MANY FACEBOOK LIKES!

You know how the eyes of some portraits follow you around the room? Budleigh does that with his whole body. But since he wasn’t ticking, I gently wrapped his cowboy-themed bandana around his neck, careful not to tie it unless he told me we were cool, man! Encountering no protests I knotted it, easy-peasy.

Trouble started when I removed his collar. Budleigh is very fond of his collar and likes to keep it close by, much the way I like to keep my liver and pancreas close by. I think it’s the reassuring sound of the jingling tags. The ones on his collar, I mean. There are no tags on my liver or pancreas, as far as medical science has been able to determine.

Budleigh took the dangling end of the collar firmly in his mouth and assured me with his sweet Buster Keaton expression that I could have it when I pried it from his cold, dead teeth.

Eventually I was able to negotiate a release by way of a comforting voice, firm commands and 186,000 doggie treats.

Now just days before Halloween, Budleigh has reached an uneasy compromise with us giants. He will wear his handsome, cowboy bandana provided he can carry his handsome, jingling collar in his teeth.

And should any wide-eyed, innocent trick-or-treaters ask, “What kinda’ costume is that, and why’s he got a collar in his mouth?” I’ll answer playfully.

“Why, he’s just an ol’ cowpoke who’s eaten another ol’ cowpoke’s dog.”

A big ‘Howdy!’ from Cowboy Budleigh and his trusty sidekick, Collar.

A big ‘Howdy!’ from Cowboy Budleigh and his trusty sidekick, Collar.

(This post marks the launch of “Sleeping Between Giants”, a new series of columns on the Write Good!: The Blog blog.

Sleeping Between Giants will explore life – if you can call it that – with a terrier.

Your feedback is welcome, probably. dj)

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.writegoodtheblog.com, is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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We rescued a terrier, although why anyone would is beyond me.

Terriers are what dingos strive to be – wild dogs semi-domesticated because there’s something in it for them. Terriers are the The Joker of the animal kingdom.

Yet my wife and I chose a terrier. We felt obliged to our formerly alive terrier, Oxford, a young thug who matured into a dignified, coldly ruthless mob leader lacking only a fedora and Miami tan. His rule was paternal, loyal but arrogant. He passed away to a kidney ailment although he’d have preferred withering under police machine gun fire in a Chicago alley.

He left behind his muscle, Brisby, a German schnauzer-French poodle mix ever at odds with himself. Now with no one to guide him except a couple of pet owners who just didn’t “get me”, Brisby risked succumbing to a lifestyle of violence, drug addiction and madness.

So we got him another little thug.

Choosing to adopt a homeless dog is not an easy decision, and frankly, Sarah McLachlan isn’t helping. It’s not that I don’t want to rescue an abused animal that’s pretty much just a snout, a collar and half a paw. I just don’t have the emotional strength. I’ve always acquired my dogs from well-established, responsible breeders that I’ve never heard of except afterwards when they appear on the national news.

Going the shelter route was our way of giving back to the community without actually giving anything back. The dogs are bargain priced to move. Our veterinarian offers a steep discount on the initial checkup. Friends and family treat us like heroic characters from a Dickens novel.

And with relatively little effort we located a very social, black and white, cow-eyed terrier, about a year old. We bonded immediately, brought him into our fold, and within weeks he’d hacked our passwords and begun siphoning our accounts. But he was housebroken.

Terriers, like Budleigh, are energetic dogs that, with the proper diet and training, can vibrate through walls.

Terriers, like Budleigh, are energetic dogs that, with the proper diet and training, can vibrate through walls.

April 30 is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day – a significant holiday that falls between Hairball Awareness Day and International Turtle Day. Our new terrier, Budleigh, has enriched all facets of our lives, with the exception of footwear. For those considering adopting a shelter dog, here are a few tips to make the transition easier:

1. All shelters name their dogs “Bandit”. No one knows why. It’s ok to change it.

2. Like Congress, not all shelter dogs are housebroken. This is easily managed with a pooper scooper and an educated, informed electorate.

3. There really is a Hairball Awareness Day.

4. Acquaint yourself with the many dog breeds so you know what to expect.
Retrievers, for example, make excellent companions but have become so popular that our nation is rapidly running out of things to retrieve.

5. Ensure an ideal match by carefully evaluating a shelter dog’s behavior when you first meet. Is he wiggly and licky or does he just hand you a business card? The former might be great with children, the latter a potential corporate investor.

Like many first-time adopters, my wife and I feared we’d be overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising a rescue dog. Yet, Budleigh, now in his fifth month with us, has proved no more a challenge than if we’d both pursued medical degrees.

All dogs want is to love their people and fit into the pack. Dog owners just need to commit a bit of time and patience and they’ll be rewarded with a wiggly, licky, devoted little buddy, or at very least a reliable corporate investor.


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