Posted tagged ‘dog’

My Name is Ace

December 18, 2017

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My name is Ace, and I was a rescue dog. I will turn two years old this month, but how I spent the first year of my life is a mystery to my adoptive family. I arrived at their house eleven months ago with my collar, leash, an antler chewie, dishes, a bag of food and my crate. I was scared and didn’t know what to expect from these new people. I was afraid of men, especially, and didn’t want to trust them. I was pretty skinny, and my little ribs showed through. I couldn’t tell anyone where I came from or what had happened to me before, so they could only guess and do their best to make me feel at home.

To my credit, I was mostly house-trained and only had a few accidents in the house, but I suffered from separation anxiety and didn’t like it when my new family left me. When they did, I took out my frustration by chewing things up. My new dad’s shoes, books or magazines, blankets, whatever took my fancy at the moment. They responded by putting me in my crate when they left but I often cried and still chewed anything I could get ahold of, including the nice fluffy pad my new mom had bought for the crate. She wasn’t happy with me, but she just sewed a new cover for it and that was that. She calls me Ace the Tenacious Terrier.

I learned to like my new home. I have a sister named Foo Foo, and I like to tease her by pulling her hair. Sometimes I play a joke on her by barking at her when she has a treat and when she runs after me, I dash back and steal the treat. I also have two cat friends, Zombie and Sandwich. We play a lot and they let me chase them around the house. Then they bat at me or hide under the furniture and smack me when I walk by. I like to sleep in the cat bed, because it’s very cozy in front of the furnace vent. I sometimes sit in the cat tower, too, so I can look out the window and pretend I’m a cat.

Some other things I like: playing with my doggy cousins, especially Hermie because he will tug on toys with me. I like to snuggle with Olive the Chihuahua, because she’s old and doesn’t play a lot, but I’m very gentle with her. FiFi doesn’t like my shenanigans, but she does like to put me in my place. I was happy that my human brother came home, because he plays with me and I act like a pesky little brother. I like to sit with my dad in his recliner while he watches TV. One thing I don’t like: cold weather. I don’t like to walk in it, and if my dad tries to take me for a walk in it, I will just sit down and not go any further. Sometimes I still forget and chew on things I shouldn’t. Mostly, I chew up cat toys and my mom says I will have to be happy with dollar store toys, because I’ve chewed all the nice ones she bought me. But I bet Santa Claus will bring me some new ones.

I’m a pretty happy little dog now that I’ve found my forever home, and my wish this holiday season is for all rescue pets to find their homes, too. Mom says to remind everyone that the Martin’s stores and Paw Mart have donations bins out so you can make sure all the pets who are still waiting for their homes can have a Merry Christmas, too.

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Friend or Foe?

February 22, 2016

We see it all too often in the newspaper or hear it on the news; another attack on a child or adult by a pit bull. Often, the dog is owned by the person attacked and is described as having been a loving pet beforehand. It has led to the breed being ostracized and even banned from communities. So what goes wrong? What is it about the breed that has taken it down the road to this end? I think it is fair to say the fault lies more with the humans that have been involved with the dog’s life than the dog itself. Even if the dog has not been used for fighting or been taught aggressive behavior, it is the fault of the owner who did not do the research on the breed before bringing one home, did not provide proper training and socialization, and failed to remember that, as a breed, they can do serious harm. Sadly, this whole scenario often leads to tragedy. It also leads to the countless number of pit bull and pit mixes to fill shelters everywhere, when the owners cannot handle them and they become a danger to people and other animals. Even sadder is that the dogs have often become unadoptable and must be euthanized.

Visit a shelter and I am sure you will see any number of pitties that have been surrendered or that were picked up as strays. Then look in a newspaper or online and see how many pit bull puppies are still being born, produced by careless owners who failed to spay or neuter their pet and backyard breeders who are just out to make money; breeders who do not pay attention to the traits or behaviors they are breeding into a dog. This can, of course, happen with any dog breed and has, to the detriment of that type of dog. Unfortunately, it is the pit bull that has become symbolic of dog attacks. It also makes them more susceptible to abuse and neglect, which is terribly sad, because as any dog they deserve to have a good life and not be subjected to public scorn and fear.

One of the poorest reasons to adopt a dog of any breed is to give the owner a sense of prestige or to be simply a status symbol, and yet that is what seems to have happened with the pit bull. The term “pit bull” is not even the correct name for the breed. American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are the proper names of the breeds that have collectively come to be known as pit bulls. They were originally bred for bull baiting and fought in pits and were sometimes used as guard dogs in Victorian times. The myth of them being used as “nanny dogs,” to babysit small children seems to be pretty much just that—a myth.

Despite their dubious reputation, many people love their pit bulls and insist they are the best kind of dog. If you do own or would like to own a pit bull type dog, educate yourself on the breeds and know how to be a responsible pit owner. A good place to start is with the article, “Pit Bull: Friend of Foe,” which you can find at: http://www.berriencounty.org/uploaded/pitbullbrochure.pdf. It is very informative for anyone to read.

I would like to say that the recent Valentine’s Day Adoption Event at the Berrien County Animal Control shelter was a big success. We visited to bring some donations and see what dogs were available, and the place was packed with folks adopting dogs and cats at a much reduced cost that day. Hopefully, the pets all found forever loving homes.

Please remember this time of year to vaccinate your dogs for rabies and make sure licenses are up to date. Your dog’s license can be a phone call home should he or she become lost.