It’s official, I’m a dog person, how about you?

Okay, so today I’m reading and I find an article at Livestrong.com titled “8 Dog Person Stereotypes That Are Totally True” and I think, well, let’s see. I get to number 1 and I’m hooked because it is so me I’m sure 2 through 8 must be too. So I figured I’d share the stereotypes to see if you’re the ultimate dog person too, or if I’m the only one out here. Somehow I think you’ll see you’re just like me, so enjoy:
1.Everyone you meet is your new best friend. Just like your pup, if you’re a dog person, you crave being around other people and other dogs, and socializing is a huge part of your daily routine. “In my experience, ‘dog people’ tend to be a tad more social and outgoing, which is important when you have an especially active dog,” says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry. And a 2010 study published in the journal Anthrozoos confirms this. When rated on five different personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness), self-identified dog people scored higher on extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.
You love a nice, long walk. Whether you’re taking him to the dog park, on your weekly hikes or just around the corner to the coffeeshop, dogs are perfect excuses to get out of the house. If you’re a dog person, you’re perfectly fine taking breaks to stop and enjoy the scenery –and with a dog in tow, you may have no choice. If you tend to be more active, which many dog people are, having one can be a wonderful motivation to get outdoors, since you know you’ll have to take him for a walk at least once or twice a day, depending on the breed.
You’re loyal and expect loyalty in return. One of the most often-cited traits of both dogs and their owners is their unquestioned loyalty. “Dogs give us unconditional love even better than people do,” says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry. Your friends and family are your tribe, and even if their loyalty falters, you’ll stand by their side and defend them no matter what. Because of this, you’re an excellent friend and protector, but it also means you need to be on guard for people who aren’t worthy of your intense loyalty.
Your dog is your baby. A dog-owner’s over-the-top pet spoiling rivals that of the so-called “crazy cat ladies.” “Crazy dog people (like me!) tend to treat their dogs as if they were their own children,” says retired veterinarian Somyr Perry. “And they accessorize their dog to death — outfits for every season, collars for every occasion, pretty food and water bowl sets and fancy beds.” And why shouldn’t you spoil Fido? He provides you with unconditional love, and, in return, you treat him like one of the family. You’re not alone. In a 2011 Harris Poll survey, 92 percent of dog owners said they felt like their dog was a member of the family and treated them as such.
You understand the motivational power of a treat. You know that food can be the ultimate reward, whether it’s looking forward to a cheat day at the end of a long week or treating a friend to dinner for doing you a favor. “Most dogs are highly motivated by food and would eat a whole bag of chips (like I would) if you let them!” says Perry. While you may want to indulge every now and then, you recognize that an occasional reward for a job well done is perfectly acceptable.
You kind of look like your dog. In fact, sometimes owners even pick up the habits and behaviors of their canines. But usually it’s the other way around, with a dog mimicking his owner’s behavior, according to Perry. So if you notice an intense urge to start gnawing on the bones from your baby back ribs or your dog suddenly favors your afternoon napping spot, it might mean you need to include some other people in the mix.
You can read the room. “Dogs really pay attention to social queues — how people are moving, talking, voice tone — and they are uncannily good at interpreting human behavior, which is why they’ve been our close companions for so long,” says veterinarian Somyr Perry. And many dog owners pick up on this trait, becoming adept at reading and interpreting other people’s verbal and nonverbal communication. In other words, you know the difference between a snarl from a co-worker who means “back off!” versus a proverbial wagging of the tail as an invitation to grab a cup of coffee and chat.
You follow the rules. While being a dog person doesn’t necessarily mean you drop everything to sit, stay and roll over, it does make you more likely to be obedient. “One study showed that dog people tend to be (in general) rule-followers, happy to go with the flow,” says Perry, referencing a 2014 study presented at the Association for Psychological Science meeting. So is it nature or nurture? The lead researcher from the study, Denise Guastello, Ph.D., does mention environment as being a strong influencer of this trait, but whether dog people are obedient or obedient people love dogs is a little more complicated to sort out.
Not so bad, right? I didn’t think so either. I can think of a lot worse than being like my dog. If you’re not currently resembling a dog and would like to, this love is there to be had at your local shelter, waiting for you today. And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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You can’t buy this kind of protection.

Georgia Bradley with her stray dog Pepper

Georgia Bradley with her stray dog Pepper

I read a story by Victoria Ward with the British newspaper The Telegraph about a British tourist that saved a stray dog that saved her from an attack of two men while traveling in Greece, spending thousands to bring the animal that came to her aid home to be a part of her family. Her dedication to saving the one that saved her impressed me so much I knew you’d enjoy it also. In it’s entirety from the telegraph.co.uk:
A British tourist who was saved by a stray dog after two men attacked her in Greece spent thousands of pounds bringing the animal back home to live with her.
Georgia Bradley, 25, was on a beach alone when she was surrounded by aggressive men who grabbed her when she rejected their advances.
But just at that moment, the small, black dog “appeared from nowhere” and started barking at the men, scaring them off.
Miss Bradley, whose boyfriend was at a nearby café at the time, said: “I decided to go for a walk along the beach, and found two Greek men who kept harassing me to go out for a drink. I kept telling them I didn’t want to.
“Then one of them grabbed me on the arm and I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was on my own and it was a very scary and difficult situation.”
She said the dog must have noticed something was wrong and had “saved her”.
After the incident, it followed Miss Bradley back to her apartment and she said they had an instant bond.
The Plymouth University student believed the dog, whom she called Pepper, had been abandoned as she had seen it wandering around the town alone.
“Pretty much every evening we saw her around outside the bars and restaurants, trying to get the attention of the tourists,” she said.
“Every time we got close to her she wouldn’t let you stroke her. She was very gentle, but was too scared to let you close.”
She tried to persuade a local animal shelter to take her in but was unsuccessful and eventually had to return home to Calstock, Cornwall.
Miss Bradley added: “When we left to go to the airport, we looked back and Pepper was running after the car. It was heartbreaking.
“When I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about her so I took the soonest flight back out that I could, which was two weeks later.”
Desperate to be reunited with the mutt she began an epic five week mission to find the stray – that involved two further trips to the island. The student was amazed to find the stray on the same beach, in the small town of Georgioupoli, Crete.
The dog was confirmed as a stray and Miss Bradley had Pepper microchipped, wormed with a rabies jab and given a pet passport. It had to spend 21 days in quarantine in boarding kennels but was eventually allowed to travel to Britain.
When Miss Bradley returned to Crete for a third time to collect Pepper, the kennel owner told her that her new pet was pregnant.
A week after arriving back in the UK, Pepper, who is believed to be a Terrier Poodle Cross, gave birth to six puppies.
Miss Bradley said: “It has been such a crazy journey. But I am over the moon. Pepper has settled in brilliantly.”
I wonder how many strangers would be willing to stand up for a woman alone the way Pepper the dog did, and I’m grateful beyond words Miss Bradley was the kind of person that took care of the one that took care of her.
You can find this kind of love too. It’s waiting for you today at your local shelter. And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Science got this one wrong.

I have found that when science comes out with a report on animal behaviors I can say, finally, they realize what we’ve known all along. But one report that came out recently was so off base I have to call foul. The report I speak of is the one where “they” say animals don’t feel remorse when they do something wrong but only respond to our cues, either in our voice when we ask them “what have you done” or scold them. I beg to differ with their science on this one. My white shepherd, Mooselle, is acutely aware of his misbehaviors and it doesn’t take any cues from me to put him in the dog house. Case in point, he’s recently developed separation anxiety, and every time I leave the house I come home to a mess. One time I came home and thought one of the bubs had gotten sick but found that no, that wasn’t stomach acid I was seeing but Mooselle had helped himself to the mustard, and that was squirts from mustard bottle streamed across the living room rug. The next time it was the gallon jug of white vinegar that had puncture holes from big teeth and pools of vinegar soaking into the rug everywhere I looked. He got one of my pill bottles, which thankfully only had two pills remaining and nothing that was harmful to bubbies, but every time I leave the house I look around to see what might be within his reach only to find there’s something I’ve missed, like a not quite closed drawer that his big nose can navigate or a door he can push open. He’s a houdini and a magician when I’m not there to observe, and a terrorist of epic proportions. When I pick up the bottle of whatever he’s gotten into I give him the well deserved “bad dog” as I shake the bottle in front of his face, giving him the look my children remember from their childhood, then go about cleaning up the mess. Now when I get home from my forays outside the house, as soon as I open the door and see him, if he’s been a bad dog he averts his eyes and does the “bad dog” look, hanging his head in shame, not looking me in the eye. I haven’t even stepped foot in the house and I already know what awaits me because he’s alerted me to the fact that he’s misbehaved. So science can take a flying leap in their understanding that it’s my cues that are telling him he should feel remorse for his dastardly deeds. He knows full well he’s misbehaved and he feels remorse for being a bad boy while mommy is gone (yes, he’s still my boy and I love his bad self). I don’t know what I’m going to do with him. He’s my baby. I had to have big dogs because the house was too clean and too quiet after the boys were grown and gone, so I asked for this. But science is going to have to come to terms with the fact that animals do feel remorse and it has nothing to do with their mommy’s cues letting them know they’ve been a bad, bad boy. They are intelligent animals, and they know full well what they’ve done. So science, get a clue. Our animals are smarter than this. You can have this much fun in your house too. I know it doesn’t seem like fun, but I wouldn’t trade a second of it. He makes me laugh every day with his antics. And everyone needs laughter in their life. I get a thousand smiles for every instance of mustard on the carpet. That’s a pretty fair trade in my book.

And never forget it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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Create your own doggy dental treats.

If you’re like me you want to do everything you can for your animals and that includes keeping their teeth clean. My Zoey refuses to allow anyone to touch her mouth, much less get close to her teeth, but a treat is always welcome in her world (as seen in our less than slim, matching waistlines), so dental treats are the answer. I like to make my own, just so I know what’s contained within, so here is my go-to recipe for doggy dental treats. The items, like non-aluminum baking powder, can be found at your local health-food store. I hope your bubbies enjoy them as much as mine:

Dog Dental Treats

1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
¼ cup spinach powder
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1 T bone meal powder
1 1/2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons dried peppermint leaves

Directions For Dog Dental Treats
Mix everything with a mixer in a large bowl, or place everything in your bread maker.
If you are using a bread maker, set it for the dough cycle.
When the dough is mixed, divide it into several equal balls.
Roll the dough to a ¼” thickness.
Use small cookie cutters to cut into shapes or slice to 1” wide by 2” long strips with knife.
Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-60 minutes. Check to make sure that the biscuits don’t get too dark.
Turn off the oven and let them continue to dry overnight or for several hours.
The finished tartar control treats should be very hard and should not move at all when you press your finger into them. Hard treats will help to keep your pet’s teeth clean by removing any built-up tartar from them.

Giving your beloveds a hard, crunchy treat on a regular basis to help clean their teeth and exercise their gums will go a long way toward promoting good dental health. They aren’t calorie free, so don’t overfeed them. It is all about the love, after all. And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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You don’t have to be their forever to make a difference right now.

Kala and Kiera

Kala and Kiera

For those of you that watch social media you may have seen this story, but for the rest of you I thought I was worth repeating. This week a call came out from a high kill shelter along with a photo of two dogs that were within hours of their appointed time with certain euthanasia. The photo shows the two dogs, Kala and Kiera, in their cage with their paws wrapped around each other as if they’re holding onto each other for dear life. They know and understand their very lives depend on the kindness of strangers to save them from certain death. Fortunately this photo was posted on the website of Angels Among Us, an Atlanta, Georgia rescue. They have a huge amount of support and the photo was quickly shared, catching the eye of a veterinarian that agreed to foster them until a permanent home could be found that will take them both, together. It’s obvious from the photo these animals love each other and need to be adopted as a pair, so it’s a blessing they’re being fostered together. And that’s the point of this post. You don’t have to be their forever, you only need to be their right now to make a difference. There are so many animals out there that need a foster home for a short while until a forever family can be found. There are times when a right now home turns into a forever love story, but it’s whatever fits your needs. If you think you have the time, the energy and the space to love an animal or two until their forever family can be found, call your local shelter and offer your services. You’re desperately needed. You’ll save animals just like these that were within hours of losing their lives until a kind soul stepped up and made a difference. You can be that person. Do it today.

And never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.

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