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Wednesday
Jan232013

The Breeder-by famed Dobie Breeder Peggy Adamson of Damasyn Dobermans

Peggy managed to sum up everything I have felt.  How true these words are.

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The Breeder . . . ..

A breed will stand or fall according to its breeders-not its loyal fanciers, not its judges and handlers, not its exhibitors and trainers. For the breeder is the only link between the past and the future; only through him/her can the breed stay alive.

Like the sculptor, the painter, the poet, he/she is driven by creative compulsion.  But he/she more than any of the others, is caught up in the race against time.  The sculptor works in stone; his mistakes can be changed by the chisel.  The breeder works with flesh; his mistake may take generations to correct.  The sculptor can put his work away and eventually come back to it; the breeder is a captive of his breed and can never really leave it.

Why then does a breeder stay a breeder? The answer is, that of all the activities in the dog sport, he/she alone has the joy of creation and the and the pride of enduring handiwork.

When proud owners bring back a fine animal for him/her to see years after it was sold by him/her as a puppy; he/she notes with a thrill how it has developed in just the way he/she thought it would.  While they are happily telling him/her what a marvelous creature this is, he/she is scarcely listening as he/she stares at the dog; for he/she is not only seeing what they are, but so much more.

With mounting excitement, he/she watches that imperious stance, so familiar, that proudly arched neck and the keen steady gaze right out of the past; he/she does not see just ONE handsome dog standing there before him/her, but all of the wonderful ones which went into the making of this one-dogs which he/she loved and knew so well . . .  and now sees living again.  This is the fascination of the breeder. This is the treasure of eternal youth!

Beautifully written by famed Doberman breeder Peggy Adamson, Damasyn Dobermans.

Sunday
Dec162012

PARVO outbreak

For those of you who have read my website and who know me personally, you all know how much I HATE dog parks. They are one of the worst places for pets.  Dogs DO NOT need playtime with strange dogs.  Any KNOWLEDGEABLE trainer will tell you that dogs need to be friendly with other dogs, but that most importantly need to socialize with humans.  Now that doesn't mean that you cannot have "playdates" with friends at their HOMES.

Here is another reason to keep your dogs away from dog parks.  DISEASE.  One in particular is deadly and that is parvo.  There has been a resurrgence of parvo and recently even dogs who have been vaccinated are coming down with parvo and dying. Some suspect that the virus may have mutated. But who is to say.  Please DO NOT take your dogs to dog parks. 

 

Read more on the Seattle Times 

Thursday
Nov182010

Hybrid Vigor article from Dr. Libbye Miller, DVM

Thank you Libbye Miller DVM for stating:

"Adorable mixed breeds" get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart
disease, and orthopedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every
day in my veterinary practice but mixed breed dogs aren't tracked like
the purebreds so they have a reputation as "healthier" that is
actually undeserved in many cases."

It is so sad that a lot of folks, including young veterinarians these
days, buy into the "hybrid vigor" baloney. The vet schools have been
infiltrated by the Animal Rights Extremists, who are teaching them
this junk science in order to push their agenda.

All animals have a certain amount of genetic load, which is to say
there is absolutely no animal without some genetic problem of some
sort of another. Know anyone who wears glasses? Has allergies? Thyroid
problems? Weak knees? Flat feet? A skin condition? Arthritis? A
gapbetween their front teeth? These are all genetic imperfections.

No human is genetically "clean." Neither is any individual of any
species on earth. So this idea that dogs should not be bred because
they might have a genetic problem, and that breeders are somehow
"evil" for breeding them, is ridiculous. Every single individual of
every single species has at least a few genetic conditions.

To use PeTA's logic, all breeding of all kinds (including having human
babies) should halt immediately. And to be honest, Ingrid Newkirk (the
woman who founded PETA) does believe exactly that. She thinks that
humans should become extinct, along with dogs, cats, etc. This
ridiculous scenario is precisely what she would like to see happen.

So folks, if that is what you want...if you agree with IngridNewkirk' s
whacky views, send your hard earned money to PETA. They will help to
ensure you are not able to own a dog or cat or hamster or any other
pet in the future. They will see to it that you can't eat meat or fish
or eggs or any type of animal-based nutrition. They will work to shut
down places like Sea World, the zoos, etc. so you cannot observe the
many wonderful animals on the Earth. Eventually, once they accomplish
these things, they may turn their efforts to making it illegal for
humans to procreate.

If you don't agree with their extremist views, wise up and start
supporting those who truly do love, care for and enjoy interaction
with other species here on our little blue planet.

The fanciers of the breeds, those you see exhibiting their dogs at
Westminster and other dog shows, work very hard to eliminate serious
genetic conditions. They screen their breeding stock with every
available test. They research pedigrees before breeding into other
lines, to check for similar clearances in those animals. They
contribute money to research organizations to further the work being
done to track down genetic problems. They contribute blood, cell
samples, etc. from their own animals to help with DNA and genome
studies. They have made great progress so far, and they continue to
work hard at it.

Are there unethical breeders? Certainly, there are. Just as in any
group of humans, you will find the good and the bad. United States VP
Elect Joe Biden, for example, managed to find a not so good one when
he got his new German Shepherd puppy. I don't know who did his
research for him, but they obviously didn't do their homework if they
were looking for a responsible breeder. Joe has the right to get his
dog from whomever he wishes, but if he was trying to set an example of
purchasing from a responsible hobby breeder he went off the track this
time. That's too bad, but it was his choice.

Unfortunately, breeders like that may be a lot easier to find because
of their high volume and high profile. If you are looking for a nice
family pet from a breeder who will be there for you forever, you need
to do due diligence. You won't get that from a pet store. You won't
get that from the guy selling dogs out of his pickup truck in the
WalMart parking lot. You won't get that support from a high-volume
breeder, either. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort to find
someone who really cares and does all the work to breed the
healthiest, happiest puppies possible and then stands behind those
puppies.

This is a living being that will be part of your family, hopefully,
for many years. Isn't it worth a bit of effort to find a breeder who
will be there for you and that puppy forever?

And guess what? Shows like Westminster are a very valuable resource
for finding breeders who do care and who use the best possible
practices, as well as for learning more about the various breeds.

Bravo to USA Network for broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club show
all these years. May they enjoy continued success through the ongoing
inclusion of such programs. I will be eagerly watching this year's
show!"

Dr. Libbye Miller
MIA
MinPin Rescue BC
www.nopuppymillscan ada.ca

Thursday
Oct072010

Kudos to Richmond B. C. for shutting down Puppymills!! 

Cross posting from numerous Yahoo groups and blogs across N. America.

HUGE thank you to the citizens of Richmond and greater B.C. for leading the way. Hopefully other cities, provinces,  US counties and states will follow. USDA inspections mean PUPPY MILL!  Reputable breeders only  breed a few litters per year and do NOT house their dogs in facilities ie BARNS, SHEDS, requiring inspections like  you would for cattle or hogs! ___________________________________________________________________________________

Richmond stops sale of dogs in stores 
METRO VANCOUVER - Richmond city council voted unanimously on  Monday night to
draft a bylaw amendment that would ban the sale of dogs  in pet stores, in what
the B.C. SPCA is calling a "landmark move against  puppy mills.

While several U.S. cities already have such a ban in place, it is the first time
a decision of the kind has been made in Canada.

"The City of Richmond showed such leadership being the first in Canada,"  said
Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the B.C.  SPCA. "We're
really hoping that this is something other municipalities  will see as the
progressive way to go."

Councillors voted unanimously for the amendment, initially proposed by  Coun.
Ken Johnston last year, after hearing from more than a dozen  delegations. It
will be brought to council for preliminary approval on  Oct. 12, followed by
public consultation.

Pet-store owners would be given until next spring to sell or remove all dogs.

Chortyk said the decision will help prevent the breeding of puppies in  puppy
mills, where they are subject to cruel and inhumane conditions.

"Pet stores will always tell you that they only deal with reputable  breeders
and family-run breeders, but our experience has been just the  opposite,"
Chortyk said. "Pet Habitat, for instance ... get their dogs  from the Hunte
Corporation, which is a massive puppy broker in the U.S."

Ernest Ang, owner of Pet Habitat in Richmond Centre, said he was shocked  and
saddened by the decision, insisting all of Pet Habitat's animals  come from
USDA-certified facilities and are inspected by veterinarians  through the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Animal Health Export  Program.

"I went into the pet business because I love pets," said Ang, who opened  Pet
Habitat in 1980. "All the staff that work with me really love  animals and we
really take good care of the puppies and kittens we have  in the store."

Ang believes the city should inspect individual stores for violations  rather
than implement a city-wide ban on dog sales in pet stores.

"I think the city just has to be fair," he said. "They have to look  further and
see if we're doing anything wrong. If we're doing something  wrong, come in and
tell me. I'm willing to correct myself."

If the amendment passes, Richmond residents wanting dogs can get them from the
SPCA or from reputable breeders, Chortyk said.

There are more than 10,000 puppy mills operating in the U.S., breeding  between
two and four million dogs annually, according to Kristin Bryson,  a criminal
prosecutor who volunteers as a member of the B.C. SPCA board  of directors.

Bryson said U.S. taxpayers spend about $2 billion each year to house and
euthanize unwanted animals.

American cities with full bans on live animal sales in pet stores  include
Hermosa Beach, South Lake Tahoe and West Hollywood in  California; Fort
Lauderdale, Coral Gables, Lauderdale Lakes, Flagler  Beach, North Bay Village
and Opa-Locka in Florida; and Austin, Texas.

Albuquerque, N.M., imposed a ban on the retail sale of all companion  animals in
2006. Since then, animal adoptions have increased by 23 per  cent and euthanasia
at city shelters has decreased 35%, says Bryson.
 
 

Sunday
Oct032010

The story of Ema, a French Bulldog Puppy bought from a back yard breeder

Reposted with permission and encouragement of Carol Gravestock-Bullmarket Frogs and Charlotte Creeley-French Bulldog Rescue Village.

Sadly Ema's story plays out across all breeds. This is WHY it's so important that people do their research and buy from REPUTABLE breeders. By buying from REPUTABLE breeders who show and health test their dogs and live up to a higher Code of Ethics,  you help to end the suffering of precious little beings like Ema.  Back yard breeders can be very tricky and can, on the surface look to be reputable if you do not understand the "catch phrases" that they use to deceive the public. Reputable breeders are here to help you navigate through these deceptive websites and catch phrases to help you find a HEALTHY puppy from someone who truly cares about the breed. Don't buy on impulse,  RESEARCH RESEARCH and reach out for advice.

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You know you are facing something serious when your puppy is in ICU before you’ve even checked in at the front desk of the vet clinic.

We’d barely walked into the front doors of the Veterinary Referral Clinic when a passing tech took one look at Ema and shrieked “Get that collar off of that puppy!!!”. Startled, I asked why and was told, “Because she’s turning blue!”. Sighing, I said “Yes, I realize that – she’s always blue. It’s why we’re here”. I’m not sure that the tech still didn’t think I was an idiot, and she snatched up Ema and said she was taking her into the back to ICU, to put her on oxygen. I’d only just had time to agree before Ema was rushed away from me and into the back.

When I saw her again, twenty minutes later, Ema was perched on the examination table, looking just slightly more pink than she normally does. She was in the middle of a crowd of adoring techs and vets, all of whom were cooing at her. Ema tends to have that affect on people.

The diagnostic testing Dr. Minors and her staff did on Ema gave us an answer for what is wrong with her – in fact, it gave us two answers.

 

Ema has two separate issues, the main of which is she has severe pulmonary stenosis. “Stenosis” is a fancy way of saying she has a constricted opening (think “stenotic nares”). In this case, the constriction is impeding her blood flow into her heart. So, she gets excited, her heart pounds, and she faints.

The second issue is that she has an atrial septal defect, which is a fancy way of saying she has a hole in the septum diving the two sections of her heart. This is what is causing her to be cyanotic almost all of the time, except for when she’s asleep. Ema is, in essence, a “Blue Baby” (although I suppose “Blue Puppy” would be more accurate).

In Ema’s case, her pulmonary stenosis is making her septal defect much more dangerous. Her heart pounds because of the stenosis, the pressure builds, and the non oxygenated blood spills through the shunt into the other chamber of her heart, mixing with the oxygenated blood, and flowing through her body. Since the blood isn’t properly oxygenated, she’s blue.

When she’s asleep, her heart slows, the pressure lessens, and the blood does not spill across the shunt. This is what we hope the surgery can accomplish – by opening the stenosis, her heart will be better able to function, and the effects of the shunt (which might get smaller with time) can be lessened. Her heart will never be ‘normal’ – the surgery can’t ‘fix’ her – but it can give her something much closer to normality, and a life span that can be measured in years, rather than the months she has now. As she grows, the strain on her heart grows as well, and her life span lessens. Without surgery, she has months, maybe. With the surgery, we hope she’ll have years.

She will never have a fully normal life. She will always need to live in a calm environment, and avoid excessive strenuous activity. There is no agility in her future, but perhaps there can be a lifetime as someone’s beloved pet and companion. For most Frenchies, I think that can be enough, don’t you? I hope so, at least.

Dr. Minors, who diagnosed Ema (and who waived her entire consultation fee to do so), is trying to get us a spot for her surgery as soon as possible – within the week, because she’s not sure that Ema has much more time than that. I basically have to sit and wait for the phone to ring, and get there when they tell me they can fit us in. It’s s simple procedure, actually – they’ll go in through her neck, and enlarge the stenosis using something like a balloon. The wonders of modern technology – ironic, really, because when my family vet first said she was sure it was a heart condition, I’d said “Well, then they can’t do anything, can they? It’s not like they do open heart surgery on dogs”. Turns out that I was wrong – they DO do open heart surgery on dogs, or something like it, at any rate.

I have debated the merits of doing a $3,000+ surgery on a little tiny rescued Frenchie, of no known pedigree and from heaven only knows where. Practicality says that spending that kind of money on one little dog is a ‘waste’, when it could, theoretically, help 6 dogs who need $500 surgeries. I would say, in our favor, that time spent with Ema will quite quickly convince you that $3,000 is a reasonable price to pay to save her life. She is a winsome, loving, sweet little creature, who desperately wants to make one person the center of her world. She loves her people with a fierceness that can make you throw all of the practical reasons for not spending $3,000 on one surgery out of the window, especially in a world where you can just as easily spend $3,000 on a single purse or pair of shoes.

Ema’s diagnostics have cost about $850 so far, and we’ve raised about $2,000, which means so far we have $1,200 or so to contribute to her surgery. I’m hopeful we can raise the rest before she goes in, but French Bulldog Village has kindly agreed to pay the difference, if we can’t. Ema is a joint rescue between Eastern Canada French Bulldog Rescue, and the French Bulldog Village (which has made rather a career out of helping the misfit Frenchies of the world).

To date, Ema has had almost 65 donors, which I find just staggering.  I think when we start to burn out on rescue and on all those horrid stories of the cruelties that have been done to animals, we need to remember things like this – that there have been 65+ strangers willing to send Ema money, including one donation that had a paypal note as follows:

“Our ten year old daughter reads your blog because she has been asking us for a French Bulldog for over a year. We’ve said not yet so she reads about your puppies. When she read about Ema she asked me to send you the $25 she got for her birthday money because she says that everyone needs someone to love them. We hope little Ema gets better soon”.

If you can’t afford to donate to Ema’s care, please do the next best thing, by helping us to spread the word. Share her story on Facebook, on Twitter, or on your blog. I know she’s just one little dog, and, worse still, she’s one little dog that most of you haven’t even met yet. However, to paraphrase an old saying – you can’t change the whole world, but you can change the whole world for Ema.

 

Ema's story and chip-in on Carol's blog