February 15th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments
There was a reason for me borrowing someone else’s work for my blog yesterday, although I though it was such a great article that I wanted to share it anyway. If I could sum up everything in a few sentences it would be this:
…..”Dogs use this communication system towards us humans, simply because it´s the language they know and think everyone understands.
By failing to see your dog using calming signals on you, and perhaps even punish the dog for using them, you risk causing serious harm to your dog. Some may simply give up using the calming signals, including with other dogs. Others may get so desperate and frustrated that they get aggressive, nervous or stressed out as a result. Puppies and young dogs may actually go into a state of shock.”
This is why it’s so sad and so frustrating when people give up their dogs for behaviour issues when all the time it’s simply a lack of communication. It’s very, very rare for a dog to just bite, even if it may appear to be so. There has to be a reason and it’s just a case of the human missing the cues and signals that a dog has been sending, or of the dog simply giving up because the messages haven’t been getting through from the very start. I’ve seen this so many times with puppies and their owners completely misreading their behaviour, or on Sundays at the puppy adoption afternoons when the dogs are playing and it’s misread as aggression.
Anyway, back to the second reason for not writing the blog myself, and it was because I’d arranged for Dr Tony (and vet nurse Vivian) to come over to Lamma to give rabies vaccinations and Proheart, a yearly heartworm prevention injection. I end up with a lot of the timid dogs, for obvious reasons, so it’s not only that getting a load of dogs over to Acorn is time consuming, it’s also a nightmare for both me and the dogs. So having built up a list of dogs whose licenses had just expired, or would be in the next few months, the beach became Acorn-by-the-Sea for the few hours it took to get the dogs out (many in crates), weighed and vaccinated.
I had called on a few volunteers to help with some of the really timid dogs, as well as Gecko the Little Lion (who hates me but allows the Sunday crew to handle him). You’ve got to laugh at the thought of the most difficult of all the dogs being one cute little guy who’s only ankle high, and it was a brave Dr Tony (the Gladiator) who administered the shot. Like all dogs, Gecko is absolutely fine if you leave him to do his own thing, but a needle? That’s another matter.
Puppy Diamond insisted on coming to see what was going on (her first time at the beach) and she had the best time ever exploring, and even going for a paddle. Whoever adopts this puppy will have the most amazing dog in their life.
Apart from all of that excitement, there was fantastic news from Acorn about puppy Seal. He is now walking unaided, and although he’s a bit wobbly on his back legs it’s been incredible seeing him go from paralysis in all four legs (that was on the 3rd of February) to walking just ten days later. Now he needs a home, and it would be very sad to see him go through all of this and have so many people following his story and cheering him on at every step, only to have him join the ranks of black-dogs-in-waiting at Tai Po. Here’s a short video of his first real steps:
Not that black dogs never get adopted, and I don’t find it harder to home black dogs than other colours. What is much more difficult is getting good photo of an all-black face without a proper camera, perfect lighting and someone who knows what they’re doing. Even dogs themselves have trouble reading black dogs’ faces according to the article from yesterday, so it’s hardly surprising that humans and cameras do.
At least one black dog found a home at Tai Po today, and about time too. Chex was the last of Maria’s puppies to be adopted, and it was his bad luck to be the “black sheep” of his litter, not only in colour but he also missed out on the magnificent thick and feathery coats of his stunningly handsome siblings. There’s nearly always one ugly ducking in a litter of mixed breeds, and Chex really was one in comparison. So I was really very happy to hear that today he was the chosen one above all of the others at the Homing Centre, and now we just have to find a home for Maria herself.