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Dog Breeds

Dog rescue in Central Africa



dog rescue in central africa

When I see a dog no matter where I am, I feel drawn to her. I have to get close; I want to stroke her. When I hear a dog whining, my muscles cramp; all my thoughts are on the dog – what could be wrong; what can i do to help?

However, some appear to be immune to dog magnetism. I’ve been with people who can easily ignore a “crying” dog. I am confused by this. Why do some of us react deeply to dogs while others show no reaction? Is it nature or upbringing that defines us dog lovers?

Since I work in animal rescue in Africa, I have many opportunities to investigate this mystery. I meet people who fall on the spectrum, from those who love dogs to those who despise them. Paterne Bushunju from Bukavu in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a dog lover. For a few days we talked at length about our feelings for dogs, where and when they started, how they grew, where they took us. His story is fascinating, but for me it only adds to the mystery. This is an excerpt from our conversation.

Like most people in Bukavu, South Kivu Province, Paterne Bushunju’s parents didn’t like dogs. Children who Paterne grew up with were afraid of dogs and were not particularly interested in them or their welfare. With so many dogs harboring rabies, parents teach their children to avoid it early on, mostly through stories: Dogs and cats are bad. They are magicians who transform into dogs and cats. If they get a chance, they will bite you. Paterne’s friends outlawed dogs; when a dog passed, the young people ran after the animal, screaming and throwing stones.

One day the children were chasing a puppy in Paterne’s neighborhood. Paterne tried to stop them. His feelings towards dogs were different from those of others; he wasn’t sure why, and he wasn’t sure what made him turn against his friends that day. The youth turned on Paterne and attacked him with a knife. But when the puppy barked at the children “wildly”, they backed away and ran away.

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It was on this day that Paterne came up with the idea of ​​hiding dogs to protect them from abuse. From that moment on he became involved in animal welfare, although he knew nothing about animal shelters for cats and dogs; There was no such thing in Bukavu.

Paterne told me that when he was thinking about this first rescue, he was thinking of the execution of a Rwandan refugee in the Panzi refugee camp. Horrifying as it was, it left him with the realization that both the man and the puppy had felt the same thing – utter horror – and that both had a right to live and to live without fear.

The first dog Paterne welcomed into his home was a stray with a leg cut off. He called her Hatia, which means “innocent”. Unfortunately, Paterne’s parents didn’t want this dog and he was forced to find an alternative hiding place. He decided to use a small abandoned church next to his house. There Paterne quickly greeted three more dogs, fed them, washed them and guarded them. More dogs followed – of course!

Paterne began researching cat and dog rescue to learn more about how to help animals. He read about others who save animals and about animal shelters on the Internet. Following her example, Paterne posted on Facebook about the dogs he had hidden in the church. At first he just did this for fun, to see how his friends would react.

Mr. Giancarlo, director of a spiritual foundation in Europe, saw Paterne’s Facebook posts and wrote that he appreciated what Paterne was doing and asked if he could help him. At first Paterne did not believe him. But the conversation went on. Giancarlo said the Facebook pictures were very blurry and Paterne needed a better phone. Giancarlo offered to send him one that would take high quality pictures.

Paterne sent his contact details still skeptical. A week later, DHL informed him that a package was waiting. Paterne found a Samsung SII phone in the package.

Paterne explained to Giancarlo how dogs are treated in South Kivu Province. Thanks to Giancarlo, Paterne discovered that many people in Europe help cats and dogs. Giancarlo encouraged Paterne to open a bank account and sent Paterne his first donation: 400 euros. This enabled Paterne to rent a house for his dogs and helped pay for their food. Paterne reported to Giancarlo (sent the greatly enhanced pictures he had taken with his new phone) and Giancarlo sent more money.

In 2014, Paterne founded an animal welfare organization and named it Sauvons nos Animaux (Save our animals). Paterne’s number of social media followers grew. People shared his Facebook posts and sponsored dogs at the shelter. Thanks to Giancarlos continued support and connections *, Paterne was able to buy a large piece of land in 2016 and create a permanent refuge for cats and dogs. Currently the sanctuary is home to around 70 dogs and 20 cats.

Local residents were surprised that someone invested so much time and money in dogs and cats. Paterne said to me: “A lot of people wonder what I get out of it. Many people think I am a psychopath and others think I am a Satanist. Still, the dog in Bukavu is nothing to most people; You can kill it without anyone worrying or asking a question. “

But some locals are showing a healthier curiosity about what Paterne does. Some are keen to learn about rescue and dogs in general. Paterne seeks the most sincere and trustworthy people to help him save dogs from abuse.

Members of Paterne’s family were the first to discourage him in his efforts to rescue dogs (they asked if he was mad!). Paterne had become an environmental engineer and his family wondered why he cared about dogs instead of “doing something big”. Today they understand that he is on the right track and that defending animals is something great. Three of Paterne’s younger brothers are now volunteers in the Shrine of Sauvons nos Animaux.

From the beginning, a few good friends of Paterne understood what he was doing and they encouraged him. Many of these friends have become “whistleblowers” ​​- they alert paterns to cases of abuse or abandonment. (Other friends have never understood his motives and still think there must be something weird about his work.)

Though a slow process, Paterne has seen attitudes towards cats and dogs and the sanctuary change for the better. “I’m very proud of that, because that’s not the image these children used to have of dogs and cats,” Paterne told me. “The children come to the shelter to play with the animals without any problems, just to play. Their parents don’t forbid them, which shows that we are a good role model. I am convinced that these children will defend the animals for life. “

Serious challenges remain, of course. The east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo shows high levels of poverty; violent conflict is widespread; and the area is prone to natural disasters – earthquakes, floods, landslides. Most recently, in early 2021, devastating floods and landslides not only left many dead in and around Bukavu, but also damaged the Sauvons nos Animaux farm. A second flood and a landslide damaged one of the dog kennels.

Another challenge is that there is no veterinary clinic in Bukavu that meets reasonable standards. Paterne has managed to attract a caring and qualified veterinarian who will visit the shelter when necessary to neuter, vaccinate and treat animals, especially in emergencies. But unsurprisingly, without funding the veterinarian’s expenses, the animals at the shelter are less of a priority than its paying customers.

Paterne’s dream is to have an on-site veterinary clinic with a full-time vet for the animals at the shelter, for animals that live on the streets, and for families with animals that need veterinary care but cannot afford it. Since it is impossible to get financial support locally, Paterne has to look for help beyond his borders.

Sauvons nos Animaux employs five helpers that Paterne recruited out of love for animals. Three were volunteers before they became paid employees. Of the 12 volunteers currently helping at the shelter, some started out as animal lovers and others learned to love animals while helping at the shelter. Regarding the latter, Paterne said: “It was our duty to show them that the welfare of animals is most important and that they must protect them. Now they understand their work and do it with love and passion. “

Local families sometimes adopt cats and dogs from the shelter. Paterne knows the standards for accommodation that apply in the west and implements them to the best of its ability. The shelter staff try to tailor the animals to a family’s needs and interests, and all animals are neutered or neutered prior to adoption. Paterne described the adoption process as “a serious family responsibility. Everyone has to work to make it work. “

Looking to the future, Paterne said: “To improve the situation for cats and dogs in our community, we have founded a youth club. We are strongly committed to this, because it is our responsibility to educate and train the adults of tomorrow so that they know and understand animals so that they respect and protect them. It is one of the most important tools in the fight against abuse and neglect. “

Through the youth club, the children get to know the animals by volunteering at the animal shelter, where they are given age-appropriate and ability-appropriate tasks that help them learn to deal with cats and dogs. Some even show interest in veterinary work.

Today the Sauvons nos Animaux animal shelter is a welcoming place with large dog houses and beautiful gardens where dogs can roam freely if they so choose. A spacious cattery (rebuilt after being destroyed by the landslide) with toys keeps the cats busy. Paterne is satisfied with his efforts. “Every day when I approach the shelter my heart feels warm and when I arrive at the shelter I always tell myself that it would be my greatest regret not to help the animals anymore. It’s like I have to. “

Though worlds apart, Paterne and I share the same feeling for dogs. We are drawn to them; we have to help them; We have no choice. Is it nature or upbringing or both?

* Unfortunately, Paternes benefactor, Mr. Giancarlo, died in 2019. Alongside Animal-Kind International, his foundation continues to be one of the most important sources of money for Sauvons nos Animaux.

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Dog Breeds

How to give a name to a dog



how to give a name to a dog

Dog name selection can be a source of conflict for couples. It doesn’t matter if you like Jack and your partner wants to go with Jake, or if one of you likes Wren and the other likes Robin. Similarities can even exist if there is a choice between bogey and divot or perhaps inverse and vector. But what if one is killer or Gamora and the other is betting on Baby or Zoe? These differences can be more difficult to resolve.

Enter Dogname, a new app that helps people choose (with minimal scramble) the perfect name for their dog. Each of the app’s 30,000 names is listed with their meanings and origins, and users go through as many entries as they want, swiping right if they like the name and left if they don’t. The names that both people like are saved as matches, making it easy to choose a mutually acceptable nickname.

I’ve seen the results of many, what to call the dog, fights, and they’re not always beautiful. A couple could not agree on the type of dog or the name of the dog when they got it. They solved their fight (and it turned out to be quite a fight!) By tossing a coin; the winner chose the dog’s name and the other person chose the dog. As a result, they ended up with a tiny fluffy dog ​​named Thor – a dog-name mismatch that made people laugh when they met him.

In a similar but happier story, another couple decided that one person chose the dog and the other the name, but they were both happy with the result. They welcomed a 170 pound English mastiff into their family and named it chiclet. They loved it when people who might have been suspicious of their huge dog felt a lot more comfortable with her because of her non-threatening name.

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In 1997 two astronomy fans were very excited about the appearance of the Hale Bopp comet. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to name the puppy they wanted to have in honor of the record-breaking fireball. But from that common ground they got into a big argument over whether to call her Halley or Comet. (Hale did not consider Hale, Bopp, or Hale-Bopp as a suitable option.)

After weeks of bickering, unable to resolve their disagreements, they adopted two female littermates, named one Halley and the other Comet. The dogs fought each other until they caused serious injuries. The dispute over the name of the couple led to more conflicts in the household than was thought possible.

Sometimes compromises lead to a good dog name. One person in a pair wanted to go with Hershey or Cocoa for their chocolate lab pup, but the other worried that those names were too common or too popular with that breed. But they both loved cooking and also loved the idea of ​​a food name, so they named their pup Rosemary.

Another couple argues over the names Max and Xavier. The first person liked the meaning of Max (“greatest”), but the other wanted a name that began with the letter X, badly. They eventually agreed to name their dog Xander, a greeting to Alexander the Great who pleased both of them.

I love a happy ending that is based on compromise! Do you have a story about how your family came up with the name for your dog after some friction during the decision-making process?

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Dog Breeds

Help for your dog’s dry skin



help for your dog's dry skin

It is a rare person who can lie in bed and listen to a dog scratching, scratching, scratching and not thinking at night or maybe even saying, “Will you please stop!” Get rid of your dog’s dry skin and flakes from the inside out by adding one of two staple foods – olive oil or coconut oil – to their meals. It can even help both of you sleep better. (Fish oil is another excellent option.)

Dogs have many reasons to scratch themselves, but if your dog does it more often than occasionally – all dogs scratch every now and then – you should call your veterinarian first, who can help you figure out what’s causing the itch. There are at least three possibilities, which sometimes overlap: environmental influences (low humidity, dry room heat in winter), allergies (food, pollen) or parasites (fleas, ticks or, more rarely, mites). An example of a two-tier reason: dogs with flea allergies are extremely sensitive to the presence of a few small pests on their skin.

It may take some time to figure out what is causing the scratching, but two things that can provide some relief are likely in your kitchen right now: olive oil and coconut oil. When it comes to oils that help moisturize a dog’s dry, flaky skin, check out one of these oils and consider changing them regularly to give your dog the benefits of each.

They’re both high in the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) that dogs need to help maintain oil production and skin hydration (and much more). The body needs EFAs to function but cannot make them; they must be obtained from food.

Fortunately, dogs tend to love the taste of oil, so adding it to their meals is an easy way to get it into their system. And be patient; It may take some time for the oil regimen to take effect.

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Once the container is opened, oils exposed to heat and light can go rancid, so follow the recommended storage guidelines for the product. If your kitchen is routinely warmer than about 70 degrees, consider cooling the oil.

Adding an oil to your dog’s meal isn’t a panacea or magic solution, but it can help improve your dog’s overall health – not to mention glossier fur and fewer nightly scratching sessions.

Olive oil for dogs

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the best choice for dogs. Cold-pressed, unrefined and made from the first olive pressing, it is less acidic than more processed forms of olive oil and therefore gentler on the dog’s digestive system. It also has higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants. Dogs who may have difficulty digesting omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids usually get along well with olive oil. Aside from its ability to repair dry, flaky skin and make your dog’s coat shine, olive oil can also stimulate their appetite and help with constipation.

Olive oil can go rancid quickly, which is why it is sold in dark bottles. Keep it in a cool, dark place away from heat sources (not on a sunny counter or near the stove).

Daily dose guidelines *

Small dogs, 1/2 teaspoon; medium dogs, 1 teaspoon; big dogs, 2 teaspoons; extra large dogs, 1 tablespoon

Coconut oil for dogs

You probably have coconut oil in your pantry too. It’s high in saturated fat, and its medium-chain triglycerides and medium-chain fatty acids, which are quickly absorbed, are said to help with a number of medical conditions.

Based on research done primarily on humans and rodents, it is believed that consuming coconut oil eliminates various types of skin problems, including itchy or dry skin; Minimize odors; reduce allergic reactions; and treatment of yeast and fungal infections.

Like olive oil, the best coconut oils for dogs are organic, virgin, and cold-pressed. This oil comes in a variety of flavors – strong, buttery, mild, nutty – and you may need to experiment to see which your dog prefers with their food. (Some dogs are put off by a strong coconut flavor.)

Coconut oil can be added to the food or – if the area is particularly dry or itchy – massaged directly into the dog’s skin. When applied topically, be very conservative in the amount you use and supervise your dog afterwards until the oil is absorbed. Your dog will likely try to lick it off, and too much coconut oil at once can have consequences (see info box). Plus, you know the potential for stained floors and bedding.

Daily dose guidelines * (gradually introduce)

Note: If your dog is prone to pancreatitis, check with your veterinarian before adding him to his food.

Small dogs, 1/4 teaspoon; medium / large dogs, 1/2 to 2 teaspoons; extra large dogs, 1 tablespoon.

Fish oil for dogs

While not your ordinary pantry item, fish oil is a must-have nutritional supplement that is believed to aid dog heart health, reduce itching and flaking, and relieve allergies and joint pain. When choosing a fish oil for your dog, check with the manufacturer for their certificate of analysis. A mix of salmon, herring, sardines, and other small fish provides the most omega-3 fatty acids and the longest shelf life.

Note the following: Fish oil can increase blood clotting time. So if your dog needs surgery, tell your veterinarian about this supplement; the vet may ask you to pause for a few days before and after the procedure.

Finally, one more good reason to speak to your vet before giving your dog any supplements: processing fish oil can cause the dog’s system to use up its supply of vitamin E. This can lead to a deficiency that brings its own problems. Ask your veterinarian if this is a concern for your dog.

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Dog Breeds

How to Socialize Your Puppy



how to socialize your puppy

I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant, but I do have a feeling that Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CCUI, and Eileen Anderson, MM, MS, is about reading and recommended by many dog ​​professionals and dog lovers eager to get the word out.

The writers had me on “Remember, there is a human tendency to want to show the world your pups, but it’s not the same thing as showing your pup the world! Avoid the temptation to let your pup become a magnet for human attention. The last thing you want to do is let him overwhelm and frighten. “

The book – an e-book available on multiple platforms – provides equally useful information and ideas throughout, and both novice and professional puppy breeders will benefit from its guidance and advice. It teaches people everything they need to know about puppy socialization in order for them to develop into the best possible versions of their canine selves. And with 120 photos and video links, not only is this book practical and helpful, it’s also fun to read.

Socialization as a concept is often misunderstood, and this confusion prevents our pups from starting off properly. After reading this book, people will understand what socialization is (and what isn’t) and learn to properly socialize their puppy.

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Rogers and Anderson do their readers a great service by showing them how to socialize dogs through photos and videos. Learning the right way to get puppy on the right paw is much easier by seeing it and reading about it. The videos, most of which are from actual training sessions with puppies and their owners, are practical and useful in ways new puppy owners will want.

The reason socialization is so important is easier to understand when you consider what happens to puppies who are not socialized. Anderson writes, “I had my own wild pup who was born in the forest and not exposed to humans in any way. I got in at the very end of their sensitive phase of socialization, but no one else. Since then we’ve been playing catch-up. … Your deeply ingrained reaction to people other than me is complete and persistent fear. “

Anderson is the first to recognize that her dog is an extreme version of what can happen when a dog is not socialized. It is likely that a combination of genetics along with limited early experience has made life especially difficult for this particular dog. But it’s hard to avoid the thought that your dog’s life might have ended badly in someone else’s hands … and quickly.

Puppy socialization includes a clear explanation of the magical time – known as the sensitive time for socialization – when puppies are prepared to learn new things. This only lasts for a short time in the first few months of life, so it is important to maximize this opportunity. It will save you and your puppy from trouble or even heartache later.

This new treasure of a book also covers dog body language so readers can learn to tell whether their pup is relaxed or tense, happy or nervous, anxious or comfortable. This knowledge is essential to socializing a puppy, but few books cover it in the puppy context.

In fact, this chapter on dog body language is relevant to all owners, regardless of their dog’s age. For example, most people do not know that a dog that is yawning can show symptoms of anxiety and anxiety. Or that when a dog shows its stomach, it doesn’t always ask for a stomach rub. Understanding dog body language improves the bond between dogs and the people they love.

When asked why they contained so much information about reading dog visual cues, Anderson replied, “For us, this is the missing part because so many people don’t know how to read the mean or very subtle cues of how to do it your dog feels. If you can’t tell [that] Your puppy is scared you’re in trouble. You risk frightening him instead of teaching him that the world is a wonderful and fun place for puppies. “

The authors also counter all of the bad puppy socialization advice with lots of fact-based information. Myth Destruction is a great service, and the writers do it well by helping readers (and their dogs) avoid the consequences of harmful myths and falsehoods. In fact, according to Rogers, this bad advice was the inspiration to write this book in the first place.

“We all have different memories of who said the word ‘book’ first, but we wrote it because our hearts ached when we saw people follow traditional advice and it made their pups worse.” An example for the traditional advice Rogers is referring to is to suggest taking your pup anywhere and exposing him to anything. It is one of the myths about socialization that is counterproductive to its proper execution.

This book is a truly modern book with the most up-to-date information on the subject and offers strategies for safely socializing puppies during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as during normal times. Pandemic puppies have spent a lot of time with their families, but public health protocols have limited their socialization options to varying degrees.

Many behavioral problems are avoided if people follow the socialization advice in this book. Many of the dogs that I observe in my private practice as a canine behavior therapist and dog trainer could have been spared the challenges they face in life if they had been properly socialized. I hope that this book will be widely read and that its advice will be followed. It’s the perfect resource for anyone involved in raising well-adjusted, happy puppies, and it’s good news to have it published.

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