Friday, December 21, 2012

Most Damaging Hidden Winter Pet Hazzards

Hi Reba here,

As I was looking down to see what my mom, Linda Messina, was doing to prepare for the Christmas holiday I saw a HUGE storm roaring across the country. I checked on my earthly friends from California to the East Coast and I saw too much snow, too much wind, too much rain too too much!

Then I thought about how busy our humans are with the weather, traveling, wrapping presents, baking and all the things they do to make the house smell soooooooo good. They might not think about some very important things . . . like The Hidden Hazzards of Winter for us furbabies. So, thanks to Adopt A Pet here are 5 hidden hazzards you might have overlooked.

So take a quick look and I'm sending loving Christmas wishes for a safe holiday to you all!

Buon Natale a tutti voi!

Reba Messina
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Real Story on Dog Driving - Future Chauffeurs?

The Chosen - Ginny, Porter, Monty
You might have seen the news world abuzz about dogs driving cars this week. No, this isn’t a hoax from the Onion. Dog trainers in New Zealand have been working with shelter dogs, teaching them the motor skills of driving a car. While the New York Times and David Letterman are poking fun at the idea of mutts behind the wheel, the real story here is on the intelligence of dogs, how training advances their skills and why mutts from the shelter are great for the home.

Trainers with the Auckland SPCA have successfully taught three dogs, all shelter mutts, to drive a car on a closed course. But this isn’t meant to be a triumph of dogs using technology. Instead, the Auckland SPCA hopes to send potential adopters a message about shelter dogs. They are not second rate pets but wonderful animals capable of bringing joy and love to any family.

"I think sometimes people think because they're getting an animal that's been abandoned that somehow it's a second-class animal," said SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin.

In Training

As the New Zealand Herald reports, Christine Kalin, points out the intelligence of these animals and the success of consistent dog training. “Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks. The dogs have achieved amazing things in eight short weeks of training, which really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets” she stated.

These rescue dogs, Monty, Ginger and Porter, prove that shelter mutts can not only make great additions to the family but have the intelligence to be used in the health field or as therapy dogs. If shelter mutts can drive a car, then they can do anything.

While rescues, mutts like me and senior dogs sometimes get a bad rap from the public’s misconceptions, with a warm environment and a lot of love they are capable of incredible feats. This amazing story highlights both the success of hardworking trainers and the full potential of shelter dogs. Perhaps if more news outlets focused on the achievement of the SPCA instead of poking fun at dogs driving cars, people would have a better understanding more respect for mutts and shelter dogs.

So as you go through your day to day activities and you see a ‘student driver’ car in front of you, check it out to see if the student is human or canine!


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