Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vick Dog Updates

Although we love to brag about Leo and all of his therapy exploits with cancer patients and kids at risk, there are other MV dogs out there and we'd love to see how they have come through the past year.
Animal Planet has a new show that will premier this Sunday August 24th. Here is a link to check out their preview page: Animal Witness
Leo and Our Pack will appear at some point as well as other dogs we have heard about in the news. The show should highlight the case and what has happened to the dogs since they were taken. I have no doubt there will be some graphic footage which may be hard for some viewers to watch, but the case is so important and has impacted how other fight bust dogs are viewed. These dogs were given an unprecedented chance to live normal lives. Have they succeeded?
Of course there are those that worry how they will be portayed. There is that fine line of showing them as viscious fighters or just teddy bears on the other end of the spectrum. There is so much more to these dogs, just as there are with all dogs. There are variations within the breed. Not all retrievers can retrieve, not all Labs can be seeing eye dogs, not all fighting dogs are good fighters. They are not the dog for everyone, but that is also true with every breed. Everyone thinking of getting a dog should do as much research as possible on whatever breed they are looking at. My hope is this will be an accurate view of what happened to THESE Dogs and that maybe just maybe in the future other dogs found in similar situations (and sadly it will happen) can be viewed and evaluated as individuals.
I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Monday, August 4, 2008

DNA, Hearts and Souls

Every Sunday morning Pit Bulls (and some other breeds of dogs) that want to shine up their leash manners around other dogs come to class to learn to have good manners around other dogs on leash. This class is done on a nice quiet little street in Los Gatos California. Some people come out of their houses with their coffee cups and watch with strong interest. Others walk by or come by on bikes. Some folks actually come by and start videoing the class. Photobucket

One very nice woman came by and watched the class one Sunday and mentioned that she was terrified of dogs. I talked to her about dog behavior and showed her using the class dogs what certain body language in dogs could mean. She was very interested in learning and continued to come to class every week.
Look at me
This Sunday was our Canine Good Citizen testing day. One of our CGC achievers was Maximus. Our very nice lady friend met this deliciously handsome and squishy kissable love boat and was amazed at how friendly, mannerly and truly wonderful he was. This seemed to melt her fears along with her heart.

So, DNA schmeeNA. Not saying it isn’t important and even critical to have this testing tool but until testing is perfected, more widely available and more economical, focus on the fact that dogs like Maximus continue to warm hearts and change minds is what it takes to build understanding about these amazing dogs.

Congratulations to Maximus and to all of the new CGC recipients!
Maximus - Mr. CGC