Dog trains man

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The King is dead. Long live the King

Today is a day of mixed feelings. One of my favorite dog blogs, Will My Dog Hate Me, with Wonderdog Frankie and his muse Edie Jarolim, is closing shop.

I am horrible at saying good-byes, so I am glad I don't have to, as Edie is starting up a new blog. Freud's Butcher, where Edie will take us on a journey through her family roots, going back to the days in Vienna where her great-granduncle was Freud's Butcher.

And I am sure we will not miss out on hearing how Frankie is doing. There is still Facebook. But I am going to miss being challenged, questioned and enriched by Edie's and Frankie's regular contributions to the pet community. Always providing a different angle, another view, and more than I care to admit, changing my opinions.

Whatever the subject, it was always brought with a smile. I never left without a laugh. And what I learned on Will My Dog Hate Me, got me off my butt too. Like traveling more safe, and applying BAT to get Viva more social with other dogs.

Wishing Edie the best of luck on her new voyage. May it bring all that you expect and more. We are looking forward to your new blog and book, and already know it is going to be just as exciting, if not more, to follow you along this new road. The King is dead. Long live the King.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hovawart TV: Baywatch

They look good and they can save lives. Take that Pamela Anderson:

These Hovawarts make their Newfoundland ancestors proud. All 12% of them to be exact.


Monday, July 23, 2012

How To Rescue a Dog by Play

Just. Click. Play.

You don't have to watch, just press play.

I'll explain after the video.

I know you have seen videos like this before. I know you hate to look at it again. You don't have to watch it. I only need you to press play.

You pressed play! Thank you!

Now I can explain. The video reveals more than 160 puppy mills and puppy trafficker operations in Belgium. One of the smaller countries in Europe about the size of New York. The thing is that Belgium TV networks refused to air this very well-researched documentary. The rescue group behind the video, Animal Trust, decided to go viral.

If they would score a high number of "views", the rescue group can use those numbers to convince the Belgium TV networks to air it. If the quality of the documentary won't help, maybe viewer ratings will. No network refuses good viewer ratings.

That's why you pressing "play" in this case is so important.

People must know. People that don't read blogs like this one. Normal Belgium's that see television and don't know this is going on in their country. They have a right to know. First when they know, change can start. Because they are the next generation of puppy buyers.

You probably also thought that Europe was far ahead in solving the issue with puppy mills and puppy trafficking. Like a lot of Europeans actually also think. The reality is unfortunately the opposite. And it is not only Belgium, it is a lot more expanded than that. If you would like to know more how Europe is really doing, read our guest blog over at Cindy Lu's Muse about puppy mills in Europe: Wake-Up Call For Western Europe.

Today bloggers around the world unite for dog rescue and the rights of dogs. Visit the organizers Blog Catalog, Dog Rescue Success or Be The Change For Animals for more. Keep on reading and sharing!

You are not cheating me right? Please go back and press play. Alright then, I beg you. Officially.

Update July 26:
For bloggers that would like to help getting the word out, I made a small video widget that you can show in your blog's sidebar. An example of it is on the top-right of this blog. The widget contains the video, and a link to this page explaining the background of why it is important. To get it, grab the code below the widget, and copy/paste it as HTML on your blog's sidebar.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hovawart TV: Run Keiler Run

Imagine a 9 year old Hovawart. A former puppy mill dog. A retired therapy dog. Have an artificial hip due to hip dysplasia (HD). In short, a Hovawart like Keiler. And Keiler still loves a run with dad for charity. Now that is priceless ... although sometimes priceless can be expensive too, which is entirely not Keiler's fault:

Visit Keiler's dad's blog here for more about how the video came about: "World Run Day Mastercard Spoof".

P.S: We are guest blogging today over at Cindy Lu's Muse about puppy mills in Europe: Wake-Up Call For Western Europe

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hovawart Travel Upgrade: We're Cruisin' !

Bye bye Hovie mobile, and welcome Hovi Cruiser! Kenzo & Viva are the happy new owners of a genuine Hovi Cruiser. Finally they have some wheels that match their size and all their travel needs.

We did quite some remodeling with the former Hovi mobile, but knew it was only temporarily. We needed something else to really travel comfy and safe.

First and foremost we needed more space. And something that could bring us to exciting off-road tracking places despite weather and terrain. Also something that could keep those big bodies cool at all times, while they are patiently awaiting arrival in the rear.

The best of the old from the former Hovi mobile and our wish list have now all come together in the new - used - Hovi Cruiser. As you can see above, plenty of space to turn and especially above their heads there is enough room. No more bumping into the roof. They have their own windows that can also be opened. Nothing like some fresh air while you're cruisin'.

They love a flow of fresh air. Especially Viva. And so do we. Farewell odor of two dogs that have just returned from a walk with ample opportunity for a swim and rolling around in fox poo. 

And if it would get really hot, they also got their own AC. It can be regulated separately from the rest of the climate in the Cruiser. Keeping them cool is now guaranteed.

You might wonder why we would need this in cold Scandinavia? True, 99 times out of a 100 we don't. But there was that one time where I freaked out when we got stuck in a traffic jam on a very hot day. And no matter how much I turned the AC down, the rear of the car was still like an oven. You could simply feel the hot air coming in from their two damping bodies.

I did some really stupid and dangerous things to get us out of there. And driving safe, also means having a calm driver. Now that they have their own AC in place, I can keep the temperature, as well as my temper, at the desired level.

We also have all the features from before in the Hovi mobile: A steel safety grill, a steel compartment divider - not in the picture - , rear windows from tainted glass, a load compartment mat in plastic, etc. Maybe you noticed that our doors are missing? They were too small! Thankfully we found a place that can custom build it for our Cruiser and the doors will soon be re-introduced.

On the picture you'll see all the stuff we stripped out of the old Hovi mobile. We did travel good and safe in it and we will miss it. So do we have nothing more to wish for?

Well, how it usually goes with these things, there is always something left to wish for. First of all, after this disappointing news not all seat belts can be trusted, we are on the lookout for some that are up to the task.

The Hovi Cruiser also has a higher step and seeing Viva jump in and out, it would be better if we could get a ramp for her ... so I am afraid it kinda seems our travel posts are a never-ending story. But in the meantime, we're cruisin'!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bloggers Join Together To Campaign For Dog Rescue

Viva in the local shelter
It is hard to imagine that Viva once was unwanted and not loved. She was returned to a shelter, not once, but twice in her short life. Now she is living with us, and we find it hard to imagine how life would be without Viva. And how much we would have missed out on, if we hadn't found her.

There are many more dogs like Viva. To help, more then 10,000 bloggers around the world join forces on July 23, to raise awareness for dog rescue and the rights of dogs.

Please join this global event if you have a blog. Or share blogs you read on that day about dog rescue on your Twitter streams, Facebook timelines, etc.

On July 23 this blog will raise the case for dogs in Europe. Many in Europe see the rescue shows on Animal Planet, National Geographic Channel and others and think puppy mills and abuse of dogs is mainly an American problem. But if you look a little harder, you will see the issues in Europe are very much alike. Stay tuned.

For more information about the event and how to join, visit Blog Catalog, Dog Rescue Success or Be The Change For Animals.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Hovawart TV: Guarding Dutiezzz

It can be tough to be on guard duty. Even for a Hovawart:

There goes a rep as ultimate watch dog out of the window.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Happy Feet Please

The happy feet syndrome is revisiting casa del Kenzo & Viva lately. This time it is Kenzo's turn.

As you can see on the photo to the left, Kenzo has something embedded in his paw that became infected. Antibiotics have by now cleared the infection and hopefully his body has "processed" the culprit.

The vet doesn't want to operate when they cannot see a clear entry point for whatever caused this. She needs an indication where to look. A paw with it's myriad of nerves and muscles, is a risky place to start a search.

Viva had something similar last year - see photo on the right. In her case the infection returned after a while and the only option left was to open up the paw and see if the nasty bugger causing all this could be found. Luckily the vet found a tiny little thorn - see photo at the bottom - and Viva has been good ever since.

Lets hope for Kenzo he doesn't go down the same road. On top of his injury, he also made havoc with his other paw. A nail seemed to have died off and a new one was growing inside the dead one, which was very painful for him.

We checked both paws when we were at the vets for the infected paw, so it is a mystery how that could have happened. The theory is his nail got punctured by something sharp. Most of the nail had to be surgically removed. There is just a small stump of nail left now.

It turns out to be quite a challenge for us to keep happy feet. We spend a lot of time outdoors: hiking in forests, long nature walks, and doing tracking nose work. When we return I always check them for ticks and feel their paws for thorns and other injuries. Yet something always seem to sneak through the thorn patrol.

What do you do to prevent paw injuries? Is there something we could do differently? Or are we just being unlucky?

We found some doggy foot wear too. Is that overdoing it? Would that be too protective?

For now I think we are going to be a lot more thorough inspecting their paws on return from the walks. Not only feel if there is something out of the ordinary, but also give them a visual inspection, as much as that is possible with all the fur.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hovawart TV: Scratch Me Up

Welcome to the kick-off of Hovawart TV, a new series on this blog with videos featuring Hovawarts! I couldn't think of a better way to start this new series than with a Hovawart's best friend. A cat with an attitude:

When you dare to play with a Hovawart like this, it must be comforting to know you have 9 lives.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nature Calling Runaway Viva

Viva ran away from home. Don't worry, she is already back. We found her just around the corner of the street that leads to our house. On the picture to the left you'll see how it is possible she could escape.

The small fence into the back garden, absolutely not high enough to stop a Hovawart. As you see, I am guilty of something that would suit any irresponsible owner very well.

Yes, I trained them not to pass that fence. Yes, they did listen ... for a while at least in Viva's case. Yes, I did keep an eye out ... at least other than the moment she actually escaped. Yes, she got ample walks ... in which I didn't let her meet ... male dogs - I'll come back to that male dog dimension.

So let's face it, I was just being a fool here: the fence is just not high enough and I have to fix it.

The "Love is in the Air" days
Wondering why Viva would escape I kept an extra eye out while working on the fence and it soon became clear, why she would ignore all she learned about that fence.

Viva is in season again. She teases Kenzo for a while, but after his neutering, the romantic days from before are over. He does make a harmless attempt, but quickly gives up. Viva then rushes to the fence, as if she thinks: "well, let's see who's out there then?".

Where before Kenzo was the big magnet - Viva would do anything to come closer to Kenzo - their magnetic poles now seem to have switched to the opposite effect during the time Viva is in season.
Flowers and Bees.... yes, I DO remember ... something
Kenzo's attempts of luvin' are cute. Viva is still his girl. He just doesn't go bezerk anymore like before his neutering. He seems to remember the flowers and the bees, but forgot what all the fuzz exactly was about.

Viva clearly is not pleased. When nature is calling, what can you do?
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