JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Good Dog: Small Dog, Big Heart

Illustration by John Cuneo

by Wells Tower – June/July 2014  –  Garden &  Gun  –  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

The nervous work of owning—and finally loving—a Chihuahua

For many years, I thought that owners of small dogs harbored stunted souls. Parents of infant beauty queens. Weird bachelors with pet stairs by their beds. Adult hoarders of dolls and teddy bears. People deranged by an obsession with the adorable.

Then, in my late twenties, when I was living in  New Orleans, a good friend of mine found a bedraggled Chihuahua in a ditch and brought her home. It was a comical, toothless animal with a bullfrog’s tongue that would slap her in the eye on the recoil. That dog had a lot of ditch trauma to work through. She needed to sit on somebody at all times or she got the shakes. I was home most days, so I let the dog make use of my lap during business hours. When I moved back to North Carolina, I was surprised to discover a Chihuahua-size hole in my life.

So I started looking for a dog. I knew I wanted a pound animal, though not for any lofty moral reasons. I wanted a desperate dog, one without high expectations of whoever took it in. My family had dogs when I Deformed Chiwas a kid. The bunch of us should be arrested for how we let those animals down. They were outdoor dogs too disgusting to pet. We let ticks get on them and grow as big as minié balls. When the family went out of town, we’d leave the dog on the porch with a bag of cheap food. Eventually, they’d get sick of us and wander off. So my track record with dogs wasn’t the greatest, but I figured one otherwise bound for the gas chamber couldn’t really gripe about winding up in my care.

I spent long hours at the keyboard, browsing head shots at an online clearinghouse for discarded dogs. A Chihuahua was what I was after, but I didn’t want it to be too grotesque: too bug-eyed or hog-snouted or bat-eared or obviously rodentlike. Looking for an ungrotesque Chihuahua is like trying to find a dignified clown. It took a good bit of time.

At last, I found a candidate. The head shot showed a creature with a long, aristocratic nose and smart, Dobermanly ears. Her eyes were large but not hyperthyroidal. They seemed to reflect intelligence but also the right measure of desperation. She was waiting on death row at the dog pound in Winston-Salem, ninety minutes from my home. I gave them a call to see if the dog had yet been gassed. “Nope, she’s still here!” an exhaustingly jolly Southern voice exclaimed.

“Oh, you will just love this crazy little creature. We call her Tinsy, but you could call her Teensy-Meensy-Weensy-Eensy! She is that small! She’s one of them little reindeer dogs, you know. She’s just always bouncing all around on them little teensy reindeer legs. She is kinda licky and kinda barky but she’s a funny little ball of fun.”

Annabelle May 09Funny Chi

I was in the market for a lap sleeper, a hot-water bottle in canine form. From the sound of it, this reindeer dog embodied much that is dislikable in the miniature breeds. But I had committed to paying the dog a visit, and I make it a point never to betray a promise to the incarcerated. I went and had a look. The lady I talked to on the phone dragged Tinsy out from where she’d been hiding behind a file cabinet. Tinsy, who was maybe a year old, had been found walking the streets of Winston-Salem naked. Like most women found in this condition, she was not in the greatest shape. She resembled a dog the way those caiman-head back scratchers resemble an alligator. Her face was okay, but the rest of her body was a bony rod upholstered in bald gray skin. I had seen rats with prettier tails. Hers was without a whisker and looked as though it had been set afire and extinguished under the needle of a sewing machine.

“You wanna hold her?” the shelter lady asked me, wagging Tinsy at me like a dishrag. I did not want to hold Tinsy. I wanted to leave the room. But Tinsy was thrust into my arms. This dog had long, scraggly talons, and she clung to my sweater like a bat to a screen door. I grimaced. The dog grimaced. “That’s a wrap!” cried the shelter lady. “That is your dog. She is absolutely your dog.”

I wanted to tell this woman that I wanted Tinsy like I wanted a case of shingles, but courage failed me. I wrote a check for the adoption fee. Then I carried the dog to my car and began calling every softhearted person I knew to see if they would take this creature off my hands.

At home, I took to my couch and fretted. What business did I have with a dog? I traveled for work eight months out of the year. And this dog? I didn’t want to look at her much less look after her for the twenty years Chihuahuas can expect to live. (The oldest living Chihuahua is 32+). Then the dog, who had been busy peeing on my bedroom floor, wandered over. She tilted her head at a sympathetic angle, then she jumped onto the sofa and clambered onto my shoulder, where she pulled herself into a sphere and went snortingly to sleep.

How easily we are gentled. The plan to ditch her got ditched. I started calling her Edie, whose vowel sounds she hearkened to as she had her prison name. I loaded her up on ludicrously expensive foods: Alaskan salmon, mutton jerky from New Zealand. She doubled her weight, from two pounds to four. I put her through expensive mange treatments, fed her fish oil, greased her in vitamin E to regrow her hair. After a couple of seasons, she fluffed out and the knobs of her spine receded. She began to look less like a back scratcher and more, as a friend described her, “like a cross between a wolf and a flea.”

“No man should have a dog like that,” my cousin once said to me. “We’re not careful enough. You could drop the Sunday paper on her and break her back. It’s like getting a crystal set. No guy should have a thing that fragile in the house.”

And it’s true. Owning Edie is nervous work. A few years back, I nearly lost her. Summoned from the house by the sound of raving crows, I went out to check on Edie in the yard. She was absent from her usual sunbathing spot. In the lower corner of the lawn, I saw a barred owl, spreading its wings over a small, still gray form. Edie was too heavy a piece of live cargo for the owl, so the bird was patiently trying to murder her. I nearly had to kick the bird off of her. A talon had made three bloody divots in Edie’s head, but no lasting damage was done.

At nearly twelve, Edie is deep in middle age and, repairwise, is not much less expensive than a ’55 Studebaker. I’ve put far more money into her mouth than I’ve put into my own. Before I got Edie, I’d have said that a fair definition of an insane person is somebody who takes out a thirty-three-hundred-dollar cash advance to pay for exploratory liver surgery for a dog. I did that three years ago. But when you get accustomed, every night, to a warm gentle presence stretching herself across your clavicle and easing you into sleep, it becomes as dire a habit as barbiturate abuse. Addicts do crazy things to keep withdrawal at bay.

It’s weird. One day, you’re a twenty-eight-year-old man of traditional tastes and accoutrements and the next, you’re a forty-year-old bachelor with a four-pound, big-eyed, molting pussy willow of a dog.

Still, I do what I can to keep the grotesquerie contained. When people ask what kind of dog I have, I tell them, “I don’t know, I got her from the pound.” I do not carry Edie around in a Snugli. I have never bought the dog shoes or a hat. I would like to tell you that my home contains no doggie sweaters, and that there are not dog stairs by my bed, but this would not be true.

For those of us who love small dogs… Chihuahuas, Chihuahua Mixes, and miniatures of any type, we know that they are great pets and are always happy when just one more person discovers how special they are or another person or family adopts must one more small dog… just one more pet of any kind.  Every pet deserves a good home! (JOMP)

The Fam thumb in Frame

“For the Love of a Pet”

Our gang of Chihuahuas and Chiweenies (JOMP)

Photo by The UCLA Shutterbug

February 27, 2015 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elwood, Crowned World’s Ugliest Dog in 2007, Has Died

world's ugliest dog diesElwood, the New Jersey canine that was crowned the world’s ugliest dog in 2007 and later became the topic of a children’s book preaching acceptance died. unexpectedly Thanksgiving morning at age.

His owner, Karen Quigley, said the Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix died after having some heath issues in recent months but recently appeared to be doing well.

Elwood was dark colored and hairless, saving for a puff of white fur resembling a Mohawk on his head. He was often referred to by fans as Yoda, or E.T., for his resemblance to those famous science-fiction characters.

Elwood won his crown at the annual ugly dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in Petaluma, California a year after he had finished second.

Quigley had rescued Elwood in 2005, when he was about nine months old.

"The breeder was going to euthanize him because she thought he was too ugly to sell," Quigley has said.

After garnering the ‘ugly dog title’, Elwood became an online darling and developed a worldwide fan base. During his life, he appeared at more than 200 events that helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal rescue groups and nonprofit animal organizations.

Inspired by Elwood, Quigley wrote Everyone Loves Elwood: A True Story, a popular children’s book that promoted a message that it’s OK to be different. Quigley said the book shares lessons of love, compassion and perseverance and encourages readers to be kind to animals.

"He made people smile, he made them laugh and feel good. It was wonderful," Quigley said Saturday. "He will truly be missed."

Related: 

BEHOLD YODA: CHINESE CRESTED-CHIHUAHUA MIX DEEMED ‘UGLIEST DOG’

Book: World’s Ugliest Dogs

December 2, 2013 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Chihuahua, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cava-poo-chon Never Looses Puppy Face

Cava--Poo-Chon smlThe cavapoochon is a cavalier King Charles spaniel and bichon frise mix-bred with a miniature poodle and it’s reportedly hypoallergenic with a puppy face forever.

“Imagine the ideal designer dog. It would be smart, healthy and hypoallergenic. It would have the yap bred out and longevity bred in. And, most important, it would never lose its puppy face.”

With the help of a geneticist and reproductive veterinarian, the tribrid or “triple cross” was created by Linda and Steve Rogers of Timshell Farm in Pine, Ariz.

With a price tag ranging from $2,000 to $3,500, the cava-poo-chon combines the best of the three breeds, Linda Rogers said. She added that there is no reason they can’t live for 20 years. The Rogers’ offer a choice of color and two types of coat – curly or very curly, she said.

“There’s always been a market for these forever-ish young dogs,” said veteran trainer Steve Haynes of Fidelio Dog Works in Austin who is working with 50 first-generation cava-poo-chons.

The American Kennel Club does not however recognize the cava-poo-chon. “AKC does not recognize cross-bred or mixed breed dogs as official breeds,” spokeswoman Lisa Peterson said. “These dogs are the product of two purebred parents of different breeds, resulting in a litter of mixed breed puppies, not a new breed, according to our requirements.”

Certainly a face you couldn’t help but love!!

November 22, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Out of Style and Up For Adoption – Hundreds Of Miniature ‘Handbag Dogs’ Abandoned by Owners

(Beth Hale, Daily Mail) — Padding along the path, Sammy the long-haired dachshund took a few steps before stopping abruptly and plonking himself down on his silky rump. Refusing to move, he looked up with a doleful pair of brown eyes, pleading to be carried.

Shelby, 2-year-old chihuahua

It was clear from the moment Sammy arrived at a rehoming center early last year that he was a dog with problems. In fact, the poor thing didn’t really know how to be a dog at all. For the best part of two years, he had been carried around under his owner’s arm or in a handbag.

The cute bundle of fur had become a prima donna on four miniature legs, with no understanding of simple things such as going for a walk or how to behave around other dogs. ‘I’ve never fallen so much in love with a dog,’ says Dogs Trust education officer Charlotte Peters.

‘He was absolutely gorgeous, he would give you those eyes that would make you melt but, oh, he was so badly behaved. His female owner had carried him around everywhere. She spoiled him rotten, treated him like a baby, so left him with a lot of problems — he’d snarl if you patted another dog in front of him.

‘He had to be the centre of attention. And if you tried to take him for a walk he would trot along for a couple of minutes, then stop, sit down and expect to be picked up.’

A sorry tale and, unfortunately, one that is increasingly being played out at animal rescue centres around the country. This week, the Dogs Trust — the country’s largest dog welfare charity — revealed the last year had seen more than 400 so-called handbag dogs being dumped at their  doors, a 44 per cent increase.

Why? Largely because the dogs’ owners became bored with them, much as a child gets bored with a new toy.

Inspired by stars who treat these tiny pets as just another fashion accessory, celebrity-obsessed members of the public have been buying the dogs on a whim, only to find they can’t cope with them or afford them. The dogs can cost upwards of $1,500, and that’s before any food, grooming or vet bills are taken into account.

The Dogs Trust is so concerned about the trend for teenagers to acquire handbag dogs simply to be ‘cool’ that it’s launching a dog-care education programme for schools.

For many, it is already too late. This is why hundreds of pint-sized pooches ranging from chihuahuas and dachshunds to shih tzus and pomeranians, once spoilt rotten as they peered out from their owners’ designer handbags,  are having to adjust to life in the less than salubrious surroundings of rehoming centres.

The trend for these pampered pooches was fuelled by the likes of Paris Hilton, who is constantly seen tottering with her chihuahua Tinkerbelle under her arm — the poor pup usually dressed in outfits colour co-ordinated to match her own.

But she’s by no means the only culprit. The list of celebrities with handbag-sized dogs includes Madonna and Britney Spears, who have chihuahuas, Eva Longoria with her pug, and Coleen Rooney with Daisy the bichon frise.

But despite their diminutive size, little dogs can be very demanding. And it seems that in the real world, many owners can’t cope.

In 2009, 285 toy dogs were handed in to the Dog Trust’s 17 rehoming centres; last year, 409 were given up. The vast majority of the animals were less than two years old.

‘People like to mimic the stars,’ says Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of the Dogs Trust. ‘The problem is that when the new dog owner gets their pet home they realise that actually it’s not what they want after all.

‘Perhaps they get bored, perhaps they don’t see photographs of the celebrity they admired with their dog any more and, eventually, they end up getting rid of it.’

Her point could not be more sharply illustrated than in the case of Sammy the dachshund, who found himself at the Dogs Trust in Harefield, West London, after narrowly avoiding being put down.

Mollycoddled and spoilt, Sammy became so unmanageable that his young female owner made the extraordinary decision to take him to the vet and put him to sleep. ‘Fortunately, the vet called us and we were able to help,’ says Charlotte Peters. ‘But even though he had a close call, Sammy went to four homes before he found the right one.

‘Finally, in July, he went to a married couple in their 40s with two other dogs, who have worked with him to train him out of his bad manners.’

Earlier this year, the Blue Cross animal adoption centre in Southampton saw another extreme result of the handbag dog phenomenon when it took in two 20-month-old Pomeranians named — wait for it —Britney and Diesel.

‘Britney was so used to being carried that she refused to walk and was terrified of the lead,’ says centre manager Lara Alford.

‘We found out she had never been out on walks and was just used to being cuddled and fussed over. We tried everything we could to make her walk on the lead, but as soon as we brought it out she lay on the floor and played dead. Eventually, we found her a new owner, who had  to carry her home.’

Then there was Poppy, a four-month-old pomeranian puppy handed in to the Dogs Trust in Shoreham, West Sussex. Poppy was bought on a whim by a 17-year-old boy on Christmas Eve as the perfect accessory for his ‘man bag’. Perhaps he’d been inspired by Robbie Williams, who is sometimes seen carrying his pekingese in a bag.

Within a week, the teenager was bored of carrying the tiny pup around and gave the dog to his mother, who handed it to the centre a few weeks later.

Julie Bedford, head of behaviour for the Blue Cross, has seen such outcomes too many times. ‘People seem to think small dogs are easy,’ she says. ‘But they aren’t. In fact, some of the terrier breeds are very active because they have been bred to chase rabbits down holes.’

Dachshunds, for instance, were bred to go after badgers, which are ferocious opponents, so when they get scared they can be snappy.

And it’s not just behavioural difficulties that owners can find themselves dealing with. Many toy dogs are prone to conditions such as luxating patellas, in which the kneecaps on the rear legs slip out of place, causing pain, stiffness and difficulties walking.

If the dog does not get enough exercise because it spends most of its time being carried, it can put on weight, which puts more strain on the joints.

Other breeds, such as the pug, can face difficulties as a result of the very features that make them so popular. Their squashed faces can mean they are prone to breathing difficulties and eye problems, their curly tails can be associated with spinal difficulties and even the folds of their skin need careful attention to ensure they don’t gather dirt.

Yet that hasn’t stopped them becoming a celebrity favorite — with the likes of Kelly Brook, Mickey Rourke and Kelly Osbourne owning one, helping to make the breed enter the list of the nation’s top ten best-loved dogs for the first time.

Such trends alarm welfare experts, who fear they encourage unscrupulous breeders, who raise litters of puppies in appalling conditions.

In Britain the law says a bitch over eight years old can produce no more than one litter a year. But such laws do not apply everywhere, which has led to a black-market puppy trade with unscrupulous breeders selling fashionable puppies to dealers for a fraction of the market price.

‘Anyone can fall for a cute dog without thinking it through,’ says Clarissa Baldwin. ‘Small dogs are always popular, but we just want people to think about the dog’s needs and remember it is a dog and was given four feet for a reason.’

‘One of our staff members saw a lady in a pet shop choosing between two puppies, a husky and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. She was making her choice by holding them up next to her in the mirror to see which dog suited her best. That’s not the way to choose a dog.’

h/t to Emily Moore at WIDK  -  Cross-Posted at AskMarion

This is happening in America as well as in Britain/Europe. This epidemic of returning pets to shelters or worse just abandoning them is happening in part due to the failing economy (worldwide), but it is happening primarily because of a lack of loyalty and responsibility (or any advance thought and planning) in our spoiled youth and also because of their self-love over love for a pet, grandparents, family, friends and often even their own offspring. It is a symptom of the self-absorbed ‘me’ generation. A pet is your responsibility, part of your family and should be something you love… not a toy or a possession that you discard! It is a frightening portrait of the inner thoughts of (primarily) the youth of today. (And I know it isn’t everyone… but it is far too many!) JOMP~

If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own!

October 2, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal abuse, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Abuse, Pet Adoption, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

BEHOLD YODA: CHINESE CRESTED-CHIHUAHUA MIX DEEMED ‘UGLIEST DOG’

AP

PETALUMA, California (AP) — Yoda’s short tufts of hair, protruding tongue, and long, seemingly hairless legs were enough to earn it the World’s Ugliest Dog title at a Northern California fair.

The 14-year-old Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix won the honor Friday night at the 23rd annual contest at the Sonoma Marin Fair.

Owner Terry Schumacher of Hanford, California, says the 2-pound (900-gram) dog has come a long way since she was found abandoned behind an apartment building. Schumacher says she first thought the pooch was a rat.

Yoda’s distinction comes a year after a one-eyed Chihuahua named Princess Abby claimed victory. A pedigree Chinese crested won in 2008 and another Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix was the ugliest in 2007.

Raw Video: the World’s ‘Ugliest Dog’

In past years, the winner’s owner has received a $1,000 check.

I’m a dog lover and say… Yoda is cute… in his own way!!

h/t to the Blaze

June 26, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Chihuahua, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, On The Lighter Side, Pet Events, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Doggie DNA Testing

“He wa’n’t no common dog, he wa’n’t no mongrel; he was a composite. A composite dog is a dog that is made up of all the valuable qualities that’s in the dog breed — kind of a syndicate; and a mongrel is made up of all riffraff that’s left over.”  …Mark Twain

(Many of yesterday’s Mutts are today’s Hybrid or Designer Dogs…)

Doggie DNA Testing

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Unknown Mixed Breeds

Through the marvels of DNA testing, some of the greatest mysteries of Mutt-dom are being revealed.

Dogs of vague or unrecognizable ancestry — whether fluffy white mongrels with Chihuahua ears and beagle-like voices or massive hounds that resemble nothing previously seen in nature — are being exposed for what they really are, genetically speaking.

DNA testing can disclose what breeds dominate their family trees. And thousands of people are happy to pay, about $60 to $170 depending on the method and company chosen, to end the what-do-you-suppose-he-is speculation of mixed-breed dog owners everywhere.

The first test was unveiled less than a year ago. Now, consumer interest is growing so fast that more companies are jumping into the doggie-identification business, websites are being enhanced, and additional breeds are being added to testing databases.

“Pure curiosity, getting the answer” is the reason most owners seek out the testing, says Neale Fretwell, head geneticist for Mars Veterinary, maker of the Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis. The analysis can determine which of 134 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club composes a dog’s genetic makeup.

And some of the answers are real stunners, not only for the owners but also for the veterinarians who have made their best guesses, Fretwell says.

The procedure requires an appointment with a veterinarian to draw a blood sample, and when analysis is completed in two or three weeks, a follow-up visit to discuss the findings. The pricing is set by individual veterinarians, $135 to $170.

Another reason owners go the testing route is to uncover possible explanations for behaviors that might be inherited, such as herding people and other pets or rooting around in chipmunk or mole holes.

Other owners want to know whether their dogs have a high proportion of a breed predisposed to a particular ailment or frailty, although experts caution that it’s impossible to know which traits, including propensity for disease or medical problems, a mongrel might inherit from any particular breed.

No one offering such tests suggests a mongrel assumes some sort of elevated status upon learning a purebred bloodhound or dachshund entered his ancestry generations ago.

Indeed, the companies celebrate the characteristics of mixed breeds, and some experts applaud “hybrid vigor,” the belief that mixing unrelated breeds can create a stronger, healthier dog than purebreds, which can pass on genetic conditions found in specific breeds.

Many clients are “very surprised” upon receiving word of what breeds populate their dog’s background, Fretwell says.

Meg Retinger, chief administrative officer of BioPet Vet Lab in Knoxville, Tenn., says: “Some people say, ‘That’s just exactly what I thought.’ “Others” have such preconceived notions about what their pet is they just won’t accept the results.”

In January, the lab began marketing its $59.95 DNA Breed Identification kit, which tests for 61 AKC breeds using cheek cells scraped by the owner.

But the signature appearance characteristics of a particular breed don’t always materialize, even when there’s a high proportion of that breed in a dog, Fretwell says.

A mongrel with a German shepherd parent or grandparent, for example, might not have the black and tan coloring, the saddle pattern on its back or even the long muzzle. Some could not show any shepherd characteristics.

Size, color and a host of physical features such as ear and muzzle shape and tail type are influenced by genetics, and when several breeds meld in one dog, it’s tough for even experts to eyeball a mutt and accurately assess what lies within.

Connie Steele of Colorado Springs learned that. This year she adopted a black-and-white dog that shelter personnel thought was mostly border collie and about 1½ years old. She soon discovered from her veterinarian that Ellie was still a puppy, probably less border collie than believed and almost certain to grow a lot more.

Steele had Ellie tested because, she jokes, she wanted “a bit of warning if I’m going to need to plan ahead for a larger house to accommodate a 2-year-old pony-sized dog.”

Upon receiving Ellie’s results, Steele did not begin house-shopping, though she was surprised by the breeds found in her background. Steele believes the information she now has about Ellie and also Kayla, another recently adopted shelter dog, offers clues about how to approach their training.

Most DNA tests show three or four different breeds in the mixed breeds’ ancestries, and many show five or six, experts say. Several more probably are in the mix, but the amounts have been so dissipated over the generations, they are merely weak traces, unlikely to influence a dog’s appearance or behavior.

And, yes, a few dogs comprise so many disparate breeds, the experts and their tests just can’t solve the puzzle.

“Even the best test can’t answer every question of biology,” says Dennis Fantin, chief of operations for MetaMorphix, a company in Beltsville, Md., that has done testing for the AKC for years. The company now offers a $119.95 mixed-breed cheek-swab kit. The Canine Heritage XL Breed Test can detect 108 breeds.

Sometimes, any pure DNA has become “so diluted” by encounters with mixed breeds over the generations that no answers emerge, Fantin says.

Their owners are told the mystery must remain.

From USA Today

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Chiweenies          &              Chorkies

Designer Breeds

“My name is Oprah Winfrey. I have a talk show. I’m single. I have eight dogs — five golden retrievers, two black labs, and a mongrel. I have four years of college.”  …Oprah Winfrey, when asked to describe herself during jury selection

Join Us At ‘Just One More… Pet’… in the Fight Against Unnecessary Pet Euthanization By Finding Loving Homes for Unwanted and Abandoned Pets

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December 18, 2009 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Change Number of Pet Restrictive Laws. Ordinances and Rules, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Many of yesterday’s Mutts are today’s Hybrid or Designer Dogs…

“He wa’n’t no common dog, he wa’n’t no mongrel; he was a composite. A composite dog is a dog that is made up of all the valuable qualities that’s in the dog breed — kind of a syndicate; and a mongrel is made up of all riffraff that’s left over.”  …Mark Twain

(Many of yesterday’s Mutts are today’s Hybrid or Designer Dogs…)

Doggie DNA Testing

Big Family

 

Unknown Mixed Breeds

Cheech and Duke

Through the marvels of DNA testing, some of the greatest mysteries of Mutt-dom are being revealed.

Dogs of vague or unrecognizable ancestry — whether fluffy white mongrels with Chihuahua ears and beagle-like voices or massive hounds that resemble nothing previously seen in nature — are being exposed for what they really are, genetically speaking.

DNA testing can disclose what breeds dominate their family trees. And thousands of people are happy to pay, about $60 to $170 depending on the method and company chosen, to end the what-do-you-suppose-he-is speculation of mixed-breed dog owners everywhere.

The first test was unveiled less than a year ago. Now, consumer interest is growing so fast that more companies are jumping into the doggie-identification business, websites are being enhanced, and additional breeds are being added to testing databases.

“Pure curiosity, getting the answer” is the reason most owners seek out the testing, says Neale Fretwell, head geneticist for Mars Veterinary, maker of the Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed Analysis. The analysis can determine which of 134 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club composes a dog’s genetic makeup.

And some of the answers are real stunners, not only for the owners but also for the veterinarians who have made their best guesses, Fretwell says.

The procedure requires an appointment with a veterinarian to draw a blood sample, and when analysis is completed in two or three weeks, a follow-up visit to discuss the findings. The pricing is set by individual veterinarians, $135 to $170.

Another reason owners go the testing route is to uncover possible explanations for behaviors that might be inherited, such as herding people and other pets or rooting around in chipmunk or mole holes.

Other owners want to know whether their dogs have a high proportion of a breed predisposed to a particular ailment or frailty, although experts caution that it’s impossible to know which traits, including propensity for disease or medical problems, a mongrel might inherit from any particular breed.

No one offering such tests suggests a mongrel assumes some sort of elevated status upon learning a purebred bloodhound or dachshund entered his ancestry generations ago.

Indeed, the companies celebrate the characteristics of mixed breeds, and some experts applaud “hybrid vigor,” the belief that mixing unrelated breeds can create a stronger, healthier dog than purebreds, which can pass on genetic conditions found in specific breeds.

Many clients are “very surprised” upon receiving word of what breeds populate their dog’s background, Fretwell says.

Meg Retinger, chief administrative officer of BioPet Vet Lab in Knoxville, Tenn., says: “Some people say, ‘That’s just exactly what I thought.’ “Others” have such preconceived notions about what their pet is they just won’t accept the results.”

In January, the lab began marketing its $59.95 DNA Breed Identification kit, which tests for 61 AKC breeds using cheek cells scraped by the owner.

But the signature appearance characteristics of a particular breed don’t always materialize, even when there’s a high proportion of that breed in a dog, Fretwell says.

A mongrel with a German shepherd parent or grandparent, for example, might not have the black and tan coloring, the saddle pattern on its back or even the long muzzle. Some could not show any shepherd characteristics.

Size, color and a host of physical features such as ear and muzzle shape and tail type are influenced by genetics, and when several breeds meld in one dog, it’s tough for even experts to eyeball a mutt and accurately assess what lies within.

Connie Steele of Colorado Springs learned that. This year she adopted a black-and-white dog that shelter personnel thought was mostly border collie and about 1½ years old. She soon discovered from her veterinarian that Ellie was still a puppy, probably less border collie than believed and almost certain to grow a lot more.

Steele had Ellie tested because, she jokes, she wanted “a bit of warning if I’m going to need to plan ahead for a larger house to accommodate a 2-year-old pony-sized dog.”

Upon receiving Ellie’s results, Steele did not begin house-shopping, though she was surprised by the breeds found in her background. Steele believes the information she now has about Ellie and also Kayla, another recently adopted shelter dog, offers clues about how to approach their training.

Most DNA tests show three or four different breeds in the mixed breeds’ ancestries, and many show five or six, experts say. Several more probably are in the mix, but the amounts have been so dissipated over the generations, they are merely weak traces, unlikely to influence a dog’s appearance or behavior.

And, yes, a few dogs comprise so many disparate breeds, the experts and their tests just can’t solve the puzzle.

“Even the best test can’t answer every question of biology,” says Dennis Fantin, chief of operations for MetaMorphix, a company in Beltsville, Md., that has done testing for the AKC for years. The company now offers a $119.95 mixed-breed cheek-swab kit. The Canine Heritage XL Breed Test can detect 108 breeds.

Sometimes, any pure DNA has become “so diluted” by encounters with mixed breeds over the generations that no answers emerge, Fantin says.

Their owners are told the mystery must remain.

From USA Today

Chorkies           &              Chiweenies

Designer Breeds

“My name is Oprah Winfrey. I have a talk show. I’m single. I have eight dogs — five golden retrievers, two black labs, and a mongrel. I have four years of college.”  …Oprah Winfrey, when asked to describe herself during jury selection

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Join Us At ‘Just One More… Pet’

…in the Fight Against Unnecessary Pet Euthanization By Finding Loving Homes for Unwanted and Abandoned Pets, by Adopting Just One More Pet and By Fighting Legislation That Restricts Pet Owners To Less Than a Combination of 4-Pets   

May 20, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mixed Breeds are Stars at Nuts for Mutts Dog Show

Non-profit animal rescue group New Leash on Life will host their 8th Annual Nuts for Mutts Dog Show and Pet Fair Sunday, May 17, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at Shepard Stadium at Pierce College, 6201 Winnetka Ave., Woodland Hills.

Hundreds of mixed breed dogs are expected to compete before a panel of celebrity judges in categories such as, “Fastest Mutt,” “Most Ear-resistible Ears,” “Most Toy/Ball Crazy,” and, of course, “Best in Show.” 

This year’s fundraiser event will be emceed by MADtv’s Debra Wilson Skelton, and will feature pet adoptions, a silent auction, pet-related vendors, children activities, live music, and much more.

Scooble.com, the online resource for finding the best pet food and services, will join the festivities, and will be giving away goody bags of pet-friendly treats as well as raffling off two $75 TLC 4 Pets boarding and Catsaway Hotel gift certificates.

Mutt Reading“We wanted to do something special for the participants and attendees of Nuts for Mutts,” said Scooble.com’s Rob Chell. “What’s more special than a stay at a luxury pet hotel?”

To register your mutt, visit www.NutsForMutts.org. Your dog must be a mixed breed, non-aggressive, and be spayed or neutered.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

May 15, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Events, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New First Pooch Is Arriving Soon

harding-and-laddie-boy_0818

Warren Harding with Laddie Boy Library Of Congress / Getty ENLARGE + Print EmailShare ReprintsRelated

During the dog days of last summer, perhaps the most important looming decision facing Barack Obama was choosing a dog for his girls.  Way back, as he set out on this quest for the Presidency, he made the one campaign promise he absolutely could not break: that when it was all over, whatever the outcome, his daughters could get a dog.  And if they ended up at Pennsylvannia Avenue the pup would certainly not be the first dog or pet in the White House so would have a long legacy of presidential pets to follow and live up to.

Things have changed since the days when George Washington could name his hounds Drunkard, Tipler and Tipsy. Warren Harding’s Airedale Laddie Boy had a valet and occupied a hand-carved chair at Cabinet meetings. Ulysses S. Grant told his White House staff that if anything happened to his son’s beloved Newfoundland, they’d all be fired. Teddy Roosevelt had, along with a badger, a toad, some snakes and a pig, a bull terrier named Pete who once ripped the pants of a French ambassador. Cousin Franklin’s dog Fala had a press secretary, starred in a movie and was named an honorary private in the Army. George H.W. Bush’s springer spaniel Millie wrote a book, which sold more copies than the President’s autobiography. And then, of course, there was Checkers. Harry Truman supposedly once said, You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog. ( By Nancy Gibbs/TIME)

It’s hard enough to pick the right dog.  But adding the fact that you may be the First Family and need a hypoallergenic breed increases the difficulty of the process.  So the American Kennel Club (AKC), hoping to help ensure the 23rd purebred dog into the White House, conducted a survey. The public could even vote online for the type of dog they thought the Obamas should get for the AKC survey, and other groups sponsored similar surveys. Since first daughter Malia has allergies, the AKC limited the ballot choice to five hypoallergenic breeds. It suggested the bichon frise with its history as a companion to French noblemen implying qualification of the breed for the White House. But perhaps it was not the exact image the Obamas were looking for. It recommended the miniature schnauzer as an excellent watchdog, for a little added security (although probably not needed), and the soft-coated wheaten terrior with its sweet-temperament as a positive goodwill ambassador, though it “must be handled firmly and with consistency,” which also may not have been the ideal characteristic choice for the candidate of Change.

The AKC’s preference for purebreds, however, missed the obvious stellar opportunity for the Obamapup. Surely a self-proclaimed postpartisan reformer, who promised to ‘reach across the aisle’,  would lean toward some stunningly blended mutt, a rescued shelter dog or at least one of the American Canine Hybrid Club’s 500 plus registered hybrids. Afterall, the hybrid pooch or designer dog was bred to give you the best of both breeds: a Labradoodle, a Peke-a-Poo, a Bagle (half basset, half beagle) or a Chiweenie (half chihuahua, half dachshund). A bully pulpit seeking candidate might like the Bullypit (a bulldog-pit-bull mix), or he could go for a Sharmatian–part Chinese Shar-Pei, part Dalmatian–and get the whole East-and-West, black-and-white thing going in one single pooch.

There was even a suggestion during the campaign, that their decision for a type of dog, if not actually getting one before the election,  should be moved up, given the competition from the ‘McCainines’. An AP–Yahoo News poll last June (2008) found that pet owners favored John McCain over Obama, 42% to 37%, with an even bigger margin among dog owners. One participant explained that it “tells you that they’re responsible at least for something, for the care of something.” Or, in the McCains’ case, “many somethings”:  their menagerie includes a slew of fish, some parakeets, turtles Cuff and Link, Oreo the cat and four dogs, including terriers Lucy and Desi. Obama could take comfort in his 14-point lead among non–pet owners, except that they form a definate minority of U.S. households.

The Obamas were pre-warned, that although a good one, they were definitely looking at another major life change by getting a dog for the first time. “A dog was never an option in the apartment where I grew up”, said Obama, “and my daughters knew that training the dog they so desperately wanted was nothing compared with training me to accept one”.

portuguese_water_dogWell it is now two and a half months into the presidency and still no first dog, and it seems like the whole world, at least the pet loving world, is waiting for their choice and the arrival of the first pooch.  The word from First Lady Michelle is April, after their Spring Break family vacation, and possibly a Portuguese Water Dog…  and not a puppy (which could mean that in the end the AKC got their next purebred into the White House afterall).  Senator Ted Kennedy, whose neice Caroline got a pony while in the White House, highly recommended the breed.  He has two.  Their coat is a single layer and does not shed. In most cases, these dogs are hypo- allergenic, making them a good choice for those that have allergies.

So, there will be a new pooch frolicking on the South Lawn by the end of this month.

The next obvious question for speculation, of course, is the perfect name for the next first dog. Some suggest the Obamas should just get two, one for each of the girls, and call them Hope and Change.  Of course there are others that suggest getting two dogs but calling them Smoke and Mirror or Fear and “Quo”, for Status Quo, would be the best call, but that would be a subject for another type of blog or article.

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By Marion Algier/Ask Marion – Posted – Just One More Pet

April 3, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, Just One More Pet, Pets, Political Change, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments