Thursday, May 28, 2009

HOTLR Lab Lance Invited to Giro d'Italia Watch Party

So who is the last "person" you'd expect to see at a Tour of Italy viewing party? If your answer is a Labrador, think again. Last night Mellow Johnny's bike shop hosted a watch party for the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia bike race complete with Italian themed appetizers and wine.

Our own Heart of Texas Lab Rescue Lance was the special guest of honor. Many of you know his story by now. Attacked by dogs several weeks ago, he was surrendered to the care of Buttercup Creek Animal Hospital where he underwent extensive surgery to repair his wounds. Buttercup Creek contacted HOTLR and soon he found his new temporary home with the rescue group. Lance named after Lance Armstrong for his courage and determination to go on against all odds, is now fully recovered from his surgery and has nearly completed his first round of heartworm treatment.

Ted Arnold of Mellow Johnny's is an adopter, volunteer, and foster for HOTLR. After seeing Lance's story he worked with Erin O'Neill, PR person for MJ's to wrangle an invitation for HOTLR to attend last night's party. Lance hob-nobbed and schmoozed with some of Austin's biking elite and Lance Armstrong Foundation supporters. Resplendent in his yellow collar and matching bike jersey, Lance quickly made friends, especially with those who were sampling some of the Italian nibbles. Ray Hebert Lance's current foster dad and HOTLR board member gave a short informative presentation about Lance and the HOTLR organization. Many people stopped by to talk about HOTLR and how they might help. Of course, several people came to have their pictures taken with HOTLR's Lance also. As the crowd thinned, Lance relaxed on the floor as others came to give him a pet and a belly rub which he graciously offered. On the big screen, viewers watched Lance, the bike racer, cruise to a 10th place finish in yesterday's 17th stage.

The event was a successful one for HOTLR as the resuce group's existence and cause were promoted. Rumor has it that there may be future partnerships between MJ's and HOTLR, so stayed tuned for further updates!! HOTLR is most grateful to Ted Arnold, Erin O'Neill and the entire staff of Mellow Johnny's for the invite and making last night's event a success!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Skunk Season Is Upon Us. What To Do If Your Lab Gets Caught In A Forest Outing Gone Bad.

So Your Labbie got Skunked!!!

We all know that Labs can get themselves into a spot of trouble from time to time. Maybe they've chewed up your favorite shoe, or perhaps, the cake you spent three hours baking and icing for tonight's dinner party suddenly has a big chomp out of it....Or maybe, your pup has gotten the bad end (quite literally) of a chance encounter with a skunk. Well, there isn't an easy remedy to repair your shredded shoe, or to return the perfect cake to its former pristine condition, but luckily, there is some help available for the dreaded skunk spray and other wonderful smells your kids get themselves into.

Option 1: Camping Soap
Ray Hebert, board member and volunteer of HOTLR shares his experience with his beloved Shasta (aka the Skunk Queen)

Having lived with Labs in the country they have from time to time gotten into some smelly situations. But skunks are the worst. Shasta could find a skunk no matter where she was. And if a skunk was not around then she would find the next smelliest thing to roll in.

Over the years we have tried tomato juice, Skunk Off, doggy deodorizers, shampoos etc… most of them worked to some degree. But what we found worked best for us was Camp Suds or Dr. Romney's Camping Soap. Camp Suds/Dr. Romneys are concentrated biodegradable environmentally friendly camping soaps. You can find them at camping supply stores like REI, Cabelas, etc… Get the one that has eucalyptus oil included.

Put it on full strength (normally you would cut it 10 to 1). Do 2 wash and rinse cycles right in a row. That will get just about all the smell out. Then use a hair conditioner to finish it off. The conditioner is critical as putting camping soap on full strength will dry out the skin and the conditioner will restore some of the oils. As well as give the coat a nice luster.

I don’t recommend that this be used each time you bathe your Labbie. For regular baths use a good quality flea and tick shampoo. It is much less harsh on your Labbies skin. Check with your veterinarian for recommendations.

So there you have it. My family has used this method for over 30 years on our Labs. Camping soap is great for all sorts of cleanups around the house (not just for your dog). And since it is biodegradable it is environmentally friendly.

Option 2: Hydrogen Peroxide/baking soda & dish washing soap
If you are caught in a pinch and do not have camping soap available, another reliable concoction for ridding your Lab of skunk stink follows:

  • 1 quart Hydrogen Peroxide (3% strength)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dish washing soap

Simply wet your dog thoroughly to the skin, dump the soap solution over the dog's skin and scrub into the coat. If your dog's face and nose are involved, use gauze squares or a sponge to dab the solution around the dogs face and eyes avoiding contact with the eyes themselves. Leave the solution on the dog to soak for 5 - 10 minutes and rinse.

As always, we recommend checking with your veterinarian for his/her opinion on the above treatments. If its after hours, contact the emergency clinic. Skunks are nocturnal animals and its been my experience that most skunk spray incidents occur in the wee hours of the morning. The emergency clinic is great at fielding these calls.

Used any other treatments for skunk spraying with success? Let us know by leaving us a comment in the comments section of our newsletter blog!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Florida Artist Chooses Heart of Texas Lab Rescue for Save A Lab A Day Campaign

Miss May as a Monet??? What could be a greater compliment???
Thanks goes out to Sheila Wedegis of Palm Bay, Florida who not only is a wonderful artist but a fellow Lab Lover as well. Ms. Wedegis has begun a campaign to paint a Labrador a day to help raise money and awareness about the various Labrador rescue groups across the US and the dogs that are available through these rescue programs.

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue (HOTLR) is proud to be the recipient of proceeds from the sale of Ms. Wedegis 11x14 painting of one of our own...Miss May. May's story touched the heart of Ms. Wedegis when she heard about May through HOTLR's Twitter page. May came to us in January from Marshall, Texas. Animal control was called to a residence where 3-4 dogs were reportedly incessantly barking. When animal control arrived, they found not three or four dogs, but 10 dogs living in a duplex in terrible conditions. It is uncertain whether a human was actually residing there, but the dogs at this residence were forced to use the floor as their food bowl as well as their toilet. Animal control was forced to destroy 3 dogs for asocial behavior, one dog went immediately to vet care for wounds and lacerations on and around his ankles, a few dogs were adopted immediately and Heart of Texas was contacted about the remainder. Margaret Huston, President of HOTLR, drove to Marshall and retrieved 3 beautiful girls - April, May and June. Both April and June have been adopted, but Miss May needed medical treatment for heartworms before she was able to meet any potential adopters. After 8 weeks of treatment, Miss May is finally available to meet people and be matched to her forever family.

To view Sheila Wedegis' website, blog and her beautiful rendition of May, please go to: To get more information about adopting, fostering or donating to Heart of Texas Lab Rescue, please go to: To get more information about May, please click on the "Labs Needing Homes" tab on HOTLR's website. To follow HOTLR on Twitter, go to

Thursday, May 7, 2009

GoodSearch gets Results

How many times a day do you Google something?

Wouldn't it be great if there was a search engine that donated money to Heart of Texas Lab Rescue (HOTLR) each time you did a search? Well, guess what??? There is......Good Search is a Yahoo powered search engine that donates about a penny per search to HOTLR each time someone uses it.

Its easy to get started. Here is a handy link that will get you all setup with Good Search it will already have HOTLab Rescue already setup as your charity.

Users who compared its results to other search engines, find that Good Search is as accurate as the other more popular search tools. So, why not donate a few pennies to HOTLR without even thinking about it? You can even download the Good Search toolbar onto your computer and track how much money HOTLR has received up to the minute.

Good Search has an additional feature called Good Shop that has affiliations with more than 1,000 on-line retailers such as Target, Amazon, and eBay among others that donate a percentage of each purchase to HOTLR. Good Search even has a feature that identifies what percentage your charity will receive of each purchase and also whether a particular retailer has any coupons available for use on current purchases.

Its easy to get started. Here is a handy link that will get you all setup with Good Search it will have HOTLab Rescue already setup as your charity.

Or if you want to got through the long process then go to and enter Heart of Texas Lab Rescue under the "Who do you GoodSearch for?"box. Once you designate HOTLR as your charity, it will become your default charity and each time you perform a search, HOTLR will receive a penny.

Once you are setup you can make Good Search your default and really help us out. Just follow the steps to download the Toolbar and start searching, shopping and donating today!!!

So if you did just 2 searches a day using Good Search that would bring in $7.30 a year which does not seem like much. But if 200 people did 2 searches a day that would be $1,460. So help us keep saving labs.