Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HOTLR to Paint the Town!! Come Out, Party with Us and Raise Money for Your Favorite Charity!!

Can you think of anything better to do on a beautiful May Saturday then to leash up your best buddy and head out to a dog party?

We have just the thing for you. On Saturday May 1st, 2010 from 12 - 4pm, Cactus Pryor's Canine Hilton Kennel located at 7509 E. MLK Blvd. is hosting a big bash. And your good friends at HOTLR will be there. Along with several other local rescue groups, HOTLR will be competing for donations with all kinds of activities. Face painting, doggie kissing booths, food from Taco Deli, live music from several local bands, demonstrations, raffles and more will keep you and ALL members of your family entertained.

The HOTLR booth will offer nail trims, a "furmination station" and fresh baked dog cookies for sale. We'll also be showcasing Wanda and Wilma two of our dogs that are currently available for adoption. With so much to do make sure to arrive early and stay late. Admission is free so come on out to Canine Hilton's Rescue Roundup and get some Labrador love and help HOTLR win some much needed donations.

On another note, how do you feel about pizza? I've not met too many people who'd turn down a slice when one is offered up. If pizza and shopping are your thing, then join us at California Pizza Kitchen in Barton Creek Mall on Tuesday, May 4th. Print out the special coupon found below and enjoy your favorite pizza while donating to your favorite rescue. Twenty percent of all proceeds generated at California Pizza Kitchen using this coupon will be donated to HOTLR. So, remember donating doesn't just feel good, it can taste good too!!! Simply click on this link: CPK coupon, print and invite a friend to dine at California Pizza Kitchen on May 4th!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Words Unspoken, Stories Untold

by Jo Albertson, HOTLR volunteer and guest blogger

After her first Web-Blast for help, Tracy Spader of Lambertville, Michigan was getting discouraged. No one was willing to help her get more information about a dog she was hoping to adopt. Desperate, she sent out a second message. This time Heart of Texas Lab Rescue answered her call for help. Serving Central Texas and the San Antonio area, Heart of Texas Lab (HOTLR) has volunteers experienced in evaluating dogs and was willing to provide this service for her. But even they weren’t quite prepared for the story that unfolded after contacting Tracy.

Imagine entering into our Armed Forces at age 14 and serving until age 70. That’s the story of Buddy, the Chesapeake Bay retriever. Entering the service in 2002 and completing extensive training, Buddy now had a job. He was a TSA trained dog to find bombs. In 2005, Buddy was deployed to San Juan, Puerto Rico to begin his assignment. Being a member of the Working Class dogs, he performed for years willingly, without fail….no questions asked. In February 2010, it became apparent the Buddy needed medical attention. He was flown to Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas where a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital is located. After a thorough examination, Buddy was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia, (the single most common cause of arthritis in the hips due to malformation of the hip joint) and so he was retired immediately. No more job. No longer a working dog for the United States Military. He served his country like all of our soldiers, completing his tour of duty with respect and honor. But unlike many soldiers, there is no parade, no flying flags, or family awaiting him with smiles, hugs and kisses. Buddy may just silently slip away with a pat on the head and a few scratches behind his ears for a job well done. This is where people like Tracy are stepping in to bring awareness to the thousands of dogs like Buddy who are serving our country.

Hundreds of dogs come through Lackland AFB annually for medical examinations from all over the world. These canine soldiers are handled with the utmost care like any of our men and woman in the service. Many of these dogs will be retired due to age or medical reasons. What next? Lackland has a team of Adoption Coordinators working hard with people all over the country who have expressed an interest in adopting these dogs. Tracy has a son in the Air Force, and to her, Buddy is a veteran and deserves to live the rest of his life, comfortable, safe, and loved. She needed experienced individuals to evaluate Buddy because she has two dogs of her own and wanted to be sure that bringing Buddy into her home would not cause her dogs or Buddy any distress. Heart of Texas Lab Rescue volunteers, Jo Albertson and Karen Engelland, a certified Dog Trainer went to Lackland AFB to do just that. In a few weeks, Buddy will be on yet another plane, but this time he is not being deployed to another assignment, but rather flown to Detroit to meet his forever family and enjoy the rest of his life….as a Dog.

HOTLR would like to thank volunteers Jo Albertson, Karen Engelland, Onion Creek Kennels of Buda, Texas, the veterinary hospital at Lackland Air Force Base and of course, Tracy Spader for giving this deserving canine soldier the dignity and love he deserves.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Make Eating Doggy Do-Do A Doggy No-No

So there you are. Out on a beautiful spring day, your faithful friend by your side. Big smiles on both your faces as you breathe in the clean fresh air. But unfortunately, this is not the path less traveled. In fact, there have been quite a few before you that have taken this very walk - both man and beast.

Suddenly, it's the moment you've been dreading. Your furry sidekick, nose to the ground has found a "treasure". A remnant of another dog's journey before yours. And before you can yank the leash to drag your dog away from this unsavory treat, he has scooped said remnant into this mouth and is happily munching away. Your shoulders sag and a chill runs down your spine as you wonder why in the world your beloved hound would find this unappetizing pile so tasty?

Enough with the imagery. Let's get serious. As disgusting as this habit may be to humans, it is not uncommon in dogs. But why do dogs eat poop? There are many reasons actually. An article on the website Pet Comfort Products.com lists 20 different reasons. This website is dedicated to reviewing pet products and relaying information on the good ones and the not-so-good products as well as other helpful information to pet owners. Here is a sampling of the list from their article "Why Dogs Eat Poop":
  • They are bored, anxious or lonely
  • They need more food or are not getting the proper nutrients from the food they are eating
  • They are "housekeeping" or cleaning up their living area
  • They may eat the poop of a more dominant dog living in their family
  • Different nutrients and additives in cat food may be appetizing to your dog therefore, they eat poop from the litter box
  • Attention getting behavior
Now, that we know some of the reasons why dogs eat poop, what can we do to stop it?
  • If they are bored or are seeking attention - spend more time with your dog. Take longer or more frequent walks. Teach them new tricks or increase the time you play fetch. Take them with you on short errands to the bank or cleaners, for instance.
  • Check with your veterinarian to see if they need to eat more, or have him prescribe another food.
  • Keep your pet's play areas clean and poop-free. Scoop the poop regularly.
  • Buy a "hooded litter box or move the litter box to a place inaccessible to your dog
  • Try adding For-Bid or other additives to your dog's food to make the taste unappetizing
  • Take your dog to your vet for a check-up. Discuss the situation with your vet and ask his/her advice. Make sure there are no underlying health issues that might be causing the behavior
Remember, if you have a poop eater, don't be too hard on yourself or your dog. It's a common behavior in dogs. Try to understand the underlying reasons your dog has developed this habit and what to do to discourage it. Above all, be patient and get additional help from a professional if needed.