Mr. May is actually Misters May. The misters are Rotties, Rexyn and Reno. Rexyn and Reno are Hawaiian, bred and born.
Rexyn is 5. He enjoys running on the beach and playing with his ball… or both. He is mischievous. He counter-surfs. He opens canisters and jars, and removes their contents without tipping the canister or jar. He’s talented and cute.
Reno is 12. Reno spends his golden days hanging out and relaxing. Of course, being the elder statesman, he has no bad habits.
By the way, both Misters May were born in May. We had no idea when we were putting the calendar together… seems like Kismet.
National Puppy Day, recognized on March 23rd annually, celebrates magical, unconditional love our puppies share with us. Moreover, Puppy Day is a day to focus on all the orphaned puppies who need homes. It’s a time to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering and about the horrors of puppy mills. We can imagine a nation of puppy-free pet stores.
Colleen Paige founded National Puppy Day in 2006. Colleen previously founded National Dog Day and National Cat Day.
National Puppy Day is part of the Animal Miracle Foundation (AMF), a non-profit organization offering financial assistance and educational programs ranging from pet cancer to fire safety and travel safety for kids and pets alike. AMF also hosts holiday festivals and trade shows and brings local shelter pets to these events to help them a forever home.
Spring cleaning time at the home office of Deb McGuire, Pet Photographer, yielded an unexpected “treasure,” a treasure, at least, for me.
I rediscovered one of my first “pets and their people” photos. In this case, the pet is my then 4 year old Heidi. The person is Debbie “Haki” Hakikawa, one of my best buddies and a neighbor. Debbie and I were about 14 at the time.
I used a 35mm film camera that I borrowed from school. I was a freshman and I was taking a photography class. Although I was interested in photography, I took the class because there was this boy. Who knew that all these years later, I would follow my dream… not the boy… and become a photographer!
Debbie and I would hangout by my family’s pool. Heidi Sunshine would spend hours chasing the pool sweep around the pool. She would work herself into a state of excitement, and inevitably jump into the pool. She was an excellent swimmer.
I still think about Heidi. The photo is my treasure. I miss her.
We love the beach; we, all, love the beach.
We go to the beach; we love the beach.
We love the beach; we, all, love the beach.
Blarney… born to swim. His webbed front paws are larger than his back. He is not fat, but his fur seems to shed water. Yes, Blarney was born to be in the water… to swim.
Mango… well, she can swim… she doesn’t like to swim. Mango does not like to swim, but she does like to sit at the edge of the tide, and wait for Blarney to retrieve his toy. She waits. When Blarney is just about to break out of the surf, Mango races forward and steals his toy. Mango can swim, but why swim? Why swim, when someone else can do the work and you can grab the reward?! Mango doesn’t like to swim, chooses not to swim.
That is the balance of our family. One dog who lives to swim, one who can swim. We go to the beach for one, but we love the beach as all. We go to the beach. We love the beach.
We love the beach, all… all of us, we love the beach.
Have you heard of the book “Into The Water Barrier?” The book is the autobiography of Donald Campbell and it chronicles Campbell’s efforts to protect his father’s world water speed record. More importantly to dog lovers, the book contains the first reference to a Labradoodle. The year was 1955, and Campbell used the term to describe his Labrador/Poodle cross dog, Maxie. Maxie was all black with thick, curly hair.
Wally Conron, the head breeder for the Australian Guide Dog Association, first deliberately bred the Lab and the Poodle starting in 1988. Wally was in Hawaii on vacation and met Pat Blum. Pat needed a guide dog, but her husband was allergic. Mrs. Blum had heard that the Australians had trained Standard Poodles as Guide Dogs and she asked Mr. Conron if there was a chance that they could do it again.
From that point, Mr. Conron began working to find a non-allergic dog to serve as a guide dog. After a long search for a suitable Standard Poodle, the decision was made to mate a Standard Poodle with a Labrador Retriever. The goal or hope was to produce a dog with the temperament of a Lab and the non-shedding coat of a Poodle. The result of the first union was three puppies: Sultan, Sheik, and Simon.
While Sheik and Simon did not meet the requirements, Sultan did. Samples of Sultan’s fur were sent to Mrs. Blum. Mr. Blum was exposed to the hair and showed no reaction. Sultan came to Hawaii.
Before I photographed this litter of “Doodles,” I knew Labradoodles were an interesting, cute breed. I had no idea that Labradoodles started with a Hawaii connection.
The Tagg pet tracking system uses advanced GPS tracking technology to see where your dog is. When your dog goes wandering away, the system notifies you.
To test my new purchase, I decided to experiment on my husband.
“You need to wear this to work.”
“Fine. Stick it in my pants pocket…”
“No, you need to wear it.”
“What? You want me to hang it on my belt or something?”
“No, you need to test it under actual conditions!”
“What do you mean? How do you want me to wear it?”
I can only imagine the reaction of the gate guard to my husband showing up wearing Blarney’s turquoise collar with a large blue tracking device attached.
Because of the running of the 4th Annual Hawaii Wiener Derby (NO, I DID NOT PERSONALLY RUN IT… BUT APPARENTLY THE ANNOUNCER DID!!) and because I was missing a particular doxie, I had dachshunds on my mind as I surfed the worldwide web this morning. I happened upon the blog of a 31 year-old Dachshund. THIRTY-ONE! That is a life well lived.
My husband, the keeper of relatively useless knowledge, has always said that little animals live longer. And while I have seen charts in various veterinary magazines that support his Cliff Claven style pontifications, I decided to call him. (Cliff Claven … Cheers reference… lost on most of the under thirty readers)
“So, there may be some truth to your “smaller dogs” live longer hypothesis.”
“Hypothesis… No this is fact. It has to do with energy expenditure over the lifetime of the breed. Smaller dogs tend to expend more energy at rest per kilogram of lean body mass than large dogs, and therefore, that is shown to be a contributing factor.”
That brain is a really scary place which explains some other things about him.
This short blog is dedicated to the memory of Tiffi, a miniature dachshund, who shared 19 wonderful years with her family, and who I was fortunate to photograph.
Are you a cat fancier? I am, but I would more likely call myself a cat lover. There is, however, no cat lover’s association.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (or CFA) was founded in 1906. In that year, they licensed their first two cat shows in Detroit and Buffalo. Today, there are over 600 member clubs, including one here on Oahu.
Until January of 2012, I had very little idea of the CFA. I have two cats… two rescues, but they hardly qualify us for the Cat Fanciers’ Association. Then, a Cat Fancier, Ken Cribbs, contacted me. His Mr. Peabody, a Siamese, had been chosen as a Iams Ambassador Cat. Mr. Peabody needed photos.
The CFA called Ken in November to inform him that Mr. Peabody had been selected to be one of 15 Iams Ambassador Cats. Mr. Peabody is two years old, a seal point Siamese. He had won best kitten in Hawaii and best kitten in region. More recently, Mr. Peabody had won the Best Premier (fixed cat). Mostly though, Mr. Peabody is a friendly cat. That seems to be a prized characteristic among Ambassador Cats.
The CFA-Iams Ambassador Cat Program was launched in October, 2010. The CFA Ambassador Program is completely funded by the Iams Corporation and has been funded by Iams for the past three years.
The mission of the CFA-Iams Ambassador Cats is to attend shows during the the show season. For example, Mr. Peabody has attended not only cat events and most recently the 2012 Pet Expo. This is a huge commitment for these cats and their pet parents to CFA and the Ambassador Committee. The Ambassador cats have a show shelter for the CFA-Iams Ambassador Cat and a display area so the public will have the opportunity to sit and visit and pet the Ambassador Cat. Ken Cribbs and Mr. Peabody will no doubt represent the CFA and Hawaii very well.
Update… Update… Update! Kate Middleton, a.k.a. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, has revealed that she and Prince William have a new puppy named Lupo. Lupo, Italian for “wolf,” is a black, male Cocker Spaniel. For those who have read my blog, this was one of the breeds that we thought might be chosen by the Royal Couple.
The duchess and William adopted their puppy in December. While visiting a London elementary school, Kate talked to children about her new family member. The children gave the duchess a plush dog doll.
“The children had chosen a dog for her to cuddle during the lesson,” teacher, Ms Hancock, told the The Daily Mail. Kate said, ‘What’s it called?’ and we said, ‘Would you like to give it a name?’
The Telegraph reported that Kate told the students, “Why don’t we call it after my dog? He’s called Lupo.”
St. James’s Palace confirmed the name.
I often save “pet stories” or “pet items” that I find interesting. Not long ago, “USA Weekend” published “Pet Peeves of dog experts” by Steve Dale. Intrigued, I considered the messages in his compilation. I included some observations as a Pet Parent and Pet Professional… mostly as a pet parent.
Accentuate the positive
Victoria Stilwell (trainer, host of It’s Me or the Dog on Animal Planet):
“We must stop dominance-based and punitive training methods. There’s no science there, and dogs don’t learn anything except to fear us. Positive training techniques work; not to mention they are more humane, enhancing the relationship with your dog instead of destroying it. If dogs are our best friends, they deserve our kindness and respect. I won’t rest until science-based positive training is the norm.”
Our Mango was ill treated in her “training.” While her treatment may be on the extreme, it is clear that the abuse was meant to train and not just meant to harm. Of course that does not excuse the bad human…
Let dogs help your doctor
Jennifer Arnold (author of In a Dog’s Heart, founder/CEO of Canine Assistants):
“Dogs have the extraordinary capacity to make our lives better in ways we couldn’t have imagined only a few decades ago, from detecting cancers to telling us when there’s a diabetic high or low.” [At Canine Assistants, dogs are trained to help people when an epileptic seizure occurs; about 90% of them learn on their own to predict seizures.] “Learning how dogs are able do these things can be lifesaving. What’s most extraordinary, dogs do seem to want to help us.”
I have always believed that all my pets, not just my dogs, sense when I am not feeling well. They have an extraordinary power to make me feel better, as well.
Stop that hurtful training
R.K. Anderson (89 year-old, legendary veterinary behaviorist, founder of first center for the human/animal bond at the University of Minnesota):
“There’s never an excuse to hurt a dog when you train a dog – that is my No. 1 message. No. 2: Force isn’t necessary to train; motivate dogs using treats or toys, or use clicker training. Message No. 3: In my lifetime we’ve learned much about the benefits of the human/animal bond-an area which we have far more to learn how mutually beneficial our relationship with dogs is.”
Again, this is not just a dog thing. We decided to teach our Magic, a cat, to walk on a leash. Besides the obvious challenge of finding a harness small enough for her, we had to teach her to wear it, and not be afraid of her humans tethered behind her. In my opinion, this training could never have been accomplished with a negative approach. As documented in a “Pet Hui” segment, Mango was a challenge for us, but ultimately, again with the positive, she has learned without the hurtful practices she suffered before we rescued her.
Love all dogs, not just yours
Andrea Arden (regular guest on the Today show, trainer, author of Barron’s Dog Training Bible):
“It drives me crazy: People say they love dogs – and they do love their dog – but what are they thinking? When people purchase from a pet store, don’t they realize they’re perpetuating puppy mills? Look at the bigger picture! Or in New York City, blue French Bulldogs are now a trend, selling for $8,000. OK, really? Do you know how many shelter dogs can be saved with that kind of money?”
Although I think that the Steve Dale’s heading, and Andrea Arden’s observations are not necessarily consistent, I also think that both points are good. Steve’s point is that as pet owners we should love all dogs, and not just our own. Andrea Arden is saying instead of spending a ridiculous amount of money on a pure breed that will likely perpetuate a much larger problem, rescue a dog and donate the money that you would have spent. That is truly a 2-for-1.
Don’t buy a dog online
Kelly Gorman Dunbar (trainer, founder of dogstardaily.com):
“Part of the problem today is all the online buying – there isn’t a reputable breeder who makes a sale online. Sure, great breeders may have wonderful websites to promote their dogs – but they don’t sell them just like that online. Do homework. A lot more research goes into purchasing a new car, compared to buying a dog.”
I cannot imagine buying a dog or a cat on-line. And, I can’t imagine that a reputable, responsible breeder would SELL their dogs without knowing as much about the life that they were about to send their puppies or kitties into.
Give puppies lots of company
Ian Dunbar (pioneer trainer, author, founder of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers):
“Eight-week-old puppies go into homes unsocialized, leaving it all up to the new owners, who don’t have a chance. Without any socialization, dogs are permanently damaged, never able to reach their potential. All puppies should meet 100 people before they are 8 weeks and 100 more people between 8 and 12 weeks.”
Have fun with this one! Actually, had we had Mango as an eight-week-old, this would have been advice to follow. We started at the six-month mark, and that is a tough time to play catch up. Still, the advice holds true. The more Mango is around people and other dogs, the steadier her behavior has become.