A Voice for the Voiceless
Preparedness isn’t usually on the fore-front of humans’ minds, but maybe we can change that mindset in Northern Nevada. National Dog Bite Prevention Week was last week, April 8-14, 2018, but as pet advocate, I feel it should be promoted every day and encourage all of us: Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared!
My educational coloring book, Dog Bite Prevention, was published with hope that humans learn to understand how dogs think, look at the world, and use their senses to be aware and alert.
Dogs are often misunderstood because they communicate with their senses and most humans haven’t cracked the secret code. ‘Dog speak’ includes using their ears, eyes, noses and tongues to introduce and defend themselves.
Just like humans, all dogs are different. Any dog, big or small, can be a biter. Give dogs the choice to be your friend because not all dogs want to be friends. Adequate socialization and training can be lacking, though dog trainers are abundant. Some dogs have been trained to guard and some dogs are just moody. Loud noises, high pitch sounds and weather changes can bother dogs and change their mood. Don’t be scared, be prepared!
Since most dog bites are caused by human error, being cautious and educated makes life better for humans and dogs. Children and seniors are the most common victims. One simple bite example: if you’ve had food in/on your hands, excitable dogs can mistake fingers for treats especially with kids.
Boundaries are big issue for our canine friends. Ear pulling, tail tugging or allowing kids to lay on top of a dog pushes those limits.
Pets also have a high tolerance for pain, so can be sick or injured without us knowing. If they are hurting, they may nip or bite. It’s their way to say, “it hurts” or “don’t touch me.” Most of the time, dogs are scolded for this, but prepared and alert pet parents can make life easier for all.
If you find an injured stray dog, leave it alone and call Washoe County Regional Animal Services at 775.322.3647 (DOGS) for assistance.
On a positive note, I will present to local Civic Groups, HOAs and WCSD classrooms about dog bite prevention and responsible pet care, plus tips on nutrition and how to make Washoe County a safer community.
For more information, please contact me. As a Sparks-based Dog & Cat First Aid & CPR Instructor, Pet rescuer/advocate, Pet Nanny and Wordsmith, I dedicated my book to all dogs who’ve been misunderstood because they appear or sound scarier than they really are.
Welcome to All Things Pets.
Today’s topic: Rescuing Pets.
What more can I say?
To be the one who gets licked, pawed, or leaned against is an amazing gesture of faith given to those of us who rescue…especially dogs.
Dogs respond to affection.
Dogs respond to a warm, cozy home with mismatched dog beds accenting every room, with dog toys scattered about, with available nourishing food and water.
Dogs need love, but also need to give love. They love us unconditionally.
What does unconditionally mean?
Well, it covers if you come home later than planned; it means they love if you had a bad day at work or forgot to pay the bills; it means they will get up early with you or sleep late. Dogs love because that’s how they are built and being a pet rescue liaison has taught me the meaning of unconditional over and over.
A rescued pet, dog or cat, really appreciates you. You are now a hero which doesn’t happen often in our lives. Plus you just gave them a reason to trust again. Many come from scary situations, so you, their new safety net, needs to understand if they slow to warm up to all of your habits. Give them time.
If you can’t adopt, think about being a foster family.
If you can’t foster, donate monetarily or buy items on a Rescue Group’s wish list.
Please consider www.Res-Que.org if you’d like to give.