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Tips for a safe 4th of July from Hercules!

Nope, that’s not a patriotic photo of me. It’s my Boxer buddy Hercules who is a Special Guest Blogger tonight. He’s a handsome silver fellow, don’t you think?

Herc wants to first say “Happy Birthday America” and wishes everyone who visits this blog, a Happy 4th of July. But he also wants to let you know that every year countless pets get spooked by the 4th of July festivities (like the loud BOOMS and crackle of fireworks). Every year dogs bolt out of doors or jump fences if they are left unattended outside. These sounds frighten many dogs who have a fight or flight reaction. Many take off, become lost, killed by cars or are never seen again. Some are found or picked up by animal control but with American shelters being severely overcrowded, your lost pet could be euthanized before you can claim him.

It is traumatic to lose a pet, but protecting your pet on the Fourth of July is easy if you make the effort and use common sense.

First, do not leave your dog outdoors unattended for any reason. If your dog is not outside then he can’t jump a fence to escape when he’s startled by loud fireworks. If you are hosting a party on the 4th, and have people coming and going through doors that lead outside, use common sense and secure your dog in a quiet room or in his favorite crate. Don’t assume your dog will not be spooked by the sound of fireworks. Be proactive by not providing an opportunity for your dog to escape your home.

Whether you will be home or if you are going out for the 4th of July festivities, the safest place to contain your dog is in a proper sized crate. You may even want to turn on some music or leave the tv on to mask some of the outdoor sounds. Putting one of your t-shirts inside the crate will also have a calming effect as it will have your “smell” and that is comforting to your canine family member.

Florida Boxer Rescue gets called every single year on July 5th with multiple instances of people who lost their Boxers during July 4th celebrations. Shelters also see an influx of dogs for the same reason. Do not let this happen to your pet. Make sure that you keep your dogs safely contained indoors and out of harm’s way before enjoying your July 4th celebration!

I’m going to sign off now and I hope everyone has a great time with family and friends this July 4th. Stay Safe!

~Hercules

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Calculate Age in Dog Years (Correctly)

Mom loves Dogster; they’ve got a great new article on How To Correctly Calculate Age in Dog Years. I guess the old notion of 7 dog years for every one human year is not correct. The more accurate way to calculate how old your dog is (in dog years) can be done using the easy “wheel” below.

For example, a large breed dog like a 10 year old Great Dane would be 80 in “dog years.” They also quote an example of a small breed dog (Pug) at 10 would only be 64 in “dog years.”

Full credit goes to Dogster for posting the original chart and article. I didn’t know how long it would be actively linked over at Dogster so I am copying the info here as well. Have fun with it!

~Old Man Sam

 

What They Are Thinking Right About Now…

 

 

Rest In Peace, Coco

My mom received an email today from a couple of friends who are also long-time Florida Boxer Rescue volunteers. Unfortunately they had to say good-bye today to their beloved sweet Boxer girl, Coco. Mom got to meet Coco years ago and spent an enjoyable afternoon with her. She decided to use my blog tonight to make a little pictoral tribute to a sweet, dear Boxer girl.

Coco’s mom writes:

“It’s with a heavy heart that I wanted to let you know we helped our sweet Coco Bean across the bridge today.  The last few days had been rough for her and as we lay curled together on the bed last night I knew the time had come to let her go.  My heart has broken into pieces but I’m trying to remember all the wonderful happy times we had together.  She loved everybody and was typical Boxer through and through. 
 
Sending along a picture from last year’s trip to the Outer Banks…she always LOVED the beach and when we got there she spun and spun in the sand, then raced off to the water to chase crabs 🙂  I hope she’s chasing them now…..”
 

Rest In Peace , Coco

Save a Life; Foster a Boxer!!

Hi Friends,

It’s me, Old Man Sam. Have you visited Florida Boxer Rescue’s website lately? If so, you’ve seen an unusual amount of dogs that need a foster home; the big red letters in their bios communicate the urgent need.

Currently, we have SIX Boxer dogs that have been accepted into FBR’s rescue program, but we have nowhere to put them so they must go to a boarding facility. We don’t WANT to do this, but it’s either boarding or the very real possibility of losing their lives.

All shelters are overcrowded and people often wait until the last minute to contact us when they want to give up their Boxer, so this is the best option we have in the short term.

But, GOOD NEWS! You can help change that! By becoming a foster home, you can feel good about saving a dog’s life, each and every time you take a dog into your home. You don’t need to be a stay-at-home mom or have truckloads of extra money to foster a Boxer. FBR will pay for all vet care and will even provide the dog with preventative medicines like heartworm pills. In turn, you will provide a safe, loving, indoor home and good food to eat…maybe even a few toys? Teaching the Boxer basic manners is also helpful as it enhances the dog’s adoptability.

If you would like to learn more about fostering Boxers for Florida Boxer Rescue, please visit this informative page:

http://www.flbr.org/fosterhome.html

Six dogs are currently waiting for a chance to start their new lives and sadly, when they finally reach foster care, there will be new dogs coming in. We can help more Boxers if we have homes to care for them. My mom loves nothing more than to delete those big red letters from a dog’s bio because it means the Boxer entered foster care! Please consider assisting our rescue efforts! You can view the dogs needing foster and adoptive homes by following this link:

http://www.flbr.org

Thanks for listening,

~Old Man Sam

Babies and Dogs

In my 10 1/2 years, mom could have gotten rid of me more times than I can count on both paws. We have moved 11 

T I M E S  in the last decade – two of those were across the country. She also had two babies, which brings me to my point:

Having a baby does not have to mean that you give away your pets. Millions of people manage to care for both children AND pets. I will never understand the mentality of someone who thinks she can care for and raise a human child but can’t take care of a dog. If you prepare for the changes in your life before the baby comes (that includes training your dog to get used to and accept new noises and smells) it will make the transition that much easier.

Mom came across an interesting article published in the Wall Street Journal. You can read a saved version of it on Florida Boxer Rescue’s website:

http://www.flbr.org/wallstreetbaby.html

There’s also a companion video about training dogs for baby’s arrival. That video was saved and can be viewed here:

By now it has been proven time and time again, that having a pet greatly reduces stress and can add years to your life. In a study printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association  Dr. Ownby states that babies who grow up with 2 or more pets in their home develop fewer allergies to pets, mold and pollen. Pets provide unconditional love and companionship and can even increase self-esteem in a shy child. Most dogs have an innate desire to protect – how many articles have you read where a pet rescues his family from a dire situation such as a house fire? Where would those families be today if they’d dumped their pets when the kids were born?

What am I getting at, you ask?

The benefits of pet guardianship far outweigh the minor modifications one must make when expanding the family to include human children. As your pet, I can adjust to a change in schedule! And you can rest easy each night knowing that I am there – your loyal friend and family’s protector.

Not too long ago my mom was visiting a friend in Wisconsin and while she was there, someone had attempted to break into her friend’s home. Perhaps you can guess what the family’s two year old black lab did? He awoke, startled, from a deep sleep and planted himself right smack in the middle of the hallway between his master’s bedroom and the childrens’ bedroom. There he remained, growling and barking madly, but not moving an inch from the location of his beloved family. The intruder was scared off and my mom’s friend could not describe the relief she felt and the gratitude she had for her dog at that moment.

If you are expecting a baby and are contemplating giving away your Boxer because you think you won’t have time for him or are worried about having a dog around a tiny baby, PLEASE contact Florida Boxer Rescue. We have a list of referrals for trainers that many of our volunteers have personally used. We can offer support and advice to help you acclimate your dog to this new and exciting change! Taking care of a dog is a PIECE OF CAKE compared to an infant! You can do it! And we’ll help you!

Visit our website for more information: http://www.flbr.org/introducenewbaby.html

~Old Man Sam

 

These Are a Few of Mom’s Favorite Things…

My mom’s making me wake up from my 30th nap today to tell you about two of her (current) favorite things. The first she came across while searching for Boxer dog graphics on the internet a while back. She found a Boxer Rescue friendly person who will turn any photograph into  custom clip art! She specializes in Boxers, but can probably do most anything you’d want (she did my Pug sister and cat brother and they turned out great even though they aren’t Boxers – hmpfff)!

She does a great job, but best of all, the custom work will only set you back $5.00! And she donates half of that to Legacy Boxer Rescue ( a group she volunteers for ).

You can do a lot of creative things with a graphic like this such as making your own stationary! Perhaps you just want to see what your pet would look like as a “cartoonish” character. If so, check out her website. The URL is: http://www.cubbyart.com/BoxerArt.htm

Here’s an example of what I look like as clip art ( this is me in my younger days as an ever-so-naughty adolescent Boxer, age three):

Awesome, eh? Give it a try – you’ll get a cute clip art version of your pup while supporting another Boxer Rescue organization!

The second thing my mom wanted to tell you about is a cool new collar that is WATERPROOF – yes, waterproof, and best of all, it won’t stink. Mom tells me that my sister and I go through about 5 collars each, every year because they get dirty, stinky and the colors fade and she can’t be having dogs prancing around with smelly, dull colored collars.

 The collars are called Dublin Dog and are so well made and SUPER thick!  We can go to the dog park, roll in mud, and basically get down and dirty, and like mom said, they won’t smell or get moldy or damp because you can just rinse them right off.

There are tons of different colors and designs to choose from. For a large Boxer like me, it’ll run you about $26, but mom feels it’s worth the money.

Here’s the website:

http://www.dublindog.com/

And in case you are wondering, I rock the Classic Stripe version in Marigold (really brings out my mahogany coat).

I’m going to tell mom she needs to “get a life.”

Slurps & Farts,

~Old Man Sam