Friday, December 27, 2013

Aberrant Behavior and Thyroid Dysfunction - Aggression, rage, seizures, and other symptoms

Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Aberrant Behavior and Thyroid Dysfunction

I've recently come across a blog by a pet sitter in Montana, Melissa Freer, called The blog that caught my attention was

If you visit that blog, it becomes apparent rather quickly that these people never engaged the services of a real-world, works with a pack of dogs, saves hundreds of lives, balanced trainer/behaviorist/rehabilitator. They got stuck at the veterinary behaviorist level and followed the advice of putting the dog down. One was a foster. This was very painful for these folks, so I thought I would try to help them by helping others in the future. Wow, what a mistake and exercise in futility!

I started by asking if there were any medical diagnoses made. Rarely did one speak of a brain tumor or other disorder. The rest were either "out of the blue" or something that began and got worse. This brought me to possible thyroid issues, many of which go undetected by the routine tests performed by most traditional vets. I ventured some advice out there about Dr. Dodds and her intricate Nutriscan testing for thyroid issues, because many dogs show signs of dog-human aggression, or rage, and then look like they come out of a trance. That is the link above and the point to this story. Prior to EVER deciding to put your dog down for what appears to be severe aggression issues, I urge you to seek these simple tests that could literally save your dog's life with proper medication and perhaps complete reversal with diet and exercise changes.

The story by Phyllis which is linked into Mel's blog, is where this travesty actually originated, and was fraught with lack of leadership and humanizing issues. I wrote on her blog and none of my comments were published, I guess because I pointed out that if her dog was wearing a path in the yard from anxiety five years ago when he got there, why it would take her five years to hope something better happened. Why wouldn't you look for help outside of some Prozac?

I then ventured suggesting on Mel's blog some wonderful trainers that have rehabilitated and saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs - Jeff Gellman, Sean O'Shea, Tyler Muto, of course Cesar Millan, Cheri Lucas and Brian Agnew, and Blake Rodriguez. Here is where I got shut down, comments no longer published and banned, and this is when I saw what kind of person the author is and some of the commenters. They would rather put a dog down than suggest the help of any one of these trainers/behaviorists/rehabbers because they've drank the Kool-Aid of the Purely Positive cult who swear all these guys use aversive measures to obtain rehabilitation and obedience, and it's neither long-lasting nor transitional...

One of the commenters is Debbie Jacobs, who believes she is some type of Canine Behaviorist in VT and has the Fearful Dogs website and blog. She posts that she would rather put a dog down than offer it help via a "wannabe dog whisperer."  Really, Debbie??!!! Wow, that speaks volumes! As you can probably surmise, I am not allowed to comment on her blog, either, since I tried to explain to her and several others what is meant by "living in the moment." She still questions how I know her dog doesn't sit there and pine about her horrible past or dreads the future...okaaaaayyyyyyyy, Deb. These Purely Positive cult members usually don't take on aggressive or "hard" cases because they know their bag of treats and clicker isn't going to work, they are too arrogant to fail at something or suggest someone who can truly help, and usually side with the vets that the humane thing to do is put your dog down...he's suffering. Oooooh that grinds my gears and makes my sphincter twitch!

It seemed that these people on this and Phyllis' blog just wanted a place to go to pat each other on the shoulder and say that they did everything they could, don't feel bad, I can't take it, I killed my dog, don't beat yourself up about it, and it's okay. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have someone write that they're on the fence about putting their dog down and this idiot blogger won't let my suggestions or advice be published to save the dog. I would have tears in my eyes and feel my heart pounding and my stomach twisting - like watching a train wreck coming that you can't do anything about. And now, these dogs are dead. Dead is forever, folks. There's no coming back from that.

Please people; do everything in your power and go outside the box to save your furry loved ones. Veterinarians, especially traditional ones, are not the be all, end all for not only health, but especially for behavioral issues. At least seek the help of an holistic vet if you see these signs in your dog, but you should really go seek out one of the professionals listed here who deal with true aggression every day. And, if the symptoms suddenly appeared, go get those thyroid tests. Look at the stats in Dr. Dodds' article - they're quite staggering. Just think how many dogs have probably been put down when they could have been saved for the want of a simple test :(

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The "Humane" Society of the United States' Position on Trap Neuter Return (TNR)

The HSUS' Position on Trap Neuter Return (TNR) : The Humane Society of the United States

The first line of this ridiculous position on TNR is that it's a "community-generated problem." Really??!! People dropping off unaltered cats and kittens out in the country to go live "happily ever after" on our farms and properties is "community generated?" I consider that to be irresponsible, selfish and repugnant. Do these same people ever think about coyotes, raccoons, bobcats, dogs, and very large aerial predators like hawks, owls and eagles? Nice fate for some of these cats. Oh, and we do have vehicular traffic, too.

The H$U$ has never liked feral cats and is gnashing their teeth at having to revise even one iota of its previous position on these cats as being "garbage cats" and all should be "euthanized." I put that word in quotes because it's very misused and abused by shelters and organizations. There is nothing "good" about these "deaths" that are done for convenience to rid a community of unsightly animals. In support of that opinion, you can read in that position paper this line:
 While The HSUS strongly recommends that each community works toward the goal of non-lethal management, we realize that euthanasia may be considered as an interim solution where TNR cannot be implemented.
What??!!! All the cat rescues up here by me (upstate NY) are willing and able to create and maintain colonies of cats, will trap for you and show you how to do it, always are in need of fosters and donations for vetting...doing the dirty work this organization wants nothing to do with because it will ultimately mean parting with funds.

The impact on wildlife to which they refer leaves many questions, like exactly what type of wildlife oh geniuses?? If you are referring to wild birds, those ridiculous numbers were imagined by the American Bird Conservancy and hold no credibility. What else can they take out - rabbits, moles, voles, mice, rats...hmmm all the things considered vermin by humans.

Once again, the H$U$ has proved itself to be one who speaks with forked tongue and hasn't really changed their position on feral cats over the last 30 years.

To learn more, and the truth, about feral cats, please start by visiting:

You can learn about how you can help local rescues and even create and maintain a colony if you have some ferals living by you that you didn't know what to do about. Learn about the "barn cat" program.

*NOTE*  If you see cats living wild and happen to note that one of their ears is notched, it means that a group has already vetted them. This means that they've received shots, been tested for disease, and spayed or neutered. It's an identifying mark so they know what cats have been treated.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Whom You Know: MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Betsy Goldman, President and Founder of Friends of Animal Rescue and Television Executive

Whom You Know: MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Betsy Goldman, President and Founder of Friends of Animal Rescue and Television Executive

Betsy Goldman and her rescue are raising funds to help the animals that are looking for new homes and fosters after the closing of Angel's Gate in upstate NY at Delhi. This was a hospice sanctuary that closed its doors after months of investigation and harassment by claims made by an undercover PeTA investigation. I will rant about that in another post, but for now would like folks to reach out and give this rescue and another that is assisting,, a helping hand with donations. Thank you!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

The little brown dog...

On my way to work this morning I came upon a sight,
One that I dread be it day or night.
A dog trotting in the road all by itself,
Looking behind and sideways, maybe scared or seeking help.

I thought about the little brown dog all day today,
I escorted her down a busy, curvy mountain road; you might call her a stray.
She had on a collar but no tags did I see,
No matter what I said she would not come to me.
A nice employee at Stewart's called the sheriff for me,
A nice young officer showed up, a deputy.
A nice woman from a rescue then followed our girl,
Who seemed determined in some way as we watched this unfurl.
The deputy lost her down a hill in tall grass,
He couldn't call animal control and gave him a pass.
She followed the power lines trail as best we could guess,
I wonder where she's going, and I will confess,
That I hope she gets where she's going safe and sound,
And that maybe God will bring her homeward bound.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gotta Love Those Koreans

How is it that Americans still do not relate the eating of dogs with buying cars that support that culture? Yesterday, I saw one of those H$U$ ribbons that say I Love My Pet...on a Hyundai Santa Fe. That's the second one this week. Do they have no clue or really mean that they LOVE their pets and that they were delicious?!

Is it possible that people who drive Hyundais and KIAs have no clue that they are supporting this barbaric practice by purchasing vehicles whose mother company resides in Seoul, South Korea? Just because they set up a plant here in Alabama doesn't mean the profits aren't going to S. Korea.

I wonder if those Koreans laugh every time they see those ribbons, or anything related to a pet, on one of those cars and think what idiots we are. Who has the last laugh. I guess I could go on about buying Japanese cars and shark finning and The Cove, not to mention Whale Wars. It's all relative.

A group posted on FB - how can we condemn the Koreans for eating dogs since it's just their culture like us eating cows and chickens...oh, really? See my response to that:

Because when you pull a dog's spine out by his tail while he's still alive to get the "benefit" of the dog being at full adrenaline, you've left my planet of sanity and animals RAISED for food, and have become a monster. That's how I condemn those that do this. Dogs, cats, and horses are not domesticated food source animals. It's hypocritical to me, or most likely ignorance, to see H$U$ ribbons that say I Love My Pet stuck to the back of Hyundais and KIAs. Now you see the irony.

The next time someone receives one of those horrible things in the mail from a large organization requesting money to fight to end these barbaric practices, I hope they think about it for a moment and then look out into their driveway and say, "wow, maybe I ought to get rid of that piece of crap and buy American..."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Excitement Won't Get You Those Desired Results

I read this blog today, Music To My Earsby a professional dog trainer who I happen to know and respect. She owns a Bark Busters franchise, and I happen to like that they acknowledge pack behavior and know a lot of dog psychology. 

With that said, one of the things that I disagree with in this post is the way in which the reward is to be given to the dog when he remains quiet - "in a high-pitched voice." How can you tell a dog he's a "Good Quiet Boy!!!" if you're saying it in an excited tone of voice? This completely undermines your intent of calming him down and keeping him quiet. Anyone who read A Dog's Purpose fully understands what Bailey meant when he thought humans were confusing when they used emotions or verbalized thoughts that were the opposite of what they wanted him to do.

Yes, dogs need a job, and most certainly yes, dogs need to be drained of excess and pent-up energy. It's what keeps them from barking incessantly, digging, and developing behavioral issues like fur licking, pulling and chewing; chewing up your belongings and house, spinning in circles, and bouncing like a ball.

As for the yipping and yelping (notice it's not barking) when the siren wails, the coyotes out by me do the same thing when the six o'clock siren sends out its one notification from a mile and a half away in town. If you're quiet, you can hear where they are out in the woods sounding like a chorus. So, that to me is primal and normal. The rest is bored, hyper with no rules, zoom behavior.

What job can you give to a chihuahua? I, too, would vote for the physical energy draining of structured walks and play time (exercise=bodyalong with some mental challenges (discipline=mind) which Rachel offers up as treat games. Redirection is the key. Tired dogs are happy dogs and owners, and the perfect time to give lots of loving (affection=soul) when they are calm and submissive. I don't know why people think that small dogs don't need walks...they're DOGS for God's sake! Hey, look at those two words - made in his name. <3

It's easy to get a dog excited; it's challenging and difficult to keep him calm and submissive, and that should always be the goal. Get out there and walk!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Funny how the Universe works!

Sometimes, (actually for me it's a lot more frequent than sometimes) I wonder what would I do if...  And, one of these "ifs" is if I find a stray dog on my way to work. Do I stop and try to get him to come to me and corral him in my car? Do I just watch and see where he might have come from or is going as I've done in the past? Do I stop, hop out and divert traffic? Some of this also rides on whether it's on a highway or in a residential area. Is he hurt and do I now take him to an emergency vet and then call work to say I'll be delayed? 

Well, this morning this wondering kind of got a response. As I turned onto the main road out of our hamlet and was making my way up the hill and curve, there in front of me was a large work truck in the oncoming lane stopped dead and a beautiful Bloodhound I've come to know by sight on the property, and his little black and brown companion, greeting that driver and each car and its occupants as it joined the line by barking and jumping up. These guys would've gotten hurt or killed for sure, especially since the little guy had a walking leash on, and you can't really see them until it's too late around the curve.         
Photo courtesy Not the dog from this story.

The Universe came into play in that I had called the town's dog wardens regarding this Bloodhound the week prior because he had been tethered to a big shade tree in a two-day torrential rain without shelter. He told me to contact the sheriff because it sounded like neglect bordering on abuse. I now have a great contact with a nice deputy who investigated the situation and straightened things out. We know the owner is a young, nice guy who loves his dogs, but my perspective of this type of behavior that I've had to get used to is a passed down generational thing that is accepted among country folk - dogs are outside animals. I just wanted him to know that people are watching and that there are Ag and Mkts laws that were created because of, and to prevent, neglect and abuse, and tethered dogs require adequate shelter. I also wanted to meet him in some capacity so I could offer some education and assistance should he be willing to accept it, without stepping over boundaries.

Well, here it was! That opportunity presented itself when I woke him up by honking when I pulled in and up the long driveway, calling the dogs off the road from his driveway (the Bloodhound looked like Marmaduke coming at a full gallop), and loudly calling to see if anyone was home and awake. He came out and I told him they were in the road and almost got hit twice (they were actually having a real ball!) and that the big guy looked like he broke his cable, and handed him the lead of the little guy (I still don't understand where he came from with a leash). We talked briefly and then introduced ourselves. He is a nice guy and I hope to go back and talk with him again since these furry fun makers were wet, gritty, dirty and very stinky. I didn't notice whether they were neutered and it wasn't the time to ask questions about shots. We'll leave that for another day. 

So, I left and went on my way to work a little dirtier and stinkier than when I left my house, and now I had an additional aroma reminiscent of skunk...oh yeah, I'll be visiting again :)

I smiled, though, as I drove away because I was happy with the answer I received to my wondering and content knowing that those two were safe. I still get whiffs of skunk and my own big boy loved all the smells I brought home on me and my car.