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Shepherd Guide, Issue #020 -- Aug 2012
August 07, 2012
Welcome to another issue of the Shepherd Guide!
Thank you for subscribing. As always, in respect for your time, I will try to keep these updates short and to the point.
Congratulations to Ron for winning the German-Shepherd-Lore.com's Newsletter Survey! Ron will receive his choice of either a Thundershirt or a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.
Special note: Can you please take a moment to help save wolves?
Wyoming is prepared to delist wolves from the endangered species list, effectively ceasing any federal protection they have and rolling back 40 years of a successful reintroduction program, in the name of special interests.
This recently happened in Idaho, and nearly half of the state's wolves have since been slaughtered.
The goal is to send 100,000 signatures to the White House by August 31 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is set to delist wolves in WY.
Can you help?
In this Issue:
1. In The News
While searching for German Shepherds in the news, I invariably come across heartbreaking stories. I try my best not to click on them, as I only want to focus on and share good news with you.
Recently, my Inbox was flooded with stories of a deaf, former police dog, severely beaten and left in a dumpster. Despite the best efforts of veterinarians, this beautiful two year old GSD succumbed to his injuries.
I couldn't stop myself from clicking the links and reading all of the sordid details. I will not rehash them here.
What I will do is focus on the outpouring of support for Captain, and hope that his death will force some changes in the laws governing cases of animal cruelty.
A radio station in Vancouver has set up a page collecting donations to assist the BC SPCA's animal cruelty division in prosecuting animal abusers and providing emergency care and treatment for abused animals.
It costs roughly $10,000 to properly gather evidence and prosecute just one case. As of this writing, generous donors have pledged close to $75,000 in support of justice for Captain.
A vigil for Captain drew hundreds of supporters (along with their four legged family members) to show support for Captain.
There is also a push to rename a local dog park in honor of Captain.
Petitions have also been created to demand changes in the laws for animal abuse cases. Despite the high correlation showing that animal abusers eventually move onto human targets, the courts have largely ignored this issue, normally sentencing abusers to what amounts to a slap on the wrist.
Several Facebook pages and groups have also been set up to demand justice for Captain and to fight for stricter penalties against animal abuse.
Again, the reason I am sharing this is because I hope and pray that Captain's death will not have been in vain.
We need to take action and let the lawmakers know that the current legislation governing animal abusers is woefully inadequate, and frankly, unacceptable.
RIP Captain. I would have been proud to welcome you into my pack. Run and play on the Rainbow Bridge, buddy. I will never forget you.
Have something incredible to share about your dog? How about telling us what makes your dog unique?
Share your dog stories here.
Read more stories about German Shepherds in the news.
2. GSD Hero of the Month
Bear, a Shiloh Shepherd that nobody wanted, was left at a TX pound 3 years ago.
This throw-away dog was recently honored with the 30th National Hero Dog award by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles.
Last May, his adopter, Debbie Zeisler was on her way outside, and Bear tried to stop her. She pushed him aside, had a seizure, fell down some steps, hit her head and lost consciousness in her front yard. Bear frantically searched for help, scratching on every front door in the neighborhood. But, nobody answered.
An animal control officer saw the anxious dog and went to help. Bear led the officer to his barely conscious owner.
As she was loaded onto the ambulance, Bear jumped right in and accompanied her to the hospital.
Bear recognizes signs of seizure and would often lean on her legs in an effort to make her sit down.
He never had any training, but just three days after Zeisler took him home, he started alerting her to potential problems. "He figured it out on his own," said the SPCA's Ana Bustilloz.
Her almost daily seizures started after a horse riding accident 3 years ago. She had fallen a couple of times before when she didn't comply with his warnings. After which, Bear would either fetch her medicine or stay with her, whatever he seems to think she needs.
Ironically, Zeisler initially went to get a German Shepherd for her mother. When she asked if they had any GSD's, she was told they only had one, but he was in the back because, "nobody wanted him."
But, when Zeisler saw him, it was love at first sight.
As National Hero Dog, Bear gets free dog food for a year, a trip to California for himself and his human, a stay at an oceanfront hotel in Huntington Beach and a plaque.
"This just goes to show how amazing shelter dogs can be," said LA SPCA President, Madeline Bernstein, "If Debbie had not adopted Bear, where would she and Bear be today? The bond between an animal and his human companion is powerful and life-saving."
Way to go Bear! And kudos to Debbie for recognizing her angel in a fur coat.
As promised, I wanted to give an update on the Thundershirt I recently purchased for my dog who is terrified of thunderstorms. I am very impressed with how it has calmed Ryder down during stormy weather.
My once drooling, whining dog now curls up by my feet and takes a nap, even while vicious thunderstorms swirl outside. He is still a bit clingy, but nothing like the shuddering, trying to hide in tight spaces, drooling mess that he was before.
Read my review of the thunder shirt for canine anxiety.
4. Health Issue
I often get emails from concerned owners regarding the health of their German Shepherd.
The first thing I ask is, "What type of dog food are you using?"
The reason I ask is years ago, when my cat came down with asthma and continuous allergies, my holistic vet asked me the same question.
When I told her the brand (sold in the supermarket), she said to upgrade immediately. At the time, she suggested Wellness or Innova.
We literally are what we eat. Unless you want to deal with health issues in your dog, I highly recommend a quality dog food (one normally not found in supermarkets).
This usually means a dog food not produced by a multi-national corporation. I was accused of being political, but it is a fact that publicly traded corporations have a fiduciary duty to return a profit to their shareholders. Above all else.
Don't believe it? Watch The Corporation
Corporations are considered entities. One line from the documentary that I will never forget states that if a Corporation were to undergo a psychological evaluation, it would be classified as sociopathic.
Making a profit is not a bad thing, but when the health of your dog is disregarded in favor of shareholder profits, I will cry foul.
Feeding your dog commercial dog food would be like you eating McDonald's daily.
Ever see Super Size Me?
In short, you should feed a quality dog food where any kind of "meal" is not used. Preferably not at all, but especially in the first 4 ingredients.
Your dog will be much healthier, not to mention happier. And your vet bills will be much lower.
5. What's On Your Mind?
As a fellow German Shepherd lover, I want to hear what you may have questions or concerns about.
What would you like to read about in future issues? Reply to this email and let me know.
Until next time,
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