New Year, (re)New(ed) Appreciation

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Link & I would like to start 2019 off with a big THANK YOU to all those humans out there that help animals. From big, heroic feats to small acts of human decency, THANK YOU!

If you have rescued a hamster from a burning building, stopped your car for a squirrel that likes to dance in the road, adopted an animal in need, donated to your local shelter, or done anything to positively influence the life of an animal, THANK YOU!

YOU make the world a more tolerable place. YOU give others hope that we aren’t all selfish monsters. YOU help us let out a sigh of relief.

Thanks.

Here are some positive animal stories to start your 2019 off on a good note.

You know those little hermit crabs you see with tiny intricate scenes painted on their shells? You usually find them in mall pet stores, perhaps even a friend had one in growing up. Well, a lot of those end up forgotten or released onto the beaches of the East Coast (they are native to the Caribbean). People who get them often do not know what care they require, forget about them quickly, and they are left in the corner of the room like an unloved houseplant. But one wonderful woman named Sarah Porter drove across 3 states rescuing about 30 of  these under-appreciated animals. Read the entire article, and watch a cute video, at USA Today

 

A lot of people are nice enough to volunteer at shelters during the busy holiday season, and this magician (John Stessel) decided he wanted to help dogs get adopted by showing them magic tricks and then making adorable videos of their reactions! It always benefits shelters animals to get them to break out of their shell and forget about the stress of shelter life, that way potential adopters can get a glimpse of their true personality. Using treats in an illusion is always a good way to get an silly, yet honest reaction from a dog 🙂

 

This is utterly amazing. Sea Life Trust has done something pretty cool to help with those sea animals that have worked a life in showbiz and cannot return to the wild, specifically Beluga Whales, Sea Life Trust has made the very first Open Sea Whale Sanctuary and in Spring of this year it will be the new home to Little White and Little Grey, two Belugas that had been working at a Chinese waterpark for more than 7 years, and have recently retired. The whales are 12 years old and spend their days floating around a small concrete tank. Soon they will be taking a 6,000mi trip from Shanghai to their new 344,000 sq ft bay home in Iceland.

 

This story might be the hardest to watch, but it has a good payoff too. Classic story of sweet, kind woman walking through a neighborhood to meet abandoned, malnourished dog knocking on Death’s door and forever changing his life. 

 

 

 

The Adventure Pup Experience

Lately people have been asking me what I do for work, and when I say “I run a hiking service for dogs” I get the same reaction, “Oh fun! What a great thing!” And yes, they’re correct to say that, it is amazing and I love doing it, but after some more conversation I come to realize a lot of people see me as either a boarding facility, jam packed with dogs (they’re only half listening to what I’m saying), or that 9 year old neighbor you have that always wants to be around your dog and will always jump at the opportunity to watch them when you leave town (yes I was that 9 year old some time ago), but my job is so much more than that, so I thought I would explain what makes Adventure Pup a different experience.

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  • I truly love your dog (or cat, or iguana, or fish, or rat) as much as I did when I was a kid hopping your fence to lay in your yard with them. I know your pup’s hobbies and pet peeves, I can pick them out of a line-up of dogs that other people would assume are clones, and I will remember them until I am old and senile. They will get excited when they run into me in public, and you might not even recognize me. I will have photos of them forever on my computer, and sometimes (currently) pinned to my wall above my desk, to brighten my day when I need it. I will constantly talk about them to my human friends.
  • On that note, I have more dog friends than human friends. I just prefer the company of non-human animals. It makes me a little awkward to talk to, but also great with your pups.
  • I see dogs as individuals. I don’t do the same activity for every dog. I know who likes doing what and I know what activities to avoid with certain dogs. Everyone is different and unique, and I set up my day to day with that in mind.
  • Packs are kept small and intimate, not only so I am able to physically control everyone on leash at once, but also so that all dogs enjoy the outing. Small packs help keep the excitement level down, which results in less anxiety and a more connected pack. Pups are also matched based on energy level and individual personalities so every member of the pack enjoys their Adventure.
  • Every outing involves both physical and mental stimulation. Pups are given gentle guidance and work on basic commands while out on Adventures, nose work is done with dogs that do better with a job, and tTouch is done with all Adventure Pups to help create a stronger bond, alleviate stiff joints, or release some anxious energy. After a dog has been with me for a length of time I have to use very little voice control and most pups will follow my energy. May sound a bit flower-power to some, but it works for me.
  • Different techniques are used for different dogs to help them grow and learn at their own pace. I use a variety of training techniques and exercises (basically anything except old school/negative reinforcement training) and I am always continuing my education by attending different animal classes and holding side jobs in various animal industries (retail, nutrition, medical, daycare, training, shelters, etc.)
  • I follow dog rules: off-leash in certain areas and not in others, picking up poop and taking them with me, only allowing dog/people friendly dogs off leash, bringing no more than 3 dogs to a dog park. I’m a pretty big square and love a good set of rules.
  • I am prepared for each outing with a car stocked with dog necessities & emergency kits and also carry a pouch with me on every hike carrying smaller versions of necessities & emergency kits (I made a post about that a little while back if you’re curious). I also prepare myself by knowing where I am going ahead of time and familiarizing myself with the trail before bringing Adventure Pups along (my dog Link is a huge help in these tests).

If you have a dog walker or pet sitter they should posses these qualities. I form very deep bonds with animals, even if I know them briefly, but I have worked with some people who do not actually care for the animal they’re watching & out of all the “animal people” I know there are only a select few I would trust with my own dog.