Need a New Best Friend


Top 10 Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

I agree with Agassiz that dogs possess something very like a conscience.

- Darwin The Descent of Man

Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot about puppies.

- Gene Hill

  1. Older dogs are housetrained.  You won't have to go through the difficult stage(s) of teaching a puppy house manners and mopping up after accidents.
  2. Older dogs are not teething puppies, and won't chew your shoes and furniture while growing up.
  3. Older dogs can focus well because they've mellowed - therefore, they learn quickly.
  4. Older dogs have learned what "no" means.  If they hadn't learned it, they wouldn't have gotten to be "older" dogs.
  5. Older dogs settle in easily, because they've learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.
  6. Older dogs are good at giving love, once they get into their new, loving home.  They are grateful for the second chance they've been given.
  7. What You See Is What You Get: Unlike puppies, older dogs have grown into their shape and personality.  Puppies can grow up to be quite different from what they seemed at first.
  8. Older dogs are instant companions - ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.
  9. Older dogs leave you time for yourself, because they don't make the kinds of demands on your time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.
  10. Older dogs let you get a good night's sleep because they're accustomed to human schedules and don't generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.

To learn more about the pleasures of older dog adoption, please visit the Senior Dogs Project site at


Source: Blue Cross of India Adopt 6 February 2006 Agency 1Pointsize

The following ad appeared in a newspaper:


SBF Seeks Male companionship, ethnicity unimportant.  I'm a svelte good looking girl who LOVES to play.  I love: long walks in the woods, hunting, camping, riding in your pickup truck, fishing trips, cozy winter nights spent lying by the fire.  Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand.  Rub me the right way and watch me respond.  I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.  Kiss me and I'm yours.  Call 555-2121 and ask for Daisy.

(The phone number was the Humane Society and Daisy was an 8-week-old black Labrador retriever.)

Some Things You Can Only Do with an Animal...

Click to Play

Source: I believe this video was originally made by Ihaveanidea for the SPCA of Canada.  I haven't meant to inappropriately expropriate it.  I just feel it was SO well done that maybe it could help pets be adopted around the world.  Justify my actions!  Adopt a pet (neutered!) this weekend!

Things You Can Learn from a Dog...

bulletWhen loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
bulletRun, romp and play daily.
bulletEat with gusto and enthusiasm.
bulletBe loyal.
bulletNever pretend to be something you're not.
bulletNever pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
bulletAllow the experience of the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
bulletWhen it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
bulletLet others know when they've invaded your territory.
bulletTake naps and stretch before rising.
bulletIf what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
bulletWhen someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
bulletThrive on attention and let people touch you.
bulletAvoid biting when a simple growl will do.
bulletOn hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
bulletWhen you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
bulletNo matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout - run right back and make friends.
bulletDelight in the simple joy of a long walk.


Wellington Dog Facts

The most popular dog name is Sam, with 138 examples.  Next is Jessie with 109 and Max with 92, followed by Ben with 75.  Interesting names: Dog (4 times).  Others include Wellington, Torwood, Trendy, Pizza, Suzie Vague, Kugelcindyros, Pig, Walter Little, Chewbarker, Hairy Dog and Sockasaurus.  One owner named his 10 dogs with the numbers 1 through 10.

Source: Wellington City Council booklet

Max, Lucky Are Top Dog Names in New York City

New York - The typical dog in sophisticated New York City is a mutt named Max.  The city Health Department released Tuesday a list of the 10 most popular breeds and the 10 most popular names among dogs on license applications.  In 2002, for the third year in a row, Max was the most popular name listed, followed by Lucky, Princess, Rocky and Buddy.  The second five comprise Lady, Shadow, Daisy, Coco and Ginger.

It's part of a campaign to encourage licensing, since only about 20% of the dogs in the city have tags.  There were more mutts than any single breed, also for the third straight year.  Labrador retrievers finished second and German shepherds were third.  Shih-Tzus were fourth and pit bulls fifth, down from second.  They were followed by Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, cocker spaniels, Rottweilers and Maltese.

Source:  from the New York City Health Department Wednesday 1 October 2003


The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.

- Samuel Butler

by Patrick McDonnell

Source: Los Angeles Times Wednesday 8 November 2000

Don't Own a Pet Unless You've Thought It Out

A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.

- Robert Benchley

Imagine - you've decided to start a family. You're excited about the prospect.

You buy all the latest toys and products on the market for your new bundle of joy.  At first, you're in love.  This new life form can do no wrong.  Everything about it is wonderful, cute, intelligent, and entertaining.  You bore your family, friends, neighbours, and co-Workers with every minute detail.  You always have a photo handy.

Fast forward two years.  The behaviour is out of control.  The novelty has worn off, and you realise the amount of work and commitment it takes on a daily basis, not to mention the financial commitment.  You've misplaced the photo and now your updates to family, friends, neighbours and co-workers are not about the wonder and excitement, but complaints and eventually indifference.  You throw your arms in the air one day and say, "I simply can't be bothered doing this anymore."

Appalling, isn't it?  Did you think I was talking about a human child?  Actually, I was talking about that cat or dog you adopted as a cute little kitten or puppy.

An overwhelming number of animals are relinquished to shelters in their adolescence.  This is generally the phase of development when an animal becomes more independent, may develop behavioural problems if obedience training wasn't initiated in puppyhood, and the realities of sharing a life with a companion animal set in, such as "what do we do with the dog when we go on vacation?"

Let's face it, pets can be hard work.  They have been bred to be companions for us; therefore, they are dependent on us for many things.  They need us to be good leaders, which includes teaching them how we want them to behave, feeding them, providing proper veterinary care to keep them in good health, and sharing our lives with them,  They need exercise, social stimulation, and opportunities to grow.  It's a responsibility that never fades, but actually increases over time.

Before, bringing a pet home, do some research.  Find out what the dog was bred for so you can anticipate certain behaviours.  Don't pick a breed because it's "cute;" choose one that suits your family and your lifestyle.  Better yet, adopt from an animal shelter so that a trained adoption counselor may assist you in your decision-making process.  Think about the costs associated with pet care - this will only increase as an animal ages.  Consider the time involved with training; every dog needs some form of training, pets don't come "pre-packaged."  Decide in advance whether you can deal with added cleaning - all animals have dander, even non-shedding breeds.  How will this animal fit into your home and family situation down the road?  This is not a test to see if you are ready to have children.

Jill Van Tuyl
Executive Director
Mount Pleasant Animal Shelter
East Hanover Township

Source: New Jersey's Hanover Eagle and Regional Weekly News and Morris Newsbee: Letters to the Editor 9 August 2001

Ms Van Tuvl says owning a pet isn't a test to see if you're ready to have children, and perhaps that's true.  However, I read once that hatching an egg was a close approximation.  If you could take a fertile egg and be attentive enough, responsible enough, gentle enough and patient enough to keep it constantly warm (using yours or a friend's body heat) such that it actually hatched, that would give you a foretaste of the commitment a newborn baby would require.  I don't think the "test" involved raising the resultant chick, gosling or duckling to adulthood, though.  However, if the newly-hatched baby imprinted on you, perhaps that would be part of it...

Dog Survives Gas Chamber, Gets Second Chance

Cast into a city gas chamber to be euthanized with other unwanted or unclaimed dogs, it appeared the roughly year-old Basenji mix had simply run out of luck - and time.  But this canine had other ideas.  When the death chamber's door swung open Monday, the dog now dubbed Quentin - for California's forbidding San Quentin State Prison - stood very much alive, his tail and tongue wagging.  Animal-control supervisor Rosemary Ficken had never seen such a survivor, and she didn't have the nerve to slam the door shut again.  This 30-pound animal, she believed, beat the odds and should live on.

"She told me, 'Please, take him.  I don't have the heart to put him back in there and re-gas him,'" said Randy Grim, founder and head of Stray Rescue of St Louis, the charitable shelter that took in the dog before taking the animal's story public.  Quentin's ordeal was played and replayed Wednesday on local TV stations, drawing people looking to adopt him.  "To me, it's a miracle or divine intervention," Grim said.  "I can't help but think he's here to serve a higher purpose.  This case blew me away.  This is amazing."

On Wednesday, Quentin was a little malnourished but "in very good condition," Grim said.  He was being checked for heartworm and other maladies by a veterinarian.  "You can tell he's really digging it," Grim said.  "He has a bed, love, food and water."

Source: Thursday 7 August 2003 Associated Press photo credit Teak Phillips St Louis Post-Dispatch

Dogs Decide to End It All

by Jonathan Este

A spate of what appear to be canine suicides has animal psychologists in Scotland baffled.  At least 5 dogs have thrown themselves off the historic bridge at Overtoun House in Dunbarton, Scotland, in the past 6 months.  The bridge, which spans a 13 metre drop into a stream running underneath, is fast becoming known as Rover's Leap because of the lemming-like approach it seems to inspire in apparently well-adjusted family pets.

"Dogs do not commit suicide.  They have a strong fight-or-flight response," Doreen Graham, of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told The Glasgow Herald.  "The incidents at the bridge are of very great concern to us because we would like to understand why they are happening."

It is an inauspicious start for the new owners of Overtoun House, built in 1863 by a local chemicals tycoon, who are renovating the property as a Christian "hope and healing" centre.  Joyce Stewart, a leading animal behaviourist and consultant to the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she had heard of situations in which dogs that knew they were dying went into hiding, but had never heard of a dog committing suicide.  She said the coincidence was "spooky" and called for an investigation of the deaths.  "There must be some rational explanation for it," she said.

Jonathan Este is in London

Source: The Australian 5 March 2005

More Than One Way to Kill a Cat

Kinder, Gentler Euthanasia at the City Pound

by Greg Sargent

Manny Mondaca pulls a small black cat out of its cage in a room where the walls are painted a comforting pastel blue.  He lays the animal gently on a steel table covered by a soft quilt and scratches it behind its left ear.  He strokes it a few times.  He takes care to treat the cat especially kindly, because he is about to kill it.  With Smooth Jazz 101.9 playing in the background, Mondaca’s colleague, Leticia Arroyo, picks up a hypodermic needle filled with a blue poison called "Fatal Plus."  It lulls an animal to sleep before it dies.  The cat registers the needle’s soft entry into its belly with just a twitch of an ear.

Welcome to the new era of reduced-cruelty euthanasia.  Mondaca is a technician with Animal Care & Control of New York City, the nonprofit that runs the city’s animal shelters, which take in more than 50,000 stray dogs and cats a year.  Last year, it had to put down 23,745 of them.  That’s the smallest number in AC&C’s history, thanks to adoption outreach and increased funding for spaying and neutering.  The goal of the centre’s director, Edward Boks, is to be "no-kill" by 2009.  In the meantime, he’s instituted steps to make an animal’s passing a little easier.  Shelters in some parts of the country still kill animals en masse with carbon monoxide, says Boks.  And while many shelters use injections, he adds, most don’t bother with soft music, comfortable tables, and soothing wall colours.  Some even allow doomed animals to witness another’s death.  "Animals can sense fear in other animals," Boks says.

These changes might actually be more about reducing cruelty for the humans performing the procedures.  Some technicians at the shelter have trouble coping with their roles - one repeatedly became hysterical before euthanasia sessions.  "Pastels might make the people feel better," says Colorado State University animal-behaviour expert Temple Grandin.  Though she points out that relaxing the staffers could make the animal’s last moments more relaxed as well.

"Until we achieve no-kill," says Boks, "we should create comfort in their last moments.  This may be the first loving touch they’ve ever had - even if it’s their last."


This Dog Has a Fan

Source: GK Hart and Vikki Hart.  For rights use, see 

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