Read Across America Day

The Spring celebration of Read Across America is one of my favorite events to attend with my Great Pyrenees. Read Across America day is March 2nd on Dr. Seuss's birthday, and is celebrated all over the USA. Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for children's picture books.  Dr. Seuss is famous for his zany books and characters like The Cat in the Hat and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

I have two Great Pyrenees, Tasha the Snow Bear and Darla the Dumpling, who are registered pet therapy dogs and love children!  We go to schools and libraries to visit with young readers who read to our dogs.  This fun, no-pressure literacy program is organized into therapy dog teams called 4 Paws for Reading.

Tasha, registered with Therapy Dogs International, and has been visiting with me in pet therapy for about ten years now. Darla, registered with Delta Society Pet Partners, has been a pet partner with me for two years. This year it was Darla's turn to visit the Montgomery County Public Library in Clarksville, TN for the Read Across America day. A couple of years ago, Tasha was the Pyr in the Hat (above), instead of The Cat in the Hat, during the Read Across America much FUN!

For more information about pet therapy, visit these websites:
Therapy Dogs International
Pet Partners.

- Sharon(Andee)Anderson Cumberland Furnace, TN

Puppies!! Oh My!

Conjuring up images of wet little noses and tiny puppy paws, these little bundles of fur are so much more than a cute face. Most people think of getting a puppy first when they are looking to grow their families. There are so many wonderful things about adopting a puppy. There are the endless playtimes, adorable naptime faces, plus the joy of seeing a tiny little face grow into a full-grown companion. There are also the challenges of puppyness: Potty training, chewed up shoes, teaching good manners, and puppy whining when bedtime rolls around and it is time to go in the crate.

As a new puppy mom once again, I have been blessed to not have to deal with most of the troubles of puppyness. However, it has brought me back to my first time as a puppy mom and how different it was. Here are the top two challenges you may face as a new puppy parent and how to overcome them.

Potty Problems: Potty training is certainly the least fun of the training troubles. The most important things you need to know about potty training is that they won't go in their living space (i.e. bed or crate) and they prefer to go close to home. Also, with rescue puppies, it may take more time because they will want to bond with you first before they are comfortable doing their business. Patience and repetition are your most important tools. Take your puppy to the same area and praise him when he does his business. When accidents occur, don't reprimand your dog but take the paper towel with the "present" outside to show them where it belongs. To avoid accidents, take them out as frequently as possible, immediately after meals, and anytime they are sniffing intently around and looking for a "spot".

Teething Troublemaker: No one likes to chew more than a puppy. My first little girl managed to chew through a flex pipe in my bathroom before she was 6 months old. Imagine my surprise to find a bathroom full of water! Dogs chew on things because they are bored. Be sure to have plenty of dog-safe chew toys and place them on their bed or hand them to your puppy so they know it belongs to them. When you find your dog chewing on something they shouldn't, take it away from them with a firm "No" (or whatever your negative word is). Replace the item with something they are allowed to have. For items they keep going back to (your running shoes, table leg, bathroom pipe), spray them with a dog safe bitter spray to discourage them from chewing it. When you do spot him/her chewing a toy instead of your table leg, be sure to give encouragement and a few “Good Boy”s or "Good Girl's".

Puppies are a wonderful addition to your family, if you have the time to train them properly. Many a good dog has been labeled as bad because someone didn’t take the time to train them and just be with them. If you don’t have the time to fully commit to a puppy, then considering adopting an adult dog instead. Either way, you will get a wonderful companion who will enrich your life as much as you enrich theirs!

-Katie T. from Western NY


Update on the Easter Pups

The pups we called the Easter Pups are now settling in nicely at their new homes in Illinois, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Here are a couple of pictures from their new homes.

Tchoupitoulas and Calliope, or Coph and Calli for short:

Buttercup, now known as Ramza:


Love Letters to Rescue

Braley (formerly Paisley) is doing great. She LOVES the snow, the cold, and playing with every dog she meets. She is a real doll. We go to dog parks every weekend with her and she is the queen of all of them! Very regal looking and she certainly knows it.  We just started putting her in doggy daycare one or two days a week if my husband is traveling and I am working. This way, she does not have to be in a crate and she plays all day long.  She is very lovable and sweet to everyone she meets. She is also very energetic, which I have to admit has taken some getting used to. She really is just a love....I'm not sure if we rescued her or if she rescued us!
-Robin & Fabian

Spring Events

It's warm, the sky is blue and it's time for—Spring Events. Louisville volunteers and their Pyrs (above) got the jump on Spring at an Earth Day Hootenanny on April 13 in Waterfront Park. 

Coming Up

May 5 Sudbury, MA   Annual Save a Dog's Annual Paws in the Park rescue day 10 am to 3 pm  at Longfellow's Wayside Inn.  Volunteers are needed to help man the booth, so please email us if you can attend if only for a few hours.

May 25 Shelbyville, KY  The Shelby County Animal Shelter and No Kill Mission's celebration of 5 years as a no-kill shelter. 10 am to 8 pm, Shelby County Fairgrounds. Click here if you would like to attend. 

Let us know about dog and Pyr-related events in your area and we will list them on our events page.

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