Thursday, March 15, 2012

Virtual Dogsledding

This is my 2nd favorite video.

You Want To Be A Musher

One of my new Favorite videos. 

Annual "Strut Your Mutt" walk

FirstGiving - Your fundraising

Thank you for taking the time to look @ my fundraising page. We are helping RAL (Richmond Animal League) raise money by Walking in there annual "Strut Your Mutt" walk. Their kick off to WoofStock ( ).

Cnha Aylin walk last year and had so much fun she has decide this year to get Jax involved. This year she is walking for FOBF- Friends of Barker Field: Barker Field is Richmond’s first off-leash dog park. It has a 4 foot enclosed fence with 2 areas- one for small dogs and the other for all sizes. The hours are from sunrise to sun set and closes for special events (eg: 4th of July). The Park is busiest after work and on weekends. Dog park rules are at this link:

Land of Pure Gold Foundation

Northern Virginia Dog Blog

Doo this contest

Posted: 15 Mar 2012 08:58 AM PDT

We like to run the occasional contest (and stay tuned: we've got one coming up pretty soon), but today we want to urge you to pay attention to a contest being run by someone else. The contest touches on some causes that are near and dear to us, and we think it's worth entering--while you've still got time.

We're referring to Rochelle Lesser of Owings Mills, MD, who runs the Land of Pure Gold Foundation. The foundation's mission includes raising money for canine cancer research, disseminating the results of such research, promoting responsible dog care, and promoting respectful and consistent training practices. Her causes are very important to us -- and not just because we share a mutual love of Golden Retrievers.

Rochelle's latest effort to shine the spotlight on her foundation involves another cause that's obviously important to us:  picking up dog poop.  As such, she's running a Poopy-Day Contest in which she invites   readers with multiple dogs to demonstrate their need for poop pickup help by posting photos of their dogs on her Facebook page Timeline. Rochelle will choose three photos from among those submitted -- and the three winners will each receive a YardPup & Paw, which Rochelle says will be the last pooper scooper she'll ever need. The set is a $46 value.

Winners need to be willing to star in a video of themselves using the YardPup. The contest ends March 20.  Learn more by logging onto the Foundation's Facebook page.  And in the meantime, whether you win or not, whether you enter or not:  pick up that poop!

Mythbusters about Dog's

Northern Virginia Dog Blog


Posted: 14 Mar 2012 03:00 AM PDT

A lot of people (including Mr. Metro DC Dog Blog) enjoy this classic Discovery Channel TV show, but we have found that plenty of myths are waiting to be busted in real life -- especially with dogs.

Let us explain.

We work on a volunteer basis walking dogs for a rescue group, and last week we had the privilege of working with what looked to us like a Pit Bull mix. We had a great time interacting with this gentle girl. First, we took her for a stroll and bathroom break. Then, because she wanted to use her leash as a tug toy, we took her back to her large enclosure, brought with us a real tug toy, and engaged in a hearty tug session with her there. As we did so, another volunteer walked by and said, "Boy, that's a really vicious Pit Bull you're playing with." (We knew he was totally kidding.)

Periodically, that "vicious" Pit Bull would drop the tug toy. Whenever she did so, we asked her to sit -- and when she did, we offered her the toy for another couple of minutes of tugging. Finally, when we decided we'd had enough of an upper body workout, we ended the game and gave the dog the toy. She placed it at her feet, gave us a doggie kiss, lay down on her side and proceeded to take a nap.

Only after we left her enclosure did we realize that we'd inadvertently given the lie to a couple of myths about dogs:

Pit bulls are inherently vicious.  Um, no.  They may be raised by people to be vicious to other dogs (see Vick, Michael) -- but that's the fault of the people, not the Pitties. And even among those who are reared in that manner, plenty can be rehabilitated.

Playing tug-of-war makes a dog aggressive.  Wrong again.  Tug-of-war can be a great game to play with most dogs. For some, a game of tug helps build confidence; for others, the game is also a learning opportunity, and for many, the game helps siphon off excess energy.  Renowned trainer/behavioral counselor Pat Miller, whose Peaceable Paws training facility is in Hagerstown, explains more about why tug is a good game for many dogs, and how to help a dog get the maximum benefit from a tug session.

That got us to thinking about other times when we've played mythbuster without realizing that we were. Take, for example, the old idea that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks."  Long ago, we taught a nine-year-old dog how to catch a Frisbee and bring it back to us.  And, of course, there's one of our favorite videos of all time:  a 13-year-old Golden Retriever learning all kinds of new tricks with the help of a clicker -- and clearly having a blast while doing so.

What myths have you and your dog been busting lately?

New Study Aims to Improve Golden Retriever Health

For all my friends who have Golden Retriever's 

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New Study Aims to Improve Golden Retriever Health
March 15, 2012

Do you own a golden retriever? If so, you have a lot of company — and with good reason. Goldens have a well-deserved reputation for being excellent family dogs, which probably explains why they were ranked at number four in the American Kennel Club's latest ranking of the most popular dogs in the U.S.


If you own a golden and want to give something back to the breed that you love, here's your opportunity. The Morris Animal Foundation is looking to enroll golden retrievers in their new Canine Lifetime Health Project (CLHP). The foundation's aim is to enroll up to 3,000 goldens beginning in 2012 for a study that could last 10 to 14 years. The research aims to:


  • Identify ways in which genetics, environment and diet may affect a dog's risk for cancer
  • Determine risk factors for other major health disorders in golden retrievers
  • Learn how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and other canine diseases
  • Improve the health of future generations of golden retrievers


To become a part of this study, dogs must be healthy, under two years of age at the time of enrollment, and have a three-generation pedigree. Owners must be 18 years of age or older, live in the continental U.S., and be willing to complete a screening questionnaire and arrange an initial veterinary examination for their dogs.

Don't enter into the study lightly. If you and your dog are accepted, you will need to:


  • Agree to participate for the life of the dog
  • Use a veterinarian who agrees to participate in the study (They also have to comply with specific terms to be involved)
  • Complete annual online questionnaires regarding the dog's nutrition, environment, behavior and health
  • Take the dog to the veterinarian for annual examination and sample collection, including blood, urine, feces, hair and toenail clippings
  • When applicable, allow collection of tumor samples for evaluation
  • Be willing to consider a necropsy (the animal equivalent of an autopsy)


Owners are responsible for all costs associated with the annual exam, sample collection, and laboratory test results. Morris Animal Foundation will reimburse you for up to $75 of these costs per year after verification that the exam and sample collection has been completed. You may donate this compensation directly back to Morris Animal Foundation to support the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.

If you can participate, please do so. According to the CLHP, cancer is the #1 cause of death in dogs over the age of two, and more than half of all golden retrievers die of the disease. The hope is that this study will identify the genetic, nutritional, and environmental risk factors for cancer and other diseases affecting goldens, and provide valuable information into prevention strategies, early diagnosis, and new treatments for cancer and other dog diseases. Check out the CLHP website for more information a nd to sign up either as an owner or veterinarian.

Hopefully, this study (the largest and longest ever undertaken to improve the lives of dogs, according to the CLHP) will prove to be a game-changer. I euthanized an absolutely lovely, seven-year-old golden over the weekend because of liver cancer. Anything we can do to reduce the likelihood that dogs, owners, and vets have to suffer through heartbreaking experiences like this one will be well worth the effort.




Dr. Jennifer Coates



Image: Marianne W. Dent / via Shutterstock


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