Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Cutest Dog Trick

February is Dog Training Education Month!

Many of us have been sharing tips and information about dog training this month. 

Last week I wrote a blog post about how dog training should be a lifelong activity for your dog, training isn't just for puppies!  I included links to blog posts with tips on how to address some common behavior issues through training, like leash pulling and jumping up on people.

The most fun type of training is Tricks Training!  Here's a short video of my favorite dog trick, WHERE'S MY DOG?? 


This trick always gets a lot of laughs.  I hope it makes you smile!

This trick is taught using 2 treats, one in each hand:
 
* From a sit/stay and with your back to your dog a couple of feet away from her,

* Lure your dog towards the back of your legs using 1 hand and 1 treat,

* As she approaches your legs switch hands and continue the lure with your other hand & treat, luring her all the way through your legs.  Mark the behavior (you continually face forward).  If she tries to go around you instead of going through your legs, do not treat but start again & continue the treat lure  all the way through your legs.

* Once she has the entire movement down, add the verbal cue "Where's My Dog?" at the beginning of the trick while she's in the Sit/Stay position.  Phase out the two treat lure, treating only after she completes the entire sequence of the trick.  Have Fun!!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ten's of Thousands of Puppies From One Dog; Spay Neuter Awareness

February has been a busy month in terms of pet awareness and action.  We've been communicating about several things throughout the month including Dog Training Education, Pet Dental Health, Spay/Neuter Awareness and Responsible Pet Ownership:

Spay/Neuter Awareness is critical
Me with just one of the hoards of puppies the shelter takes in every year
These are all important things to remind people about.  As a shelter volunteer, the one I probably communicate about the most is Spay/Neuter Awareness.  February is designated Spay/Neuter Awareness Month by the Humane Society of the Unites States (HSUS).

According to the Humane Society:

> The average female dog produces 2 litters per year, each litter containing 6 – 10 puppies. 

> If that one dog remains UNspayed and breeds for six years, that’s 72 to 120 puppies born! 

> If that dog’s offspring also remain UNspayed they could produce tens of thousands of puppies over a 6 year period! 

It's astounding to me that so many people still refuse to spay and neuter their pets.  Even though most shelters offer low cost, free, and mobile spay/neuter services, many people don't do it.  Is it culture, religion, fear, greed (breeding revenue) or just plain foolishness and disregard for animals that causes this resistance?  I wish I had the answer.

Recently, I was talking to my hairdresser about a camping trip she had been on with relatives.  They each brought their dogs on the trip, 3 dogs in total.  She told me that her dog, the only male, had been misbehaving while playing with the females and they had to lock him in the camper. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Need Some Inspiration Today? Black & White Sunday and Inspirational Quotes

Today is not only BLACK and WHITE SUNDAY, it's day 2 of my 3 Day Quote Challenge.


Photography: Join the Black & White Sunday blog hop!

Here is a quote that really resonates with me.  If you ever feel discouraged when your efforts seem fruitless, this one's for you:

IF YOU FAIL, NEVER GIVE UP BECAUSE F.A.I.L. MEANS "FIRST ATTEMPT IN LEARNING"
- Attributed to Goh Chin Poh

 
Thank You to Jenna Drady, author of the awesome blog Love Is Being Owned By A Husky for nominating me to join the bloggers 3 Day Quote Challenge making it's way around the Blogosphere.  If you missed it, here's Day 1 of my quote challenge.

The 3 bloggers I would like to nominate today to participate in the 3 Day Quote Challenge are:

>  Leah Mastilock, author of the blog Rascal and Rocco
>  Jeanne Pursell, author of the blog BichonPawz
>  Kristen Avery, author of the blog The Daily Pip

The Rules of the 3 Day Quote Challenge:
1. Post for 3 consecutive days
2. Share 1 or 3 quotes each day for 3 days
3. Challenge 3 other bloggers each day that you participate in the challenge


Can you relate to the F.A.I.L. quote?  Leave us a comment, we always LOVE hearing from you!

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Day 1 Blogger's Quote Challenge

I love quotes that inspire me and make me think more about life, so I was happy to participate in the 3 Day Quote Challenge making it's way around the Blogosphere.  A big Thank You to Jenna Drady, author of the awesome blog Love Is Being Owned By A Husky for nominating me to join the challenge!

My all time favorite dog quote has always been:

SAVING JUST ONE DOG WON'T CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT SURELY THE WORLD WILL CHANGE FOR THAT ONE DOG
- Author Unknown

One of my favorite dog books, full of great stories & quotes
Ma gets all choked up when she reads the stories in this book
Since that quote is so familiar to everyone I decided to choose another wonderful quote I found in one of my favorite books, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul:

WHAT DOGS?  THESE ARE MY CHILDREN, LITTLE PEOPLE WITH FUR WHO MAKE MY HEART OPEN A LITTLE WIDER.
-Oprah Winfrey


3 Day Quote Challenge for bloggers
I know the world changed for Phoebe when we adopted her.  She arrived a terrified little girl and morphed into an extremely social butterfly!

The Rules of the 3 Day Quote Challenge are:
1. Post for 3 consecutive days
2. Share 1 or 3 quotes each day for 3 days
3. Challenge 3 other bloggers each day that you participate in the challenge

The 3 bloggers I would like to nominate today to participate in the 3 Day Quote Challenge are:

> Kimberly Dickerson author of the blog Saving More Than Me
> Suzanne Dean author of the blog The Dog Training Lady
> Faith Ellerman author of the blog Live, Wag, Bark

Can you relate to the two quotes I shared?  Leave us a comment, we LOVE hearing from you!




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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Dog Adoption

I took some photos to post online to help these two dogs get adopted but one of the dogs, Scout, got adopted before I could post them - YAY! 

Scout, a sweet English Foxhound mix, got adopted before I could post his photos online!

This photo of Scout Chillaxin' in his bed cracked me up!
I volunteer at a PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center.  As I walked Scout around the store, a wonderful young man stopped to pet him and ended up adopting him!  Congratulations Scout!

This adorable little girl named Spaghetti is unfortunately still waiting for a loving furever home.  
She loves to carry her little stuffed toy around constantly. I think it gives her comfort, she's a bit timid.

They named me Spaghetti, don't ask me why!  I'm 2 years old & looking for a home.

Yes, I can walk and chew a stuffie at the same time!

I need to give my jaw a rest from that stuffie!
Spaghetti didn't find a furever Valentine during the PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend.  She's still available for adoption at the PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Her ID# is A3717118.  You can ask about her by calling 480-429-4519 (select option 5 for the adoption center).


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dog Training Shouldn't End With Puppyhood

FEBRUARY IS DOG TRAINING EDUCATION MONTH!

Most people know that training a puppy is important, but not everyone realizes that training doesn't end just because your dog is all grown up.  Dog training should continue throughout a dog's life. 

February is Dog Training Education month!

BEYOND Sit/Down/Stay
You diligently attended Puppy Class, teaching your new puppy the basic obedience commands like Sit, Down, and Stay.  You've potty trained her.  She knows how to give her paw.  You've socialized her so she doesn't freak out when people come over.  Great, Now what?  Are you done? 

The Leave It command enabled my dog and cat to stay in the same room together!

When it comes to your dog learning new things you should never be "done".  There are so many useful things to teach your dog that will make life better and more enjoyable for both of you.   

>  Dogs love to learn new things and be challenged. 
>  Training is both mentally and physically stimulating for a dog
>  Training is FUN for dogs!  It's like a game for them
>  Dogs can forget, re-enforcing training regularly is important
>  Training is a great way to prevent or stop negative behaviors

I continually train Phoebe and Icy, we have so much fun training together!  It keeps them mentally stimulated and challenged and prevents negative behaviors from cropping up. 


Beyond basic obedience and tricks training, here are some common issues dogs have that can be curtailed or prevented through training:

A Solid Emergency Recall can save your dog's life one day
How the Leave It command can restore harmony in your home
6 ways to prevent your dog's Inappropriate Chewing

How to prevent your dog from Door Dashing
STOP your dog's leash pulling
How to prevent your dog from jumping on people

I started Icy, my Siberian Husky, in puppy class at the age of 16 weeks.  I continued on through intermediate and advanced obedience training, then introductory rally obedience and agility training.  She ultimately got AKC CGC (American Kennel club Canine Good Citizen) certified and went on to become a certified Pet Partners Therapy Dog.  However, I still work on training with her and I always will. 

The dogs and I have fun in our training sessions!

I'm really excited because Icy is starting a Tricks training class in March!  Tricks training class is a blast, there's always something new to learn.  This will be Icy's second Tricks training class.  My next big goal for her will be Nose Work!

Phoebe is starting an Advanced Obedience training class this week.  She learns fast and is pretty well trained, but another thing I like about the classes is that they provide a level of socialization for the dogs. 

Phoebe is very attached to me and I like giving her opportunities to meet other dogs in a safe environment.  It helps with impulse control and focus as well.  There are other dogs in the room, getting treats and doing training activities all around each other.  Maintaining focus on me and not getting distracted by the other dogs in the room is in itself helpful training. 


Training should always be part of your dog's life

My goal is for Phoebe to become a Therapy Dog as well, just like her sister.  Wish Phoebe luck!  I'll be blogging about her progress on that goal over the next few months.

I train both on my own and in formal classes.  I enjoy the classes because I get to meet other dog parents and hang out with my favorite trainers.  I've learned so much from my dogs' trainers over the years and have made some good friends!

Now is a great time to enroll in a new dog training class, find some YouTube training videos, get a new puzzle toy or a book on how to train dogs.  Have fun together and make training an ongoing part of your dog's life! 

Only positive training methods should be used!  Never yell, hit, or punish your dog in any way during training.  It's cruel and will only teach your dog to fear you and hate training sessions!

What are your thoughts on lifelong training for dogs?   What type of training are you doing with your dog now?  Leave us a comment, we love to hear your thoughts!



Friday, February 12, 2016

Clean Dogs' Ears Naturally With BVH Pet Care Dog Ear Cleaner

Your dog isn't truly clean unless you've cleaned her ears too!  I must confess, I never cleaned my dogs' ears myself until I found BVH Pet Care's all natural PREMIUM DOG EAR CLEANER.  I always left ear cleaning to the groomer. 




Keeping dogs' ears clean can help avoid ear infections
BVH Pet Care's Premium Dog Ear Cleaner is gentle, all natural, and easy to use
I've learned that cleaning a dog's ears at least once a month can help prevent ear infections and other ear problems.  Since I don't go to the groomer's every month, I need to take it upon myself to keep my dogs' ears clean!

Cleaning your dog's ears can help prevent ear infections
Keep your dog's ears clean to prevent infection and discomfort
Unlike many dog ear cleaners, BVH Pet Care Premium Dog Ear Cleaner is an all natural, chemical free product that gently cleans your dog's ears.  It's important to me that their Premium Dog Ear Cleaner:

>  Doesn't contain alcohol or antibiotics that can burn or irritate dogs' sensitive ears.
 
>  Contains No tea tree oil, sulfate, phosphate or parabens (compounds used as preservatives).

>  Soothes to provide immediate relief of itching and scratching.

>  Stops ear odor by removing dirt, ear wax and debris.

>  Is made in the USA, & formulated in a certified laboratory.

>  Is Cruelty free.  No animal testing is done.

Why is it so important to keep your dog's ears clean? 

Bacteria, yeast, ear mites, debris, and waxy buildup inside your dog's ear can cause a lot of discomfort for your dog.  It can even end up causing ear infections or other ear issues! 

The everyday activities your dog loves can cause build up of dirt, wax, and possibly bacteria or yeast in her ears: 

Swimming in lakes, rivers, pools, or the ocean can cause bacteria or yeast to form in your dog's wet ears.

While walking through dense grass or brush your dog can pick up spores, mold, mites, bugs and debris in her ears.

Keeping your dog's ears clean can reduce the chance of ear infection, and reduce the buildup of wax and dirt that can cause discomfort. 

Ingredients in BVH Pet Care's Premium Dog Ear Cleaner:

* Purified Water based formula
* Coconut extracts
* Palm extracts
* Citrus extracts
* Vegetable-based ingredients to condition and moisturize skin

I thought it would be hard to clean my dogs' ears and I was sure they'd hate it but I couldn't be more wrong!  It was easy to do myself in about 10 minutes, and Phoebe and Icy didn't mind at all!  It only takes a few minutes to clean your dog's ears! 

Cleaning Phoebe's ears with BVH Premium Dog Ear Cleaner was as easy as:

1.  After Shaking the bottle well, I applied the ear cleaner into Phoebe's ear canal.
Cleaning my dog's ears myself was Easy Peasy!

2. Then I gently massaged the base of her ear.  Afterwards, I let her shake her head to dislodge any wax build-up.
Just a few easy steps is all it takes to clean your dog's ears

3. I moistened a cotton ball with more of the ear cleaner and wiped the inside of her ear flapYuk!  Look at all that dirt.

BVH Pet Care's Premium Dog Ear Cleaner is made w/ all natural ingredients

THAT'S IT!  EASY PEASY.

BVH Pet Care all natural Premium Dog Ear Cleaner
Thanks for cleaning all the gunk out of my little ears Mama!
Cleaning my dog's ears naturally, with no harsh chemicals is what I expect from a dog ear cleaner. 
 
I also expect to bathe my dogs with an all natural chemical free dog shampoo like BVH Pet Care's Premium Dog Shampoo and Conditioner too.  Products that are free of harsh chemicals is important for my dogs' well being!

BVH Pet Care Premium Dog Ear Cleaner is appropriate for all dog breeds over 12 weeks old.

This post is sponsored by BVH Pet Care. I am being compensated to help spread the word about their Premium Dog Ear Cleaner, but Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. 


GET SOCIAL WITH BVH Pet Care!  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter !

Do you think it's important to keep your dog's ears clean?  Do you clean your dog's ears yourself, or do you leave it to the Groomer?  Leave us a comment!  We always love to hear your thoughts!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

3 Dogs Looking For Valentine Love

These 3 sweeties are looking for someone to snuggle with this Valentine's Day and furever!  Will you please share to help them find furever Valentine Love?

I'm lookin' for a New Love, baby, a New Looooove...!

Sweet Bubba, a 5 yr. old Gentleman Pit Bull has been in the shelter way too long!

Why do the ladies keep passing me over, do I need doggy mints? 
All 3 dogs are at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control animal shelter in Phoenix, Arizona.  The 2 little guys are at the location in the PetSmart Adoption Center in Scottsdale, AZ.  Bubba (ID: A3683575) is at the East shelter location in Mesa, AZ. 602-506-7387.

DON'T MISS THE PETSMART NATIONAL ADOPTION WEEKEND IN PETSMART STORES VALENTINE'S WEEKEND, FEBRUARY 12 - 14, 2016!  YOU JUST MIGHT FIND THE LOVE YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the adoption tips in A New Pet Can Be Your Perfect Valentine

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Monday, February 8, 2016

A New Pet Can Be Your Perfect Valentine!

Wondering who you'll snuggle up with this Valentines Day?  Opening your heart to a pet in need of a loving home can be the perfect Valentine's Day gift, for yourself or for your family!


Give a Shelter Pet a Loving Home, Adopt a Furry Valentine!
I adopted Phoebe from the PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center I volunteer at.
There are so many dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, and other pets looking for someone to love them and welcome them into their home.  Will you be that someone this Valentine's Day?

THERE'S A BREED SPECIFIC RESCUE ORGANIZATION FOR NEARLY EVERY BREED AND TYPE OF PET OUT THERE.  PLEASE OPT TO ADOPT!!

Be Prepared for pet adoption by asking these questions:

IS THE PET FULL GROWN?  IF NOT, HOW BIG WILL HE GET?
You’ll want to know if your new pet is full grown already or if he's just getting started!  This will help you determine how large a yard, bed, crate, or cage he needs.

WHAT BREED (OR BREED MIX) IS HE?
Most pet breeds have specific attributes and characteristics you should know about so you know what to expect.  Is he a territorial type of pet?  Does he have a strong prey drive making him likely to stalk small pets in the home?  Is he a high energy pet that needs lots of exercise?        



Important pet adoption questions to ask before adopting
Questions to ask before adopting one of the many pets waiting for a loving home!
HOW MUCH DOES HE EAT?
This may not matter if you're adopting a guinea pig, but if you're taking in a rescue horse or a very large dog it matters!

DOES HE SHED A LOT?
Dogs and cats shed, but some dogs and cats shed more than others.  If shedding is a concern, ask if this type of pet sheds a lot.  You may think the shorter the hair the less a cat or dog will shed.  But many short haired dogs shed a ton!  Pugs are just one example of short haired dogs that shed a lot.   Some dog breeds such as the Poodle or Maltese have hair instead of fur and don't shed at all.   The Sphynx cat is hairless so no shedding there!  Cornish Rex or Devon Rex cats shed less than most cats.  You can learn more about these cat breeds on my friend Tracy Stillman's blog, PAWESOME CATS.

IS SHE FRIENDLY WITH PEOPLE AND OTHER PETS?
Sometimes shelter staff and volunteers won’t know for certain, but they can often tell fairly easily through behavior assessments.  If the pet has been fostered ask if the foster parent left notes about her behavior, or if you can speak with the foster.  As a Foster Mama, I’m always happy to provide as much information as possible to a potential adopter.



These questions help you find out if the shelter or rescue pet you want to adopt is right for you!
Who couldn't love this sweet face!  This sweet mellow boy was recently adopted - YAY!
CAN YOU DO A MEET AND GREET WITH YOUR PETS?
Sometimes people who have dogs or cats at home worry about getting another pet.  Ask shelter/rescue staff if they’ll arrange a meet and greet with your current pet and the one you want to adopt to see if they get along.  You want to see if there is an obvious prey drive in your pets towards the new pet.  If they can’t accommodate, make sure you can bring the pet back if it doesn't work out when you introduce them at home.  Get advice from the staff on how to do a proper introduction to your current pets at home.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE ADOPTION FEE?
Know what’s included in the adoption fee and what additional costs you might incur.  Do you need to spay/neuter your new pet?  Does he need any vaccinations or ongoing medical care? 



Arrange a meet & greet before bringing a new pet into a home with pets
I wasn't too thrilled when Mama first brought Phoebe home, but now we are family!  I look out for my little Sis & sometimes I share my toys with her.  Sometimes.
Asking these questions will help you make a good adoption decision and be well prepared to bring your new Valentine home fur good!  

GUESS WHAT?!  PETSMART CHARITIES IS HOSTING A NATIONAL ADOPTION WEEKEND IN PETSMART STORES THIS VALENTINE'S WEEKEND, FEBRUARY 12 - 14, 2016!  YOU MIGHT FIND YOUR FURRY VALENTINE AT YOUR LOCAL PETSMART STORE!  

Looking for fun Furry Valentine's Day DIY ideas and activities to do with your dog? 

I believe these 3 Simple Acts can help end the enormous flood of pets that end up in shelters & rescues every year.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Black and White Sunday: Desert flowers

DESERT WILDFLOWERS ARE FAR MORE BEAUTIFUL,


IN ALL THEIR BLAZING GLORY!


I couldn't possibly leave you hanging! I had to show you the beautiful color of these wildflowers in the desert Southwest, where Spring has begun to show it's beauty.

Let's Get Social!  Connect with me on Twitter!

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Why My Dog Loves Starbucks

Wherever you travel you can almost always count on finding a Starbucks.  We've visited lots of different Starbucks during our cross country trips.  It's the ideal place to stop off if you happen to be traveling with your dog, which we always do! 

I love Starbucks because:

** I met my wonderful husband at a Starbucks *SWOON*
** They're dog friendly (outside on the patio)
** They are all too happy to provide a delicious Puppuccino for my adorable pooch!

Wherever you travel in the US you can ususally find a Starbucks

My dog loves Starbucks because:

** They are all too happy to provide a delicious Puppuccino for my adorable pooch!


My dog loves a Starbucks "Puppuccino"!
Oh Yay!  Mama brought me a Puppuccino!

My dog enjoying a "Puppuccino" at Starbucks!
Slurp!  Slurp!  Mmmm... this is so yummy!

Don't give dogs too much, just a small amount of whipped "Puppuccino" at Starbucks

WHAT?!?  What do you mean it's all gone!??  I was just getting started!

Have you ever treated your dog to a Starbucks Puppuccino?  Leave us a comment, we love hearing from you!


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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Girl Scouts Learn About Pet Care and Therapy Dogs

Teaching kids how to properly care for and be kind to animals is important, not just for the animals but for the children themselves. Sure we want our children to grow up to be nice people, but there's an even bigger reason

Teaching the Girl Scouts about responsible pet ownership
It's important to teach kids about being kind to animals
There is a strong link between mistreating animals and violence against people.  Teaching kids how to properly care for pets and be kind to animals helps build compassion and empathy.

Recently, a fellow Therapy Dog handler and I were asked to speak to a local Girl Scout troop about how to properly care for pets and about how Therapy Dogs help people.  The girls were about 10 years old.


Therapy Dogs help kids build their reading skills
We talked to the girls about how Therapy Dogs help kids improve reading skills
I always find it interesting to hear the questions the kids come up with.  I must admit, whenever I talk with kids about dogs they come up with at least one question that throws me for a loop!  I thought I'd share some of the questions the girls asked us in our meeting with them, and the one question I had a hard time answering!

** "Does your dog help blind people cross the street?"  We said no and explained the difference between a Service Dog and a Therapy Dog.   I told them about the volunteer work Icy and I do as a Therapy Dog team like Children Reading to Dogs and College Stress Busters.

** There were lots of questions about how they can convince their parents to let them have a dog!  It sparked some really fun conversation when we asked them to think about what they thought was stopping their parents from saying Yes to a dog.  Apparently, none of them want to clean up a dog's poop, which I'm guessing is a key reason for their parents' reluctance!  We explained why it's important to clean up after your dog.

** "How do you know if a dog is sick?" and "What do you do when a dog gets sick?"  We asked them how their mom knows they are sick, other than telling her so, and explained that a sick dog has many of the same signs as a sick kid; vomiting, diarrhea, or not wanting to get up and play.  We discussed the importance of taking your dog to the Vet quickly if he looks sick.

** I was talking about the responsibilities of owning a dog and got around to discussing that a shelter or rescue is a great place to get a dog because it saves a life.  I talked about puppy mills, how they are hurtful to animals, and why people want to Adopt not Shop.  Suddenly, one of the girls raised her hand and asked "Is (she named a specific puppy store in our town) a puppy mill??  I wasn't prepared for a question like that, I really had to think about the appropriate way to respond! 

I explained the difference between a puppy mill breeder and a puppy store, and that many people believe puppy stores sell a lot of mill puppies.  I didn't want to make any kind of accusatory statement about the specific puppy store, that wouldn't be right and could land me in a world of hurt!  


The Bideawee shelter invited Girl Scouts to talk about Therapy Dogs and responsible pet care
The Bideawee animal shelter invited us to speak with a local Girl Scout troop about Therapy Dog work and responsible pet care 

I told the girls I couldn't say whether or not a specific puppy store bought their puppies from puppy mills but that many of them do.  That's why it's a great idea to get a puppy or dog from a shelter or rescue and save a life.  The girls seemed to understand and agree with that. Whew!


Teaching kids about  #AdoptDontShop
We talked to the kids about how Adopting vs. Shopping can save a shelter pet's life!
It was a lot of fun talking with the Girl Scouts about responsibly caring for pets and how Therapy Dogs can help people.  Talking with kids like this is a great way to lay the foundation for kindness to animals, the proper way to care for pets, and the beauty of the human-animal bond.

NOTE: We were not permitted to take photos of the children for privacy reasons.

Have you ever talked with a group of kids about animals?  What points would you stress when talking with kids about caring for animals?  Please leave us a comment & share, we love when you bark back!