Dec 4 2014

“Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks”: Chatting with Gabby Munoz, Canine Behavior Manager at Wayside Waifs

While I met with Gabby Muñoz the other day, two tiny Chihuahuas explored the office, having just been surrendered by their owners the day before. Gabby pointed out that they were curious and friendly, but nervous. Their ears were set back, and they were a little shaky.

Some dogs who come to Wayside Waifs are more than a little nervous. Abandonment, abuse, or neglect may leave them not knowing how to interact with humans or other animals. They may guard their food or overreact to unfamiliar stimuli, or shy away from contact altogether. Wayside Waifs hired Gabby as an expert to help the more troubled dogs trust again, behave more appropriately and become good pets.

All of Gabby’s work is based on scientific research, in keeping with her academic background. She earned her Masters in Biology with a Zoology concentration from Western Illinois University. She has also always been a “dog person,” and is the owner of two rescue cocker spaniels now.

Gabby told me about a Wayside alum named Frank, a yellow lab/Shepherd mix. His owners had used physical dominance and punishment to try to control him. In response, he had become aggressive, to the point that many shelters might have given up on him.

The staff started Frank’s rehabilitation simply by showering him with treats and positive reinforcement and then ignoring him when he wasn’t behaving. Positive reinforcement works much better than punishment in changing anybody’s behavior. After lots of work with Gabby and the other patient humans at Wayside Waifs, Frank’s behavior had turned around. He was ready to find a forever home, and he went home with a retired man in a successful adoption match.

Because I didn’t associate Labrador retrievers with fighting behavior, I asked Gabby if certain breeds are more aggressive than others. She told me that breeding did bring out certain personality traits, but that a dog’s experience plays a large part as well. Many American pit bull terriers, for instance, can be excellent pets. Wayside Waifs carefully assesses the behavior of all dogs that come to the shelter.

I had read before that owners need to assert their dominance as the “leader of the pack”- something I probably don’t do with my two rescue terriers. Gabby explained that this idea came from studying wolf behavior. But although dogs are related to wolves, they’ve evolved to behave quite differently. She said that they best owner-dog relationships are, like any relationship, based on “co-respect.”

Gabby assured me that my dogs could definitely learn more from obedience classes at Wayside Waifs, even though I’ve had them for a while. The shelter actually offers three levels of classes: one for puppies, one for dogs and an advanced course to help dogs obey even in the presence of distractions.

Although any dog can learn a lot, Gabby said, their basic temperament will not change. A shy dog can learn to interact with others, but may never be the life of the party. A boisterous pup can learn to calm down, but may never be a couch potato.

Dogs have their own personalities and quirks, just like people do, and they deserve to be loved for who they are. After all, they love us for who we are. And isn’t that what we all want?

-Stacey Donovan
Contributing Writer


Nov 24 2014

Your How-to for an “All-wags” Holiday Season

Give thanks and be safe!

With Thanksgiving just hours away, there is bound to be lots of cooking, eating and undoubtedly begging. But as the responsible pet owner that you are, think twice before giving your furry family member that turkey leg. What may seem like a harmless way to say thanks to your favorite companion, has all the ingredients for a visit to the pet emergency room. And that is something that nobody wants!

Keep it “all wags” at the holiday season with these helpful tips:

Dog-friendly Treats

Whether you want to get crafty and make your dog some paw-approved holiday treats or just want to say thanks  the old-fashioned way, practice caution as you indulge your pooch. An extra scoop of food or treat goes a long way in your dog’s book. A word of advice, though: don’t go to your dinner plate when you want to show some extra love. Stick with treats that you know are safe, avoiding common holiday offenders like cooked bones, chocolate, candy, and fat trimmings.

Skip the Mistletoe

If you are anything like us, you probably get plenty of sloppy, wet kisses on the face. That said, skip the mistletoe this year. With your pets’ cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health on the line, its worth it. The only cardiovascular irregularity you need in your household is your heart melting when your furry family members shower you in affection.

Lights, Tree, Tree Stand

Before everyone gathers around the tree, make sure you have considered a couple of things:

  1. Does your dog have a chewing problem or does your cat think stringed lights are a play toy? If so, consider foregoing them this year.
  2. Do you have a stable – and we mean cat-launching-at-the-tree or dogs-rough housing-in-the-pine-needles - stable tree stand?

If you have assessed these important decorating factors, then hang those ornaments already. Oh, and that brings us to one last consideration: ornaments. What makes for pretty decorations often makes for breakable and dangerous messes, so consider waiting to hang what the dad in the Christmas Carol would call the “Frag-gee-lee” ornaments until your pets are comfortable around the tree.

The holiday season is a busy time of the year, but just make sure you don’t neglect your furry friends’ safety needs as things get hectic.

-Contributing Writer Libby Hastert

 

 


Nov 10 2014

Finding Franklin: Just The Right Dog For Our Family

My husband and I have always been a two-dog household. Months before our child was born, one of our dogs developed severe spinal and nerve issues. During the first year of my daughter Vivi’s life, he was in a lot of pain and scared, and being around a newly crawling toddler was hard on him. Although we tried to keep them separated, once he bit her rather badly. He became paralyzed, and his health and quality of life continued to decline. It broke our hearts last February to say goodbye to him.

Our other dog was just as heartbroken. Even months later, she seemed lost without him, and I knew that for her sake, I needed to move on and consider a new companion for her. We wanted to rescue a larger dog, preferably an adult dog. Because Vivi had been bit in the past, and because she was so young and not very graceful or gentle, a very patient, tolerant dog was a must. I began the task of hunting for our new buddy.

I follow a lot of rescues on Facebook. So, at first we took it slow. I just kept an eye out on their pages. Looking at all of those faces would wear on me, though. It makes me so sad to see dogs awaiting the love that they deserve and not being able to save them all. With my daughter now in the mix, I had to be incredibly selective.

One Friday night, on the second page of Wayside Waifs’s adoptable dogs, I saw Franklin’s photo. He was a 4 year old German Shepherd mix, and I seriously immediately fell in love with him. Then I read the profile. Who writes those things?! They are good. Real good. His profile killed me. I yelled to my husband in the kitchen, ” I found him!!! I found him!!”

Franklin listing

The only breed that my husband wasn’t interested in was German Shepherd. Go figure. First I read him the profile, then showed him the photo. This dog sounded so sweet and so gentle. He had been shipped over from another shelter when space had run out, and had become depressed when he arrived at Wayside. In his profile they explained that he longed for human companionship.

My husband agreed that we could go meet him the next morning. I kid you not, I was so excited that I went to bed early so that I could just get to it already.

That morning, my hot mess family—two adults, one crazy dog, a toddler and a giant stroller—rolled on in through the doors at Wayside five minutes after they opened. “We want to meet Franklin!”

When we first did the walk-around through the kennels at Wayside and first saw him, he calmly lifted his head to look at us, then despairingly put his head back down to rest.

Wayside was amazing at the process of introduction. At first the humans of my family went to the meeting room. They brought Franklin in. I immediately hugged him and he patiently sat, letting me hug him. Then my toddler clumsily waddled over and slightly pulled his tail. No reaction. So, next she tried with the ears. She gave a really good tug. I scolded. Franklin licked her face in response.

Franklin and Suki

Next, our dog Suki met him. It wasn’t immediate love, but a solid, solid tolerance. It was clear, this guy was fitting in great. So home we went.

Franklin Going HomeHe seemed a little nervous that we’d disappear if he let us out of his sight. An hour later, after plenty of treats and snuggles, he settled in for a happy nap on the kitchen floor. Throughout the afternoon he would be used as a chair and a makeshift horse by the toddler. He didn’t flinch and again, only responded to this pestering with sweet dog kisses. At one point a tiny hand caressed his giant Shepard teeth with merely an eye-bat in response. I was in absolute shock at how gentle, tolerant and welcoming he was to all of the complete impositions on personal space.

Franklin in the nursery

In just a matter of days, we had him contently snuggled among us all on the couch and in the bed at night. Franklin and Suki now nap next to one another, walk closely to one another on a leash, and spend hours playing together. At the end of the day when we wind down reading to our baby to sleep in a dim room, Franklin is her pillow on the floor during story time.

Franklin, Tuesday, and Vivi

Franklin may have desperately craved human companionship, but everyone in this home needed and wanted him just as much. We comment often on how lucky we were to find him. Amazing, amazing dogs needing love sit in kennels waiting. I’m thankful every day that we found ours.Franklin & Mr. Schmidt


Contributing Writer and Wayside Adopter: Tuesday Schmidt

 


Oct 27 2014

Buy The Book and Help The Animals!

Pre-Order Flyer

Author W. Bruce Cameron is donating $ 2.00 to Wayside Waifs for every copy of his newest novel sold, and Rainy Day Books is matching the grant!  That’s $ 4.00 per copy, which is great, but the orders must be in by 6:30 PM October 28th.

 

Preorder a personalized copy of “The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man” now!

 

About the book:  Ruddy McCann’s only real friend in the world is his dog Jake, a basset-plus-something hound who really enjoys napping.  Ruddy is a bar bouncer and a repo man and life, while hardly glamorous, is pretty normal… until the day Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head.  A voice belonging (or so claims the voice) to a dead man named Alan.  Who was murdered.  And wants Ruddy to find the killers. 

 

“An appealing hero plus slick suspense and wry smiles: what more could you want?” – Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

 

“Suspenseful, action-packed, romantic, and above all, truly funny.  I loved it.”  — Nelson DeMille, bestselling author (The General’s Daughter, Wild Fire, The Lion’s Game, etc.) 

 

Nominated for the 2014 Kirkus award – Fiction

 

How to order the novel and see $ 4.00 donated to Wayside Waifs:  Follow the link below and scroll down so you can purchase the book and enter how you would like it personalized.  Or call Rainy Day!  (913) 384-3126

 

http://www.rainydaybooks.com/WBruceCameron

 

Please support this fund raiser and get a signed, personalized, first edition NY Times bestseller in the process!


Oct 24 2014

Halloween Pet Safety

i_1156_dogs-costumes1

Halloween is just around the corner, which means it is time to talk pet safety. Whether you and your fur babies are gearing up for a full fledged trick-or-treat session in the neighborhood or you are spending the night inside, passing out candy, you need to take some precautions. In our first Halloween blog, we’ll discuss safety measures you need to make as you prepare for trick-or-treaters at home.

Important Safety Tips: Halloween Edition

1. Decorations – For many, Halloween is the unofficial start of the holiday season. This means that for the months ahead, there will be lots of decorations in and around the house. The key? Just make sure you keep you furry friend’s safety in mind as you string lights, carve pumpkins, and display baskets of maze. The main thing you will want to consider is making sure your dog or cat cannot chew on any exposed wires, pumpkins, or other potentially harmful decorations.

2. Candy – It wouldn’t be Halloween season without a big bowl of candy by the front door. And while it may sound redundant, dogs and “people food” don’t go well together. More specifically, chocolate. While dogs’ sensitivity to this delicious treat varies, its best to err on the side of caution. Skip the indigestion or visits to the pet emergency room altogether, and put the candy bowl out of their reach.

3. Safe Zone – Whether you have an outdoor pet or just like let them out occasionally, take extra caution on the night of and those leading up to Halloween. Everything from the increase in foot traffic to cruel Halloween pranks could give your pooch a scare. And let’s face it, scares are for people – not dogs!

Although it is smart to take extra safety measures as we approach Halloween, that does not mean your pet can’t get into the spirit of things. IN our next blog, you will find tips about how your pet can safely participate in upcoming Halloween events!

Thinking about adding a furry friend to your family.

If you are looking for a pooch that can accompany you through the upcoming holiday season, and for many to come, be sure to visit Wayside Waifs. You can also “meet” our Waifs on our website.


Oct 13 2014

Make a match at Wayside’s Mega Match-A-Thon Adoption Event

14_2Megamatch_hero

Wayside Waifs was once again selected to participate in the Mega Match-a-thon Pet Adoption event sponsored by the ASPCA and presented by Subaru. Wayside was the only local shelter selected to participate in this national event. This weekend, October 17-19, all pet adoptions will be only $25!  Wayside will be closed this week and open for adoptions on Friday morning at 7 am. The shelter is full of adorable dogs, cats, puppies and kittens- all ready to find forever homes.

All pet adoptions include: current vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, microchipping and ID tags. These animals are happy, healthy and ready to find a new family. Wayside Waifs will be open extended hours for this Mega Match-a-thon event.

Find your purr-fect match this weekend!

Friday, October 17: 7am-7pm
Saturday, October 18: 7am-7pm
Sunday, October 19: 1pm -6pm

Check out the other fun activities going on during the event:

  • On Friday, from 11-2, Sebella’s Fire – Wood Fired Pizza – will be on our campus serving up their famous pizza for lunch. The are donating 10% back to Wayside!
  • Greg Sims, President and COO of Fido Friendly Magazine will be stopping through from his Get Your Licks on Route 66 tour. Spin the wheel between 2-6 pm for a chance to win fabulous prizes!
  • On Saturday, Detroit Coney will be on our campus from 11-2 serving their gourmet hot dogs and more.
  • Swiffer, also a national sponsor, will be giving away some of their new pet cleaning products and have coupons for adopters.

Bring the family and have fun while adoption your furry new friend! Plan your visit. Meet our Waifs.


Sep 27 2014

10 Things You Missed From the 2014 Strutt With Your Mutt

With approximately 1300 registered participants — dogs and dog owners — in attendance, this year’s 24th annual Strutt With Your Mutt was an absolute success. And it was all thanks to our dedicated supporters! But, in case you were not able to join this amazing event, we have highlighted some of the not-to-be-missed moments from this year’s extravaganza.

10 Must-see Moments:

This year’s Strutt With Your Mutt had lots of colorful characters in attendance. So, what did we see?

Puppies!!!

 puppy

Little Dogs

little dogs

BIG Dogs

big dogs

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.56.30 PM

Spotted Dogs

big-dogs

Spotted Dogs Dressed As Cows

cow dog

Dogs Dressed as Collie-flowers

collie flowers

Dogs “Being Dogs” (Translation: Sniffing Butts)

dog sniff

Dogs Traveling in Packs of Four

greyhounds

Dogs…That Simply Don’t Travel

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.38.57 PM

Legacy Dogs!

legacy dogs

Find Your Own Forever Mutt to Strutt

If you are looking for a mutt to call your own, look no further than Wayside Waifs. Below is a complete list of our shelter hours. So, what are you waiting for? Your forever dog is just one visit away.

Shelter Hours:

Wednesday-Friday Noon-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 1pm-6pm


Sep 10 2014

Give Your Dog a Bone

Lola-PumpkinAs we say goodbye to fresh fruit and lazy pool days, we wind into fall, which ushers in a slew of its own spectacular perks. Amongst them, pumpkin. This fall, help Fido greet cooler weather barking. Your pooch can indulge in savory pumpkin-based dog bones while you enjoy a quick and simple recipe that gets your dog’s tail wagging.

Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Dog Treats: The Recipe

We’d like to give a big thank you to Kelly of All Recipes for sharing this great, mess-free formula.

The Fixings

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin

The How-to

1. After preheating your oven to 350 degrees, it’s time to create your doggy dough.

2. To get the desired pumpkin-peanut butter goodness, whisk together peanut butter, eggs, flour, salt, cinnamon, and — the magical ingredient that no fall would be complete without– pumpkin.

*The desired effect is a moist, playable dough. Add water, as needed, to achieve this.*

3. After flattening this mixture into a dough half-an-inch in height, cut half-inch by half-inch pieces.

*If at this point your hands are covered in gooey, sweet dough, ask your four-legged friend to help with the preliminary finger-licking cleanup.*

4. Once the oven is preheated, bake treats for approximately 40 minutes, or until treats are firm.

The Finishing Touch

The fifth and final step is a taste test from your furry friend. Once cooled, share the taste of fall with your furball, checking for a tail wag of approval. This recipe should be repeated throughout the fall season. However, to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, be sure to take your dog on a walk through the bright-colored autumn leaves.


Aug 18 2014

Penny’s Foster Experience

Hi, we are the Wand’s, Penny’s foster parents. We would like to tell you a little bit about this special girl.

Penny has come along way since we first brought her into our home. She was shuffled around from shelter to shelter throughout her young life, so she had no idea how to behave like a normal, functioning dog. She would constantly nip and jump to get our attention and could not settle down or self soothe. We just couldn’t get through to her so we talked to the vets and decided it would be best to put her on puppy Prozac. Since then she is more calm and takes direction better.

Penny’s Progress

She now sleeps through the night on the bed with us and is mostly housebroken. She plays well with the older, bigger dogs in the house. Every Tuesday she goes to doggy daycare to work on her socialization skills; we also go to the dog park! She does pull on her walks, so we use an easy-walk harness, which helps tremendously. She loves playing in the water, especially when it comes out of the hose. She’s also very interested in swimming, but she definitely needs a life jacket.

Her Care

We free feed Penny a high-protein, grain-free diet dog food. She enjoys treats, chew toys and Nyla bones. Her favorite toys are plush squeaky toys and old socks that I stuff empty water bottles in or tennis balls. Other than that, she loves getting affection from her humans, and being the center of attention is her favorite. Penny also loves to cuddle!  When my husband gets home from work, they have a routine where they cuddle on the bed. It’s so funny because she will follow him in there, jump up on the bed and wait for him patiently.

Although she has made a lot of progress, we are still working with her on not jumping on people and her new favorite thing, counter surfing on the kitchen counter. Penny is an adventerous spitit who loves car rides, but — be warned — will jump out the window if it is down too low. We also, have a hole in our fence that she likes to try to explore. She doesn’t go far, but she likes to visit the bloodhound in the other yard.

Help Penny Find Her Forever Home

Penny will make a great companion for a family that is willing to put in a little time and extra energy, giving her their unconditional love. Thanks for taking the time to read about our special Penny girl. We love her and know you will, too!

Sincerely,

The Wand’s


Aug 18 2014

You Can Never Replace an Old Pet—But You Can Welcome a New Friend

A few years ago we lost Pumpkin, a golden retriever we had gotten as a puppy, to cancer. After we said our final goodbye, and she crossed the rainbow bridge, my husband and I cried so loudly I suspect people could hear us from the waiting room.

For a couple of days, Ginger, our other golden retriever, moped around the house. She stared at her sister’s empty bed. My husband and I decided to get a new dog. After all, we reasoned, it would be good for Ginger. It turned out to be very good for us, too.

We decided that we would prefer to adopt a dog from a shelter. Because Ginger was old and so gentle by nature, we wanted a smaller dog who wouldn’t be too tough for her. We went with Ginger to Wayside Waifs and introduced her to a cute little mix.

Moxie At Wayside Waifs

 

In the year she had been alive, the little pup had been in three different homes and had been taken to the shelter twice. She shied away from us at first, but when I was squatting down, she ran over, licked by nose and darted away. I knew she was our dog. We correctly suspected that her initial timidity hid a fierce little spirit, so we named her Moxie.

When we first brought Moxie into our house on a snowy night, she trembled and refused to take a treat from my hand. Just an hour or two later, she was curled up on my legs, as though she knew she was finally home.

MoxieOnMyLegs

Moxie and Ginger made a funny, sweet pair. Ginger was mellow, with saintly patience, while Moxie was high-strung and filled with energy. They played tug-of-war, although Ginger didn’t have to try very hard. Moxie took to sitting and lounging on top of Ginger, who found no quarrel with the arrangement.

Moxie On Ginger

Over a year after Moxie joined our family, we had to say goodbye to Ginger. It was just as painful as before. This time, we went almost immediately to Wayside Waifs for a new pet.

We were won over by a year-0ld rat terrier we named Clio. She had been picked up on the streets of Wichita as a puppy, and for the past several months, she had been in shelters.

Clio Sitting Up Straight

Clio seemed to be a good match with Moxie. True, at first Moxie defended “her” spots in our laps, and Clio guarded her food, but they soon learned there were plenty of cuddles and kibble to go around. They are funny, curious girls who love their walks and love snuggling. Every day when we come home from work or running errands, we find them sitting side by side at the front window, waiting to greet us.

Moxie and Clio at the window

Every one of our dogs has been different, and we love them for their own quirks and qualities – Moxie’s curious head tilt, for example, or the way Clio jumps about five fee in the air when she gets excited. But what all dogs have in common is their ability to love with all their hearts, once they understand they are loved.

You can never replace an old dog. Years later, memories of them still make you smile and tug at your heart. However, sharing your love and your home with a dog in need of both is always a blessing, and an opportunity to make wonderful new memories.

 

-  Stacey Donovan, Contributing Writer for Wayside Waifs


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