With so many of our troops having to be away from home, who takes care of their pets?
"We often hear about heroic warrior dogs that courageously go into battle alongside their human counterparts and assist in the most dangerous missions, including the most recent operation that took down Osama Bin Laden.
But what about the everyday companion dogs that are left at home when their soldier owners go off to fight? One organization is making sure that those dogs are not forgotten.
Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet was established in January 2005 by founders Linda Spurlin-Dominik and Carol Olmedo after they had learned that many soldiers were unable to find local caretakers for their pets and were relinquishing their dogs to local shelters due to a deployment. Some get adopted, while others are euthanized due to age or overcrowding.
The two Arkansas residents decided that something had to be done to help these pet owners keep their animal companions safe and cared for while they were away serving their nation. Spurlin-Dominik understood the needs, as the daughter of the late Coy H. Spurlin, who served during World War II in the “Battle of the Bulge,” and the widow of John T. Dominik, a Vietnam Era Army Veteran. She has been involved with supporting the military community, veterans, their families, and their beloved pets for more than three decades.
As a result of their efforts, the Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet foster program was born. The program offers current and former military service members the option of placing their pets in one of the more than 2800, pre-screened foster homes across the US for the duration of their deployment or medical leave. Guardian Angels works one-on-one with the military pet owners to find the best-suited pairing for the dog and foster families and ensures the continued care of these companion animals. While the pet owner is still financially responsible for supporting their pet’s food and medical needs, there are no additional costs for the foster care.
The organization has also created a fund for those who cannot afford the continued care of their pet. On average, pets remain at the designated foster homes for a period of three to eight months, with some situations lasting as long as nine months to a year. “We feel every pet we are able to foster in our program is one less pet in a shelter or rescue group,” said CEO Linda Spurlin-Dominik. “Military families run into the same issues as civilian pet owners do.”
Watch this report for how the organization helped one soldier and his dog:
"Individuals and families that are interested in fostering must go through an extensive application process. Once approved, the owner and pet from the specified region are introduced to the new foster home. In an effort to help the organization educate potential foster families on the ins-and-outs of caring for another’s pet, the Millan Foundation recently contributed a “fostering tip sheet” to share with new volunteer foster homes and includes advice from Cesar on how to keep human emotions in check for the betterment of the dog in often very highly charged, stressful conditions.
"We are so grateful to all of you for offering your expertise as we assist our soldiers and their pets," said Megan Summers, the Tennessee Chapter Communications Coordinator. “I cannot thank you enough for it. I know it will be an awesome tool for us.”
One dog and soldier at a time, Guardian Angels hopes to promote an alternative option for veterans and those currently serving in the military and defer the unwanted surrender of a beloved animal. “Every pet we have fostered is touching and inspiring in our eyes,” said Linda.
“The reaction of the pets seeing their owners after a yearlong deployment in harm’s way is priceless and our heroes tell us being reunited with their beloved pets assures them that there is one thing that has not changed while they were gone: the unconditional love provided by an animal.” "
Thanks to all the loving foster parents who take care of the soldier's pets.
"The dorm atmosphere is an exciting and fun place for a college student, but the stress of schoolwork and exams may be a little overwhelming at times. So in an effort to help relieve some of the constant pressures of the college environment, Lees-McRae College in North Carolina has decided to enroll a new class of students: dogs.
In January 2011, the Bentley Residence Hall on the Lees-McRae campus officially allowed pets to live on premises with their responsible owners. This is the inaugural year of the college’s Pet Friendly Program, which allows enrolled students to bring their family pets—both canine and other—to live on campus. So far, at least a dozen dogs have joined their student-owners on campus.
“I am so excited that Lees-McRae College has joined the ranks of pet-friendly colleges and universities,” said President Barry M. Buxton in a recent interview. “We love our pets and we recognize that students who are pet owners are generally responsible and caring individuals. We want to encourage pet adoption and awareness that all of God’s creatures are sacred.”
The overall hope of the program is to help students transition into the college setting more easily and engage with their fellow classmates. “These students are able to better adjust to their new environments away from family,” said Deborah Buxton, a Community Liaison Volunteer and wife to President Buxton. “The stress they incur from just being a young adult trying to find their way is greatly reduced when they are able to go back to their dorm room and cuddle with their ‘best friend.’”
Lees-McRae student, Lauren Lampley has brought her two Shih-Tzus, Heidi and Buckley, to the dorm with her. While her dogs offer her solace during stressful times, Lauren also admits that the added responsibilities of caring for them has helped her manage her time more wisely.
“Dogs love routine and need structure, and students need discipline to stay on top of their studies,” Cesar said. “To me, this is a perfect way to encourage students to be responsible and mindful of their time, as long as they remain dedicated pack leaders in both their canine relationships and their education!”
The faculty and staff are also encouraged to bring their dogs on campus—even President Buxton takes advantage of the Pet-Friendly Program by bringing his two dogs Aw Shux and Sweetie to work on the regular.
But the program goes beyond the simple acceptance of dogs on campus. The college is also joining forces with the local shelter, The Avery County Humane Society, and the minimum-security prison in nearby Mitchell County to help establish an adoption/training program for the Lees-McRae student body.
This program hopes to pair adoptable dogs from the humane society with prisoners, who will train and care for the dogs and learn the responsibilities and power of dog ownership.
Once trained, these dogs will then be adopted out to the student body, faculty and staff of Lees-McRae.
“This would be a very positive way to engage our young people in community service and also to help the inmates discover the love of animals, giving them a skill and hope at the same time,” said Deborah. “We could also have adoption clinics for the community on our campus, and create homes for many wonderful dogs.”
The Millan Foundation was impressed by the awareness and work of Lees-McRae College and wanted to support them in their efforts to encourage pet-friendly environments, both on and off campus, with a donation of calendars and DVDs.
“It is absolutely amazing the doors these dogs have opened for us with our students, faculty and staff,” said Deborah. “They are our little ambassadors and they are a source of much good will and happiness.” "
Read more about pet-friendly dorms here. From: http://www.cesarsway.com/news/dognews/Doggie-Dorms
Make your dog coming to you FUN:
The Recall Command. Learn how to get your dog to come when called. Learn why your dog doesn't come back to you when off leash.
Found Dog needs to find a home:
My neighbor, Linda, found this little female puppy about 6 months ago, running around on I-45 near Conroe. Instead of getting the dog listed as 'Found' on http://www.petharbor.com/ she kept her, as Linda didn't feel like they were very responsible pet parents to let their little dog run loose like that. Linda has already had quadruple and double bypasses, but now she is waiting for a heart transplant. Linda's health is deteriorating, so she needs to find the dog a home.
"Sassy" as she is now called, is a quiet, housebroken Chihuahua looking dog about 5 lb, about 1 year old, and likes to ride.
I have looked in the lost dog section, but it has been six months, and people have to renew their listing every month on Pet Harbor.
This is what Jay and I did in the rear right side of the cargo trailer.
This is part of the bed frame, but getting to that point was a lot of preparation.
First, we had to adjust the frame of the back door, so that the door didn't fit so tightly on the top left side. We made our own porta-power by wedging a 2x4 in the jamb diagonally, and just that 1/8" made all the difference. Jay reinstalled the left brackets, and we installed two more on the right, to keep it like that.
Then we had to put up that back wall piece of paneling, but that took preparation, too. There are wires running up that corner and above the back door to the top running lights, some of which are not working. Still trying to make it so that all the necessary wires are accessible for repairs, we ran a wire marked "spare wire"from underneath the trailer up that right corner and across the back.
We can't really check out the running lights properly until I get a new 7-pin pigtail end for the trailer's umbilical cord. My B+ motor home is still parked in front of it as it has a 7-pin connector, as I used to tow a travel trailer with it.
We also has to screw in some horizontal support in the back wall to anchor the bed frame. Then that panel had to be to be pared down in a couple of places to make it fit right and have the same amount of reveal on the door jamb before we could finally install it. Then we started on the bed frame, above.
It doesn't look like we accomplished much, but that took all morning.
Taking some time off, as we are going shopping today.