Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Like a Boss!

This is the first in a series of posts we'll be doing highlighting the dogs whose images appear on PBRC's Visa Platinum Rewards cards. To apply for a card, visit this link. A percent of all your purchases will be donated back to PBRC!

Like a Boss!
By Ami Ciontos

So he wasn’t an old dog when I adopted him in 2002, but my boy Boss has aged gracefully. I’ll admit he was quite the handful in his younger days. He destroyed no less than seven crates, a handful of rugs (while in his crate!), a few sets of drapes and the occasional bed spread. Not to mention the times he thought he was being attacked by the automatic sprinkler systems at some local businesses and had to defend himself. Each time he managed to pull at least three to four feet of piping out of the ground before I could stop him.

Due to his high energy level, we had to find an energy outlet for Boss. We ultimately discovered his intense love for bubbles, which he will jump for and chase. Boss also loves to play with traffic cones. He bumps them, drags them around the yard and, at one time, would even climb a tree to get to a traffic cone dangling from a branch by a rope. Now that he’s in the winter of his years, he isn’t able to climb as well, so my husband will hold him up so he can get to his cone. Once he’s up there he will pull on it and tug until he is tired.

Though he’s 12 years old, my boy still has some spunk! He loves to go for walks and still chases squirrels. Most of his days are spent lounging on his favorite bed in the hallway. He is a gracious host and welcomes all of our visitors with a friendly nudge to let them know they should pet him. He used to meet visitors with a toy in his mouth ready to play, but now he’s content for a pat on the head and a few belly rubs. Boss is a sweet, loving boy who has taught me so much about pit bulls. Though he was not an easy dog in his younger years, I would not have had it any other way. He is now a Senior Pitizen, and the older he gets, the sweeter he gets. If I had known how sweet, appreciative and low maintenance senior dogs can be, I might have adopted an older dog a long time ago!

When it comes to adopting a dog, many people automatically think of adopting a puppy. Though puppies are cute and sweet and they get a lot of attention, they also require patience and energy to help them become wonderful family members and companions. The advantage of adopting an older dog is that they can be just as cute and lovable as a puppy, and they already have their personality and training. Most are already housebroken and have overcome the phase where chewing on inappropriate objects is irresistible. There is no guessing what your dog will become, as what you see is what you get when you adopt an older dog!

You may not want to adopt a senior dog because you fear that your time with your new best friend will be too short and too painful when the dog passes. However; the privilege of bonding with and loving a senior dog makes every day special! The knowledge that you have given an older dog a second chance at life will help create a strong and deep bond, and the love that grows from this knowledge is stronger than the pain of eventual separation.

Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pitizen
  • Senior pitizens are generally low maintenance. They love to sleep and cuddle the day away. They enjoy a brisk daily walk, but the best part of the day is their nap, and they love for you to join them at nap time!

  • Senior pitizens have already learned many of life's lessons. They know, for example, that shoes are for walking and bones are for chewing. They also know that outside is for doing business and indoors is for relaxing! Your carpet will last longer with a senior pitizen compared with a puppy!

  • Senior pitizens can learn new tricks and be valuable family and community members. Because they have mellowed, they can focus on you and learn more quickly than a puppy.

  •  Senior pitizens leave you time for yourself because they don’t require the same kind of time and attention that puppies and young dogs do.

If you are looking into adopting a dog, consider a senior pitizen! Not only will you be saving a dog, you will gain a dedicated companion!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Keep your dogs safe this boating season!

People in Chicago who were following the story of Tank recently breathed a sigh of relief when this 5-year-old Pomeranian—lost after falling off his owners’ boat into the Chicago River—was found alive and playing with other dogs on the city’s northwest side. Although this story’s happy outcome is worth celebrating, it could have just as easily turned tragic, and it underscores an essential dog-safety issue in the summer season: boat safety for dogs.

Tank’s survival is partially credited to the fact that his owners had the common sense to put a life vest on him before taking their boat on its river route. Although many dogs can swim, they are just as prone as humans to panic in a high current or to become tired before reaching shore.

But even with the life vest that allowed Tank to safely reach shore, his owners are still very lucky to have found him, as they had taken off his identification tags to put on the life vest. Dogs outside of the home should always wear identification tags. If a collar cannot be comfortably worn with a life vest, it is advisable to find some other way to attach identification to the animal, for example, by attaching a waterproof carabiner holding the ID tags to the life vest.

Read this article for additional information on keeping dogs safe on the water. Here’s to a safe boating season!