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Happy Tails: Is this the dog for you?

The Derby and Horse racing are happy times, but it is a major concern to horse lovers everywhere and the sad thing is that it happens to all athletes - two and four legged. Peg Schaeffer comments on this problem and another: Breaking pets hearts because unknowning pet seekers don't do minimal research to know what kind of animal will be the new member of the family - with some tips on which dog might be right for you. Click on headline for complete story with photo(s) of some of the breeds mentioned which are adoptable now at Sugarfoot Rescue.
The next earlier Peg Schaeffer column: Happy Tails: Seniors and Seniors

By Peg Schaeffer

Saturday was Derby Day. The Kentucky Derby is one of my favorite holidays. I'm a big fan of the Derby and the Triple Crown. I have a niece who refuses to watch horse racing. She is opposed to the treatment of the race horses. They are started at a very young age before their bone development is complete and if a horse becomes lame or breaks down they are usually sent to slaughterhouses. This is because of the greed of the owners whose first interest is the profit.

This is a major concern to horse lovers everywhere and the sad thing is that it happens to all athletes - two and four legged. The pressure is to win at all costs and sometimes at the expense of lives. I do not condone this in any way.

I watched "Secretariat" last week for the first time and like all horse movies I watch it gave me goose bumps. I can relate to the love of a horse and the desire to win. Secretariat had the drive to win and this is something that is bred into the Thoroughbreds. You can drive by any farm that raises Thoroughbreds and they will race you as you pull down the driveway. The minute their feet hit the ground they run. The foals playing in the pastures rival against each other. They want to run and they want to win.

Many of the race horses that have been unsuccessful at racing are now being rescued and then retrained for a new career. So many of them have become hunter/jumpers and even more have entered the eventing field. There are a lot of other breeds that are bred for cross country and dressage but most of your sportsman will tell you that the Thoroughbred has the biggest heart and the most drive.

Same predicament faces many rescue dogs

This is also a predicament that faces many rescue dogs. People buy a puppy from a breeder and it doesn't meet their expectations. Rather than try to find a solution they surrender the dog to a shelter. So the dog who has lived with a family is suddenly thrown into a situation where it is in a crate or cement run with dogs barking constantly. People come and go and look at them but they are frightened. Why is there so much noise? Why am I sleeping on a cement floor or a wired cage? What happened to the security of my family? Most of these dogs have done nothing wrong but be themselves.

That cute Border Collie pup needs supervised activity

You see a puppy and you fall in love. It's the cutest thing and you want to make it part of your family. Did you research the breed before you took this puppy home? You adopted a Border Collie and you live in a condominium. For whatever reason as the puppy grows it becomes bored and starts eating your furniture and drapes while you're a work. When you come home and want to relax the dog bothers you jumping and running circles trying to get you to play. This dog is getting out of control and you can't handle it anymore. You have no choice (you think) but to take it to a shelter.

That lovable Beagle becomes unlovable when it digs up garden

There's a Beagle puppy at the shelter that you fell in love with. It has the cutest brown eyes and waggy tail. You've got to adopt it. As the Beagle grows it starts barking and barking. It's always in trouble, digging in the garden, digging under the fence and disappearing for hours at times. You can hear it bugling in the woods but as much as you call it there is no response. It's as if the dog is ignoring you. Why? This is what Beagles do - they hunt, they run, and they have an "ignore" switch that they turn on when something else peaks their interest. They are loving and playful pets but need to exercise.

That sweet long haired dog may be menace to child with allergies
You got the sweetest long haired dog. You and your family love it to death but your youngest child has developed allergies and you have no choice but to take the dog to a shelter.

These are situations that happen daily. Is it the dog's fault? No. Before you decide to adopt or buy a dog you need to do research. Do you work? Are your children in school during the day? Then you don't need a Beagle, Border Collie, Labrador Retriever or any active breed. These dogs are high energy and need lots of exercise. Neither you nor the dog will be happy if the dog is in a crate or kennel for most of the day.

You have a child with allergies. You need to research the breeds that are less likely to shed. There is no breed that is "non allergic" but you can find numerous breeds that are suggested for children and adults that have a problem with dog hair and dander. In this week's newspaper in the wellness section there was an article about dog breeds that are more suitable for people with allergies.

Do you need an indoor or outdoor dog? Breeds differ

If you are in the house most of the time you would do better adopting a toy breed that is happy to be an indoor dog. Also take into consideration the expense of grooming for a dog with a long hair coat. There are no bad dogs just bad owners. This is true when you don't read breed specifics before getting a dog. There are lots of resources available at the library or online. Be sure look into all the breeds first and find the best match for your family and your lifestyle. This way you will have your "furever" friend and fewer dogs will end up in shelters.

AFTER you've done homework it's okay to go to the shelter

Once you've done your homework and are looking for the dog to match your lifestyle the first place you should look for the dog of your dreams is at a shelter or rescue. There are dogs and puppies of all shapes and sizes, ages, colors, hair coats, and personalities. You will be amazed at the choices.

Here are some quotes about different breeds:
- The pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor. ~Margo Kaufman

- Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other. ~Robert Benchley

- I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. ~Rita Rudner

- Fox-terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

- Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning. ~Norman Strung

- Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy and a child, or else there will be no profit in boarding a Newfoundland. ~Josh Billings

- Bulldogs are adorable, with faces like toads that have been sat on. ~Colette

- The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go. ~Winston Churchill

I like a bit of mongrel myself, whether it's a man or a dog; they're the best for everyday. ~George Bernard Shaw
Maybe a dog won't match your lifestyle and you should consider a cat. There are plenty of cats & kittens in shelters looking for homes too.

But remember: Dogs have owners, cats have staff.

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675

This story was posted on 2013-05-05 08:50:50
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Dylan Blue eyes awaits furever home

2013-05-05 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer. Dylan - Dylan has the bluest eyes you'll ever see. He's 1 1/2 years old. I really don't know what breed he is. He's very well behaved and would be a great family dog. He is neutered and has been vaccinated. Contact: Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728. Home telephone: 270-378-4521. Cell phone: 270-634-4675
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(Ad) Bob is a high energy Border Collie/Aussie mix

2013-05-05 - Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Peg Schaeffer.
Bob is a Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix. He is very high energy and loving. He needs a job or someone with an active life style. He is 1 1/2 years old is neutered and has been vaccinated. Contact: Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728. Home telephone: 270-378-4521. Cell phone: 270-634-4675

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