Posts Tagged ‘rescue dogs’

Comfort and Joy for the Fourth of July


If you have pets or have ever lived with household animals, you already know the terror that neighborhood fireworks instill in the hearts of dogs and cats. With no way for us to explain our pyrotechnic traditions, and their heightened, excellent hearing, how could they imagine anything other than the end of the world? It is the number one day for runaways, and breaking down fences and leaping over gates that the rest of the year prove secure borders is not uncommon.

Think, now, of the huge numbers of dogs and cats in animal shelters around the country. Most don’t have overnight staff. Come the night of July Fourth, explosions rock the neighborhoods where they are kenneled, already stressed out by the living conditions, and you’ve got a recipe for true misery.

If you’ve got the night off and don’t have plans to be at someone’s barbecue, or spreading your picnic blanket on the golf course to watch fireworks…if you are more likely to be home…AND you don’t have your own animals that you have to comfort as they quake, consider volunteering at your local animal shelter to comfort some pups. Several facilities have programs for this particular night, “Calm the Canines” initiatives just for the peak hours of most municipal fireworks shows (dusk until 10:00pm or so). Check with your local shelter. (Try an internet search for “Fourth of July Animal Shelter Volunteer” or “Volunteer with dogs July 4” or similar–loads of results will pop up)


They might be playing soft music, volunteers may be talking and cooing, sitting on the floor, reading softly, distracting animals with special treats, and giving tons fo pets and cuddles. Some shelters will even have programs set up for one-night fostering of a dog, taking it asa guest pet to your own home to calm and comfort it during this night of decibels and terror.

Of course, if you fall in love with the adoptable pet you’ve been petting through its panic–all the better–adopting a rescue is a brilliant outcome! Another win/win situation is if you come away from your one-night volunteer gig impressed enough to offer volunteer help other times throughout the year. The animals need you.

What Happened to Gus Kenworthy and the Sochi Rescue Puppies?

Gus Kenworthy and Puppies of Sochi, image: Twitter @guskenworthy

Gus Kenworthy and Puppies of Sochi, image: Twitter @guskenworthy

Remember when Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy just about broke the Internet with his mission to rescue stray pups from the streets of Sochi, Russia? His Silver Medal performance took a back seat to the adoption ordeal as he tried to spring a few dogs from the Olympic Games host city’s men streets.

It took nearly a month, but with the help of his friend, Robin Macdonald, they were eventually able to get a few dogs back to America—a mother dog and her four offspring. A fifth littermate died before getting here, but the others were not stopped at the US border (like refugee children) and they are now part of the athlete’s inner circle. Kenworthy kept it a family affair, keeping two pups himself, Mishka and Jake, giving two to his brother, and the mother dog was adopted by Gus’ mom.

A quick spin around social media yields lots of recent pictures of Gus and his four-legged compadres (speaking of Padres–Kenworthy just threw out the opening pitch at a San Diego Padres baseball game–the evening was hosted by Petco adoption initiatives, called “The Dog Days of Summer.”)

When it is time to add some canine companionship to your family, be a true hero, like Kenworthy, and adopt, don’t shop, for a dog. Buying from large breeders feeds the cruel and inhumane puppy mill system, and is, in more cases than not, actually an irresponsible way to get a dog. Rescuing is the only way to go–and you will be rightfully proud for doing something amazing for dogs.


Volunteers Teach Dogs to Drive

Think Fido is a problem “child”? Muddy paws got you climbing the walls? These rescue dogs in New Zealand are being taught to drive cars, just to prove to the public how intelligent, and, it has to be said, FREAKING AWESOME, they are.