Bella, the dream puppy has celebrated her 1st Birthday with us and did us proud over the holiday season. However, to say it’s been a piece of cake would be stretching the truth. As she grows into her body the personality traits are coming to surface, hence the new nickname “Bella Gazelle”. She can and has cleared not only rocks and bushes with great ease but our backyard fence as if it were only a foot tall. Of course she chose to display this talent while I was in my jammies and slippers ready to call it a night. The good news is she comes back when called about 10 times, UGH. Needless to say we scratched our heads about that issue as we worried about the fact we can’t leave her out in what we thought was a safe backyard. The problem was solved with a lattice addition to the top of our fence. Whew! Now, onto the next issue of shedding, shedding, shedding…. Who knew a dog could shed this much. After several expensive purchases of combs, brushes we finally found two that work best, the Furminator and Curry Comb. Can I just say they are the bomb of all tools for a pet with short straight hair that sheds?

More education came while watching the news on Bend Police Department’s new Fido addition this past week. It finally shed light on the mystery of Bella’s primary breed, the Belgium Sheppard Malinois. We were so excited to finally know, until we started researching the breed and the more we learned the more intrigued we became. Had we bit off more than we could chew? First sentence of the breed’s description stated “Highest Level of Activity necessary to keep this Fido happy. Followed by, “High Level Prey” hence the darting out of the front door to chase a squirrel at any given time. The most interesting of all was how they need a job and are used in Police Departments for various reasons because of their high level of intelligence and ability to detect short term scents such as explosives, drugs and guns. At first we joked and said maybe we can get her a job, pay her own way… then we wondered is this going to be a good family dog?

I wouldn’t say the honeymoon stage is over but we have been faced with some challenges. Challenges that have us scratching our heads and making us question did we make the right decision. But, we had already fallen deeply in love with this dog, no going back or was there? This is a common place where I believe folks teeter on the fence and sometimes return their purchased or adopted pets to shelters or put up for adoption. Some feel if they do it early enough the family will not be as attached and it won’t be as devastating. I’m not saying the issues you might be facing are not valid, and some even deal breakers. What I am saying is that there are solutions, some very simple and free if you seek help in the way of education. Do some research online for blogs, trainers and more at www.fidolove.com.

I’ll be doing more research myself as I try to gather education on my new found family member to see what I can do to make this a long and happy relationship.
Don’t forget to find your new best friend or help someone else find theirs at www.fidolove.com.
Until next week!

Fido Hugs,
Suzanne and the Team at Fidolove!

The holidays are approaching and I have many memories of my elder dog enjoying her own Christmas tradition of “attack the wrapping paper”. This tradition has been going on for as many years as she has been with us. As we gather around the tree on Christmas morning her excitement grows while waiting for the boxes to be unwrapped. You can see in the picture below just how crazed she gets with wrapping paper.

This was her only issue with Christmas. Other than this quirky tradition we enjoyed a dog that never even thought once about stealing an ornament from the tree. So this year we just regarded it as every other year until reality hit… we have a new puppy in the mix.

Now what do we that its time to get a tree? I’ve never gone without a Christmas tree. After the last few weeks of watching our little new addition get into things we never dreamed would be interesting to a puppy, it’s become apparent we need to rethink the whole Christmas tree issue. Do we get a real one or a fake one? What kind of ornaments am I willing to lose to the puppy let alone what are safe. What about presents under the tree? This is where I truly wish I had instituted Crate training, for her safety and my sanity. Maybe we should have waited till after Christmas to think about bringing home a ten month old puppy, but too late now… she’s here.

If you’re considering adding a Fido addition to the family, take a lesson from us… consider the announcement to be the first step of the gift. Trust me the surprise of just the announcement will bring squeals of joy. Let the family know that everyone will be included in the process of choosing the new addition. Talk about what kind of dog, what responsibilities will be who’s including the biggest one of all “Who’s gonna pick up the Poop!” This will slow down the process a bit but will assure you and your family makes the best choice in your new addition. It will also give you a whole year to train when the tree goes up next year!

Just has humans have different types of personalities and traits the same goes for dogs, usually based on breeds but not always. Start by researching the range of possibilities on line or through your local library to get a sense of dog types. Make sure you read about the personality, its needs and desires and avoid at all costs falling in love with the cuteness factor. A fun site to check out is here.

An often overlooked, but ideal dog, for a first time dog home – is a dog directly from another home. This dog is usually displaced from a previous home because of an unexpected life event. These older dogs have mellowed, they’re most always housebroken, and they’re pretty much a “plug and play” new friend. And while little kids and little puppies seem a natural fit – and beyond cute together – in a matter of months the puppy outgrows its “cute” stage and is now an energetic teenager – more than some families are ready for. Consider finding your new best friend and next Christmas present at Fidolove where rehoming responsibly is a priority.

Happy Holidays from the Team at Fido Love!

Well it’s been two weeks since I failed as a foster parent and decided to adopt Bella, a nine month old Shepard mix. At first she was very well behaved and perfect in the house to the point we wondered if she was older than the vet thought. There were so many weird things she did that I had no idea why.

For instance she didn’t release herself outside for at least 24 hrs. She followed me everywhere in the house. If I changed chairs she literally changed sleeping positions to be closer. She was very submissive, something I was used to with my current girl so thought it was ok. As the days passed I noticed she started to gain her confidence. She started vocalizing more over sounds in the neighborhood. She started jumping on the chair in front of the picture, bolting out the door, chewing on everything in sight.

We quickly realized she was starting to show traits of a comfortable 9 month old puppy and we were in for a bit of a ride. I had puppy safe zoned the house but I didn’t puppy proof the house. It had been years since I had to do this and each time something gets destroyed is pretty much how I learned what’s safe and what’s not. I thought for sure the middle of my dining table a safe place to lay my favorite hat… UGH.

Learning about your dog on the fly can be enjoyable if you truly take the time to do so or it can be a complete nightmare. I’ve learned that walking with Fido can give you a lot of good insight such as, a reaction to Squirrels? Out of know where five or so walks into our new relationship she discovered squirrels. Little did I know she’s absolutely obsessed with Squirrels.

My point to this little story is when you adopt a new Fido take the time to get to know your new best friend. Give your dog the time it needs to simulate into new surroundings. Expect accidents in the house, don’t assume because you saved this animal and you were told he or she is trained that it will fall in line instantly. Some very strange behaviors can happen the first few weeks of your relationship that might make you second guess your decision. Give it some time. Start by reading this article published by Maessr.

Good Luck finding your new best friend.
Suzanne

I have to admit I always admired folks who had a dog that liked the dog park. I would walk by and see the entire socialization going on not only between the dogs but the owners as well. I was jealous… My Bridget never cared for the park. I believed it was because as a young adult we were on a jog and attacked by a homeless dog. It was a brutal attack and scared me as much as apparently it scared her.

It appeared from that day on she was not so keen on other dogs. For years I was sure this was the reason but later learned it was her personality. Whenever we would come in contact with another dog she would become submissive and if that didn’t work then she would give them a good snarl and they always got the message. One day this snarl and submissiveness was put to the ultimate test and low and behold it worked.

We lived in house that sat at the end of the cudelsac in a community that butted up against a protected wetland. I was looking out the window at Bridget crossing the street back to her yard when a Coyote came out of the woods towards her. She dropped into a curl and faced in the other direction… pure submission. The Coyote went around to her face and got a nasty snarl from Bridget. The Coyote ran away. Never underestimate the power of a submissive dog. I succumbed to believing this was our life and I’d never be a part of the dog park community.

So now I have a new dog in the mix and she is all about the dog park. While Bella loves playing and running with other dogs its fun and nerve racking at the same time. I’ve come to realize it’s too soon in our relationship to take her. She and I need to bond first. We need to set ground rules and learn to trust each other before I submit her to the chaos of a dog park. As a responsible owner I need to be able to trust how she will behave and she needs to trust me to listen when I call. I really wanted to hang out the dog park but it’s just not the right time.

I found a solution to this dilemma. We are building this relationship at a smaller “off leash” dog park that is more of a hiking park. We follow a trail and occasionally meet up with a dog where she is learning respectful space and the command “Come” when called. She approaches each dog with hesitancy allowing for the language between two dogs be read without the jumping, running and over excitement. It’s truly a great experience to watch and see your dog learn and grow naturally. I especially love the look she gives me when she knows she’s done well.

So my point to this little story is not all dog parks are bad but consider a few things before you just show up. Start by taking yourself to the dog park without your dog as suggested in the article linked below. I’ve also included a great resource for locating dog parks in Central Oregon listed on Dogpac’s website.

http://tinyurl.com/Dog-Park-Article

http://dogpac.org/

Happy Playing at the Park or Not!
Suzanne

Once a month or so I volunteer for Off Site Events for the Redmond Humane Society.

We bring a dog or two to offsite events in hopes of getting adoption interest… and I have to admit it’s usually a dog that is adorable but has been at the shelter too long. I have been able to build an immunity to falling in love with most of these dogs but every now and then one tugs at my heart and next thing I know I’m texting my roommate and asking if I can have a four legged sleepover. Well it happened again this weekend and for some reason this one has brought with her some very educational experiences that I’d like to share.

As I drove home with this beautiful girl in my rear view mirror I pondered what to do now? She didn’t come with a crate and I had no way to confine her other than a bathroom or laundry room. Not a good option in my mind.

I let those beautiful brown puppy eyes lead my heart to do the thinking. But justification was just around the block as I pulled into our driveway and entered into the house… it was love at first site for my roommate and within hours he was asking “we don’t have to give her back do we?” Done deal.
I’m not claiming to be irresponsible but the way I decided to bring her home was spontaneous and of the heart not of the mind. This is how so many dogs end up at the shelter.

So, before you head out the door to seek out your new best friend take a step back and answer these questions. These answers could help you decide whether you really want a dog or lead you to the type of Fido that’s appropriate for your lifestyle or reconsider for another time or maybe even altogether.

Why do I want a dog? I didn’t even think about wanting another dog. My dog has been perfectly happy with just me and I for the last 12 yrs. Mostly because I thought I’d never find another Bridget. So, if you want a new buddy for your existing dog consider the relationship you currently have with your dog. If it’s a good one, why rock the boat? You might think your dog may be lonely while you are away and another dog would take care of this need. Reality is the buddy they are lonely for is you not more competition for your attention.

For me I did admit the obvious, I’m overweight and have become a good couch potato so when I considered taking her home I justified it as my new gym membership. So, if you are a runner or couch potato, or want to be either of those consider a dog that has similar energy levels.

Do you have time for a dog? If you work long hours for extended periods of time please reconsider altogether. Everybody likes time and attention whether they have two or four legs.

Do I have the right amount of space for a dog? What can I say fenced yards are the bomb but a 4×4 fenced yard doesn’t qualify for a dog over the size of a chipmunk.

All good? Great now where do you go to get a good dog? There are some obvious choices like the shelter, rescue, breeder or direct from another home. Shelters are wonderful places to adopt a dog but if you desire history then you might want to consider seeking out a dog that needs to be pre-rescued directly from another home. Adopting directly from another home helps eliminate the owner having to surrender to a shelter, it also helps the shelters by not having the additional expense of yet another pet surrender. This allows them to continue to provide the service they were intended to provide which is rehabilitation and rehoming of stray animals.

Got all the answers to these questions… wonderful now let’s discuss the dog’s side of story. All they care about is YOU loving THEM! Giving them the care,time and respect they deserve.

And should you decide you want a dog that comes directly from another home… well there’s always Fidolove.com

Good luck with finding your new best friend!
Suzanne

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Interior has approved a project to build a wind farm in Central Oregon.

The project will consist of up to 53 wind turbines on private land in Deschutes and Crook Counties.

The Bureau of Land Management says the developer, West Butte Wind Power, LLC will work with them to protect wildlife in the area.

Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden say the West Butte Wind Project will provide many local jobs.

Officials say the project will employ about 70 full-time workers during construction and another 345 workers to provide supplies, material, support and offsite services.

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — The Oregon University System (OUS) broke ground Thursday on the OUS-wide solar power program at the Oregon Institute of Technology.

The project, called Solar By Degrees, will be the largest solar program in the state of Oregon.

Solar By Degrees will be installing 27 acres of solar panels to generate power at Oregon Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, and Eastern Oregon University this fall and summer.

OUS estimates that the solar panels will save $6.6 million over the next 25 years.

By Heather Turner

NEWPORT, Ore. — Even though developing wind energy facilities off the Oregon Coast is still in the conceptual stage, it’s already raising environmental concerns.

OSU researchers say the rotating blades of the wind turbines and the structure itself could negatively impact seabirds and bats.

However, the only way to monitor that is to collect the carcasses. That would be very difficult out in the ocean, so researchers had to come up with a different approach.

“We will design an array of sensors that will automatically detect bird and bat interactions and strikes on wind turbines. It’ll gather the relevant information that we need to try to access the species that are involved and how frequently those interactions are occurring,” said OSU Assistant Research Professor Rob Suryan.

Researchers will test the array as they design it before any turbines are placed in the ocean.

By Heather Turner

CORVALLIS, Ore. — With gas prices on the rise, you’d expect to see the electric car charging stations pretty packed, but that’s not the case, yet.

Gregg Oberlin, the owner of the electric car charging stations on Highway 34, says he’s had them there for about six months now, but hasn’t seen too many drivers, besides himself and a few others, actually use them yet.

He’s not alone.  While you’ll occasionally see them being used, most of the time the spaces sit empty.

There are many reasons for that, including that they’re still fairly new, many choose to charge at home, and drivers still have the fear of traveling too far and not having a place to re-charge.

However, some say with gas prices always on the rise, they think that’ll all change.

“I never buy gas, never. I’ve driven this car about 11,000 miles and that’s 11,000 miles that cost me two cents a mile instead of 20 cents a mile,” said Electric Car Advocate Gregg Oberlin.

ODOT installed ten fast chargers on the I-5 from Eugene to the California border and plans to install 35 more chargers along the coast, the Columbia Gorge and the Cascades to allow EV drivers to travel the state without the fear of being stranded.

Oberlin says especially with the high gas prices we’ve been having, he expects to see more drivers make the switch to electric cars, and in turn, use his machines on Highway 34 more.

By Jessica Debbas
EUGENE, Ore. — A group of University of Oregon graduate students are putting old shoes to new use, and they are asking for your help.

You can drop off your worn-out shoes into a box with the white “O” on it on campus.

The students are working with Nike’s Re-use a Shoe program.

It recycles old running shoes into new sport facility surfaces.

Shoes that are still okay to wear will be donated to Hope 4 Hoopers which will then be given to local people in need .

“Our big call to action are at the track meets so we try to get the word out before the track meets, and we’re present at all the track meets,” said UO MBA student Cassidy Williams.

“We wear our yellow shirts and we have our shoe recycling bins. Our whole goal is to collect as many shoes as we can.”

The group hopes to collect 2,012 shoes. They’ve already collected about 300.

There will also be a collection at the Twilight Track Meet at Hayward Field this weekend as well as other track events through out the end of the school year .

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