Archive | July, 2013

You’re Invited! Reader Appreciation Event Rescheduled for August 20 @ 7pm

Today’s post was going to be a recap of all the fun that was had at the Tails of Fort Collins Reader Appreciation Event that was supposed to happen yesterday, then the unexpected happened- the event sponsor and host, Julie at Juiced on Imagination, suddenly came down with a virus and was unable to host us last night.

As much as I was bummed to have to reschedule on such short notice, I’m still excited to hold the event, even if it’s a little later than originally planned.

Here’s all the details! I hope you’ll join me!

As a special thank you to all of you for supporting Tails of Fort Collins I’m inviting you to a FREE Reader Appreciation Event, sponsored by Juiced on Imagination!

Tails of Fort Collins Reader Appreciation Event
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
7:oo p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

At Juiced on Imagination
115 N. College Ave., Suite 220
Fort Collins, CO

Copy Cats Canvas Painting
Create your own Blue Dog inspired work of art!

 

 

Explore your creative side while having a night out with friends. This art exploration is inspired by Blue Dog ~ with your own personal interpretation!

No previous art making experience necessary- just bring a spirit for adventure and a sense of humor. Please feel free to bring along snacks and drinks.

Please RSVP to chrysta@tailsoffortcollins.com !

Don’t worry if you’re not very artistic- you can create your own Blue Dog, or blue cat, or any other color of the rainbow! Check out some of these great Blue Dog inspired paintings:

 

Source: Uploaded by user via Lea on Pinterest

 

 

I hope you’ll join me for this awesome event! Space is limited so please RSVP to chrysta@tailsoffortcollins.com today!

Share your Happy Ending in Giving a Pet a Forever Home!

Who doesn’t love a happy ending? Your pet’s happy ending could be featured on Tails of Fort Collins!

I want to hear your pet stories and share them with my readers.

I want to know about your rescue dog, cat, rabbit, or other pet, and how they rescued you. I want to hear about the challenges you and your pet have faced and overcome. Tell me about how it was love at first sight, or how human-animal opposites attract! I want to hear how your pet changed your life for the better.

I will be featuring your stories, your pets, your happy endings- sharing your tails with my readers and our community.

You can submit your story with photos or I can meet you and your pet and write your pet’s story on your behalf.

To share your happy ending, send me an email at chrysta@tailsoffortcollins.com.

Kaylo smile

I fell in love with a pit bull

Six years ago I fell in love…. with a pit bull.

On a warm Spring day the husband and I decided to attend the Open House of a new animal shelter in Fort Collins- Animal House Rescue and Grooming.

Knowing my love of Boxers, the husband pointed out a black and white dog named Maggie, listed as a Boxer-mix. I looked at Maggie and said, “that’s not a Boxer- that’s a pit bull!”

Maggie was transferred to Animal House Rescue and Grooming after being on the euthanasia list at an out-of-state shelter.

We spent some time visiting with Maggie having no intention of adopting her or any dog that day. The husband didn’t even really like animals all that much (or so he thought at the time!)

Despite our mental protestations that we were not going to adopt a dog, let alone a pit bull, we couldn’t forget about sweet and playful Maggie.

The idea of a adopting a pit bull was intimidating- I’d only heard the horror stories of dog-fighting and pit bull attacks. Before I could seriously consider adopting Maggie, I needed to do some research. What I learned about pit bulls was very different than the bad reputation pit bulls get in the media.

From canine gladiators

The predecessors of today’s pit bulls were Bulldogs bred in England for the sport of bull-baiting. When blood sports were outlawed in England in 1835, fight enthusiasts began to breed smaller, more agile dogs for illegal dog-fighting. These dogs eventually became modern pit bulls.

Bulldogs of the 1800′s and modern pit bulls, the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) and American Staffordshire Terrier (AST), are game dogs, prized for their ability to refuse to quit the task at hand despite overwhelming adversity or risk of personal injury. This trait is the main reasons pit bulls are favored by dog-fighters. These smart, tenacious, and strong dogs were effective fighters in the ring.

to America’s Sweethearts

In the early 20th century, American Pit Bull Terriers were celebrated as symbols of courage and bravery. A white APBT was used to symbolize the United States of America in war posters published during World War I.

WWIAlliesPoster

WWI Allies War Poster

A pit bull named Stubby was a decorated WWI hero, participating in 18 major battles, warning his regiment of incoming attacks and once preventing a spy from escaping. Stubby was awarded the rank of honorary sergeant, and received an audience with three Presidents.

Sgt Stubby Parade Magazine

Sgt. Stubby on the cover of Parade Magazine

Pit bulls weren’t only popular symbols of America’s fighting spirit during WWI- an American Pit Bull Terrier named Petey was a bona fide star of the popular TV series, The Little Rascals and short films, Our Gang.

Little-Rascals-Petey

It wasn’t until the 1980′s that pit bulls began to lose favor and be vilified in the media.

Will the real APBT please stand up

American Pit Bull Terriers are, by nature, affectionate and anxious-to-please. Contrary to popular myth, APBTs were bred for their good temperament and high tolerance toward humans to avoid redirected aggression during fight training and dog-fighting. In fact, American Pit Bull Terriers tested higher than Golden Retrievers and many other popular breeds in testing by the American Temperament Test Society, Inc., passing at 86.8%.

It is true, however, that APBTs are more likely to be dog-aggressive than many other breeds. That doesn’t mean they can’t get along with other dogs- many APBTs are dog-friendly, but owners should be aware of the increased risk of dog aggression.

American Pit Bull Terriers are extremely intelligent (read: trainable!) and high energy, requiring regular mental stimulation and physical exercise. They make great working dogs such as police dogs, rescue dogs, and therapy dogs, and they often excel at sports including agility and weight-pulling.

American Pit Bull Terriers are loyal and good-natured- especially with children- widely believed to once be called “the Nanny Dog”, as evidenced in the photos below:

nanny dog 8

nanny dog 2

nanny dog 7

Would a dog by any other name be as sweet?

During my research I discovered pit bulls go by many names. In fact, the term “pit bull” is a generalization that may represent any number of dog breeds and mixed-breed dogs.

That means when you read about a “pit bull” attack, the accused dog may or may not be an American Pit Bull Terrier. Just look at this infographic from The Toledo Blade.

Pit-Bull-label-often-wrong-DNA-testing-shows

The only breeds that can be truly classified as pit bulls are the American Pit Bull Terrier, as recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and the American Staffordshire Terrier, as recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), and sometimes the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, as recognized by the AKC.

It’s easy to see how difficult it is to accurately classify a dog as a pit bull, and why there’s such rampant misidentification of the breed.

I love a pit bull!

After my thorough research dispelling the myths about pit bulls I was ready to bring Maggie home. Any hesitation I had about adopting a pit bull was gone.

This doesn’t mean, however, that sharing my home with a pit bull is easy- I must be the epitome of responsible ownership for the sake of my dogs. Any accusation against my dogs is likely to be blown out-of-proportion and my dogs could pay the price with their lives.

I regularly fight hate and discrimination- even right here in dog-friendly Fort Collins. Pet businesses refuse to provide services, and some family members will no longer visit us in our home.

If Fort Collins instituted a breed ban, we would be forced to move out of the city I love so much. Even without a city-wide breed ban in place it’s extremely difficult to find rental housing or buy homeowner’s insurance with a pit bull.

Loving a pit bull isn’t easy, but I don’t regret my choice to adopt my first pibble, or the pibbles I adopted later.

001-31[1]Photo by Lazio Images

Becoming a Larimer Humane Society Volunteer

A few months ago I quit my full-time corporate job and I got a part-time job at a bicycle shop. I started writing this blog (in addition to the work-life balance blog I write). My motivation behind quitting my full-time job was to write more and volunteer with animals- to create more balance and joy in my life!

Years ago I volunteered with Colorado House Rabbit Society and while it was hard work it was also very rewarding (and educational!) Considering all the wonderful animal welfare organizations in Fort Collins, I chose to volunteer with Larimer Humane Society because I wanted to renew my interest in small animals. Throughout my life I’ve cared for rats and rabbits in addition to cats and dogs. I love small animals!

Bunny SnugglesImage by CaptainSubtle

Volunteering with Larimer Humane Society

Larimer Humane Society relies on volunteers to continue to provide quality care to homeless animals, and to foster an ongoing positive and balanced human-animal relationships in our environment and our community.

There are many different types of volunteer positions available through Larimer Humane Society, from walking and socializing animals to marketing and general office administration. There’s something that interests all animal lovers and friends.

Becoming a Larimer Humane Society volunteer

Becoming a volunteer with Larimer Humane Society was a process and took more than a month to complete. I already had an idea what type of volunteer work I wanted to do and I was ready to get started with the next steps!

01. Register and attend volunteer orientation.

02. Interview with a Larimer Humane Society Department Supervisor.

03. Attend Volunteer Animal Training (VAT).

04. Attend department training, if applicable for the volunteer position.

05. Schedule home visit (applicable for Foster Care volunteers)

Ready to go!

I completed my paperwork and training and I’m ready to go! So, what volunteer position did I choose? Foster care!

In 2012 Larimer Humane Society placed 629 total animals in Foster Care due to space, health, behavior, and stress issues with animals in their care. The need for Foster Care volunteers is high to give the animals coming through the shelter the best chance at finding their forever home.

My focus will be on fostering small animals. So far I’ve seen emails about kittens, cats, puppies, and dogs needing foster care but I’ve been holding out for a small animal.Just yesterday I got the email- the shelter is bursting with rabbits and they need a few to be fostered. I immediately replied I could take one or maybe even two!

I hope to hear back from the Foster Care Manager today and I may have my very first fosters today or tomorrow! How exciting! I look forward to updating you on how it’s going, and sharing lots of photos of adorable foster animals.

I want to hear from you! Have you ever volunteered with an animal welfare organization? What was it like? Do you have any tips to share with me?

Larimer County kitten confirmed with rabies

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment confirmed the first case of rabies in a feline in Larimer County since the department was established in 1968.

According to a department bulletin, the infected kitten was an unvaccinated barn cat that was euthanized after biting or scratching 8 people- 3 adults and 5 children. Six other unvaccinated cats on the property were also euthanized due to exposure to rabies. So sad!

Believe it or not, your pets are at risk. For the health and safety of your pets, your family, and our community, I urge you to get your cats and dogs vaccinated.

Pet vaccinations and licensing is the law

Rabies vaccinations are required by law for all domestic animals in Larimer County though there is believed to be a large population of unvaccinated and unlicensed domestic animals in the county.

Larimer Humane Society estimates there are about 70,000 unlicensed cats in our area, most of which are also likely unvaccinated. Yikes, that’s a lot of rabies exposure, posing a significant threat not only to the animal population but the human population, too!

Larimer County Pet Licenses

Fortunately low-cost vaccinations are available in Fort Collins. The Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic holds regular low-cost vaccination clinics for cats and dogs. The cost for rabies vaccinations at the clinics is $14.

Upcoming low-cost vaccination clinics at Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic

Walk-in Clinics

Saturday, July 27
Saturday, August 10
Saturday, August 24

By Appointment Vaccination Clinics

Tuesday, July 30
Tuesday, August 13
Tuesday, August 27

We’re lucky to have this wonderful resource in our community, thanks Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic!

You can also take your pets to your regular veterinarian for vaccinations. Some veterinarians require a physical exam when vaccinating pets- this is always a good idea, of course- though an exam with vaccinations may cost a bit more. However you choose to get your pet vaccinated, please just get it done!

There’s still space available at my free to you Reader Appreciation Event on July 30, 2013. RSVP to chrysta@tailsoffortcollins.com. I hope you’ll join me for an evening of creativity and fun- it’s my way of saying thank you! :)