Austin City Council Passes Spay/Neuter Ordinance!

On 12/16/2010, The Austin City Council passed an ordinance banning retail sales of dogs and cats. The ordinance further stipulates that breeders must spay/neuter and microchip the animals they sell or pay a fine. It also bans sales of animals at locations other than where the animal was bred. This means no more animals for sale from the backs of vehicles parked on the side of the road. Animal shelters and non-profit mobile rescues are exempt from the ordinance.

Congratulations to the Austin City Council! For almost eight years I have been spaying, neutering and microchipping my puppies before they leave. I have always felt that if ALL breeders practiced early spay/neuter, there would not be a pet overpopulation problem in shelters. Apparently the Austin City Council agrees!

I would happily say goodbye to Petland. I know some have argued that Petland provides employment, and that shutting them down causes people to lose jobs. However Petland could make a corporate decision not to support puppy mills. Many customers visiting Petland "feel sorry" for the puppies and kittens there, so purchase the animals to rescue them from the retail store environment. However, saving those puppies and kittens condemns the sires and dams of these animals to horrible lives at puppy mills. It would be much more responsible of Petland to operate as a retail store selling pet supplies. Then, and only then, would I shop there.

You may read more about the Austin City Council ordinance here:

If you have reservations about the health risks of early spay/neuter, please read the information at the following links:

My hope is that other municipalities will follow Austin's initiative and require breeders to spay and neuter, making a real contribution to reduce animal overpopulation.

Don't anthropomorphize your canine!

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. It is a huge disservice to your dog to attribute your own feelings and emotions to him. Please don't do it!

For example, reaching down from above to pat your dog on the head could be perceived as a very scary thing by your dog. Now, probably all of us do that, don't we? But if you think about it, it makes sense that a huge creature (you, as viewed by your puppy) reaching down toward the puppy could be scary from the puppy's perspective. If not scary, then at least something that makes its heart race a little. So no wonder some dogs get excited and pee all over the place when that happens!

We as humans place a lot of emphasis on making eye contact. To your dog, direct eye contact is something to avoid. Dogs consider direct eye contact a challenge. It's really not fair for your dog for you to insist upon it. Respect your dog's hesitance to make eye contact, and understand where he is coming from. Who wants to constantly feel challenged or threatened?

Always try to take your puppy's viewpoint into consideration when it comes to your own actions. Soothing a puppy that is crying in her crate will teach her to cry in her crate. Same goes for a dog that is afraid of thunderstorms or of riding in the car. Indulging a puppy by letting it take over the house and do whatever it wants will lead to a puppy that "sasses" back, by growling.

Sometimes maybe we try too hard to make them fit into our world when what we should be doing is understanding theirs. A lot of the doggy behaviors that we don't like have a very understandable purpose in their world. Obviously you can't let your furkid run amuck, but try to understand that some things that we may consider bad manners or perplexing behavior have roots in survival instinct for the dogs with whom we choose to share our lives. Co-exisiting shouldn't be a one-sided denial of all things dog; there exists a happy medium where both man and canine may be fulfilled. For the sake of your dog's emotional health and development, please make an effort to find that middle ground!


Sweet Dreams!

This is Chandler Pippen from Calista and Mudgee's litter. Isn't she cute?


Here is what her mom had to say:

Hey Dixie! We are doing great! Chandler Pippen is her full name, and it really does suit her! She is the joy of our lives! We are so blessed to have such a wonderful puppy! She is the best. She wears us out! She has got the most wonderful personality and everyone she meets just loves her. We think that she is part bunny and part lion! Everyone tells us that she looks just like a Teddy bear and they don't know she is real until she moves! Puppy classes are great and Chandler performed a perfect demonstration last week with the trainer. We are so proud of her. She sleeps in her crate and has never cried during the night. She is awesome. I am not sure if I sent you this picture yet, but it is everyone's favorite. We took this the third day we had her. More pictures are coming, of course she is so big now- almost 9 pounds!Thanks again for such a wonderful and joyous gift!


Boy....or Girl?

The answer is simple! It doesn't matter!

I'm serious; it really doesn't!

Statistically, there are supposed to be an equal number of boy and girl puppies born in nature, however my experience is that the boys almost always outnumber the girls in my litters. Now that doesn't make sense in any species! I have tried and tried to figure out why that happens to me, but I haven't come up with a good reason. I keep thinking it is the timing of the mating, something I am feeding them, or who knows what. I've experimented with some things, but I just can't come up with anything that seems to change the outcome.

Invariably I have more requests for girls than boys, but I can tell you without a doubt that it truly should not matter. People often tell me that they think girls will be sweeter, or that they are afraid that boys will mark. The fact is that girls are not sweeter, and boys neutered early generally do not mark territory. They don't even realize they should have a territory to mark!

Your relationship with your dog has the potential to be one of the most rewarding and meaningful relationships of your life. Even in an "average" litter where there are an equal number of puppies of each gender, why rule out half the puppies before you ever get started?

Please consider the boy puppies! They deserve to be loved too! You will not be disappointed.