My love of animals dates back to my first memories of childhood…
I know my father brought home a puppy he found in a dumpster that grew up to be a Saint Bernard and the puppy got along with our black and white tuxedo cat named Nosey. (I presume she was named that because of her white nose). I’m told I named the dog susie… regardless of the fact that HE was not a girl..
We went on to adopt stray kittens that we never neutered or spayed ( it just wasn’t a “thing” back in the 60’s and 70’s ) and I remember adopting a grey poodle mix from the Denver Dumb Friends League. We had Razzle for many years along with lots and lots of kittens because ours kept reproducing. I watch Victoria Stillwell’s show “It’s Me or the Dog” and she does a dramatization showing how many unwanted animals are produced when you don’t spay or neuter your animals and I feel bad about that… As I said though.. no one really thought much of it and particularly not a family like mine who grew up on a farm. You had pets, they ate what you gave them, they didn’t live indoors most of the time.
In my teens I remember getting a puppy from a pet shop and that little girl was already spayed. She was a black and white Springer Spaniel mix and I adored her. Tammy was a great family dog, went with us on all of our driving vacations, camping, hiking and didn’t have any bad habits. I and my father attended puppy training classes at a recreation center and the heeling method back then was using a choke collar… I always hated it but that’s what we were told to use.
Flash forward to my empty nester years where all of the kids are finally out of the house, we have a beautiful pair of rescue cats that are brothers, spayed, well trained, all in all a somewhat maintenance free life compared to kids running around and dogs digging up the yard.
We loved petting other people’s dogs, tossing the ball and sneaking treats to them under the table. We loved to go to adoption events and give all the animals love and attention and spread the word via social media about the adoption event and financially supported the local shelters but we…
Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES were going to get a dog.. especially NOT a puppy or a BIG dog!!!!!
On June 7, 2012 we wandered into the animal shelter in Aspen Colorado and fell in love with…… a dog… a puppy… that would grow into a 72 pound dog….so far… The Dobby Dog is 15 months old now and we are still completely in love with him.
When we adopted Dobby it had been several years since I’d had a dog so I went to work to learn the best ways to make sure he and we were happy with the new family member. “Note: The cats really have still not forgiven us… but it’s getting better!”
The Aspen Animal Shelter had been lucky enough to have a donor get Victoria Stillwell to offer classes and be part of a fundraiser for the shelter. I’d seen her show on TV and liked her way of working with dogs with a non-violent approach vs the Cesar Milan dominating methods. Victoria had just published a new book It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet which I purchased and read cover to cover the night I was “sleeping on” whether or not we should really change our entire lives and adopt this adorable puppy.
It’s a great book, an easy read and I highly recommend reading it, and then re-reading it when you get frustrated.
After bringing home our gorgeous new baby…. was when Pooch & Claws was born.
This website is a project to help educate people about what’s best for our furry family members, shelter events, the best foods, treats, toys and games to make your dogs and cats happy and healthy and a good family dog.
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If you have an idea of a worthy organization for 2013, please contact me here and let me know.