Sunday, September 25, 2011

7 Pyr/Border Collie Mix Pups + Moma Available for Adoption Through Animal Rescue of the Rockies

This sweet Pyr/Border Collie girl was found living in a flower bed in Kansas with her 7 puppies.  She is only ~1 1/2 years old herself, and her pups were born on September 1st.  Animal Rescue of the Rockies rescued them and brought them into a warm, loving foster home so that they can get the best care and attention until they are ready for adoption in November.

All of these wonderful cuddly babies are available for adoption through
Animal Rescue of the Rockies!

Pile of Pups!

The adoption Process for Animal Rescue of the Rockies is:
(1) Adoption Application Online
(2) Home inspection
(3) Adoption agreement online before you pick up your fur-baby
(4) Adoption fee $250 (includes microchip, UTD shots, spay/neuter)


Friday, September 23, 2011

So You Think Dogs Are Carnivores?

A long time ago before I knew any better, I used to think that dogs eating cat food, and cats eating dog food was a seriously harmful thing.  I never fed my animals food inappropriate, but I'd overreact if I caught my cat nibbling some dog nuggets he harvested from the floor.  "No!  That's not good for you!".  I didn't really understand why at the time.  I just knew it wasn't the right food, and I really thought something bad may come from that sneaky snack.  I didn't have an understanding of nutrition, and I didn't know the first thing about how their bodies were different from each other.

While there are many trends in holistic foods, natural foods, etc. the thing we merely need to understand is that cats are "true carnivores", and dogs..  well, aren't.  Dogs are omnivores, like us.  I've heard stories of people who thought nothing of putting their pets on vegetarian diets, conversely others who thought nothing of giving their dog nothing but meat.  While opinions vary on the impact of vegetarian diets regarding dogs, on the whole I've never met a person in the flesh who agreed this was appropriate.  Cats, on the other hand, will suffer severe consequences if they are not fed high protein.  (Cats without the proper nutrients they need from meat may suffer heart disease and blindness.)

We grow up with movies depicting the outside family dog, receiving his daily bone or steak, no worse for the wear.  When we understand they are omnivores, we can start to better understand why an unbalanced diet is not good.  Imagine if you ate nothing but steak!  Good times, but your body craves carbohydrates, sugars, veggies, fruits, etc. and you know how you start to feel if you've been eating nothing but chicken wings all week. 

If you are feeding your dog great dog food, and the correct amount, they should be getting all the nutrients they require.  What more dog owners should be doing, is considering treats that are fresh and healthy to supplement that diet.  Dog treats are not regulated like dog food is, and their ingredients don't need to be healthy per se.  Knowing your dog isn't too unlike you, start to trade out that snack for a fresh carrot stick, celery stalk, or apple.  (Be sure not to give your dog fruits with the seeds still in tact.  Many seeds from fruit contain arsenic, so peel your fruit and give them slices.  Apple seeds have arsenic, and so do cherry seeds).

The question often then arises, what about allergies?  If your dog has allergies, ask your vet about any snacks you are giving.  Every vet I've talked to, however, point out that most allergies are to certain meats, and not to fruits and veggies.  Remember "table scraps" are only bad if they're processed, full of salt, or stuff we know we shouldn't even be eating.  There's a huge difference in sharing a sprig of broccoli versus your mac n' cheese!  Opinions vary on feeding our dogs raw meat in general, so ask your vet.  Many people rave about the benefits, others really disagree.  Some have told me it's fine as long as you freeze it first, to kill off any parasites and then defrost it before feeding.  The same goes for bones; pretty much everyone agrees that passing Fido a bone from cooked meat is bad; it breaks and shards into pieces which can lodge in their system.  Some say raw bones are fine. Do your own research!

So back to the fear I had about my cat sneaking dog food and vice versa.  No, it's not awful when they are just sneaking nibbles.  What is awful, however, is choosing to feed your animal food that is not species specific.  If a dog ate cat food, he'd get far too much protein in his diet.  If your cat ate the dog's food, they'd suffer from not enough protein.  You think this would be rare, but I ran into a couple of people who joked and said "Well, the cats just always seem to want the dog's food more.. so I just feed them all dog food".  Animals seem to inherently want what they can't have, so remember to never let their deep, pouty eyes dissuade you from what you know is best for them!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Large Breed Dogs and Laryngeal Paralysis

Recently I heard of a Pyr owner sharing that their beautiful angel was diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis.  Whenever our dogs fall sick, we often find ourselves asking if there is a breed disposition to the condition, or perhaps something relating to their other signalments (age, sex, etc.) Idiopathic Laryngeal Paralysis is definitely a disease where more large and giant breed dogs are afflicted, so it's an important disease to be aware of.  I am not familiar with how common this is in general however.  Paralysis of the Larynx occurs in both dogs and cats.  The larynx is commonly referred to as the "voice box" and it is just above the trachea, the "wind pipe".  Made of cartilage, it aids in breathing, sound production, and prevention of aspiration "breathing in"  of liquids and foods.

Breeds sited as being predisposed genetically are young Siberian Huskies and Bouvier des Flandres, and they tend to be afflicted 4-6 months of age. 
 Bouvier des Flandres

Dogs can also acquire this condition from injury and lead poisoning, and paralysis of the larynx is also what animals suffering from Rabies end up dying from (Rabies ultimately kills from ascending paralysis).  Like many diseases, there is an idiopathic form.  Idiopathic, meaning "we don't know why" it happened.  This form is the form your middle-aged to older large and giant breed dogs are prone to. 

Signs include strange sounds as they breathe in, overall breathing distress and/or difficulty breathing, changes in their 'voices', and also cyanosis.  Cyanosis is when mucous membranes turn blue due to not getting enough oxygen.  The most common treatment is surgery, but if it were me I'd also consult specialists, as veterinary medicine is constantly evolving!  While the prognosis is good, I'm not familiar with if there are varying degrees of severity, but I can only assume there is.  There are many disease conditions which may impact the throat and it's components, so always see your veterinarian if you notice any changes in sound, breathing, exercise intolerance, or changes in eating habits.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Success Story [BDHP] - Maitraya

Maitraya found his PYRfect forever home yesterday!  While he was adopted through BDHP, it was actually one of our CGPR "alum" who adopted him!!  Congrats on your new home big boy!

From his foster mom:
Maitraya's  family moved out of his home and left him there, in the back yard, tied to a tree. The neighbors fed him over the fence for over a month. He was then adopted by another family, who had to downsize and back into a foster home he went.  This story was told to me by his previous owners as well as a good samaritan that I met at the Fido Fest in Castle Rock this past weekend. Evidently, the kind person and his friend used to visit Maitraya daily and recognized the heart shaped scar on our fuzzy buddy's nose. Maitraya immediately recognized them, walked straight over to them, and leaned on them.
He is super gentle and loves his stuffed animals. He lays with them and places them with care in his bed. He is crate trained, but trusted with free roam, and knows basic commands. He's incredible on a leash and is house trained. He truly would do well in a family with another dog as being alone is a little tough for him.  He does great staying home with another dog. He likes men and women equally and he has been exposed to a cat and is gentle with him. He really wants to be near his people, but also values his time on the deck enjoying the day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Memory of Dawn...

Many of you know that our founder and president, Dawn Meaney, passed away last year, but what you may not know that is on top of all of all the wonderful work she did for our Pyrs she suffered from Chron's disease for many years. Chron's and Colitis are two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans; people of all ages are diagnosed daily. No, their research efforts are not as well known as those for cancer research, but these are two very painful and often socially awkward conditions.

In an effort to honor Dawn, and for all who have been diagnosed with this disease, Ken and Brianna (Dawn's husband and daughter who many of you all know) will be running the Vegas 1/2 Marathon on December 4th with Team Challenge!  Team Challenge is the Chron's & Colitis Foundation of America's endurance training and fundraising program.  

Ken and Brianna are trying to raise $6000 by the end of November.  No donation is too big or too small, and they are all 100% tax deductible!  Please also keep in mind that many corporations have matching programs and will match any donation you provide--it's an easy way to double your contribution!  

A minimum of 75% of the monies raised stay in-state for local research.

If you are unable to make a donation, please let others know about Ken and Brianna's fundraising efforts by sharing their fundraising link:

For more information on the cause or disease, 

Thank you so much in advance for your consideration in supporting Ken and Brianna in their efforts to honor Dawn through this cause!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sam & Mya: Gartrell Pet Smart Adoption Event

Christie, Shannon (me), Nikki  (Nikki Adopted Ellie: her success story) and Ken braved the shocking heat and sun yesterday, and took our Sam & Mya to Pet Smart for an adoption event.  The turnout wasn't great, and sadly no one was interested in Sam or Mya.  As most know, these are the last dogs we need to find homes for before the Colorado Great Pyrenees Rescue can officially say it has written the last paragraph in it's book of amazing dog rescue. While it will be emotional to see the last 2 go, they both deserve a forever home and have been waiting just too darn long.  Sam and Mya are both fostered together in Brighton; email us if you would like to meet them!

"Hey, who's the cute lab over there?", Sam thought...
 People always think Pyrs hate the heat..  Mya refused the shade all day so she could flirt!
 That is my hand.. trying to explain to Sam that I can hug him without him crawling into my mouth!
 Mya on a stroll.. doing fantastic with all the new dogs and people she met!
 Christie and I both needed a break from the sun too!
 Pet Smart asked Ken if the dogs would like a pool to wade in.. he said "Yes" but it would make for an interesting ride in the car home!
 "Is my new family here yet?"

Sugar: Available For Adoption Through Big Dogs, Huge Paws

Sugar is a beautiful, 4 year old, White, female Great Pyrenees. She is a beautiful, shiny coat and is so soft! She is incredibly friendly, very devoted to her people, and as sweet as her name implies. While Sugar is independent and can be stubborn at times like most Pyrs, she also adores human attention and would love a family who is home more often than not to give her lots of love and affection. She gets along well with some dogs(prefers to be the boss), most cats, and all kids. She is house trained, crate trained(loves her crate!), and is a very smart girl who knows sit, stay, down, heel, and come. Sugar would thrive in a structured home with a strong leader and would do best in a more rural environment or at least one with understanding neighbors and a big yard due to her guardian instincts and desire to bark and patrol her property.  She successfully underwent two knee surgeries due to luxating patellas. She has fully recovered but will always have a goofy gait which is just part of her charm!  More on Luxating Patellas

 If you are interested in Sugar, please go to her BDHPs profile, and contact Big Dogs, Huge Paws!

What Are Luxating Patellas?

If you have been a dog owner for any length of time, you've likely had a dog with a luxated patella, or knew someone who did.  The "patella" is the knee cap.  There are 2 different kinds of patellar luxations.  Dogs of all sizes and breeds can have this condition,  and so can cats, though it's more rare. 

There are medial luxations and lateral ones.  Medial means the knee 'pops out' towards the inside of their body, and lateral means the knee will pop out towards the outside. 

Medial luxations tend to happen early in life and are often considered to be congenital.  Often there are anatomical malformations which cause this to happen.  Without too many boring details, it can be defects in the way the leg bones were already formed when they were born.   These malformations put undo stress on the knee and it's surrounding components, which leads to the ligaments holding everything in place to rupture.  Young and mature animals with gait problems may be predisposed.  In general, any time you notice a strange conformation to their walk, it should always be looked at by your vet.

Laterally luxating patellas can be worse than medial ones.  They tend to limit movement a little bit more.  This can occur in small breeds later in life, due to the natural degeneration of surrounding tissues.  Lateral luxation may be seen more in dogs predisposed to hip dysplasia.  The abnormalities in the bones which cause hip dysplasia may cause the animal's lower limb to rotate to compensate, causing this as a secondary condition.  If this occurs bilaterally, your animal may be unable to stand.  (More on Hip Dysplasia)

While your vet may use radiography to diagnose, often your vet can tell by just feeling their knee and shifting it around.  There is a very specific way it *shouldn't* move!  One veterinarian told me that radiographs are more diagnostic of the bone malformations which have caused the patella to luxate, and often you cannot see the knee cap luxated in a radiograph. 

You can see the limping, or non-weight bearing behavior come and go.  The first time my dog limped and pulled his leg up, I checked his paws to see if he had something stuck.  When he put his leg back down, he walked fine again.  It took a couple more times before I knew for sure something was wrong.  Though I have never x-rayed my dog, I feel strongly his luxations were caused by his hip dysplasia.  When I first got him, I could tell he moved awkwardly and showed a lot of stiffness in his hips.  At the vet, only one was laterally luxating at the time.  Now, both luxate.  He has a severe heart condition that may take his life sooner than later, so surgery is not an option for him.  He is on an NSAID, and I rarely notice them popping out.  When they do, I am able to move them back into place and he walks fine.

I had a cat with a luxated patella, and we started noticing it later in her life.  Surgery became a consideration, but it was only shortly thereafter she passed away from causes related to old age.

Surgery is the treatment.  There are many amazing surgeons for dogs in this area, and I've seen dogs recover from surgery and do just amazing!  Prognosis may vary from dog to dog based on level of activity, age, etc.  Every animal is different!  This condition is not uncommon, and if it were me, I wouldn't think twice about adopting a dog whose had surgery to correct this condition.  It's also a consideration, like all medical expenses, for anyone adopting a new dog. The last question one may have, is if they can prevent this from happening.  That is a question best answered by your veterinarian.  There are varying degrees of the conditions which may predispose your animal.  For instance, there are varying degrees of severity with hip dysplasia which may predispose your pet.  I have personally known just as many small dogs get this condition, and I'd be cautious to send anyone away thinking this is a disease of a certain breed or size.

Napoleon & Pierre: Available For Adoption or Rescue out of Texas

Pierre and Napoleon need to find a home in 6 weeks.  Their current mom is in Lubbock, Texas but is willing to drive and do what it takes to get these beautiful boys into new homes.  They were her father's dogs which she took 4 years ago when he passed away, but now she is moving to Los Angeles and needs to rehome them.  Pierre is a purebred Great Pyrenees. He's only 4 1/2 years old and weighs 175 lb. Napoleon is a Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd mix. He's 6 1/2 years old and weighs 125 lb.

They are both up to date on shots, and they love children and other kinds of animals.  They need either a forever, new home or a rescue who can take them from their current mom and find new homes for them.  If you can help, please contact Brenda at:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wanted: Someone to Foster Me and Help Save My Life!

This is a beautiful boy who was dropped off at a shelter that is at capacity. They listed him as a Great Pyrenees Mix originally, but we know Akbash are often miscategorized!  I can just tell there is something special about this boy! The Akbash Rescue is trying to save him, but they need a foster home for him!  If something about that amazing face strikes a cord in your heart, contact : or CALL Janet Davis, Akash Rescue Coordinator - 510-410-0149 asap.

More on his fella' from those who've met him:
Here is another Akbash who showed up at the pound.  He is a beautiful boy and a great dog.  I know Janet's rescue is full, but thought I would send him along in case you might have an idea or two where I could send his pictures and information - hoping to save him.  Don't know if you have looked at the pound's website recently, but it is over full.  Not good.
This is a beautiful dog who appears to be an Akbash rather than a Great Pyrenees.  He is calm and quiet, both in the cage and out of it.  He walks well on leash, and enjoys going for a walk.  He met 2 men and 3 women today and liked all of us.  He also met several other dogs and liked all of them.  He makes good, non-threatening eye contact and enjoys pets and attention.  He is estimated to be about 26-28” tall, and his weight is approximately 100-120#.  He is a surrender, but there is no surrender form for him.  He is neutered and makes good, non-threatening eye contact

He is just coming three, neutered, good with kids and other dogs. Not been around cats that they know of.  Was never inside but I am sure that would not be a problem. I guess he is very mellow and sweet.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's That Big, White Dog?

Did you think that all white, large dogs were Great Pyrenees?  We thought it'd be fun to share some other great breeds you may not have heard of before!  The world is a big place, full of a ton of amazing dog breeds outside of our AKC familiarity. After you look at these pictures, you'll realize that sometimes it may take an expert to tell all of our big, white, fluffy angels apart!  Often when not getting your dog from a breeder, we have to rely on history provided, which may rely heavily on popular breeds in the area.  If it's an AKC recognized breed (and half of these below are not), you will find detailed descriptions online of what your dog should look like.  While we look at coat length and color, often the special things come down to shape of the head, the eyes, colors of mucous membranes, and texture of their coat!  Many of these dogs share a common ancestor, especially when they are livestock guardians.  For example, the Italian "Abruzzese Mastiff" is assumed to be related/a descendant of the Maremma Sheepdog; many of these dogs are assumed to have a common ancestor.  Here are some links to unaffiliated sites to gain more insight into each breed:

 White Golden Retriever

Great Pyrenees