Thursday, October 27, 2011

When Dogs Become Mummies

Halloween is a time when things are not what they appear, and sometimes they turn into something else entirely. This Halloween, our dogs in training became mummies!

At our Halloween party, we played a game where teams of our puppy raisers had to completely wrap their dogs in toilet paper. Check out the results:

We also played Musical Hoops, the popular PawsAbilities Dog Olympic Game. All of our dogs walked on a loose leash around a circle of hoops, and when the music stopped, puppy raisers had to get their dog to sit in the hoop. This is a great game for the dogs to practice their skills. Not only do they have to walk on a loose leash, but they have to ignore other distractions and listen their puppy raiser. Watch how Susan works with SSD Julia to get her to sit in the hoop. Even though there is lots of noise and movement around them, Susan stays calm, which helps Julia stay calm and focused. Susan is also very patient when Julia get distracted and quickly redirects her. And look at the beautiful "sit" that Julia gives at the end!

Our staff transformed our puppy class room for the Halloween party, complete with a haunted house! The dogs and some of their puppy raisers came in great costumes, and we had so much delicious food! We hope everyone had as much fun as we did!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And the Stars Are...

Are you ready to meet SSD Midge's Stars?

SSD Hope, named after Bob Hope (female, teal collar)
SSD Kate, named after Kate Smith (female, pink collar)
SSD Maggie, named after Ann Margret (female, tan collar)
SSD Carol, named after Carol Burnett (female, orange collar)
SSD Lucy, named after Lucille Ball (female, purple collar)
SSD Buster, named after Buster Keaton (male, red collar)

The Eastern Star selected the names for this litter, and they have chosen famous actors and actresses who have given their support to our nation's veterans during war time through the USO shows and hospital visits.

The Eastern Star has graciously allowed us to call one of the females SSD Carol, in honor of one of our puppy raisers who passed away suddenly on the day the puppies were born. Carol, her husband and her family raised three SSD dogs for us - SSD Cypress, SSD Penny and SSD Jasmine II. She was a dedicated volunteer, and we will miss her.

SSD Carol and her brother and sisters were born on Thursday, October 20. Midge was due to give birth the following Sunday, but on that Thursday, Midge's breeder caretaker Susan thought that Midge might be showing the very beginning signs of labor. However, Midge was sending mixed signals, and Susan decided it was too soon for the puppies to arrive. She continued her day as usual, leaving Midge at home with her husband, Bill.

Midge hung out with Bill in his shop and took treats just like any other day. In her previous pregnancies, Midge didn't really care about food when she was in labor. That Thursday, however, she loved food! But later when she went into a strange squatting position, Bill was instantly suspicious - and it's a good thing he was watching, because all of a sudden he had to catch a puppy before it hit the ground!

After cleaning the puppy and taking care of the placenta, Bill let Susan know that Midge was, in fact, having her puppies that day. Pretty soon, the entire whelping team was on their way.

The rest of the delivery went very smoothly. Midge delivered the other five puppies quickly, and she was attentive to each puppy. She's a great mom!

We took Midge and the puppies to the vet the next day, and the vet gave her and the pups a clean bill of health. Each puppy had gained weight overnight, which is wonderful news.

Thank you to our whelping team and our vets at the Palmyra Animal Clinic!

The Stars puppies will be making their debut on the puppy cam next week. Check back early next week for the official announcement!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meet SSD Midge's Stars!

On Thursday, October 20, SSD Midge gave birth to six puppies! She had five black females and one black male. Mom and pups are all healthy and doing great!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SSD Midge's Upcoming Stars

SSD Midge is getting close to her due date, and her puppies are going to be stars! Each pup will be named after a star, either the celestial kind or a movie star.

The Star Litter's theme was chosen by the Eastern Star, and their membership will be selecting the puppies' names. Big thank you to the Eastern Star for their generous donation!

We will post photos of the puppies soon after they're born. And watch for the puppy cam, coming in the first week of November!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Healthy Pet, Healthy You

What are you and your dog doing on Saturday, October 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.? Make plans to attend Healthy Pet, Healthy You!

Capital BlueCross and the Humane Society of the Harrisburg Area are teaming up for a unique health fair. You'll learn new tips on how you and your pet can stay healthy and live well.

Admission is free, and it will be held rain or shine on the grounds of Capital Blue Cross, 2500 Elmerton Avenue in Harrisburg, PA.

Special features include a service dog demonstration by one of our demo dog teams!

You'll also find health information for you and your pet, health screenings, low-cost pet vaccine and microchip clinics, pet-friendly vendors, healthy food vendors, cooking and fitness demonstrations, and more! There will also be a dog walk at 1 p.m. You can even bring your pets in costume. Please make sure your pets are on leash.

Come out and see our service dog demonstration and check out all of the other fun activities and important information about living well and staying healthy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Team Training

This October, SSD Cabo, Denim, Slate and Tundra are going through Team Training with their new partners! Watch a video snapshot of the first few days of Team Training.