If you know me or have noticed the plethora of pictures and links scattered around the side columns of my blog, you know I’m a big advocate for animal welfare and promoting adoption and rescue over shopping the pet stores that are frequently stocked by puppy mills. I want to share some facts today that are very near and dear to my heart, plus share a DIY tutorial for dog toys that my daughter’s Girl Scout troop made to donate to Open Door Animal Sanctuary, our local no-kill animal shelter that the troop volunteers for during the Season of Giving. And these four are a few of the reasons why this issue is so near and dear to my heart:
From left to right, that’s our Django (pronounced JANG-go), Gypsy, Abbey, and Jasper – my fur babies! Two are rescues and the twins were purchased from a reputable breeder that we drove 200+ miles to meet with. Yep, 200 miles!
In fact, Shona Skye Creations is named, in part, for one of the loves of my life:
|Me and my beloved Shona
Now I spoil my dogs like crazy. Just in doing some extra research for this post, I got completely sidetracked by about a half dozen things I want to get for my babies (like dog beds that look like a baseball and pepperoni pizza – how cool is that? And seriously, an awesome travel bowl to replace the goofy old frisbees I leave in my car, which do double-duty as toys and water bowls – must remember to get those ordered!) See?! I got sidetracked again!
But, while I will go “dog-wild” over shopping for cute stuff for my dogs, I won’t ever, ever shop for a dog itself. There is a vital difference.
Why “Don’t Shop – Adopt”? Well, every time a pet is bought at a pet store, there is a very good chance that that purchase is supporting a puppy mill. These poor animals live out miserable existences. The mom is bred again and again, just to pump out litters to sell to the unsuspecting mall customer who might be window shopping. The cages are tiny and cramped, conditions are filthy and overcrowded, and healthy diets and exercise are non-existent. Continuing to support these pet stores encourages their continued involvement with puppy mills.
On the other hand, if you take the time to visit your local rescue shelter or adoption agency, you have a lot of good waiting for you (data courtesy of PetFinder.com:
- You’ll save two lives: the pet you adopt and the pet the shelter can take in as a result of your adoption.
- You’ll know what you’re getting: Many shelters and rescues provide behavioral assessments on adoptable dogs and vet checks on all adoptable pets.
- Your perfect pet is waiting for you:
- 6-8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year in addition to countless other species.
- 25-30% of shelter dogs are purebred.
- You’ll save money: “Free” pets are no bargain. Shelters and rescues frequently cover some or all of the initial veterinary costs, including:
- Spaying/neutering $150-300
- Distemper vaccination $20-30 x2
- Rabies vaccination $15-25
- Heartworm test $15-35
- Flea/tick treatment $50-200
- Microchip $50
Awareness is the beginning. I share on my personal Facebook page local dogs in need of homes from time to time. It doesn’t seem like much to do, but take a minute to watch the story of Nico and see how simple sharing on social media changed the entire world for this sweet, loving pit bull:
Pit bulls, incidentally, are a much maligned breed. The truth is, they make great family pets! When you hear stories of a pit bull “gone bad,” it’s not the dog or the breed – it’s the owner. Laws banning the breed are appealing to knee-jerk lawmakers and a society that can’t bothered to enforce good owner laws already on the books. It’s Lazy Law.
Here I am working with one of two pit bulls whose owner had passed away suddenly and were in need of new forever homes.
That’s Howie. He and his sister, Charlotte, were rescues. Their owner had just started training them when she died. Howie was so sweet! He was a bit of a challenge, but not because of behavior issues! Because he was deaf! But he was so eager to please and so loving. The only way you could have guessed about his past were the scars visible on his head and torso, if you looked closely enough. I wish I could have kept Howie. But we worked with them and we found happy, loving forever homes for both. All it takes is a little caring, a little effort, and some networking.
Here are ten facts about pit bulls that you may not know (courtesy of PitbullLovers.com):
And, most importantly, if you are a pet owner, or are planning to bring a pet into your family, remember to have your pet spayed or neutered. Even if you mean to keep your pet in the house, help prevent more unwanted animals by having your fur baby fixed!
If cost of care is an issue, keep an eye on your local animal shelters’ event schedules. They frequently offer low- or no-cost vaccines and neuter/spay events. These events are a win/win! They reduce the numbers of unwanted litters and also raise awareness in the community of both animal welfare and the services these shelters offer daily. By joining in their events, you are actually helping not just your pet, but your whole community!
Be a superhero and save a life! Everyone can help:
And now, if you’re still with me, IT’S TIME FOR THE TUTORIAL!
Like I said, I can shop like crazy for my fur-babies, but, being a DIY kind of gal, I am always on the lookout for things to make for them, as well, like the pet steps I made for little Abbey!
So, let’s look at how to make this dog toy! This project takes about 15 minutes and, in the pictures, I’m doing it while I sit on my bed, watching a movie. So, it’s easy to make!
You will need fleece (or old T-Shirts or kitchen towels), a scissors, and two rubberbands.
The instructions I got from our troop leader called for 3 pieces of fleece, about 1/4 yd. long. I was to fold the selvage edges together, then cut 3 – 4″ strips crossways from the folded edge. There were no pictures. The instructions were a little confusing, so they were quickly discarded. LOL
|Thanks to Abbey for filling in as Quality Control!|
I simply cut 3 – 4″ strips of fabric about 1 yd. long. A 4″ width gives you a medium size dog toy. You can use old towels or t-shirts and make these in different lengths and sizes, depending on the size of the dog.
Stack the three pieces, one on top of the other. Place a rubberband about 5″ from the end.
Excuse my feet. LOL Find some way to firmly hold the rubberbanded end. I find my feet to be the easiest. You can hold it between your knees or tape it to a table, but I found my feet to be the best way to go.
Braid as tightly as you can. You want to make it sturdy and not easy for the dog to get its teeth through. Braid until you have about 5″ again left at the end. Wrap the second rubberband around the base of the braided section.
If the ends have gotten a little uneven during the process of braiding, trim them up so they are all the same length again.
Tie a very tight knot just inside from the rubberband. Make it tight! Then cut or remove the rubberbands. (Rubberbands are dangerous for dogs! They are a choking hazard!) Cut the loose ends into fringe about 3/4″ wide.
If you find that the length is too long for your dog, you can tie a third knot in the center of the braid. And, voila! You’re done! Easy-peasy!!
These are super-easy to make and would be a great project for organizations or families to donate to their local pet shelters and rescue groups, or for the kids to make the family pets for Christmas! And they make awesome use of t-shirts and towels that are destined for the trash bin.
Thanks for making it through this entire post! This is a cause that is very close to my heart. It’s important to get the facts out there. I hope you will share this and spread the word that everyone can do something to make the world a better place for our four-legged friends!
I’m going to leave you with a funny video of our crazy “doghouse” with cover music provided by The Basement Gypsies!
(I would love for you to come back to visit, so please SUBSCRIBE using one of the buttons I have up there at the top on the right. And find me on Facebook for behind the scenes stuff and general goofiness! I’m on Twitter, too, but be warned – it’s my hybrid blog/personal account and I have been known to accidentally Tweet-bomb during baseball season. LOL )
25 thoughts on “Shona Skye Goes to the Dogs! (Facts & A Tutorial!)”
I'm your newest follower from the blog hop. I, too, love pound puppies. The shelters are always the first places we look when contemplating bringing pets into our home. Have a great weekend!
I'm such a dog lover that when I hear the bad rap certain dogs get my first reaction is "It's the owners". I have a buddy that owns the friendliest pit bull and "Budd" is such a sweet and loving dog (he's 9years old). We need more of you in this world to help protect these defenseless animals from people that really shouldn't own pets. Thank you for linking up to the Empowered Living hop, stay tuned I will be making a few changes this coming week. Hope to see you again.
LOVE LOVE THAT PIC!!!!! =)
Sorry guess I should specify hehe the pic of all four!!!!
we got our 7 month old pit bull/lab mix from the shelter about 3 months ago. I do not know what our family did or talked about before this dog! he is now officially spoiled rotten and is also in peak shape from playing with so many kids. he is a great dog!!! we love him back!! the volunteers at the shelter were also marvelous. i would recommend a rescuce dog!
I am your newest follower from the hop..pls follow back if you can.
I'm following you from Friday Chaos. This is such a great post. I had no idea… Luckily the dogs we've had in the course of my life have all been rescues or strays. Nice that you're sharing the word on it.
Oops, I mean The No Rules Weekend Blog Hop. Sorry. 🙂
Thank you for linking up at the Friday Chaos.
Have a nice weekend
Kerry @ http://www.ohsoamelia.com
Thank you so much for linking up and following me from Weekend Blog Walk – I'm following back and looking forward to reading more.
Life in a Break Down
Hi there! I found you on the Aloha blog hop – now following you! Would love a follow back at http://www.toeuropewithkids.com.
amazing post – i'm so glad to see other like minded animal lovers out there in the blog world!
There used to be a bunch of puppy mill pet stores around, here but thank goodness they seemed to have all closed. I just hated having to walk by them in the mall.
Thanks for sharing with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party 🙂
You are very talented, love the braid colors. I came by from the hop, nice to meet you. New GFC Follower.
Have you heard of Thursday Two Questions? You seemed like you would enjoy this meme. Check the details page to play along Thursday Two Questions Details.
Some really cute pics! Have a great week.
PS Thank you for following Carole's Chatter. I am signing up to follow you right back. Cheers
Following back from blog hop! Thank you for following my blog. Have a great week:)
Amazing post! We are dog and cat lovers around my house. You did a great job, and the pics are so adorable. Your newest follower from Debbiedoo's.
I'm glad to see this amazing post on bringing awareness to animal welfare. I've never bought a dog from a pet store and I don't think I ever would but when see them in a pet store I think "this little fella needs a home and doesn't need to be kept in this cage. He needs love too."
Thanks for posting this great information.
Such a great post!! We will definitely be making some of these dog toys!! I sooooo agree…pit bulls are not the aggressive breed many people believe them to be. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Our doxies both came from the local rescue (Reba passed away last year at the ripe old age of 19) and we were so thankful to be able to adopt them. They have added such joy to our lives (;
Just found your blog via Sumo's Sweet Stuff and became your most recent follower (: Can't wait to come back for more posts…Hope you have a lovely week!!
The Homesteading Cottage
Great info. Thanks so much.
The toys are adorable.
Over from Eliz. and Co.
Awesome tutorial! I absolutely love pit bulls and every one I've ever met has been SUCH a sweetie. We're in a tiny apartment right now, so we have cats instead of dogs, but we definitely adopted them both from a shelter as well. 🙂 Stopping by from Romance On A Dime!
Newest follower and fellow dog lover! Thanks for helping educate your readers about the importance about adopting shelter animals. i love the toy idea! I will have to make some!!!
Great dog tips!!!! Totally LOVE the tutorial!! Now I need a dog to try it on hehe 🙂
Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!
I love this. Please link it to my linky party & anything else you have to share. 🙂 Thanks, Peggy. http://diycraftyprojects.com/2012/10/whatcha-work-up-wednesday-linky-party-6.html
LOVE this post! and such a cute toy as well! Thanks for linking up – have a great weekend xox
This is a great post. Your dogs look so sweet!!! The tutorial looks pretty easy and fun. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!
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