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Sell on eBay? Consider adding us as your fav charity! -- Monday November 4th, 2013
10 Rules For Your New Dog -- Tuesday January 11th, 2011
by Eric Rescue Ink Bellows
By: Keri Whitfield
1.YOUR NEW DOG KNOWS NOTHING!
Although your new dog may have basic skills, manners and obedience - it is better to assume that they have NONE and take on the responsibility of teaching them everything yourself. If your new dog does have some positive life experiences under their collar - then GREAT - your efforts will be easier and you will be pleasantly surprised. Assuming and expecting your new dog to understand the rules and boundaries that you live by can only disappoint you each time that they fail. After all - it is not fair to assume that someone has put all of the time and effort required for the proper upbringing of this dog - and especially if they have ended up in rescue or at a shelter.
2.Your new dog has no pack leader!
A pack leader is the most important person in a dog’s life. Dogs live as our domesticated animals - in a dependent role. They are nothing without us and as dog owners - we bring them into a new world where we want them to be able to enjoy everything that we offer them. If we do not provide them with all of the information necessary to place ourselves in a leadership role - they will have no idea where to look for guidance. Life is full of change and if a dog has a pack leader - they can look to them to handle anything new in their lives. Even if you can show a dog where to find food, water and affection - this is not giving them a pack leader. Only when you can have them looking to you for guidance on making decisions can you affect their behavior on a moment to moment basis. Then you can be sure that they will be able to learn how to achieve this role as balanced life partner and pet.
3.Your new dog needs rules!
The most comforting feeling for a dog is to know what to do. Anxious, nervous, fearful or aggressive dogs do not act this way because they want to. They have these reactions because no one has ever shown them what to do. For example, before you bring your new dog home, take them for a walk. Surely you are anxious and excited to get them home and begin the affection - but remember - they may also be anxious and nervous about this major life change and your excitement will only compound their issues. You want to be calm for their main entrance into your new sanctuary and more importantly - you want them to be comfortable too. Taking them for a walk and expelling their energy - especially all of the pent up and toxic energy that a dog can accumulate from time caged in a shelter - is the best start you could ever offer. Also - you will get to show them how you are capable of not only taking them out of their cage - but you also understand what they need. If you can spend time with them on a walk and relieve their need for a release of their physical energy first - you are beginning the process of convincing them that you are ready to bring them fully into your life. Bringing them home to your yard and playing with them is not the same experience. Excited and directionless activity without the experience of moving forward and following will not be an effective release of productive energy. You have taken them from one enclosure to another and never offered them a leader to follow. A walk communicates your ability to guide them and provide for them from the beginning.
4.Your new dog does not respect your home!
Your new dog may have never been allowed to roam free in a house. If you allow your dog to run into your home ahead of you and have the freedom of the whole house - you are turning your whole home over to them. Unless you want to live in a dog den and/or your dog plans to pay your mortgage and clean your house - this is not an ideal scenario. After all - this is an animal first and even though they may take on the name and personality of someone very human and near to your heart - they still do not automatically know how we humans like to live. We appreciate dogs that do not go to the bathroom in the house, chew on our furniture, eat our laundry and feed themselves from our table. However, if from the first moment, we let our new dog loose in our home, we have given them the right to go about doing all of this without restraint. By making your dog wait before entering, making them follow your entrance into the house and by using a simple on leash tactic for the first few hours or days, depending on your new dog’s behavior, could save months and years of misbehavior and training down the road. If we can show them from the first moment that this place is ours and it is a place for them to watch us, follow us and learn to respect the environment - their mindset will be in the perfect place to learn basic house rules very quickly.
5.Your new dog does not respect your visitors!
When you bring a new dog into your home and allow them to own the environment from the beginning, you cannot expect to be able to bring in other people without a reaction from your dog. Even if your new dog is very social with people, they will not control their excitement and their invasive behavior if they believe that this new home is theirs to own. Even if the person visiting doesn’t mind paws on their chest or a mouth on their face - think about the introduction of an elderly person, a small child, or someone who is afraid of dogs. It will not be fair to your dog when you decide one day in the future that they are not allowed to greet everyone with unrestrained activity. It will be too late if you simply decide sometime later when someone comes in that does not approve that it is then the time for obedience. But, if you set this boundary from the beginning you have given them the knowledge that they will be able to use each and every time someone new comes into your home. Likewise - if you have already followed rules #1-4 then this task of asking for a polite greeting will be little more than an expression, a hand signal or a brief use of the leash. We make it harder for ourselves and for the dog when we do not set the rules from the beginning.
6.Your new dog may not like your visitors!
It is possible that your new dog has fear or dominance issues that can lead them into an initial protection mode with new people. If this is the case - don’t panic! If you have followed rules #1-4 then you have already claimed your home and now you must simply control your guests and your dog through initial introductions to ensure that you continue to provide the correct information to your dog. Your fear or anxiety will not benefit your dog and will in fact, make matters worse. If you do have these emotions - you should consider the possibility of help from a professional. This is especially true with large and powerful breed dogs. Instruct your guests not to look at the dog, talk to the dog or approach the dog. Likewise, you need to handle your dog’s behavior on leash in a calm fashion. Let your dog know that their reaction is undesirable. Redirect your dog’s behavior with a distraction - noise or physical movement or command - anything to get their focus off of the new people. Sit with your dog at a distance and remain calm - focusing on your guests - telling them how everything is under control and they need not fear this behavior. This is a new dog with new challenges and this is what you signed up for. The more comfortable you can make the visitors - the better for everyone. Allow your dog to calm down by putting them in a sit or a lay and having them ignore the new people. Continue the conversation. If you are able to release the leash and allow the dog to approach the visitors or the gate - remain calm and do not anticipate a reaction. Your fear or anxiety will not benefit your dog and will in fact, make matters worse. Keep everything at the same level of energy that it was at before. Instruct your guests not to look at, talk to, approach or touch the dog. The goal here is to have the dog investigate (smell) and ignore the new people. If you find that your dog responds well to this and very soon after quiets down and does not even look at the guests, you can eventually release them. Again - if the behavior is extremely aggressive and/or this is a very large or powerful dog, do this exercise with the safety of a gate between two rooms - so that the dog can still smell, see and hear the guests but cannot physically get to them. Ideally, the new dog will sniff them and retreat or even sit or lay down near the new people. Every session’s goal should be to ignore, until the dog is non reactive when the people enter the room. Only when they are entirely comfortable with new people entering the house can you think about allowing guests to make contact. When this stage has arrived, using food to engage the new dog’s nose first is always an excellent choice for earning further trust. This form of affection is much more appealing to a nervous dog than physical touch. Touch is for our own enjoyment and the new dog should not have this forced on them for our own emotional benefit.
7.Your new dog may not like your other dog!
If you are unsure of the social skills of your new dog with other dogs - you cannot assume that introductions will go well. Never simply put two dogs into the house together and wait to see what happens. Likewise, never introduce two new dogs through a crate in the house or a fence in the yard without first introducing them on neutral territory and on a walk. On leash introductions can be tricky, considering the visceral connection that the dog has with their human’s emotion when on a leash. If you are at all nervous, fearful or hesitant about dog to dog introductions, you will transmit this insecurity to your dog through the leash and they may have a negative reaction solely based on your own issues. However, with a good walk, you can gain relaxation and also show your dog that they and other dogs are fully under control of capable pack leaders. Being able to smell, see, hear and feel another dog without forcing contact is the perfect first success for a new dog. If an immediate aggressive reaction is noted - you need to desensitize this by moving forward and continuing the walk until you see the reaction subside. If it does not - then you know that you have a bigger issue to deal with. This is why it is always advisable to know beforehand how a dog is with other dogs. All rescues and many humane societies should require dog to dog introductions to occur prior to the adoption commitment for this reason. All rescues and shelters should assess this level of skill and/or reaction prior to placing a dog. However, if this is not the case, don’t be surprised if issues are evident upon initial introductions. If there are issues - there is a lengthy period of rehabilitation and gradual re-introduction that will have to take place - making sure that both dogs look to your guidance first. It is easier to introduce two obedient dogs to each other then to expect two unbalanced and disobedient dogs to follow the rules of pack socialization. Again – the assistance of a professional is advisable with notable social issues between dogs.
8.Your new dog does not need your emotion!
Of course it can be a very emotional experience to rescue a dog. People who save disadvantaged dogs get a definite feeling of satisfaction knowing that they did a good thing in life. However, your newly adopted dog does not need this emotion to go forward in their life. Quite to the contrary, when you share these emotions of excitement or pity with a new dog, you immediately place yourself in a weak position in their eyes. Emotion is weakness to any animal. That flutter in our heart and stomach is understood in the animal kingdom as a lack of strength. There is no need in a primal animal’s nature for emotion. They do not feel sorrow over the prey that they kill to survive. They do not feel anger at the competition that they have in their territory. These emotions do not exist because there is no use for them in their quest for survival. So, when we as humans have these emotions they can immediately tell that our guard is down and so - we are not the source of strength that they should follow. If we can withhold these emotions when we first introduce ourselves to a new dog - we will be showing them that we are a source of strength and they will automatically follow us. Imagine how much easier it will be for us to show our new dog what we want from them if they are - from the get go - convinced that we are their leader. It could be the difference maker for every decision that they make from then on in our lives. Likewise, if we do not restrain ourselves from showering our new dog with joy or sadness - we may have to spend a lifetime trying to make it up to them and convincing them to do what we desire to make them a safe and balanced pet.
9.Take it SLOW!
Our pace of life and expectations may not be natural to our new dog. If you make an effort to follow these rules of introduction, it should take your whole first day of owning a new dog just to get them settled into your home. Many people want to rush their new dog home, get them in the house, shower them with new possessions and affection and then bring over everyone they know to meet them. Although this may be okay for a newborn baby – it is completely the opposite for a new dog. After all, you have the rest of the life of the pet for everything that you plan to show them. However, you only have their first day ONCE and it makes all the difference in the world for how they will behave every day to follow. Do not immediately parade your new dog to new people’s houses or recreational parks and dog parks. This kind of overloaded stimulation can be way too much for a new dog. If you first ask your dog to respect you and your personal environment - this is challenge enough. Only when you are consistently achieving the behavior that you want in your own home can you expect your dog’s behavior to be the same with all new stimulation. Likewise, for your own comfort and confidence building too - by sticking first with your own environment and succeeding - they will be more apt to follow your sense of accomplishment - anywhere you go and never question your control.
10.You only Get to Begin Once!
Dogs do live in the moment, but if we fail to show them certain things in their beginning with us, we will not only have to make up for this initial neglect but we are giving them an opportunity to practice the wrong behaviors first, so we will be working backwards to undo negative behaviors later on. If we withhold privileges and unbridled affection and correct negative behaviors from the get go - we may never have to witness disobedience from our dog ever. Remember - your confidence is built from their positive decisions. If you do not share crucial information from the beginning and you give your dog the chance to make mistakes - your confidence will plummet. If you then have a lack of confidence and a negative image in your head - you will not be a source of strength for your dog. From this weaker position you will then be forced to deal with difficult behavioral issues and the scenario could ultimately be devastating. If we always consider what the dog, as an animal, NEEDS and make these simple choices from day one - we can create a present full of achievement and foresee a future full of blissfully balanced relations between us and our new dog. It is our choice to make this relationship what we want from the very first moment that we bring a new dog into our lives.
What will you do?
GKR Therapy Dog -- Friday November 12th, 2010
Cora adopted in 12/09 is featured on WCAX for her Therapy dog work.
GKR featured PEOPLE -- Wednesday October 27th, 2010
A follow up on Maverick featured in PEOPLE Pets earlier this year!
7 Hens and a Rooster -- Thursday October 7th, 2010
Good Karma heard about 7 laying hens and a Rooster that needed a new home. We were unable to find someone that would take the Rooster along with the Hens so we contacted Eastern Shore Bird Sanctuary that agreed to take all 8 birds. Thanks to a few kind volunteer transporters, and ES Bird Sanctuary our feathered friends now will have a safe and happy ending! Please visit their Adopt-A-Bird program and think about donating to the care of rescued birds!
People Pets--Feature! -- Saturday May 8th, 2010
Zelda ( Miss Nells)-Fame -- Friday March 26th, 2010
Miss Nells is famous again--and a GKR dog is being recognized for her inner beauty~which won her adopter $50!
Congratulations, you won first place for Most Humorous Dog in the Vermont Sports photo contest. You should receive a $50 gift certificate from Onion River Sports of Montpelier in the near future, as well as some Vermont Sports swag. Look for her in the April addition!!
Zelda in the News-Again! -- Friday January 15th, 2010
Story:In December 2008, a dog was hit on the Natchez Trace and left to die on the side of the road. She was found by someone who called me. When I arrived, I saw that her leg had been broken and was protruding through her skin. She was in shock and had lost blood. I took her to the vet’s office, where she received emergency surgery. Emily Le Coz was kind enough to write an article about her. As a result of that article, many generous people donated money toward the dog’s vet bill. It has been a long time in coming but I would like to thank everyone who helped Zelda! She will never know all the wonderful people who helped keep her alive! I would like to extend a special thank you to Mr. James Roy of Booneville and everyone at McMillan & Cunningham Small Animal Hospital. After many surgeries, Zelda was finally able to walk on all four legs again. Working with Homeward Bound of Mississippi and Good Karma Rescue, Zelda found her forever home this summer in Vermont with a lady who has stated that “We are so in love with out new dog its not even funny!” Zelda’s new name is Nellie but as you can see in the photo, she probably doesn’t mind. Thank you everyone for being so kind!
4 Cows--Rescued! -- Saturday December 26th, 2009
When Farm Sanctuary in
Watkins Glen, New York,
received a request from Teal
Church of Good Karma
Rescue in Montpelier asking
for a contact to help her find
a home for a male dairy calf, GMAD became involved.
Here is the rest of the story, as told by long-time
GMADer Sara Mann:
One day in mid-August, I drove to Montpelier to check
on a calf, as well as the mother of the calf, who we were
told wasn’t in good shape. Gertie had given birth to the
calf in May and her udders were pretty much dragging
on the ground. While we were there, we noticed another
cow mothering the calf. Elsie had had a calf in the spring
that died, so she had become very attached to Gertie’s
calf, Rupert. Both cows were headed for the slaughterhouse
for various reasons.
Two weekends later we showed up at Matt and Teal’s
house to give these old girls and their charge a new home.
It didn’t take too long to load Gertie and Elsie. After a
lot of chasing we rounded
up Rupert, put a halter on
him, and put him in the back
of the truck because there
was no room for him in the
It didn’t take us long to let the new cows and our Jerseys
out together in the meadow. They have all bonded and
don’t go anywhere without each other. They have even
accepted a rescued Appaloosa
mare into their fold. All of the
adults look after Rupert. He
is growing stronger and bigger
every day. Gertie has had lots
of TLC from us, and we just
bought her an udder support
to help her get her udder off the ground and make it easier
to treat her poor old teats. The cows will be cared for,
loved, fed regularly, and allowed to be just cows enjoying
the sunny days up on our little mountain.
This whole process was made so much easier by all of
the good folks who donated to GMAD, and Teal and her
husband, Matt. GMAD paid for Gertie’s initial checkup,
they paid for Elsie to join Gertie and Rupie in their new
home, and with extra donations, GMAD paid for the
most recent checkup and half of the cost of the trailer
which was needed to rescue them and for future rescues.
We welcome anyone who wants to come visit our farm.
We have 1 horse, 4 big pigs, 8 jerseys, 4 cats, and 8 dogs.
Sara & Lisa
Finally Home Animal Sanctuary
Winner! Maddie's Fund -- Friday August 7th, 2009
Good Karma Rescue is a week four winner of the Maddie's Fund "Best Foot Forward" customer service Grant challenge. On August 3rd we were awarded a $500 grant for having good customer service! Here's the press release from the contest:
Maddie's Fund® will award $50,000 in prize money to Petfinder.com member shelters and rescue groups in the U.S. who demonstrate good customer service. The promotion runs from July 13 through September 18, 2009.
The Purpose of the Promotion
Maddie's Fund and Petfinder.com believe that good customer service saves lives. The first step in good customer service is to capitalize on the public's enthusiasm for adopting by responding right away when initial contact is made. The second step is to make a potential adopter's experience positive and helpful.
We hope our cash prizes will encourage shelters and rescues to assess their customer service and entice them to improve it if it is lacking.
GoodSearch For Good Karma -- Friday May 15th, 2009
What if Good Karma earned a penny every time you searched the Internet? Or how about if a percentage of every purchase you made online went to support our cause? Well, now it can!
GoodSearch.com is a new Yahoo-powered search engine that donates half its advertising revenue, about a penny per search, to the charities its users designate. Use it just as you would any search engine, get quality search results from Yahoo, and watch the donations add up!
GoodShop.com is a new online shopping mall which donates up to 37 percent of each purchase to your favorite cause! Hundreds of great stores including Amazon, Target, Gap, Best Buy, ebay, Macy's and Barnes & Noble have teamed up with GoodShop and every time you place an order, you’ll be supporting your favorite cause.
Just go to www.goodsearch.com and be sure to enter Good Karma as the charity you want to support. And, be sure to spread the word!
Donate a Kuranda Dog Bed -- Friday May 15th, 2009
Our dogs LOVE these beds! They use the ones we have everyday and would love to have more so they don't have to share!
Kuranda’s “Donate A Bed” program enables individuals to donate beds to Good Karma Rescue at discounted price. Just select Good Karma Rescue and follow the instructions.
The donation will be sent directly to the shelter in your name. Your donation is 30% to 35% off of our retail prices
Link to Good Karma Rescue to Donate a Bed :
Give Back America -- Saturday March 21st, 2009
We now have our own personal shopping mall listed on GiveBackAmerica.org. The link above will bring you to our page for shopping with many large online retailers.
We have partnered with GiveBackAmerica.org to help our organization raise additional funds, all at no extra cost to you the consumer!
GiveBackAmerica.org is an online shopping mall created to raise money for local charities. The concept is simple, every time you shop online from your favorite online retailer (ex. Target, Expedia, Amazon, Ebay) a percentage of each purchase goes to Good Karma Rescue.
Children's Book Fundraise -- Saturday March 21st, 2009
Frisco Finds a Forever Family is a beautiful, full-color, hardcover children's book written by seven-year-old author Ansley Carol Burnette. When Frisco's first owners don't want him around anymore, he feels lonely and frightened. While living in a rescue shelter, he wonders if he'll ever find a forever home where he can love and be loved.
And for every book sold, Tiny Hands Press donates money to private, no-kill rescue shelters to help other dogs like Frisco find their forever families.
All donations to Good Karma Rescue are tax deductable as Good Karma is a charitable 501(c) 3 organization.
Visit this site to purchase a book: http://friscothedog.com/Good%20Karma.html