HAPPY ENDING: Safe n’ Sound: The Story of the Hubbards Boxer May 2017

THE STORY OF THE ROAMING BOXER IN HUBBARD’S, NOVA SCOTIA

The Hubbards Boxer was first spotted and reported to us by Nicole on Friday, May 5, 2017. Little did we know that was going to be the beginning of a very busy week of sightings. We had to map out all the sightings. He was seen multiple times crossing the 103 Highway (phew!), then the old number 3 highway, and along the rails-to-trails paths, near cottages and rec centres, by local businesses… he was spotted a lot, but we never heard of an owner looking for a lost boxer. Sigh! We advised all to immediately report sightings to the respective Animal Control Services for either Halifax or Lunenburg Counties, as he was roaming between both municipalities. People didn’t just see him and leave him, they all tried to help him but he would have none of that… if approached or called to he may stop for a second to look, but then he was off into the safety of the woods.

So Many Sightings

Having sightings reported to us, the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network, enabled us to create a map which we hoped would establish a pattern of his behaviour and area travelled. This is the actual map of sightings, each colour pawprint represent a different day:

Let’s see who reported sightings and hopefully we haven’t forgotten anyone… there was Nicole, Annette, Kris, Kandace, Rebecca’s Parents, Old School Pizza had a sighting on their Facebook page, Marcie, Allyson’s neighbour, Mike’s wife, Carol, Allyson’s friends, and finally Allyson got a photo of him on her security camera on May 9th, 2017:

This was the first visual the rest of us had… very blurry, but you can definitely see the boxer traits of a black muzzle, deep chest, short tail. Nothing further for another full day. Not until Karen had a sighting in her yard. Then Brittny had a sighting down by the beach again. And then the Boxer had a chance encounter with Tanya’s daughter:

“My daughter first spotted him last night at 7:15 pm in my neighbour’s driveway. He had been back to our yard at least three times last evening before dark. My daughter put out dog food on our front deck and she watched from inside while he finished the bowl and walked away.”

 

Tanya’s House

It was such a relief to know he had a good feed. Well done! Another sighting at the same location late that night and again the next morning.

“When I looked the other day it seemed like the last sighting was in front of the rec center on Wednesday night. I think from then on he may have been living in the woods behind our house because he didn’t ever seem long coming once I put food out.”

Tanya wasn’t going to let this dog suffer:

“There is food and water and a warm bed/crate/den for him on our front deck if he so pleases to have some warm rest.”

We suggest they move it closer to the wooded area behind her house, as that was his place of choice to escape if he felt insecure or frightened. This is what she photographed the next morning:

Such a handsome boy. He was very aware of every movement and sound. It must have been exhausting for him, but he was in survival mode. All he wanted was food, water, and shelter at this point.

Earning His Trust

From Tanya Friday afternoon:

“I just came home from work and walked up the hill to take the blankets off the crate like you had suggested (some dogs like a ‘cave’ and some like it open…we were trying both). I look up and there comes this handsome fella out of the woods and looks at me and walks on by. I turned my back to him so I didn’t spook him and he walked on by along the treeline to the path and back into the woods.” Bravo Tanya… He was checking in to see if you were bringing more food and you did exactly what you should have done… turned away so he didn’t feel intimidated or pressured.  “He walked on by as if nothing. He didn’t creep. He didn’t run or sprint. Just walked.”

Fantastic.

VIDEO: Please click this link to see the video: LURING IN THE BOXER

He had everything he needed… a comfortable bed and blankets, regular feedings, and fresh water. He was looking a little thin from his week on the run, but he was still in excellent health. Boxers are very athletic dogs with a deep chest, tight waist and long legs. He would come back to the house looking for more food. We didn’t want to over feed him as we needed him coming back to the same location looking for food in order to work out getting him to safety.

“Then he came back looking for food again. (By the house.) He would eat some and then if he heard a noise he would go back up to the crate and wait a minute then come back again.”

This is great – he feels his safety zone is near the crate. At this point, we could have replaced the crate with a humane live trap. That was the plan at least…

“He came back and finished his food on the deck. Then back to the crate and laid on the blanket.”

Things were moving along quickly…faster than we could get a live trap to the location.

“He’s quite comfy in the crate now.”

He’s Inside. What Do We Do Now?

That evening, things changed considerably. He was feeling very confident and so were Tanya and her family. With the door ajar, their dogs and cats away, a gate up… he almost came inside looking for more hot dogs. Now, I can’t say I recommend doing this with a dog you don’t know. There was definitely a point missed where you lure a dog into you, gaining its trust enough to touch them and put a leash on them… and then decide if you are going to bring them into your home. It was pretty exciting seeing the progress they were getting. Being the kind animal loving people they were, Tanya and her family just couldn’t let him stay outside in the cold. He certainly found the right family to ask for help.

“I didn’t really plan on getting him into the house bit once my daughter started I just went with it and thought at least if we for him inside we could all hide in my bedroom until Brian (Animal Control Officer for Lunenburg County) came to get him.”

VIDEO: Please click this link to see a video: Hubbards Boxer Inside

You see his confusion in this video. He want’s the hotdog and he may even want to be inside, but he’s been in survival mode for a week and he’s nervous. And we don’t know what his life experience has been up to this point either. His ears keep listening behind him, his exit route, to make sure he can escape if he needs to run. He creeps forward, but only for the hot dog. Then he backs out again. There is a lot of body language going on and basically, it all says he’s unsure of being inside and being near people.

 

Wait…what? He’s inside again? This is what I hear next:

“He knocked over the gate and came from the back hallway to the house and went right upstairs.”

What a transformation from early that morning being sighted by the kennel at the back of the yard until now…

“It just all happened so quickly Friday day and evening. He stuck around right from the time he ate at 3pm Friday and was up and down the hill. We went out to dinner and when we came home and let our dogs out they were excited to see us and we made such a big deal of them talking to them and patting them and talking to them with so much excitement. Mr Boxer stood up at the top of the hill watching the entire time. I can’t help but think that it was these actions that helped him decide to come to us.”

I guess he made the decision it was going to be inside for him. I’m proud of Tanya’s next statement about this strange dog being in her upstairs:

“ I don’t want to go up and (make) him feel trapped.”

She was giving this dog the space he needed to feel safe, even if it meant he got the upstairs and she got the downstairs. The great thing is, he was in, the doors shut and Mr. Boxer was safe. Again, we don’t recommend using your entire home as a humane live trap with a strange dog…but since it worked out this way for Tanya we were all going to go with the flow. This next statement will tell you a lot about how nice this family is:

“I’m happy he’s safe but feel sad because he trusted us and we are giving him up. Wow. I could never foster dogs.”

Awe, you did the right thing (not necessarily in the right or safe way but you trusted your gut) Tanya and we all can’t thank you enough for getting this beautiful dog to safety. You and your entire family are this dog’s heroes, and ours too.

 

HAPPY ENDING: Safe n’ Sound! Yeah!!

 

Tanya let us know that he has settled and she has called Brian, the Animal Control Officer for Lunenburg County who worked hard that week trying to keep up with the sightings, to come and get this tired fella. 
“I wouldn’t approach him. (Again, not putting any pressure on him to have to decide fight or flight.) He found a mat in my 12 year olds messy room.”
What a story… This beautiful Boxer arrives in this community seemingly out of nowhere (being investigated now), spends a week on the run and crossing very busy highways, and everyone is trying to help him get to safety. Ultimately, he picks himself a family and ends up sleeping in the youngest kids bedroom like this is where he needed to be all along.
He’s safe, in the care of Lunenburg Animal Control where he is learning to relax and not worry about where his next meal is coming from or if he will be cold tonight. It seems unlikely his owners will be found and if that is so, he will go into rescue and be re-homed to his FUR-Ever Home. We want to thank everyone that was involved in helping this handsome boy… everyone that stopped and tried to get him to safety, who reported sightings to us, Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network, and to Animal Control in both Lunenburg and Halifax Counties, and to all the folks that cared and shared his info in hopes of finding his family. And once again, a huge thank you to Tanya and her family for doing everything in their power to get this dog to safety and to ACO Brian. You did it! Yeah! Yippee!! It’s another Happy Ending.

LOST DOG FLYER: “LINDI”, Chihuahua, Female, 13 yrs — Pictou, Pictou, NS

FLYERS are best used handing out going door to door when searching for a lost dog. They are also appropriate for posting in busy pedestrian traffic areas such as on mailboxes, lamp posts near bus stops, etc., and on bulletin boards and windows of local businesses. If a business says it’s against their policy to post flyers, as them to take one anyway and if possible to at least post it in their staff room. Thank you.

Please feel free to print off copies of the flyer to hand out: Click on this jpg flyer to download and then print copies to share.

This is a JPG version:

 

PRO TIP: Remember when posting your flyers outside, keep them safe from rain by storing them in an upside down sheet protector. That way people have access to the pull-off tabs (that contain your contact info), and the rain doesn’t get down inside.

LOST DOG FLYER/Cards: Sammy, Maltese Mix, Male, Adult – Dartmouth, NS

Please share this link and print off this flyer (PDF for now) to hand out or post if you go looking for Sammy, thank you so much:

LOSTFLYERSammyPetworksDartmouth2:8:17

Also, here is a letter size sheet of small card/flyers to hand out to folks when talking to them about Sammy:

LOSTCARDSammyMalteseMixMaleAdultPortlandStDartmouth2:8:17

 

Thunder and Fireworks Safety for your Dog

fireworks

 

Thunder and Fireworks can be a very stressful time for your dog. The following is information that can help reduce that stress and help keep your dog safe during storms. Plenty of dogs that are not scared of fireworks. Perhaps they were exposed at a young age to loud noise, or are just easy-going in general. However, for those that have a scared or fearful dog, you will find listed below information to be applied early in a dog’s life, but also some last minute solutions that may help reduce the stress now.

Preventative:

Starting early can help lower your dog’s sensitivity to fireworks. Fear will get worse over time, handle it now. This is not a short-term fix but long term training by increasing your dog’s exposure through positive reinforcement/rewards.

Associating loud noise with rewards

  • Start early by rewarding your dog with cuddles and treats when loud noises are heard.

Talk to your Vet about the use of drugs – some of these dogs/fears may require drugs before any improvement can be seen.

Schedule an appointment with a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviourist – Not every community has one, so talk to your Vet for any references.

Sound Therapy: Desensitize your dog through Thunderstorm CDs. Use this technique beforehand to slowly expose your dog to louder and louder noises, and rewarding them all along with treats and/or pettings.

“Through a Dog’s Ear” – specifically designed to reduce canine anxiety. Start using it when your dog is already in a calm, relaxed state, long before any fireworks. He will begin to associate this training with being in a calm/relaxed state. Then, on the night of the fireworks, begin the music hours before to bring him into that same state…continue straight through the fireworks and afterward as well. It doesn’t have to be loud and it has been clinically proven to calm the canine nervous system.

Sound Therapy combined with Desensitization: Fireworks, Thunderstorms, City Sounds, and Calming. A desensitizing training tool for sound sensitive and noise phobic dogs with Victoria Stilwell.

  • Progressive sound effects
  • Specifically-designed psychoacoustic music
  • Reward-based reinforcement protocols

iCalm Dog 3.0 – portable player – A preloaded audio player

 

DURING OR DAY OF THE EVENT:

Do Not Take Your Dog to a Fireworks Display – leave them at home where they feel safest. Dogs have been known to bolt at the first explosion of fireworks, pulling the leash right out of the owner’s hands. This is very common with extended retractable leashes. Also, remember that dogs can change over time and those that were not scared before, may be frightened this time. It’s always best to leave your dog at home, in a safe, calm environment. Please don’t gamble with your dog’s safety by taking them to fireworks displays.

Know: It’s normal for a dog to be scared

  • Dogs have keen senses (acute hearing/sensitive nose), fireworks makes for a more intense experience – loud noise and offensive odor if close
  • Dogs will be startled: increased heart rate, a rush of adrenaline, and an increase in stress hormones – it makes it hard for dogs to orientate.
  • Thunderstorms have warnings: barometric pressure changes, electrostatic increase, high winds, dark clouds… dogs can anticipate the change. Fireworks are sudden and dogs may be more intimidated by them.

Plenty of exercise before the event – Take your dog for a long walk or extended play time before the bad weather approaches or before a Fireworks Display.

Make sure your dog is wearing their ID tags with a properly fitting collar at all times – Even when your dog is at home have them wearing ID tags as fearful dogs have been known to bolt through doors and windows (both screen and glass). We recommend using a martingale style collar, as most dogs cannot back out of them… a technique successfully used by scared dogs to escape their leashes. However, if your dog is locked in a kennel at home, it’s best to remove their collar so their tags or buckle doesn’t get stuck in the wire mesh.

Do not let them “sweat it out” – Dogs will not learn to calm themselves, but instead are likely to become much more stressed when left to their own devices.

  • Comforting your dog will not make it worse, will not make them a ‘wuss’.
  • Providing positive or distracting stimulus is more likely to calm her down.
  • Using frozen treats in a toy can help distract a stressed dog

You need to stay calm – That doesn’t mean you can’t love on your dog, it means that you do it while staying calm and relaxed, reassuring your dog that everything will be okay or more correctly for your dog, that everything is okay.

Associating loud noise with rewards

  • Start early by rewarding your dog with cuddles and treats when loud noises are heard. But this method can still be effective on the day of the event.
  • Create a happy feeling around fireworks by giving your dog a special treat or toy. Again the classic frozen kong toy is a great idea.

Keep dogs inside during the event – preferably with human companionship.

  • Turn on air conditioning, if an option, and close all windows (reducing the loudness of the event)
  • A newer option is a pair of mufflers for your dogs ears, helping to reduce the sound of thunder or fireworks: Mutt Muffs

Create a retreat inside for your dog – Create a special area within your home where your dog can feel safe and secure.

  • A crate is a good example… placed in their crate (if already crate trained) with a stuffed kong may be enough to make them feel safe.
  • Putting their bed closer to you, with windows/doors closed while playing soft music is another way to create a safe zone for your dog.
  • Remove your dog from the noise or smother it by creating a safe/comfy place in an inside room, bathroom or closet (can use the crate here as well).
  • Windows and curtains closed. Covering the crate may help by removing visual stimuli, helping to calm your dog.
  • Play calming sounds or music. Use white noise machines, music made especially to calm dogs, or classical music to calm your dog.

Sound Therapy – Play calming music that you have trained them with in the beginning. But even if you haven’t trained them with this, you can still use this technique. Calm classical music can work or the suggested, Through a Dogs Ears, classical music created just for dogs is a great help.

Calming wraps/Thundershirts™ can help some dogs, even if it just takes their fear down a notch, they are a great tool in your Fireworks toolbox. The swaddling, a gentle, constant pressure, works like with a baby, making your dog feel more secure in stressful situations. You will see some improvement to varying degrees depending on the dog. For my dog, it definitely takes the edge off the anxiety.

Calming Wrap Technique

Thundershirts™

TTouch Anxiety Wrap

Natural therapies may help with the first signs of fear. However, it may be too late for them to work on severe cases – when stress is elevated to it’s highest point. Bach Flower, Lavender Oil, DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromones) sprays are all effective to some degree or other… may depend on the dog itself as well.

DAP: Adaptil

Rescue Remedy

Canine Calm

Pet Naturals Calming Treats

 

 

Resources:

Victoria Stilwell:

https://positively.com/contributors/10-safety-and-calming-tips-for-dogs-during-fireworks/

 

Purina:

https://www.purina.com/dogs/behavior-and-training/why-are-dogs-scared-of-fireworks-11-things-you-should-know

“Providing a positive or distracting stimulus is more likely to calm her down.” 

http://www.petmd.com/blogs/dailyvet/2009/June/09-4226

 

 

 

LOST DOGS FLYER: Sighted: Roaming Dog: Yellow Lab & Mastiff/Rotti Mix, Males, Adults – St. Margaret’s Bay Trail Head, Hubley, HRM, NS

FLYERS are best used to hand out when going door to door searching. Also they are appropriate for busy pedestrian traffic such as mailboxes, lamp posts near bus stops, etc., and on bulletin boards and windows of local businesses.

Please feel free to print off copies of the flyer to hand out:

 

This is a JPG version:

SIGHTEDJPGFlyer2DogsYellowLabAndMastiff:RottieMixMalesAdultsHubleyHRM8:25:16

 

This is a PDF version:

SIGHTEDPDFFlyer2DogsYellowLabAndMastiff:RottieMixMalesAdultsHubleyHRM8:25:16

FREEZING RAIN WARNING: Be Prepared, Stay Safe

FREEZING RAIN WARNING: A long-lasting period of freezing rain resulting in ice accumulation is expected or occurring.

 

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BEFORE THE STORM:

ID Tag/Microchip: 

Have your dog’s updated ID tags on their collar and the collar on them at all times during a storm. We recommend having your cell phone on your dog’s tag and that you have a dog licence from your municipality. Also, have your dog microchipped and the information kept up-to-date with the chip company/vets.

Long Walk:

Take your dog for a long walk as you both may be housebound for a few days.

Food and Meds:

Make sure you have enough dog food and medications in stock for both you and your dog. They recommend at least 72 hours worth.

Winter Dog Gear:

Get out your dog coats/sweaters and boots because when your dog has to go, they have to go. People will be using a lot of salt with this ice build up, so be prepared with dog boots or ointments to reduce the risk to your dogs pads. Have towels ready to dry off your dog after being out in the storm.

Evacuation:

Prepare ahead of time and have a plan for your family and your pets incase you had to evacuate your home. You can find a great article on planning ahead for your pets safety during an evacuation here. And disaster preparedness for pets here.

Have toys ready for indoor play:

Stuff kong’s with your dogs food or special treats, use interactive toys where both you and your dog work together, have chew toys ready: Your dog will be anxious and active and you will need to burn some of that energy off while indoors.

Print a copy of this list:

You can find a copy of this list for printing here.

DURING THE STORM:

Only outside for bathroom breaks:

Limit the time you and your dog spend outside during the worst of the storm. Ice makes the streets and sidewalks dangerous and the storm itself may cause havoc. Don’t forget your own cleats for your boots as everywhere you step will be icy. (Information on hypothermia in dogs can be found here.)

Leashed when outside:

Please keep them on leash, even within a fenced yard during the storm. Winds, heavy ice build up, noise of salt trucks, falling branches, etc. All these things can cause your dog to bolt. A dog bolting from fear can leap high fences and/or run for long distances.

Power Outage:

Stay calm so your dog stays calm as well.

Don’t forget to keep your dog warm by providing them with blankets or sweaters.

Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold:

Call your local Animal Control or the Provincial SPCA Cruelty Investigations to report a dog left out in the cold. You could also try your local Police or RCMP. Contact Information listed by County for Nova Scotia can be found here: www.ns.lostdognetwork.com/contact-list/

AFTER THE STORM:

Before you let your dog out, check your yard:

Thoroughly check the yard after the storm for any open gates, broken fence sections, hanging or downed branches/trees, power lines down, downed live wires, etc.

Road Salts:

After a snow storm the sidewalks may be very icy and/or covered in road salt. “When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals (road salt) and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur.”*

___________________________

* AVMA Cold Weather Pet Safety: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Cold-weather-pet-safety.aspx

RCMP Constable on Seaside FM to Discuss Leaving Dogs in Cars on Hot Days | $$$Fines$$$

Hot Dogs poster low resolution

 

RCMP Constable on Radio to Discuss Leaving Dogs in Cars on Hot Days | $$$Fines$$$

Today on 105.9 SEASIDE-FM’s Road Check with RCMP Constable Jim Shield, the topic will be about leaving pets in cars on hot days…quite the fines… Listen at 4:45 today, July 16, 2015

Listen Live online:

Seaside FM

DIY Embroidered Dog Collar ID

dogcollar_01

 

DIY Embroidered Dog Collar ID ~ Brilliant Way to Keep Your Dog’s ID on their Collar

 

LOST DOG Business Card Size Flyer Template

LOST DOG Flyers – Business Card Size Template

Click on this link:  LOSTDOGBusinessCardTemplate10:31:14  it’s a pdf file you can modify yourself – if you have an iPhone you can use a free copy of Pages to modify this easily. Any PDF file should be modifiable on Mac or PC, so let me know if this works for you. Replace the photo and info with a photo of your dog and their details including phone number (this should be your cell phone).  Hand these out to people you stop and ask if they have seen your dog and always keep them on hand or in the car. People are more likely to call in sightings if they have the information in hand.

 

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Elder Dog Canada Opens Online Store October, 2014

“Mr. Brown” oil on canvas by Nova Scotia artist Katie MacNeil
ElderDog Canada is pleased to announce the launch of our online store.

At elderdogcanadastore.ca you will find quality items for you and the special dogs and people in your life. Every purchase you make helps us fund our programs and services. Visit often as we will be offering new products on a regular basis. Let us know if you have any suggestions for new items. Check out our Wool and Wood collection and contact us with your ideas. We’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for your support!