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Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Want One!

Wow, she’s gorgeous! Is she an albino? What kind of dog is she? I didn’t know shelties came in white! Where did you get her? How can I get one? I want one! These are questions and comments I hear every day when I am out and about with my double merle shelties. People are fascinated by them.

Yes, my dogs are gorgeous, but they are also very impaired due to people’s poor decisions. My dogs are mostly white and are stunning to look at. They are always kept well groomed and their coats are fluffy and clean. I’m glad to have people interested in them because it gives me a chance to educate them that shelties are definitely NOT supposed to be all white! 

People are always drawn to the unusual. My job is to help them go away with the knowledge that double merles are not a new fad that is up and coming, like the multitude of “doodle” mixes out there now. Nor are they rare and extra valuable. They are victims of a very sad epidemic - one in which people are creating dogs with severe impairments for their own gain. Double merles do not just happen by falling out of the sky. They only happen when two dogs carrying the merle gene are bred together. Thus, double merles are totally preventable. 

Once people realize that my dogs are blind and deaf, they are shocked and saddened that someone could be so irresponsible to cause this. Sometimes they make cruel comments that my dogs would be better off dead. While I know my dogs are happy and healthy, some people assume that I am the cruel one to have kept them alive in the first place. Some try to convince me to put my dogs out of their misery. What misery?

To read the rest of this article, click here ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dangers of Breeding Merle to Merle

I have updated some of my previous articles and added some new ones, which I will be sharing here over the next months.  Here is a great one to read again and to share to help educate others.  Happy New Year everyone!  

Dangers of Breeding Merle to Merle
©Debbie Bauer 2015 

Despite the efforts of many in educating others, there still are so many double merles showing up on the internet and in shelters needing homes. Why aren’t people listening? Why are they continuing to produce dogs with blindness, deafness, or both? And for every dog that ends up in a rescue or a shelter, or in a home, there are so many more that are being killed shortly after birth for a crime they didn’t commit. They didn’t ask to be bred this way. People made the decision to take a gamble with their lives. 

There are many breeds of dogs that carry the merle gene. Some of them are: Cocker Spaniels, Australian Shepherds, Pyrenean Shepherds, Border Collies, Cardigan Corgis, Catahoulas, Chihuahuas, Collies, Shelties, Dachshunds, Great Danes, Pomeranians, and I even recently saw pictures that people are developing merle lines of Schnauzers and Poodles! The merle gene is being introduced to more and more breeds (and mixes) due to the cool way it looks. I have to admit, I love the pattern of merle! It’s very pleasing to my eyes. Breeding merles responsibly (a merle to a non-merle dog) gives us the cool mottled look and can give us healthy and sound dogs, while breeding merle to merle often produces puppies with severe impairments.

(To read the rest of this article, follow this link ...)

Feeding Tip for Longhaired Dogs - DIY

A simple plastic shower cap was the answer to my problem!  Perhaps it can help you also!

Treasure eats a non-kibble diet and her lovely long, white hair was getting messy by dragging in her bowl while she ate.  The hair under her chin and on her upper chest ended up being green and goopy after each meal.  

I solved this problem by cutting a hole in the top of a plastic shower cap, just big enough to slide over Treasure's head.  Making the hole too big would allow her hair to squeeze through while she was eating, but too snug would not be comfortable for her to move her head and swallow.

It took Treasure only a short time to realize that wearing the shower cap was a good thing - it meant her meal was coming next!  After the meal, I can easily pull it off over her head and if there is any food on the cap, just rinse it off under the faucet and it's ready for the next meal. Simple!  And oh so useful!