German Shepherds

Looking for a breed that is clever, courageous, faithful and fearless?  The german shepherd may be your pup of choice.  They are very muscular and strong, obedient, and ready to learn.  They have been known to give their lives for their humans and are a very loyal breed.  They love their families, but can be wary of strangers.  They should not be left alone for long periods of time and need to be around their people.  They are usually not big barkers, unless they find it necessary, but they can be whiners!  They do require a strong handler and training from an early age or they may get skittish and definitely need socialization.  They love to have “jobs” and do great as working dogs in the police force, guide dogs, tracking, or security positions.  They are not couch potatoes and if they are left to sit around in the house or locked in a back yard, may become very destructive and out of control.  German shepherds are heavy shedders and shed year round.  Some of the common ailments and diseases that can affect the breed are hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems, bloat, epilepsy, and flea allergies.  Our own Gwinnett Pet Watchers, Robin, just rescued a german shepherd puppy and she is a love!  If you want an active and protective pup, then they would be a wonderful choice.

Saying goodbye

About two weeks ago I got a call from a client who has two dogs and two cats that I have taken care of for several years. One dog is an older Doberman with a large inoperable tumor on his chest.
When I answered the phone the owner told me she had some bad news. I thought that Rocko the Doberman had passed away. But then the owner said, “it wasn’t Rocko, it was Rusty.”
It has taken me two weeks to even be able to write about it. Rusty was a very special boy. He was a rescue so we don’t know his entire story. He was a very shy boy. When I first started taking care of him, I would put his dinner down then leave the room and go love on the kitties, because if I was anywhere around he would worry and not eat. I remember how happy I was the first time he let me pet him. And then there was the day he let me give him a belly rub, I think I liked that belly rub as much as he did.
Rusty was all ways a finicky eater, but over the last six months it had gotten worse. When the Vet diagnosed him with cancer he only lasted two weeks.
I love them all but some time there is the one who worms their way into your hart. I love you Rusty and will miss you. My hart and prayers go out to your family. It helps to know that we will all see each other again on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

Things To Do With Your Dog In and Around Atlanta


Things to do with Your Dog
Week of 10/17-10/23/2012


The Humane Event
Thursday, Oct 18 7:00p
at Summerour Studio, Atlanta, GA
Join Atlanta Humane Society’s Junior Board, the 1873 Society Club, for the 3rd annual Humane Event. Guests will enjoy cocktails and bites from favorite Atlanta restaurants including Aja, Cruzado, D.B.A. Barbeque, JCT Kitchen, Miso Izakaya, The Optimist, The Shed at Glenwood, Spice Market, Tantra, Yum Bunz and Whiskey Park, then dance the night away with a live performance by Kidd Koby Roc. read more

Creator: LizLapidusPR


Atlanta Beagle Rescue Bowling for Beagles
Friday, Oct 19 8:00p to 10:00p
at 300 Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Price: $25 per adult $18 per child under 18 $85 for a team of 4
Phone: (404) 273-6297
Age Suitability: All Ages

Come out and support Atlanta Beagle Rescue next Friday, October 19!. Come by yourself or create a group to celebrate Friday night, beagles, and bowling!
It’s at 300 Atlanta – bowling with everything entertainment under one roof: state-of-the-art lanes, floor to ceiling video screens, dining and friendly servers. Registration includes bowling fees, shoes, pizza and unlimited soft drinks.
Register online at
Event Website
Categories: Charity & Volunteer, Pets
Creator: Roxie Beagle


Fall Pet Photo Shoot
Saturday, Oct 20 12:00p to 4:00p
at City Dog Market, Atlanta, GA
Price: $25
Age Suitability: All Ages

Please join us on Oct. 20th from 12-4 and on Oct. 21st from 1-4 at City Dog Market for photos taken by Jane Davis Photography to benefit Ahimsa House.
Donate $25 to Ahimsa House and receive a mini photo session of your canine ghost or human goblin (costumes welcome!), with a complimentary 4×6 print.
Proceeds will help provide a safe haven for the animal victims of domestic violence.
To make a appointment, sign-up at
Event Website
Creator: ahimsahouse
Atlanta Kennel Club’s 113th Anniversary Dog Show
Saturday, Oct 20 8:30a to 6:00p
at Atlanta Expo Centers, Atlanta, GA
Love dogs? Bring your family & friends to the Atlanta Kennel Club dog show, obedience and Rally obedience trail. Watch the regions best Junior Handlers vie for a $1,000 scholarship from Atlanta Kennel Club, meet dogs you’ll see on TV at the Westminster Kennel Club show, visit with nearly 2,000 dogs of all breeds, learn grooming tips for your best furry friend, and shop great pet supply vendors. read more
Creator: Kachme27
Strut Your Mutt, Picnic and Party
Sunday, Oct 21 12:00p to 4:00p
at Heritage Green, Sandy Springs, GA
Price: FREE
Phone: (770) 613-0880
Age Suitability: All Ages
Tags: music, park, party, pets, dog, animal, rescue, shelter
Furkids Strut Your Mutt, Picnic and Party is going to be a blast for the whole family! Come participate in our dog costume contest, visit adoptable dogs, enjoy a BBQ lunch, acoustic entertainment, and much more. All proceeds benefit a Georgia’s largest animal shelter!
We hope to have a great time while enjoying the setting at this beautiful park conveniently located directly across from our Petco in Sandy Springs!
Enter in a 50/50 Cash Raffle too! See website for details.

Good Mews Animal Foundation Holiday Sale
Saturday, Oct 20 9:00a to 5:00p
at Sandy Plains (Publix) Shopping Center, Marietta, GA
Price: FREE Admission
Phone: 770-499-CATS (2287)
Age Suitability: All Ages

Good Mews Animal Foundation will be having a Holiday Sale this year so mark your calendars! We will be selling all holiday items, so you will be sure to find a lot of great things! The sale starts Friday October 12th (9-5)and will run every Saturday 9-5) and Sunday (Noon-5) thru the first weekend of November.
The sale will be located at the Sandy Plains (Publix) Shopping Center:
1860 Sandy Plains Rd at Scufflegrit Rd. Marietta (2 doors down from Publix)
For information, viisit
Event Website
Categories: Charity & Volunteer, Pets
Creator: goodmews

DNA Testing

There are those of us who never get to go out and pick a new pet — rather, they seem to pick us. You open your door one Animal loverday and there they are. Or you’re driving to work and you see the sad eyes of an abandoned cat or dog. Or the universe says it’s time for the Taylor household to have a new pet! For those like me, we can end up with a strange assortment of pets. Most of time we don’t know a lot about their background and never got a chance to meet mom and dad. We just open our hearts and love them and they love us back. Not a bad deal for either party.

As our new friend grows we notice certain traits and sometimes I find myself saying “He must have Lab in him,” or “That’s the Border Collie in her.” We sit around with our friend and look at the shape of their heads and the length of the tail and come up with what breed we think they are and argue our points. When we are at the vets we ask the vet to get their opinion, and when they have a different idea of our dog’s ancestry we will argue our point. We find ourselves telling the vet how he does this like a Beagle or she looks just like another German Shepherd-Collie mix you had as a child.

Well now all the guesswork can be put to the real test with DNA testing for dogs! That’s right, we can now test our dogs for their heritage. I know some of you may be thinking that it would take the fun out of guessing what Fido is mixed with, but it doesn’t, it just adds another level. And yes, you can still argue with the test results.

Let me tell you about my family’s fun with DNA testing.

Eight years ago I was looking for a playmate to keep my female Border Collie Australian Shepherd mix Suzie (Psycho Suzie). Suzie was nonstop full of energy and smart, smart, smart –  but also crazy. We never even saw her lay down until she was four years old. Needless to say I wanted a calmer dog. Still needed one with lots of energy to keep up with Suzie but with a calmness we hoped would rub off (Suzie was badly abused before she adopted us, but that is another story). So in comes Domino. I adopted Domino from the Border Collie rescue group out of South Carolina and what a beautiful boy he is; he is the poster child for a Border Collie. With his beautiful long black coat with majestic white mane encircling his neck, he could be on a Border Collie calendar.

As he settled in, the family noticed that he looked like a Border Collie on the outside but he did not have a single Border Collie trait. Hell, he won’t even fetch! Believe me some of the missing Border Collie traits were a blessing (anyone who knows how has Border Collies are, no matter how much we love them … can we say intense!?). But not Domino. When he is in the house he lays down and sleeps. No squeak toys for him, no bringing a ball over and dropping it at your feet, no following you everywhere you go in the house, in other words, no Border Collie traits! Not one! In this case even the vet and his groomer thought he was a Border Collie. Once when I explained to my vet that I thought Domino might be an impostor, he chuckled and told me to be thankful. After all, he knew Psycho Suzie!

Well, for the Christmas of 2009, I got a wonderful Christmas present from my son and his fiancée: a DNA kit from BioPet. I looked around at all of my dogs but my son made it clear that it was to be used on Domino to see once and for all if he was a Border Collie or an impostor…

Are You Ready for a Rescue Dog?

Lucy, Jake, George and I were at the park going for a walk today when we came upon a woman who had two small dogs. One of the dogs was barking and just uncontrollable, not behaving very well. We stopped to talk to the woman about it and her instant explanation was that he was a rescue. What a cliche that has become. It seems everywhere I go when a dog is misbehaving the owner says “She is a rescue,” and that is somehow supposed to excuse this bad behavior. Now we all understand that when we do take on a rescue dog sometimes there are some behavioral problems, but it’s not an excuse for a lifetime of this behavior. When we take on a new dog we take on the responsibility of training and spending time doing what you need to do to make that dog both a good companion and a good community dog.

I know this stance will not make me very popular, but if you’re not willing to take the time, or invest the money in training, then maybe a rescue is really not the type of dog you need. You might be better off going to a good breeder who has started the training for you; someone who has already done the beginning of socialization and has raised the puppy in a loving family environment that will fit in with your lifestyle. You will still need to invest time and money in training but you know you are not dealing with a dog that has been abused or mistreated.

A great article to read before going forward with pet adoption is this one from the Humane Society: Are You Ready To Adopt A Pet? Ten Questions

That said, there is no better feeling than taking a rescue dog and working with that animal to help it overcome its past — to watch an animal that has been abused learn how to be a dog, learn how to be a pet and learn how to be well behaved part of your family. What a wonderful feeling when you see this animal blossom; but don’t think that comes without a lot of work and money. Sometimes you will have to hire a private trainer or someone who specializes in animals with behavior problems. But being a rescue is not an excuse for animal to continue to misbehave.

Before you adopt a dog that has been abused or traumatized you need to take a good look at yourself and your family situation. You need to be honest. How much time are you willing to dedicate to this dog? How much money do you have to put into rehabilitation? How much experience do you have? One question that I think is overlooked most of the time is whether the whole family has agreed to be part of the rehabilitation of this animal. These are questions that should be answered before anyone takes on an animal that has behavioral problems.

If you don’t have the experience, the patience, or the money, then you need to give a second thought to rescuing a dog that has emotional problems. It does not make you a bad person or any less of a dog lover, it’s just a reality. The last thing we want is to add to the problems this animal already has. Try and make sure that the dog that you adopt does not have problems that you are not ready to handle. After all, it’s a lifetime commitment.

Here is a great website for training rescue dogs and a great place to start out: Rescue Doggie

Be safe and have fun!