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April 21, 2012

It’s Ernestine’s Birthday Week!

And this BETTER be on your calendars!
Saturday, April 21, 2012, 7pm
Crate Escape too
368 Huron Ave.
Cambridge, MA.
Join us!

My Next Dog, Breeder or Rescue?
We DO talk about this a lot. We feel it deserves and needs attention and the more people who understand and support a nation with ‘No More Homeless Pets’ (Best Friends Animal Society) the closer we get to that goal.

Lots of people are hesitant to adopt a dog from a shelter. They believe that shelter dogs always have unforgivable issues. Many people believe the ‘way to go’ is to buy a puppy and train him/her ‘their way’.

Because of the millions of homeless dogs and overflowing shelters, an unconceivable number of dogs who are well behaved, young, purebred (any or all of these characteristics) end up in a shelter and are euthanized.
In a Study conducted by the NCPPSP (http://www.petpopulation.org/statsurvey.html) it was found that the major reasons the majority of dogs are end up in shelters are due to human problems (moving, cost of dog care, having no time, etc.) not the behavior of the animals. When a dog is determined to be homeless and enters a shelter, he is labeled according to his currently visable temperament. Shelters are strict in labeling dogs often because of the sheer numbers; they don’t have room! So, back to the misunderstanding that shelter dogs have ‘issues’, it is far more likely a good dog who exhibits fear will be labeled aggressive and euthanized, than an aggressive dog being labeled adoptable.

Other misconceptions are that puppies easily acclimate, are easy to train and that only younger dogs can adapt to a new families. In shelters, puppies are always adopted faster than adults. When people choose to purchase a puppy from a popular breeder, although the pup’s heredity is usually known, sometimes pure breeds are over-bred and have developed their own particular issues (e.g. ‘golden rage’ in golden retrievers). Then there are ‘back yard’ breeders who have mate their dog(s) with other random dogs. Bank yard breeders have led to ‘puppy mills’ where the conditions are deplorable and unliveable. The majority of puppy mill dogs are sold in pet stores. Most puppies represent a series of unknowns: health, development, size, and temperament are hard to assess. A mature dog with a fully-developed temperament is generally an advantage; it is easier to make a proper match between dog and owner. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a total myth. Dogs are wonderful, highly-adaptive creatures, and like humans their capacity and desire to learn are alive and healthy throughout their life.

As a result of the economy, shelters are overflowing with all sizes, breeds, mixed breeds and ages of dogs. Their temperaments can be matched with potential owners criteria. Most of the dogs have been traumatized by their stay at the shelter and they literally bloom within a couple of months in their new homes.

At both Crates, we have a large percentage of rescues. You would never, eva! be able to tell the difference!

NOW! A word from the Birthday Girl!

My Mom is making me say, no presents at my party. (no really!! no presents!) I can’t wait for you to meet me or see me again!
Later, Ernestine

April 4, 2012

April 21, 2012: Ernestine will be 10 Years Old in Human Years..

but what is that really? Read on for some info on the current ‘dog age’ arithmetic.

Your Dog is How Old?
Most people think that calculating the age of dogs in “human years” is quite simple: multiply their age by seven. For example, a 4-year-old dog would actually be 28 years old in human years.
But when you really begin weighing out the arithmetic, this method doesn’t add up. 1-year-old dogs are ready to be sexually active and capable of reproducing. That is obviously not equivalent to a 7-year-old human. Dogs are much more likely to have babies at 1 year old or even at 10 years old, than any person who is 7 or 70.

Aging is much faster during a dog’s first two years but varies among breeds. Large breeds, while they mature quicker, tend to live shorter lives. By the time they reach 5 they are considered “senior” dogs. Medium-sized breeds take around seven years to reach the senior stage, while small and toy breeds do not become seniors until around 10.

How to Improve Life for Your Senior Dog
Many veterinarians agree that a pretty good guess on the age of pets can be made using the following formula. Although still simple, it is much more accurate than the seven-year method.

Assume that a 1-year-old dog is equal to a 12-year-old human and a 2-year-old dog is equal to a 24-year old human. Then add four years for every year after that. (Example: A 4-year-old dog would be 32 in human years.)

Since this method takes into consideration the maturity rate at the beginning of a dog’s life and also the slowing of the aging process in his later years, Martha Smith, director of veterinary services at Boston’s Animal Rescue League, feels that this is the more accurate calculation formula. Here is a chart, for easy reference:

Your Dog’s Age = Age in Human Years
1 = 12
2 = 24
3 = 28
4 = 32
5 = 36
6 = 40
7 = 44
8 = 48
9 = 52
10 = 56
11 = 60
12 = 64
13 = 68
14 = 72
15 = 76
16 = 82

A dog’s average lifespan is around 12 or 13 years, but again, this varies widely by breed. The larger your dog is, the less time it will live. Female dogs tend to live a little longer.

So, Ernie, given your fortitude, tenacity, stubborness and charm!- you are only half way through your puddin’ JRT life!

Crate Escape in the News!
On March 31st the front page of the Belmont Citizen Herald announced ‘Crate Escape sniffing out Brighton Street location’. As most of you have heard, our 20 Flanders Rd. location was taken by eminent domain in February, 2012 by the Town of Belmont. Belmont Municipal Light Department is planning to build a substation at the location. We have until the end of 2012 to move.
The exact same issue came up in 2009; we fought it and won. This time, we were able to work with the Town and reach an agreement. (as amicably as possible, after the shock wore off!) Brad and Stephanie are basically saying, ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be’. There is a great opportunity to lease a building at 30 Hittinger St., which is literally across the street from the current Crate on Flanders Rd. Fingers are crossed, we will keep you in the loop! Things are looking good!

A Note from Ernestine
It’s not always easy being me. Truly, the responsibility of the Crate Escape business is in my lap. I mean, I was the reason the company started, and I have cheered my parents on through the past 8 years, as the Crates grew and developed. We have such a wonderful business, such wonderful customers; our move from Flanders Rd. will only bring better things! I know what I’m sayin’! And, if you find yourself wondering, even for a moment, where the new Crate will be, get a blue ball and push it around the lawn and driveway. It really helps!

Ernie’s Diligent Reporting –
Recently Crate Escape sent one of our dogs to Fresh Pond Animal hospital to be treated for kennel cough which is a dog flu common among puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems. To our surprise fresh pond animal hospital diagnosed this condition as distemper which is considered life threatening and highly contagious. Furthermore Fresh Pond Animal hospital contacted 5 playmates of the dog they misdiagnosed to have distemper test done at a cost of $60-$80 each. What Fresh Pond Animal Hospital discovered was that NO dog had contracted or been infected with distemper virus. Furthermore, we discovered that if your dog is vaccinated for distemper it is impossible for your dog to contract the disease. Fresh Pond Animal Hospital tested 6 dogs for distemper and NONE of them ever contracted the virus, but all 6 customers were billed for this testing and the one dog that initially had a FALSE positive test was retested 2 more times and all tests were negative. I want all our customers to understand that we strive to provide a safe, clean well run facility to ensure dog safety for all canines that use our facility. If you happen across another dog person discussing a distemper outbreak at crate escape feel confident in repeating this blog. Also, feel comfortable contacting Fresh Pond Animal Hospital as well to confirm this information. It appears that people have been discussing distemper outbreaks without confirming the validity of these false claims against crate escape. If you ever have a question concerning our cleanliness or how we keep our facilities so clean ask for a tour of our facility.

Later, Ernestine

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