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November 21, 2014

Save A Date!! Dog Photos with Santa!! November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month & Dog Sounds Carry Meaning!

Ernestine Exclusive

Greetings, Crate Escapers! Happy Pre-Almost-Holiday Season! Is it just because I am older or does it get earlier every year? It’s a great time for me, because I help to pick out the holiday toys and treats, so there is lots of yummy, fun stuff around.

Be sure to save the date for our Doggy/ Santa photos! We provide antlers, jingle bell collars and other dress ups for your pooch. Check out times and locations below.

And, like my friend, Ellen, says, be kind to one another! It gets crazy out there.


Later, Ernestine

Dog + Santa Photos at Crate Escape too and Charlestown!

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Our annual Doggie Santa photo shoots are FUN, in addition to getting special holiday photos. Refreshments are served, and our great staff is there to add to the cheer! No matter which location you usually go to – choose the date and time that works best for the photos. Looking forward to seeing you there!

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month

ernie drawing from website1  Please read this article! It is beyond sad, how many senior dogs end up abandoned or surrendered, in shelters if they are that lucky. At the end of this article there are suggestions how we can help – even if you can’t adopt! Thanks!  Ernestine

Old Friends, Senior Dog Sanctuary inTennessee. They celebrate senior dogs and provide them loving, lifetime retirement homes. Not many sanctuaries exist!

In a recent petfinder survey our shelter and rescue group members reported that older pets have the hardest time finding homes.  It’s a sad reality that these great animals are often the last to be adopted from shelters.  However, November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month and we hope, with your help, to improve the adoption rate for older pets by spreading awareness about how great senior pets can be.

There are numerous reasons that make older pets a great option for families looking to adopt a pet.…


Older pets are typically calmer than puppies and kittens, often content with a more relaxing day-to to-day routine.  As we all know, puppies and kittens, though very fun, are often more rambunctious and may find themselves getting into mischief when they get bored.


The low-key, mellow nature of older pets makes them a great fit for households with children.  Before ending up in shelters, senior pets often come from some sort of family life which makes adjusting to a new home environment much easier than it could be for puppies or kittens.


Senior pets are often already trained and may even be pros at performing basic commands.  The great news is that even if they’re not, they are much easier to train than younger animals. Their experience around humans, along with more established physical and mental abilities, allow them to better understand the requested commands and pick up new tasks much faster than puppies or kittens.


Unlike young pets, senior pets are not a 24-7 commitment.  Many new pet owners underestimate the time and commitment it takes to properly train a new puppy. Because of their relaxing lifestyle, senior dogs they also don’t require the constant attention and exercise that comes with young pets. Of course, they still love to play with the family, they just don’t require as much of your focus and energy.


With senior pets, you know exactly what you’re getting. Senior pets’ personalities are already developed so you can tell right away if they will be a good fit for your family.  Even things like their size, energy level, and health status are already established so you know exactly what to expect with your new pet.


Story after story suggests that senior pets are especially grateful for their new home.  They seem to know they’ve been rescued and owners often notice an extra special sense of love and appreciation from their senior pet.

The list can go on and on, but most importantly, when you adopt a senior pet, or even share knowledge about the need for senior pet adoptions, you are truly saving a life. We, on behalf of all the shelters and senior pets out there, thank you for that.

Want to help? Here are some things you can do:

  • E-mail this post to a friend who wants a new pet.
  • Promote one senior pet on Facebook or Twitter every day this month. (On Twitter, add the hashtag #PFseniorpets.
  • Post a photo of your senior pet (and tell us why he or she rules) on our Facebook wall.
  • Adopt a senior pet for Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month.

Dog Sounds Carry Meaning

from: ‘A Dog’s Best Life’, Author, Kelly Marshall

Dog sounds convey variety of messages. It’s up to you to understand what your dog is trying to tell you.

Pay attention to dog sounds to understand what your dog wants or needs.

When your dog softly whimpers that means: “I’m hurt!” “I’m frightened.” The average human is most likely to hear this at the vet, when a dog is suffering, or when an obedient dog is in a strange location that appears intimidating. This is really a mewing dog sound that young dogs make when they feel cold, hungry, or troubled.

Loud, long-drawn-out whining sounds mean: “Please give me something . . .” or “I want something …” A puppy usually uses this sound when he’s waiting for his meal, or for the leash to be put on, or when they are trying to get his master’s attention, etc.

When a dog sighs accompanied by a dog’s lying down with his head on his forepaws, can have two meanings, depending on the context and his facial expressions. With his eyelids half-open, this is a sign of enjoyment, which means “I am happy and am going to relax.” With eyes wide open, this is a sign of dissatisfaction when something expected has not transpired, this means: “I quit!”

When a dog is baying: This is the sound of hounds during a hunt. It is translated as “Follow me this way!” “Let us attack him!” or “All together now!”

When a dog yip-howls this is really more of a yip-yip-yip-howl, with the final howl quite drawn out. It basically means “I am very lonely” “I feel deserted!” or “Where is everybody?”

When a dog howls: “I’m over here!” “This is my space!” or “I hear you out there!” A confident dog will howl just to announce where he is. Howling also often happens in response to a yip-howl from another canine. It has a more echoing sound to the human ear than does the yip-howl, which is often called mournful.

When a dog moans: “ar-owl-wowl-wowl . . .” over a short period of time. It is a sound of impulsive pleasure and excitement that means “I am flabbergasted!” or “Let’s play!” A dog usually moans when something he anticipates something exciting to happen.

When a dog is panting: “Let us go now!” This means he is very excited.

Pets can also learn vocalizations. For example, the bark that dogs often give to the command speak sounds are very different from an impulsive bark. The same can be said for the bark that police dogs are taught.

Many dogs can be taught certain sounds for certain settings, from simple barks, moans, or play-growls to more complicated dog sounds that may resemble yodeling.

November 12, 2014

Photos With Santa Scheduled! And How We Drive Our Dogs Crazy!

Our Seventh Annual Dog Photos with Santa!
Santa is visiting us twice this year, to have his picture taken with your dog! Once at Crate Escape too, on December 12th from 6:30 to 9:00 and again at Charlestown Crate Escape on December 113h from 2 – 5pm. We have antlers and bell collars for your pooch. The cost is $10 per photo and all proceeds go to the MSPCA. Last year we donated $2,200. Join us! It’s a blast!

Have you ever wondered what is on your dog’s mind?

You might be surprised to learn that how you interact with your dog is confusing him—maybe even driving him crazy. Here are five bad habits which are common in today’s pooch friendly population.

You treat your dog like a child.
We have all visited houses with the framed pictures of ‘the dog’ all over the walls, pillows with her name embroidered all over the living room, bed and bath rooms. The dog’s owner never stops fawning over her as though she is a one year old. Many of the smaller dogs are carried around for a large part of their lives. This behavior is very confusing to a dog. Dogs want to behave like dogs, that’s what is in their DNA. Most dogs want to run, chase things and use their noses to track. A dog is a ‘pack’ animal and needs structure and discipline in her life to feel fulfilled and not become frustrated. There is nothing wrong with showing a dog love, but it is least confusing when you put in order; exercise first, discipline second, and affection third. The discipline can simply be taking a walk where you are pack leader, and affection can be food.

Your dog doesn’t have a job and he’s bored.
Often when a dog picks up an aggravating habit like chewing the carpet, racing in circles around the house, or showing surprising aggression his behavior is communication. The cause is frequently the same: Your dog is getting bored—he wants something to do. Dogs aren’t born expecting to be waited on hand and foot, with meals produced whenever they are hungry. No creature in the animal world has that thought. In the wild, from the time they are babies, dogs have to work for their food. They have to hunt it down or go hungry. In Mexico, for example, dogs are thin but they don’t have psychological problems. Dogs have been bred over the centuries for different jobs; from rounding up cattle to hunting or hauling. When their natural instinct is denied, they become frustrated, and that is when they start to show signs of aggressive behavior. You can make your job happy by giving him a job. Put a pack on his back when you go for walks or create obstacle courses so he can put his scent-tracking abilities to good use. You’ll see right away how happy it makes him.

You’re acting like your dog’s playmate, not pack leader.
As mentioned before, it is vital for you to claim the role of pack leader from the time your puppy first joins the family. It can get confusing for your dog when you interact with him by teasing him and playing like you are another dog. For him, all the rules have changed. How is your dog supposed to understand what has happened? You gave up on being pack leader to race into playing with her instead of making it clear that play begins only when she is calm and responsive. So now she is all turned around about who’s the boss. It will help our dogs be clear when we accept that being a pack leader is not a part-time occupation. Your dog is always looking for consistency and structure, and without it she is going to become confused about when she is supposed to follow your directions and when you two are just buddies.

You’re trying to communicate with your dogs through words
You adopt a dog from a shelter, and you know it is not the first time he has been adopted, but you are confident you will be successful. One of your worries is that the previous owner had given the dog a name you don’t like, so you have renamed him Riley. But will that confuse him? Guess what? Dogs don’t care much whether you speak to them in Spanish, or English, or Chinese, because they don’t hear words. It’s like the way that people spell out “w-a-l-k” and “l-e-a-s-h”. They may be fooling themselves but they certainly aren’t fooling the dog. Dogs sense something much deeper than the words you use; they listen to tone and read your body language. You can’t lie to a dog. When you speak to a dog you must speak from the inside, from your mind, your heart, and your body. Otherwise he will be scratching his head with his paw, trying to figure why he can see your lips moving with strange noises coming out.

You are tense and nervous around your dog
Based on the comments about your dog reading your body language and tone of voice, it makes sense he will become nervous and tense when you are nervous and tense. Even a usually well-behaved dog quite possibly pick up tension in your home. He will know that his pack leader is upset, so he may become tense and nervous too. Our dogs are incredibly finely tuned to us, people and canines been living together almost from the beginning of time! Dogs need calm, assertive energy to relax. Remember: Dogs are predators in the wild, so if they become nervous, their fight-or-flight response is often more likely to be fight. Nervousness in dogs will soon come out as aggression. It is how they deal with a problem. This is not an absolute. It is a good thing to be aware of, especially with nervous, anxious dogs.

Listen to your dogs. Listen to them carefully, for they are trying to tell you what they want. Their needs are really very simple, and if you satisfy those, you will have a happy and harmonious relationship.

a note from Ernestine
So, I have always wondered what this holiday stuff is all about. Everyone gets excited, people visit (sometimes bring me those toxic rubber toys to EAT!- ok not swallow, but RIP APART!) the house smells good, more crumbs are dropped than usual. I have always heard the word ‘turkey’ and not known what it meant. It is usually spoken in a good way, so I think it’s something good. Today, I was out in the yard with my Mom and two brothers including Sonny, a 4 lb. chihuahua, when these ugly, tall, gaggly things with long legs started chasing my Mom! She was saying, Turkeys, turkeys! I am horrified. My Mom usually has wonderful taste, how could she talk about those creatures year after year? Thought I heard something about eating them – I can’t even go there. You guys are really out there some times.

Later, Ernestine

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