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August 29, 2013

Hilda’s Story, Reasons to Bring Your Kids up with Dogs

Hilda,  A Happy Ending

A beautiful Bull Mastiff named Hilda started going to daycare at Crate Escape in Belmont as soon as her puppy vaccinations were complete. From the beginning it was an interesting relationship; she has the most endearing expressions and goofy behavior;  everyone quickly fell in love. On the other side she was not always great with other dogs in daycare (which, btw, is what we are!)  In addition, taking on a mastiff puppy is not for everyone… and her caretakers’ efforts were short lived at best.

Over the next 3 years, through an intestinal illness and a torn ACL we basically cared for her.  In spring 2013 she tore the ACL in her 2nd  hind leg, which was crippling and had to be repaired. Her caretakers were done; they were not willing to do anything for her and even said the word ‘euthanize’, if no one took over her care.

First, she had to have surgery. Somehow her original owner appeared and offered to pay for the surgery.  The surgery was a success, and Hilda started a long road to recovery. We started posting flyers, with her stunning photo, to find her a home.  ‘Hilda’s Fan Page’ was set up on facebook. A couple of weeks later,  Stephanie and Bradley, who were part of Hilda’s life since she came to Crate, decided to take her to their home to give her more of a schedule and proper exercise.

Now, as many of you know, the Hastings pack = 2 jack russells, Ernie, who writes the blog with me, and Emmitt.  7.5lb. Sundance, completed the family. Based on those measurements, Hilda was like adding 5 dogs!  Luckily they are professional foster parents.  One week at a time, Hilda started improving. She got a special leg brace,  Bradley became her big fan, and Hilda totally took advantage of that love. Then Stephanie. She now tells endearing stories about her 4th – 9th child. We took the flyers down.

And the staff at Crate Escape? We have watched and celebrated a dog we all love  become part of a family, where she is honored and appreciated. She has a special place to sleep, a special diet and lots of one on one walks with Bradley.  She went to the beach this summer and will get to curl up in front of the fire this winter. This is how it’s supposed to be!

 

Researchers Find More Evidence of How Dogs Convey Allergy Resistance to Humans

from ‘Life With Dogs

Raleigh, North Carolina — Couples expecting babies may want to consider adding one more thing to that long list of must-haves before the babies arrive – a dog. It has been well-known for some time that children living in homes with one or more dogs are much less likely to have allergies. New research published in Plos One journal provides the answer to why that is true.

According to Dr. Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University and team members at the University of Colorado the answer lies in the fact that households with dogs have higher microbial loads than households without dogs.  It is these bacteria that seem to give babies the gift of an allergy-free life.

Dunn and his team were actually studying the variables influencing microbial ecosystems in homes. In other words, what makes a home have higher numbers of bacteria? They asked 40 families to swab down nine areas of their homes.. The largest variable is whether or not the home has a dog. In fact, homes with dogs are 700 times more likely to have bacteria normally found in soil than homes without dogs. Dunn has noted that the team can tell whether or not a home has a dog by looking at the dust found on the home’s linens or television screens. They found 7,726 phylotypes or kinds of bacteria. Each of the areas in the home they sampled had its own unique group of bacteria.

In this case, having bacteria around the home is a good thing. While there is no known “smoking gun” of a direct causal link between a dog presence and the absence of allergies, it has been suggested that the mother’s exposure to a broader variety of microbes is the difference between a child having or not having allergies later in life. The problem was that there was little documentation of microbial populations. The study’s authors are careful to note that their work does not demonstrate a direct causal link but it does give more evidence on the part the bacteria play.

Ernestine, Wrap it Up!

Hilda took all my space- which she always does at home too! (kidding)  I have been a very good alpha girl this week; Sundance and I went to the vet-  Sunny’s annual, and only his second time. I reassured him and comforted him (edit.comment; really? we thought you were talking about treats!)  Then yesterday, he got stung by something in the back yard and his face swelled all up– so I had to be there for him again. I do have many jobs. Next week, back to Charlestown! Hey, tell your friends who live in the city and have dogs about C’town Crate Escape! Better hurry, it’s getting Busy!  Happy Labor Day!

Ernie's Favorite Time of Day - Copy

 

As you can see, still reminiscing!
Later,  Ernestine
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