'De-Crazyifying' Dogs
by Belinda Connolly
First published in the Leader, Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Dogs are people too - to quote the song - and when they are cooped up all day they can get anxious, cranky and hyperactive.

Fitness enthusiast and Jack Russell owner Despina Rosales knows the perils of failing to exercise pooches adequately.

Ms Rosales has double trouble with rescue dogs Jasmin and Jake. She said Jasmin was an "extra strength" dog who could be walked two or three times a day and would still be bouncing off the walls.

So she started where owners can find out how to improve their dog's behaviour while getting fit.

All dogs could benefit from more exercise but with nowhere to direct their energy inactive dogs could become destructive.

"Jasmin is a good dog but some are not and they dig up the yard," she said. "I safely explain how to 'de-crazify' them."

Ms Rosales puts a vet-approved harness on Jasmin on rainy days and places her on a treadmill.

"A dog is the best personal trainer you can get," she said.

Caption: Walkies: Despina Rosales hits the pavement with her furry friends.


A Word About The Article 'De-Crazyifying' Dogs

I was happy with what the journalist, Belinda, wrote in the article 'De-Crazyifying' Dogs, but I would like to discuss a couple of points.

I think this sentence - "Jasmin is a good dog but other dogs are not and they dig up the garden" - could be misinterpreted, so I'd like to clarify: what I meant was that some dogs can contain themselves while others will act out and become destructive. Some could interpret it to mean that I think some dogs are bad while others are good, so let me be perfectly clear about my feeling on this: I believe that while dogs might not always behave well, ALL dogs are good dogs.

The second point of discussion is that the word 'owner' was used, which I’m not a fan of. This was entirely my fault, as I didn't make Belinda aware of my thoughts on the matter - I should have requested she use the word ‘guardian’ rather than ‘owner’.

I was exceedingly pleased that Belinda mentioned that Jake and Jasmin were rescue dogs. I was even more pleased that on the facing page there was a little rescue dog’s picture and info on how someone can adopt him. I’m hoping that someone made the connection and it influenced them to give a forever home to the cute little tyke.

>>On to next article Every Dog Has Their Race Day

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De-Crazifying Dogs
Click here to see the PDF of the above article De-Crazyifying' Dogs.


Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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