Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

postheadericon Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Adoptable DogEvery year approximately 2.7 Million cats and dogs are euthanized due to the fact that there is simply no more room to house them. They are not sick, aggressive or non-home-able, there are just too many unwanted animals. Despite the valiant efforts of local animal shelters and rescue organizations they are continually flooded with pets.

There are many reasons that so many animals are euthanized ranging from financial, to relocation, to divorce. But the reason does not matter, nor does it help these poor innocent animals find homes. There are so many wonderful reasons to consider adopting versus shopping when you’re thinking about adding a new pet to your family.

Here are some wonderful reasons why you should Adopt vs Shop for your pets:

– It is highly likely that you will bring home a healthy pet when you visit an animal shelter or rescue. They examine and vaccinate your potential pet, not to mention neuter or spay in most cases. Their mission is to save lives and reduce the pet population. When shopping for a pet you can often will come across puppy mill dogs who were breed with profit over welfare in mind. AND the horrid conditions which most puppy mills are run is cruel, unconscionable and inhumane.Adoptable Dog

– Puppy mills are run with the dollar in mind, not your pet’s welfare. They over breed, allow the dogs to live in filthy conditions, and then ship them across the country to shops around the world. Do you know how traumatized that puppy is by the time he lands in your lap? The behavioral and medical issues that plague pet shop pups are beyond your wildest dreams.

– For those who want a certain breed, luckily there are rescues for virtually every breed imaginable. With a little research you can still save a life by adopting.

Adopt. Don’t Shop! You will be rewarded with many years of loyalty. These pets truly sense that they are being saved and you are the person providing that warm and loving fur-ever home.

Photo Credit: stephskardal via photopin cc

postheadericon Deaf Dog Awareness Week September 2014

It’s Deaf Dog Awareness Week!

This amazing event is held during the last week of September, and this year Deaf Dog Awareness began last Sunday and wraps up this coming weekend.

Thblind dog awarenesse event is sponsored by Petfinder and the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund, and its sole purpose is to generate awareness of our furry friends who are deaf. It is also a great opportunity for these pups to be recognized as fully loveable, trainable and trustworthy pets. They may have special needs due to their inability to hear, however they are still so worthy of our love and care, making outstanding pets. SO many deaf dogs are killed each and every year simply because of this impairment.

There are a variety of ways in which a dog may end up deaf:

-Untreated ear infections

Some of the above causes can be treated if you work with your vet to avoid hearing loss. Some dogs are just born this way. If you work with your deaf pet and have patience you can have a wonderful friend! A deaf pet is just as easily trained as their hearing litter mates but only as long as humans let go of the myths and stereotypes associated with deaf dogs.

All dogs are amazing at learning visual commands. In fact, most dog trainers say that we use TOO many words when talking to our dogs. Most deaf dogs can learn to be desensitized to being startled due to not being able to hear people, pets and cars etc., and approach them. Most dogs will never act aggressively due to their hearing loss – in fact, it’s quite unheard of. When selecting a deaf pet that will be around children, the selection process is no different then when choosing a hearing pet.

There are several ways you can help during this week long event as well as long after:

-Promote Deaf Dog Awareness week.
-Help raise awareness during the rest of the year.
-All pet rescues are always in need of food, bedding, and other supplies!
-Adopt a friend in need as there are so many rescues who are dedicated to homing these pups.
-Learn sign language and use your skills with all dogs.boy and dog love

We’d love to hear your stories of deaf dogs that have entered your life, and help spread the positives about adoption of hearing impaired pets. There are so many things you can do to show your support. There is no reason why these pups cannot know love and kindness and find a “furever” home.

photo credits: Janaviemae and sperkyajachtu via photopin cc

postheadericon Celebrate the Dogs that Serve: 2 Local TN Organizations

Today wraps up the week long national celebration of International Assistance Dog week. This annual event is celebrated on the first Sunday of August for one week. Due to the efforts of Ms. Marcie Davis, the celebration honors and raises awareness for assistance animals across the world. These amazing animals work to serve disabled men and women, thereby reducing their limitations in day-to-day life!

service dogHere in East Tennessee, we’re fortunate to have a local service dog organization, Wilderwood Service Dogs, located in Maryville. With their mission “changing the lives of families, one dog at a time” they help in providing highly trained service dogs, specialized in helping people with neurological disorders. If you are interested in getting involved with this local assistance dog organization, they have opportunities for puppy foster families, puppy walkers, kennel volunteers, and a variety of other sponsorship or donation opportunities. Check out their page How Can I Get Involved? for more information.

Another local East Tennessee service dog non-profit is Smoky Mountain Service Dogs. This group has a mission of “providing public access tested/approved mobility assistance service dogs to disabled Veterans and providing service dogs to autistic children.” SMSD also offers the opportunity to volunteer as a puppy raiser, socializer, and respite provider. Check out their Volunteer Page for more information.

service dog


The founder of this week of recognition, Marcie Davis, is the CEO of Davis Innovations, a consulting firm located in Santa Fe, NM. She has also been a paraplegic for over 35 years, and has put forth much effort to further awareness and provide services for assistance dogs and their owners. She is an author and has a well known radio talk show called “Working Like Dogs” which can be heard via Her talk show provides valuable information for service and working dogs and their humans. Her show has also hosted various celebrity animal lovers, such as Betty White.

International Assistance Dog Week exists to recognize organizations such as these that are focused on devoted, hardworking assistance and service dogs that work to help their humans overcome disability related limitations. The week’s main purpose is to: – recognize and honor these amazing animals – recognize and honor the people who raise and train them – to raise awareness – to recognize the amazing and heroic deeds accomplished by these animals To learn more about this annual event, stop by

military service dog

photo credits: Lisa NorwoodfallsroadDVIDSHUB via photopin cc

postheadericon Knoxville Pet Photography

KnoxvilleDogPhotosfamilyI recently posted about losing my sweet boy Coda to bone cancer, and how much I appreciated the in-home vet care provided to me by The Visiting Vet, allowing me to say goodbye in the comfort of our own home.  When we learned of Coda’s cancer last fall I knew I wanted to do something that I’d kept putting off.  I wanted to get professional photos taken of us as a family.  I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest task for the photographer, and I needed the right person who would be able to take on the job.  I was asking for “Christmas card – worthy” photos of 3 large dogs – who know their basic commands, but are not perfect angels :), two adults, and a 1 year old who had just learned to walk.  Needless to say I was asking for a lot!

I came across Jennie Huettel with Mountain Mutt Photography, and I knew we had found the right photographer!  She specializes in taking professional photos of dog and kids.  Perfect for us!  She actually takes the photos of the dogs up for adoption at Young Williams Animal Center, so if you follow Young Williams’ Facebook page, you’ve likely already seen her work.  She is happy to suggest a location to have the shoot, or you’ve welcome to have her come to your house and property if that’s more comfortable for you.  Jennie took our photos at Sequoyah Park and spent several hours making sure she had everything that we were looking for.  After loosing Coda this winter, the photographs mean even more to me and I’m so glad we did this together as a family.  I would highly recommend Jennie and Mountain Mutt Photography! I’ll let the photos speak for themselves …



postheadericon Dog Walking in Knoxville: 5 Great Places to Walk

The colder weather is coming, but that’s no reason to stay inside.  If you’re living in Knoxville, Tennessee, you’re lucky enough to have some wonderful scenic places to take your dog walking this winter.  So put on your coat, grab your gloves (hands get cold when you’re holding a leash!), and head out into our Knoxville parks, greenways, and natural areas to have some fun with your dog!  Here are 5 great places to take your dog walking.


1. Sequoyah Park – This park runs along the river, and is easy access from downtown, located in the beautiful neighborhood of Sequoyah Hills.  The park boasts large open fields, multiple access points to the river, and plenty of other pet lovers who will be out with their pups.  This is somewhat of an “unofficial” off-leash dog park.  Although there are not any enclosed areas, many people with well trained dogs will walk with them off leash.  Every once in a while animal control does show up, so be sure you have a leash on you.  If you’d prefer more of a trail walk, you can also access the Sequoyah Greenway from the park which is a 3+ mile nicely graveled trail running through the neighborhood.


2. Tommy Schumpert Park - This park located in Fountain City gives dogs and their owners several options for exercise and fun.  A 3+ mile paved greenway runs throughout the park as a great choice for running or walking with your pet.  There is also a wonderful dog park area that has separate areas for large and small dogs.  There is even an area that has a pond and dock specifically made for dogs!  This park is well used, and you’ll find many dogs to play with in the evenings and on weekends.

3. House Mountain – House Mountain gives you the best opportunity for some real hiking in Knox County.  There are several easy loops in the park, but the most popular trail is the more difficult, steep trail up the mountain. The mountain rises to over 2,000 feet and is the highest point in Knox County. From the top you’ll enjoy some amazing 360 degree views over Knoxville and the surrounding areas.  Be sure to bring plenty of water for your dog (and yourself!) on this hike.


4. Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge - Seven Islands is a 300+ acre wildlife sanctuary open to use by the public.  This is an amazing natural space with miles of trails, open fields, woods, access to the water, and beautiful views of the river.  Many well-trained dogs use this area off-leash due to the sprawling open areas and fewer people.  You’ll likely see plenty of wildlife including birds, deer, rabbits, and other small animals in the area, so be on alert if your dog is a chaser.


5. Ijams Nature Center – Ijams is a great place to take your dog walking on-leash, while still exploring the woods and other wild areas.  You’ll find multiple trails, including some very interesting features such as a loop around the quarry, and a wooden walkway right along the river.  You can also connect to the Forks of the River natural area for a bit more secluded walking with easy access to the river, more miles of trails, and large fields.


I hope these 5 options give you inspiration to get out there and enjoy the outdoors that Knoxville has to offer. Your dog will thank you!

photo credit: Big Max Power (BMP)readontheroadfinalgirlJason Sturner (author), and Matt Swint via photopin cc

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