McMuttigan's has had a lot of changes over the years. With a lack of donations and adoptions, I've decided information for adopters and owners is the new way to go. Don't get me wrong, I still have several dogs for adoption and can't take in another, but I know people sometimes struggle with where to get info on Vetting issues, Food and Treat Recalls as well as general training or behavior information.
The biggest issue I've found of late is that people hate to ask. WHY??? If you don't ask you'll never know and as your pets advocate and the one they look up to, you owe it to them to understand and educate yourselves as to what you can do to make your dogs life better. I almost lost a dog to a missed food recall. Luckily a friend sent me a link that gave me a list of recent recalls and I dodged a bullet by a fraction of a second. Our pets need us to be prepared for anything.
I also would like for people to understand that going to Obedience classes is GREAT for your pet and probably one of the best ways to keep your pet socialized as well as happy, but a lot of people think Obedience classes will solve behavior issues. Not always the case. Obedience and Behavior are two different animals. If you have an unsocialized pet, then Obedience can be of assistance, but if your pet suffers from separation anxiety, food aggression, aggression, fear of people/shyness or issues such as this, obedience classes aren't really going to help too much. I will say a lot of dog obedience trainers most likely have the info to help you along, but it will take more one on one then an hour class with multiple dogs. If you've found a great instructor and you have such an issue, ASK!!! If they can't help you, I can bet they know someone who can. Don't get frustrated if you think your obedience instructor isn't doing what you need if they are unaware of your true reason for being there. One of the first questions I ask clients on paper is "What is your expectation for you dog?". Oddly enough most people don't have a clear picture or can't convey it. That being the case how is your dog supposed to know what you want?
When I went through school to become a trainer/behaviorist, I was lucky enough to work with a man who is a dog magician. I got to watch and sometimes help (I was usually his guinea pig) him take dogs after class and work with them, helping work out behaviors that had befuddled their owners and caused them great concern. Not every dog trainer is so lucky to have a mentor like that, but he does it for the dogs and leaves no bones about it if it is an owner caused issue. His name is Chris Amick and if ever you get to check out his site, gotta get the link on here, you'll see he is not only an advocate for all dogs but a man that has dedicated his life to making sure dogs are happy.
I, like Chris, love the mixture of behavior and obedience training. It takes more time, but the benefits are immeasurable. I do a lot of consultations, mostly long distance, but if I know the issue and a bit of background it's a great joy to help an owner through the bumps in the road. Many of the people I assist have adopted from rescues or shelters and in a lot of cases they have no background info, that's when it really gets fun for me, because it becomes a case of what is the root cause and how can I help convey all the possibilities to you, the owner because we CAN do this together. When people adopt from me they always have a free trainer/behaviorist to contact and say, "Hey Donna, "Zoe" (her owner will laugh when she sees this) just carried a kitten into the bathroom and won't let me get near her. She isn't hurting the kitten but protecting it. HELP Please!" Zoe is a Great Pyr with insecurity issues and a strong desire to do what she is bred to do, keeping watch over her herd and for Zoe that means anything that makes it into her yard. I'm in contact with her owner quite often and can say I laugh like crazy at most of the antics, but some we still need to get a better grip on. Moral of the story, ASK!!! and the info will be there for you:)
Many more resources are going to be posted on the site very soon, such as a link for dog food and treat recalls. I'm consulting with others to share info so their knowledge can be spread to you as well. Some specialize in medical issues, others behavior and some are all about the fun side of dogs. I will also be posting groups that I support and know if you donate to them, the money goes straight to the animals. I also ask that you ASK questions and please don't be embarrassed, no dog is perfect. LOL OK, some dogs are, but if they belonged to someone else maybe not. I have a pooch that is purely perfect, however she didn't start out that way. I advocate for the underdog, the dog who was rescued from a mill, a hoarding situation or abused. These are the dogs that I love and want to make their lives the way they should have been from the start. Please don't give up on them and don't ever think you can't until you try. Every animal, dog, cat, ferret, horse, cow, pig... deserves dignity, and it is my mission to try and help that happen. Dogs, horses and (OMG) CATS are my specialty, but hopefully I can get enough folks on board to cover a broader spectrum. It is always fun to learn and I'm hoping to be able to do at least one weekly post of great info from the best of the best.
If you find an animal and don't know what to do, contact me. I can't take them in, but I can pass the info along to others. Please know though, most rescues are overloaded and will try to move mountains to help, but without fosters to help, sometimes our hands are tied.
Last but certainly not least, there are many great dogs and cats that can be found all the time in shelters and I hope to promote more rescues as well as shelters to get the word out and hopefully place more great pets and don't be surprised if you see a hamster or bird too. Once a dog is adopted from me you are family and have a constant resource for any issues, they happen, but are usually pretty easy to overcome. I thank everyone who looks at McMuttigan's site and please consider shelter or rescue dogs as your first option, you'd be amazed at the wonderful Pure Bred dogs and Perfect All American Mutts:)
http://mcmuttigans.bbnow.org/index.php McMuttigan's "Giving Pups a New Life" This is a new site developed to link you with Petfinder as well as a donate now through Paypal. It is under construction.