Woof: Kennel Club Promotes Pet Responsibility
Moore County Kennel Club and its membership do not take responsible dog ownership lightly and would like to take this opportunity to spread the RDO message.
America Kennel Club has proclaimed Sept. 16, as Responsible Dog Ownership Day. What this means to the club is the continuance of its various projects that promote and encourage pet responsibility.
The club has held microchip clinics for several years, to encourage owners to identify their pets, and last year had a rabies clinic at their annual show.
Through the years the members of the club have gone to schools promoting proper dog ownership, and members Audrey and Ed Mantel spent time this summer at The O'Neal School Day Camp with Mutz, a 7-year-old German shepherd.
The Mantels showed the campers a short film about raising Seeing Eye puppies. Through a series of exercises, the children experienced firsthand how blind people must compensate for the loss of vision by relying on their ears and fingers. Seeing Eye dogs are a big step in helping a blind person lead a more normal existence.
The campers were shown how the puppies are trained to ignore distractions and to lead a blind person through crowds, and around obstacles, etc.
Mutz has a CDX Title (Companion Dog Excellent). The dogs get these titles after much hard work and competition in Obedience Trials such as MCKC holds every year.
The Mantels and Mutz will return to O'Neal and meet with the entire student body. Equine Veterinarian Dr. Barbara Siegel owns Mutz.
MCKC member Ursula Walsh has two Norwich terriers who are therapy dogs that both actively work at the Pinehurst Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Sophie, who is 7 years old, and Harry, age 2, both have their TDI (Therapy Dog International) and CDG (Canine Good Citizenship) titles. Dogs must go through training and testing to receive these titles. They must learn not to be distracted by wheel chairs, items dropped on the floor, walkers, unusual noises, and to obey the normal sit, stay, etc. commands.
Walsh says that each dog has its own way of communicating with the rehab folks. Sophie prefers to lie down on the bed with patients while they stroke her, easing their days, as only dogs can. Harry who is very outgoing is the "greeter." He meets and greets and is then on to the next person, making their lives happy for a moment as he does some tricks.
The Norwich terriers have agility titles: Harry has his novice agility and Sophie has her open preferred and AJP (Excellent A title). Agility trials are also held each year by MCKC, promoting healthy, active and well-behaved dogs.
Susan Buckley, also a MCKC member, raises and rescues Siberian Huskies.
Buckley says because of the popularity of the movie "Eight Below," Siberian rescue groups across the country have seen a huge increase in young Siberians being given up because the family couldn't handle the breed.
"This always happens when there is a movie such as, 'Lady and the Tramp' or '101 Dalmatians,' for example, that show these cute puppies, which no one can resist," she says. "The problem is that every breed is not meant for every person or family. "
Buckley suggests researching thoroughly the specific breed one is interested in before purchasing that adorable puppy. She works specifically with Siberian rescue, but is mindful of the abundance of all breeds of dogs that are abandoned each and every day. (Those interested in a Siberian rescue may visit http:/redwoodsiberians.tripon.com/redwoodsiberiansrescue/id13.html.)
Joey Rasmus, a young man who is a MCKC member, is helping to found the North Carolina Junior Kennel Club. The club will consist of young junior handlers who are young people involved in the care and showing of dogs.
"As you can see, the Moore County Kennel Club and its members are trying in a variety of ways to promote Responsible Pet Ownership," says a spokesman.
The American Kennel Club newsletter says, "It's important to remind your friends and neighbors of their responsibilities as dog owners year-round, but September offers hundreds of special opportunities as AKC RDO Day is celebrated across the country."
There will be a special event in Raleigh on Saturday, Sept. 9, featuring more than 50 AKC-recognized breeds, a demonstration from the Raleigh Police K-9 Unit and a grooming demonstration.
More information is available on the AKC Web site, www.akc.org
Nona Burrell lives in Pinehurst with her two cocker spaniels and considers herself a responsible dog owner.
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