The “My Most Beautiful Pet” Competition!

My Most Beautiful PET Celebrates South Africa’s Furry Friends

Do you think YOU have the most beautiful PET?

Well, I can tell you right now that I – in fact – have the most beautiful pet, and that you shouldn’t even bother entering, but that wouldn’t be a fair win for me!

😛

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The competition website www.mymostbeautiful.com is proud to announce their new competition My Most Beautiful PET which is now open for entries.
Hurry along and start snapping and uploading your pics on www.mymostbeautiful.com to win the grand prize of R50 000!
What’s more, there are cash prizes for the rest of the top 10 ranging from R15 000 – R1000 and also prizes for a few lucky voters!

My Most Beautiful PET celebrates all of South Africa’s furbabies by donating a portion of profits to TEARS who are a pro-life, non-profit organisation based in Cape Town.  They rescue and rehome lost, abandoned and abused animals as well provide free sterilisations and primary medical care to animals in underprivileged communities. Around 300 animals are cared for daily at the shelter from veterinary care to providing food.  The My Most Beautiful team want to help ensure that many of these animals become pets to a loving home.

Joining in the search for this year’s My Most Beautiful PET are two celebrity judges, former Miss SA finalist Vanessa Haywood – Sandes who is an avid animal lover, and animal- activist and singer, Louise Carver, who have come on board to assist with the difficult task of crowning the winning pet “the most beautiful.”

Now that the cat’s out the bag, convinced you are the owner of South Africa’s most beautiful PET? Create a profile on www.mymostbeautiful.com, upload your pet pics and get your friends and family voting via SMS! Entries and voting close on the 9thSeptember and the winners will be announced on the 16th September.

To make a donation directly to TEARS, head over to http://tears.org.za/ for more info.

Ever Wondered What Its Like Raising A Guide Dog Puppy?

It’s a lot like having a toddler in your house.

I would say its like having a baby in the house, but babies aren’t really mobile… 😛

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Once you find out you’re on the list for a puppy, you can hardly wait for the email giving you the date you can go and fetch her (or him 😀 ).
You start racking your brain for possible names and buying toys, a new collar, name tags, bowls, and bedding for when your baby arrives home. Once you fetch your puppy, you get to pick her up and cuddle her, and carry her to the car, and you make the most of it ‘coz it won’t easily happen again – these puppies are not to be carried and coddled.

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For the first week, she sleeps a lot, often collapsing into a nap in the middle of a game! Then there’s the mad dash when your puppy wakes at 1am… and 2am and 4am and 5am… Get her outside for a piddle and back into her bed- in the dark- without too much of a disruption to your sleep or the rest of the household, praying that it won’t be long before she sleeps through.

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Then she’ll start getting more active.
You will spend a lot of time asking your puppy what she – or he – has in her mouth, and then telling her to spit it out (leave it), or to bring it to you.
And if she does manage to get out of your sight, you spend a lot of time checking to see why your puppy has suddenly gone quiet… and then cleaning up whatever her newest mess is.

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You’ll check to make sure your puppy bag is properly packed – lunch, clean up products, treats, water, and toys – and then you kick yourself when you get to your destination and you’ve left something behind. Or you’ve left the whole bag behind!
And since your puppy goes where you go, you try to plan your trips around your puppy’s nap times and meals, hoping you timed it right and she won’t need to pee (busy) until you get home again!
The morning run to get your husband off to work on time is extra challenging as you try to get your puppy fed and out for a pee while packing a lunchbox, and then getting your puppy into the car without freaking her out and putting her off car travel.
And you follow up every invitation with a request for your puppy to accompany you.

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You spend a lot of time worrying about whether your puppy is eating enough, and how her tummy is doing.
If she doesn’t want to eat its a concern. If it looks like she’s too tubby that’s a problem too. Her food is carefully measured and weighed and you keep trying to balance training treats with what she’s eaten!

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You also spend a lot of time wanting to throttle people who touch and talk to your puppy without asking you if they may do so, and asking people to please not pick your puppy up.

And you aren’t just handed a puppy and told: “See you in a year!”
Your puppy’s progress is monitored throughout her time with you. There’s puppy classes, home visits, outings to nursery schools and malls, PR visits to expos and shows, progress reports for the development supervisors and sponsors…
Make no mistake – its a full time project, and not to be taken on lightly.
When these puppies are awake, they are learning, and if they’re not with you, they’re not learning the right way. Their learning is essential as these pups will one day be Guide Dogs to the visually impaired or Service Dogs for the physically disabled. That means they have to be pretty much bomb-proof as well as obedient.

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When your puppy turns one, you send them off to “varsity” by giving them back to SA Guide-dogs for their formal training, and a few months later you will meet their new owner when they graduate and start working in the career you spent so many hours preparing them for.

Then if you’re brave, and lucky, you get to do it all again!

Clever Riddick…

I had such a giggle now!

I’m busy baking so I went to put the dogs outside after their nap and Riddick was FIRST out the door, heading straight to the front lawn.
He’s NEVER first out the door so I headed for the lounge windows to see what was so exciting about the lawn… and there he was chilling on the grass… with my treat pouch!!!

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I immediately headed outside before he had a chance to rip it to shreds. He was a little hesitant to part with it- which is understandable since it has biltong & yogurt drops in- but his training paid off and he dropped it when I got to him.
Its a little dirty & gobby but its undamaged.
😉

Penny Is A Mutt Indeed…

Remember we sent Penny’s saliva swabs to MuttMix in December for a DNA test?
You will never guess what her results are, and BOY were we far off the mark!!

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So, keep this statement in mind when you see Penny’s results:
The MuttMix test is based upon our database of AKC™ (American Kennel Club) and South African
recognized breeds. If your dog contains other breeds not in our database, that DNA may assign to
the most closely related breed or breeds, or may result in the identification of breeds earlier in your
pet’s history and may therefore provide a seemingly unlikely result for your dog. For a complete list of
the breeds currently found in our database, please visit our website at www.muttmix.co.za

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The couch damage is all Penny too!

So here is our Penny’s certificate:

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Level2 (37-74%) Miniature Pinscher Level3 (20-36%) Bullmastiff Level4 (10-19%) Cocker Spaniel

No Vizsla, Brittany, Weimaraner, German Shorthaired Pointer, Labrador or even Greyhound! Seems crazy doesn’t it!? We’re still giggling!
Now check out some info on the breeds:

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Does this sound like Penny or what!??! Stubborn, smart, demanding and headstrong, love to bark, may show aggression to other dogs…
Reading up on them I found that Bullmastiffs were bred to guard game and catch poachers so they are fast, and they need a gentle firm hand in training – let them go their own way and they’ll soon be running things and early socialisation is essential. “Bullmastiffs need early training that continues throughout their life. Training and socialization help curb unwanted aggression and willfulness.
The Miniature Pinscher, or Min Pin is a small, well muscled dog with a dynamite personality. Contrary to popular belief it is not related to the Doberman at all and was bred to hunt rats. It also needs a firm hand in training and is apparently a bit of an escape artist, and loving attention they may act up to elicit a response. “Without proper training and supervision, he can quickly become a tyrant in the household.
The Cocker Spaniel is also a hunting dog with a sensitive personality. If they’re in pain or afraid they may growl or snap and if they’re bored they resort to digging and barking, they may also be hard to house train.
All three breeds are fabulous as affectionate, make great family pets, wanting to be with their people.

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There’s a lot of our Penny in there!
She obviously gets her size from the Bullmastiff. Loving her voice, the shape of her body and clowning for attention is from the Min Pin. She gets her high prey-drive and her red colour from all three breeds. Her energy level is Min Pin, as is her love of bolting through an open gate. The house training battle and her love of digging holes is from the Cocker Spaniel.
Considering she spent the first six months of her life without training or socialisation, tied to the tow-hitch on a truck with a leash and generally abused she’s doing really well. All three breeds are not the easiest to train and need work from puppyhood to be well adjusted.

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Of course now I am even more curious about her! I wish I could have seen her parents and her siblings!

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So she’s an honourary Lab ‘coz we adopted her from Lab Rescue, but she’s actually a Miniature Bull Spaniel! 😀

What Is Penny Made Of…?

We can hardly wait to get the results for Penny’s MuttMix DNA test!
On their Facebook page, they say “Do you really know your best friend? Discover what breeds are in your mixed breed dog using DNA. Visit www.muttmix.co.za to learn more or SMS the word DNA and your name to 082 815 6674 now and we’ll call you. Standard SMS rates apply.

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We got our kit at a doggy show a month or so ago, and we’ll be doing the cheek swabs and sending it off soon.

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Some of you may remember we adopted her from Labrador & Golden retriever Rescue almost a year ago as a chocolate LabX puppy, but the more we’ve gotten to know her the less Labrador we think she has in her make up…
😛
We suspect she has Vizsla and/or Brittany and/or Weimaraner and/or German Shorthaired Pointer as well as some Labrador Retriever, maybe even a little Greyhound, going by what she looks like and some of her personality traits.

She’s very hound – very vocal. She also has a high prey drive and she loves to retrieve. She is also very tightly wound – even when she’s in a DOWN waiting for me to throw a toy she’s quivering with anticipation!
She’s attached herself to my Glugster and when he’s home she has to be close to him.

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As soon as we get her certificate back I’ll come and tell you all how far off we are!

😀

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