Archive for July, 2011

Greta’s Story

This is the story of Greta, a German Shorthair Pointer that I have the privilege of caring for.  This story is told by her owner.

This is not my story, but it certainly begins with me. I was
born into a dog-less household and despite 20 years of pleading for a pup, my
effort fell on deaf ears. When I graduated college, I had a traveling job and
was never able to fill the need for a four-legged companion in my life. My next
stop was New York City, hardly the place to raise
an active dog so the opportunity was delayed further. When Jenn and I got
engaged and agreed to move west, it was the first time I knew I would have a
dog in my life; after all, Jenn came from a long family dog tradition.

Jenn and I agreed that we would get two dogs, and my first would be a puppy.
Jenn wanted me to go through that experience. We were waiting for Tyr, our
younger GSP, to enter the world when we learned about Greta. Greta came to us
through the Jackson Hole Animal Shelter and her
life prior to our adopting her was not one filled with love.


If you believe the limited documentation on Greta, today she would be at least
13 years old. The earliest records we have of her are from 2001. We adopted her
in 2006, meaning there are at least seven years unaccounted for. While we would
like to believe her first four years were happy ones, wh know the three years
prior to our adoption were down right tragic involving two owners, a foster, a
shotgun and a very benevolent veterinarian.

Despite her breed, Greta is not an optimal hunting dog. She was likely a litter
runt as evidenced by her much lower and stockier build than a standard GSP,
despite appearing to be a pure bloodlines. She has a great nose but her prey
instinct is incredible, meaning she has periods where her ability to listen are
mitigated by her desire to hunt small animals on her own. It was possibly this
combination of personality traits that led to Greta being shot and abandoned in
2004, potentially after a bad day in the field coupled with too much alcohol,
but this is merely speculation (save for the shotgun part). Luckily for Greta
her owner had wayward aim and the scared and wounded dog was able to escape
into the backwoods of Star Valley, Wyoming.

While it is unclear how long Greta lived as a stray, what is known is that a
good Samaritan scooped up the starving and wounded GSP and delivered her to a
veterinarian in Star Valley. The vet removed the majority of the buckshot from
Greta’s torso, legs and abdomen, some of the pellets remain in her today and
are readily identifiable. She was turned over to the Jackson Hole Animal
Shelter for foster and adoption. Unfortunately for Greta a scared, untrusting,
and injured dog is not a top candidate for adoption.

After a foster period during which Greta fully healed, she was finally adopted
by a local man and the team at the shelter could not have been happier.
Unfortunately, a year later that same man returned Greta proffering some
unfathomable excuse why he could not longer keep her; the shelter team was
devastated. Greta went back out on foster and waited for her luck to again
turn, but her age and circumstance continued to make her a tough case.

When Jenn found out about Greta’s situation, we immediately knew we wanted to
adopt her. We knew we were the right people to restore this dogs faith in
humanity and enable her to realize her potential. There were a number of
hurdles between our decision and the time we were able to make her part of our
family, but the wait was well worth it.

Greta’s transformation was slow and involved a lot of time, love and patience,
but today she is one of the most remarkable dogs anyone has ever met. Most
people put her age at 7 – 8 based on her appearance, strength and energy. In
short everyone loves Greta, and in turn Greta loves everyone. The addition of
Tyr was of great value to Greta, as Tyr had only experienced love all her life.
Tyr taught Greta how to play, manipulate her owners into feeding her more (I
didn’t say it was all good), and gave her a partner to chase furry rodents
with. With a partner in crime, so to speak, Greta reached even greater heights.

Tyr & Greta

I can’t image our lives without Greta and making her happy is one of the
greatest achievements of our lives to date.

July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment

Fourth of July Pet Precautions

Soon the fireworks will be flying and many pets will have scared
reactions to them.

Below are some great tips about helping your dog get through a
calm Fourth of July.

1. Don’t bring your
pet to a fireworks display.
The “boom” of the fireworks sounds
loud to the human ear. Imagine how loud it sounds to your dog, who can hear
sounds up to 60,000 cycles per second — that’s three times greater than the
human ear can even register.

2. Keep a collar and ID tag on your pet at all times. Make sure the tag
contains legible and up-to-date information. To lessen the chance that a dog
slips his collar, be sure you can put no more than two fingers between the
collar and the pet’s neck.

Cats should wear breakaway collars, and as a backup it’s advised that they
receive a microchip ID implant from a veterinarian. Indoor/outdoor cats are
recommended to be brought indoors on the 3rd and to remain inside till the 5th.
This is because fireworks are legal to buy in many areas and often individuals
set them off on more than one evening during the holiday week.

Two forms of ID are always best when it comes to protecting your pet. If an
individual finds your pet, the first thing he or she will look for is an ID
tag. If your pet is taken to a shelter, it will be scanned for an ID chip upon

3. Keep your pet indoors in a cool, quiet room. The windows should be
closed and the shades or curtains pulled. Often the sound of soft music or the
low rumble of a television will help to calm your pet. Remember to leave a
light on for your pet too. These things will help the animal feel safe and

4. Don’t leave your
pet outside in the yard on a leash or a chain.
Many animals get tangled up
in their attempts to flee and end up injuring themselves. And dogs often escape
their yard and get lost..

5. If you find an animal that is lost, take it to your local animal shelter
right away.
The quicker you do this, the sooner the frantic owner will be
reunited with his or her beloved pet.


July 3, 2011 at 7:01 am Leave a comment