Posts Tagged ‘humane society’

It Takes All Kinds

November 10, 2009

I had a really good time on Sunday supporting the Akron (Ohio) Humane Society. Back last summer you may remember that I wrote about performing at the Bow-Wow Boogie. It was a USO style variety show that supported the AHSociety. It was a fun show (By the way, if you should ever need classy entertainment, Rat-Pack style, check out my “Entertainer side“).

After that, the man that produced the event, Ron (Bus) Hill, asked me to sing for the AHS Telethon. So I went and recorded a couple songs, then Sunday went down to Akron Aeros Stadium in Akron for the telethon. As I waited in the “Green Room” (aka: a hallway!), I was right outside the “Dog Green Room”. They had a selection of the adoptable dogs there to go “on camera”. Many people came in with adoptable dogs, dogs they’d adopted from the AHS. I also took Lexi, my German Shepherd, as she was adopted from a pound too, so she got a few seconds of camera time too!

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you
more than he loves himself.”
– Josh Billings

But as we waited to go on, it was fun seeing the stream of people and pets that came and went. I think we all have a breed that really gets in our heart. When I was a boy, the man across the street bred/raised German Shepherd’s. I’m not sure if that’s my connection or not, but “when I grew up”, I always wanted one. Since I’ve adopted Lexi, I’ve come to learn how incredibly smart this gal is. Sometimes she scares me. The fun part is watching her watch. You can really see her trying to figure out most everything.

Well anyhow, Sunday I met a little pit that had lost one back leg. Never got the story why, and didn’t ask, as the dog acted like he didn’t care: Full of life, running around. I think he was over a year old, but still had plenty of puppy in him. Sort of reminded me of the dog from “Little Rascals“. He would’ve been a great “little boy” dog.

I met several little puppies. One was in constant motion. Wanted to be involved in anything/everything. Another one was very content to just be held. There was a blind dog that had a companion he stayed very near to. There was a shepherd mix a lady had rescued- honestly ‘just a mutt’, but a sweet dog that just wanted to meet everyone.

And for every dog, you could see an owner totally in love with that specific animal. That was the common thread. There had to be over 100 people involved somehow volunteering their time and/or resources to help animals that need that “forever home”. Support your local pound or Humane Society. Adopt responsibly if and when you can! YOUR kind is out there!

Advertisements

Stories You Hear at Dog Events

September 29, 2009

Ho boy. How long THIS blog can be. I’ll try and keep it under 10,000 words. Okay, a LOT shorter than that! Spent most of Sunday at the “Mutt Strutt” event that supports the Stark County Humane Society.
==
But first a really cool dog video I just saw. Think our furry friends don’t think or feel??
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofpYRITtLSg
======
I observed a lot on Sunday. Several hundred dog owners and the requisite number of pets makes for very interesting entertainment. Was it Yogi Berra that said, “You can observe a lot by watching.”?

A guy with two Golden Retrievers, both at least 80-85lbs. walks down the middle of where we’re set up with booths. We all know Golden’s are very strong. He can barely hold them back (as in: can BARELY control them). He’s got a death grip on both leads. A lady in a booth holds out ONE treat for the two dogs.  One moment here:
    Really? Do people THINK anymore? Do people observe and try to use common sense? “I know, here comes a guy with two dogs barely under control- I think I’ll tease them, then be surprised when they tow the owner over to my booth and jump up on me.” OBVIOUSLY, “NO” to both questions.
The guy is actually smiling as this all happens. Either he is clueless, or the strain of pulling on the dogs just LOOKS like a smile! “Obedience” doesn’t fit here. Weird.
======
A guy with a dog that barks at other dogs every time it sees one (see previous observation on HUNDREDS of dog owners). So the dog pretty much barked at everything. You can tell he’s very frustrated. He’s using a Halti (which in my opinion are pretty much worthless) and the dog is barking. So he pulls the dog back to him, makes him sit, closes his mouth with his hand to get the dog to quit barking, and pets him (giving affection). Then they asked me why he continues to bark. Let’s review:
1) Using a collar that provides pretty much no real control over a dog.
2) When the dog barks, YOU close his mouth instead of training him to quit barking.
3) Giving affection to the activity you’re striving to stop.

Note to owners: you don’t give affection when the dog is misbehaving. Never. Ever. Well, unless of course you wish to NOT correct the behavior. Remember that affection to a dog is better than ANY treat you can give. Give affection to support good behavior.

======
A lady whose designer dog barks at everything holds the dog to give it security- so it quits barking: rewind to above. Dog barks, owner picks up dog, pets dog (“Good Girl, Sassy!! Thanks for Barking!!!”) Owner puts dog down only to be surprised when dog barks again. See above three points.
=====

To the guy with the 110lb. German Shepherd who was as gentle, quiet and well-behaved as they come: THANK YOU! And to the guy with the Pit/Boxer mix of the same description: THANK YOU, TOO!

=====
When I get home my two dogs, Murphy & Lexi, are running around the yard playing and wrestling. I’m reading a book, occasionally watching them. Suddenly I hear a different bark. There’s a cute little retriever mix running in the yard with my two. It’s not real sure it wants to play, but it wants to play. Thirty seconds later comes the young gal owner from a party down the street, calling for her dog to come to her. Short story is I tell her to squat down and pet Murphy. Sure enough, the dog being a golden mix realizes Murphy is getting more attention and comes over to get his share. I pretty much figured that would happen. So she grabs her dog and thanks me. As she pulls the dog up the driveway with her hand on the collar (yes, I wonder where the lead is too…) she starts to smack the dog and tell him what a bad boy he is.

If you read my blogs you know I preach about NOT punishing your dog. She must not be a reader. I called her back. I asked if I could ask a question, “Sure,” she said. I asked, “If I called you over here and gave you a dope slap, how likely would it be that you’d come back over, even if I use a really nice voice?” “I probably wouldn’t,” she said. “Exactly,” I said, “So when you call your dog and you get a hold of it, and you smack him, what do you think his motivation is to come to you next time?” She didn’t say anything but got the point. I told her that while it may seem very (humanly) backwards, even though the dog ran, when you catch him, praise him for coming and being a good dog.
1) Maybe next time he won’t run as quickly or as far.
2) Maybe next time he’ll remember getting petted and praised and come more quickly?!

Till next time!

Bow Wow Boogie was an Honor

June 8, 2009

Hope you won’t mind a break from chatting about dogs! Saturday night I was a featured performer at the Akron, OH Humane Society’s “Bow-Wow Boogie” USO-style show. 

Grant singing at the Bow Wow Boogie USO Variety Show June 6, 2009

Grant singing at the Bow Wow Boogie USO Variety Show June 6, 2009

 

If there is anything I like better than working with dogs, it’s singing. If you’re not familiar with my singing or style, visit www.GrantHolmes.com.  The event was really well attended, the weather was perfect and everyone seemed to have a great time!

 

Grant with 'Marilyn Monroe' at the Bow Wow Boogie USO Variety Show

Grant with 'Marilyn Monroe' at the Bow Wow Boogie USO Variety Show

We had entertainment from dancers to a harmonica band, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra impersonators and more! What a fun night! I did two songs from my new CD (available here) , “Since I Fell for You” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You”. On both songs, I had a nice full dance floor. They are great songs to slow dance to. Thanks to all that supported the event!

 

So, let’s talk about dogs for a second. The really cool thing about this event was the cause it supported. When troops are sent on their tours of duty, many have pets and are immediately faced with the question of, “What do I do with my pet while I’m stationed (wherever)?” This event supported an effort to support families that would foster their pets while away. What a great cause. The sacrifice of those that choose to serve us is beyond what many of us understand, and being able to support them and that cause is an honor.

June 6th Bow Wow Boogie USO Variety Show

May 20, 2009

Egads! I almost forgot. On June 6th, I (Grant Holmes) will be performing for a USO style variety show benefiting the PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron. If you are in the North East Ohio area, consider coming out and supporting the cause!