Archive for the ‘Pet Owners: A Unique Breed’ Category

This is a wordle I made out of all of my blog posts in MountaineerLife.

This is basically my blog in a nutshell!

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The answer is your pet. Neuticles have been around for nearly 16 years. And since the first surgery was performed on a 9-month-old Rottweiler named Max in 1995, more than a quarter of a million cats, dogs, and horses (yes horses) have been “Neuticled” in the U.S. and 49 other countries. What exactly are Neuticles you ask? Well, they’re essentially fake testicles for male animals that have been neutered, so they still look like they have their ‘manliness’.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Gregg Miller and Buck the Bloodhound

The idea for Neuticles was the brainchild of Gregg Miller from Oak Grove, Missouri in 1993. When the time came to neuter his Bloodhound named Buck, Miller was distraught over the fact that his beloved pet was, more or less, being castrated. That concern suffered by Miller over Buck the Bloodhound would soon change veterinary history forever. And nearly 3 years and one-half million dollars later, the first commercially “Neuticled” canine surgery was performed on Max the Rottwriler.

The cheaper polypropylene models sell for $25 to $32 at set; while the newer, solid silicone alternative, called “Neuticle Naturals”, sell for $80 to $129 a set. The procedure takes about 2 to 3 minutes, and so far, no medical complications have been reported. There’s even an entire website devoted to the things: www.neuticles.com.

A pair of Neuticles

I couldn’t find any veterinary clinics around Morgantown that offered cosmetic surgery, which didn’t surprise me, it seems that vets who offer cosmetic surgeries tend to be in bigger cities where the demand is higher. Most of the receptionists didn’t even know what the things were; and when I tried to explain the concept to them, they just looked at me like I was some crazy lady trying to get fake balls for her dog. Great.

So what exactly is the point of shelling out $130 for a set of fake testicles for your pet?

The answer is there is no point. Neuticles aren’t for the animal; they’re for the owner. Dogs could care less about what they look like; animals aren’t vein. They are more for owners who are having a problem with the idea of their pet being castrated; thus the reason why the things were invented in the first place.

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For my post this week I’ve decided to touch on a little known issue: Grey Hound Rescue. I did a radio story on this issue about a year and a half ago (one of my first broadcast stories) and thought that it would be a good and different way to blog this week…I just added a few visual effects to make it a bit more interesting. Hope you enjoy!

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Hey guys! Here are this week’s pets available for immediate adoption at the Mon. County Animal Shelter!


Tebow is a 10 month old male beagle/pit mix who is very playful and enjoys other dogs.




Kyser is a 2 year old male beagle who is quiet but loves attention.




Diesel is a 2 year old male boxer mix who is very sweet and energetic.


If you are interested in one of these dogs, or just in rescuing an animal, please contact Dana Johnson at (304) 291-7267. She’s the facilities manager at Mon. County Canine Adoption Center, and is eagerly trying to save these animals! You can also visit them on River Road, Morgantown, WV 26505.

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I have to apologize in advance for this post. I had originally intended to talk to different local trainers and get some inside pointers as well as a few short videos demonstrating some simple training techniques. Well, I called about 3 different local trainers and, while they were very polite on the phone, they either didn’t have classes running or have had issues before with people wanting to come in and film/watch apparently the people who bring their dogs to obedience classes are embarrassed at how badly they dogs behave (at least that was the sense I got). Although I am going to still go over a few basic pointers and provide a map of some local training places, it’s not as elaborate as I was planning on…I’m planning on revisiting this topic a little later after training classes start and I can actually get in and get some useful video, but until then here are some brief training tips.

It’s never too early to start training your new puppy, especially basic obedience skills. The ideal age is between 6-10 weeks (most training places have an age requirement for puppies) but it’s never too early to start learning basic skills at home. And likewise, it’s also never too late to teach an older dog new tricks, or just how to behave.

Most training places will teach your new puppy the basics of obedience: sit, stay, lie down, walk calmly on a leash, and come when called. If you have a specific problem like jumping, play biting, barking, soiling the house, chewing, etc. those issues are usually addressed in an intermediate class (after the dog has learned the basics) or in a private session with the trainer. Some of the dog training places I found in/around Morgantown are below:

Most training places all practice the same type of teaching: positive reinforcement. Besides getting your dog to behave a little better, training classes are designed to bring owner and pet closer together and strengthen the bond between them. For new puppies small treats may be required at first, but fear not, treats will not be needed forever.

It is also important that you are firm with your pet while training them, but remember, ALWAYS be friendly. When demonstrating commands like come and heel you should use a more “puppy-friendly” voice; yet when giving a command such as sit or stay, your voice should be lower and more firm.

Also remember that puppies are like babies: they have a very short attention span. Unless you are in a class training group with multiple dogs, keep the one-on-one training to about 15-20 minutes.

And probably one of the most important things to remember when training your pet, regardless of age is to BE PATIENT! You didn’t just start off running, you had to learn to crawl and walk first; and the same goes for your pet. If you feel that you are already frustrated even before you start the training session, don’t do it. Just walk away and start at a later time. Dogs are smart and they can easily pick up on your emotions; and this is supposed to be fun for the animal as well as the owner. Being angry or frustrated toward your pet while training is only going to make your dog afraid of you, and you don’t want that!

I hope these tips helped. Just think of this post as part 1 of 2 on training your dog. Part 2 will be a little more helpful with pictures and videos (hopefully!) demonstrating the training techniques and positive reinforcement.

Until next time!

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Hello fellow pet lovers! Here are this week’s pictures of some animals currently at the Mon. County Animal Shelter & ready to be adopted!




Petey and RJ are 3 year old brother Shih Tzu mixes. They are both very friendly and do great with other dogs.



Taboo is still here! Click here to see more about him!!



Bristol is still here! Click here to read more about her!



Honeysuckle is still here! Click here to see more about her!


If you are interested in one of these dogs, or just in rescuing an animal, please contact Dana Johnson at (304) 291-7267. She’s the facilities manager at Mon. County Canine Adoption Center, and is eagerly trying to save these animals! You can also visit them on River Road, Morgantown, WV 26505.












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So this week I’m going to build off of last week’s post on Tips for Adopting a pet and explore some apartment complexes around Morgantown that allow pets (and some that don’t!)

BLUE Points=Pet friendly & RED points=No pets allowed

I took a look at some of the popular apartment complexes around campus and found out if they allow pets and if so what the costs are; and here is the breakdown:

West Run Apartments: Do allow “all pets”. They did not specify a weight limit or any breed restrictions. The price is a $450 refundable deposit (refundable only if nothing is destroyed upon moving out) and an additional $25 per month.

The District: Do allow pets, but they have a 30lb weight limit (i.e. no pets over 30lbs). They also have a $200 non-refundable deposit as well as $25 per month after that.

Mountain Valley Apartments: Allow pets up to a 55lb weight limit. They have a one-time non-refundable fee of $300 for dogs, $200 for cats, and $100 for everything else (i.e. fish & squirrels–yes the woman in the office actually said someone had a flying squirrel there as a pet).

Copper Beech Townhomes: Do allow pets, however weight limits and breed restrictions were not specified. The cost here is a $300 non-refundable deposit and a $25 per month fee after that.

Some of the apartments I looked at that did not allow pets were: The Ridge and Bent Tree Court.

These apartment complexes seem to be some of the more popular one’s on campus, but I’m sure there a lot more smaller complexes or privately-owned apartments (too many for one person to cover!) So if you know other complexes that are pet-friendly feel free to add them in the comments!!

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Here are this week’s featured pets:



Daytona is a 1 year old male Lab. He is playful, outgoing, and sweet.




Bristol is a quiet, 8 month old female Pit mix who loves to go for walks.




Mugwort is a 3 year old male Chihuahua/pug mix who would prefer a home without young children.




Honeysuckle is a loving 2 year old female beagle who wants to be a house dog, not a hunting dog.




Taboo is still here! Check out last week’s post to learn more about him.


If you are interested in one of these dogs, or just in rescuing an animal, please contact Dana Johnson at (304) 291-7267. She’s the facilities manager at Mon. County Canine Adoption Center, and is eagerly trying to save these animals! You can also visit them on River Road, Morgantown, WV 26505.

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Hello pet lovers! Here are this weeks photos of a few animals that are in desperate need of a loving home:



Angie the boxer is still here!




Taboo is a 3 year old black shepherd mix who is very quiet and loves to take it easy




Tesla is a 2 year old collie mix, she is shy and a little timid but learns to trust quickly




Betsy is a 6 month old lab mix, she has tons of puppy energy and is very affectionate




Bailey is a 1 year old hound mix with a strong spirit and a sweet way about her


If you are interested in one of these dogs, or just in rescuing an animal, please contact Dana Johnson at (304) 291-7267. She’s the facilities manager at Mon. County Canine Adoption Center, and is eagerly trying to save these animals! You can also visit them on River Road, Morgantown, WV 26505.

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Saving just one dog won’t change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog.” – Richard C. Call

This week I thought I’d do a piece on adopting animals. According to the ASPCA, approximately 5-7 million animals enter shelters across America each year; and 3-4 million of them are euthanized—60% of dogs and 70% of cats. Most people have preconceived notions about shelters and shelter animals, which is why they choose not to adopt. The biggest misconception is that all dogs in shelters are just muts and they want a specific breed or purebred animal. But according to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) 25% of dogs who enter local shelters are purebred.

So you’re thinking about getting a pet and you want to adopt, now what? Here are some tips for those looking to adopt an animal:

  • BEFORE YOU ADOPT, MAKE SURE YOU’RE FINANCIALLY STABLE. Dana Johnson from the Mon. County Adoption Center says some animal costs can be unexpected, “You know, you can go for a year without having to put any major money into an animal, but if something unforeseen or if an accident happens or a sickness comes along, you’re looking at some extra money.” This is a biggie before adopting an animal or just getting an animal in general, to make sure you’re financially ready to be a pet owner, because it is an expense. They need food, treats, toys, a bed, food/water bowls, a collar, tags, a leash, vaccinations, micro-chipping, etc.—it adds up…fast. And that’s only the beginning of it.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY IS READY FOR THE CHANGES A NEW PET WILL BRING. A furry friend brings love and adventure, but he also brings new household chores. Some dogs—especially puppies—may need a lot of attention and training, while cats thrive on a daily schedule of feeding, grooming and play. A great way to manage this is to create a schedule to share the responsibility for caring for your new pet. This will ensure that no one forgets to walk the dog or feed the cat. It will also help foster relationships between your new furry friend and everyone in the house.
  • MAKE SURE YOU CHOOSE A BREED THAT WILL WORK WITH YOUR LIFESTYLE. Dana says that your lifestyle and your home have a lot to do with the breed that you plan on getting. It’s not rocket science folks; if you live in a closet-sized apartment don’t get a large, active breed that’s going to need room, like a border collie or Australian shepherd. Dana says, “It would be unfair to them, and it would be unfair to you. Because they would be wild, for lack of a better word, and it would make your life really hard if you had a dog that you couldn’t take out and exercise frequently.”
  • MAKE SURE YOU RESEARCH WHICH BREED MATCHES YOUR LIFESTYLE. Find out which breeds need certain living conditions, etc. because every breed is different. Some breeds are naturally more aggressive or high-strung than others. Breeds such as Labrador and golden retrievers are known to be more even-tempered and well-behaved around children.
  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TIME FOR AN ANIMAL. Dana suggests, that if you don’t have a lot of time, a cat may be better suited for you because they’re very self sufficient. If you work 12 hours a day, don’t get a small puppy that’s going to need lots of love and attention.

I would say, these are the major tips to look into when you’re thinking about adopting an animal. But if you’re still weary about weary about whether a certain breed is right for you, check out the ASPCA website.

All shelters are different, some require no background checks and will let you walk away with an animal that day; while others practically make you sign away the rights to your first-born child before they let you leave with an animal. The Mon. County Canine Adoption Center is among the first category. There is an $85 fee for adopting, this includes the spay/neuter and the animals first 5 vaccines; after that you’re free to walk out with the animal. Shelters that actually do perform background checks and reference checks may cost more to adopt because of the added fees.

—My family adopted our dog from our local shelter and we had to show proof of residency from like the last 7 years, receipts for proof that we paid our bills, like all this random and crazy stuff just to take this little dog home. It seemed excessive at the time, but in retrospect, it’s only for the benefit of the animal so the shelter can make sure it’s not going home with someone who’s going to deliberately harm them.—

Adoption is a great way to go. There are millions of loving animals in shelters across America waiting for someone to love them. And if this post hasn’t persuaded you into adopting, then just watch this video, I’m sure it will.

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