Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bite This Book Excerpt - The Book You Read to Your Dogs

“The idea of writing a book for dogs came to me one night when I was reading to my pups and thinking, wouldn't it be better to read something that is written specifically for them,” explains Bite This Book Author Lony Ruhmann. “Part of my goal in writing this book was to make a statement about how special dogs are. Dogs are Angels on Earth.”

Mommy and Daddy (by Maggie)

Mommy and Daddy came
With a big dog and took me
To my new home.

I was scared the whole day,
And could not eat,
And could not potty.
But Mommy kept holding me.

In the night,
I slept close to her face.
It made me feel warm.

The next day I ate my food
And did my potty.
I hope they will love me.
I think they will love me.

From Bite This Book by Lony Ruhmann: www.bitethisbook.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Season's Greetings from Sheila Boneham @ Rescue Matters!

Wishing You a Safe & Happy Christmas, no matter what holidays you celebrate with your furry, feathered, & scaled friends!

Sheila Boneham @ Rescue Matters!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fostering Animals in Need: What Potential Caretakers Need to Know

"Foster caretakers are central to most rescue programs, few of which have centralized facilities for rescued animals. In fact, many rescuers prefer not to use group shelters for animals because individualized care in home settings has many advantages. Proximity to large groups of animals can be very stressful for animals, exacerbating some issues and camouflaging others. Foster homes, in contrast, provide environments like adopters’ homes, making evaluation of the animal more accurate and preparing him better for his new home and family. Foster families provide their charges with basic training, and are in an ideal position to observe and assess the animals’ reactions to children, other pets, men, women, strangers, storms, noise, activity, and other everyday events that could trigger potential problems in an adoptive home. Foster caretakers’ observations can be indispensable when it comes time to match the animal to an appropriate adopter.

"Before you volunteer to foster, please assess your situation carefully and be realistic. Fostering can be hard work, and can disrupt your home life, sometimes in unexpected ways. Introducing “just one more” animal into your home can create chaos during the adjustment period or longer. And although most caretakers never experience a problem, the job is not without risk."

©2009 Sheila Boneham.
From Rescue Matters! How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals, Chapter 2, which discusses the risks and rewards of fostering, and other aspects of volunteering, in detail.

"I have been 'rescuing' for years, but last year began rescuing from kill shelters. I had no idea what I was getting into, and wish I had read this first. Absolutely FILLED with common sense advice, tips and how-to's, no rescue organization or individual should be without this. It is the Rescuer's Bible." - K. Gardner, review on amazon.com

Buy or read more here.

Personally autographed copies available here.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

How Rescue Groups Can Help Reduce Stress Among Volunteers

by Sheila Webster Boneham

Rescue work is stressful - there's just no way around it. Here are some suggestions that organizers/directors of rescue programs (and other types of programs, for that matters!) may want to consider to help reduce stress among volunteers. 

  • Mandate rotation of duties among volunteers, especially those duties that are physically demanding or emotionally taxing – euthanasia is a biggie.
  • Make sure than each volunteers responsibilities and limits are clearly defined – lack of clarity adds to stress, and over time can lead to burnout. So be clear about who can and should make which decisions.
  • Find ways to enhance the sense of community among rescue volunteers & possibly adopters – picnics, reunions, etc. bolster that sense and remind volunteers of the success.
  • Find ways to empower volunteers – encourage them to continue their education about animals, and when possible help them in that endeavor. Sponsor workshops with experts, charge outsiders, but let your volunteers attend for free or a reduced rate, for instance.
  • Say thank you! Acknowledge people’s work, even the small things they do. It can make an enormous difference.
  • Try not to call on the same few people all the time just because they’re experienced. Create a volunteer mentor program so that new volunteers can learn from the more experienced and thus be in a position to give them a break.
  • If you have a volunteer who works in mental health, ask her or him to give an occasional talk or workshop to help volunteers keep their work in perspective. If not, maybe you can recruit someone, or invite a counselor to speak to your group as a guest speaker.
  • Educate your volunteers – too many people in rescue know too little about modern training methods, other breeds or types of animals, responsible breeding, nutrition, young animal development, and so on. The more you know about the big picture, the more effectively you will work on your little portion of it, and the better you will feel about the overall situation.

 Feel post the link to this note to other pages where it may help people! Here it is -- http://rescuematters.blogspot.com/2013/09/how-rescue-groups-can-help-reduce.html
     ©Sheila W. Boneham, 2010. For permission to reprint in other formats, email Sheila at sheilaboneham @ gmail.com (no spaces). Thank you!

For more about effective rescue work, see Rescue Matters! How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals by Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D., available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, large print, and Audible formats. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Activities for Your Older Dog

My Aussie Dustin playing retrieves
at 12 years young.
Your dog will undoubtedly slow down some with age, but he still needs reasonable exercise to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. A proper diet combined with exercise appropriate to your dog's general health and condition will help keep him a healthy weight and will tone his muscles. It will help his cardiovascular and digestive systems stay healthy. Exercise will prevent boredom and depression, and help your old friend lead the life of a happy senior citizen.

If your dog hasn't been on a regular exercise program, have him checked out by your vet before beginning one. Then see to it that he gets out and about every day, within proper limits for his health and condition. When he gets caught up in the fun, he may not acknowledge his limitations. It's up to you to monitor his activity and keep him from overdoing it.

Watch for signs of overexertion, especially when the weather is hot or cold. Coughing or shortness of breath during or after exercise can indicate heart problems, so report them to your vet. If your dog has arthritis or other orthopedic problems, talk to your vet about appropriate exercise. Swimming is good for dogs with joint problems, but risky for a dog with heart disease. An older dog can become chilled more easily than he did when younger, too, so he should swim only in reasonably warm water and in fair weather. Walks on leash are less stressful than running and playing, and better for dogs with many medical problems. Two or three short walks a day may be better than one long one.

Sunny taking a break from tennis-ball games. When her
owners relinquished her to Golden Retriever Rescue Club
of Charlotte, she was extremely overweight and could
hardly walk to the far end of the yard. But she wanted to
retrieve - of course she did! - and now, 20+ pounds lighter
and on a regular exercise regime, she runs, rolls in the
grass, and plays by the hour. Play is good!
If your dog is healthy and physically fit, there's no reason he can't remain active. Many older dogs are involved in therapy work, visiting nursing homes, hospitals, and schools. In fact, senior dogs are often more reliable and less rambunctious than their younger counterparts. Older dogs can also participate in obedience or other sports, many of which offer senior or veterans classes or divisions for dogs over seven years old. If your dog doesn't seem to enjoy an activity, or if it's too taxing, don't force him. But if he's having a good time and he's physically capable, there's no reason he shouldn't keep on keepin' on.

From The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting and Owning a Dog by Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D., winner of the MUSE Award for Best General Interest Book and one of three finalists for Best Book of the Year from the Dog Writers Association of America.

Sheila is the author of Rescue Matters: How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals (Alpine, 2009), available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, large print, and Audible formats. Follow on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Animals need rescuing for reasons that run the gamut from reasonable to tragic to foolish to criminal. Some people relinquish their pets directly to rescue programs, or to animal shelters that in turn release them to rescuers. Stray animals may enter rescue programs right off the street, or by way of a shelter or good Samaritan. Some animals come to rescue after being legally seized because they have been abused or neglected. Each of these sources presents different practical, legal, and ethical challenges for rescuers." - from "Animals in Need, or What It's All About," Chapter 6 of Rescue Matters! How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animals.

The rest of the chapter discusses such health and safety issues as
  • Safety and Disease Prevention
  • Transporting a Rescued Animal
  • Who Are You? Checking for Identification
  • Phone Calls and Paperwork
  • Relinquishing Owners Who Won't Let Go
  • Who to Call
  • Dealing with Shelters
  • Taking on Seized Animals
  • Rights and Responsibilities When Dealing with Strays

From Rescue Matters! How to Find, Foster, and Rehome Companion Animal (Alpine Publications, 2009).

Rescue Matters! is available from your local bookseller and online - available in paperback, ebook, Audible, and large-print formats. Why not ask your local library to get a copy or two?

AUTOGRAPHED COPIES - great gifts for your friends and yourself - are available from Pomegranate Books - CLICK HERE to order

©Sheila Boneham 2009. Feel free to share this post - just copy and paste this link:

For permission to reprint elsewhere, e-mail Sheila

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Welcome to Rescue Matters and More!

Welcome to my new blog about rescue matters and more! This is a brand new venture, so please bear with me while I get rolling. In the meantime, why not visit my other blog about books and writing? Lots of animals there, too!