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Congratulations SFF Class #02-14!!!

SFF Class 02-14 Missions

The newest Special Food Forces (SFF) Class was a success!

All 5 members of Class #02-14 have completed the assigned mission and accepted the SFF Creed.

Each member has successfully been transitioned from “new recruit” to “official member.” Duty titles and codenames have been assigned. 

To view Official Member information, click HERE.

To view Mission Completion photos click HERE.

Once again… Congratulations!!! AND WELCOME TO SFF!!!

General Baloo aka The Lanther

SFF FB Fav Box (111 x 74)

IF ONLY THEY COULD CALL HOME: Lost & Found Dog Tips

Lanther Pay Phone (16 X 9)(w text)

This post is by The Human… I told her to write it and post it… hope she does a good job… I’ll be over here napping.

This post is inspired by our friend, Dave, who recently found a stray dog in his neighborhood. As Dave is an animal lover, he wanted to ensure the dog’s safety and welfare. He took the dog into his home and began taking steps to attempt to locate the pup’s owner. He took the dog for walks around the neighborhood to keep the dog visible. He brought the dog to a veterinarian to check for a microchip (none was found). After attempts to reunite the dog began to seem futile, Dave began to accept that he may not find the owner. He began purchasing toys, food, and other doggy items in preparation to keep the little guy. He decided he would be ready to provide the pooch a loving home, even though two cats already resided in his home, who incidentally the new canine found irresistibly chasable. One day Dave decided to check the local “Lost and Found” section of Craigslist. There it was on the computer screen, a photo and description of the very dog in his care. His name per the posting was Cooper. Dave contacted the author of the post, and received a return phone call very soon after. The Craigslist “Lost and Found” advertisement had been posted by a frantic father, who had been caring for Cooper in his daughter’s absence. As it turns out a gate had been left open, and Cooper had run off into the world in search of adventure! The father and Cooper were reunited and the man was ever so grateful for Dave’s care and efforts. Happy ending for Cooper and the father! Good Samaritan stars for Dave!

Lost pets…if only they could just call home! “Hey guardians of me! I’m phoning to tell you I’m lost and over here at 123 Maple Avenue! Wanna come get me?!!!” But alas they cannot do this (and not just because they lack opposable thumbs). So what kinds of things can both the lost pet seekers and the lost pet finders do? Here are some things compiled from a few sources to help!

TIPS IF YOU HAVE FOUND A PET

1) ​Call area animal shelters and report that you found a lost pet. Give a thorough description and you will be contacted if someone calls reporting a lost pet with the same description.

2) Knock on doors. Knock on doors of homes near where you found the animal to ask if they know to whom the animal belongs.

3) Scan for microchip. Have the animal scanned for a microchip at any nearby veterinary office, Humane Society or Animal Services which may lead to the owner’s information.

4) Post flyers. Put up flyers in your neighborhood and surrounding areas to let the person looking know that you found their lost pet.

5) Post and search on social media. Post photo and information on where you found the animal on Facebook, Craigslist, Pinterest, etc. (The “lost + found” section of Craigslist is located in the “Community” section of your local city listings).

Craigslist example

*Find “lost + found” in your chosen location’s “community” section

6) Make the animal visible. As in the scenario with Dave and Cooper, taking a found dog for walks in the area in which they were discovered makes them visible to searching owners, or other people who may know or recognize them.

7) Check with local veterinarians. There is a good chance that the animal you found is a patient at one of the local veterinarian offices. Check multiple offices. Dave mentioned that Cooper’s actual veterinarian was the one located closest to his neighborhood, while the veterinary office where he had Cooper  scanned was not the same office.

8) Check with local police departments. Report found animals to the local police department. Many people report their lost pets to area police departments. They also inquire into any reports of found pets there.

***If someone contacts you claiming to be the owner of the dog or cat, be sure you ask for evidence of ownership, including a picture or have them identify specific information that only an owner would know. This could be an unusual feature, tattoo, or something that isn’t visible in the picture.
*** If you find that no one has responded to these efforts after a few days you can then take the pet down to a local shelter and turn it in as a stray..

TIPS IF YOU HAVE LOST A PET

1) Conduct a search. Lost pets may hide if they are fearful. Search in and around all possible hiding places outside, look under sheds, decks, houses, etc. Most animals are found close to home. Talk to your neighbors and, after asking permission, search at your neighbors. Additionally, check places they may have fallen into, or gotten stuck or trapped.

2) Food and water. Put out food and water at home, in hopes the dog or cat will return home for food.

3) Check with local shelters. Call area shelters to make a report and/or to see if your pet has been impounded.

4) Post flyers. Place posters within a 2 mile radius from where the animal was lost and at busy intersections. Posters should be large and bright colors; be brief and to the point and create a visual image. Try: Lost, a photo and your number. Post around town at veterinary clinics, schools, grocery and convenience stores, and anywhere else you think might make a difference. It is always a good idea to leave off one distinguishing feature so you can confirm that this is your lost pet with the person who might have found them.​

5) Post and search on social media. Post photos and information where your pet was last seen on Facebook, Craigslist, Pinterest, etc. Craigslist has a lost and found section… see where to navigate in the example above in #5 of “Found Pets.”

6) Humane trap (get guidance from animal care agencies). For shy dogs and cats, set a humane trap near the point of escape. Check frequently.

7) Check with local shelters. Call all the shelters around where you live and visit them regularly.

8) Spread the word. Contact and leave a description with your mail carrier, newspaper carrier, garbage truck drivers, local landscapers, etc.

9) Check with local police departments. Report lost animals to the local police department. Many people report  found pets to area police departments. They also inquire into any reports of lost pets there.

***If you don’t see your pet, keep looking!  Pets end up in shelters sometimes weeks after they are lost so never stop looking.  Keep in mind what some might call a “lab mix” you may call a “shepherd mix,” so it is always best to visit shelters regularly and not just go on descriptions or website photos alone. Also, you may want to extend your search beyond your local agencies, as pets sometimes end up being secured by people not in your vicinity.

Another idea for posting lost dog info:

Lost dog car window ad

*Photo courtesy of Lost Dogs Illinois

If your dog is lost in a heavily wooded area:

Lost Dog Tips (wooded area)

*Photo/text from an unknown source.

 

SOURCES: ASPCA, Manatee County (Florida), Lost Dogs Illinois, The Human and our friend Dave.

The Lanther’s FREE Valentine eCards!!!

Send someone you LOVE a special LANTHER Valentine!!!

There are currently 2 designs you may choose. Send as many as you like and SHARE SHARE SHARE!!!

CLICK on the bottom “send eCard” banner to get started!!!

 

Valentine Lanther2 I Heart U

Lanther Vday eCard Flyer

Waking Your Human

How do you go about waking your human in the morning? 

I like to start out my process by making myself comfortable. I take over as much of the bed as possible. Sometimes I slide my way from the bottom of the bed to the pillows. 

In the case The Human… she has learned to adapt to my bed and pillow hogging strategy. Generally she repositions and continues to hang on to her state of unconsciousness. I let this go on for ONLY SO LONG. The trick is to disrupt the sleep cycle. I start to move around a lot, often shooting my legs straight out and jabbing The Human. (I find that the ribs and face are particularly effective targets). I also perform lots of tossing, turning and flipping moves, sometimes inflicting wrestling-style body drops on her with my butt.

In the case of The Human… she is a PROFESSIONAL. She manages many times to work around even difficult-to-ignore maneuvers. So if you have an equally difficult human, what else can you do?

You now have no choice but to GET ALL UP IN THEIR GRILL. Make sure your nose is nice and cold… wet and drooling too, if possible. Abruptly apply your nose to the face of your victim. You can stick to the less invasive “forehead touch,” or go for the gusto with the more extreme “nose to mouth.”

IMG_2891 (Baloo Pillow Nudge) IMG_2887  (Baloo Pillow Nose)

Still not getting the desired result? Try using the method I like to call The Intense Stare (TIS). For this you want to position yourself so that your face is directed toward your human’s face. You must concentrate deeply so that your stare becomes piercing to your human, even through the deep mist of sleep.

The Intense Stare (ITS)

The Intense Stare (ITS)

I find TIS quite effective with The Human no matter what level of consciousness she may be experiencing. Sleeping humans often become very aware of an overwhelming feeling that they are being watched while TIS is being executed. Opening their eyes to see what is there is almost instinctual.

IMG_2880  (Baloo Pillow Wake Up 1)
Using TIS on sleeping victim.
IMG_2881  (Baloo Pillow Wake Up 2)
TIS effectively wakes sleeping victim.

If all of this passive aggressive behavior fails to wake your Human… you will have no choice but to resort to more assertive methods. Bark, jump on the bed, pull the blankets, paw slap, lick, etc. It is ok, you tried lesser methods, and they did not listen. They asked for it!

When you want your Humans to get up and tend to your needs, YOU TELL THEM!

Happy Waking!!!

THE LANTHER’S TOP 5 FAVE FINDS OF ALL TIME

Greetings Lanther-iffic Friends!!!

The Human and I realized that I have a few tried and true pet products. Some of these items were clearly integral in helping to acclimate me to my new home when I was first adopted. Some came along later. But all continue to be staples in the home. These products are as loved by me as an old, beat-up teddy bear. What Human? Oh, right… she just said that ALL of my teddy bears are beat-up… and ultimately destuffed. True! BOL!!! Anyway, I present to you below, THE LANTHER’S TOP 5 FAVE FINDS OF ALL TIME.

(Please note that this list is based on my environment, habits, personality, abilities and likes, and may not be appropriate for all dogs. You will need to use your judgement about whether or not products are appropriate per situation and per pet, and additionally what sizes and types are best suited).

Onto the TOP 5!!!

1. KONG Extreme (in sizes Large and XL)

The KONG Extreme is a tougher version of the standard KONG (comes in the color black) for dogs like me who are formidable chewers with big strong jaws***. KONGs are fun as both a toy and a treat dispenser. Being a highly food-motivated dog, my favorite part is the treat dispenser feature. Humans fill the center hollow cavity with something dog-safe and yummy. Fillers can really be quite variable, and at the discretion of your Human. My Human likes to slather the inside with peanut butter, pack it solid with cooked chicken or lamb meat or jam in a bunch of on-hand dog treats. Sometimes she even freezes the whole KONG with its contents to make it tougher to extract. Not only is it a great treat for dogs, but it keeps canine minds engaged and stimulated while they systematically work to get the “yummy” out. My specific success story with the KONG is that The Human was able to use it to help alleviate my initial separation anxiety. She would fill up my KONG every time she would be gone for an extended period of time. Presenting me with something engaging and tasty equaled a reward and a positive thing when she left. I came to associate good things with her extended departures (plus I understood that getting a filled KONG and her walking out the door, meant I should not expect her back for a while).

***As with all toys and treat dispensers… be aware of your dog’s chewing habits and supervise them. If they do start to chew off bits and pieces, don’t let them keep the KONG. There are other versions available in red and blue, each with specific durability and intended use (see KONG’s product details).

2. Nylabone (multiple shapes and textures in size XL for Dogs over 50 Lbs)

Ah, the Nyalabone! There are many shapes, sizes and durability levels from which to select. And I am a fan of multiple forms. The Human sticks with the items from Nylabone’s “Powerful Chewers” category. My favorites are the standard, no frill products (no fancy spinner or attachments), which include:

DuraChew Bone – Original (textured design)

DuraChew – Monster Bone

Long Lasting Durable Chew – Original

 

3. Harness Lead

Yes, I am a spokesdog for Harness Lead, but I truly love and believe in this product. Harness Lead has been a wonderful tool for me during my exercise activities of hiking, traveling and swimming. The escape-proof (can’t wriggle free) feature is one of The Human’s favorite aspects. Secondly, I like to swim… in salty ocean water at the beach. So The Human loves that Harness Lead has no spring-loaded metal clips (as on leashes) that can rust or jam up with sand, and become inoperable or broken. It is comfortable around the girth of my body, rather than a collar pulling on my neck (LOVE!!!). It is machine washable and comes in various colors: black, blue, plum, red and pink. And it comes in two lengths, one for small and one for large breeds. I especially like that this product was an idea developed by the owner, an animal shelter volunteer, who was seeking a better solution for walking shelter dogs. The owner has also donated a large number of Harness Leads to animal shelters around the country, free of charge, so that they may benefit the animals residing in their care.  It’s a great product with a strong foundation in animal welfare.

www.HarnessLead.com

Baloo HL RockStream Animal Wellness

4. Tuffie Toys Ultimate Odd Ball  (Tuff Scale 8)

No toy is indestructible. Tuffie Toys makes an entire line of multiply stitched, layered plush toys. For the extreme dogs like myself who like to tear and shake toys to rip out squeakers and stuffing, these last much, much longer. Tuffie Toys are rated on numbered scales for durability and “toughness” against the determination and strength of us dogs (1 being lowest, 10 being highest). There are certain shapes of toys with high ratings that I have managed to kill off more quickly than The Human would like… BUT… the ODD BALL seems to be a formidable opponent. I have had it for several months now and have not yet ripped open a seam. Maybe it’s the shape. I haven’t quite gotten a fang into it to tear it open yet. Mine is red with paw prints, but if you click the link to the site you will see there are other color and pattern print options for your selection. I like to beat the snot out of my Odd Ball regularly. Even if I destroy it at some point, The Human said this will be a repurchase based on its durability and entertainment value.

5. SPOT Dura-Fused Leather Dog Toys (available in various animal shapes)

One day at our local pet store (a Mom and Pop type), The Human brought me inside to check out “the goods.” I’m a bit of a kleptomaniac in pet stores. I like to grab all the toys, especially if they are super fuzzy or squeaky. I especially like to help myself to the open bins of dried sausage treats (but that’s another story). On this particular day we happened upon this dog toy “in buffalo.” As noted in some other brand lines, flatter-shaped toys usually stand a better chance of lasting. Not only was this one mostly flat, but durably stitched and overall looked pretty rugged. We went home with it by my insistence, and now a month later it still lives with no seam tears or punctures. It was also very reasonably priced according to The Human. We happened to grab the buffalo, but other interesting animal shapes are also available. Online we found a squirrel, raccoon, fox, bear and rabbit. SPOT is part of Ethical Products Inc. You can look for them in your local pet stores or by doing a simple online search for this phrase: “SPOT Dura-Fused Leather Buffalo Dog Toy” which brings up multiple vendors of the buffalo and other animals. *OR… here’s a quick link to the Google search for simplicity: SEARCH FOR SPOT

Conclusion

Not all toys and products are for everyone or every dog, but this is a list of some of my super favorite things that work well for me all-around. I hope you found my Fave Finds useful. If you try anything out from the list, let me know how it goes!

***You will notice I did NOT get into favorite treats… I will save treats for another kind of FAVES LIST!!!

#SFF #WOOFRAH!!!

—–

General Baloo aka The Lanther

Commanding General, Special Food Forces (SFF)

Monstrosity Monday

Friends and Followers,

It is Monday night, and here I sit enduring this evening’s torture. This is the time of year when some of the most mundane of The Human’s favorite TV shows converge both simultaneously and consecutively.

There are (unfortunately), two DVRs present in the house. That means that even when horrific shows air in the same time slot, we don’t miss any. We still “get to” watch both. Tonight’s fine line-up includes the freshest episodes of The Bachelor, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules AND worst of all… Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Woe… is… me…

I’m just gonna pretend this is The Human…and chew on her head every time TV drama unfolds……that’ll be A LOT of gnawing.

IMG_2699

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Fun Without the Sun

BARK BARK BARK!!!

Hello lovely Lantherites!!! It’s been a cold, overcast and fairly dreary winter so far in the Northeast. BLAAAH! It’s weather like this that makes Humans… especially THE Human… exceptionally lazy about getting us dogs out there into the wild!

If you follow my BUTT-BOOK… er… uh… FACEBOOK PAGE and/or my TWITTER page, you will see that SHE hasn’t been completely useless in getting me outside for winter activities.

I have done some snow running… like a lone wolf leading the pack through the great arctic! I ran like the wind, AWOOO! And if any Humans got in my way, I plowed them right over! I’m a steamroller, baby!!!

     

I have done some toll-taking… this was a 3-treat toll minimum for all those who wished to pass!!! During one of my walks I noticed that Humans wanted to regularly pass over this point in the road on their little machine thingies… I saw an opportunity. All those who wanted to pass needed to pay a treat toll. Much to my dismay, a traffic jam developed because some Humans were not prepared for the payment required. What?!!! I know, right? What Humans in their right mind don’t travel around with dog treats at the ready? UNSAT!!!

I did some winter sporting activities… LET’S PLAY BALL!!! Despite the efforts of The Human to find me a nice fenced in area, I like to punk her. There were two incredibly small openings in the fencing of the enclosed area. I knew where they were, and I bolted for them every time! BOL! You should see how SHE runs in the snow! Hilarious! You would think she had cement blocks tied to her feet! She was pretty exhausted by the time I was through making her chase me! 

I also went sledding with The Human… I don’t think The Human knew what she was in for when she decided it would be “cute” to take me on board the sled. Silly rabbit! Sleds are NOT for dogs! I tried my best for days to chew off one of those fuzzy balls dangling from her hat. They were taunting me.

[VIDEO – click to open then click again to PLAY]

 

And when The Human was really hitting the winter weather blah mode, she managed to get me started on the indoor program with the treadmill. It’s quite an opportunity for me to get lots of treats, seeing as how that is the primary motivator utilized to get me to mount that goofy contraption. SEE VIDEO HERE: http://viddy.it/bB9dNG

Overall, a winter snowy terrain is awesome! But my favorite thing EVER remains a salty, sunny beach. There’s nothing like the shore! And there’s nothing like sunshine!

Dearest shiny orb, I look forward to seeing more of you as spring nears!

 

Christmas Past – New Year Forward

If you are not a follower of my Facebook and Twitter accounts, you may have missed my holiday greeting e-card, featuring me in my swanky GQ sweater look. Sorry, I intended to post the e-card as a blog… I actually TOLD The Human I wanted that… it’s very hard to hire good help these days.

If you would like to check out the e-card here are both links. While you are there, scroll through the other posts to see my Christmas loot photos!

LINK #1:   E-Card (Facebook)                          LINK #2:   E-Card (Twitter)

Ah, the holidays! A buffet of scrumptious dog and human treats that I like to be offered, as well as heist! And what I can’t heist, I attempt to acquire with my extreme cuteness. There are few humans who can ignore my handsome big brown eyes staring them down for the morsels they possess. If my seductive eyes aren’t enough, I add in the shy “down head” look, acting as if I’m a starving, suffering puppy. Perhaps I even add in a whimper for absolute irresistibility.

“Please, Sir (or Ma’am), I am but a poor, hungry puppy dog in need of nutritional bits that you can spare!!!”

It works… most of the time. Suckers!!!

So now that we have met and bid adieu to another Christmas, The Human and I look forward to also saying farewell to 2013, and to welcoming the New Year of 2014 and all of its new experiences. The Human and I had a reasonably fun and happy 2013, with the exception of a few circumstances which darkened our little happy home…

…We had some notable losses (whom we plan to memorialize in an upcoming post).

…And we had some betrayals (of the human variety). There are some bad apples hiding amongst the human species… veritable “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” Beware of who is hanging around your pack! Loyalty, trustworthiness and virtue are core values that some humans do not necessarily possess. I try to keep The Human on her toes when she looks like she needs a push or pull in the right direction. I also have a list of antics I like to employ to get her mind off of yucky bad things when they happen (which often involves a snack for my mouth). I AM a professional!!! And she is my apprentice!!! We shall prevail!!! Got that, Human?

UPCOMING EVENTS:

We are anticipating the publication of a significant pet magazine at the end of January, which we believe will host two photos taken by The Human. One of the two possible photos stars “Yours Truly” as the dog model. It is the February/March 2014 edition (more to be announced when we can confirm we are in fact included).

That is all I have for now!

May 2014 be prosperous & joyful!!! And may it be full of fantastic tasty treats for all DOGS!!! 

Sincerely,

The Lanther

General Baloo / Commander, Special Food Forces (SFF) Elite  (more details)

BALOO PORTRAINT SWEATER (happy howlidays)

Publication of “The Calm Before the Storm”

The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm

Dear Fans,

It is my great honor to share with you that The Human submitted an article to the local paper which was picked up for publishing this week!

The article is about Hurricane Sandy, and is written around a photo The Human and I took together just before the storm.

I’m mentioned in the story and I’m in the photo… just saying… maybe you will check it out because of my GQ SMOOTH canine status ;)

You can view the article in The Sandpaper, or online at the link attached below. The Sandpaper team even published the photo in full color!!! That is a very big deal! … no doubt it was in part because I AM SO REALLY, REALLY, REALLY RIDICULOUSLY GOOD LOOKING!!! AWOOO!!!

Special thanks to The Sandpaper for including us in your publication… The Human and I are deeply honored!!!

*** The article is titled “Picture Perfect: The Calm Before the Storm” and it may be found in The Sandpaper… Nov 13, 2013: Vol. 39 No. 45…  PAGE 6 *** There are two available online links… you may decide which offers you better online viewing:

VERSION 1 (mirrors hard copy layout, must scroll to Page 6)  http://thesandpaper.villagesoup.com/eedition/view/6237

VERSION 2 (email version – has online friendly layout, links directly to article page)  – http://thesandpaper.villagesoup.com/p/the-calm-before-the-storm/1079850?cid=2511608#.UoQHKScOoHR.facebook

SFF Welcomes New Members & New Recruits

Barkings to All!

It has a been a fine recruitment and training cycle for SPECIAL FOOD FORCES with our first pair of new recruits. The following pups have completed training, acknowledged the SFF CREED, and have now been added to the wall of OFFICIAL MEMBERS!

  1. CWO Seamus aka “Kiowa”
  2. 1LT Riley “Devil Girl”

CONGRATULATIONS!

We are pleased and excited to have you join our ranks of the most elite FOOD HEIST canines known worldwide! CHECK OUT THEIR SFF INDUCTION TASK COMPLETION PHOTOS!!!

paw_print 2D

Additionally, we are tail-wagging happy to announce our next wave of NEW RECRUITS!

  1. Beckett Brador
  2. Wyatt Burp
  3. Mooselby Waggerstein

These fine new recruits will exposed to training and mission tasks, following in the paw prints of their previous canine comrades!

GOOD LUCK NEW RECRUITS! STAND BY FOR YOUR TRAINING AND MISSION TASKS!

paw_print 2D

SFF!!! WOOFRAH!!!

GENERAL BALOO aka “THE LANTHER

Mugshot in Black & White

GENERAL BALOO aka THE LANTHER

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