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All Posts by Roxanne Hawn

Dog Attack Details Ready or Not

Here are many of the dog attack details, ready or not. Almost exactly 7 months ago 2 big dogs running loose in our rural mountain neighborhood attacked me and Mr. Stix. It happened the day before Thanksgiving 2021. The ongoing physical, emotional, and legal fallout from the trauma of the attempted murder of my youngest dog consumes a lot of time and energy and tanked my income. I still suffer from PTSD from the attack. I still experience physical pain from my injuries. Specific therapy for the PTSD resulted in a "cardiac event" in late March. I need to decide if I will resume that work or not — now that doctors have assessed the data from a heart monitor I wore for a while and now that I've been on a medication for 2 months to help with the anxiety and depression. Maybe I'm not ready to write about what happened, but since I wrote statements for animal control, prosecutors, and the judge, I can at least share some of that. Fair warning. It's pretty brutal. 

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Dog Thief Arrested

Celebration time !! Dog thief arrested !! After more than a month since the kidnapping of 3 search and rescue dogs from Carlsbad, New Mexico, I'm thrilled to report the dog thief got arrested on June 13, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas. All 3 dogs, and the litter of 8 puppies born to one of them after the crime, were all found safe and have been reunited with their owner. Two short video clips of the family being reunited and a link to a TV news report below. Plus, a video from the investigator who found the dogs and located the suspect (scroll all the way down).

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Measuring Shelter Dog Stress

A study published in Scientific Reports in April 22 measured hair cortisol concentrations in shelter dogs before & after adoption, essentially to see if this new testing method works to evaluate long-term shelter dog stress. The data comes with a bunch of caveats, but it's still interesting and informative adopters and those working or volunteering in the animal rescue and animal shelter environment. When does shelter dog stress go up and down? What does it mean for you?

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Kidnapped Dogs BOLO

UPDATE June 13, 2022 -- The FBI arrested the suspect in San Antonio. The 3 dogs + the litter of 8 puppies born since the kidnapping were found safe and have been reunited with their owner / handler. 

!! Please BE On the LOOK OUT for these kidnapped dogs!! Three weeks ago, on May 12, 2022, a nightmare scenario unfolded for Dr. Kim Lark, who is a friend of a friend. Despite her vigilant efforts to keep them safe, all 3 of her dogs -- all highly trained in search and rescue, one of them VERY pregnant -- got kidnapped in Carlsbad, New Mexico, by her ex. Law enforcement considers the suspect armed and dangerous. Look for the full backstory, media coverage of the crime (including by an investigative producer with NBC News / Dateline), and latest updates at SaveKimsDogs.com. Dr. Lark is offering a $50,000 reward for the safe return of the 3 dogs and the litter of puppies. Please be on the lookout for these dogs and the suspect. They could be anywhere by now.  #savekimsdogs

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NW News Clover’s First Try at a NW2 Title

Clover and I attended our first NW2 trial at the end of March 2022. Thanks to our early successes in canine nosework, we had high hopes for getting this new NW title on the first try as well. Alas, I botched one of the first two searches of the day (mostly because of how trauma from the November dog attack has affected my heart, so I wasn't feeling well). But, we rallied the entire rest of the day -- with Clover getting 4 of the 5 searches, 7 of the 8 hides, so still an incredible success for us. Check out the videos of our searches and other details on how the day went and what I learned from our failure and our successes. We ranked 18th overall (of like 45 dogs) for the day. 

We don't try to be fast, though. I'm really only looking for confident / clear / happy NW searches from Clover.

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Pyometra in Dogs Questions and Answers

Because I wrote a best-selling pet loss book, people often email me with stories of how their dogs died. Recently, someone asked me to write about pyometra in dogs because they'd recently lost their 11-year-old female dog to it. So in honor of that sweet dog, I gathered all the top questions and answers about canine pyometra, which is a potentially life-threatening infection in the uterus. Maybe useful to you now or in the future. Maybe a few stats, symptoms, and risks you didn't know. Plus, one real-life story of a dog who survived pyometra in our family.

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Animal Rescue Mistakes After a Wildfire

Colorado suffered a terrible wildfire, driven by crazy-high winds, in late 2021 that ripped through neighborhoods and whole towns. Find really good reporting on the Marshall Fire here. Amid the devastation? So many lost and terrified pets, and people desperate to help them. Facebook groups popped up instantly with people sharing photos, locations, and such for both lost and found pets. As much as everyone wants to help, many make animal rescue mistakes. Here are the top things NOT to do, in my humble opinion. 

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Common Household Noises Affect Dogs

Most of the time conversations about how dogs respond to noises focus on big, scary, sudden sounds like thunder, fireworks, and gunfire. A paper published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in November 2021 looks at how common household noises affect dogs and how people often (mis)interpret dogs showing signs of fear and anxiety. For context, other studies reported the prevalence of noise sensitivities in dogs as high as 50%, so it's an important topic. I recommend you read the whole paper yourself. However, here are the highlights and headlines. 

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Champion of My Heart Site 15th Anniversary

Honestly, I cannot fathom that our Champion of My Heart  site is celebrating 15 years. This little indie site keeps on chugging along. Forget so-called DOG YEARS. That's way more than an EON AGO in publishing. The first post went live on April 13, 2007, which was a Friday the 13th. It's funny looking back at early content. Apparently, I had more time for my craft and was much more lyrical back then. Lately, I focus on providing interesting and practical information about dogs and veterinary topics, with the occasional more personal post about my current generation of dogs. Take a look back (and ahead) with me, won't you?

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