Tag Archives: rescue


Shelter dogs and separation anxiety often go hand-in-hand. Separation anxiety is a dog's response to the traumatic event of being separated from a previous owner or being kept in a shelter. Separation anxiety is easy to spot. The dog will probably follow its owner from room to room when they are home and then as soon as the owner leaves destructive behaviors will follow. The destructive behaviors could include:

  • Digging and scratching at doors or windows in attempt to reunite with the owner
  • Destructive chewing
  • Howling, barking and whining
  • House soiling

This behavior can be frustrating, but there are steps that can be taken to calm a dog of its separation anxiety.

Coming and Going

When you come home or when you leave don't make a big deal of it. Don't react to your dogs feverish excitement when you first walk in the door and don't react to your dogs solemn behavior when you leave. Ignore your dog for the first few minutes when you come home, then calmly pet your dog.

Something to Remember You by

Courtesy of petsafe.net

Courtesy of petsafe.net

Your dog is having these anxiety attacks because they're missing you. If you leave your dog with an old T-shirt or a pair of socks that you have just worn, it could have a tranquilizing effect on your dog. They smell you, they remember you and it seems that you're right there.

Ensuring Your Return

Your dog's anxiety can be calmed by coming up with a word or cue that would tell the dog you're coming back. You could always leave the radio on or say “be a good boy” as you leave. If you keep doing the same action every time you leave, then always return, the dog will know that those actions or words means you will be back.

If none of these seem to be working you could look into a doggie day care or leave your dog with a friend or family member while you're away. Just never punish your dog for anxiety behavior. Punishing won't help. Your dog's destruction and house soiling is not your dog seeking revenge on you for you leaving, it's just the dogs initial response to the anxiety.


Tom Colvin and his pal Gurdy


We are doing a series of interviews with interesting people making a difference in animal welfare. They may be staff, volunteers, or regular citizens.

First up is Tom Colvin, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. He was recently named to the Companion Animals Advisory Council for Humane Society of the United States. Other responsibilities include Iowa Federation of Humane Societies (president), Iowa State University External Advisors Committee, Iowa Wildlife Center (board), Iowa Farm Animal Coalition, Society of Animal Welfare Administrators,  Better Business Bureau (board)

Do you remember the first animal you saved? I was nine. I was walking through my neighborhood, like kids do, and I saw another kid with a puppy trapped in the corner of his garage. He was whipping it. I stopped him, and his parents rehomed the dog.

How did you get into animal rescue? The house I grew up in was at the edge of town, and the veterinary office was right across the street. This vet was cool. He would allow us to watch surgeries, as long as we promised not to get sick or pass out.

How many animals (and humans) do you live with? I live with 15 two-legged companions (one wife, Carol, and 14 chickens), three horses, six cats and four dogs.

What’s the most expensive thing your pet has ever ruined? I had a yellow lab named Rusty. I made the mistake of leaving him unattended in the car for five minutes, and when I came out, he’d destroyed the interior.

Best perks of having furry family members? Cuddling with them, especially on colder nights like we’ve had lately! My wife and I have at least three dogs and four cats rotating in and out of the bed overnight. I’m also fortunate that I get to bring my dogs to work every day. Their companionship is a definite bonus!

If you could come back as the pet of any celebrity (living or dead), who would it be? Betty White!

Has there been any rescue situation that completely caught you off guard (either happily or negatively)? When we found Duke, the dog that had been shot and left to die in the river, that caught me off guard. Not that we found him, or put our resources into helping him, but the public support. It was amazing the way our community rallied around this dog. And then we found the absolute perfect person to adopt him. It couldn’t have been a better fit, although it was a little unexpected; we weren’t really thinking a young, single woman who already had two small dogs and lived in a townhouse would be “the one.”

What person or event do you think has been most influential in animal welfare? The biggest impact on the animal welfare industry was made when the public decided adopting is cool and the right thing to do.

Is there a group doing work you think others should know about? Innovative projects like IowaPetAlert.com, the Fence Project Des Moines, and BOGOBowl.com  are important because they think outside the box to improve the lives of animals.

What’s the key to the success you’ve brought to Iowa animal welfare? Focus on the animals. Never give up. Never take no for an absolute answer. Do what’s right, in its right time.

If one of your pets could speak, which one would it be and what would he/she ask you? Our terrier mix Gurdy   would ask, “Why can’t we have popcorn every night?”




GO Team BOGO Bowl!


When we were deciding what to do with our crowd funding project, it was tricky. How could we best share our philosophy, our reason for being?

We believe in happy endings.After lots and lots of discussions, we realized it all comes down to this: We believe in happy endings.

We know we're not the only ones. Start a conversation with a stranger, and if they have a pet, you're almost guaranteed to see a few phone shots of Sparky or Molly. They make us very happy, these funny, furry, oh-so-wise companions of ours.

So, our project is celebrating the joy of happy endings.

But it’s more than that.

We are not a subsidiary of a corporation, or backed by venture capitalists. We are just everyday people who love animals and want to make a difference. What that means is we don’t have a big bank account. Every choice we make has consequences that affect other things –it’s always “this” or “that”, rarely, if ever, “both.”

Take me to the book project!
Raising money via crowdfunding will give us the opportunity to connect with more organizations who need our help, to reach out to more buyers who share our belief that every dog needs healthy food in its bowl, and will allow us to team up with independent retailers who want to help the organizations in their communities but are also walking a fine financial line. It will give us resources to extend our reach farther and faster so that working together we can make a bigger impact sooner.

But we need you. The good news – no, the GREAT news, is it’s easy!

  1. Talk about BOGTake me to the Tshirts!O Bowl and our projects within your circle of influence.
  2. Share the link to this blog with your friends, family, coworkers, the people you sit next to in church, your vet, daycare provider – anyone and everyone you think might love dogs as much as we do.
  3. Think about buying BOGO Bowl for your own dog.
  4. If you think what we’re doing is worthwhile, pledge to support us! We have lots of levels of rewards (benefits) starting at $10. There are two ways to pledge:
      • On IndieGoGo, pledge and get your choice of our cute T-shirts. It’s an easy, wearable way to make a statement!
      • On StartSomeGood.com, your pledge will make your dog a star! We’re building a beautiful photo book of Happy Tails you'll want to show off. Claim all or part of a single page for your canine family members, and give a shout-out to the organization where you adopted them in the process.
      • On both sites there are also food options! Buy BOGO Bowl for your own dog and we’ll send a double match to your favorite organization.

* Why the split? Because people are different, as are our rewards, and so are these crowdfunding sites. IndieGoGo is more kicked-back, with humor and a bit of an edge. StartSomeGood is exactly what its name claims: a place to jump start something good in the world. We wanted to give our supporters options that make them happy. And we didn’t want to come begging too often and wear out our welcome.

We believe together we can be the cause of lots and lots of happy endings. Go TEAM BOGO Bowl!