October 16, 2011

What is a Sato?

Satos=the term used in Puerto Rico for stray dogs...
For those of you that aren't familiar with the island of Puerto Rico, we have a huge stray dog problem here. It is very sad! I am a very lucky house dog that gets all the comforts of a wonderful life. I get really good food everyday, I have all the fresh water I can drink, I have comfy beds to sleep on, a family that loves me, toys to play with, healthy treats, even air-conditioning for this hot climate. Many of my kind, however, aren't that lucky. There is a pack of about 10 dogs that live at the beach close to my house. They sleep in the hot sun and have to search around for food. I have watched them drink from muddy puddles and pick through trash. Luckily many people go to that beach and feed them, but it still isn't the best life for them. Lately there have been two doggies hanging around our condo and they both are so cute. The humans have been feeding them and giving them water, but they still need a home. I don't know where they came from, but aren't they cute?

One of the problems here is a shortage of no-kill shelters. If a dog catcher takes a dog, chances are they will be put down. There is also a huge population of strays and although there are organizations that try to help, there are just so many dogs. I feel that I am so lucky and I just wished all dogs could have a happy home and a good life.

To read more about Puerto Rico's stray dog population, please see the links below.

Save a Sato  A non-profit organization that works with stray and abused animals on the island
All Sato Rescue  A non-profit working to reduce the number of strays and tackle the root problem
A.R.F  A non-profit in Rincon, PR, close to my home, that fosters dogs and has a really cool program that educates kids on how to treat animals!
NAIA  An interesting article that examines the global stray dog population problem and argues against shipping dogs from Puerto Rico to the U.S.

This is just a few of the sites you can find to learn more about the problem here. I wished I had an easy answer, but hopefully the problems with homeless dogs here will continue to improve. If you or anyone you know is interested in adopting the dogs above that live in my neighborhood, please contact me!
Branson the Great Dane

October 1, 2011

I'm Back!!!

Wow everyone! I am so sorry I have been gone for so long! I have been busy playing, sleeping, and having fun at the beach. Right now though I am laid up resting, as I just had stinking surgery. My humans made that mean vet do something to me called neutering. I don't really get it, but the good news is that I get to lay around and mommy and daddy have been loving on me even more than usual. I also had a surgery called gastropexy that I think has something to do with my stomach. My mom said that it will help me if I ever bloat and will hopefully stop my stomach from ever twisting. I hope so, as stomach twisting doesn't sound like fun.

How is everyone else doing? I hope you guys are all having fun and I promise to write soon. I don't really have much else to do since the vet said I can't run and play for 2-3 weeks! Write me if you can and I can live vicariously through you other doggies.


June 13, 2011

Treat Time

So a few days ago I shared what I eat for meal time (to read more about that, check out my post "So what do you feed that horse?"), now let's talk treats! Mommy always jokes that I eat healthier than she does and that there are things she eats that she wouldn't feed to her dog, but I don't think that's a joke. She won't let me eat just any treats, so here is a sample of what I CAN eat:

Apples! I love plain apples and get those a lot as treats. Wait, don't horses eat apples too? Maybe those strangers are on to something...do I need a saddle? Green apples are my favorite, but sometimes mommy buys the red ones and they are okay too. Sometimes she makes a plate full of them with peanut butter for her snack, but I found that if I am patient she will share.

I mean really, how could you turn down this face? I know how to work it, don't I? Now my favorite treat that I get on special occasions is a frozen Kong filled with delicious goodies...

I have watched mommy make it and this is what she does:
1. Dabs a little peanut butter on the smaller opening of the Kong and freezes that for a bit.
2. In a bowl she mixes some of my kibble with yogurt. If I have been really good she uses the Greek kind. Yummo!
3. She then stuffs the Kong with the mixture, places it in a cup to keep it from spilling out, and freezes.

Sometimes she will throw some cut up baby carrots in the mix too. I also get plain carrots sometimes as treats, told you I had to eat healthy. Now I have to be really patient while my treat is freezing, but when it is ready I have a blast!

This is a delicious treat here in Puerto Rico since it is always hot! It cools me down and keeps me entertained for awhile so my parents can get some work done. Sometimes I lick my Kong standing up...

Sometimes I like to chill out on the floor with Kong...

And usually I fall asleep after finishing my Kong...

As you can see I love my Kong. I also get some store bought treats on occasion, only if they are grain-free. I like the Wellness brand Venison and Salmon the best, but mom said she is going to make me some homemade baked treats soon! I will keep you posted and share the recipe after they are Branson tested and approved. WOOF!

What is your favorite treat or way to stuff a Kong? Please share and give my humans some ideas....

Until we bark again,
Branson the Great Dane

June 7, 2011

"So what do you feed that horse?"

Yep, horse! Can you believe people would call me that? I bet all you Great Danes have heard this once or twice. Am I right? Well actually it is a good question, but they could be more sensitive to my feelings! Before my mom and dad even got me they did ALOT of research on what to feed me. They didn't really know what was the best food and there are limited options here on the island, so they decided to have my food shipped in....

I get so excited when the big box arrives!

Through all their research they found some great information about quality dog food and Great Danes, so they decided to feed me Orijen 6Fish. Oh how I love Fish! People often comment on how shiny my coat is and how healthy I look. Orijen 6Fish is a grain-free food that is actually made in Canada. It has no preservatives, corn, rice, or wheat. It does consist of 80% fish and 20% fruits and veggies! Check out the ingredients HERE, as well as see their other products.  FYI...I don't get paid to say this, but I think the company should hire me as a spokesdoggie. :)

Smells delicious!

Now getting it here proved to be a problem at first, as many companies won't ship to Puerto Rico, but we then we found Luke's All Natural Pet Food store! Mommy says they provide great customer service, but I like them because often they send free surprises (the all-natural kind of treats that I can eat)!

Deciding what to feed your pet is a very important decision, especially for us Great Danes that are prone to so many health problems. There are many great options out there that are healthy and that your dog will love. Here are some resources to help with your research....

For Great Dane Owners:
The DOL Great Dane forum is an excellent resource for all your food related question and much, much more.

For everyone:
Check out Dog Food Analysis. This is an independent site that rates and reviews dog food brands. It is an excellent resource for all dog owners.

Another option is to feed a Raw diet and many dogs seem to do well with that. There is great info. on the DOL forum about this too. E-mail me at sunblisslife@yahoo.com if you have any questions. Also be sure to LIKE my Facebook page or sign-up for email notifications of new posts.

Apparently there are 2 schools of thought on how much protein a growing boy like me should have. I tried to get mommy to explain it to me, but it was really confusing. I went to dad for help, but he was worse and started talking about vortex ring state and something about Bernoulli. GHHEEESSSHHH! For more info. see Faust's post HERE on the DOL Forum (you will need to scroll down to the end).  

Until we bark again,

June 6, 2011

Branson Goes to Boqueron

Well, really I have been to Boqueron three times now and I love it....or should I say Boqueron loves me! I don't know what it is about this place, but it just seems that everyone here loves big dogs. It is one of the friendliest places I have been to so far in my young life. Every time I am there I always draw in the crowds...

Me and my daddy in Boqueron, PR

Boqueron is a quaint little village in the southwest section of Puerto Rico. Mommy says it reminds her of Key West, Florida and that it has the most beautiful sunsets around (to read more about it check out Sun Kissed Bliss). There is also a large public beach here where some cool dogs like to hang out...

Cool dogs wear bathing suits!

There are many little bars, restaurants, and shops that line one small street. One of the bars there offered me a drink of cold water. They were surprised when they realized my head could actually rest on top of their bar. Mom put my bowl on the bench to make it easier for me to drink and so I didn't scare away the customers. This still got a ton of stares!

Step right up...I think I will!

Whenever I go I get to hang out at La Marea Eat and Drink, a place where the people food smells delicious (of course I don't get any, but the staff is nice to me). They have a cool outside area for hanging out and people watching. Here are some of my recent admirers...

Photo credit: Ripp Motion

These people were so nice...here are some more...

Photo Credit: Ripp Motion

And here is a cool group of new people that I hung out with one Sunday, along with some of my family...

Fun times! If you see me in Boqueron be sure to say hi!
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