Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview Wednesday - Working Long Hours and Having a Dog

 We are very lucky to have landed an interview with The Goldbergs Co-Producer, Sandi Hochman! She took time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions for us about life with her gorgeous rescue dog, Maddie.

One of the top reasons pets are relinquished to the shelter is: Owner doesn't have enough time for the pet.

Sandi is here to tell us that if a Hollywood producer can make it work, so can YOU! Let's find out how she juggles her schedule with the light of her life (and even manages to foster a senior dog - the woman is nothing short of AMAZING).

      How did you and Maddie meet?
I was looking to adopt a dog from a shelter.  I had gone a couple of times but the dog just wasn’t there.  I knew I’d know her when I found her. (I was looking for a girl)  I woke up one day and realized I hadn’t visited the shelter in a while.  I was looking for a dog who was a year or two old… was not looking for a puppy.  I saw Maddie (who was 10 wks old) and decided I wanted to see her and another, older dog.  They brought Maddie out first.  The other dog never had a chance.  I fell in love with her immediately.  So much so that it was a Saturday and they couldn’t let me adopt her until she was spayed which couldn’t happen until Monday morning.  So, after filling out the paper work, I ended up visiting her two more times at the shelter that day.

What's her personality type - is she laid back California or high energy California? 
She’s definitely high energy.  At 15, she’s still going strong.

What do you love most about her? 
This is impossible to answer.  I love everything about her.  She has the most independent personality and makes me laugh all the time.  Yet, she can be such a little sweetheart if she gets scared.

Where is her favorite spot to sleep? 
She’s always loved going under my bed.  It’s her domain.  But, she has beds all over the house and, of course, my bed is her bed.


Does she have a favorite toy? 
Her favorite toy is a die (single dice) that you fill with treats.  It’s in the bedroom on the 3rd floor and she will go up there on her own and start barking when it gets stuck under something or needs to be filled with treats.

Not enough time/attention for the dog is one of the top reasons given when they are relinquished at a shelter. You work in television production and have a very demanding job that sometimes requires long hours. How do you make it work? 
It truly takes a village to coordinate Maddie’s schedule.  I have been lucky enough to have the same fantastic dog walker/sitter for the past 6 years.  I couldn’t do it without her.  I’ve also used doggie daycare and have dropped her off to spend the day with friends.

Walk us through a day in the life of Sandi and Maddie when you are working. 
Unfortunately, when I’m working, there’s not much life to our day together.  She’s with me when I’m getting ready for work in the morning.  We go for a walk and then I don’t see her for most of the day.

The highlight of my day is walking in and seeing that cute little furry face.


A day in the life when you're on hiatus or a weekend when you're not working. 
That’s another story.  We take a little longer walk in the morning and I spend as much time with her as possible.  I take her on errands if I can and just try to give her as much attention as possible.  When I work from home, it’s sometimes very difficult to get things done. She stares at me and is very distracting :-}


Any final thoughts you would like to share with us? 
I’ve heard a lot of people say that they live in an apartment and don’t have a yard.  I used to feel the same way.  One day I realized that I would rather give a dog a great home without a yard than not give a dog a home.  As long as you love them and take care of them and are able to give them enough exercise, that’s all that matters.  Personally, I don’t think there is anything better in this world than a dog.

Thank you so much for your time, Sandi!
As if being an amazing dog Mom, fostering seniors, and producing a hit tv show isn't enough for one plate, Sandi also has her own business - Lucky Puppy. Click here to shop her adorable clothing line (she donates a percentage of her monthly sales to charity!).


Monday, April 14, 2014

"Teacup" Puppies For Sale

You've seen the advertisements in the papers, online and sometimes in pet store windows: Teacup puppies for sale! The only problem is, there is no such thing as a "teacup". "Teacup" is a term made up by bad breeders and puppy mills to lure impulsive people into buying from them. Breeds like Yorkies, Maltese, Poodles, Chihuahuas are all "Toy" breeds meaning they are already on the tiny side. Words like "teacup", "micro", "mini" are used by bad breeders for dogs that end up being normal size most of the time. They sell the dog at 4 weeks of age (4 weeks younger than is legal in most states) because they look smaller. People are either shocked when their puppy grows to be 3-7 pounds or they don't realize that is standard size and think they have a "teacup" when they don't. You can't tell how big a puppy will be when they are that young. These bad breeders guarantee their puppy will be a certain size as an adult, but that's not a guarantee anyone can make.

"Teacup" is not a size recognized by the AKC. All of the breed clubs now have warnings on their websites about "teacups". There are occassionally runts in the litter that will grow to be less than average size. A good breeder sells these puppies at a LOWER cost than the rest of the litter. I will say that again so that you know it is NOT a typo - a good breeder will sell a runt at a LOWER price than the rest of the litter. Why? It is not up to breed standard. Toy breeds have certain health risks and a runt from those litters stands an even greater chance of suffering major health problems. Toy breeds can live an average of 15 years or more. "Teacups" or runts don't tend to live half that long. In most cases they are so fragile, they don't live more than a few years. The list of genetic and congenital defects in these poor puppies is long:

Open fontanels: soft spot from the cranial bone not forming
Portosystemic shunts: abnormal vessel that allows blood to bypass the liver so the blood is not cleansed as it should be.
Cardiac problems
Collapsing trachea
Luxating patellas
Digestive problems

"Teacup" puppies don't grow properly. Their bones and organs are stunted due to their size. This sets them up for health problems that lead to expensive vet bills or death. Any puppy that does not weigh 2 pounds by 8 weeks is a huge health risk. Most don't live to adulthood. There always rare exceptions to the rule when owners educate themselves about the health risks associated with a dog under 3 pounds. Those dogs are lucky to have owners who did their research and were willing to give up sleep, social lives and money (for vet care) to insure that they reached adulthood.

If your dog weighs 3 pounds or more, you do not have a "teacup." You have a standard size (insert breed here). This is the most common misconception people have. They tell people that their "teacup" is healthy at 4 pounds when they don't actually have a "teacup." They simply paid for a label and got a standard size dog at a more expensive price. Don't be fooled. Good breeders will not label their dogs "teacup", "micro", "miniature", "pocket" or "toy." Toy is already implied in the breed itself.

For more information, you can click on the following links:
Chihuahua Club of America

Yorkshire Terrier Club of America

(NOTE: The Yorkie pictured is purebred and up for adoption through a Fresno rescue group. You can find purebred puppies and dogs in ANY shelter. This one is 10 months old, but shelters and breed rescues across the country get them younger and older than that age. If you do your homework, you can find exactly what you are looking for. Meredith and I are always available to help you in your search.)