All Dog Breeds Deserve A Chance
From an early age we are told, "Don't judge a book by its cover." This holds true for man's best friend. "Bully breeds" in particular have a bad reputation. Fortunately there are passionate dog owners making it their mission to shift the conversation. They believe all dog breeds deserve a chance - a chance to have healthy and fulfilling lives with their owners.
Here are their stories...
Aria the American Bull Dog
Wanting a family dog is a common request from kids and the Terraneau crew was no different. Josh Terraneau, Riverside, CA State Farm agent, and his wife decided it was finally time and brought the whole family to the shelter to find their new family member, an adorable puppy.
"The moment our family walked through the local shelter and met Aria...it was kismet," said Josh. "My youngest son was 18 months at the time and Aria began sniffing him. It was obvious there was a natural connection and curiosity to one another."
The family asked if Aria could be let outside to play to see if they were a good fit. Josh describes the moment of seeing Aria running around the yard as witnessing the dog "blossoming." At that moment, the Terraneau family knew they had found their puppy.
As the one year anniversary of Aria's adoption nears, Josh shares, "I cannot imagine my family without her. She's just such a big part of our family"
Santa Paws and Fido
A passionate owner of five dogs and an advocate for dogs and safety, Linda Newell, a San Diego, CA State Farm agent, works hard to educate her community. She teams up with local veterinary offices and school educators to teach children about dogs. She distributes an activity book, Fido! Friend or Foe to the children.
"I love meeting the members of my community – the dogs and their owners," said Linda."And it's so important to teach the kids about dogs and how to be safe."
Linda also teams up with Santa Paws during the holidays. Together they provide her new customers, who are dog owners, with doggie goodie bags, and the opportunity to get a holiday photo with their pets.
Hundreds of people take advantage of this unique opportunity including a local military wife whose husband was deploying in a few days. The special picture gave her family comfort while her husband was overseas serving our country during the holidays.
The Playful Golden Retriever
State Farm Agent Shea Ferraro describes his golden retriever, O'Malley, as a friendly dog who loves people and the pool. He attributes her friendliness to early socialization with other dogs and people. Since an early age, O'Malley would frequent dog parks, dog beaches, and dog-friendly restaurants. During the summer, you can find O'Malley swimming in their pool. O'Malley enjoys catching a ball in her mouth, and then placing her head on the ledge of the pool. She waits there until someone is ready to toss her the ball for hours of endless fun.
Kensie the Pit Bull
Kensie the pit bull was shaking in fear in the animal shelter. Fortunately, Rob Bills, a Mission Viejo, CA State Farm agent, was with his family looking to adopt a new dog. Rob already was the owner of two loyal pit bulls and he knew he could give Kensie the home she deserved.
"She appeared physically and emotionally wounded," shared Rob. "She only weighed 30 pounds; very underweight for her age and size."
After years of caring for his new family member, Kensie weighs 50 pounds and trusts humans again. Rob says caring for three dogs is a great deal of work, but it's also "wonderful and very rewarding."
Heat, leashes, and learning
The summer months can mean very high temperatures. Agent Shea Ferraro asks people to be mindful of their dogs and children, and never leave them in an unattended vehicle.
While walking your dog with a retractable leash, Rob Bills suggests owners be mindful of releasing the leash too suddenly.
He has observed face-to-face dog confrontations that could pose safety concerns for dogs who are still in training or are not yet socialized. Instead, Rob suggests dog owners talk first to determine whether the dogs can meet and play.
Owner of two dogs, State Farm Agent Andy Popka stresses the importance of getting to know your pet. In particular, by learning his dog Rowdy's body language, he knew which situations Rowdy perceived as threatening. For example, Rowdy used to run to a specific dog bed at their home any time he saw a person wearing a hat and sunglasses. Learning these signs from Rowdy, and their other dog, enabled Andy to tailor their training.
Insuring the underdog and more
"All dogs can be 'great dogs,' regardless of breed, if they are properly cared for, loved and trained," stated Agent Rob Bills.
State Farm determines risk based on a dog's bite history rather than breed. Thus, State Farm does not exclude insuring households solely based on breed.
Interested in reading more about dogs and State Farm, click here to enjoy a Huffington Post blog, Insuring the Underdog.
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