Pup links!

It's a German shepherd Christmas. Click for source.

Christmas edition! Dog-related links from around the Web this week:

Downloadable Gift Tags from Modern Dog. Cute, colorful gift tags for the dogs or the dog-loving among us! (Miles to Style)

Anger and Anger Management. The great Patricia McConnell reflects on whether dogs can get angry. Fascinating! (The Other End of the Leash)

TIME Magazine Person of the Year. Shio the shiba does his part in participating in TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year 2011: The Protester. (Shio the Shiba)

Dear Prudence! Why even consider dating someone who doesn’t love animals? (Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviews)

Top 7 Reasons I Recommend Adopting an Adult Dog. Yeah! Preach it! Anyone else have any good reasons why? (Dog Training Secret)

Mismark Case Study: German Shepherd Dog. Our favorite dog-loving biologist reflects on the colors that occur when GSD genes cross. (Musings of a Biologist and Dog Lover)

Dog Portraits. Sweet and simple dog profiles by artist Itsuko Suzuki. (Miss Moss)

Giant-Headed Baby Attacked by Tiniest Yorkie Ever. So. Adorable. A huge baby plays with a tiny Yorkie puppy… Watch the delight and utter glee on the baby’s face swiftly change to distress when he realizes that the pup is actually trying to knock him over… But only in the cutest form of jest! (Best Week Ever)

Spent-Grain Dog Treats. My husband the poet is also a homebrewer, so he was really excited when I found this link to DIY spent-grain treats. Will be trying this come summer! (Pawesome)

Review: Love Has No Age Limit

Love Has No Age Limit, by Patricia McConnell and Karen London

This is the book I have been waiting to read. Ever since I made it known here that we were leaning toward adopting an adult dog, everyone told me there was only one book I needed to read: The new release from Patricia McConnell and Karen London, Love Has No Age Limit.

After poring over this wonderful, practical, little volume, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the only book that a potential dog adopter needs to read. The book is slightly over 100 pages, but McConnell and London say everything that needs to be said to prepare your home and heart for a rescued dog.

Love Has No Age Limit has a strong emphasis on preparation. The authors do all in their power to keep their readers from being blindsided by the many challenges that come with adopting a dog. But with their advice, these challenges are not daunting; rather, McConnell and London equip their audience with the right tools and the right perspective to rehome any dog.

I appreciated their practical tips for preparation, such as: Don’t give the dog full reign of your house right away. Treat the dog as if she is not housetrained, even if the adoption agency says she is; the stress of moving to a new home can cause some dogs to forget the rules of going inside or outside a house. Set your house rules with your family before bringing the dog home (this one struck a chord with me, because I am going to need to do about two months of instruction to get my husband up to speed with all that I’m thinking about and planning for our dog).

McConnell and London, per their backgrounds as well-respected animal behaviorists and trainers, also emphasize the importance of establishing a relationship and a bond. With some dogs, this bond may be instantaneous; with others, it may take a few months or even a year or more. Knowing that both are acceptable possibilities has helped me tone down my fears about adopting an adult. “It often takes a year to fully integrate a dog into your household,” the authors say, and this was such a relieving reminder. Everything does not have to be ideal all at once; don’t expect a perfect dog in two weeks.

The overwhelming message of this book is to have patience with one’s adopted dog. This was such a welcome message to me. After all of my months of planning and research, I am plagued by the thought that I am going to mess the dog up, that he or she won’t be “perfect”–which is silly. Of course the dog won’t be perfect. Of course I will make mistakes. McConnell and London just keep saying, “Have patience. Have patience with yourself and with your dog.” And that’s the message that matters.

Disclaimer: I requested a review copy of this book from Patricia McConnell’s publishing house.