Monday, October 31, 2011

Collared today: Gidget and Gabby

Gidget and Gabby
  Gidget and Gabby (Cheryl Ingoe)

Pictures: The dogs of BARCStoberfest 2011
Photos: Pictures: The dogs of BARCStoberfest 2011   
Halloween called the most dangerous time of year for pets
Halloween called the most dangerous time of year for pets   By Jill Rosen The Baltimore Sun
6:30 a.m. EDT, October 31, 2011NAMES: Gidget and Gabby
OWNER: Cheryl and Mike Ingoe
HOW THEY MET: Both pets were acquired from breeders in the mid-Atlantic region
AGE: Gidget is 1, Gabby is 3
HOME: Kingsville
BREED: Gidget is a Papillon, Gabby is a West Highland White Terrier
FAVORITE ACTIVITY: Treat time, walks and belly rubs, in that order
FAVORITE FOOD: Venison jerky treats
FUNNIEST MOMENT: The “girls” are at their cutest when we pull into the driveway and they are sitting side-by-side on the back of the couch looking out the bow window waiting for us to get home. Also, when Gidget uses her behind to “bump” Gabby to get her to play.
IF GIDGET AND GABBY HAD A MOTTO FOR LIFE, IT WOULD BE: A daily walk is essential for health and happiness!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

World's cutest pets

  Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

  Give a dog a bone
BREED: Yorkshire Terrier
This darling Yorkshire terrier named Lacie is just about the cutest thing we've ever seen with that shy look on her furry little face. Her owner submitted her picture to, and when we found it, we just couldn't resist. That bone is as big as she is!
Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

Basil the cat
  Basil the blogging cat
BREED: Purebred Scottish Fold
This purebred Scottish fold cat named Basil Yuen Farrow is owned by a woman named La Carmina, who is set on making him famous. (After all, in her blog, she claims her kitty was once owned by Mia Farrow.) She even made Basil a focal point of her blog and of other ventures she's cooking up.
Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

  Perky pom-pom
BREED: Pomeranian
This 19-lb. Pomeranian named Tinkerbell was recently voted as Woman's Day's Cutest Pet of the Day. Her owner submitted a picture of her, and it paid off. We wonder if the tee shirt adds some extra weight.
Warm And Fuzzy
There's nothing like a cuddly cat or dog to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further. These pictures of sweet little pets are bound to make you smile, even if you’re having a case of the Mondays or a wacked-put workweek.

Jack Russell
  Study buddy
BREED: Jack Russell
Can you believe that anyone would abandon a dog this adorable? His new owner found this Jack Russell, whom she named Bubba, alone and almost freezing to death on the side of the road. She took him in, and now his favorite thing to do is curl up on her lap while she studies--to be a vet tech. How fitting!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pets Factor: meet the final 30 - and get voting!

Peterborough ET's Pets Factor: the final 30
  We’ve had so many fantastic pets enter our Pets Factor competition there’s no way we could decide on an overall winner.
Our readers have selected their top 30 cutest entrants (as featured here) but we need to get these whittled down in the second round of Pets Factor 2011.
Tell us who your favourite pet is by voting now! See the final 30 pets as a PDF and find out how to vote below
The Top 10 will be printed on Thursday, October 20 in your Evening Telegraph.
Our 2011 Pets Factor winner will receive a top-quality dog or cat bed from Pets at Home, packed full of Mars Petcare food, treats and goodies.
What’s more, the winner will also receive a stunning 16in x 12in colour print of their pet from Starlight Studios. Don’t worry, if the winner is one of two rabbit finalists, there will be alternative prizes that will delight the brilliant bunny and their proud owner.
So to enter and support your favourite furry friend, simply choose your favourite animal picture from those printed, and either text or email your vote before Sunday, October 16.
Our Pets Factor contest is being organised in association with the Love Pets Show which takes place at the East of England Showground, Peterborough on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30, October.
TV vet Marc Abraham will take centre-stage at the two-day animal extravaganza in Peterborough, which welcomes people who are passionate about their pets to enjoy a great-value family day out.
Over the LovePets Show weekend Marc will be giving talks covering a wide variety of pet topics, answering questions from the audience and sharing anecdotes from his days as a vet on call in an emergency clinic.
“The LovePets show is all set to be a brilliant family attraction because it highlights so many different aspects of the animal world in a fun, interactive way,” explained Marc.
“For example, there will be assistance dogs demonstrating their working skills, including guide dogs, hearing dogs and Pets as Therapy (PAT) that are taken to visit people in poor health.
“There will also be reptiles and birds, exotic creatures and some particularly strange-looking insects.
“The LovePets Show brings these wonderful animals together for people to meet, and promises visitors a huge feel-good factor.
The LovePets show will offer a wealth of information on being a responsible pet-owner, and is supported by The Kennel Club, which will be on-hand to answer questions ranging from choosing the right puppy for your family, to rescuing particular breeds. They will also be promoting the Young Kennel Club for children with an interest in canines.
Meanwhile, celebrity dog trainer Karen Wild will be providing masterclasses at the show for those keen to learn best behaviour techniques, and this year’s Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Pippa Langhorne will be providing musical entertainment by singing with her dog Buddy.
Voting for this round ends at midnight on Sunday, 16 October!
Text your vote before midnight on Sunday, 16 October to 61500 starting your message with the words EMN TEN then a space, then the number of the pet you are voting for (as printed in the newspaper), then your name, house number and postcode.
Texts messages cost £1.00 in addition to your standard network charge and should contain no more than 160 characters. Please note if you should enter after the stated closing date your vote will not be valid but you may still be charged.
Email your vote, including your name, address and daytime contact telephone number to In your email subject title, please ensure you state the number of the pet you are voting for, followed by the words ‘Pet Competition’ (for example, “1001 – Pet Competition”).

Make 2011 Year of the ‘Hog: A How-To Guide for Hedgehogs


hedgehog pet

Hedgehogs can make unique pets.
Some of the happiest discoveries in life can be utter contradictions. Such is the case of the hedgehog, one of the cutest animals on earth that also happens to have a pelt of sharp quills. Hedgehogs don’t immediately come to mind when thinking about fun and cuddly pets, but these unusual creatures can be playful, loving, and loyal.
“We got our first hedgehog, Heidi, as a pet for my daughter,” Ann Salamon, a Connecticut based hedgehog breeder and proprietor of Hedgehog World told me. “She was a great pet with lots of spunk and attitude and she really bonded with my daughter and our whole family. We all really fell in love with her.”
Say Hello to My Little Hedgehog
Most hedgehogs come from Africa, and the species most commonly kept as a pet in North America is the African Pygmy hedgehog.
“It is a hybrid of two different species that were imported into North America in the 1990s,” Salamon said. “Virtually all of the pet hedgehogs in the US are domestically bred.”
Because of their origins hedgehogs typically need to be kept warm to stay healthy. They should be kept in a room that is at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and preferably a little warmer, which makes them a great pet for people in warmer parts of the country. A typical hedgehog will live between three and five years, though some have been known to live as long as ten years in captivity.
“Hedgehogs are very intelligent and they each have their own distinct personality. Most of them are very independent,” Salamon continued. “They don’t require as much time and attention as a dog or a cat and often apartments that don’t allow dogs or cats will allow hedgehogs.”
These Quills Were Made for Loving
While hedgehogs can often be sweet and friendly creatures, their quills present a challenge for those looking to cuddle.
“Scent is very important to hedgehogs because their eyesight is not good, so hedgehogs should be handled with your bare hands whenever possible,” Salamon said. “If a hedgehog is used to a lot of human contact, most will not roll up or will unroll immediately when you pick them up.”
If you don’t feel comfortable trying to hold your new hedgehog with bare hands, try using some cloth that still has your scent on it so he or she will start to recognize you. An old fleece or baby blanket should do the trick, though be careful to check for loose threads, which can get wrapped around a hedgehog’s tiny toes and cause problems.
“Some hedgehogs like to cuddle and sit in your lap,” Salamon continued. “You can watch TV or use the computer with them on your lap, or carry them around in a sweatshirt pocket.”
A Home Fit for a ‘Hog
Hedgehogs are relatively small and can live happily in a cage similar to what you’d use for a guinea pig or rat. They love to have space to roam, but a single level cage of at least two feet by two feet will suffice. They also tend to enjoy exercise and Salamon says an exercise wheel is a must.
“Hedgehogs are burrowing animals so a safe wood bedding like kiln dried pine or aspen--but never cedar--or paper bedding makes an enjoyable environment for them to burrow and dig,” Salamon continued.
It’s also important to give your hedgehog time to play outside of its cage.
“If you have a runner or explorer, you can let them run around supervised or put them in a run about ball, children’s wading pool or ferret exercise pen,” Salamon said. "They love to run on an exercise wheel, play with toilet paper tubes and some also like to push around other child or pet safe toys in their cage.”
Hedgehog’ing is Not a Crime—Usually
Because hedgehogs are still a relatively unusual pet, laws affecting their ownership can vary from state to state. Most states in the U.S. and Canada allow people to own hedgehogs but they are currently illegal in Georgia, California, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. New York City residents are also out of luck.
While not illegal in the state of New York, residents in any of NYC’s five boroughs are forbidden from keeping hedgehogs as pets. In Arizona, Maine, and New Jersey you’re allowed to keep hedgehogs but you’ll need to apply for a special permit first.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Old Age in Dogs

Old Age in Dogs

The age at which a dog can be considered elderly varies widely among models. In general, the larger the dog, the more quickly it declines. For instance, a Great Dane could be considered "senior" at age 5, while a smaller toy poodle would still be spry at twice that age. Remember, however, that just because a dog is chronologically old doesn't mean that an endless series of malfunctions is in store.

In many cases an elderly dog can enjoy many healthy, active, pain-free years.
One of the best ways to prolong the life and improve the functions of an elderly dog is to carefully regulate its fuel intake. Older dogs exercise less and thus need fewer calories.

And since age reduces their ability to digest and absorb nutrients, high-quality food specifically formulated for their needs is a necessity.

Excessive amounts of protein, phosphorus, and sodium can aggravate kidney and heart problems, so most such foods contain smaller amounts of higher-quality protein, along with reduced quantities of other elements. Levels of vitamins, zinc, fatty acids, and fiber, however, are increased.

A popular misconception is that dogs age 7 years for each calendar year. In fact, canine aging is much more rapid during the first 2 years of a dog's life. After the first 2 years the ratio settles down to 5 to 1 for small and medium breeds. For large breeds the rate is 6 to 1, and for giant breeds the rate is 7 to 1. Thus, at 10 years of age a Great Dane would be 80 years old while a pug would only be 64.

How to Tell a Dog's Age

If you've taken in a dog whose age is unknown, there are some ways to determine his age. Here are some things vets check to get a general sense of how old a dog is:

The Teeth: Dogs usually have a set of permanent teeth by their seventh month, so if you've come across a dog with clean pearly whites, he is likely a year old or thereabouts.

Yellowing on a dog's back teeth may put the dog between one and two years of age, while tartar build-up at a minimal level could mean you have a dog between 3 and 5. Missing teeth or severe wear usually means the dog is a senior and could use some special dental care.

Muscle Tone: Younger dogs are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older dogs are usually either a tad bonier or a little fatter from decreased activity.

The Coat: A younger dog usually has a soft, fine coat, whereas an older dog tends to have thicker, coarser (and sometimes oilier) fur. A senior dog may display grays or patches of white, particularly around the snout.

The Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without tearing or discharge are common in younger dogs. Cloudy or opaque eyes may mean an older dog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Puppies Care

There's nothing sweeter than puppy breath, those inquisitive little noses and non-stop wiggling tails. Our puppies section covers all you need to know about these adorable little guys, from the time you take one home to the moment you can call your pup an adult dog.

Learn how to prepare your home for a puppy, get the lowdown on what vaccines are needed at each stage of your puppy’s life, and bone up on basic training and commands.

Our experts provide advice on how to deal with teething, house training, spaying or neutering, keeping puppies fit and happy, and then some.

The timing, frequency and components of vaccines that dogs should receive are all hotly contested. However, most vets, including Dogster's own Dr. Eric Barchas, agree that dogs don't need vaccines at 0-7 weeks, 21-24 weeks or at six months.

The general consensus at this time is that dogs should receive DHPPs (that's distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) every 3-4 weeks, beginning at 6-8 weeks of age and ending at around 14-16 weeks of age.

That basically boils down to shots at 8, 12, and 16 weeks. DHPP should be re-administered at 1 year and then every three years thereafter.

Bordetella vaccines are optional and should be based upon lifestyle. Some vets think Bordetella should be administered every 6 months, others vote for every 12 months.

Leptospirosis vaccines cause lots of controversy. Lepto can spread to people and it is becoming more prevalent, so many vets are now recommending giving it with initial puppy vaccines and boostering every year.

This is a marked change from a few months back, when many vets thought lepto shots weren't worth the perceived risk of increased adverse reactions caused by lepto vaccines.

Some states require rabies vaccines annually while others require this to be done every three years, so be sure to check with your vet.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Pets Chihuahua

I have a 7-year-old long-coat Chihuahua. I have had dogs most of my life, and probably have been fortunate because I have not experienced one being sick as mine suddenly became and won’t eat.

I came home late from work on Friday and he wouldn’t take his treat. He vomited bile three times during the night, and in the morning I took him to the vet. All day Saturday, he would not drink any water. Finally at around 2 a.m. he drank some water. He drank more later, but then sometime during the night he vomited.

I’m thinking that he did retain some of the fluid because he did urinate a little when I took him outside. I know that it takes 24 to 72 hours, but should I try to give him a little Karo in his water for his blood sugar? Do I just wait? I am really concerned.


You don’t mention what happened at the vet when you went, but it sounds like no blood tests were run nor X-rays taken. This is not uncommon — many vets and owners decide on a conservative approach to treatment when an animal first becomes sick.

A significant number of pets will recover from episodes of vomiting and poor appetite if they are treated with fluids and basic stomach calming medications.
However, when a pet remains sick after initial treatment, it is important to find out why. Your dog does not appear to have a self-limiting condition.

I am worried about serious problems such as pancreatitis, kidney failure, an intestinal foreign body, or other metabolic, inflammatory, or toxic causes of illness.

Blood tests and diagnostic imaging (X-rays and ultrasound) will give you great insight into what’s wrong. You can only treat serious problems if you know what needs to be treated.

For the record, I am not a proponent of conservative care in truly sick animals. When it fails, animals become sicker and treatment is more difficult than it would have been if diagnostic tests were run in the first place. When a pet is sick, I recommend tests, so that any serious problem can be caught and addressed early.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Dog Pet

What started out as a heavy and distressing turn of events for one dog owner has ended up as cause for celebration.

Harley, a 6-year-old pug from Manville, Rhode Island, recently won the third Annual VPI Hambone Award — an honor bestowed on the dog, cat, or exotic pet with the most creative mishap — for ingesting (and subsequently passing) more than 100 small rocks.

His owner, Lori Laverdiere, still doesn’t understand what prompted Harley to eat the rocks in the first place, but she is relieved to have her pal back at home after a scary overnight visit to the vet in June, when he was given medicine to facilitate the expelling of the rocks in what sounds oddly similar to humans passing kidney stones. Ouch!

Harley’s championship prize package includes a ham-shaped trophy and a bag filled with toys, treats, and an emergency pet kit.

VPI also awarded emergency pet kits to the second-place winner, Chico the Chihuahua, for surviving a tug of war on his leash with a Great Horned Owl; and the third-place honoree, Stella Artois, a Labrador who unfortunately got a big tin can of green beans lodged in her jaws after a (we say) unsuccessful attempt at dumpster-diving.

These awards were determined after narrowing the puppy playing field from 12 nominees who were culled from more than a million insurance claims received by VPI Pet Insurance. What a bittersweet and clearly occasionally amusing task that must have been! We’re glad that these winners are now safe and sound with their families.

Dogsters, what’s the strangest thing your pup has encountered or, well, swallowed?

I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of big brands and designer pieces. I just can’t help loving amazing design and high fashion. And yes, that goes for what I bring home to my dog as well. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love well-constructed, handmade clothes and accessories available on wonderful websites like Etsy.

My dog Miles and I love to comb through this extensive site to find unique pieces with a price tag we love. To show our enthusiasm over all things handmade with love, this week we’re going for the effortless look found on Etsy.

The Snap It Dog Jacket — Created with a high-quality cotton denim fabric and lined with gray cotton flannel, this cool jacket by Bean Town Handmade comes with its own snap-on pouch. If you’re kind enough to spend your hard-earned cash to keep your pooch looking stylish, the least he can do is carry his own poop bags and maybe a few of your small personal items.

Denim Squirrel Dog Toy — I don’t know about you, but my dog loses his mind at the mere mention of the word “squirrel.” He’ll never catch one in a million years, so I like to keep him happy with squirrel toys. I love this one made from recycled scraps of blue jeans. Denim is tough, so it’ll take him a while to rip the stuffing out of this one.

Custom-Embroidered Dog Portrait Canvas Pillow Cover — I’m crazy about commissioning portraits of my dog. It’s the kind of art I’m excited to invest in. This gorgeous embroidered dog portrait pillow is such a special way to immortalize my dog in pillow form.

Sloppy Drinker Canvas Dog Bed — My dog is a neat little water licker, but I know there are lots of sloppy drinkers out there. Don’t worry, it’s okay to call out your dog for being a sloppy drinker. In fact, it’s pretty hilarious.
Brass Arrow Earrings — While tribal-inspired prints and pieces are trendy at the moment, I guarantee you’ll reach for these everyday arrow earrings for seasons to come.

Urban Driftwood Dog Feeder — Driftwood Dog Feeders by Go Pet Design are must-haves for dog owners who love reclaimed rustic wood. The feeder’s modern and organic look is a perfect complement to a design-savvy home.

Blue Seersucker Dog Collar — If you’re on the hunt for a classic collar that will have your dog looking his most handsome, go with this red, white, and blue plaid seersucker collar by Nola and Spenser. It’s timeless preppy perfection at its best!

Organic Wool Jersey Skirt — Perfect for a stroll in the park or a play date at your local dog park, this gray jersey skirt is easy to wear with a tank or a tee. Throw on a cardigan and some tights when temperatures start to cool down, and you have one cute skirt to wear year-round.

Oak Leaf Headband — Call me prissy, but I have a strong attraction to headbands. This beautiful freehand-embroidered oak leaf headband made of shimmery silver silk dupioni with gray embroidered veining needs to make its way into my fall collection.

Hand-Knit Dog Sweater with Alligator Applique — I can only knit scarves, but if I could learn how to knit anything else, it would be adorable dog sweaters with alligator appliques just like this one from Simply Made by Liz.

Monday, October 17, 2011

When is it time to make the decision to say goodbye?

When is it time to make the decision to say goodbye? While no one can really say when that decision is most appropriate for you and your friend, here are a few factors that need to weigh into the decision:

While euthanizing a pet is certainly not a decision any of us want to make, many people are of the opinion that in certain situations of illness, it is the most humane thing we can do. It’s important to discuss your all options with your veterinarian. He or she is able to give you the best information about what your dog or cat is going through, the pain he/she might be experiencing, and your options at that particular time.
If against all your better wishes, you and your vet determine that it’s time to make that difficult decision, consider staying with your pet during the procedure. While it is a fairly painless procedure for the animal, more veterinarians now allow the owner to be with the pet during its final moments as it goes to sleep, so it does not pass away in completely unfamiliar surroundings.

The animal’s condition is incurable, and the animal is facing a very low quality of life. Sometimes a vet can medicate the pet to make it comfortable, but if the pet is facing a possible extended period of suffering, it might be time to talk to your vet about options.
You are unable to afford an extended period of medical care for the pet. If you don’t have the financial ability to make sure your pet gets the medical care it needs (and cannot find anyone who does have the ability), it may be inhumane to allow the pet to suffer. Again, discuss your options with your vet.
The pet’s age is a factor. A younger animal facing a serious health issue has a better chance of a full recovery than an older one—and putting an older animal through the rigors of a difficult treatment might not be advisable and could put the animal in unnecessary pain.
It is a choice none of us wants to make—but if you must make it, there is no dishonor in choosing to experience the pain of pet loss over making the animal go through continued pain. When it’s time to say goodbye to your pet, however it happens, remember to offer tribute to your friend for a life well-lived.
It’s a time all pet lovers dread: the moment when we must say goodbye to our beloved friend. Occasionally, something happens where we don’t really have the chance to say goodbye like we would like. Other times, though, especially in situations like sickness or old age, we are able to prepare better for that moment. And there are also times when saying goodbye to our pet is unfortunately not just a matter of natural death, but a matter of making a difficult decision.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Can Dogs Eat Chocolate?

We've all heard it: "dogs are allergic to chocolate." Actually, that's not such a bad way to think of it, and keeping your dog away from any and all chocolate is a must.

Symptoms of theobromine poisoning include obvious stomach pain, restlessness, drooling, and vomiting... and the vomit may in fact smell like chocolate, which is a definite giveaway. If enough theobromine has been consumed, then more severe symptoms will follow, such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, trembling, and cyanotic (bluish) gums.

But it is a good idea to understand the problem dogs have with chocolate, so you can be prepared in case there is a problem.

It's actually not an "allergy." As you know, chocolate contains caffeine. But it also contains a related compound called theobromine, and this is what dogs are very sensitive to.

Cocoa powder is very high as well, and although it's quite bitter to us, dogs seem to love it, unfortunately. You can see the importance of keeping all chocolate securely away from your dog!

Convulsions and death may follow. It's serious, and if your dog manages to get his paws on some chocolate, get on the phone with the vet or poison control center immediately.

o give you an idea... just one ounce of baking chocolate (which has about 10 times as much theobromine as milk chocolate) would be lethal to a small breed dog.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cute Puppies Here

The Unexpected Pit Bull is a not-for-profit organization that creates, markets, and sells merchandise celebrating pit bull dogs. The group donates 100% of its net profits to pit bull rescue, education, and advocacy organizations in need of support.
The dog in the photo at right is Miss July, a beautiful bluenose named Atomic Betty who also graces the cover. Look at that sweet, soulful face! Those ladylike white gloves! Her story is especially touching – but I don’t want to spoil the happy ending, so please buy the calendar to find out why.
Since 2004, its professionally-photographed wall calendar has celebrated the love, energy, and spirit that radiates from these wonderful dogs. Each month features a different, glorious pit bull portrait, in words and images, telling a dozen priceless stories of how these wonderful adopted dogs bring year-round joy to their beloved families.
But the photographs are the real draw – in my humble opinion, the photos of pit bulls cuddling with children do more to dispel negative stereotypes about these wonderful dogs than any mere words ever could.
Not surprisingly, The Unexpected Pit Bull Calendar enjoys the open-arms support of pit bull lovers like Rachael Ray, who featured it on her popular TV talk show.

“Somebody took this dog and threw him out like a worthless piece of trash, and used him for sport,” Misseri continues. “But as rescuers, we found him and put all our energy and effort into saving him. So here are the two sides of the equation: The dirtbags who thought nothing of taking this dog, fighting him, keeping him as a bait dog, and then throwing him out. And then you have the side of what we do as rescuers.
The people who threw him out couldn’t even imagine that someone else would put that much money into a dog they had tried to profit from and thrown out. But rescuers won’t hesitate to go broke and make tireless efforts to get dogs saved and rehomed.”
Pacino’s new life began in March, when two police officers on Long Island found the year-and-a-half-old dog wandering the street at 2 a.m. “The officers witnessed the dog walking very slowly, clearly in pain,” Misseri reports. “He was bloody, with bite wounds all over his body.”
The officers gingerly lifted the dog into the back of their vehicle; the dog complied sweetly, and did not resist arrest. The officers were touched by the dog’s gentle nature. So instead of taking the animal to the pound, the officers chauffeured him to a veterinary hospital and contacted the Guardians.
The next day, the dog was transferred to Dominick Marino of Long Island Veterinary Specialists in Plainview, where he was given the medical attention he needed — not to mention megadoses of TLC from the staff. “Doc Marino and his staff have gone above and beyond for Pacino, and we are very grateful to them,” Misseri says.
Because he had scarring over 60 percent of his body, the dark, handsome dog was named after the famously dark, handsome star of the movie Scarface. And K9 Pacino won the heart of a benefactor, Gail Waller, a Guardians supporter who contributed generously to help defray the cost of his hospital boarding.
Gail is a huge Pacino fan: “She brought homemade chicken several times a week for him, and spent quality time with him … she developed a tremendous bond with this dog,” Misseri explains. “Before, he never knew what it was like to be someone’s pet. Now he’ll be ready to be someone’s perfect pet very soon.”
Meanwhile, renowned veterinary behavior specialist Peter Borchelt has been working with K9 Pacino. Dr. Borchelt is confident — as is everyone involved with this extraordinary dog – that Pacino’s strong, good heart and love of people will make rehabilitation smooth and easy.
“Pacino has a great disposition, and he’s great around people,” Misseri adds. “He’s an example of just how much effort goes into saving one dog’s life.”
The Guardians believe that this dog might have been the victim of a dogfighting ring that was recently busted in the area. And so Pacino’s rescue also offers a valuable teaching lesson: ”A team of Guardians, led by Brian Sperazza, has been posting flyers in the area where Pacino was found, both reward flyers and notices alerting the community to the dangers of having children exposed to dogfighting,” Misseri says.
“We hope to raise awareness of dogfighting in the surrounding neighborhoods as well, so that we can put a stop to this terrible form of animal cruelty. And we’re working to gather information that will help authorities pinpoint other dogfighting operations in the area.”
That’s because this excellent calendar celebrates pit bulls for what they really are – just great dogs - so all dog lovers can relate, whether or not they live with a pit.
For the 2012 calendar, on sale now, the irresistible images of Atomic Betty and her fellow models were provided by HeARTs Speak, an organization made up of an international community of artists working to improve the lives of animals in need. HeARTs Speak members generously contributed the photographs that turn this calendar into a must-have holiday gift for all the dog people on your list, regardless of breed affinity.
Now that Hurricane Irene has come and gone, it’s business as usual for the thousands of rescue organizations across the country that do dog’s work every day of the year, weather or not. You’ve read about Guardians of Rescue in this column before. Now, meet the newest Guardians member: a 70-pound pit bull named Pacino.
Rescuing Pacino has set the Guardians back about $15,000. Was the effort worth it? Dogsters, what do you think? Just check out the before and after photos of Pacino — that’s some impressive makeover!
As the Guardians’ Robert Misseri puts it, “Once you’re in, you’re in for good. Pacino is a symbol of the commitment that it takes to do this kind of rescue work.”

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pet hospice care

The subject of when (or if) to euthanize a pet that is terminally ill or in chronic pain is a touchy one for many. In previous posts, we’ve talked a bit about consulting your veterinarian about situations in which putting your pet to sleep might be the most humane thing to do; however, it’s also important to look at the other side of things, because a lot of veterinarians now offer pet hospice care as an alternative to euthanasia—and some vets even specialize in hospice care.

Pet hospice care works much the same way as hospice for humans; terminally ill pets are given extended care intended to strengthen the quality of life during their last days. In many cases, the pet can receive hospice care while remaining at home with his/her owner.

Additionally, there are times when the best care cannot alleviate the suffering of the dog, cat, bird or other animal, and the animal’s quality of life cannot be improved—at which point, you might want to address the question again with your vet as to whether it is humane to try to keep the animal alive.

As with any end-of-life choice, there are pros and cons to pet hospice care. On the plus side, hospice offers families the chance to spend time with the pet, to cope with the idea of impending death, and to say goodbye.

Additionally, a veterinarian who offers hospice care is likely to be very compassionate, and while there are exceptions (and you should certainly research any pet hospice facility before placing your pet there), there’s a very good chance that your beloved friend will certainly receive compassionate, humane treatment during his/her final days.

On the negative side, extended care for a pet can be costly (and unless you carry some sort of insurance for your pet, you will absorb the expense).
So which choice is right for you and your pet in circumstances like these?

Only you and your vet can make those decisions, and they are admittedly not easy ones to make. If you and your vet feel a pet’s quality of life could be improved through hospice care, or if you have a strong moral or emotional conviction against euthanizing a pet, then pet hospice may be a good alternative for you and your special friend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Penguins are fascinating creatures

Penguins are fascinating creatures. They generate crowds at zoos and aquariums, and they have attracted even more attention following the 2005 documentary, March of the Penguins. By learning more about these birds, you can create a set of interesting animal facts for kids to explore.
What are penguins?

There are 17 species of penguin; all have feathers, wings, are warm-blooded and lay eggs. While penguins are birds and have wings, they do not actually fly.
How do penguins stay safe if they can't fly?
Without the ability to fly, penguins have had to develop different evolutionary tactics to handle predators. The emperor penguin, for example, manages to stay and reproduce in the cold Arctic temperatures that no other animal stays around to face. This allows them to grow and thrive, reproducing when the dangers of predators are minimal. Similarly, penguins often live on islands free from many predators, and have strong swimming abilities to aid in escape.
Which penguins do we know the most about?
When asking someone to picture a penguin, an emperor penguin may be the first image to come to mind. These penguins were documented in March of the Penguins. The largest species of penguin, the emperor penguin is found in Antarctica.
What do penguins eat?
Emperor penguins are known to eat fish, krill, squid and silverfish. Other species of penguin survive on similar diets, depending largely on what's available in their habitat.

You can check out more animal facts for kids at your local library. Use these and other facts to create a game to test your child's new-found knowledge and get him interested in learning more about these quirky animals.
Do penguins only live in cold habitats?
Among the important animal facts for kids to grasp is that while penguins often are featured in film and on television in cold climates, they also live in warm regions. In fact, different species of penguins can be found in many parts of the Southern Hemisphere, from tropical islands to Antarctica. Different penguin species have different habitats. With 17 species of penguins, that means you are likely to find a penguin where you least expect one — even Hawaii!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pet friendly holiday accommodation

Pet friendly holiday accommodation, such as a pet friendly rental house, caravan park, apartment or hotel can be of great benefit for some devoted pet owners. For some of us, holidays without our beloved pet just isn’t much of a holiday at all. We prefer to take our pets along to share the fun holiday time. We’d miss each other too much we didn’t holiday together.

It can be difficult to find an available, trustworthy person to look after our pets. This is especially the case if we are going away for an extended period of time. Boarding kennels can be expensive and fairly impersonal. Pets used to a lot of human companionship may fret and become anxious. In these cases it is preferable to holiday someplace that offers pet friendly accommodation, where your pet is welcome.
Normally in most situations you will be expected to keep your pet under control and not allow it to cause a nuisance to other people and animals, or to cause any damage to property. It will be your responsibility to clean up after your pet.
Here are some things to check when enquiring about pet friendly holiday accommodation:

Are pets allowed inside? Are they required to stay off the furniture?
If pets are required to remain outside, is there a secure area for them to sleep?
Do they have a kennel, or a securely fenced area outside?
Are dogs allowed to run free, or must they remain on leads in certain areas and at certain times?

Will there be other pets in the nearby area?
Will you be required to produce a current vaccination certificate and flea treatment?
Are there any limits on number, type, size or breed of animal?
Is there an extra charge or cleaning fee for pets?
There is a variety of accomodation options available for the pet owner, depending on the type of accommodation required. Most common are pet friendly caravan parks, which normally allow pets of any kind.
For a little more luxury there are pet friendly hotels and motels. A pet friendly beach apartment allows allows you to exercise your pet on the sand.
There are some more luxury pet friendly accommodation locations, for those who want something special such as pet friendly rental houses or cottages, with room to move, yet lots of privacy. There are even houseboats that cater for pets!
The easiest way to check what is available in Pet friendly holiday accommodation is to search online for details – you can often find special deals that you may not easily find anywhere else.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

story of your pet

Whether it be a dog, cat, bird or other animal, the life of a pet is a gift, and the time we are given with that pet is a gift. When we lose that beloved friend, sometimes the best memorial we can offer is to tell the story of our pet—to share with others about the blessing that our pet was to us, to recount fond memories with others who knew him/her—to relive the good times, the funny things, the favorite moments we shared with that pet. Not only does doing this honor the pet’s memory, but it can also help us with the healing process and dealing with the grief.
There are many ways to tell the story of your pet. There are websites online that offer the ability to create a memorial page where you can share about your pet; or it can be as simple as sharing a funny story with friends around the fire. The Loving Hearts Tribute Series can play a rather unique role in the telling of your pet’s story.
Because our pet memorial artwork is heart-themed and abstract, it tells the story more on an emotional level than with specific details.
The beauty of abstract art is that it speaks to people on a non-verbal level, and different people can see and interpret different things within it.
Our art pieces speak specifically and personally about your pet because his/her ashes or fur is included in the final coat—and yet it is presented subtly, so when you display it in your home, people won’t necessarily know what the painting is saying unless you clue them in. And of course, having a Loving Hearts Tribute painting in honor of your pet gives you the opportunity to share the story of your pet with people as they admire the painting.
What is your pet’s story? What are your favorite memories? We invite you to memorialize your pet by telling the story. If you’d like to tell us about your pet, please feel free to share briefly in the comments section below.