Sunday, April 26, 2009

Not Just A Day But a Perk

Since Patti Moran, the founder of Pet Sitters International created Take Your Dog to Work Day, businesses around the country have been allowing employees to bring their well-mannered dogs to the office each year in June. The original event intened to promote the human-animal bond by encouraging postive interactions between employees and canine companions as well as to educate indiviudals about the realities of pet over population. For more information about that day, browse HERE.

But now, in this difficult economy, the landscape of the work environment has changed. For example, businesses of all size have been forced to drop employee perks as revenue decrease. Services like fitness and day-care centers were the first to go, and simpler pleasures like office parties and water coolers are gone, too. As a result, employers are looking to keep employees content in the workplace, especially now with the no raise/no bonus trend.

Even Challenger, Gray and Christmas, the nation's first and oldest outplacement consulting organization firm located in Chicago, suggests boosting morale by companies considering dog-friendly offices, a low cost measure like the casual attire. The Challenger found that 10 percent of its cliets were considering this canine perk.

Moreover, a 2007 study conducted by the American Pet Products Association revealed that the benefits of having pets at work include relieving stress, improving relationships with coworkers, making a happier workforce, and creating an improved work environment.According to the APPMA survey:
55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment
53 million believe having pets in the workplace decreases absenteeism
50 million believe having pets in the workplace helps coworkers get along better
38 million believe having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment
32 million believe having pets in the workplace decreases smoking in the workplace
37 million believe having pets in the workplace helps improve the relationship between managers and their employees
And, 46 million people who bring their pets to the workplace work longer hours!

Although dog lovers will welcome, the daily perk, not everyone loves dogs. According to our beloved Miss Fido Manners, before you can share the daily grind with your dog , here are a few simple rules to follow.

-Make a favorable impression by arriving with a healthy, clean dog.
-Bring his pet supplies so that he will easily settle down.
-Recognize that your dog is your responsibility.
-When riding elevators, meeting and greeting office personnel, place your dog in a Sit—Stay.
-Be considerate and respectful of those who are fearful of or allergic to dogs.
-If your dog becomes disruptive, be prepared to take him home immediately.
-At mid-day, take a doggy break, because the office can be a stressful place for a pet. Give him the opportunity to eliminate and exercise by taking him for a long walk.

To learn more about Doggy Deameanor At The Office, purchase The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Puppy Love Rehabilitates

Since I am supporter of the New York City organization, Puppies Behind Bars, I am always uplifted when I articles or any information about prisoners working with pets. The Des Moines Register profiled two Iowa prisons which encourage inmates to rehabilitate dogs and cats so that these animas can be placed in loving homes.

About 100 dogs annually receive care from Mitchellville Prison inmates through the prison's PAWS program, which stands for Pets and Women Succeeding. Five inmates provide full-time care for dogs through the Mitchellville's PAWS program. They work in two, eight-hour shifts each day, using dog-friendly methods to teach dog training basics, including housebreaking and crate training as well as walking on a leash. Additionally, at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, is the WHISKERS program. WHISKERS, an acronym for Women Helping Indigent Special Kittens Earn Residence, care for abandoned cats and kittens.

Last year, my dog club, the Metropolitan Dog Club, sponsored Metropolitan, a Puppy Behind Bars, last year. Although we received regular letters from her puppy raiser, Rosa, who was incarcarated at the women's correctional facility in Bedford, NY, we never knew how much Metro meant to Rosa until we got the scrapbook that Rosa made of Metro's accomplishments. The day that I got it, I cried and cried and cried because I knew how much that little puppy meant to Rosa. Belive it or not, Rosa included Metro's nail clipping. Actually, I am crying now thinking about it. Metro has moved on; she is currently working as a canine explosion detection dog and Rosa was paroled from the Bedford facility in November. Metro was her last dog.

From our sponsorship experience, our club did learn that one dog can make a difference in one person's life. As a result, I encourage you to support any program that help prisioners work with dogs.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nutro News

April 21, 2009

To: NUTRO Customers
From: Dave Horton
Subject: NUTRO® Story Posted on

On April 20, posted a story claiming that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has an ongoing investigation into NUTRO® pet food. This is not true. We have confirmed with the officials from the FDA’s division responsible for regulating pet food, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), that there is no current or ongoing investigation of Nutro Products, Inc.

We want to assure our customers and all pet owners that NUTRO® products are safe for consumption and conform to the standards set by the FDA, the U.S Department of Agriculture and the Association of American Feed Control Officials. All NUTRO® products undergo rigorous quality assurance testing beginning with raw ingredients and ending with testing finished products. This includes testing to confirm that no melamine, mold toxins, or pathogenic bacteria are detected in any NUTRO® pet foods.

Rest assured, while consumer concerns about NUTRO® product quality are rare, we take every complaint seriously. When we learn of an issue, we work with consumers to obtain information and request that samples of any product in question be submitted for testing at an independent facility. An in-depth review is performed to determine if an issue does exist.

Nutro Products, Inc. remains committed to the quality, safety and performance of all our pet food brands. As we have for over 80 years, we strive to deliver the finest natural products to our customers and their pets.

Thank you for your continued support of Nutro Products.


Dave Horton
Nutro Products, Inc.

As Economy Sour, More Pets Need Help

According to the linked article, with a declining economy, Chicago animal control workers are seeing an 11% increase of surrendered pets as compared with more than a year ago. One new group of individuals that is standing out as surrenderees is folks that are generally unaccustomed to economic distress. This group of individuals is surrendering more purebred and "designer" dogs due to lay-offs, foreclosures and other economic pressures. Moreover, animal care workers are also seeing more pets that are being medically neglected and surrendered because their owners can not afford to take them to vet or pay for specific veterinary procedures.

On October 24, 2009, the date of my last satellite tour as well as in my book, the Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette, I talk about life's circumstantances changing and how there are times when some of us are confronted with the decision of whether to give up our pets. Before deciding to relinquish your pet, I ask a pet owner to investigate all possiblilites for keeping their dog. If you really can't maintain your pet, take time to find him a good home prior to leaving him with a local animal shelter.

Before turning your pet over to any animal placement organization, try to find your pooch or kitty a good home on your own. Ask family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, dog lovers and pet professionals if they would like to temporarily foster your dog or know anyone else who would.

Next, search for an organization that can foster your pet until you can get back on your feet. programs. Moreover, in some cases, some kennels might work out financial arrangements with individuals whose pets need temporary housing.

If you have exhausted all of your personal and professional contacts, you will need to use a reputable organization and/or web sites to help you. Don't make the mistake of placing an advertisement in a newspaper offering your pet as "FREE" to a good home. Unscrupulous people searching for laboratory animals, as well as dog fighters, obtain pets this way. If you do want to place an ad, consider a classified on an Internet adoption site managed by a rescue organization like can help you find an animal shelter or rescue organization that can help you place your dogs. Also, if you have a purebred dog, visit the website to help put you in touch with your breed rescue group.

As a last resort, search for an animal shelter that has a no-kill policy. When calling any rescue organization, ask about their relinquishment procedures and adoption policies. If you can , visit the facility to assure yourself that the animals are treated well, potential adopters are screened, and there is adoption support should problems arise with the dog.

With most no-kill shelters, space is limited, so please do not expect your pet to be admitted the same day that you complete your application. It is very possible that a shelter representative will set an appointment for you to bring your pet at a later date to a health and behavior evaluations. Testing is necessary to determine whether your dog is suitable for adoption. Generally, you animal will have to pass both tests to be admitted into the shelter. If your dog does not pass the tests, some shelter might offer you euthanasia as a humane alternative. But even if you dog is admitted, you still might have to wait patiently until a space is available for him.

As heartbreaking as it is to relinquish a pet, please take the time to find a proper and quality for your dog. It is worth the effort to ensure that he ends up in the best home possible with people who will love him for the rest of his life.

Pet Peeves

What I discourage most is running a quick errand with your dog unless you know that you can bring him or her into the store with you. It is bad manners to tie your dog up to a parking meter or other outdoor post for a number of reasons.
Besides deterring drivers from parking in certain spots, motorists will be afraid to approach your dog to put coin in the meter or will fear that your dog will jump up on their car and scratch it. Additionally, the presence of a dog in or near the portal of a store could also deter patrons and others from approaching the store. It is likewise dangerous to leave your dog tied up outside because he or she can be stolen.

I took these pictures last week. These Danes were tied-up outside Associated Market on Mulberry Street; the Rottweiler was tied up in front of an bar in which the bartender, his owner works-also on Mulberry Street; and the Weimaraner was tied up on Prince Street in front of the Prince Street Statin post office.

I discourage all readers to take their dogs on errands and leave him or her outside, unattended.

Every Dog Owner Can Make A Difference

Did you know that about 3.6 billion tons of dog waste is not collected annually?

Did you know that 20-30% of all pollutants in waterways is attributed to dog waste?

Did you know that plastics are the fourth highest generated waste in the U.S.?

Yestday was Earth Day, a day designated to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. To celebrate this very special day, I gave away earth-friendly waste bags. PoopBags are made from a combination of corn and other renewable products which meet the highest standards for biodegradability. Specifically, PoopBags meet the ASTM D6400 specification for biodegradability, and comply with biodegradable product claims in all 50 states. Additionally, they contain no chemical additives to enhance their decomposition. The bags will decompose naturally when exposed to the Earth's elements and micro-organisms in the soil.

Kathryn R. from NYC won a year's supply of PoopBags. Why so many you ask? Because every dog owner can make a difference and help sustain our planet.

Twitter Recipe Challenge

I twitter and I cook. So of course, I was fascinated by the New York Times article about a woman in Northern Ireland who sends tweets about recipes. According to the author, Lawrence Downes, her work is an "awesome acts of compression. Ingredients, actions, quantities, times and temperatures — both Fahrenheit and Celsius — boiled down to utmost richness, density and clarity."

After studying her recipes, I concur. They were amazing. Part of the fun and challenge of Twitter is to make your point in 140 characters. So later in the day, when I went back to review the article, I also found a call to action by journalist Pete Wells. Mr. Wells challenged readers to take a long, involved recipe and condense it as much as possible. He then encouraged his challengers to share his share my passion for verbal compression, and post it on Twitter to include the characters #nytrc.

Well, I didn't take a long recipe but decided to share with you our Babbage Family Cheese Star Pet Treat Recipe.

Cheese Stars:Mix 2c wht flr/c grtd chddr chse/T bttr/1/2c mlk; Roll to 1/4"; cut stars for ckie sht. 200° 15min. Cool til firm. Refrig.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Whadda up DAWG?

Bo America's Commander In Leash, a children's book, will be released in April by Mascot Book, to chronicle the life of Bo Obama in the White House.

Bo's White House adventures include the time-honored traditions, including the Easter egg roll, Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall, the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey, and all the festivities associated with holiday time at the White House. Also, the First Pup helps the Obama Family establish new traditions: playing on the new swing set, planting vegetables in the White House's new organic garden, and playing basketball with the President. The book includes special appearances by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Ted Kennedy, and Vice President Joe Biden!

The publisher, Mr Aryal, told the New York Times that he and associate had been working on the project for about two months, leaving space for pictures of the dog. According to Aryal, Sasha and Malia are not named in the book because he wanted to protect their privacy. Sure!

To learn more about the book, visit here .

Cooking for Pets

When Nick Chapman, PSCPA events coordinator, discussed the possibility of a cooking for pets class at the PSCPA, I jumped on the opportunity. Matthew and I love to cook for our dogs so we thought we would enjoy sharing our favorite-in actuality, some of our dogs' favorite recipes, on behalf of this great organization. We will be teaching a class at Foster's Urban Home, 124 N. 3rd St., Old City, Philadelphia, PA

Babbage Family Cheese Stars
2 cup wheat flour
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon soft butter or margarine
1 teaspoon of garlic powder*
1/2 cup milk
1 star cookie cutter
1 baking sheet

Preheat oven to 200. Mix flour and cheese together. Add the softened butter. Slowly add milk till you form a stiff dough. (You may not need all of the milk.) Knead on floured board for a few minutes. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutter and place stars on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees oven for 15 minutes. Let cool in oven with the door slightly open till cold and firm. Refrigerate to keep fresh. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

*There is much debate about animals ingesting garlic. Animals should not eat raw a large amounts of raw garlic; it is very dangerous for them. But some cooked garlic will not hurt them, especially such a small amount.

Rhone's Favorite Low-Fat Oatmeal and Apple Muffins
2 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups oat flour
1 cup of oats oats
3/4 cup diced apple
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg, beaten slightly
4 tablespoons honey
1 package of mini-muffins cups
1 muffin mini-muffin tin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all wet ingredients thoroughly. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Slowly fold wet mixture into dry. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out dry. Keep in a sealed container in refrigerator. Makes about 36 muffins.
Note: Due to the low-fat content, muffins do not brown.

If you want to see more our pet cooking, watch us at
CBS 3“Eyewitness News” - Sunday, April 19th
NBC 10’s “10! Show” - Monday, April 20th
FOX 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” – Thursday, April 30th
ABC-6’s “Action News” - Tuesday, April 28th

Moen Reigns

According to a recent consumer survey, 47% of American pet owners bathe their pets in their home bathtub or shower, and 31% bathe their pets monthly, while 21% bathe them weekly. If you are one of the many American pet owners that bathes their precious pet, make this task easier by installing a handheld showerhead. Available at Lowes, Moen's new Inspire is easy to install, has multiple settings, from a wide spray to a concentrated rinse, and offers a superior showering experience for pets and pet owners alike.

Notable pet author, Elaine Gerwitz, was the Charlotte's Web winner of the Moen handheld Inspire.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pet Friendly Honda Nice Car But NOT the First

At the International Auto Show in NYC, Honda unveiled one car this year, their new Dog Friendly™ Element. The oh so dawggie Element concept will be coming to car dealers in fall 2009. The specially designed collection of accessories will most likely include pet restraint systems, a folding ramp, pet bed, water bowl, seat covers, electrical fan and more—all designed for the safety and comfort of your beloved canine companion and you. Watch the video here

All pet safety elements were designed by Japanese Takata Corporation. Takata is the third largest supplier of air-bag systems with a 50% market share in occupant safety systems including seat belts and children's safety seats. With so much experience, dog owners who spend $21k should feel safe transporting their pets.

But really, Honda was not the first car company to promote a pet-friendly vehicle with accessories. Saab was. In the summer of 1999, Saab teamed up with the Humane Society to promote safe pet travels as well as promote their unique Pet Gear line and introduce Saab 9-5 Wagon. This custom-designed line of accessories was developed when Saab discovered that over 60 percent of owners have pets and travel with them frequently.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bully For Mastiff Sperm

Family Court Judge Cheryl Matthews was looking for Ashton Kutcher, assuming that she was to be "Punk'd" when a divorced couple showed up in her courtroom Wednesday morning with this question -- who gets the dog sperm?

Karen and Anthony Scully were hobby breeders until their divorce in 2002. When they split up, they also split up their six bullmastiffs: he kept four of them and she took two with her to Florida. Karen Scully, who lives in Florida, and her ex-husband, Anthony Scully of Oakland County, are feuding in Oakland County Circuit Court, presided overt by Matthew, over who owns semen belonging their three, AKC-registered bullmastiffs. Furthermore, both continue to raise bullmastiffs.

Judge Matthews, an admitted dog lover, ruled that it was not a divorce matter and told the couple they would have to fight it out in civil court. The case has been assigned to Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman.

Tell me what do you think.

A Water Bowl A Girl Could Love

Do you remember when Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods poured water for her Chihuahua, Bruiser, in Legally Blonde? It was right before she walked into the hallowed halls of Harvard Law School to begin her new life as a serious law school student. I always loved that scene, because Elle had a water bowl to match her outfit.

Over the years, I have looked for a really cute water bowl, but had yet to find one... until now. BowhausNYC. a new pet accessory line, makes adorable collapsible bowls. These vintage cuties open up into a bowl and fold back like a wallet. Perfect for your purse, travel bag or just snap it around your leash. Black waterproof liner and natural leather trim, which will develop a tan patina over time. Available in four different prints and two sizes (S & L). Matching carrier, too!

Moreover, SOS from Trappe, MD was the first to respond after receiving the Charlotte's Web newsletter. As a result, she won this great bowl from BowhausNYC. To view their collection of sophisticated pet products click here. And to sign-up for Charlotte's Web, write to

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dogs Heal

Unlike most folks, I never really sleep late. The responsibilities of animals always call so early in the morning. And yes, on Sunday morning too. Usually, when doing daily chores on Sunday, I treat myself to a listen of the telly but generally, I listen half-heartedly. But last Sunday, I was intrigued by a preview of a dog story on CBS so I didn't change the channel and I listened up. To my amazement, I even took a break from my Dyson. And just like Brooke Shields in the 80's...nothing comes between me and my Dyson.

In his report, CBS columnist discussed how getting a dog is the answer to not only the recession but works as a remedy to life's woes. Mr. Stein first got a dog when he moved to New York City because he was lonely. I didn't picture him as a Weimaraner or Short-Haired Pointer man but then, again most people never think of me as Jewish. Additionally, in his report, he mentioned adopting a dog from a shelter. Good Man

I really should have you watch the story for yourself here .

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Attn: All Pet Rock-N-Rollers

Yesterday, I found this picture up, near the masthead of the New York Times. (It has since been replaced by a picture Tiger Woods, an ad for the Masters.) The picture looks as if Neil is driving down the road with his companion pet, a Golden Doodle. Moreover, once you clicked on the picture, it beams you over to his new website for his new album, Fork in the Road. I didn't sample all the songs but it seems as if Neil is back. Well, at least back for me. The album is cool.

I first met Neil Young via mutual friend, Tim Drummond. It was in the time of the Shocking Pinks. He was younger; Hell, I was younger. The meeting happened after the concert. The friend with me said that I just glowed in his presence. Light emerged from my whole body. I said, "What do you expect? I was in love-with him. I also remember I really enjoyed drinking my long neck, Budweiser beer that night. The way I remember it, was that it was the coldest and yummiest beer that I have ever drank.

If you have a chance, thank him for me. I never had the chance to thank him for Rust Never Sleeps, one of my all time favorite album's.

Love and Kisses,


Top 10 Cat-Friendly Cities

That's me with my Himalayan, Harrison. Many folks think of me as just a dog owner but I am also the proud owner of three cats. And that is why am interested in this recent information that I received from the American Veterinary Medical Association about the formation of the CATalyst Council, a coalition of the veterinary community, academia, nonprofits, industry and animal welfare organizations.

In March, the organization named Tampa, Phoenix, San Francisco, Portland (Ore.), Denver, Boston, Seattle, San Diego, Atlanta and Minneapolis as the Top 10 Cat-Friendly Cities in the United States.

What makes a cat-friendly city? The love and care cats receive, says the CATalyst Council. Moreover, the list was compiled after reviewing the top 25 standard metropolitan areas for such data as cat ownership per capita, level of veterinary care, microchipping and cat-friendly local ordinances.

Furthermore, the organization wants to recognize and celebrate that cats are popular pets. Although dogs have long been called man's best friend, recent data suggests that cats are the country's number one companion pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, the number of cats owned is 81.7 million and amount of dogs owned is 72 million; cat outnumber dogs by nearly 10 million amongst the pet-owning public. In additon to the rise of the cat population, the AVMA reported that cat visits to veterinarians decreased approximately 11% between 2001 and 2006. Lastly, a 2006 survey by the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) showed that animal shelters are seeing more cats given up than dogs.

As a cat owner, I must emphasize that it is extremely important for every pet, including cats, to see their veterinarian regularly. Ensuring your cat's health through regular veterinary visits is of utmost importance.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Get Caught in My Web

I am excited to announce the re-launch of my highly followed, “Charlotte’s Web” FREE newsletter beginning Wednesday, April 2, 2009.

As a newsletter for people with pets, “Charlotte’s Web” provides readers with recommendations for new, cool and my favorite pet products in an entertaining online form. Unlike other pet newsletters, “Charlotte’s Web” is dedicated to finding pet-must haves for dogs, cats, birds and other small animals.

Currently, pet owners are worried about the economy. They are clipping coupons, cutting back and looking for ways to save energy and simplify their lifestyle with a less is more attitude, but they still enjoy spoiling their four-legged family members. Moreover, the American Pet Products Association estimates that in 2009, pet consumers will spend $17.4 billion on pet food and $10.2 billion on pet products. Even with all this spending going on, I want to be sure they are spending their pet dollars wisely.

The re-launch of “Charlotte’s Web” is also a winning scenario for pet product manufacturers. The candid reviews, strong press following and giveaways are a manufacturers dream…free advertising to their target audience! The only request made of manufacturers is that they send one of “Charlotte’s Web” readers their “Charlotte’s Web” featured product.

Each Wednesday, I will showcase a pet product with a few witty words of wisdom. The first reader who emails me about the recently reviewed item, and provides their 411 (name, address, phone number and email), will win the product directly from the manufacturer!

To subscribe to “Charlotte’s Web," please sign-up at

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Art for Dog Sake

Last weekend, I went to St. Louis with other members of the Metropolitan Dog Club. The purpose of our trip was to visit the Museum of the Dog.

Located in the historic 1853 Jarville House in West St. Louis County, Missouri, The Dog Museum is affiliated with the American Kennel Club. Gift donations of art continue to make this unique museum's collection one of the largest in the country. Artists in the collection include Kirsme, Wardle, Bristow, Landseer, Trood, Earl, Rosseau and others including Bernard above.

To my mild amusement, I was happy to see Christine Merrill paintings of the George and Barbara Bush's Springer Spaniel, Millie, relaxing on the South Lawn and George and Laura's Scotties, Barney and Mrs. Beasely. I wonder if Merrill will be painting the Obama's new puppy or is she strictly a Republican painter.

Moreover, our lovely group of ladies was fortunate to have a private tour with the museum's first director, William Secord, the world authority on 19th century dog painting and collectibles. What was so fabulous about the tour with Bill, was that not only did he discuss the specifics of the paintings, but he could provide us with the scoop about the donor and the donation.

With side trips to visit the Arch and the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the oldest in the country at 150 years of age, the trip was worth dealing with our unbelievable travel agent, who will be for be forever know as "Oh Diane!"

If you are ever in St. Louis, don't miss out. Drive the 22 miles or 30 minute trip out to the Dog Museum. I encourage you to leave a sirius, monetary donation.

But if you can't make it to St. Louis, stop by Bill's gallery at 52 East 76th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10021. It is a dog lover's dream. To learn more about the gallery, visit