Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Need of Grooming for Prison Guidance

The Decatur Correctional Center in Illinois is looking for a dog groomer, willing to work behind bars.

The center runs a dog-grooming training program, and Kim Schwalbach, the woman who has led it since 2002 is stepping down, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The program is known as CLIP, which stands for Correctional Ladies Improving Pets.
Thirty-six year-old Katrina Williamson went through the program and says it changed her life. She landed a job grooming dogs right out of prison. Prison official Mike Dooley says few of the women who have worked with Schwalbach have returned to prison.

And that's a good thing.

Groomer Has It: Possible Prison Sentence

According to the Greensboro News-Record, a freelance dog groomer in Greensboro, N.C., was charged with killing her roommate’s dog.

Amanda Todd, 21, was arrested Friday and charged with felony cruelty to animals. Police say Todd’s roommate left the dog with her. Todd became agitated with the dog and threw the animal across the room. The dog died from its injuries. Todd was arrested and held on $1000 bond. She has been released from jail.

Hope they revoke her license in the state of North Carolina

Protests Held in South Korea over Dog Meat

Protests were held in Seoul at at South Korean consulates and embassies around the world yesterday. Why? Because the International Day of Action for Dogs and Cats in South Korea has called for an end to using dogs and cats as food.

According to United Dogs and Cats head Ragnar Sass, “This is probably the cruelest thing that could happen to companion animals - many are tortured and end up on dinner tables. And the strangest thing is that it is happening right under our noses in one of the most rapidly developing countries in the 21st century.”

In Seoul, members of the group Coexistence for Animal Rights on Earth wore dog costumes and climbed into cages in a downtown plaza to draw attention to the issue.
“Dogs and cats are not livestock, but they are our partners. They are not food, but they are our friends,” one protester told New Tang Dynasty Television (click the link for a video). “We should abolish the bad habits of eating dogs or cats.”

Although the practice is illegal under South Korean law, an underground industry continues to flourish, with thousands of restaurants in Seoul alone serving dog. Some studies have estimated as many as one in three South Koreans have eaten dog meat.

Animal advocacy groups argue that eating dog — whether its part of the country’s culture or not — is a practice that should be ceased. Others disagree. “It’s my country’s own food culture, so South Koreans will continue to eat dog meat no matter what other countries say against it,” Park Seo-ho, who owns a restaurant that sells dog meat, told the BBC.

An international online petition campaign at has been launched in 10 languages world wide to stop the consumption of dog meat , where some groups estimate more than 2 million dogs are raised and killed for food at dog farms in South Korea every year. United Dogs and Cats is hosting an online petition campaign to draw the world’s attention to the cruel treatment of many dogs in South Korea despite animal protection laws that have been in place since early 1990s.
During the first week of the campaign, over 50,000 signatures were gathered world wide.

Pets Fly the Friendly Skies For More of Your Time and Money

I have travelled for business, pleasure and show with dogs, cats and birds. Transporting pets over long distances can be very stressful. The realities are that commerical airlines allow a limited number of small pets to fly in the cabin. Others pets can either be checked as baggage or cargo and spend time in a dark, cargo hold where temperatures can vary. In sum, each time you fly with pets can be tricky business with delays, stop-overs and dealing with their regular constitutions.

But now, there is a new option for pet owners that just got off the ground Tuesday. It is Pet Airways.

A husband and wife team, Binder and Wiesel, used their consulting backgrounds and business acumen to start Pet Airways in 2005. They have spend the last four years designing their fleet of five planes to deal with FAA regulations, four-legged comfort and needs as well as setting up airport schedules.
The two say they’re overwhelmed with the response. Flights on Pet Airways are already booked up for the next two months.

Pet Airways will fly a pet between five major cities — New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles. The $250 one-way fare is comparable to pet fees at the largest U.S. airlines.
Pet owners recognize the need for service and Pet Airways purports to have it. Dogs and cats will fly in the main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane, retooled and lined with carriers instead of passenger seats. About 50 pets on each flight will be escorted to the plane by attendants that will check on the animals every 15 minutes during the flight. The pets are also given pre-boarding walks and bathroom breaks. And at each of the five airports it serves, the company has created a "Pet Lounge" for pet fliers to wait before being boarded

The company will operate out of smaller, regional airports in their five launch cities. This will mean more money and an extra trip to and from an airport for pet owners whose dogs and cats fly with them. Additionally, stops in cities along the way means the pets will take longer to reach a destination than their owners. For example, a trip from New York to Los Angeles, can take 24 hours. On that route, pets stop in Chicago, have a bathroom break, play time, dinner, and bunk for the night before finishing the trip the next day.
The company, which will begin with one flight in each of its five cities, is looking to add more flights and cities soon. In the next three years, the Company hopes to fly to 25 locations.

In the mean time, I will still take my dogs on Delta, American & Continental. At least they can travel in the cabin with me and Matt.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bakery of Dog Store-That Is The Questions

In a state which has suffered such a high rate of foreclosures and has seen an increasing number of animals dropped off at shelter doors, celebratory dog news is emerging from the sunshine state. Orlando based, Woof Gang Bakery plans to open another dog bakery in a Central Florida in a few weeks, followed by shops in Winter Park and the Lake Nona area later in the year. Yippee!

And of course for those of you who have been recently downside, should take what little money you do have and consider buying a store for yourself. They franchise.

The shops specialize in healthy, natural pet foods and treats, including hypo-allergenic, wheat-free and grain-free selections, plus food, treats and supplements specially formulated for dogs with hip and joint issues. They also carry brands by Ark Naturals ● California Natural ● Canidae ● Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul ● Cloud Star ● Deli Fresh ● Dogswell ● Evanger's ● EVO ● Free Range ● Fromm ● Innova ● Merrick ● Natural Balance ● NaturVet ● Sojos ● Solid Gold ● Taste of the Wild ● Wellness ● Zuke's ● Additionally, the stores sells toys, accessories, collars, leashes, and pet grooming products. Now, this is all good but....

So really, Woof Gang's is just a pet store.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Protect Your Pets From House Fires

Each year approximately 500,000 pets are affected by home fires. The American Kennel Club, the National Volunteer Fire Council, and ADT Security Services want to educate dog and cat owners so that they can protect pets from becoming victims of house fires. Use these below listed tips to help you and your pet(s):

Affix a Pet Alert Sticker to Your Window- Keep the number of pets current on the pet alert decal sticker Homeowners attach the sticker to your front door and/or front window; apartment dwellers should attach the sticker to their door and a window that easily accessible to a fire escape. Firefighters, trained to look for these pet alerts, have a better chance of finding your pets and keeping themselves out of danger when these stickers are updated regularly and accurate. Moreover, this critical information saves rescuers time when rescuing your pets. You can obtain a free window cling by going to or by purchasing one at your local pet store.

Pet Proof Your Home - Walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards. Lastly, keep young puppies, confided and away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.

Be Prepared- Keep collars and leashes visibly in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need them to rescue your pet. Additionally, keep pets near entrances and exits. Also, when leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas near portals or windows where firefighters can easily see or hear them.

Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, barbeques, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Do not leaver your pet unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.

Additional tips can be found on the American Kennel Club Web site at

Monday, July 06, 2009

Dog Sniffing Out Nuts

This morning, CBS's Debbye Turner Bell reports about a dog trained to sniff out even the smallest traces of peanuts to help save the life of a boy with a severe allergy. Watch the video at the above listed link.

Furthermore, man's best friend already has been shown capable of sniffing out certain cancer cells and diabetes. They even have long been put to work in the hunt for illegal drugs and explosives. And now they are sniffing out peantus.

A Food Detector Dog can be a valuable tool for those with life threatening allergies. Since a dog’s sense of smell far surpasses that of humans, detection of odors is a perfect job for a correctly trained dog. Once extensively trained, a dog will easily be able to detect minute quantities of an allergen in any form; raw, cooked, oil, butter, dust, etc.

Because children can even be contact sensitive to common, everyday foods, they must be constantly protected. Many times they do not participate in group activities like church, school, or even a simple ball game. Because there is no cure for severe food allergies, these families need help to begin a life with more freedom.

Many families would love to have a companion like a guardian gog to help their child gain freedom. In an Early Show news story today, a pre-teen, who has a life-threatening allergic reaction to peanuts is profiled. Up until recently, his family feared for him to go out in public. Over the years, he was home schooled and had a limited social life. With the help of his beautiful, black Labrador retriever, he no longer needs to be a reclusive. His new constant companion has been specially trained to sniff out peanuts and if he detects any danger he warns the boy before it is too late.

Many families would love to have a companion like a guardian dog to help their child gain freedom. For most, the cost is prohibitive. The labor to train a dog to detect peanuts drives the price to about $10,000. And if a dog has an off day or is not properly trained, the consequences can be severe. For those interested in these dogs, contact the Southern Stary Ranch Boarding Kennel in Florence, Texas and the Florida Canine Academy.

Or perhaps, Angel Guardian Dogs can help you. They were formed to coordinate donations to help families one dog at a time.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

According to an Associated poll of more than 1,000 pet owners released last Tuesday, July 29th, almost half of American pet owners gave an animal a human-like name, such as Jack or Sophie. Some of the more unusual names: Hollywood and Chichi Mittens, both cats; Vegas the Labrador Retriever; Jibber Jack the dog; the Beagle named Talulublue, and Louis XIV, the Yorkie.

But 49% of respondents, including 51 percent of dog owners and 50 percent of cat owners, had given at least one of their pets a human-like name. The most popular? Max got more mentions than other names in the AP Poll, but not enough to give it any broad claim of popularity.

Veterinary Pet Insurance also keeps database of pet names and found that Max pops up more frequently than any other name. According to VPI spokesman Curtis Steinhoff,
there has been a move away from dog names such as Spot and Lassie. In VPI's database in 2008, there were 13 Fidos placing the name at No. 2,866; Rover was No. 2,534; behind names like Grendel, Ginger Snap and Munchie.

Steinhoff believes that this trend reflects a stronger bond between people and their pets. Additionally, veterinarian Wayne Eldridge, believes that pet owners who give their pets human names are more likely to see them as full members of the family. But he also cautions against reading too much into pet names. Many people choose names based on the animal's appearance, he said. One of the most unusual names in the VPI database was Snag L. Tooth for a cat with a "snaggle tooth" that protrudes.
And some people don't know why they chose a certain name for their pet.

Like Beth Hart, 63, of Houston, who started naming her dogs Sassoon for the hair salon Vidal Sassoon. Her current Shih Tzuh is Sassoon the Third. Her husband named their Lhaso Apso, "Dawg," their second dog with that name.
Daniel Rivera, 23, of Lansing, Mich. said his 4-year-old daughter named their pit bull lab mix Little Fella. He said he guesses the name fits since the dog has very short legs. For some it's all about being creative. Susan Jacobs, 45, of Long Beach, Calif., named her black poodle Kingston for her best vacation ever.
"It was beautiful, the people, the music, the warm weather," she said of her trip to Jamaica a decade ago. "Now whenever I say his name, I think of that time of in my life."

Go figure, I named my dogs Hudson, Thames, Rhone and Teign after European rivers. I am thinking Meuse, Vienne, and Seine for my next three toy spaniels.

Tell me what inspired you to name your dog.

Spend Money to Keep Pets Healthy and Your Feeling Better

Animal lovers have more options than ever to keep their pets healthy. To keep pets healthy, American pet owners are spending big bucks so that their pet can receive MRI exams, ultrasounds, cruciate ligament repairs, hip replacement surgery and other specialized procedures. High-tech scanning equipment and complicated surgeries are driven by client demand.

Some procedures cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and some pet owners admit to spending $10,000 or $20,000 on vet bills. Still, dedicated pet owners aren’t complaining because they consider and treat their cats and dogs like family members and whatever is takes to care for them.

A poll released last week by the Associated Press and Petside revealed that 50% of respondents believe their pets are full-fledged members of their household.

Moreover, about 62 percent of U. S. households own a pet, and pet owners will spend $45.4 billion on their animals this year, the American Pet Products Association estimates. Of that total, $12.2 billion will go to veterinary care, a 10% increase over 2008.

Pets require more care because, as a result of better preventive care, medicine, vitamins and diet, they are living longer. But this extra money also is paying for new and advanced veterinary procedures.

“With almost every specialty comes specialized equipment,” says Jim Flanders, a small animal surgeon said. “It’s usually something that’s been around for a while in human medicine, and we adopt and adapt it.”

Not every pet owner has the means, or the desire, to pay for expensive procedures. And surgery or radiation treatment isn’t always the right answer for a sick pet, experts said. Owners have to weigh the age of the pet, how stressful the surgery and post-surgery recovery will be and what the pet’s quality of life will be afterward.

In response to rising costs, some owners have turned to pet health insurance, though estimates suggest just 2 percent to 4 percent of Americans have done so.

High-tech veterinary care isn’t the only outlet for pet owners. Alternative and holistic treatments such as pet acupuncture are growing popular, though some two-legged skeptics question their value.

And the specialized care doesn’t end when a pet dies: Grieving owners now can retain the services of a pet funeral home.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Off to Twin Brooks Kennel Club Dog Show

My friend, Jane, and I recently applied to the Twin Brooks Kennel Club. The President, Ruth and her husband, Donnie are our friends and of course, Jane's mother Marcia (Bedlington Terriers) was a member, too.

Next week is the club's big show which is really two shows, back to back, at the William G. Mennen Sports Arena, 161 Hanover Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960. If you have time, stop by and see the beautiful dogs and meet knowledgeable dog handlers and owners.

If you are looking for a purebred pooch to add to your family, this is the place to be. Take the time to meet some of the breeders, dog owners and handers who spend time breeding and working with these dogs. Dogs at the your local dog shows generally conform to the breed standard; are health tested; and are loved, cared for and socialized well.

If you see a breed that you are fond of, don't be shy ask a question. Just not right before the handler has to the dog in the show ring. And for those of you who do not have time to go to a show, check out the website and learn more about a breed in which you are interested. Breed clubs can put you in touch with breeders who have pups for sale.

Before buying a dog, do your research. Just don't purchase a $2000 mutt because it has a cute name like shih-chi.

Tough Economic Times Spare Dogs Big Booms

Patriotic pride is bumping up against economic reality again this summer, as communities across the country struggle to fund Fourth of July fireworks displays. The annual light shows are being scaled back in many places or have been canceled in many counties across the country. Moreover, most communities have avoided blackouts by cutting budgets to match the economic times, or finding private benefactors.

In any case, communities that are continuing to celebrate this wonderful celebration, should remind their pet owners to take care of their dogs. While a booming fireworks display maybe the perfect culmination to Fourth of July festivities, pets can be frightened by such activities.

"Pets are family members, and most people include them in their holiday plans, but on a holiday full of activities like our nations' birthday, most pets will be more comfortable at home with their normal everyday routines," said Adam Goldfarb, director of the pets at risk program at The Humane Society of the United States. "So on this Fourth of July, spare your pets the stress of fireworks and crowds and ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday."

The HSUS recommends pet owners to leave your pet at home. Fireworks displays can be disorienting and frightening to pets, even those who are well socialized. Families can still enjoy the outdoor festivities by simply having someone remain home to look after pets.

For example, I will be going to two parties but stopping home after each fiesta to check to provide my four ETS with a snack and relief walk. Throughout the day, they will be supported with a scent of relief with the Comfort Zone with DAP. Comfort Zone is a phermone product which mimicks the hormones of nursing dog mother. ComfortZone comes into two forms: a spray and a plug-in. I will use both to avoid an at home stressful situation while I am celebrating the nation's birthday. Too bad, they can't come with me. I will miss them but I guess they will have to celebrate at home in their red, white and blue t-shirts or star and stripe bandanas.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Mosquitoes Love Me

I hate mosquitoes, but they sure love me! As the weather has gotten warmer, they have feasted on my blood and left my arm and legs, covered with red, itchy bites. Over the years, I have sprayed bug spray on my arms and legs, as a preventative measure before going to bed at night. I'm sure you can imagine that my husband does not find the scent of bug spray to be very... well, romantic.

Recently, I was sent a sample of Bug Bam. Bug Bam was developed by an Australian outdoor enthusiast and environmentalist who was thwarted by mosquitoes on his wilderness adventures. While I may not be in the outback on Broome Street in NYC, I can say that wearing a Bug Bam wristband to bed has hindered those mosquito predators from enjoying me as a midnight snack. Now, I have pleasant dreams and wake up without itching. To my advantage, my husband doesn't mind the scent.
How does it work? The product emits the scent of all-natural, plant-based essential oils (geranium, citronella and lemongrass) all around the wearer. It also masks human odors (carbon dioxide, breath, sweat), effectively making you invisible to mosquitoes.

Moreover, in April the company launched a new mosquito-repelling, 100% natural dog tag. According to the American Heartworm Society, cases of deadly mosquito-borne disease are on the rise. And as a health-conscious pet parent, I want to do everything I can to protect my four English Toy Spaniels. Although they do receive a heartworm preventative year round, I wanted to give them extra protection without harm. Bug Bam's product contains only EPA/FDA-approved, natural ingredients. It repels mosquitoes, fleas and ticks. Furthermore, each tag lasts up to fifteen days (a 2-pack is a month's supply).

Dog Owners Need to Treat Beaches Like Rare Jewels

Miss Fido Manners Provides Petiquette Advice To Dog Owners
About Behaving At The Beach

Enjoy the sand and sea with your pooch this summer! Before embarking on a beachside retreat, however, review the following tips from pet expert Charlotte Reed, the author of The Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette (Adams Media). Learn how to be a socially aware pet owner while you and your pooch are basking in the sun and surf.

1. Check In Advance-Prior to arriving at your beach destination, with your dog in tow, check with the city, municipality or state park to determine if your pet is allowed on the beach. During peak tourist season, typically May-September, there is a greater likelihood that dogs will not be welcome on the beach or may be subjected to restricted hours (before 9:00 AM or after 6:00 PM). Find out a beach's pet policy in advance of your visit so, if needed, alternate accommodations for your pet can be secured.

2. Pack Prepared-Your pet has needs at the beach just as they do at home. To ensure your dog has as great a time as you do, pack extra water, a plastic reusable water bowl, doggy clean up bags and/or pooper scooper, water safety equipment, such as a life vest or preserver, a first aid kit, waterproof and/or antimicrobial leash and collar, and floating dog toys that can be seen on the top of the ocean, thwarting a dog's need to dive beneath the waves in pursuit of a beloved toy.

3. Comply with Leash Laws-Allowing your dog to roam free on the beach can be dangerous to both your pet and other occupants. By keeping your pet on a leash at all times, you ensure that your pet is under control, out of harms way, unable to bother other beach goers or have an altercation with another dog. In many cases, leash laws can regulate the lengths of leashes to 6 or 8 feet. In that case, your pet may not be able to run at the end of a retractable. Be aware of all leash laws as most are coupled with a monetary fine for those choosing to disregard this common sense, and common courtesy, rule.

4. Training for Good Measure-Teach your pet to recall, or to come on command so that you can have verbal control over when he is off-leash.

5. Take Care of the Environment-Environmentalists, state and local agencies are concerned with the preservation of wildlife that nests and plants that are grown on the coastal shore. Be sure your frolicking dog does not disturb nests or destroy area wildlife in their quest for enjoyment.

6. Frequent Pet Friendly Areas-As a conciliatory measure for dog owners some local governments and state parks have designated shoreline dog play areas. Such areas are like a dog park at the beach! As a result, treat the dog beach like your dog park at home. Show your appreciation for local government and state parks recognition by complying with the posted rules and regulations. Supervise your pet at all times as they revel in playing with the other dogs in the water and swimming. And just like at home, remove your pet from the action if a fight breaks out.

7. Pick-Up after Your Pet-Dog waste on the beach can ruin any beach lovers day. One of the main reasons pets have been prohibited at the beach is because of the waste their owners choose to leave behind, polluting the sand and surf. Be respectful of the beach and its patrons, pick up and dispose of all dog waste in appropriate receptacles. This does not necessarily include the garbage cans of a homeowner that lives on the shoreline. Use public access waste facilities or take dog waste with you for disposal.

8. Quick Rinse-Being itchy and irritated isn't fun for anyone, this includes your pet. After a day at the beach rinse your pooch off with water at a convenient beachside shower to remove sand, salt and small beach bugs. This will keep your dog comfortable and your hotel, rental home or beach house clean.

By observing Charlotte Reed's tips, you will be able to share more of your life with your pet this summer beach season.

For more suggestions from The Miss Fido Manner's Complete Book of Dog Etiquette, please visit or purchase the book at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Borders.