(Make sure your sound is on & turned-up!)

We love this video! ♥ 

When feeling a bit blue, this little video makes us laugh & lifts our spirits!

Hope you enjoy it too,
~Zena ~

date Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Rethinking Spay and Neuter
By Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary, California Federation of Dog Clubs

Pet sterilization has become widely regarded as a routine procedure that is purely beneficial. Most breeders today sell companion puppies under contracts requiring spay or neuter as a condition of sale.(6) Ingrained in recent popular culture is the notion that pet overpopulation is a serious concern, and that to prevent the deaths of animals in shelters all pets should be sterilized. To bolster the campaign for pet sterilization, we have further been informed that a sterilized pet is happier, healthier and longer-lived than one who remains intact.

Should we believe these widely circulated ideas that “everybody knows?” What are the facts?


In the mid-twentieth century, there was an abundance of pets; many were available “free to good home” via newspaper ads. Few pets were sterilized, and many people unwisely allowed their dogs to roam the neighborhood. Consequently, there were many unplanned litters produced by family pets.

According to “Maddie’s Fund” president Richard Avanzino, in the 1970s, our country’s animal control agencies were killing, on average, about 115 dogs and cats annually for every 1000 human residents. This amounted to about 24 million shelter deaths every year.(2) Avanzino is also the former executive director of the San Francisco SPCA, and is regarded by many as the founder of the modern no-kill movement in the US.

"The Problem" of too many pets and not enough homes to go around was ingrained into the public psyche. To deal with “The Problem” of massive shelter killings, a huge public awareness campaign was initiated. The importance of spaying and neutering pets was emphasized. Vets began to routinely urge their clients to sterilize their pets as an integral part of being a “responsible owner”. Planned breeding became a politically incorrect activity. A popular slogan that persists today is “Don’t breed or buy, while shelter dogs die.”

The crusade for spaying and neutering pets has been very successful. A 2009-2010 national pet owners’ survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reveals that the vast majority of owned pets...75% of dogs and 87% of cats... are spayed or neutered.

In recent years, according to Avanzino, annual shelter death numbers have dramatically declined to about 12 per thousand human residents, or about 3.6 million deaths each year. This amounts to a staggering 85% reduction in killing since the 1970s.(2) We have reached a nationwide pet shelter death rate that averages just 1.2% per population. This can effectively be considered a “no kill” rate.

In most areas, feral cats and kittens account for the majority of shelter numbers.(9) Several areas of the country have actual shortages of adoptable dogs, particularly purebreds and puppies, and must import from other regions to fill the need. Dogs are being smuggled into the US by the thousands. Some rescue groups are even importing from other countries….Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, Taiwan and Romania, to name some of the most popular points of origin. The conservative estimate is that 300,000 dogs are imported into the US each year to meet the demand for pets.(3)

According to shelter expert Nathan Winograd, every year in this country, approximately 3 million adoptable pets die in shelters.* At the same time, each year around 17 million US households are looking for a new pet. That is 17 million households above and beyond those who already will adopt a shelter or rescue pet. There are nearly six times as many homes opening up every year as the number of adoptable pets killed in shelters!(8) It seems the greatest challenge these days is to find ways to match up the adoptable pets with the homes that are waiting for them. Breed rescues fill this niche admirably, but are privately funded and desperately in need of assistance in order to effectively perform this service. Perhaps some of the public funds budgeted for shelters to kill animals could be better spent helping rescue groups who are proactive in matching adoptable pets to suitable homes.


Now that we have addressed the issue of pet overpopulation, let’s examine the claim that sterilization surgery promotes better health. While there are some benefits to sterilization, there are some drawbacks as well.

Sterilization will naturally serve to prevent any unwanted litters. In bitches, spaying will greatly reduce the risk of breast cancer, pyometra, perianal fistula and cancers of the reproductive organs.(5)

Spay surgery itself carries a somewhat high rate (around 20%) of complications such as infection, hemorrhage and even death.(5) Spaying significantly increases the rate of urinary incontinence in bitches….about 20-30% of all spayed bitches will eventually develop this problem. This is believed to be most likely caused by the lack of estrogen that results from being spayed.(1)

Sterilization of males may reduce some unwanted sexual behaviors, but there are few other proven benefits to neutering a male dog. Testicular cancer is prevented, but the actual risk of that cancer is extremely low (<1%) among intact dogs. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that the risk of prostate cancer is actually HIGHER in neutered dogs than in their intact counterparts.(5)

Other studies prove significant health risks associated with sterilization, particularly when done at an early age. The most problematic is a delayed closure of the bony growth plates. This results in an abnormal, “weedy” skeletal development that increases the incidence of orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. Working and performance dogs, if neutered before maturity, risk the inability to perform the jobs they were bred for.(10)

But by far the most startling news to surface this year is the result of a study that shows that keeping ovaries to the age of six years or later is associated with a greater than 30% increase of lifespan in female Rottweilers.(4) Similar studies in humans reinforce this finding.(7)(11)

A 30% longer lifespan means that you could have many additional years with your bitch simple by delaying spay surgery until middle-age or later.

Behavioral studies show that sterilization increases fearfulness, noise phobias and aggression. Other well-documented adverse health effects of de-sexing include increased risk of bone cancer, hemangiosarcoma, hypothyroidism, and cognitive dysfunction in older pets. Sterilization confers an increased susceptibility to infectious disease, and also a higher incidence of adverse reactions to vaccines.(10)

So there is no need to feel obligated to sterilize for health or welfare reasons. But, what about the need to protect the puppies that we sell from unethical breeders?


Many breeders are justifiably very concerned about the possibility of their dogs being subjected to neglect or abuse by falling into disreputable hands. To help prevent such situations, it has become commonplace for breeders to include spay/neuter requirements in their pet sales contract, and/or to sell the dog on a limited registration. Another common stipulation, particularly for a show/breeding dog, is requiring that the dog be returned to the seller in the event the buyer no longer wishes to keep him.(6)

Such contracts are highly effective when selling a puppy to someone who is honest and ethical. However, contracts are easily skirted by the unscrupulous, particularly if the buyer lives in a different region. Someone intent on breeding may do so regardless of contract language, and sell the puppies without any registration. And without personal knowledge of the living conditions at your puppy’s new home, it is impossible to predict what sort of care and attention he or she will receive. Even some show breeders may have very different ideas than the seller of what constitutes proper care. There is no substitute for a home check to follow up that initial puppy application!

Bottom line, the best insurance for a happy future for your puppies is making sure that you get to know the buyer personally. If something about the buyer or his attitude doesn’t seem right, then it’s probably best to cancel the sale. If you wish to sell puppies on spay-neuter agreements you might also consider advising the buyer to wait until the puppy reaches maturity before having sterilization surgery performed. Another idea is to ask your vet if vasectomy would be a viable alternative to castration for your male. This would preserve sex hormones and possibly prevent some of the adverse health effects of castration.


Sterilization of all dogs sold as companions may have some unintended adverse effects. The nature of purebred breeding for the show ring involves intense selection that severely narrows the gene pool in many, if not most, breeds. Some breeds started with just a small pool of founders. Through the years, overuse of only a few popular sires further reduced the genetic variety available in the breed. When troublesome health problems surface and become widespread, where can we turn for “new blood”?

The show-bred population of a breed may have become too small as a result of intense inbreeding or the genetic bottleneck created by overuse of popular sires; or the breed gene pool may have become genetically depleted because of unwise selection for specific, sometimes unhealthy physical traits favored in the show ring. As a result, dogs from the “pet” population may actually be the salvation of the breed gene pool.

Trying to guess which dogs are the "best" to keep intact for showing and breeding can be hit-or-miss. Imagine the scenario where a successful show dog eventually develops a heritable health issue, while his brother is much healthier...but brother was neutered long ago, thereby eliminating those good genes forever. What about that Champion's non-show quality sister, who just happens to have good health, great mothering instincts and/or the ability produce exceptional offspring? If sold as a spayed companion, her genes are effectively lost.

And what about the very future of the dog fancy? Many people (myself included) have bought an intact dog as a pet, and only later sparked an interest in showing and breeding. Developing new breeders is critical to the survival of our sport, but if we sell all companions on spay/neuter agreements, we will lose many fanciers before they have the chance to discover the joy of dog breeding and showing!

Sadly, mandatory sterilization laws are sweeping the nation and may further compromise the future of the dog fancy. AKC registrations continue to decline and the push to legally and/or contractually require spay and neuter of most every dog will only worsen that situation. Regardless, there is a huge demand in society for healthy pets; a demand which the responsible breeders could not come close to meeting even if they wanted to...and sometimes, they do not want to. The choice we have as a society is how that demand will be filled.

Many believe that only show hobbyists should be allowed to keep intact dogs and breed on a limited basis. However, the attempt to legally force well-regulated and inspected commercial breeders and the casual small home breeders out of the picture leaves only the unregulated, less visible "underground" producers and smugglers to fill the need for pets. Perhaps it is time to re-think our preconceived notions about who should and shouldn't possess intact dogs!

As a dog owner, one must weigh the risks of sterilization against the benefits in order to make that very personal decision. Popular culture and many veterinarians downplay or even ignore the risks involved with spay/neuter because of their own belief in the need to reduce dog breeding in general. Many people still believe that overpopulation remains a pressing concern and that sterilization always promotes better health. Some even believe that breeding a female is abusive. It seems the animal rights groups have done an excellent job of brainwashing the public on these matters!

As breeders, we may be wise to re-examine the routine request to have all our companion puppies spayed or neutered. The future availability of pets, the perpetuation of the dog fancy, the health of the individual dogs and the gene pools of the breeds that we love may all depend on keeping a few more dogs intact!

*An adoptable pet is one that does not have insurmountable health or temperament issues.
Per California’s Hayden law: The California Legislature Defines No-Kill Terms
 ■California Law, SB 1785 Statutes of 1998, also known as "The Hayden Law" has defined no-kill terms. What is Adoptable? 1834.4. (a)
"No adoptable animal should be euthanized if it can be adopted into a suitable home. Adoptable animals include only those animals eight weeks of age or older that, at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded or otherwise taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a behavioral or temperamental defect that could pose a health or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal or that is likely to adversely affect the animal's health in the future."
Adoptable dogs may be old, deaf, blind, disfigured or disabled.


1- Bovsun, Mara;
"Puddle Jumping; Canine Urinary Incontinence";
AKC Gazette April 2009

2- Fry, Mike,
"Reflections from the No Kill Conference in Washington DC":

3- James, Susan Donaldson (ABC News)
"300,000 Imported Puppies Prompt Rabies Concerns"
October 24, 2007

4- Nolen, R. Scott
"Rottweiler Study Links Ovaries With Exceptional Longevity"
JAVMA March 2010

5- Sanborn, Laura J., MS
"Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs"; May 14,2007

6- Thoms, Joy
"The Importance of Spay-Neuter Contracts"
The Orient Express, Nov, 2009

7- Waters, David J., DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS
"A Healthier Respect for Ovaries"

8- Winograd, Nathan J.
"Debunking Pet Overpopulation"
June 29, 2009

9- Winograd, Nathan, “Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America” Almaden Books, 2nd edition, Feb 25, 2009.

10- Zink, Christine, DVM, PhD, DACVP
"Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete"; 2005

11- “Retaining ovaries may be a key to prolonged life in women and dogs”; DVM Newsmagazine; Dec 5, 2009. http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/646838

Article reprinted with permission &  courtesy of Time 4 Dogs .

Depends on the Breed  you ask ...
  • Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb? 

  • Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code. 

  • Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp! 

  • Rottweiler: Make me. 

  • Boxer: If  I could stop wiggling my butt long enough to quit falling off the chair ...

  • Lab: Oh, me, me, meee!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please! 

  • German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation. 

  • Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture. 

  • Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb! 

  • Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark. 

  • Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb. Or 'We don't need no stinking light bulb.' 

  • Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares? 

  • Australian Shepherd: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle ... 

  • Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it.. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

  • Basenji: LIGHT BULB? We don't change no stinking light bulbs!

  • Beagle: How many cookies do I get?

  • Malamute: Let the Border Collie do it. You can feed me while he's busy.

  • Hound Dog: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

  • Pointer: I see it! There it is! There it is! Right there!Can't you see it yet?! Look!

  • Mastiff: Mastiffs are not afraid of the dark. Really, we're not.

  • Shi-tzu: Puh-leeze, darling. What are servants for? 
  • Springer Spaniel: Light bulb? Light bulb? That thing I just ate was a light bulb?

  • Pug: Uh, two. Or maybe one. No -- on second thought, make that two. Is that OK with you?
  • Shiba-Inu: Zero! Shibas aren't afraid of the dark!
  • Pomeranian: We don't change light bulbs, although sometimes our agent will get a German Shepherd in to do the job for us while we're out.
  • CAT: I don't waste my time with these childish jokes.

date Friday, February 17, 2012


* UPDATE:   Did you miss the televised version  of the WKC this week? No worries. CNBC will re-broadcast all 6 HOURS from 3:00 PM ET to 9PM ET on Monday Feb. 20th. As always, check your local cable listing.

GCh. Winfall Brookwood Styled Dream, known as Scarlett, and her handler Diego Garcia.
Photo: Miguel Betancourt.

Our Valentine's gift to you ...

The 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show takes place this week at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, in New York City.

Since not all of us can fly to New York to watch the show in person, we at All God's Creatures Pet Services have made available the next best thing ... YOU can watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show's  LIVE roaming coverage here on our blog!

What's not to love about the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show ... Enjoy! ♥

Oh, and give your doggies a BIG hug from us!

Happy Valentine's Day,
~ Zena & Pamela ~

By-the-way ... WKC Live streams SELECTED DAILY BREED JUDGING ONLY.  ... Tune-in to USA NETWORK at 8/7c ET to see the live network broadcast of the nighttime show.

Miss your favorite breed? The WKC will be posting all videos in the WKC Video Hub throughout the day as they become available. Check out the 2012 breed judging videos HERE.

Make sure your sound is on & turned-up!

... and for all of our fellow  Boxer Lovers  >>>

Some Fun Facts >>> Did you know that ...

The Westminster Dog Show is the second-longest running sporting event in the United States behind only the Kentucky Derby. The Derby was first run in 1875, while the Westminster Dog Show has been running since 1877. Each of the 179 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club is represented in the field of 2,500 dogs in competition.
There are seven groups of breeds competing for recognition in the Westminster Dog Show - Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding – and the best in each breed advances to compete in one of these seven groups, with the winner in each breed group moving on to final competition, where the Best in Show dog is announced.

Wikipedia has more on the history of the Westminster Dog Show:
The first Westminster show was first held on May 8, 1877, making it the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States behind only the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875. The show originated as a show for gun dogs, primarily Setters and Pointers, initiated by a group of hunting men who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel at Irving Place and Sixteenth Street in Manhattan. They decided to create a kennel club called the Westminster Kennel Club specifically for the purpose of holding a dog show. The prizes for these first shows included such items as pearl handled pistols, of use to the hunters and terriermen who worked these dogs in the field.
The first show took place in May 1877 at Gilmore’s Gardens (the Hippodrome). That show drew over 1200 dogs and proved so popular that its originally scheduled three days became four, with the club donating proceeds from that fourth day to the ASPCA for creation of a home for stray and disabled dogs.


date Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Below is the Top Ten List from Pet Poison Helpline. Items are presented in order of frequency starting with foods, which accounted for the highest number of poisoning cases in 2011. 

1.  Foods – specifically chocolate, xylitol, and grapes/raisins.

Certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. The chemical causing toxicity in chocolate is theobromine (a relative of caffeine). The darker, more bitter, and more concentrated the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is. Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a sweetener that is dangerous to dogs. When ingested, even in small amounts, it can result in a life-threatening drop in blood sugar or even liver failure. Raisins and grapes are often overlooked as one of the most toxic foods to dogs, and can result in kidney failure.


2.  Insecticides – including sprays, bait stations, and spot on flea/tick treatments.

Ingestion of insecticides and pesticides, especially those that contain organophosphates (e.g., disulfoton, often found in rose-care products), can be life-threatening to dogs, even when ingested in small amounts. While spot-on flea and tick treatments work well for dogs, they can be very toxic to cats when not applied appropriately. Cat owners should read labels carefully, as those that contain pyrethrins or pyrethroids (a derivative of the Chrysanthemum flower), are severely toxic if directly applied or ingested.


3.  Mouse and rat poison – rodenticides.

There are many types of chemicals in mouse and rat poisons, all with different active ingredients and types of action, making all of them potentially poisonous to dogs. Depending on what type was ingested, poisoning can result in internal bleeding, brain swelling, kidney failure, or even severe vomiting and bloat. Mouse and rat poisons also pose the potential for relay toxicity, meaning pets – and even wildlife – can be poisoned by eating dead rodents poisoned by rodenticides.


4.  NSAIDS human drugs – such as ibuprofen, naproxen.

Common drugs including NSAIDs (e.g. Advil®, Aleve® and Motrin) can cause serious harm to dogs when ingested, causes stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as potential kidney failure. The use of human NSAIDs in dogs is dangerous and should never be given without consulting Pet Poison Helpline or a veterinarian.


5.  Household cleaners – sprays, detergents, polishes.

Strong acidic or alkaline cleaners pose the highest risk due to their corrosive nature, and include common household products like toilet bowel cleaners, lye, drain cleaners, rust removers, and calcium/lime removers. Remember that “natural” does not necessarily mean safe, as some natural products can cause severe reactions. While general cleaners like glass products, spot removers and most surface cleaners have a wide margin of safety, it is still wise to keep them out of reach.


6.  Antidepressant human drugs – such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and Effexor.

Of all prescription medications, antidepressants account for the highest number of calls to Pet Poison Helpline. When ingested, they can cause neurological problems in dogs like sedation, incoordination, agitation, tremors and seizures.


7.  Fertilizers – including bone meal, blood meal and iron-based products.

While some fertilizers are fairly safe, certain organic products that contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron may be especially tasty – and dangerous – to dogs. Large ingestions can cause severe pancreatitis or even form a concretion in the stomach, obstructing the gastrointestinal tract.


8.  Acetaminophen human drugs – such as Tylenol and cough/cold medications.

Sizeable ingestions of acetaminophen can lead to severe liver failure and even dry eye in dogs. However, it should be noted that it is a more significant threat to cats, as a single Tylenol tablet can be fatal. 


9.  Amphetamine human drugs – ADD/ADHD medications like Adderall and Concerta.

Medications used to treat ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) contain potent stimulants, such as amphetamines and methylphenidate. Even minimal ingestions by dogs can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures and heart problems.


10.  Veterinary pain relievers – specifically COX-2 inhibitors like Rimadyl, Dermaxx and Previcox.

Carprofen, more commonly known by its trade name Rimadyl, is a veterinary-specific, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. While it is commonly used for osteoarthritis, inflammation, and pain control in dogs, if over-ingested in large amounts, it can result in severe gastric ulceration and acute kidney failure in dogs.

Just For Fun – Top Ten Breeds

Along with the important information above, the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline pulled from their records the “Top Ten” most common breeds, accounting for the most emergency calls in 2011. 


The Top Ten Breeds accounting for the most calls to Pet Poison Helpline were:

1.     Mixed breeds
2.     Labrador retrievers
3.     Golden retrievers
4.     Chihuahuas
5.     Yorkshire terriers
6.     Dachshunds
7.     Shih Tzus
8.     Boxers
9.     Beagles
10.   German shepherds

~ Enjoy your dog’s companionship in 2012 and keep him safe with these life-saving tips from Pet Poison Helpline. If you think your dog may have ingested something harmful, take action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America charging, only $39 per call, including unlimited follow-up consultations.


date Saturday, February 11, 2012


♥ How to Make a Heart-boiled Egg ♥

Items needed:
- Hard-boiled egg (just made, still in the warm water or steamer)
- Milk carton or any juice carton (cut open, washed well and dried)
- Chopstick (round one is ideal)
- Rubber bands

Step 1: Cut milk carton into  3" x 8" piece, and fold it in half lengthwise.

Step 2: While the egg is still warm, peel the egg and put the egg on the milk carton piece, place a chopstick on the center of the egg

Step 3: Put rubber bands on the both ends. Chopstick should be pressing down firmly into egg. Leave it for about 10 minutes. (Keep the egg in the fridge if it’s summer time.)

Step 4: Take the chopstick off.

Step 5: You now have a heart-shaped egg!

Step 6: Cut the egg in half ... isn't this adorable?!   ♥{love}♥

We would like to thank Fresh Eggs Daily for bringing this fun idea to our attention. Chicken farmers have so much fun!

~ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥


date Friday, February 10, 2012


(Framegrab provided by 9News)

As many of you may have heard, a dog  named Max (that was rescued from the icy waters on Tuesday in Denver), bit a news anchor during a live news broadcast yesterday.  While a very painful & upsetting event, thankfully the news anchor is recovering.

Unfortunately, due to Colorado Dog Bite Laws,  the dog must be tested & quarantined for 10 days. Hopefully, he will not be ordered to be euthanized.

The lesson to be learned by all of us, is how this could have been prevented . For, unfortunately, this was a an accident waiting to happen ... starting with the events 16 hours earlier.

  • #1 - The owner should have never allowed his dog to be running free off-leash, unless he had trained his dog to obey a 100% solid recall (with distractions). Even with a solid recall, he should not let his dogs off-leash around partially iced-over bodies of water.

  • #2 - The owner should have given his dog time to recover from the trauma of the previous day.  The dog was probably still exhausted, traumatized, and stressed. The night before had been a flurry of reporters in his home. Then the following day, only 16 hours after nearly drowning,  a morning of  bright lights, activity, strangers, strange objects (i.e big cameras), and an unfamiliar environment was asking a lot of the dog, even in the best of situations.

  • #3 - The owner, AND all of those that interacted with the dog, should have paid attention to the dog's body language. But, no one was paying attention during the interview.  The dog was showing blaring signs  ... licking his lips, panting, yawning, blinking, turning his head away, his eyes did not look soft, his ears were laying back, and he was pressed-up against the couch. He even gave a quick little growl.

  • #4 - Also, notice the leash tugs that the owner gave the dog, which only added additional stress and anxiety to an already over-stressed dog.

  • #5 - Lastly, the news anchor was acting inappropriately with a dog that did not know her. She was in his space, facing him full on, reaching over the top of his head and aggressively petting him, staring into his eyes, smiling (showing her teeth), and holding his head cupped in her hands ... all the while ignoring the dog's signals.

So, you have a tired, stressed, traumatized dog, giving off every warning signal his body could ... and no one was listening ... a recipe for disaster.

Then it happened ... the dog lunges forward a little and gives a warning snap. He was not trying to be "aggressive", but rather he was giving her another warning, since all his other warnings had been ignored. Had the dogs intentions been "aggressive", he would have done more than a quick nip.  Had the news anchor not been so close to the dogs face with her face, this may have all ended differently.

Such a sad and traumatic story, that could have had a much better ending ...  if all had paid attention to the dog. Hopefully this can be a learning experience for us all, and we can avoid a similar tragedy.


A final note ... It was originally reported that Max was not up-to-date on his vaccinations, but Max's owner later clarified that Max is up-to-date. This is good news. It is important to keep our pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. It not only protects the dog from catching rabies from a rabid animal, it also protects people from contracting rabies from an non-vaccinated dog that is unknowingly carrying rabies.


date Thursday, February 9, 2012


~ What do horses normally eat?

Although there are horses who will eat anything, equines are generally herbivores and will thrive on a natural diet consisting of grasses, clover, timothy and alfalfa hay. Good quality fodder will provide all the proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber that a horse needs, however, they will also enjoy grains such as oats, barley and wheat.

In addition, all horses, just like people, have preferences - especially when it comes to snacks. A good snack for a horse is something healthy, that the horse enjoys. Regular grain, if given outside of the horse’s regular feeding time, can be a treat, particularly when it’s hand fed. For those horses with a sweet tooth, traditional treats are usually sugar cubes, apples or carrots. But what else might your horse enjoy? Optimum treats include fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains.

Treats can be a commercially-prepared, nutritionally-balanced snack or something as simple as a carrot stick. Commercially-prepared treats should be comparable to your horse’s regular diet, and be given sparingly with regard to the individual horse’s digestive system.

The ideal snack should be firm yet easily chewable. Horses enjoy fruit (apples, watermelon, pitted dates, raisins and strawberries) and vegetables (peas, carrots and corn). Some horses will eat the entire plant – stalks and all! Other treats might include sunflower seeds, granola bars or stale bread.

If your horse has a sweet tooth, sugar cubes, peppermints and Fig Newtons are favorites. Just be sure that any treat is large enough for the horse to lip from your hand to prevent nipped fingers, yet small enough to avoid a choking hazard. If possible, slice treats lengthwise. Note that sugar may not be appropriate for all horses and if given, should be done so in moderation.

~ Unacceptable treats ...

Some things that should never been given to horses include:  lawn, hedge or garden clippings that may have been chemically treated or that have gasoline or oil residue on them, vegetables from the cabbage family (including broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, nuts and chocolate.

~ Make your own snacks ... 

Horse “biscuits” are relatively easy to make at home and can include as many or as few ingredients as you, or your horse, determine.

Easy Horse Biscuits 

1. To ½ cup of grain (corn, barley, wheat, oats),
add small amounts of any dry ingredients (flour, bran, oatmeal, sweet feed, wheat bran, chaff).

2. Mix in ¼ cup of water,
then add small amounts of liquid ingredients (water, corn oil, and applesauce). 

3. Add molasses, fruit and/or vegetable chunks.

4. Add spices and/or herbs (garlic, ginger, rosehip, nettle or barley grass powder, parsley, chamomile, flax seed and sugar). 

5. If the mix is too dry, add more liquid ingredients (and vice versa).
The Ideal consistency will contain nearly equal amounts of dry and liquid ingredients. 

6. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, and flatten the biscuits.

7. Sprinkle with grain, sugar or molasses.

8. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


~ Safety First ...

Horses have extremely large and powerful jaws. For safety reasons, the best way to offer treats is by placing the treat in the center of an open, downwardly arched palm with fingers close together. Small children should place their flattened and arched hand into an adult’s palm. Don’t ever attempt to feed a strange horse and remember to dispose properly of any wrappers.

Information courtesy of Pet Sitters International (PSI).

date Wednesday, February 8, 2012


date Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Photo compliments of  Fresh Eggs Daily

Our friends over at Fresh Eggs Daily are trying to figure out what predator is hanging around their chicken coop, by identifying the scat they found in the area. Pretty clever, huh?!

We have a good idea what it is based on lack of hair in the fecal, blunt ends, and the presences of seeds ... but will save our thoughts on the matter so that y'all can play along.

Oh, by-the-way, this was found on the path leading down to the river on a farm in Virgina.

So, can YOU id this fecal? Do you think you know scat?

Give up? Here are a couple of links that might help you out >>>  http://icwdm.org/inspection/Scat.aspx  or   http://www.terrierman.com/scatanswers.htm.  

Here are a few books you can check-out too >>> What Shat That?: A Pocket Guide to Poop Identity,  Tracks, Scats and Signs, Scats and Tracks of North America, and North Woods Animal Scat Guide

 ... and last, but not least, there are even a few phone apps out >>> Scats & Tracks of North America (iphone/ipad) and Scats and Tracks of North America (Android)

 Oh, almost forgot this one ... the Minnesota Zoo has a GAME on the subject too >>> http://www.whopooped.org ... and the coup de grâce >>> a Children's book "Track that Scat" complete with a teacher's manual !


date Saturday, February 4, 2012

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