Saturday, December 24, 2011

Don't forget the pets at Christmas!

Even Santa's reindeer get presents at Christmas!  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Heartwarming story from ASPCA -- Aurora

Here's a before picture

Here's the after pic!
ASPCA We Never Gave Up on Aurora
Dashed Line

We met Aurora in 2010 at a rural Tennessee sanctuary gone terribly wrong. Sick and severely neglected dogs were chained to posts, roaming the property or seeking shade from the summer sun in overturned barrels.

We rescued all 85 dogs from the property that day and brought 12 back to the ASPCA’s headquarters in New York. One of them was Aurora.

When Aurora arrived in NYC, she was very fearful and sick. She had a severe heartworm infection, a malignant mass in her mammary gland and serious dental problems. But the ASPCA never gave up on Aurora.

Under our care, Aurora was treated for her ailments, all the while receiving love and socialization from ASPCA staff. And as she regained her health, something else happened: Aurora came out of her shell, revealing herself to be a major goofball and a total sweetheart.

But finding a home for a 65-pound older hound in the city wasn’t easy. Fortunately, because of your support, the ASPCA has the resources to wait for just the right home for our animals. And one day in July, about a year after Aurora arrived in New York, it happened.

David Cruz met Aurora at our Adoption Center, and it was love at first sight. And after learning about her past, he told us, he and his wife “wanted to give her a home and a place where she could be loved.”

This year, Aurora is spending her first holiday season in a loving home, and it is entirely thanks to the generosity and compassion of supporters like you. Still, for every animal enjoying a happy ending, another is waiting for your help. Please make a gift today and help us change even more animals’ lives. Pets like Aurora are counting on you.

For the first time in her life,
Aurora is home for the holidays.

The ASPCA rescued Aurora from a dire hoarding situation in 2010. This year, she’s celebrating the holidays in a loving home. Aurora’s story is possible because of the generosity of supporters like you.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dogs of war get PTSD as often as humans

Here's an article I found on that I found interesting and useful.  It would stand to reason that these dogs would show some traumatic effect of being in a war zone and being surrounded by war activities.
I don't understand why we insist that animals are so terribly different from humans.  They are not.  We all come from the same biological tree.  Life is life.  Please read this article and let me know what you think.

Just like their human counterparts, dogs in the military can suffer the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder — and they’re doing so at a rate nearly as high as humans.

By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are developing canine PTSD, according to a report in yesterday’s New York Times:
“ … (T)he concept of canine PTSD is only about 18 months old, and still being debated. But it has gained vogue among military veterinarians, who have been seeing patterns of troubling behavior among dogs exposed to explosions, gunfire and other combat-related violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Of the dogs who show symptoms, about half are likely to be prematurely retired from service, said Walter F. Burghardt Jr., chief of behavioral medicine at the Daniel E. Holland Military Working Dog Hospital at Lackland Air Force Base.

The Times article, accompanied by the beautiful photograph above, reported that dogs show the symptoms in different ways, much like humans with the  disorder. They may become hyper-vigilant, undergo temperament changes, turn aggressive with their handlers, or start becoming timid and clingy, avoiding areas that they had once been comfortable in.

Most crucial of all — at least as the military sees it — they can also stop doing the tasks they’re being relied on to perform.

“If the dog is trained to find improvised explosives and it looks like it’s working, but isn’t, it’s not just the dog that’s at risk,” Dr. Burghardt said. “This is a human health issue as well.”

The number of  dogs on active duty has risen from 1,800 in 2001 to about 2,700. The training school headquartered at Lackland prepares about 500 dogs a year for deployment.

Combining all branches of the armed services, more than 50 military dogs have been killed since 2005, the article reported.

Dr. Burghardt uses videos to train veterinarians to spot canine PTSD, such as this one of a dog that, while he has no problem inspecting a car, refused to go inside a bus or a building.

Treatment of dogs suspected of having the disorder can range from taking them off patrol and allowing them to just be dogs for a few days to ”desensitization counterconditioning,” which involves exposing a dog, in increments, to sights or sounds he’s reacting nervously to and rewarding him when he doesn’t react.

Dogs that do not recover quickly are returned to their home bases, and those that continue to show symptoms after three months are usually retired or transferred to different duties, Dr. Burghardt said.
(Photo: Bryce Harper for the New York Times)
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Just another reason our pets are special!

Here's a heartwarming pet story just in time for Christmas.  Thanks to this wonderful and alert dog, this family will still be able to enjoy this holiday season.  I hope they get him a wonderful Christmas meal and a huge present! 

I found this on Life with Dogs and there is a video on that site that discusses this story in more detail.


Boxer Puppy Saves Family

December 2, 2011Posted by ADMIN in Dog News
A six month old Boxer puppy from Georgia is being hailed as a hero for evacuating his family from their home after detecting a gas leak.
“He knew something we didn’t know. He sensed something wasn’t right,” said Jason Hyde.
Hyde and his family say they owe their lives to their faithful companion. They were gathered in their living room and decorating in preparation for the Christmas holiday when their dog Ollie became visibly agitated and started acting out to get their attention. At first they just thought he wanted to go out.
“Just started nudging and rubbing our legs like he wanted to go back outside,” said Sheree Hyde. But once in the yard, Ollie stood his ground and refused to come back inside. “He had his head up and his back was arched and he was unwilling to come back inside,” said Jason.
Ollie’s obvious stress prompted his family to follow him outside and join him in their yard. Once the entire family was evacuated, Ollie relaxed. That’s when it occurred to Jason Hyde that the gas fireplace had been left on.
He went back inside and realized that the flame was not lit. Ollie had smelled the gas pouring from the unlit fireplace and spreading throughout the home – and knew something was wrong. And when his family joined him in the yard to ascertain the source of his distress, they may very well have dodged a disaster: “We don’t know how long the gas would have poured out, and we do light candles,” said Sheree.
The Hydes are understandably grateful, and say they are blessed to have found Ollie. “I just think that it’s cool that God has made a creature, made a dog, as smart as this dog is and I am glad to have him,” said Jason.
“We are very thankful for him,” added Sheree.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Michael Vick's meanest dog doing great in Kanab

Michael Vick in a locker room interview follow...Here's another follow up of the Vick dogs and their remarkable recovery after receiving so much neglect and abuse at the hands of this football icon and role model for our children.

These dogs are themselves remarkable in that they continue to trust humans despite the abuse.  I love reading about their recovery, it gives me hope for this world gone mad we live in.

Please read this entire article and leave them a comment about how wonderful the work they are doing is.

KANAB — He came to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary four years ago under court order and with a reputation as one mean hombre.

Of all the pit bulls in Michael Vick's Bad Newz Kennels, Lucas was the baddest of them all — Mike Tyson, Hulk Hogan and a little Ray Lewis rolled into one, the grand champion, the most vicious of the vicious Vick dogs.

When his dog-fighting operation was busted, Vick was sent to prison and so, in a sense, was Lucas. The court shipped him and 21 of his fighting mates from Virginia to this sprawling, 3,800-acre animal sanctuary outside Kanab, with the stipulation that Lucas spend the rest of his days here. It was your basic life sentence.
That was in January 2008.

Nearly four years later, or 28 by his reckoning, Lucas is running the place.

Open the door to the executive offices, and there he is, a smile on his face, a lick on his lips, and eager anticipation of either a pet or a treat written all over his eyes.

Only the fading scars on his neck and face suggest that he was once the toughest, scariest and most-abused dog in Virginia.

On the day I made Lucas's acquaintance, Judah Battista, the director of animal care at Best Friends, dropped by to talk about how life has gone for Lucas and the rest of the Vick dogs who were relocated to Utah.

While their rate of rehabilitation has varied, he reports that, to a dog, their progress has been consistent and resoundingly successful.

Six of the 21 fighters — Oliver, Mel, Cherry, Halle, Shadow and Handsome Dan — have been adopted and left Best Friends entirely. A seventh, Little Red, is in a foster home about to be adopted.
The rest are alive, well and thriving in Dogtown Heights, the Best Friends suburb that is home to about 400 dogs. (In all, some 1,700 animals, ranging from house cats to horses, are housed in the entire Best Friends Sanctuary at any given time).

That includes Lucas, who has become such a hit they bring him to the administration offices at least two days a week to keep the humans company.

To Judah, Lucas is Exhibit A in the argument that all dogs are good dogs if they're treated well.
He grimaces when he thinks about what could have happened to Lucas and the rest of Vick's pit bulls purely due to reputation.

Many people in authority wanted to euthanize all 49 dogs that were found in various states of neglect and abuse in the Bad Newz Kennels when it was first discovered that in addition to being a star quarterback in the National Football League, Michael Vick was also an illegal-dog-fighting promoter.

The conventional wisdom was that the dogs would never be able to recover. Putting them down was the most compassionate thing to do....(read more)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dog Heroes in Need of Homes By Deborah Kandoll

WORKING DOG — U.S. Air Force military working ...Image via Wikipedia
Dog Heroes in Need of Homes 

Here's an article I found interesting and worthy of reposting here.  I feel that we owe these dogs just as much respect as we owe our troops who give so much to protect our freedoms.

If you can adopt one of these wonderful animals, please contact the source and let them know.

I found this article at and I recommend you visit them for more stories just like this one.

Work & Sport

Military working dogs (MWDs) are the unsung four-legged heroes of our armed services. Every day, these amazing dog heroes put their lives on the line, on patrol and on specialized drug and explosive detection missions around the world. Wherever there are American security forces, MWDs are there serving right beside them.

When these dogs grow too old or cannot physically continue on with the rigorous standards required of military working dogs, they can be retired from the military and offered for adoption to qualified civilians and law-enforcement handlers.

Finding a Dog Hero

Because there is a long waiting list, it can take a year to 18 months to adopt from the 341st MWD Training Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base (LAFB) in San Antonio. LAFB also adopts out dogs that “wash out” of the training program. Although they might not have been suited for military life, they’re still wonderful dogs.
Many military working dog facilities exist throughout the country. To shorten the lengthy waiting time for your companion, you can also actively call any of these groups to inquire if veteran dogs will be retired soon. My website offers more information at

These Dogs Are Indeed Special

I established my group’s website in 2008 as a result of my own personal MWD adoption experience. I made 50 calls before I discovered my first MWD, Benny B163, a beautiful black and tan German Shepherd. I thought I knew all about the breed after owning seven German Shepherds. But my Benny made me see what military dog handlers speak of in reverent terms. The relationship they have with their working dogs is unique from any other. The depth of its closeness, loyalty and trust cannot be quantified in words. My special 12-year-old Benny passed away from a heart attack on January 3, 2010.

My husband and I are now overjoyed to have 12-year-old Bino C152 (USA, Ret.) and 9- year-old Alex H116 (USAF, Ret.) as our new and much-beloved family members. Bino C152, a narcotics detection/patrol dog, had paws on the ground in Iraq for 14 months. Alex H116 served two six-month stints in Iraq as a patrol dog. Their time to enjoy a well-earned rest at “Ft. Couch” has come!

How You Can Learn More

I founded Military Working Dog Adoptions to help make sure that all of these dog heroes find happy homes. MWD Adoptions accepts donations, which it uses to transport adopted MWDs in need of a ride to their new homes. We also help out with military working dogs’ medical costs from time to time. Our paperwork as a nonprofit is pending. However, every dime we receive goes directly to help these veteran canines and the families who adopt them.

Visit our website for more information on how to adopt or otherwise help one of these amazing creatures.
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Here's a video that is well worth watching!

 People are not the only ones who can be thankful and grateful.  Watch the behavior of these dogs and tell me if they don't show thankfulness and gratefulness for the return of their "person".

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dr. Mahaney's Thanksgiving safety tips for your pets

Here's an article I found on DogTimes Weekly that I felt was appropriate to repost here.  We all will be celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas is almost upon us.  We need to take a moment to think about the health and safety of our loyal pets during this holiday season.  There are more dangers to them at this time than we think about.  Please heed the warnings in this article so both you and your loving pets have a wonderful holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


This article courtesy of Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA


Starting with Halloween, the fall-winter holiday season yields innumerable hazards to our pets (see Top 5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips). The potential danger continues into Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwaanza, New Year's Eve, or other holiday of your choice. Pet hazards lurk in festive foods, decorations, and schedule and environment changes. Take the following precautions, as you will suffer emotional and financial stress caused by a pet's holiday health crisis.
Holiday Foods
Even though they may love the taste, avoid feeding your pet any of chocolate, candy, fats, proteins, bones, and dried fruits.
Chocolate and Candy- Chocolate contains chemical compounds called methylzanthines, including caffeine and theobromine, which have many toxic effects in dogs (see Pet Care 101- Why is chocolate unhealthy for my dog?). Additionally, the fat and sugar in chocolate and candy can cause serious gastrointestinal abnormalities, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.
Fats and Proteins- Holiday foods, including animal skin, meats, and cheese are high in calories and contain large percentages of fat and protein. Even feeding your pet an amount of these foods that visually appears small can exceed your pet's daily caloric requirements. Additionally, the interruption of your dog's consistent consumption of a particular food by feeding holiday foods will increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal upset.
Bones- Cooked bones are harder than raw bones and prone to splintering, causing mechanical irritation to the lining of the stomach and intestines. Large pieces or multiple bones can be ingested, potentially causing esophageal, gastric, or intestinal obstruction. This year, don't be "that owner" berating yourself after a pet has gotten sick after eating your leftover steak bone.
Dried Fruits- Raisins (and grapes) have an unknown toxic mechanism which causes damage to the canine kidney. Although the toxic effects are most commonly seen when large amounts are consumed, it is recommended to prevent your dog from eating raisins and grapes. Along these lines, I recommend not feeding your pet any dehydrated fruits, as they are high in calories, may contain preservatives (sulfites, etc), and could lead to vomiting, diarrhea or other health concerns.
Holiday Decorations
Prevent your pet from having contact with holiday decorations, including candles and holiday plants.
Candles- Even momentary contact between a lit candles and your pet's fur can set your pet on fire, leading to life threatening skin burns. I have recently been involved in the treatment process of Buddha, a dog burned by an unknown heat source (see Burned French Bulldog Continues to Heal with Acupuncture Treatments). Besides the pain and suffering burned pets must endure, your entire family may be at risk if a pet knocks a candle over and causes combustion of flammable household materials.
Additionally, scented candles (cinnamon, fig, vanilla, etc) emit appealing aromas and may cause gastrointestinal abnormalities if consumed.
Holiday Plants- Many holiday plants are potentially toxic to your pet. A list of toxic and non-toxic plants can be found on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website.
Despite general public perception, the poinsettia is a traditional holiday plant that is only mildly toxic to pets when consumed. The poinsettia contains a sap which causes local irritation to the mouth and gastrointestinal tract when ingested, potentially causing salivation or vomiting.
Christmas pine, spruce, and fir trees and their water can both lead to toxic reactions in your pet. Christmas tree needles contain oils and resins potentially causing salivation and digestive upset. Consumption of tree water can cause gastrointestinal problems or organ (kidney, liver other) failure caused by fertilizers, bacteria, or molds.
Schedule and Environmental Changes
Holidays create situational changes in our lives and cause additional stress for our pets. Pet owners or guests entering and exiting the home environment increases the likelihood your pet could escape. Even if your pet is not a notorious escape artist, fit your pet with a collar bearing appropriate identification. Additionally, microchip implantation will connect your pet to you should their collar fall off or be removed.
Travel plans or the presence of holiday guests may require a pet to be kenneled in a facility or confined in your home. If your pet is kept outdoors, ensure their safety from weather extremes by providing a climate controlled shelter.
This holiday season, please think ahead and plan for the possibility that your pet may be adversely affected by your festivities. Should your pet show illness or be suspected to have inappropriately consumed holiday foods or decor contact your regular or emergency veterinary hospital.

Dr. Mahaney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and is also a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. He lives and practices in Los Angeles, California, and works closely with local rescue organizations. He also writes for Los Angeles Pet Care Examiner column.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Video about special needs dogs

Dogs with special needs need love and care, too.  Here is a wonderful video about just such a dog and his wonderful owner.  If only all dogs were so lucky!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dog Survives Inferno by Hiding Under Bed

Here's some good news for a change that I found on Life with Dogs. Please visit the site and leave them a comment. More people need to know about this and see that there can be some good news, sometimes.
Here's a link to a video about this dog

A Texas family finds hope amidst tragedy when their dog is recovered alive a day after their house burned down.

Patsy Alexander dug through the rubble of her parents home after it was destroyed by a fire last week. The Tyler, Texas resident was hoping to find a few sentimental items, and was shocked to find the family dog alive and well after spending the night hiding under a bed.

“I was just glad to see at least one come out and made it through this tragedy,” said Alexander.

Alexander spent the afternoon at the aftermath of her uncle’s charred home. Alexander is worried for the homeowner, James Culpepper. He was injured after helping his family to escape the blaze and is hospitalized in serious condition. Daughter Linda Cook is caring for his dog until he is released.

Authorities say the fire was started by a faulty heater that ignited a sofa. Culpepper’s family is thankful his dog somehow survived, and said they are hoping to see the two reunited in the near future.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Videos

These are cute videos of dogs being silly.  I laughed and thought you might get a kick, too.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ensure Your Pet Always Has a Way Home.

Homeless and lost pets fill our animal shelters to capacity.  True, some animals are "dumped" there, but the majority of them have been picked up roaming the streets unescorted.

Satchmo, bless his soul, was the epitome of the escape artist.  He could get through spaces much too small for him and be gone in a flash!  Once out and about, he was only caught when he wanted to be caught.  My biggest concern as I chased after him was "when will he finally get tired and want to come home?"  but my next thought was always, "what if he gets hit by a car?" because he knew nothing about traffic and streets.

There are many ways a responsible pet owner can make sure that their pet is returned to them if lost.

First, start out simply click here to get your pet an engraved tag stating the animal's name and having your last name and telephone number on one side.  Make sure to attach this to the animals collar or harness.

Secondly, click here to get your animal microchipped.  However, a caveat.  If you don't keep the information current, this is a worthless piece of junk inside of your pet.  Most microchips can be reconfigured to input new information if you move, but you must notify the company to get the information changed.

Another way to keep your pet safe is to use a GPS collar to track your dog.  These products have become more and more affordable as GPS gains in popularity.  With this system in place, you simply notify the company and they will notify you of your dogs location.

There is also the option of joining an online pet finding company where you can register and pay, then if your pet is lost, the company will call all shelters, put up flyers, send out email alerts to your area, call all of your neighbors to alert them of the lost pet.  This type of service is excellent and has a really good track record of finding lost pets.

With all the options available, there really is not a good excuse for your pet to be one of the lost and scared animals sitting in our over-crowded shelters, is there?

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Separation Anxiety Can Be A Reality For Your Dog When The Kids Go Back To School

The Anxiety Wrap is a patented product that ca...Image via WikipediaWhen summer is over and the kids have to return to school, sometimes our pets have difficulty adjusting to the loss of their playmates of summer.  Some develop anxiety disorders, some develop really bad habits and regress to puppyhood.  Here is an article that addresses this issue.  It is from and has really good information you can use immediately.

Another way to help your pet with anxiety is with the new wrap that snuggles your pet and makes them feel safe and protected.  You can visit this link to find out more about this wonderful product.


In September, as the kids head back to school, did you consider that your dog may have to adjust to the changes in the family routine just like everyone else? During the summer, your children and the family dog can develop a strong bond. Now there’s suddenly an empty and quiet house. This change in routine can cause your dog to suffer from separation anxiety or depression—to actually miss your kids—and even follow them to school. Your dog may experience the effects of the loss of extra playtime and the friendship developed with your children by exhibiting signs of separation through destructive behaviors such as:
  • Chewing furniture
  • Ripping the stuffing out of pillows
  • Shredding paper
  • Obsessive barking/whining for extended periods of time
  • House soiling
Separation anxiety is a serious condition that can be managed with structure and patience. NEVER punish your dog for exhibiting this behavior, as it will make him more fearful and potentially aggressive.
Tips to manage anxiety:
  • Start with leaving your dog at home for very short periods of time to get him used to being alone
  • Avoid emotional departures and greetings
  • Have your belongings prepared so that your departure from home is calm
  • Consider doggie daycare for prolonged absences
  • Teach the kids to avoid over stimulating the dog with departures and arrivals
  • Exercising your dog before leaving the house in the morning is a good idea so he’ll be relaxed when you return and be set for when you’re away.
  • Leave some sturdy, interactive toys for your dog to help keep him from being bored.
  • Be sure to check with your veterinarian to have your dog fully evaluated and correctly diagnosed before trying to manage the symptoms. There may be an underlying medical condition that may be misconstrued as separation anxiety.
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Friday, October 7, 2011

We have a new dog--rescued from the dog shelter in Austin

We have a new little dog, her name is Leela and she weighs in at a whooping 7 pounds.  She is a cross between a rat terrier and a chihuahua.  She is really a chihuahua in a rattie coat!   She is very sweet and loving and she almost never makes a sound.  She is interested in our feral cats but they are afraid of her and run off.  She loves Austen and they play for hours together. 

She is not my Satchmo, and never will be.  But I am glad that I was able to save a little soul.  So here are pictures!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Missing California Dog Found in Florida

Here's a wonderful story from Life with Dogs that I thought I would share here. It makes sense to do something that assures you of finding your pet, but very few people actually take any action in this matter. The choices are easy and relatively inexpensive. You can microchip, get a GPS collar, you can list your pet at online pet finding sites, or put a tag with your name and number on the pet.

This story has a happy ending, but many of these stories do not. Be a responsible pet owner, please.

A Sacramento teenager is celebrating what he calls the miraculous return of his beloved lost dog.

16-year-old Cody Baetge received Chihuahua-whippet mix Cooper as a gift from his grandfather shortly before he passed away, and was understandably distraught when a gardener accidentally left a fence gate open in 2009. Cooper bolted, and was never seen again.

Until just last week. Inexplicably, Cooper turned up in Brandon, Florida, some 2,800 miles from home. Two young girls found the lost dog and dropped him off at a local vet clinic, where a microchip scan revealed his original owner.

Baetge said he was was incredulous when he received a call telling him that Cooper would be coming home. “I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m glad everything happened the way it did, even though he’s all the way out there. But I think that’s the only way we would’ve found him,” said Baetge.

Plans are currently being made to fly Cooper home on Monday, when after more than two long years apart, a boy and his dog will be reunited and embrace the second chance that each has been given – thanks to a $20 microchip.

Friday, September 30, 2011

These are about the cutest videos I have seen in a while:

This is for the dog-lover--

This is simply silly:

This is for the cat-lover--

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My final entry about Satchmo

You may or may not have noticed that I changed the title to this blog a while back.  I have not been able to talk about this or even think about this until now.

In July, my companion and my friend, Satchmo started seizing and the vet could not get the seizures to stop.  He stayed overnight at the vet but they were unsuccessful in stopping the seizures.  The next morning, I went to the vets and held my little boy.  It was difficult because of the spasms, but I spoke to him and petted him and told him how much I loved him.  I told him he would soon feel better and I would stay with him. 

I held him while life left him. 

I cried and cried and thought I would die, too.  Even as I write this I am crying.  But that is not the reason for the post. 

I opted to have Satchmo cremated and my vet was able to facilitate it for me.  Two days later, I was called to pick up his ashes.   I cried when I picked up that little sack with my boy's remains in it.  I brought it in the house and set it on the floor in my room.  I have not been able to touch it since.  He is still where I placed him.

Austen went to the vet yesterday for shots.  While I was there, the vet tech said, "I have something I think you might like to have."  She went into the back and came back out with a baggie that had a disc in it.  She said she had come across this when she was organizing shelves in the back.  When I looked at the disc, it was a paw-print of my boy.  I cried.

But I think receiving that paw-print was good for me.  Since I brought that home, I have begun a search for a vessel to keep my boy in, so I can keep him with me always.  I'm still very sad and I miss him terribly.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remeber the dog heroes of 9/11!

May God bless and keep all these wonderful dogs in his heart and in his care.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Here's an interesting article that talks about protecting innocent pets from domestic abuse by law.  I'm all for that.  Domestic abuse is about abuse of power and we all know that in a family the one without power is the target for this type of behavior--wives, children, pets.

I found this article in the Killeen Daily Herald although it appears to have originated in the Dallas Morning News.  This is a very interesting development in the animal welfare arena, especially in Texas.  Texas is not known for its protective policies of women and children, let alone pets.  Hmmmm.

                   New law to help pets caught in domestic abuse   Posted On: Tuesday, Jul. 5 2011 10:21 AM DALLAS (AP) — Protective orders that prevent an abuser from hurting, threatening or harassing a person will soon be extended to pets thanks to a Texas law taking effect this summer.

The law was designed to help when someone abuses or threatens to abuse an animal to intimidate or coerce a victim. While a first offense would be a misdemeanor, two or more offenses would bump the crime up to a third-degree felony, The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday.

"It's really not about overzealously being protective of pets in Texas," said Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat who wrote the legislation that Gov. Rick Perry recently signed into law. "It's about protecting women who are battered."

When the law takes effect Sept. 1, Texas will join about a dozen other states that have extended protective orders to pets.

"Everybody that has pets is very passionate and loves their pets," so an abuser will use that passion against the victim as a show of power and control, said Dallas police Lt. Scott Walton, interim division manager of Dallas Animal Services.

According to the American Humane Association, 71 percent of pet-owning women entering shelters reported that their abuser had injured, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control them.

Mary Silman of Arlington, who endured prolonged physical and psychological abuse, recalled the traumatic beating of a pet dog she loved.

"My husband just started beating up the dog with his fists ... trying to crack its ribs," the 56-year-old woman said. "It was yelping. I couldn't do anything or say anything because I was too scared ... that he was going to do that to me."

Silman said an abuser will keep a victim's pet or kill it out of spite, and "no innocent animal needs to be caught up in that."

Advocates say victims may be more inclined to seek help if they don't have to worry about their pet's safety.

But some people who run shelters say the new law might pose new challenges for animal and domestic abuse shelters. For instance, some people staying at shelters are allergic to animals, and several shelters lack the space needed to even house pets.

The Family Place in Dallas encourages victims to contact a friend to house the pet or to call animal and domestic abuse shelters to discuss possible solutions.

People increasingly are also using social networks such as Facebook and Craigslist to find foster homes for pets.


Information from: The Dallas Morning News,

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

ASPCA Provides Critical Water Rescue for Pets Stranded by Irene

ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Division patchImage via Wikipedia Let's all remember the animals that are affected by hurricanes.  Remember the dogs from Katrina?  Now we have the dogs from Irene.  Please help your local ASPCA, or donate to rescue organizations that are trying to help these animals. 

This article is from the ASPCA Blog and you need to see that there is a need here.


September 1, 2011

After a state of emergency was declared in the area, the ASPCA deployed to Schoharie County, New York, to assist with the emergency rescue and sheltering of animals stranded by severe flooding. Small towns are engulfed by water, and roads and bridges have been closed across the county.
“We’re providing emergency water rescues for pets trapped inside flooded homes,” says Tim Rickey, ASPCA Senior Director of Field Investigations and Response. “People can’t get home; the damage caused by Tropical Storm Irene is just devastating.”
Rescued animals will be taken to the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley where they will be triaged and housed until they can be reunited with their families. PetSmart Charities has supplied much-needed provisions such as crates, blankets and bowls.
“We’re committed to helping families and pets impacted by Tropical Storm Irene,” says Rickey. “We’ll be here for as long as they need us.”
Schoharie County residents looking to rescue or shelter their pets or wishing to report lost pets should contact Animal Services at the Schoharie County Emergency Operations Center at (518) 231-2718.
Stay tuned to for more on this breaking story.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dog Bites -- Why your dog may bite even you

Six Tips for Dog Owners to Prevent Biting

  1. Socialize and train. Your dog should be comfortable interacting not only with family members, but with visitors and other animals as well. Socialization before your puppy reaches 14-16 weeks of age is a crucial step in raising a balanced, well-adjusted dog.
    Basic obedience training is also essential for both you and your pet. Owners need to learn to work with rather than against their dog’s instincts and this isn’t a skill most of us are born with.
    As your dog grows and develops, it’s important to continue socialization and training. It will increase the bond you and your pet share, and it will keep your dog’s mind stimulated for a lifetime. At my hospital, I encourage owners to keep puppies in class through their first year of life, similar to encouraging your children to graduate from college versus stopping their education after elementary school.
  2. Spay or neuter. When your dog becomes balanced both physically and mentally, it’s the right time to spay or neuter. Intact male dogs are more likely to bite than neutered dogs. Female dogs, both those in heat and those nursing a litter, can exhibit unpredictable behavior. Ask your vet to help you decide when it’s the right time for your pet. If your vet suggests your dog is brewing a temperament problem, taking the sex hormones out of the equation sooner rather than later will be the recommendation.  
  3. Supervise. Your dog is a pack animal, and you’re the pack leader. Dogs weren’t designed by nature to hang out alone in most situations. Your pet needs your presence and guidance, especially when other people and animals are around.
    Leaving your dog on his own to decide how to behave can make him feel insecure and anxious, or alternatively, overly confident. This lack of emotional balance can spell danger to those who cross your dog’s path when he’s unsupervised.
  4. Remove the shackles. Dogs that are chained, tethered or otherwise tied up become stressed. Their feelings of vulnerability and protectiveness increase, which ramps up their potential to be aggressive. If you need to confine your dog occasionally outside the house, fencing the entire yard or a section of yard is the way to go. A fence keeps your dog safe inside your yard, and prevents kids and other animals from interacting with your pet unsupervised.
  5. Exercise control. Nearly a quarter of fatal bites are delivered by dogs that are running loose and off their owner’s property. Dogs are territorial, and if your dog is allowed to run loose around the neighborhood, her perceived territory is greatly expanded from your address. She could decide to defend her ‘turf’ in a neighbor’s yard or the playground down the street.
    That’s why you must control your dog at all times when she is away from home. Keep your pet secure on a leash, and if you can’t control her even when she’s leashed, allow another family member to step in until your dog is trained to behave on lead and consistently obeys your verbal commands.
  6. Nurture good health. A dog that doesn’t feel well -- is aching or in pain -- is more apt to snap at an unsuspecting person or animal. Keep your dog healthy throughout his life with a species-appropriate diet, plenty of heart-thumping exercise, regular at-home exams and wellness checkups with your veterinarian.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Love conquers all

Here is an article that touches my heart.  Please read this and the others you will find at Best Friends News.
Saving a dog, no matter the health or age is always an act of love.  This couple personifies that act.


August 8, 2011 : 3:37 PM ET
By David Dickson
Falling in love with an animal is easy, and often entirely unexpected. You walk into a room, stare into a pair of big brown eyes, and that’s all there is to it: a sudden and powerful love that lasts a lifetime. That very thing happened to Bruce and Nancy Palmer when they met Maddy, a former puppy mill dog who came to Best Friends recently through the Pup My Ride program. “I was pretty much smitten from the first time I saw her,” says Bruce.


They were certainly interested in adopting. When they learned Maddy had a history of cancer, however, Bruce explains that he and Nancy experienced at least a moment’s hesitation. Already 9 years old, Maddy (formerly Teva) had a cancerous lump that vets removed at the Sanctuary. The medical team at Best Friends explained that Maddy could have four months or several years left. It was impossible to know. In the end, Maddy’s health history didn’t sway Bruce and Nancy for long. They decided to adopt.

“If she’s going to have four months, she’s going to have a good four months with us,” says Bruce. “She’s going to have the best life she can have with us.” Besides, Bruce and Nancy remain optimistic she’ll be with them a lot longer than four months. As it turns out, Nancy and Bruce have gone through this before with another Best Friends animal.


In June of 2009, they adopted Niles the cat from Best Friends. They’d met and fallen in love with him while volunteering at the Sanctuary. Bruce and Nancy volunteer several times each year. When they adopted him, Niles had a clean bill of health. Nearly a year later, though, he developed lymphoma in the stomach and required surgery.

Bruce and Nancy never hesitate to do anything they can for their animals. With Niles, they consulted with a specialty vet in Phoenix, who put Niles on a course of treatment that included surgery and radiation. For quite a while, Niles’ health was Nancy and Bruce’s top priority. All the TLC paid off. Niles is now cancer-free and doing great. “Niles is just Mister Personality,” says Bruce. “Nothing seems to phase him.”

In fact, Niles got to feeling so much better that Bruce and Nancy felt they had room for another animal in the family. As it turns out, this was Maddy’s lucky day.

Bruce and Nancy brought their dog Kody, a 9-year-old they’d adopted from a golden retriever rescue, to meet any possible new pals at Best Friends. Maddy got along perfectly with Kody. Nancy and Bruce knew in their hearts that they wanted to adopt this gentle spirit, no matter her health history. They haven’t looked back since.

Maddy snoozes with her best friends.

“With Maddy, the day she got to our house it was like she’d been there forever,” says Bruce. That included making fast friends with the two cats in the house, Niles and Lucy. Kody prefers to ignore the cats, but with Maddy, that just won’t fly. She loves the cats! Sometimes she even startles them accidentally when they’re snoozing on the bed and she leaps up for an impromptu snuggle session. They’re not used to having a dog around who wants to hang out so often.

Maddy loves exploring every inch of her new 5-acre yard, yet even then she prefers doing so right next to Bruce as they walk together. She adores playing fetch and would probably chase tennis balls for hours at a stretch if given the chance. In other words, this former puppy mill dog is having the time of her life in the home she’s always deserved.

“None of us know how much time we have,” points out Bruce. “Every day is this incredible gift.”

By giving to Best Friends, you are helping to save a life! All the animals at the Sanctuary receive all the TLC they need to be the best companion animals ever!

We have pets of every breed, temperament and size looking for their perfect forever homes! Check out our Adorable Adoptables.

Become a Champion!
Help a homeless pet today! By becoming a Champion of Love, you can help save lives in your free time!
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