Archive for October 2007

PET’S HEALTH CARD

October 31, 2007

I came across the neatest thing the other day while I was “surfing the net”. It is a health card for your pet. I think it is a great idea, especially if your pet has an emergency, you are going to board them, or if you are changing vets and they need a history of your pet. The health card is great for cats as well as dogs! I guess you could do it for birds and ferrets, as long as you have a picture of them.

Every time I visit my doctor, I am asked what medications I am taking, and what allergies I have. Luckily I was furnished with a little card that I can take out of my purse and, bam….., there it is. You know at my age, it’s hard to remember all of medications I am taking. Why not have one for your pet?

The health card contains a photo of your pet, record of vaccinations, allergies, rabies tag and microchip information.

At the cost of $7.95, it’s a real bargain. It’s at The Humane Society of the United States web site at http://www.hsus.org. When you get on their home page, go to their search box in the upper left hand corner and insert the words “My Pet’s Health Card“.

I gotta go…I have three of these to purchase!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

October 31, 2007

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Here’s wishing all you ghosts and goblins a safe and happy Halloween from 4urpets!

ENDAL THE AMAZING SERVICE DOG

October 30, 2007

Endal is a yellow Labrador retriever and has been a service dog to his owner Allen Parton, a disabled ex-Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer since the late 1990’s. Allen received head injuries from the Gulf War which includes 50% memory loss. He also has speech and word difficulties, and is wheelchair-bound. For many years, Allen was unable to speak.

Endal was responsiblie for helping Allen recover from deep depression and trauma caused by his disability. Endal is able to respond to over one hundred instructions and a large number of signed commands. He retrieves items from supermarket shelves, operates buttons and switches, and loads and empties the washing maching. He is able to put a card into an automated teller machine, retrieve the card, and put the card back into a wallet.

An Able Magazine article noted that Endal has learned to pull the plug out of the bath before going to help if Allen becomes unconscious. He is able to put Allen in the recovery position, hit the emergency button the telephone and summon help. Endal has learned to help with the shopping, open train doors, and operates lifts. Another more private role is Endal’s work with autistic and terminally ill children. He  has been used to help with animal welfare and has helped raise funds for many of the service charities.

Among his numerous awards are the 2005 Crufts Dog Show Runner up “Hero Dog of the Year” award , the 2004 “Lifetime Achievement Award” (Wag and Bone Show”) , and the 2003 Gold Blue Peter Badge, the highest award for “outstanding bravery and courage”. One of only two ever awarded to dogs.

He still has a few mischevious traits. Sometimes he will decide to chase squirrels, or may take paper out of the waste basket to Allen, in order to gain a reward for “picking it up from the floor”.

Hard to believe? If you want to read more about Endal and see his pictures, you may go to www.milleniumdog.freeserve.co.uk/. This is Endal’s official website.

JONESY’S STORY

October 29, 2007

“Jonesy” 

 My name is Jonesy and I am what humans call a deer type Chihuahua. My human loves me very much, but something happened to me when I was very young that makes me wonder if she really does.

When I was about a year old, I started to “hump” Sissy, my other Chihuahua friend that lives with me and my human. I would “hump” her on her head, her back and everywhere I could. I was born to “hump”! Woo hoo! Every time I “humped” Sissy, I would get yelled at. What was the big deal? Sissy didn’t mind!

I also lifted my leg in the house, and I would get yelled at again! I didn’t understand that either! I hit the wee wee pad most of the time, and I always did my business outdoors. You know a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

One day, right in the middle of my “humping session”, my human yelled at me again! She said,  “That’s it Jonesy, I’m taking you to the vet and you’re getting fixed!” I don’t know why she said that, I didn’t break anything.

A few weeks later I arrived at the vet’s office. After I was there for a little while I took a siesta (that’s what Chihuahua’s do), and I woke up with this plastic cone around my neck. Not only did it hurt down there, I felt really stupid with that plastic thing around my neck. 

I had to put my head down to see the floor so I could walk, and then I couldn’t see where I was going and I crashed into walls, or anything that was in my path.

Soon I felt better and was able to return to my usual activities. I no longer had the urge to “hump” or lift my leg, which were two activities I really enjoyed. I can’t quite put my paw on it, but to tell you the truth, I think something is missing down there when I lick myself.

To be honest with you, I am happier because my human isn’t yelling at me every time I turn around. And you know…I think she is happy too!

I DRESS MY DOGS UP FOR HALLOWEEN (NO I’M NOT CRAZY)

October 26, 2007

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This is Sissy in her Devil Hat 

A few years ago I had to make a very difficult decision, and with much contemplation I decided that even though there will be a lot of sulking, I was doing the right thing. My dogs will be a devil and a witch for Halloween.

The thing is, WalMart had these adorable little Halloween hats for dogs and I couldn’t resist buying them. I knew my dogs would really look fabulous in them.

I’d like to think that if my dogs were able to trick or treat, the neighbors would think I was the perfect pooch parent. Or does the world frown on dogs trick or treating? It’s okay for humans to dress up and dogs or cats and beg for candy.

I did have second thoughts about this whole thing, when it occurred to me that not too long ago, when I was a child, we had a dog that was just a dog. We fed her nothing but table scraps (what was premium dog food?), she roamed the neighborhood and had puppies every 6 months. What did we know?

The market for pet pampering has grown tremendously in the last decade, and we don’t mind spending our cash to purchase the latest trendy pet item so we can be the first in the neighborhood to get Snoopy a “Baby Phat Hoodie”, or a “Martha Stewart Doggy Dish”. I’m waiting for them to come out with doggy maternity clothes for the expectant mutt. Now, your precious little one has their own TV, designer clothes, and jewelry to put on their collars. What’s wrong with that?

You should see what I dressed them as on Christmas! Have you ever seen a Rabbi Chihuahua?

No, I’m not crazy.

CHARLOTTE THE MIRACLE CHIHUAHUA

October 26, 2007

Charlotte was a year old when she showed up on the porch of a St Louis woman’s home. Her eyes were swollen shut, her throat was nearly swollen shut, and her head was swollen three to four times it’s normal size. Her breathing was shallow and she had bite marks on her head and legs.

The woman called the Humane Society of Missouri and told them that she had some sort of weird animal on her porch and it was scaring her. The “animal” was an emaciated 4 pound Chihuahua. She was in such grave condition that the Humane Society transferred her to an emergency animal clinic for care.

When she arrived at the emergency animal clinic, they cut off a plastic zip tie that was implanted in her neck. The plastic zip tie was cutting off her air and caused her head to expand. Upon thorough examination, they found that she was also emaciated, had heart worms, and had a heart murmur.

Charlotte’s health was touch and go for the next eight weeks. In time she was well enough to stay with Human Society education specialist JoEllyn Klepacki. Five months after Charlotte was rescued, she was put up for adoption. Three hundred people applied to adopt Charlotte because of all the exposure from the publicity that surrounded the rescue.

Soon after Charlotte was adopted, she was returned to the Humane Society because her adopted home had a very active Rottweiler who was over playful with Charlotte. JoEllyn Klepacki decided to keep Charlotte for herself.

She is perfectly healthy now, with just a slight heart murmur that doesn’t bother her. Charlotte is now a humane educator along with her friend Yoda, an 11-year old Australian cattle dog mix. They help to educate students about animal abuse and science careers.

Animals have a lesson to teach us all, and Charlotte is helping us to get that message about the importance of treating animals well.

HOW CAN I STOP MAMA FROM JUMPING ON ME!

October 26, 2007

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Mama is a beautiful blue Staffordshire Terrier. Her human happens to be my daughter who thinks Mama is cute, smart, and well behaved. Mama is cute, and smart. Whenever she wants something, she “talks” to you in a low, howling “Scoobie Doo” kinda way. I agree that Mama is cute and smart, but she has one small bad habit.

Whenever I visit my daughter, Mama greets me at the door, and before I put both feet in, she jumps on me to say, “Hello! I am sooo happy to see you!” That wouldn’t be so bad if she were a small dog, but Mama weighs about 65 pounds! She gets so excited that she has knocked my glasses off, flinging them across the room, she has almost knocked me off my feet, and she has scratched my arms with her nails. While she is greeting me, and practically eradicating me, my daughter looks at the melee and thinks it is amusing.

“Mom”, she says, “if you don’t want Mama to jump on you, you have to turn your back to her and shout, “NO!” I ask her, “What is wrong with you training her not to jump at all?” I tried turning my back, but it doesn’t seem to help much. She does get off, but she just waits until you turn around and back up she goes.  We have to go through this ritual for about 10 minutes until she settles down.

Since my daughter is clueless as to what to do to keep Mama from jumping on people, I thought I would take matters into my own hands. The first thing I did was wonder what the “Dog Whisperer” would do. Since that drew a blank, I went to “Plan B”…..I went on the Internet and I got a few good tips.

There are two reasons that dogs jump up on you, they are excited and want to greet you, or they are competing for dominance. If they are excited and want to greet you, they jump up to get close to your face and smell your breath, which is one way they can recognize you. If a dog jumps up on you and they remain still with their paws on you, they are vying for social dominance.

If the dog’s human is unable (or unwilling) to train their dog, there are several techniques that you can try to get them to stop jumping.

  • Grab their front paws and hold them firmly. You can release their paws when they try to pull them away.
  • Grab their front paws and walk the dog a few steps backward to throw them off balance. Most dogs don’t like this method, and jumping rapidly seems like not such a good idea any more.

Wow, this is too simple! Why didn’t I think of that before? Now that I am armed with “doggy psychology” I can’t wait to visit Mama. Mama won’t know what hit her. Stay tuned….I will keep you posted.