When Will My Pup Be An Adult?

Hundreds of Pet Lovers Line Up for Adoption
By Jessica Vander Velde, Tampa Bay Online staff writer

TAMPA — The dogs adopted at the Fall Pet Adoption Expo on Saturday seemed almost as excited as the children they were going home with.

Hundreds of families shuffled through the crowded hall at the Florida State Fairgrounds, looking for the perfect pet. Many of the children happily petted the friendly dogs and cats, brought by about 40 local pet agencies.

Six-year-old Sarahbeth Borkowski jumped up and down after her mom told her they would adopt a 4-year-old Lab-retriever mix.

"I think he's really nice and he's really smart, and I like him because he's calm," Sarahbeth said. "I'm going to feed it every morning and give it water."

"That's the deal. She has to help out," said mom Catherine Borkowski.

"And exercise twice a day," Sarahbeth said.

About 375 animals were adopted Saturday, said Hillsborough County Animal Services spokeswoman Marti Ryan. More will probably be adopted in the next week because several agencies, like the Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline, do not handle same-day adoptions, she said.

And although the sour economy has added to pet shelters' numbers, it didn't affect the turnout on Saturday.

Organizers almost beat their record for adoptions during this semiannual event, Ryan said, and she attributes much of the success to the involvement of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The national group has targeted Tampa as part of its Mission: Orange program, which seeks to create more humane communities by increasing adoptions and decreasing euthanasia.

Mission: Orange started in Tampa 1 1/2 years ago and has been one of the most successful programs, said ASPCA's president, Ed Sayres, who attended Saturday's event.

"Tampa is the perfect example of how this should be done," he said.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Society Holds Events to Help Pet Owners

By JESSICA A. YORK/Times-Herald staff writer
The increase of those animals is likely tied in two ways to the local housing market decline, said Peter Wilson, director of humane services at the Benicia-Vallejo Humane Society. As more homes are foreclosed on, residents are at times abandoning their animals rather than relocating them, Wilson said.

Also, residents who recently moved are not necessarily thinking about updating their pets' information before the animals have a chance to escape.

"The microchip does no good if you don't update them when you move," Wilson said. "Updating the microchip should be on the top of pet owners'

The animal shelter will host two upcoming events in an attempt to reduce its already-near capacity supply of animals at the facility.

On Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Aardvark's Dog Training Center in Vallejo, a "chip checkup" will be held, telling owners what information is listed on the chips and informing them how to update the information. Pets will also have an opportunity to take a photo with Santa Claus. The suggested donation for the service is $5 a pet.

Also, on Nov. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.,
at the First Presbyterian Church in Vallejo, the Humane Society will host a mortgage adjustment workshop suggesting mortgage payment alternatives, tips on easing pet bills and finding temporary homes for pets during relocation. The suggested event donation is $25 a person, or $35 for a couple.

Wilson said the shelter needs residents willing to serve as foster guardians for the pets while their owners find new homes. The foreclosure crisis had not garnered as much attention on homeless pets as more prominent disasters, Wilson said.

"When (Hurricane) Katrina happened, people were calling and beating down the doors," Wilson said.

Conversely, the organization has recently seen a 40 percent to 50 percent hike in calls for service, Wilson said.

Residents are not only abandoning their pets, sometimes even leaving them in their foreclosed homes untended. They also are calling on the center to help with vet bills and for temporarily lodging for their furry friends, Wilson said.

Contact the Benicia-Vallejo Humane Society for more information at 645-7905.

Pet Care Information That Owners Should Know
By DR. LARRY BAKER - For the Herald & Review

It's time for some veterinary medical updates to keep you knowledgeable about your pets, and to keep your pets healthy. I'll report to you the latest news, facts, figures and opinions from our profession. Some of the facts are simply of general interest.

Leptospirosis is a deadly disease of pets affecting the liver and kidneys, resulting in death in untreated cases. Lepto, as it is frequently called, is becoming more common in the Midwest. Dogs can acquire the disease from drinking contaminated water, and pets can transmit this disease to their owners. The best precaution you can take is to have your pet vaccinated. The best vaccine protects your pet from four strains of leptospirosis.

Blastomycosis is showing up in my office more than it has any time in the past. Blastomycosis is a fungal disease affecting the lungs of dogs. Affected dogs usually live near a water source or have been around recently overturned earth. The disease is treatable, but there is no vaccination available for it. We used to think it was contagious from dogs to humans, but that information has been disproved.

Parvovirus, a deadly virus affecting dogs, is still considered the major threat to unvaccinated dogs. A three-year vaccination is available for older dogs.

Watch your pet around bees and wasps. A wasp sting can be very painful and cause major swelling around the affected area of the sting, as my Millie found out recently. If your pet gets stung, an ice pack on the affected area can likely prevent some of the pain and inflammation.

It is against the law in Illinois to own a wild animal, unless you have a license to do so. Animals such as raccoons, foxes and skunks can carry diseases which are contagious to humans. Skunks are known for harboring the rabies virus, spreading it to other animals and yet not succumbing to the disease themselves. Annually, 55,000 human deaths from rabies are reported worldwide. And yes, it is true that an Arizona jogger, last week, ran a mile to her car with a rabid fox locked onto her arm. And there have been 145 confirmed cases of animal rabies this year in South Carolina alone. Be sure your dog is vaccinated and licensed. In many counties, the city or county license may be purchased through your veterinarian.

About 16,500 customers who purchased Relion insulin syringes have been notified that the syringe markings are faulty and that the mislabeling can result in a dose of insulin 2½ times the appropriate dose can be mistakenly given. If you are giving your pet insulin, check to make sure you don't have Relion syringes from lot number 813900.

There are lots of hocus pocus pet products sold. I just came across a book with this sales pitch: "I guarantee if you follow all of the advice in this next book, your dog will live at least an extra 3 to 5 years." Don't believe everything you read, and be very cautious about taking any medical advice from a person with no credentials.

On Nov. 4, Massachusetts voters approved a ban of dog-racing, in spite of the opposition claiming there will be many lost jobs. It's about time. Many racing greyhounds that do not run well are useless to their owners and have been killed as a result. Others simply have been sorely mistreated. Some of the more fortunate ones are put up for adoption by greyhound adoption rescue groups.

And lastly, for some sage advice you have probably heard again and again: Spay or neuter your pet; do not allow your pet to become obese; keep your pet under control at all times; groom your pet; feed your pet a high-quality food.

Keeping these facts in mind should make you an adept pet owner. Treat your pet as part of your family. Then, not only are you providing well for your pet, you are showing your children, or others, that pets can play a meaningful part in their lives, too.

Speaking for Alex this week is Dr. Larry Baker, who practices small animal medicine and veterinary dentistry at 2800 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Decatur. To submit a question, write to Ask Alex, c/o Herald & Review, Box 311, Decatur, IL 62625 or e-mail jmatherly@herald-review.com.


A Rescue Success Story: Sandy and Boomer
LA Unleashed

Thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized each year at the L.A. city shelters (the statistics can be a pretty unsettling read). But what of the lucky ones who find new homes?

Mirja Bishop, a volunteer at the West L.A. animal shelter, tells us, "The greatest joy for a volunteer or animal control technician is to be instrumental in the adoption of one of their shelter animals. Smiles and high-fives always accompany the words, 'We have an adoption!' "

Shelter workers hope for the best, but rarely get to follow up on an animal once it's been adopted. Mirja shares a story of two exceptions to that rule.

We'll let her take it from here:

In April, two beautiful German shepherd dogs were picked up as strays by the South L.A. animal shelter staff. Because of overcrowding at that facility, the future for these dogs did not look bright and their days there were numbered. Through the efforts of several volunteers and shelter staff members, the inseparable pair was transferred to the West L.A. shelter, where their chances of being adopted seemed better. Day after day, week after week, they waited.

Sandy loves to run and is "soooooo fast. She flies," says her new owner, Mary. In mid-July, almost three months after they were first picked up as strays, a lady who knew and loved shepherds came to the shelter to see them. She had seen them online and was definitely interested.

She walked around the play yard with them and it was obvious that she had experience working with large dogs. It was wonderful to see these two best friends racing around the yard in tandem like two racehorses. It was as if they knew that something wonderful was about to happen. I was a new volunteer at the time and I remember saying a quiet prayer that maybe, just maybe, this would be their lucky day.

Her decision was quick and unhesitating: she wanted both of them. I reached toward her and very spontaneously gave her a hug. We exchanged e-mail addresses and promised to stay in touch. There were very few dry eyes at the shelter that afternoon as we watched them leave.

Normally this is where the story ends, but not this time: I've had the privilege of staying in touch with Mary, who adopted Karen and Ed (or Sandy and Boomer, as they're now known). She loves her new family and they obviously love her, too. "When I come home they get so excited that they chase each other around the house in circles," she says.

How wonderful it would be to know the history of these two dogs. Perhaps they have been together their entire lives, or maybe they met on the streets of L.A. We'll never know, but what we do know is that there is incredible love and affection between them. Mary shares an example of their bond: "They were lying on the living room floor when all of a sudden Sandy started to gnaw on Boomer's muzzle. Then she rolled over and he gnawed on her muzzle. She then wormed her way on the floor and put her paws on Boomer’s shoulders."

They have shared the bad times together and now they can share the good times. "Boomer's eyes are no longer sad," Mary says.

For information on how to adopt your own dog or cat (or even bunny or lizard), check out the L.A. Department of Animal Services website.

--Lindsay Barnett

That's One Big Salmon Found in Battle Creek
LA Unleashed

This is not a year when you would expect to find a monster chinook salmon in California waters. The salmon runs have been so bad that the commercial and recreational chinook catch was canceled off the California and Oregon coast last spring.

But when state Department of Fish and Game biologists conducted their survey of fall-run chinook last month, they came across the carcass of one of the largest chinook ever recorded in California. The fish, which had died of natural causes as part of the natural spawning cycle, was found in lower Battle Creek near Red Bluff in Northern California.

Based on its measurements (51 inches long), biologists estimated the fish's live weight could have surpassed the state record, an 88-pound chinook caught in the Sacramento River.

The salmon counted in the fall surveys typically weigh 20 to 30 pounds.

Fishery biologists are keeping their fingers crossed that the giant, thought to be about 6 years old, was a successful spawner.

-- Bettina Boxall

Photo: Fisheries biologist Doug Killam with the chinook salmon found in Battle Creek in Tehama County. Credit: California Department of Fish and Game

Loving Pet Parents May Save The Economy
posted by cmoon - Minneapolis Pet Central

I came across this article and thought PC readers would find it interesting. Despite the current economy, it appears that doting animal owners aren't cutting back on their holiday spending for their pets.

In the article, it explains: "Experts say many pet owners are as dedicated to their animals as parents are to children." (Duh.) And that means were're willing to sacrifice on ourselves before trimming back on our four-leggeds.

I would certainly say that's true. I no longer purchase a pastry and coffee every morning--but I am willing to buy a Yoghund pack for Dakota and Meadow to snack on.

Says Carol Perkins, president and co-founder of Harry Barker, a Charleston, S.C.-based pet toy company whose sales are up 40 percent this year, "The dog goes to the vet first and the dog gets organic food. Maybe some people will cut back on a dog bed, but they'll still buy dog treats, toys and collars and leashes."

So do you agree? Will you continue to buy toys for your pets during this holiday season? Are you cutting back spending on your pets?

Hi Cherie, No, I won't be
No, I won't be spending less this year on my 4 legged "kids". I, like you would rather cut back on something for myself. Since my husband and I don't have any 2 legged kids, I think it makes it easier to justify spending money on the dogs.
Do you have any plans to put together a list of great places to shop for pets?
Happy Holidays!
Lu, Sydney and Jackson

Hi gang--thanks for the
Hi gang--thanks for the reply. As of now, we don't have plans to put together a shopping guide. But feel free to post your favorites here. Take care.

I will definitely be getting my pooches the best!
Of course I being the "Puppy Paws Baker" and all'
My girls get to do the quality control of the holiday biscuits right out of the ovens!
I have been baking "Puppy Paws" for 8 years now and am very lucky to have a fond following.
People have Always wanted the best for their pets as we do ourselves.
Treat your Pets as you would yourself!
Hugs & Tail Wags
"The Puppy Paws Baker"

When Will My Pup Be an Adult?
Houston Pets

My puppy is 7 months old - what age will she become an adult dog? Thanks, C.V.

Dear C.V.,

There are no hard and fast rules. For many, the one-year mark is used as the time most dogs are considered to be adults. Your dog will have probably grown to her full height but she may continue to "fill out" and mature for another year. However, there are some subtle variations based on breed and/or size. In general, smaller breeds are often mature more quickly than larger breeds. Some toy or small breeds may be considered adults at 9 months to 1 year of age. Giant breeds are often not considered adults until about 18 months of age.

If you're concerned about when to switch from puppy to adult food, please check with your veterinarian.

And, if you haven't already done so, please talk to your veterinarian about spaying your puppy. There is firm medical research indicating that if a dog spay surgery is performed before the dog's first estrus cycle (heat) the chances for developing mammary cancer later in life is nearly zero. If a dog goes through one heat cycle and then is spayed, the chances of mammary cancer later in life are slightly reduced. And if a dog has three or more estrus cycles and then is spayed there is no protective influence against developing mammary cancer. In addition, any dog that is spayed will have no chance of developing a potentially fatal uterus infection called Pyometra. Many veterinarians recommend spaying dogs at about six months of age, which is generally prior to a dog's first heat cycle. Some veterinarians will suggest that the surgery be done at four or five months of age. Talk to your vet to determine what is best for your pup!

Missing Cat Back in California Home After 13 Years

SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- A California couple recently had an unexpected reunion with an old housemate: their pet cat who went missing more than 13 years ago.

The cat, named George, was last seen by Melinda Merman and Frank Walburg in 1995. He recently resurfaced when the manager of a mobile home park trapped the sickly feline and gave him to an animal hospital.

A microchip implanted in George allowed him to be traced back to his owners.

Merman says after George went missing she visited animal shelters and wrote to veterinarians in search of the gray, yellow-eyed cat, who now weighs less than half his original 14-pounds.

But Merman and Walburg say George is eating well and displaying some of his old behavior, like jumping at flickering light on the wall.

Pet Tales: Admit It. Pet-Owning Friends Just Don’t Get It
Atlanta Pets

Today’s Pet Tale comes from Sam, Sophie and Beethoven’s Mom:

I won’t pay anyone to help me train Beethoveen. He is a Yorkie and will be 6 months old Tuesday on my birthday. We spend time with him daily and we just teach him how we want him to be. He is a smart little dog and soon he will be just as obedient as Sam and Sophie.

Sam is a 10-year-old Schnauzer and Sophie is an 11-year-old Bichon. We love spending time with all three dogs. We are very careful to treat them like dogs.

My sister-in-law’s yorkie thinks he is a little boy, and now he does not want his bowl on the floor. He wants someone to hold it while he eats. He wants to ride on the dashboard of the car which is very dangerous. We tend to be more stern with our dogs.

7 Responses to “Pet Tales: Admit it. Pet-owning friends just don’t get it”

I have neighbors in my condo that have 2 large dogs that bark very aggressively whenever anyone passes their door, as well as when they are out in public. Large dogs have no place in multi-unit dwellings; they need space to run and work off energy. Quit being selfish and forcing everyone to live with your poor choices. Your pets and neighbors deserve better!

I think the worst is the way non-pet owners think that they’re interchangeable. Especially when you lose them or they die.

That “it’s just a dog/cat. You can get another one” is awful but telling.

Obedience training at home is essential but does not make up for the socialization a team gets at obedience class. It is of the utmost importance that dogs get out with other dogs and people and learn how to behave. Even controlled leash walks are too limiting and dog parks…don’t even get me started there but suffice it say, I don’t trust them and don’t take my dogs there.

JM–some large breeds are ideal for condo life! Many of the “giants” are very low energy dogs and quiet content to be couch potatoes. But you support my case to molulu that dogs must be socialized in public and people need to be instructed on how to train their dogs.

Anyone considering a dog MUST do research on the breed (or if a mix, the dominate breed) to see if it fits into their lifestyle. A border collie, boxer, or even the small Jack (or Parson) Russell Terrier may not do great in an apartment with an owner who is gone 12 hours of the day but a greyhound, St. Bernard, Newfie may settle in and consider this a permanent vacation.

I agree, training is very important for both cat’s and dog’s. If you have a cat that is leashed trained and you take him for walks, he must be trained NOT to react to other animals especially dog’s, as is some cat’s nature. My oldest cat Jake, The Cat Who Loved Camping, is very well trained on his leash. Jake is also a very friendly guy and some of his best friends have been dog’s. Unfortunately a lot of dog’s would become quite aggresive when they spotted Jake as we walked on some of the trails we walked. Jake would stop and sit down right against my feet and look back and forth between me and the other animal as if to say “what’s his problem?”. Once the dog and his person had passed we would continue on. If the animal was friendly Jake and the other animal may sniff each other a moment while I chatted with the person holding the leash. Jake always made sure he spoke to the humans too.

My husband sometimes gets annoyed because Jake is such a talker. But, that is something else I guess I trained him to do, during the years it was just me and him. I talked to him a lot and he always talked to me too. I also taught Jake to fetch and one of his favorite games while we were camping was for me to throw a stick and he would fetch it. Sometimes he would bring it back over to me but not give me the stick and I had to play tug of war to get the stick before I could throw it again!

We are not the only ones who teach our cat’s and dog’s. One of Jake’s best friends was a Jack Russell mix that my daughter had rescued from a dumpster, the poor little guy had a broken leg and had been thrown out with the trash. His name was Chester and him and Jake loved each other. Everytime we stayed with my daughter Jake and Chester would be sure to get into mischief. Chester taught Jake to drink out of the toilet, now I have to keep the toilet lid closed. Jake taught Chester that the best place to sleep was the back of the couch or in an open window. You should have seen Chester precariously perched in either of those places. What fun we have with our animal friends. They are worth every penny we spend on them and every bit of time and energy it takes to train them. What a joy and a blessing!

Training Instructor
Melodie–When I was in 4-H in WA State, I did cat obedience! I guess the judging was based on whose cat put up the least resistence. There was a set heeling pattern, a recall and a stay of some type.

I remember one year (I was young, 10 or 11) I’m doing my heeling pattern and I was quite proud of how well my cat was walking. I get to the end and look at her and apparently she had flopped on her side and I had dragged her the entire pattern. You could see where she had “dusted” the floor as I walked. We won the class b/c she didn’t resist me at all. Now THAT’S a cat.

i love the pic ..! looks like a co operate dog

Sandy Weaver Carman
Training Instructor, I just have one word for your comment about dog parks:


While it is good that they exist, I guess, because a lot of dogs wouldn’t get any exercise at all without them, they do pose risks to the dogs that play there. “Run fast, run away” equals play most of the time, but “run fast, run away” can trigger a dog’s prey drive, leading to tragedy.

I’m actually going to an event at an off-lead dog park today, and all four of my dogs will go with me. They will come out of the van individually for a little bit of training, and then go back in for a nap. We’ll have fun, they’ll see someplace new and get to train in a distracted environment, they’ll be heavily rewarded for good work and best of all, they’ll be safe from potential tragedy because they won’t be “running with the pack.”

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