"Kiss Your Pet Before You Leave Home"

World's Priciest Dog Costs $582,135
AOL News

A black Tibetan mastiff with a plaintive expression not unlike the Cowardly Lion's is believed to have broken the world record as the most expensive dog, The Times of London reported Thursday.

A Chinese woman paid $582,135 for the pricey canine, far surpassing the $155,000 reportedly doled out by a Florida family earlier this year for a Labrador named Lancelot Encore.

A woman, identified only as Mrs. Wang, poses on Wednesday with what is reported to be the world's most expensive dog, Yangtze River Number Two. The Tibetan mastiff ran Mrs. Wang $582,135, shattering previous records. AFP / Getty Images

The mysterious buyer, identified only as Mrs. Wang, first encountered the animal during a trip to China's Qinghai province, reported the Times. She was traveling with a Tibetan mastiff already in her possession, which she hoped to mate with a similarly pure-blooded peer.

The moment she saw the 18-month-old dog then known as White Root, said the paper, she was determined to buy him.

"Gold has a price, but this Tibetan mastiff doesn't," the woman was quoted as saying.

White Root may have appeared a strange name for a dog whose coat is almost entirely black. On the way back from Qinghai, his new owner changed his name to the catchier Yangtze River Number Two, said the Times.

Call him what you like, the canine arrived at his new home in style. He was met at the Xi'an airport by a motorcade of 30 luxury cars, the paper reported, and local pet lovers were dispatched to wave welcome banners in his honor. They don't call it a dog's life for nothing.

Dog Grooming Tips

Not everybody can afford to pay a few hundred dollars per month to cover the pet’s grooming costs. People more willingly turn to dog grooming tips to care for their four-legged friends at home, as a form of saving money. Unfortunately, with more special breeds, home grooming is a nightmare.

Choose brushes carefully because they have to match the hair thickness and length. Maximum two brushes should do for regular brushing. Read some dog grooming tips to see which items are more suitable for your dog’s coat. Check pictures and then find the items either at the local pet store or directly online from various dealers.

You can also learn how to clean the pet’s ears by reading professional dog grooming tips. Wax, dirt and hair make a very unpleasant combination building up in the ear canals and thus reduce the auditive capacity of your pet. The hair needs to be carefully pulled out frequently, so that wax does not build up on it. Use some special accessories that you put on the fingers when gripping this hair, because both scissors and the naked fingers can cause damage to the tissues.

Clipping toenails is another challenge, and many home dog grooming tips can help you with it. Pet owners don’t like long claws because dogs can cause damage to the carpets, floors and unpleasant scratching. You’ll just need a pair of nail clippers and a few dog grooming tips about how to cut the nails without hurting the dog and keeping the discomfort minimum. Ask your vet for nail trimming recommendations too.

Pay special attention the eyes as well, particularly since dog’s tearing has a staining effect. While some breeds are prone to tearing, with others, tears are a sign of an existent medical condition. A bit of hydrogen peroxide in warm water should reduce the discoloration on light colored dogs but you have to be extremely careful and not get too close to the eyes. This is not a standard dog grooming solution, but rather an improvisation that could prove a very bad idea on certain occasions.

With the right dog grooming tips, you should be able to create a healthy routine to keep your dog looking great. Keep in mind the fact that grooming needs to be performed regularly, and you need to devote some time to it on a weekly basis. In the absence of proper care, nails and hair condition deteriorates rapidly, do not neglect their importance for your dog’s well being.

First Steps In Dog Grooming

Grooming is one of the important activities to be known well by the dog owner. If the dog owner is not aware of the grooming, then the dog may encounter many types of diseases. First steps of grooming consists of activities like maintenance of coat, nails and ears. The maintenance of the coat mainly consists of enrichment measures like proper bathing, combing, drying of skin by dryers, and more. The animal need not be bathed daily and this helps to protect the skin’s characteristics like insulation feature.

Use conditioners and shampoos that are meant for dogs. Combing needs to be carried out with a soft brush meant for use in case of dogs. There are varieties of brushes available and depending on the type of breeds, one can use the concerned brush. This grooming of the coat by a comb needs to be carried out daily and the fallen hair if any needs to be placed in dust bin always.

Otherwise, when the dog owners switch on the fan, the hair will fly and may enter the nostrils of persons. Always don’t clip too much because this may lead to injuries of nail always. Similarly, you need to carry all the materials required for the clipping with you before the start of the procedure.

Use a sharp clipper designed for use in case of dogs. It is better to have the dog on the raised place and hence, the control of the animal is easier. Ear canals are to be checked up frequently and sterile cotton may be used for cleaning purposes. Grooming associated guidelines need to be followed strictly by the dog owners.

Nail-maintenance is one of the first steps of grooming activities. Live nail areas can be easily clipped away and are always light colored than the reddish area of the nail in the higher position. During the holding of your dog’s feet by you, always have a firm grip. If not, the dog will take an upper hand during the clipping and some injury may occur.

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My Pet World
By Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services

Allowing pets in public places is not universal

Q: While visiting a casino, I noticed a gentleman with a small dog in a stroller. The dog didn't seem to be a service dog, but this man's pet. The man was playing penny slot machines. Casino employees seemed unconcerned about this guy's dog. I have two small dogs. Do strollers afford us the luxury of taking our pets into places previously considered off limits? -- D.H., Las Vegas

A: Perhaps the dog was this gentleman's good luck charm. Whether a casino, department store, art gallery or bank, it's up to an individual business to allow or ban pets. Some businesses only allow dogs small enough to be carried. Perhaps this casino is dog-friendly. By law, pets are never allowed inside restaurants in the United States (though some places in Europe permit dogs inside where people eat). Florida and Illinois both have state laws that allow restaurants to welcome dogs at sidewalk cafes and outdoor patios. In many cities nationwide, dogs are equally welcome to dine al fresco.

I think pet strollers are terrific! Unfortunately, they're solely for diminutive dogs. When these strollers first became available, I wrote about a small disabled dog who was able to accompany family members on walks while riding in a stroller, and how the devices allow small elderly dogs to get out more often. As you point out, being in a stroller does likely offer more accessibility. However, it's still a good idea to call or e-mail the business you plan to visit first.

Pet strollers were originally created for cats. I'm glad most cats stay indoors, but I'm all for safe ways for cats to get fresh air. Kept within the confines of a netted stroller, many indoor cats love the experience. While they're not getting any exercise, they are enjoying a festival of sights and smells. My wife and I are among those crazy cat stroller fans. Pictures of Robin toting our two dogs and our cat, Roxy, down the street are posted on my Facebook Fan Page: http://www.new.facebook.com/pages/Steve-Dale/50057343596?ref=ts

There are several manufacturers of these strollers. We like several available at www.kittywalk.com (they also have an array of safe outdoor play grounds for cats), 877-548-8905.

Q: I'm disgusted by all the fuss you make over pets. It's gotten to the point where society gets more upset over abused pit bulls than abused children. I'm sick of pet owners saying "money is no object" when it comes to their animals' veterinary bills. I'm sick of pets being called "four-legged family." Give me a break! -- C.Z., Salem, Ore.

A: Why are you so angry? I think you need a pet.

Here's what scientists around the world have documented: Pets are good for us. I don't have the space to elaborate on all the studies or the results, but here are some examples: In some cases, people on anti-depressants and other drugs have been able to decrease their dosage or wean themselves off the medication once they get a pet. Also, petting dogs and cats lowers blood pressure. Pets put smiles on our faces, and smiling increases "good endorphins," which are healthy for us. While we should exercise more than walking our dogs, at least it's something. Some cardiac doctors have even prescribed a dog as rehab.

I've never suggested that pets are more important than people. In fact, clearly, people do come first. But why does that mean we can't have regard for all life? Besides, by lessening animal abuse, we're helping people. It's been shown that people who abuse animals are far more likely to commit violent crimes against people. Check out the American Humane Association; this agency protects both children and animals.

I'm not sure why you're upset with people who choose to spend money on their pets' health care. Would you be upset if your neighbors spent tons to redesign their kitchen or vacation in an exotic location? Why is it your business? In fact, you should be grateful for what veterinary medicine can do these days. Human medical researchers and veterinarians are increasingly working together to study diseases in dogs, in particular. The result: Dogs and people benefit.

Here's a new statistic that will make you even more sick and tired. According to the latest American Pet Product Association Pet Owners' Survey, pet ownership in America continues to rise, now standing at 77.5 million dogs and 93.6 million cats. In fact, there are more pets than children in the United States. Also, 94 percent of dog owners say they love their dogs, and 89 percent of cat owners indicate love is also the top reason why they have a cat.

I bet I just made your day.

Q: You've written about microchipping cats. However, I'm concerned about reactions to the chips, like vaccine responses in cats. Should I worry? -- S.C., Cyberspace

A: No. You're likely thinking of Feline Vaccine Associated Sarcoma, an aggressive cancer sometimes occurring at vaccine sites in cats. The last published study from a few years back indicated this type of cancer occurs in only 3 to 10 of every 10,000 cats, and experts suggest that today this cancer might occur even more rarely. In America, there have been no published reports of cancer occurring as a clear result of a microchipping.

There have been verified reports of cancer occurring in lab rodents due to microchips, but all veterinary experts I've contacted have pointed out that these rodents are sadly particularly prone to cancers. Besides, what happens to rodents will not necessarily occur in cats. Certainly, if there is a risk to microchipping cats, the benefits far exceed that risk.

Gary Bogue: Will My Cats Get Over
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times
Great horned owls give a hoot.

Dear Gary:

I recently had a ceiling fan installed in my bedroom and my two cats were terrified of it. The bedroom had been one of their regular daytime resting places as well as evening haunts.

Once the fan was in place, they avoided the room.

After five days, one of my kitties has dared to enter the domain of the unidentified object and returned to her regular sleeping spots. She will give the fan an evil eye from time to time, but accepts it is not attacking her. My other kitty will not go anywhere near the bedroom, even the hallway it connects to. Will she adjust over time or is this permanent?

I must admit in the short period that both were not entering the bedroom, it did mean for a better night's sleep as there were no interruptions/visits in the middle of the night for a pet.

My home, though, is their home and I want them to feel safe everywhere, so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Carol in Lafayette

Dear Carol:

Reminds me of the time we put a new table in our dining room and our cat, Newman, refused to go lie in his favorite afternoon sun spot because it was next to the new TABLE MONSTER.

He took eight days to decide the table was safe and to start using his sun spot again. So relax and be patient. Your cat eventually will get over the FAN MONSTER.

Dear Gary:

We have a black crowned night heron that roosts in the alder tree in our back area and defecates white goop on our deck, which I dutifully wash off daily.

Recently, however, it has started to leave reddish globs that look like crustacean matter. Small legs and whole claws, etc.

We live near water so the fact that they find small crabs and crayfish is not unusual. But do these birds regurgitate food or what? It seems unlikely they are passing these larger pieces.

Jan Toepfer, Alameda

Dear Jan:

It is common for herons, egrets, owls and hawks to regurgitate pieces of their prey that they can't digest.

Herons and egrets will cough up bits of crab shell, claws, etc., and owls and hawks will regurgitate pellets of hair and bone. Large fur/bone pellets are usually from owls because they swallow their prey (gophers, mice) whole. Hawks "cast" much smaller pellets because they pull apart their prey to swallow pieces and don't ingest so much fur and bones.

Biologists collect owl and hawk pellets from under the trees where they perch so they can analyze what kinds of prey they are hunting by the skeletons (skulls, leg bones) in those pellets. Same with herons and egrets.

Avian Society meeting

The Contra Costa Avian Society invites you to join them at their next club meeting, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Contra Costa Water District, 1331 Concord Ave., Concord. Dr. Evelyn Ivey, DVM, will talk about "First Aid For Your Bird." She has lectured across the country and written several scientific and review papers on avian and exotic pet topics.

A final note

I want to gripe about dog owners who have no consideration for their safety and that of others.

It irks me no end when I see dogs in the driver's seat or roaming around the passenger and driver's seat while the car is moving. For all the dog owners who consider dogs as their children, would you allow your baby to sit on your lap while driving on the freeway?

I see this so often and it is so dangerous, and I'll bet illegal. No one seems to bat an eyelid when they see dogs in the front seats but screams bloody murder at seeing children in the driver's seat. Huh? Go figure. (Shiro from Hayward)

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Cat's Problem Might Be Glands,
Spinal Arthritis
Dr. Fox - The Washington Post

Dear Dr. Fox:

I have a 20-pound, 11-year-old cat that scooches her rump on the floor.

There is nothing medically wrong with her. She is very furry, so I had her shaved in a lion cut, thinking that might help with feces that cling to her back fur. It made no difference.

The vet had no other suggestions except for shaving. I have tried wiping her, but she gets hostile. I have tried a squirt gun. I have switched litters. I have raised and lowered the litter levels in the box; she likes to stand while going. Is there anything else I can try?

Falls Church

If your veterinarian ruled out anal-gland issues, you need to consider why your cat gets fecal material on her rear.

Try a much larger litter box so she can position herself easily and not get caught on an edge. Considering her age and the fact that she likes to stand while evacuating, the most likely problem is spinal arthritis. A few sessions with a veterinary massage therapist, chiropractor or acupuncturist might help. You might try a warm pad for her to lie on or use a heat lamp.

Anti-inflammatory supplements such as fish oil and turmeric could make a world of difference. A little valerian could ease painful muscle spasms.

Dear Dr. Fox:

Yesterday, my 14-year-old, very healthy 25-pound cat jumped off the bed, vomited clear liquid, collapsed, screamed and died. The emergency room vet agreed the cat looked healthy and suggested it was a heart attack. He was behaving normally before his death. What could have happened?

Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

A heart attack or blood clot causing a stroke might have been the cause of your cat's sudden death.

Sudden death is far more common in cats than in dogs because they are more susceptible to dietary deficiencies and intolerances that can lead to heart disease and feline dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Another common problem in cats is periodontal disease (really bad teeth) than can cause heart disease and other serious health problems. For older cats and dogs, I recommend fish-oil supplements.

Dear Dr. Fox:

I read your article regarding the 3-year-old Westie that threw up at night. I have a Shih Tzu that was on Cesar food forever and was throwing up yellow liquid. He was diagnosed with pancreatitis, and we took him off the fatty diet. He has been on Prescription Diet by Hills and gets no fatty treats, just milk bones and an occasional greenie. He has been fine for several years.

Bonita Springs, Fla.

Pancreatitis is a fairly common health crisis in dogs. It can be extremely painful and is often associated with nausea, vomiting and loose stools.

A low-fat diet is called for. In many instances, eliminating all gluten ingredients (such as soy, wheat and corn) and high-starch grains can make a world of difference. Give him probiotics and digestive enzymes to help prevent recurrence. Relapses are common when dogs are overindulged and fed too many fatty leftovers.

Dear Dr. Fox:

I read about a dog with very sore gums. I am one of those rare people who is highly allergic to fluoride in water. I had very sore gums. I also had severe stomach cramps and explosive diarrhea for several years before discovering what caused all that.

Could some animals be allergic to fluoride in water, bringing on illness? Some bottled water also has fluoride.

Horace, N.D.

Chronic fluoride exposure has been linked to many health problems, including thyroid disease and bone cancer, especially in boys. Pets might be similarly affected. Fluoride accumulates in the bones and teeth.

Please give your pets spring water or purified water (not distilled). Avoid pet foods that have bone meal, meat meal and chicken byproduct meal. They might contain a lot of round bone included during the deboning process.

Michael W. Fox, author of a newsletter and books on animal care, welfare and rights, is a veterinarian with doctoral degrees in medicine and animal behavior. Write to Dr. Fox at United Feature Syndicate, 200 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10016.

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Smart Tips for Protecting Pets
in Heat and During Storms
USA Today

A high-profile dog death in Richmond, Va., is another urgent reminder to be aware of your pets' needs and whereabouts during the brutally hot summer and ongoing hurricane season.

Dogs and cats can not be left in cars. Not for one second. A dog belonging to Robin Starr, the CEO of the Richmond SPCA ,was left in her car for several hours last week and died later that evening. Starr and her husband Ed cried while talking about how the accident happened, according to this story in the Richmond Times -Dispatch.

Even on a cool day a car can heat up in a matter of seconds, according to the Animal Protection Institute. Here is an eye-opening list on Mydogiscool.com of outside air temps and inside -the- car temps.

Do not: leave dogs or cats in cars, which quickly turn into ovens.

Do: Keep dogs and cats cool in the summer months, always making sure they have access to fresh water and to shade.

Do: Exercise when it is cool, not during the hottest parts of the day. Keep walks shorter than usual.

Do: During the hurricane season, be sure to keep dogs away from riptides and turbulent water and always have an emergency plan in place for them in the event you need to evacuate. We learned that valuable lesson during Katrina, when many people left their pets behind.

Pet expert Arnold Goldman has advice on planning evacuations in this exclusive story for USA TODAY.

Be Prepared for an Unexpected Trip
to the Hospital
By Kim Campbell Thornton - PetConnection.com

I have unlimited faith in my immune system and overall health. They have taken superb care of me over the years. So when my blood pressure started to creep up the past couple of years, I blew it off and encouraged my doctor to do so as well. “It’s just the stress of my job,” I would tell her. We agreed at my last visit a few weeks ago to just keep an eye on it and recheck it in a few weeks.

Just call me the Queen of Denial. I was working last night and my right arm just didn’t feel right. Knowing that my blood pressure was already on the high side, I decided to walk over to the drugstore and test it with their blood pressure monitor.

It was off the charts.

“Well, it couldn’t hurt to go to the ER and have it checked out,” I thought. “They’ll probably tell me that those machines aren’t calibrated very well and send me home.”

So all I brought with me was my cell phone, which appeared to be fully charged, and a 400-page book. I finished the book in five hours (”An Accomplished Woman,” a retelling of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” with hints of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Sense and Sensibility” and a pinch of Georgette Heyer’s comedy of manners “The Grand Sophy.”)

The cell phone conked out at 2 a.m. when I was talking to Jerry–who’s on the East Coast–telling him that I was being admitted to the hospital for observation. Fortunately, I had already sent a couple of texts to the neighbors and my friend Tamela to make sure someone could go over to the house early and walk and feed the dogs. I didn’t get moved to an actual room with a phone until a little after 5, and I waited impatiently for it to be 6 a.m. so I could start calling the neighbors and make sure they got my texts without feeling too bad about waking them up.

So, here’s my advice.

Kiss your dogs before you leave.

Bring two thick books. Or your Ipod or Kindle or whatever it is that gets you through not having anything else to do or that distracts you from having needles poked into your needle-phobic body.

Bring your cell phone charger, especially if you’re like me and have very few phone numbers memorized anymore because they’re on speed dial.

Have pet care directions on file so you can just leave them out on the counter for anyone who needs to come in and care for your pets. I used to always have these ready to print out, but they haven’t been necessary in so long that I’ve gotten out of the habit.

Don’t forget your favorite pillow–you’ll need it–and ear plugs to drown out the Maury Povich show and other dreck that your elderly roommate is watching because she can’t sleep.

Oh, yeah. You should probably pay a little attention to the rising blood pressure.

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