The Latest Dog and Cat Toys and Treats

Pet Talk: Every Hurricane Report
Stirs Up Images of Animals Lost
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

I get edgy this time of year.

Every report of another hurricane forming out at sea churns up memories, fear of what might happen again.

And images I'm sure will never dim.

Sept. 15, 2005: A dog stands on top of the wreckage of a home on 2nd Street at Oak Avenue in Gulfport, Miss., in the aftermath of Hurriicane Katrina. As columnist Sharon Peters discovered, the end of one disaster is the beginning of a different kind of horror. By Eileen Blass, USA TODAY

Of the big old black Lab I called Sir because he was so courtly, a dog that had, I imagined, taken the lead and kept safe the much younger black Lab that entered the shelter with him. Gone.

Of Katie, the tiny, old rat terrier, affectionate, ailing, not strong enough for the situation she found herself in. Gone.

Of the worried-looking terrier, traumatized into snappiness, though anyone could tell she had once been a solid pet and could be again. Gone.

Of so many Mississippi dogs and cats that had somehow survived the evils of Katrina, but weeks later wound up in the Gulfport animal shelter. Gone.

Some of them, before they landed at the shelter, had been on their own in the post-disaster turmoil for weeks, scrounging a mean, half-life existence, finally so weak that animal control could approach them; some had been cared for by their owners, but couldn't be kept contained because the house was in tatters and fences had blown away; some arriving with litters because so few Southerners sterilize pets; many of them the very last possession finally given up by people decimated, broke and jobless after the storm.

With limited space, no place to send the overflow, and animals arriving by the hour that they were required by law to admit, shelter officials made awful euthanasia choices every day.

I met dozens of those animals, like Sir and Katie, that got love and care … and then their time ran out.

This horrid Katrina aftermath was a reality that I'd not fully contemplated before I took a leave from my job as a Colorado newspaper editor and headed to Mississippi to volunteer my drywalling skills to the people and my dogwalking skills to the animals. The end of one disaster, I now know, is the beginning of a different kind of horror.

Sixty days after the storm ended, thousands of people were sleeping near snake-infested rubble piles that were once their very nice homes. Three or four families were living in one FEMA trailer. Sheetrock was being rationed — one piece at a time. One Sunday morning there was a feeding frenzy over the lone bucket of joint compound still available at Home Depot. Three-story-high piles of destruction still hadn't been hauled off.

Just 400 miles from throbbing Memphis and 480 miles from glittery Dallas, this was a deprived, forgotten place that seemed to have no connection to or affiliation with the United States. The headlines and 24-hour coverage had ceased. Now South Mississippi was grinding through reconstruction with no attention and little help.

And thousands of former pets prowled and starved, many with litters that stood no hope of surviving in the bushes with only a half-dead mother to care for them.

The shelter was, of course, overwhelmed. Shelter employees, who had themselves suffered huge losses and had nothing but damaged houses and hearts to return to each night, did their best to give every animal some sense of safety and love even in the deafening chaos of runs crammed beyond endurance with stressed-out dogs.

But in a community teeming with roaming animals and few people with homes or money to take on a pet, dogs and cats were euthanized in large numbers every week. Shelter managers pleaded with shelters near and far to take an animal or five. But response wasn't strong enough. With a few exceptions — including North Shore Animal League America in New York and Denver Dumb Friends League — the answer was no room or no way.

When one of the animals we had spent hours walking, brushing and petting was, one morning without warning, gone, we rarely spoke of it. My friend Kenn, a Houston newspaper executive who had joined me, broke down twice; I more often. But always privately, and briefly.

We had to take small comfort in one truth: The day or the hour before they died, those dogs were happy. They'd had a good walk through green grass in the sunshine, far from the frantic din of the shelter. They got to curl up for a few minutes with a person who had nothing more important to do than scratch their ears.

Not enough, of course. But something.

We took greater comfort, of course, in the happy goodbyes: Jasmine, a clingy retriever mix, went home with a gentle young couple sympathetic to her desperate need for human touch. Outgoing Sadie headed north with a middle-aged couple in an RV, watching us from the window. And there were others, of course.

Four got their reprieves because my friends or acquaintances responded to pictures of dozens I e-mailed, and committed to provide homes. The sunny morning I loaded them into my SUV for the 1,100-mile trip was, it may be worth noting, Thanksgiving Day.

Now that plans are in place to allow pets to be evacuated with their owners, perhaps things will be better. But some will be left, count on it. Last year, after Gustav hit, I spoke with Rich Crook from Best Friends Animal Society an hour after he was allowed into Jefferson Parish. He sounded deflated. He had hoped for the best but found dog after dog tied on porches, locked in one-story houses, chained in yards. This storm hadn't been as bad as predicted, so the animals weren't crushed or drowned. They merely had to endure hours of howling winds and lashing rain, alone, terrified, unprotected.

Not all people will do the right thing in a disaster. And many of their pets will eventually land in shelters.

Moreover, when the destruction is extreme, the after-effects will be so prolonged that, as with Katrina, even pets of loving owners will wind up in the shelter system

That's what makes my stomach churn.

Perhaps more help will be offered next time — to the people and to the animals. Maybe someone or many someones will think about Sir, the valiant Lab. And outcomes will be different.

Gary Bogue: Persistent Little Bird
is Trying to Catch Your Attention
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

— Jon Hammond

Dear Gary:

I love these warm, open-window mornings.

I was getting ready for work this morning about 7:30, and my attention was caught by the persistent, repetitive noise of a little bird sitting on my deck rail.

As I turned to look, I saw movement in the tall grass on the open-space ridge right behind my house. Suddenly the head, and then the rest of a coyote appeared. He sauntered off, followed by the bird chasing and scolding him.

I was grateful on two counts. I got to observe this wonderful tableau, and my indoor kitty, Toby, will never become a part of that food chain.

Toby's Mom, Rossmoor

Dear Toby's Mom:

That "persistent, repetitive noise" the little bird was making was designed to catch everyone's attention.

Many birds make up a sort of wild, early-warning system to let man and beast alike know when a predator is in the area.

I make a point of going out and looking to see what's bugging my backyard neighbors. Most of us humans, unfortunately, don't pay any attention to that "noise," and usually don't notice what's going on. The wild creatures, however, usually pay very close attention, because it can mean their lives if they don't.

That's why jays, crows, mockingbirds, etc., raise a ruckus when they find a owl or hawk sitting on a tree.

I once even had crows diving and cawing at me when I was hiking in a wooded area. "Man is in the forest."

I'm glad Toby's an indoor cat and doesn't have to deal with prowling coyotes.

Dear Gary:

Last night we were enjoying the warm evening by eating our dinner in the backyard. We were entertained by a number of dragonflies (at least 10) dancing around the yard.

We don't have a pond or any source of water nearby, so why would they show up one evening, and what would you call such a group? My husband claims it is a "flit of dragonflies."

Rebecca, San Leandro

Dear Rebecca:

Some dragonfly species can be found flitting around a pretty fair distance from water, so that doesn't surprise me.

Some pretty neat little ponds can be found in a few backyards, so you may have a good water source a lot closer than you think.

I'm with your husband, I'd definitely call them a flit of dragonflies. (My second choice would be a "zip" of dragonflies.)

A final note

This morning as I sat having coffee watching the sun rise over Mt. Diablo, I witness an interesting scenario.

Two groups of this year's young turkeys, about 10, stopped feeding in the meadow behind us. I watched to see what they were going to do, run or continue grazing.

To my amazement, they all stood straight up (necks extended) and faced the sun. They looked like a line of sentinels paying homage to the sun.

I guess meerkats aren't the only ones that warm their chests up with the sun each morning. (Judith Hartman, cyberspace)

Celebrity Gift Bags Contain
the Latest in Pet Gifts
By Gabrielle Pantera -

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 9/1/2009 - Hollywood stars pamper their pets with extravagant items such as diamond-adorned collars and fancy carrying cases. Distinctive Assets put together celebrity gift bags to introduce new and unusual pet products.

Recipients of the dog and cat gift bags include Miley Cyrus, Katherine Heigl, Paris Hilton, Ellen DeGeneres, Tori Spelling, Alicia Silverstone, Ricky Martin, Jai Rodriguez, Charlize Theron, Drew Barrymore, Mickey Rourke, Hayden Panettiere, Martha Stewart Rachael Ray, Oprah Winfrey, Kathy Griffin, Rachel Bilson, Amanda Bynes, Denise Richards, Mischa Barton, Nicole Richie, Fergie, Glenn Close, Hilary Duff and Justin Timberlake.

Our Top 5 Dog and Cat Gift Picks

1.) Tutu Couture offers matching tutus and dog collars. Handcrafted custom tutus, chic tutus and the classique tutus are fun for little girls to dress up their dogs. Doggie accessories include a large pearl collar and pink tutu.

2.) All American Pet Brands Grrr-nola, the all natural hearth healthy dog food. Veterinarian recommended food is 100% wheat gluten free. Supplemented with vitamins, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and pure chicken meal protein. Taurine to maintain and improve canine cardiac function and supplemental. L-carnitine to protect the heart from stress and cardiovascular risk factors, Grrr-nola Natural’s ingredients are all made in the U.S. and have not been part of any pet food recall.

3.) Pet carriers from ZÜCA is the latest in the line of rolling bags from Laura Udall and her husband Nick who started the Zuca when their 10 year old daughter Rachel had back problems from carrying all her books. That fist bag was the zuca sport. The ZüZÜCA pet carrier can be use as both a rolling carry-all and “car seat” for your dogs or cats. They also have a bag for the seasoned traveler called the Zuca Pro. You can sit on the top when you have no where else to sit while waiting in line and it’s the perfect size for carry on.

4.) FlyDog spill-proof travel bowl. Travel bowl created for dogs who travel by car, plane or train. Wave design lip to keep the fresh water in the bowl, not on the floor. You can hang it and still keeps the water in the bowl.
5.) WaterDog automatic outdoor pet drinking fountain. Keep your dog healthy, hydrated and happy. Ultrasonic sensing technology detects when your pet is near. WaterDog knows when to turn on a gentle flow of fresh drinking water. When your dog leaves, the water turns off.

More Pet Gifts

Gertie Gear pet air beds. The clean Green way for your pet to get some rest. Airbed is filled with air. No pillow stuffing to go in landfill later. Stays clean smelling. Just wash the cover. Put it back on, and you and your pet are set. engraved silver pet identification tags. Fun and whimsical tags for your pets. Wide array of choices.

SwaddleDesigns cashmere blankets are for babies. If your pet acts like a big baby, your four-legged friend will appreciate a cashmere baby blankets. Cashmere comes from the high grasslands of Asia and is incredibly soft and plush. Available in pastels with ivory trim or pastel with mocha colors.

Petprojek dog bowls and toys are 100% lead-free, cadmium-free and 100% non-phthalate PVC free. Feel good about what you’re giving your dog to play with and eat and drink from. Petprojekt, a division of Otomik Products.

Speaking for Spot, a book by Dr. Nancy Kay. How to find an appropriate family veterinarian and clinic, current trends in veterinary medicine, surgical care, and long-term treatment, tracking and researching your dog’s medical history, which questions to ask, and how to ask them. Dr. Kay was on National Public Radio’s show Fresh Air with Terry Gross earlier this year. Speaking for Spot is published by Trafalgar Square Books.

MindBodyand Port-A-Poo is a hands-free dog waste carrier for when taking your dog for a walk. Made of durable plastic, Port-a-Poo attaches to any leash. Open it, put the top of the bag in, and close it to hold the bag until you’re somewhere you can dispose of it. A portion of sales proceeds go to dog charities and rescue organizations.

BiologicVET dog and cat supplements are for daily maintenance, general health, and specific conditions. Uses only the finest quality natural ingredients. Enhance your dog’s well-being to live a longer, stronger and a healthier life.

The Fleas Knees Tees offers PuppyMillsBite t-shirts. Wear in support of no-kill animal rescue. 100% pima cotton, handmade, screen printed. Portion of the proceeds of every tee sold go directly to the The Fleas Knees Fund to support no-kill animal rescue groups.

Springer America dog exerciser is a bike attachment to helps cyclists and their dogs stay fit. Keeps your dog gently but securely by your side as you bike. Protects your dog from pedals and wheels. Patented safety release in case your dog runs around a tree so both you and your dog are safe.

Green Dog Designs cape coat and custom dress.

Found My Animal natural rope leads and collars are a durable alternative to leather. Each rope is hand-spliced by professional New England rope-makers. To raise public awareness of the urgent need for animal adoption, 25% of profits go to the Louis Animal Foundation.

World’s Best Cat Litter clumps fast, scoops easy, and helps eliminate that dreaded cat litter smell. 100% natural and safe. Flushable. Available in a variety of sizes.

NatureNosh organic gourmet dog treats. Line of ultra premium organic gourmet dog treats have no animal by-products, fillers, hormones, chemical preservatives, pesticides, or herbicides. Does not contain corn, wheat, egg or soy.

Purina Chef Michael wet or dry meals with designer dog plates. Each meal contains chicken, beef, turkey or pork with vegetable garnishes. The dry dinners have meaty pieces with crunchy bites.

Petropics natural canned pet food is made with the highest quality nutritionally balanced
ingredients. Food for dogs and cats.

Molly Mutt dogs duvets look like the ones for humans beds, but are more durable, stylish, and easy to wash. Molly Mutt do-it-yourself dog bed kits take recyling to a new level. Cover your existing dog bed with the molly mutt dog duvet, or fill the duvet with old clothes and bedding laying around your house.

Caprice Renae’s cuffs with rosettes and gems are handmade pieces. There are many styles to choose from, or get a custom-made piece.

Roving Woolens sweaters and blankets are high quality, hand-made fashion items for your cat or dog. Made from alpaca, merino, bamboo or wool. Roving Woolens strives to only use materials that are renewable, sustainable, or recyclable.

Adorable Abodes luxury indoor pet homes are handmade with woodwork, lush fabrics and fancy accessories. Pets home to blend or be a unique addition to your home. Gift certificate for 50% at

Otis & Lucy Photography in Culver City, California, offers professional dog photography. Studio set up for the safety and comfort of animals. State-of-the-art lighting equipment mounted on ceiling rails is triggered via radio transceivers.

Check Your Paws Pawpass from to maintain your pet`s medical records in one place. The only ID device for access to your pet’s medical records. The Lost Alert Program is the only lost pet program alert vets, groomers, shelters, and police.

Chakra Dog all natural glycerin moisturizing soap bars are in the shape of a bone. Nubs gently massage your dog as you wash it.

Buddy Belts dog harness goes under the body of your dog to hold it securely. Avoid unnecessary strain and discomfort for your pet. Made with 100% leather and quality hardware.

Flush Puppies dog waste bags are made of PVA film, a water-soluble material that dissolves in about a minute. Can disposed of in any standard toilet. Avoid landfill.

Popware collapsible pet containers collapse for easy transport. Platform feeder for at home or on the go.

GiggyBites Bakery & Marketplace gourmet treats for dogs and cats. Different sizes to match your pet. Four flavors your dog will love: bacon & cheese, oatmeal peanut butter, crunchy chicken and veggie pizza.

Modern Dog is the lifestyle magazine for modern dogs and their companions. Annual subscription includes tote bag.

Click on banner to visit The Pet Warehouse

My Pet World: Diet, Lack of Real Exercise
May Fuel Dog's 'Willies'
By Steve Dale - Twin

Q. I love Mabel, my 7-month-old boxer puppy, but not when she goes berserk tearing through the house. She does this after exercising out in the yard. Her bouts of the 'willies' — which is what we call these crazy outbursts — also strike after she eats. How do we stop this behavior?

— J.C., San Diego, Calif.

A. This problem is more common than you think. There may be several contributing factors to 'the willies,' says dog behavior consultant Liz Palika, author of 'Puppy Love' (Wiley Publishing, 2009). 'For starters, is Mabel eating a cheapie food filled with too many grains?' Palika asks. 'Carbohydrates are important, but look for sweet potato or other sources, aside from grains. Sometimes, it's a matter of choosing a premium dog food, but still, read the label first.'

Palika says that merely allowing Mabel out in the yard doesn't necessarily mean she's getting much exercise. To ensure she does exercise, interact with her, play a game of fetch. While a good old-fashioned walk offers only moderate exercise, it's wonderfully enriching to smell the 411 of every canine in the neighborhood.

While you're definitely not responsible for giving Mabel "the willies," the response by family members may have unknowingly trained her to go berserk even more often. Be careful to avoid rewarding your dog with what she perceives as a game of chase (either the kids racing after her in fun or you following her, hollering in frustration).

Palika suggests that when Mabel comes in from outside, keep her on a leash. When you allow her off the leash, offer a Kong or Busy Body toy stuffed with treats to keep her occupied.

Q. We recently moved to a small farm with our two indoor cats. We want to add a Labrador retriever. How do we choose a dog? Any advice on introducing our new dog to the cats?

— L.M., Lexington, Ky.

A. A puppy can work out, but there are several advantages to choosing an adult dog, says Amy Shojai, author of "PETiquette: Solving Behavior Problems in Your Multi-Pet Household" (M. Evans and Company, 2005). "Retriever puppies can be very energetic," she notes. "Even if the puppy doesn't have a mean bone in her body, cats with no previous experience with dogs might be offended by a rambunctious puppy with big old paws coming at their faces."

Shojai suggests adopting an adult dog from rescue who's living with a foster family with cats.

Whether you get an adult dog or a puppy, keep the new pet secluded behind a puppy gate or baby gate. When the cat seems interested in the dog, allow the dog to walk around the house on a leash. The leash routine may last for days or weeks with an adult dog but will likely last for a month or more with a pup. As you begin to allow the dog off-leash, show your cat places to escape where the dog can't reach, such as the top of a sofa, window ledges, book shelves, a cat tree, etc.

"Knowing there's an escape route will help the cats feel safe and also provide a vantage point where the cats can curse at the crazy dog!" Shojai adds.

One secret to encourage your cats to accept the dog is to offer a special treat when they're acting calm, cool and collected in the dog's presence. The bottom line is to introduce the dog as quickly as your cats will allow; they'll make the call.

Q. I've been out of work and am seeking a new direction. I want to work around animals. I know I couldn't deal with the trauma of an injured pet, however, so being a veterinary technician won't work. Other than a groomer or trainer, can you think of anything?

— J.B., Richmond, Va.

A. You likely have other skills, such as computer technology or accounting, which a local shelter may need. For sure, the gift of gab is a skill required for an adoption counselor. Pet sitters do have to be prepared to deal with potential emergency health issues but mostly to remain calm, do no harm and transport sick or injured pets to a veterinary clinic. Learn more about becoming a pet sitter or dog walker at

Perhaps you could find a job at a pet store or with a company that makes pet toys, pet food or even pharmaceuticals for pets.

The book "Career Success With Pets" by Kim Barber (Howell Book House, 1996) could answer your questions. Or try the booklet "105 Careers for Animal Lovers" by Paul Fitzsimmons (PJ Publications, 2003).

Write to Include your name, city and state.

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Gary Bogue: This Dog Was a
Professional Blueberry Picker
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

Never stand between a dog and the hydrant.

— John Peers

Dear Gary:

Reading Sunday morning about the Labradoodle and his love of blackberries took me back many years to when I was a child in northern Florida.

My mother made the best blueberry dumplings in the whole world, and during the season we would go out to gather the berries.

Our dog, King, a chow mix, liked his blueberries fresh off the bushes. So Mama would let King loose to get his fill, then tie him to a tree so we could gather enough for our favorite dessert.

King was a master blueberry picker. He somehow could manage to get only berries into his mouth, and nary a leaf. We kids never could figure out how he could be so neat. When we got our berries home, we'd still have to pick the leaves out of ours.

Susan Logan,

San Leandro

Dear Susan:

Try picking blueberries with your mouth, like King did.

You'd be amazed at what an incentive that is to keep those pointy leaves out of your berries.

Dear Gary:

Got such a kick from your recent (Aug. 27) column about the Fan Monster. We remodeled out family room a couple of years ago and installed a ceiling fan. Our Maine coon mix, Maggie, was terrified of it for months!

Now she will not even think about coming in when it's on, but has decided it's OK when at rest.

Peggy Maurer,

Castro Valley

Dear Peggy:

Cats hate change, especially when it comes in the form of a mysterious "thing" that hangs from the ceiling and spins around with a hissing sound as it waits for the cat to walk by so it can reach down and grab it.

Just ask Maggie. She'll tell you all about it, I'm sure.

Special kitties

King, a 13-year-old neutered male orange tabby, and Heidi, a 9-year-old black spayed female, need homes. Both are healthy. Call Melanie, 925-864-8355.

Two 5-year-old tortoiseshell cat sisters need a place to live. Can be indoor or outdoor, are good around kids and dogs. E-mail Doug at

An 8-week-old brown kitten with stripes on head and legs would like to live with you. Call Vicki at 707-422-5940.

Big cat sightings

In response to your "Big Black Cat" column, I wouldn't be surprised if the cat turns out to be a Maine coon cat. When I first saw one of these magnificent animals, I was amazed with the size and demeanor! (Ted in cyberspace)

I saw what I think has been reported as a mountain lion in the Benicia Historic Military Cemetery "... a large, dark brindle boxer or Rottweiler. He/she was on the Valero (refinery) side of the fence leading to the cemetery. Didn't seem aggressive but I was cautious. Looks like someone's pet. I'll also call Valero security and Benicia Animal Control. (George, Benicia)

Dear Gary:

I feed two outdoor cats and noticed their food is gone and their water bowl filled with dirt/mud.

Last night I heard noises and saw a big opossum eating the cat food. It toddled off into the night. Later, two raccoons ate the remaining food. One was average, but the other was twice the size and blondish/beige with black tail rings and a black mask! Any ideas what kind/breed this raccoon was?

Joanne, cyberspace

Dear Joanne:

White (blond) raccoons are often seen around the Bay. Just regular raccoons, only blond with some markings (blonds have more fun?)

Feeding your cats during the day will solve your problem.

Doggy Fashion

Dogsbody ... The Body. Photograph: Liley/Sportsp

Could your pet be worth a fortune?

After our 'poodles in disguise' gallery last week, we were mightily intrigued to hear that the story had taken one step forward and now labradoodles are being disguised as not only humans but professional fashion models! Of course, it helps if your owner is already deeply entrenched in the fickle world of fashion as a model and the woman who possesses Britain's biggest selling lingerie label.

Yes, we're talking about Elle Macpherson and her pet dog Bella, who is to star in a national advertising campaign for the designer doggie fashion brand We already covered the news in an article on Monday, but Fashion Statement felt there was more gnawing to be had on this particular bone of contention. For instance, a quote in our own piece from Melody Lewis, director of PetLondon Models (yes, it's a genuine pet modelling agency - like Storm but for dogs!) deserves our attention:

I think it's important that owners realise that pet modelling isn't a full-time career - the dog isn't going to work every day, 9-to-5 like an office job.

Are there really people out there fantasising that dear old Fido has the capacity to work a 9-5 office job? We can picture it now: every morning at 8.15 sharp, off pads Fido, his briefcase held firmly between his jaws (containing not only important documents but also his packed lunch - a small tin of Pedigree Chum), and a bowler hat perched precariously on his noble brow (God knows why Fido should be a city type, it just seems to fit).

We advise any pet owners who are thinking along those lines to get help immediately. Doggy modelling is not the way to make a quick buck in the recession - not unless you happen to be a supermodel, anyway.

Bringing it back round to fashion, the Telegraph reported that will place mini billboards on lampposts throughout Britain with Bella showing off its products, including leads, coats, scarves and bowls, aimed at "today's stylish urban dog".

Is it just us, or is anyone else wondering how "today's stylish, urban dog" plans to alert its owner when it has spotted a must-have doggy accessory? Barking is one possibility, but we wonder if has thought about what dogs usually leave on lampposts. Clue: it's not a shopping list ...

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Saying Good-Bye -
A Funeral For the Family Pet
By Connor R Sullivan

The family pet is a member of the family. Whether or not you have children in the family the pets become almost like children. They need as much care as children. They need food and water, a place for snuggling to sleep, medical care, and lots of love.

After spending many years from puppy- or kitten-hood to old age with your family, you become as attached to them as you are to the human family members. The sad part of this story is that pets age faster and live shorter lives than humans. This means that the death of a well-loved pet is inevitable. When this death occurs, the easiest solution is to allow the veterinarian to dispose of the pet's remains.

However, there are other solutions that are more sensitive and allow the family members to grieve and have closure. Just as a funeral is important in the death of a grandparent, a funeral can provide the pet-owning family with solace and a way of saying goodbye. In Greater Cincinnati, pet burial is easily accomplished at a Greater Cincinnati pet cemetery.

Burial of the pet can be done either at home in the backyard or in a pet cemetery. (Remember that you must check local regulations before burying on your property.) The provider may be licensed funeral directors who are experts in guiding your family through the entire funeral and grieving process. They can provide a casket, a plot for burial, and a memorial service. Additional remembrances may be available, such as molded paw prints, memorial plaques with photographs, engraved nameplates, and even obituaries.

And after the sad episode of the pet funeral, life continues in the family. After a time of healing, all members of the family may agree that it is time to bring a new pet into the family. At this point, sadness turns to joy. This is also a time to temper emotional reaction with logical thought. Selecting the right pet is an important decision because the pet will be a family member for many years.

The first thing to remember is that the country is overpopulated with dogs and cats. It is a better option to find your new pet at an animal shelter than to support a puppy or kitten mill. Shelters always have a good supply of animals to choose from.

Especially in the selection of a dog, the next consideration is the temperament of the dog. The temperament check applies to both the temperament of the breed and of the individual dog.

You may think a Jack Russell terrier (for example) is an adorable animal, but the terrier is known to be a high-strung dog with a lot of energy and intelligence. Cute as such a dog may be, it probably won't be happy and may even be destructive if it must spend the day home alone while the rest of the family is away at work and school. I even heard someone once suggest that if the dog will be spending the day home alone, you should select a stupid dog. It will still give you a lot of love and devotion.

Connor R. Sullivan has recently worked closely with a Greater Cincinnati pet burial specialist to help with arrangements for the beloved family dog. He found a Greater Cincinnati pet cemetery to help with arrangements for the beloved family dog.

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