The Dog-Gone Funnies

Pet Owners Willing to Go

LOS ANGELES -- Most pet owners would leap into action for an injured pet, even if it meant risking dog breath by going mouth-to-snout.

Fifty-eight percent of pet owners -- 63 percent of dog owners and 53 percent of cat owners -- would be at least somewhat likely to perform CPR on their pet in the event of a medical emergency, according to an Associated poll.

Tammy Parks, 52, of Amherst, Mass., has taken a pet first aid class and wouldn't hesitate to help her 15-year-old mixed breed terriers, Lucy and Julia, or her white fronted Amazon parrot Koko.

"It's not rocket science. The mechanics are the same as humans," said Parks, who was an American Red Cross first aid trainer. "Size is the biggest difference."
In general, though, the poll found few pet owners are prepared to handle pet emergencies. Just 20 percent of pet owners have a pet first aid kit with medical supplies like bandages and ointment in their home, and 54 percent do not have a fire evacuation plan for their pets.

And the survey revealed frequent reporting of dangerous practices that can lead to accidents and injuries. For example, a quarter of pet owners, including 30 percent of dog owners and 22 percent of cat owners, give their pets bones from table scraps, at least sometimes.

Sixty-two percent of dog owners and a third of cat owners let their pets ride in their cars unrestrained, rather than placing them in a special pet carrier. And 11 percent of pet owners sometimes leave their pets unattended in a car or truck.
Still, most pet owners said they would go the extra mile to rescue their pets. Women were more likely to say they would perform CPR on their pets than men, 65 percent to 50 percent, the poll showed.

Nearly every decision made at the Parks house is made with the safety of the animals in mind.

"We don't use pesticide on the lawn. We don't buy food with pesticide on it. No sugar, no salt, just natural nuts and fruits. No Teflon in the house, no smoking, no air fresheners, no aerosol products," she said, explaining that any one of those things could kill their 7-year-old bird.

Barbara Klingman of Houma, La., said she changed things after her Chihuahua, Honeychild, ate something that forced an emergency trip to the vet.

"I make sure she doesn't have anything she shouldn't have," Klingman said of the 7-pound, 4-year-old dog.

The poll showed 7 percent of those polled have pets who have eaten something poisonous and 16 percent have pets who have had allergic reactions to something.
There were also threats from pets themselves: 17 percent reported having a pet bitten or attacked by another animal, 9 percent said a pet had bitten or attacked another animal and 5 percent said a pet had bitten or attacked another person.
The poll revealed that 41 percent have experienced at least one pet safety emergency that required an emergency trip to a vet and 11 percent have had a pet hit by a car.
Edwin Griffin Jr., 61, of Plano, Texas, remembers all too well 25 years ago when his white German shepherd ran in front of a car. The dog broke both hips and his jaw, lost an eye and was in intensive care at an animal hospital for two weeks.

"I had just lost my wife the month before. My children were 1 and 3. I mortgaged the car to save my dog because of the impact it would have had on the children," he said.

The dog lived six more years.

Now Buddy, Griffin's 3-year-old golden retriever, has a first aid kit, a carbon monoxide alarm in the room where he sleeps and several designated escape routes for emergencies. But it's Buddy who's come to the rescue of humans in his home, especially Griffin's father-in-law, who is in the final stages of pancreatic cancer.
"My wife's father gets a great deal of relief from being able to touch and rub Buddy. Buddy just stands beside him. He knows that is his role," Griffin said.
Pet safety and CPR training is offered by the American Red Cross and many private companies. "Vets are the experts but they are rarely on scene when something happens to our pets," said Denise Fleck, who runs Sunny-Dog Ink in Burbank and has written pet safety textbooks, appeared on a number of TV shows and taught classes throughout Southern California.

Disaster plans are important, too, especially in areas like Southern California that are at the mercy of earthquakes and fires.

"If people value their pets like a family member, they should know how to do CPR, just like they would for their kids. In disasters, pets get hurt and run into debris and all kinds of things," said Mark Solnick, director of emergency preparedness and response for the Red Cross of Santa Monica.

Laurie Sullivan, 47, of Littlerock, Calif., has three dogs (Elsa Ann, Hope and Schotzie), an Arabian horse (Cary) and 19 cats. She has tended to a wide variety of emergencies over the years. Lucky for her menagerie, she was a certified emergency medical technician and a hospital worker.

She was there to help when one of her dogs choked on a small bone, when one of her cats had a hard time delivering eight kittens, when a neighbor lost the tip of her finger to a horse and for countless everyday cuts, scrapes and bruises.
She has never had to use CPR on an animal, but she knows how to. However, "it would really be hard to give CPR to a horse," she laughed.

The poll was conducted Oct. 1-5, 2009, by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. It involved telephone interviews on landline and cell phones with 1,166 pet owners nationwide, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points for all pet owners.

7 Surprising Ways to Save on Pet Care
Dr. Marty Becker -

Using a local veterinary college for pet care can save on bills

Excessive grooming and high-end toys just aren't necessary

Food in bulk and online prescriptions can lessen financial burden

Pet insurance and regular checkups can pay off in the end

Reduce the cost of checkups

Regular vet visits are essential for your pet in order to keep up with vaccinations and detect health problems. Do a Google search or look in the Yellow Pages to see if there is a veterinary college in your area. These colleges are always in need of new patients, so they often provide discounts. If you're hurting financially, try reaching out to foundations like the American Animal Hospital Association's Helping Pets Fund ( or breed-specific rescue groups; these organizations may provide veterinary care for pet-owning families in need.

Skip the groomer

It may be essential to take your dog or cat to the groomer occasionally, especially if its fur is long or curly. However, you can space out the time between visits by asking for a lesson from your vet or groomer. Have them teach you how to cut your pet's nails and explain the proper way to bathe and brush their fur. You can even use these newfound skills for other pets -- swap services with neighbors. For example, give your neighbor's dog a bath if they watch your cat while you go on vacation. You won't have to pay a pet sitter!

Spend less on accessories

There's no need to buy pricey items for your dog or cat. Instead, hit the dollar store for supplies like discounted pet toys and cat litter. Also, check out Web sites like Craigslist or Freecycle to swap pet equipment, such as a crate or a scratching post. You'll save a lot and your pet will be just as happy. (Be sure to clean traded items: Sanitize rubber and rope toys by running them through the dishwasher cycle without detergent. Throw plush toys and dog beds in the washing machine and clean out the floors of crates.)

Buy pet food in bulk

A big money waster: purchasing small bags of food for your cat or dog. Get the largest size possible, then split the food (and cost) with pet-owning neighbors, friends or family members. As for brands, expensive price tags don't always add up to higher-quality food. Ask your vet to recommend food you can buy at the grocery store or at wholesale stores like Costco.

Get the lowest prescription prices

Before you head to the vet to pick up your pet's medications, do some online research and see if you can find them for a lower cost. Check out sites like and print out the prices you find. Then ask your vet to match the price -- chances are, he or she will gladly do it. Getting the prescriptions from your vet is a safer choice, as they closely monitor elements like expiration dates. Plus, there are no shipping costs!

Spring for pet insurance

If your cat or dog needs emergency medical care, you'll most likely be hit with a major bill. By spending a small amount on pet insurance each month, you'll avoid "economic euthanasia" -- having to put your pet down in lieu of an expensive surgery or treatment. The threshold of what you can spend on your pet's care skyrockets with insurance, so in an emergency you may not only save money but also your pet's life. To see if you need insurance, check out our article on finding out if pet insurance is right for you.

Keep your pet healthy

The best money-saver out there is prevention. If your pet maintains an ideal weight, is fed high-quality food and has regular checkups, you'll avoid expensive medications and treatments. Plus, feeding and exercising your pet well will keep it happy, and who doesn't want that?

Source: Dr. Marty Becker, veterinarian in Twin Falls, Idaho, and coauthor of the syndicated newspaper column "Pet Connection"

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Pet Talk: These Blazers are
Big Fans of Their Animals
By Jacques Von Lunen, Special to The Oregon

Portlanders love their pets. And Portlanders love their Trail Blazers.

Well, guess what? The Blazers fit right in with their fans; several players are animal lovers, too.

The team regularly hosts fundraising activities for the Oregon Humane Society during halftime at the Rose Garden. All-star Brandon Roy has two pit bulls; big man Joel Przybilla is said to adore his bulldog; and former Blazer -- and self-professed Portlander for life -- Channing Frye frequently mentions his bulldog, Milton, on his blog.

Here then, in time for tonight's opening game of the regular season, is a look at three Portland Blazers and their pets.

Giant man, little dog

Greg Oden's arrival in Portland in the summer of 2007 was celebrated as an important contribution to the team's rebuilding process. But the fans had to wait another year to see their new center in action. Oden underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee and sat out the season.

Knowing he'd spend a lot of time "laid up," he said, he wanted a companion. Enter Charles Barkley McLovin.

The little Boston terrier-beagle mix is his best friend, Oden said. The two spent a lot of time together in those draining months of recovery.

McLovin had his problems, too. When Oden bought the puppy, he noticed it was a little slow in reacting to his efforts to play with it. But he figured the little guy was just shy, he said.

Turned out Charles Barkley McLovin couldn't see the giant man. The dog is completely blind in one eye and can see things from "maybe an inch away" on the other, Oden said. Detached retinas are to blame.

Discovering the dog's disability didn't change Oden's feelings. "I wasn't going to get rid of him," he said.

The blindness doesn't impact their relationship, Oden said. McLovin just walks funny. When the big man and the little dog go out, the dog "steps with high knees," Oden said. McLovin, not able to see where he's going, tests the ground at every step.

Oden, now active and traveling, has a cousin who lives with him look after McLovin when the center is out of town.

"McLovin gets along with everybody," he said.

And he loves being around other dogs.

"I have some of my friends bring their small dogs to play with him," Oden said. He can't rely on his teammates for this, because they seem to favor much bigger canines.

"I'm keeping my little dog away from their theirs," Oden said, laughing.

A whole lotta dogs

Travis Outlaw, the forward drafted right out of high school in 2003, grew up in northern Mississippi. He always had dogs around; his father, a hunter, kept beagles. But the son gravitated toward a different breed and gathered quite a pack of them.

Outlaw has 10 American Staffordshire terriers.

"Beagles are too high-energy; they run all day," Outlaw said. "When I saw my first (Staffordshire), I thought, 'What a nice-looking dog.' "

The dogs, which are often lumped in with pit bulls, are muscular and big. But they make great family dogs, are known to be good around children and are fiercely loyal.

Unfortunately, their size means Outlaw can't keep them in his Portland digs.

"My dad helps me out with looking after them, and we've hired a trainer," Outlaw said. "But when I'm back at home I'm always messing with the dogs."

But Outlaw couldn't be canine-less here in Portland, so he got a dog that wouldn't rearrange the furniture while he was at practice. A mild-mannered fellow. Or so he thought.

Chubs, his 14-month-old English bulldog, has turned out livelier than expected.

"He seems like he's got more energy than the terriers," Outlaw said, laughing. "People say bulldogs are lazy and just lay around. That 's just not true."

Snakes and a strange mix

One of the latest additions to the team, 6-foot-9 forward Jeff Pendergraph, comes with impressive stats on and off the court. He led the nation in field-goal percentage in his senior year at Arizona State, and he received an economics degree in three-and-a-half years.

He also adds some depth to the pet roster. Aside from being a dog lover, Pendergraph owns three snakes: two ball pythons and a Peruvian redtail boa. He's had the reptiles for seven years; he was 15 when he brought them home.

"My mom was a little sketchy about them at first," he said. "Especially when they got out a couple of times."

But his mother got used to them, as did his friends, some of whom have turned into snake fans.

"It's cool to see people go from hating them to caring about them," Pendergraph said. "Now my friends call to ask me how the snakes are doing."

Like Outlaw, he has to live apart from his animals for now. That's tough enough with the snakes, but Pendergraph really misses his dogs. His three blue pit bull terriers live with a friend in California -- the same friend takes care of the snakes for now -- and one special buddy lives with Pendergraph's mom.

"I miss my dogs so much," Pendergraph said. "Especially Jimmy Tony, that's my boy."

He said J.T., as he calls the dog, is the kind of dog that "if you'd see him you'd wonder, 'What is that?'" The closest Pendergraph can come to describing J.T. is that he looks like an impossible mix of greyhound, hyena, cheetah and boxer.

Pendergraph adopted J.T. three years ago, when the dog was 3 months old. Mom may have been "sketchy" about the snakes, but she has no reservations about J.T.

"He jumps all over her, licking her," Pendergraph said. "She's so happy to have him there."

The pit bull question

Seeing as several of the players have pit bull and Staffordshire terriers, and remembering the scandal of 2004, when then-Blazer Qyntel Woods was suspended on accusations of staging dog fights in his backyard, one has to ask how the current roster feels about the bad reputation of these dogs.

"Everybody's got their phobias," Outlaw said. "You just have to get to know these dogs. I have 10 of them and they never hurt each other."

"My pit bulls jump in my bed and sleep next to me," Pendergraph said. "My friend's little daughters play with them."

He says people get these dogs not knowing that they need a lot of attention and socialization. And their immense desire to please can be a problem if the owner is aggressive.

"They are really loyal dogs and they pick up vibes really well," Pendergraph said. "If their owner gets happy when they fight, they'll want to please their owner."

Cat Fountains?
By Robert Seigal

It struck me as odd, the first time I heard it. Cat fountains? Cats have their own fountains?

How bizarre, thought I. But not so. Turns out that cats favor moving water so long as it isn't so big a body of water they might lose themselves in it. Cats do have 'hydrophobia', or fear of water, but that means large bodies of water. Small bodies of moving water are magnetic to cats.

In nature the safest water is (or used to be) moving water that sunlight reaches. Streams, for example are favorite drinking sources for many wild animals and cat's, however tame, are no different. But it turns out there is more to it than just the appeal of moving water that is behind the really quite big business of cat fountains.

Because cats are, in fact, not attracted to standing bowls of water many cats fail to hydrate sufficiently. Wet, canned food supplies a fair portion of needed water but a lot of cats don't eat wet food. These cats are at serious risk from dehydration which can result in kidney failure. You'd think cats would have enough sense to drink enough but they often don't and the consequences can be fatal. Which is why many Veterinarians advocate cat fountains and why more and different kinds of cat fountains are available.

Given the need for feline hydration and the fact that there are an estimated 90 to 100 million owned cats in the United States alone it easy to see how cat fountains have become a big business over the past eight years. Drinkwell is one popular brand. Petmate and Hagen are two other manufacturers. These sell from about thirty dollars to around eighty dollars. And given our tendency to pamper our pets, it's just as easy to understand the rise of the one-of-a-kind cat fountain.

Handmade cat fountains are now offered by several individuals on, an online conglomerate of individuals' stores offering handmade items. These are ceramic bowls with a little recirculating pump inside with a small hose attached which displays a small spout of water. These handmade fountains are decidedly more attractive than the rather sterile looking manufactured units widely sold though they do have the pump cord going visibly over the top. But cats love them.

Taking it a step or two further are both bubble-up and fountain types of cat fountains in handmade ceramic bowls with built-in cat grass planters. The fountain type of these have an enameled copper (that's glass on copper, not paint), leaf shaped ornament which fills with water from a copper stem (tube) with enameled leaves. Water falls into the bowl and the cat holds his tongue under the falling water. In these cat fountains the cord exits through the bottom, not over the top.

The bubble-up type from the same maker is like those on Etsy but the cord is not visible and these too come with built-in planters. The pump is adjustable, silent and hidden beneath glass beads and or river pebbles which also serve as filtration. Sold under the name of ThirstyCat and Cat Oases, these handmade cat fountains are available at, an online store which specializes in handmade items for home decor.

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If You're an Animal Lover,
You'll Never Be Lonely
By Pam Stinson

During our early childhood years, most of us experienced having family pets in our households. There's just something about having a dog or a cat in the house that just can't be replaced by something else. Having a pet around is a great way to teach children to love animals. It encourages us to value love and friendship. Being around your pet all the time means that you'll never have to be alone and you always have a friend with you. Who wouldn't want to have someone to comfort you during times of need?

Easily the best thing in having a pet is the companionship and love our pets give us. Our pets never fail to give us a smile with those big round eyes when they come running to you with wagging tails. There's just no comparison to the feeling of being loved and wanted by our pets. We can see animal lovers around us: in parks, in the streets, stores, television and there's no doubt that those pets mean the world to their owners. Animal lovers don't treat their pets as just something to keep around the house. They also know for a fact that their pets need their owners more than their owners need them, that's why owners are the ones acting as parents to their pets.

Pet owners recognize the fact that their pets also need constant care and affection and that's why pet owners do more than just clean and feed their pets. As acting parents, pet owners sacrifice time, money, and energy to give the best for their pets. A pet owner knows this for a fact but they do it anyway because of love.

Dog owners love the companionship of their dogs since they know their dogs will always be loyal to them. Pets give the kind of comfort to their owners the kind that humans can't. Whose heart wouldn't melt if their dogs come running at them, wagging their tail happily due to the fact that their owner has come home? Only dogs do that and it's like having a friend for life.

Being a pet owner says a lot of things about the person. Since pets require constant attention and care, pet owners are seen as responsible, caring, generous, loving, and attentive. In fact, these qualities are what other people look for in their friends.

Animal lovers would also tend to gravitate towards other pet lovers. If you're single, try walking your dog to a park and you'll be amazed how other single dog owners gravitate towards you, asking questions about your dog. This is a classic case of our pets bringing us closer with other people, allowing us to forge new friendships.

Pam has been writing articles for blogs and article directories for several years now and specializes in diet, health and fitness, finance, being frugal, home decor, cooking and pet care. Take a look at one of her blogs Coffee Tables With Storage, that has info on the great money saving adjustable height coffee table.

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Confessions of a Pet Artist
Mark Milian - LA Times

Think people are particular about their tagged photos on Facebook? Try painting their dogs.

Just ask Sam Price, a San Francisco artist who makes collages for pet owners. A nurse's assistant by day, Price charges about $1,000 per pet portrait.

Price has no qualms about what types of animals he paints. Most customers commission dog collages.

"Dog people are much more in tune with their animals' needs and wants," Price, who has a dog and two cats, said in a phone interview. "I don't know why that is -- maybe because cats are more self-reliant."

Price knows the feeling. Despite his cats sleeping in his bed every night while his dog sleeps downstairs, the 29-year-old artist has painted only his chocolate Lab, Buster.

"As long as I can get a good photograph, I can do any dog," Price said. "I rely on the owners to take pictures of their pets. They know that special look that the animal in their life has. ... I know I spend hours taking pictures of my dog."

"There's a lot more unique qualities in dogs," Price said. "Dogs have a lot of personalities. They come in all shapes and sizes."

Price's customers can be very particular. One woman insisted the portrait accentuate the perkiness of her French Bulldog's ears.

The most frustrating customer experience involved a series of e-mails and phone calls with a very controlling Beagle owner. The pet lover had a number of specific requests right down to the size of the squares Price should use in his composition of the professionally photographed pup.

Finally, the deal fell apart. (We can only assume the model got cold paws.)

Pet art might not be the most glamorous career path, but Price enjoys his work. He's hoping to eventually transition into being a full-time artist and expand into Los Angeles.

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