"A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog" - Is This True?

One Dog's Family:
'Grateful Every Day
That We Have Her'
Janice Lloyd - USA Today

My co-worker Erik Brady and I were trading funny stories this week about cats and dogs and he said before we parted, "People who don't have a cat or dog are missing so much in life.'' So true.We begin Paw Print Post today by giving thanks to them and starting a new feature.

Reader Valerie says she's grateful every day about her pets. We're starting to share stories today from readers who adopt from shelters and who also rescue. If you know someone you'd like to nominate, including yourself, send their name to me. Here's Valerie's story:

"We adopted "Maggie" from the city animal shelter in Raleigh, NC in September 2001. The person who abandoned her had gotten her as an 8 week old puppy and had decided now that she was full grown that she was now too big for her apartment. Maggie had been at the shelter for three weeks -- which was one week longer than they keep most dogs before they euthanatize them.

"She was still alive because they thought she was adoptable. She wasn't barking as she sat at the back of her crate, scared and alone in this noisy, chaotic place.

" My husband got into the crate, stepping around her peep and poop, and was petting her when he called me over to see this dog. We decided to take her outside of the facility and see how she reacted to us. As the shelter worker leashed her, it took all three of us to pull her out of the crate, past the other dogs, down the hall and out the door. She did NOT want to go.

"As soon as we got her outside, her true personality came shining through. She was free, happy, running playfully, wagging her tail, licking my husband and I. I knew we were both thinking the same thing. There is NO WAY that we can ask that poor dog to go back into that shelter. We agreed at that unspoken moment that we would take her, love her and never, ever put her through that again.

"We just celebrated our eighth year with Maggie . She travels with us, has passed dog training classes and has a best-friend doggie brother that we adopted from a rescue organization a few years ago. She still has daily "puppy spasms" where she gets so excited that you are playing with her that she runs at full speed through the house with her toys.

"Maggie has brought us so much unconditional love and joy that there aren't adequate words to express how much she means to us. We would give up my own lives for our dogs. I am grateful everyday that we have her and can't imagine what we would ever do without her."

What's Christmas Without
Your Pet's Picture with Santa?
By Mary Ullmer The Grand Rapids Press

Don't be fooled by look of terror. This pug actually is enjoying spending a little quality time on Santa's lap. (AP File Photo Gene J. Puskar

You know how you get those Christmas letters that tell you everything that happened in someone's life in the past year and includes photos of all their adorable kids? It's payback time. Santa Claus is making appearances at various places in Grand Rapids in the next couple of weeks, and you can take your pet to see him and get a portrait taken!

Imagine the delight, or horror, of your friends opening a Christmas card to see a picture of not your children, but your Cairn terrier playing tug-o-war with Santa's fake beard. Or your old cocker spaniel with bladder control issues making a mess of the Santa suit.

True confession: When some old friends sent me one of those letters not long after they had their first child, I used Whiteout and replaced their child's name with the name of my dog, Ella, and sent it back. So, it read something like "Ella is so precious. But cleaning up after she poops can be hard on the sniffer! And she seems to be into everything. Still, we are so blessed to have Ella."

Yes, I'm a jerk. And apparently the young couple didn't think it was too funny. Never heard back from them until we reconnected on Facebook last year.

If you've got "friends" you want to annoy/mock by sending them your dog photos with Santa, or if you just want to see your dog hangin' out with good 'ol St. Nick, head out to one of these locations in the next couple of weeks.

Saturday: As part of Humane Society of Kent County's White Saturday adoption event, Terpstra Photography will be taking holiday portraits. Your pet can pose with Santa from noon to 2 p.m., or you can get a portrait of just your pet from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $25, and it includes a 5x7 portrait. Express holiday card option is available, too.

Tuesday and Dec. 13: Woodland Mall opens its doors to pets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 13 to have their photos taken with Santa (apparently, Santa is spending considerable time in West Michigan if he's staying that long). Photo packages are available and start at $17. Pet supply donations also will be accepted at the event, and will benefit Crash's Landing, a cat rescue and placement center, and MacKenzie's Animal Sanctuary, the Midwest's largest no-kill sanctuary for dogs. Those headed to Woodland Mall should use either the east or west entrance near Macy's. Only domesticated animals are allowed, and they must be on a leash or in a carrier.

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Persian Cat Wins
Best in Show at ‘Catlanta’

Kuorii Gorilla of Cuzzoe is only a youngster, but edges out five finalists to win CFA International Cat Show.

Gorilla, with, from left, Eric Valencia, Paolo Carnevaletti and Justin Pelletier, was the big winner at "Catlanta." Photo courtesy Chanan Photography, Richard Katris

Kuorii Gorilla of Cuzzoe, a black Persian male owned by Justin Pelletier and Eric Valencia of Raleigh, N.C., won Best in Show at the CFA International Cat Show in Atlanta.

Gorilla, called “Go Go” at home, was the winner out of 630 entries at the cat show, held Nov. 21-22. Gorilla’s black coat glowed and his copper eyes glittered as CFA president Pam DelaBar held him aloft and proclaimed him overall winner of the show.

“He’s just a youngster at 8 months but he is a superb example of the Persian breed,” DelaBar said. “He has massive bone structure, a round and smooth head, plus gorgeous color and coat.”

Six cats – three longhair and three shorthair – competed for the overall award, with three judges consulting to choose the winner.

Gorilla has just completed a successful kitten career and this was the first show at which he was eligible to compete as an adult. His breeder is Paolo Carnevaletti of Italy.

Other finalists were:

Best Longhair Kitten
Kourii Chiquitas of Cuzzoe
Black Persian female

Best Shorthair Kitten
Purrtek’s Syrah
Platinum mink Tonkinese male

Best Shorthair Cat in Championship
Grand Champion KCDancers Eye-of-the-Tiger
Silver tabby and white American Shorthair male

Best Longhair Cat in Premiership
Grand Premier Highlander Tony Bennett of Wenlock
Brown tabby Maine Coon neuter

Best Shorthair Cat in Premiership
Grand Premier Mar-chu Electra of Karleton
Sable Burmese spay

Potty Training Your Puppy
Or Adult Dog:
Think Like A Dog
By doglover SecretDogTrainingTips.com

Is your dog mistaking your living room for the dog park? Are you tired of chasing after your cute little puppy with a bucket and mop? Does Fido think your fine oak table is the same as an oak tree? Housetraining can be confusing. Both for you and your dog. Want to know a secret that can end your housebreaking frustration?

The number one secret to successfully housebreaking your dog is to use positive reinforcement. It is far more effective to ignore your dog when he eliminates where he shouldn’t, than to yell at him, rub his nose in it, hit him,… This will only cause your dog to become afraid to eliminate in your presence. If on the other hand you praise your dog, give him treats, pet him… whenever he eliminates where you want him to, he’ll quickly catch on to this and try to please you (and himself) by repeating the good behaviour.

Here are some basics you should keep in mind:

-All dogs are “naturally housetrained“. By this I mean that every dog will try to avoid eliminating where he eats and sleeps. The mother dog will reinforce this behaviour the first weeks. As soon as you take the puppy home with you, it’s up to you to fine-tune it; teach him where and even when he should eliminate.

-At 7 or 8 weeks, about the time you take your puppy home, he will develop a preference of surface to eliminate on. They particularly prefer an absorbent surface like grass, paper, pads and of course your expensive living room rug. You can help your dog make the right choice.

-For a puppy, indoors is just as good as outdoors (maybe even better; safe, warm and dry). Your puppy focuses on surface, smell and location, so teach him at an early age where you prefer for him to eliminate, for example only on grass or sod, only in your backyard. Keep in mind though that you might someday take your dog somewhere with no grass, sod,…this might cause a problem because your dog might refuse to eliminate altogether. Nothing to worry about if it’s only for a couple of hours, but you might want to consider housetraining your dog using an indoor dog potty to prevent him from “crossing his legs” for hours on end.

-As dogs prefer to keep their sleep/eat area clean, using a crate can be very helpful when housebreaking your dog. Just remember not to leave your pooch in a crate for more than 4 hours.

-Never forget that your puppy is just that, a puppy. He can’t hold up as long as an adult dog, so accidents will happen. But he will send out signals to let you know it’s time to go potty. Going around in circles, sniffing are good indicators. If you catch you puppy in the act, you can pick him up and put him where he should eliminate. Puppies immediately stop eliminating when picked up, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up a whole trail.

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The Top 4 Effective Puppy Training
Tips For The New Owner

It’s finally here! You’ve passed by that pet store or animal shelter so many times deliberating the pros and cons of animal ownership and you got it at last. The new puppy is home. Great–what now? Play times with the young pup is a great time to bond and enjoy each other’s company but there’s more to having a dog than that. Puppies don’t know what’s appropriate from inappropriate behavior and not knowing this might harm him or people around him. House training a puppy usually takes place then. If you’re new at this, it’s all good — we were all new once. You will need the four basic puppy training tips as listed below to help you in your endeavors of raising a happy and well-adjusted dog.

1. Your position of leadership must be established in the new dog’s eyes. Yes, I know it’s hard to be firm when he’s looking at you with those melting eyes but that’s not helping you in the long run. You can lavish him with as much love and attention as you want but when it comes down to discipline, show him who the boss around the house is. Give the dog an opportunity to obey you by teaching him simple commands. Say ‘Sit!’ in a strong and firm voice while you gently guide him to that position. Reward him with praise and treats for doing right. Never give in to whining and whimpering because he will use it to get his way in the future if it works.

2. You will need to potty train your puppy. This is one of the first chores in house training a puppy. Fifteen minutes after meal times, take the young dog outside to eliminate. Circle the area you’ve chosen for toilet duties and wait for him to do his business there. Right after he unloads, give him a lot of praise him for a job well done. Do this for several weeks every time you go out for this specific purpose. If you find dog matter inside your house, don’t get too upset, accidents happen. Clean the spot with a deodorizer thoroughly. Dogs usually sniff out their territory and reclaim soon after.

3. You need to socialize the puppy. Puppy training tips include socialization of the dog as early as possible. Ideally, the optimum time to do this is when he is a few weeks old until about three months of age. Introduce him to different kinds of people as well as other healthy and vaccinated animals. Take him with you on rides and busy places like malls and parks. A healthy, well-adjusted and confident dog is a result of effective socialization developed in his younger years.

4. You must have a reliable communication system which your puppy understands. Dogs, indeed most animals, understand what their human counterparts mean through the reward-punishment method. The tricky part is to do this as consistently each and every time. For example, he jumps on a couch and you scold him sharply. The next day, he jumps again and you make nothing out of it this time. This will confuse the puppy and result in a cloudy understanding of what you want from him. Be consistent every time.

That just about wraps it up. It sounds too simple right? If you read up on other puppy training tips you will find they all branch out from these four foundational issues. Now you have the knowledge. Use it well and be on your way to a responsible, loving puppy training expert in no time at all.

How to Keep Your Dog Happy
While You Are at Work

One of the greatest moments of my day is walking through my front door and having my dog run up and greet me. No matter what kind of day I have had, my dog is always happy to see me and helps lift my spirits. New York City jobs, however, rarely allow us enough time to spend at home with our dogs, which is a challenge because I have to keep my dog in the apartment all day. Dogs are pack animals and are happier with company and with access to the outdoors. Sometimes dogs can experience depression or separation anxiety if kept away from social situations for too long. Keeping your dog happy can be a challenge, but by following a few suggestions, you can make life for you dog and yourself much easier and less chewed up shoes.

A tired dog is a happy dog

Dogs need exercise — and lots of it. It is important to consider this fact when deciding on the type of dog to have. You need to make sure you are able to exercise your dog in the way he needs. The more exercise the dog gets before you leave, the more likely your dog will just lounge around a take a long nap while you’re away. Dogs who do not exercise properly are the ones who tend to make more mischief while their ownerss are away at their New York City jobs. If you cannot exercise your pooch, hire someone who can. The dog walking business is a part of New York City culture. You can find a reliable, relatively affordable and close person to exercise your dog when you can’t.

Create a cave

Wild dogs use caves and dens to take refuge from danger or when they just need a quiet place to relax. Training your dog to use an appropriately-sized crate can be beneficial for him and for you. The crate needs to be large enough for the dog to be able to stand up in and to turn around. Placing an old shirt or blanket that has your scent on it will help your dog feel even more comfortable in his “cave” and he may choose to just stay in there while you’re away.

Keep them occupied

If you were stuck in a house all day, you would begin looking for something to do. Additionally, if you were stuck in the house every day, you would soon tire of doing the same activity day after day. Dogs are no exception. Having a basket of toys is great, but it is better to hide that basket and just pull out a few each day. You can rotate through the toys which will help bring some diversity to your dog’s daily routine. Also, you can hide low-fat dog treats in random places in your house for your dog to find. There are also toys available which hide a treat inside and the treat can only be released after the dog has worked at it for a while. This type of toy will keep your dog occupied for hours and tire him out emotionally and mentally — which is also a good thing.

Use food wisely

By feeding your dog his biggest meal of the day in the morning, your dog will want to take a nap instead of roaming around creating mischief. That being said, you will need to provide a place for your dog to do his business if you don’t want to be cleaning up messes all the time. There are different products available which your dog can be trained to use. Your dog will appreciate not having to wait all day for you and you will appreciate not having to clean up messes all around your house.

Dogs want to please us. They want to give us all the love we can handle. They will be happier and provide longer companionship when we do what we can to help them during those times they have to be alone.

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Teesside Vet's Warning
to Pet Owners
by Lindsey Mussett, Evening Gazette

WHEN Amanda Walker realised she could have lost her beloved dog - all because she ate something she shouldn’t have - she knew she would have to speak out.

Now staff at a Teesside vets where she works have issued a warning for pet owners to be on their guard in the run up to Christmas.

As an emergency vet service, those at the Bridge Veterinary Group know only too well the dangers posed to animals during the festive season.

Animal nursing assistant Amanda is particularly alert to the potential consequences after her dog Kiera swallowed a chicken bone.

Amanda, who works at the Stockton branch of the Bridge group, said: “Kiera doesn’t normally eat her toys - she chews them and spits them out. But one day earlier this month, she had chewed up and swallowed bits of a child’s plastic spade.

“She’s quite a sickly dog anyway, with a sensitive stomach, so when she was sick I thought nothing of it, just her spitting up the spade, but the next day she was very quiet and off-colour so I took her in to the surgery.”

Poorly Kiera was admitted to the Middlesbrough Bridge surgery where an x-ray revealed pieces of bone in her large bowel and stomach.

An endoscope was used to see if the bone could be removed with forceps, but unfortunately for Kiera it was too large and she had to undergo surgery.

The bone pieces were so sharp they had caused bleeding and ulceration to the stomach lining, meaning Kiera had to spend the next 48 hours in the animal hospital on a drip.

But Kiera was one of the lucky ones. After a week of medication at home, Kiera has now almost fully recovered from her ordeal.

Amanda, 27, from Saltersgill, said: “If she hadn’t swallowed the spade, god knows what would have happened to her - I dread to think. I was beside myself when I thought I could lose her.

“I don’t know how she got the bone in the first place - I can only think she must have got it from a rubbish pile or bin when I couldn’t see her. “It’s made me so cautious now, and working here, I’ve seen what can happen so I’m very careful anyway - it just shows it can happen to anyone.”

Bridge Veterinary practice administrator, Hayley Burgess, who has put together the festive advice, says Amanda’s experience just reinforces how careful pet owners have to be.

She said: “It’s awful if something happens to one of our pets, because we know the worst case scenario. Kiera could have died if we hadn’t realised she was ill.

“Not only could people lose beloved pets, but people often don’t realise how much these things cost. Operations can cost into their thousands. We’ve had numerous incidents like this, and some much worse. One example was a beagle who ate a Christmas cake. It may not sound that bad, but raisins are poisonous to dogs. He’ll now have to be on specialist kidney food for the rest of his life.”

Watch out for


Dairy products

Macadamia/Brazil nuts



Fat trimmings/bones

Raw eggs


Raw fish


Poinsettia plants



Rhubarb leaves


Atlanta Airport Gets Pet-Friendly
with New Dog Park
USA Today

ATLANTA (AP) — Furry travelers now have a place to stretch their legs at Atlanta's airport.

A new fenced-in dog park is part of the ground transportation center on the west end of the passenger terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The 1,000-square-foot park, which opened on Nov. 18, can accommodate two pooches at a time and features flowers, grass, rocks, benches and two original pieces of art.

Biodegradable pet waste bags are also available there.

When It Comes to Pets,
What Are Kids Thankful For?

I find the studies of early human development and pets fascinating. Children who grow up with pets are more likely to become confident adults-- having a pet can even help with emotional development. During infancy and early childhood, having a pet can encourage activity. A friend, Cheryl Haney, told me about her two year old Vincent and their Jack Russell Terrier Kramer, "He is absolutely thrilled whenever he can get Kramer to chase him around the house. Usually there is a ball or food involved. Vin dangles the object in front of Kramer and then runs like heck, giggling the whole way. It's hours of fun for everyone." This sort of interaction with a family dog will result in an increase in muscle and desire for mobility while learning how to walk or crawl. These are some proven health and well being benefits for children, but what would children say they most enjoy about having a pet?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I did a little field work to find out what children were thankful for when it comes to their family pets. Here are some of the responses:

"I am thankful… that my dog sleeps under my covers at night to keep the monsters inside the closet."
-Nick, 5 years old
Oli, Two year old French bull dog

"I am thankful… for my pets because I always have someone to play with. My favorite thing to do with Theodore is to cuddle with him and let him run around in the backyard. My favorite thing to do with Woody is go on walks with him and play fetch. He's really hyper! I am thankful my mom picks up the poop and cleans the cage."
Marissa, 11 years old
-Theodore, one year old Abyssinian guinea pig
Woody, seven year old Brittany Spaniel

"I am thankful… that I can sneak my dinner to my dog under the table."
-Quinn, 8 years old
Sam, Eight year old mixed breed dog

"I am thankful… that Skittles knew it was me. When you have a pet, it is your pet to take care of and they like you back."
-Jacey, 12 years old
Sprinkles, hamster

"I am thankful… when he swims around when I come into my room. Feeding him is fun and reading him a book at night helps him sleep."
-Lilly, 4 years old
Fishy, goldfish

This was such a fun exercise to ask children – especially because this was probably the first time some of them had thought about the relationship they have with their pet. When one child was asked why they loved dogs and cats, she replied, "People could pet them and not be lonely." It was interesting to see that regardless of age, the relationships we have with our animals have underlying similarities. They can make us feel safe, provide us with fun exercise and bring our lives new purpose.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday weekend! Remember to give special thanks for the furry, scaly or feathered friends in our lives!


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