Pet News and Pet Advice

'Bionic' Dog Walks Again
After Losing Paws to Frostbite

Naki'o was just a puppy when he was found in the icy cellar of an abandoned home.

"His mom was dead in the house. He was the only one that was frozen into a puddle," said Christie Pace, a veterinarian assistant.

Naki'o lost his paws and the tip of his tail to frostbite.

Homeless, injured and struggling to walk, he was just the kind of dog Pace was looking for.

"I have a soft spot for rescue animals in general. I was looking for something different, unique. I wanted to make more of a difference than a regular dog. I knew I could help him out," she said.

But she didn't know how until she saw a dog in a knee brace at her clinic.

That sparked an idea: she raised the money to pay for prosthetics for Naki'o's two rear legs.

Then the maker of the artificial legs offered to make two more for free - for Naki'o's front legs.

"When we saw how good he was doing with his back leg prosthetics and how he was struggling to use his front legs it was very simple to say, 'we gotta keep with him.' He could do much better with all four prosthetics on," said Martin Kaufmann, owner of Ortho Pets, a Denver company that specializes in pet prosthetics.

And the doctor knew how to tackle it.

"I think we can help provide Naki'o a more comfortable life and longer more comfortable life," said Patsy Mich, a veterinarian with Ortho Pets.

Naki'o can now play fetch to his heart's content and enjoy his newfound mobility.

Kaufmann said Naki'o's only challenge would be learning once again what the ground feels like to walk on -- and he has no doubt Naki'o's playful spirit will help him adjust to his new paws.

"We get to work with patients with drive and determination," he said. "They have a real willingness to thrive."

Other veterinarians are amazed by the technology.

"Pretty groundbreaking that's it's all four and I find that bigger animals will be using them as well, so it's all very exciting," said Veterinarian Deirdre Chiaramonte.

In recent years, veterinarian medicine has advanced by leaps – with not just braces and prosthetics, but also implants - metal rods fused to the animals' own bone and then attached to an artificial paw.

Veterinarian Marty Becker said prosthetics are becoming increasingly common on disabled pets.

One prosthetic can cost anywhere form $1,000 to $3,000.

"It's really heartwarming," said Becker. "Dogs just soldier on. They could be in incredible pain but still greet you with their tail wagging.

Just a few weeks ago, a Siberian husky named Zeus got the first front leg implant at North Carolina State University's veterinary school.

A Horrible Person Stole This Dog’s Wheelchair
Casey Chan —

Lucky, a 12-year-old Belgian Shepherd, lost the use of his hind legs years ago when he was hit by a car. The only way he could get around was by using a dog wheelchair. Some jackass stole that wheelchair.

It's a terribly sad story. Dave Feeney, Lucky's owner, had removed the wheelchair from Lucky after a day of play and left it in the front yard. When he came back, it was gone. Feeney believes that the person who stole his dog's wheelchair "knew what they were doing".

And they'd have to, it's a freaking wheelchair customized for a dog for god's sake. What would that person use it for? Luckily, not all people are assholes who steal wheelchairs from disabled animals, has donated a new wheelchair for Lucky and it seems like he likes it a lot.

Stranded Penguin Reported Critically Ill

This emperor penguin showed up Monday on a beach in New Zealand, almost 2,000 miles from home.

The lonely emperor penguin that showed up on a New Zealand beach last week is critically ill from eating sand and sticks, veterinarians told TVNZ.

The 60-pound flightless bird, nicknamed "Happy Feet" by the New Zealand media, has undergone two surgical procedures since being taken to the Wellington Zoo on Friday, TVNZ reported.

The penguin, the first of its kind seen in New Zealand in 44 years, had a 50-50 chance of surviving when it arrived at the zoo, spokeswoman Kate Baker told the New Zealand Herald.

Penguins will eat snow and ice to cool off, and that's what "Happy Feet" may have been trying to do, Colin Miskelly, terrestrial vertebrates curator at New Zealand's national museum, told TVNZ.

Conservation officials are reluctant to place "Happy Feet" with other penguins in a zoo or return it to the wild in Antarctica for fear of spreading disease, according to the Herald.

Mal Hackett, penguin keeper at the International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch, thinks the bird swam 2,000 miles from its Antarctic home because it was already sick, and she isn't optimistic about the outcome.

"I don't like his chances," she told the New Zealand Press Association. "It is a very long way from home and isn't going to return."

Brazil Police Say Jealous Husband Hit Wife
 with Pet Poodle; May Face Charges
By Associated Press -

SAO PAULO — Police in southern Brazil say a jealous husband hit his wife in the head with a pet poodle.

Inspector Thais Norah Sartori Postiglione says the man picked up the dog and swung it into his wife’s head twice because he suspected she was having an affair. The 4-pound (2-kilogram) dog died. The inspector says Carla de Camargo Oliveira suffered only minor bruises.

Postiglione says she cannot release the name of the alleged assailaint because he was not arrested. Officers decided the attack was not highly dangerous to the woman and he was not caught in the act.

But Postiglione said Wednesday that police are urging prosecutors to charge him with assault and battery and cruelty to animals.

Ban on Pet Goldfish Has Got to Be a Joke
Posted by Jenny Erikson -

What does San Francisco have against children? First it banned happy meals, and now it's looking to do the same with pet goldfish. That’s right -- the Animal Control and Welfare Commission has recommended that the city ban the sale of goldfish, tropical fish, and guppies.

Apparently the fish are often mass bred in ‘inhumane’ environments. Good thing they only have a three-second memory span.

In all seriousness, this is completely ridiculous. If not properly cared for, fish die. While they are more low-maintenance pets than, say, a puppy, they still require a clean tank with a proper pH balance and plenty of swimming room. If the tank is too dirty, or is overcrowded, or not temperature-controlled, the fish go belly up.

If fish die, breeders and pet stores cannot sell them. It’s just bad business to not properly care for fish in captivity.

Some might argue in defense of the ban, pointing to the customers that impulsively buy a fishy friend and then treat the pet poorly at home. How is that any business of the sellers? People are responsible for their own actions, and all the children that want pet goldfish should not be punished because some people can’t handle the responsibility of taking care of a fish.

Think of it this way: Should we ban the sale of toasters because occasionally people decide to go out of this world by plugging one in and dropping it in their bath? No! Most people that purchase toasters do so because they like toast and dislike sticking bread on a fork and turning it over a fire.

The government is not there to protect us from ourselves. When we start allowing Uncle Sam to dictate what we may or may not purchase, who knows how far he’ll go? Light bulbs or health insurance could be next.

Oh wait ...

Scientists Make Cat That Glows in the Dark
By Richard Alleyne,

By day he is just a normal tabby but when the lights go out this ginger cat glows in the dark.

Scientists have genetically modified a cat as part of an experiement that could lead to treatments for conditions like cystic fibrosis.

Named Mr Green Genes, he look likes a six-month-old cat but, under ultraviolet light, his eyes, gums and tongue glow a vivid lime green, the result of a genetic experiment at the Audubon Centre for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans.

Mr. Green Genes is the first fluorescent cat in the United States and probably the world, said Betsy Dresser, the centre's director.

The researchers made him so they could learn whether a gene could be introduced harmlessly into the feline's genetic sequence to create what is formally known as a transgenic cat.

If so, it would be the first step in a process that could lead to the development of ways to combat diseases via gene therapy.

The gene, which was added to Mr. Green Genes' DNA when he was created, has no effect on his health, Ms Dresser said.

Cats are ideal for this project because their genetic makeup is similar to that of humans, said Dr. Martha Gomez, a veterinarian and staff scientist at the center.

To show that the gene went where it was supposed to go, the researchers settled on one that would glow.

The gene "is just a marker," said Leslie Lyons, an assistant professor of population health and reproduction at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, who is familiar with the Audubon center's work.

"The glowing part is the fun part," she said.

Glowing creatures made international news earlier this month when the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who had discovered the gene through their work with jellyfish.

They used the gene, whose formal name is enhanced green fluorescence protein, to see how things work inside animals and even inside cells.

The fluorescence gene will go alongside the cystic-fibrosis gene and make it easy to spot. The long-term goal of this process, for which there is no timetable, is the production of what Dr Gomez calls a "knockout gene."

Dog Locked Up in Car Dies, Owner Arrested

ONTARIO, Calif.—A year-old golden retriever locked inside a car in a California parking lot is dead and the dog's owner could face a felony charge.

Ontario police arrested 19-year-old Chang Qui on Monday and she was booked for investigation of animal cruelty.

An Ontario Mills mall security guard noticed the woman's black BMW with fogged up windows, unusual for a 90-degree summer day. The guard looked inside and saw the dog panting in the back seat.

Police Officer Dereck Anthony tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the dog was locked up for about three hours.

The dog was euthanized at an emergency pet clinic after it was found to have suffered brain damage, irregular heartbeat, abnormal pulse and a fluid in both lungs.

Facebook Saves Dog’s Life

Steve Jordan, a Facebook user and now life saver flew all the way from Michigan to rescue Nick who was facing death at a high-kill shelter.(Source: WSVN/CNN)MIAMI (WSVN/CNN)

A Facebook page connected a dog on death row in Miami with its new owner in Michigan.

Nick, a 2-year-old Bull Terrier mix was featured on Facebook escaped being euthanized by Miami-Dade Animal Services.

Steve Jordan, a Facebook user and now life saver flew all the way from Michigan to rescue Nick who was facing death at a high-kill shelter.

A group of Miami animal rescuers started the Facebook page, "Urgent Dogs of Miami," which features dogs who will be euthanized if they are not adopted. More than 100 dogs have been saved since January.

"A lot of us have full-time jobs we dedicate ourselves on ourselves to rescuing dogs and cats," Eloise Rodriguez said. "It's the only way to get the dogs out the Miami-Dade animal services kills more than 20,000 animals every year."

Jordan had amazing timing, on the very day Nick was scheduled to be euthanized, he saw the canine's picture on Facebook and immediately fell in love with him.

"When I discovered Nick on Facebook, there was a time period there where I wasn't sure we would be able to get things done in time to save him, and that's very emotional, but it worked," Jordan said. "So that's pretty much it, excitement time."

Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner Gets His Dog Back

Hugh Hefner has his dog back. At least he's got something to pet now.
Seems that Crystal Harris, his runaway bride, took Charlie, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, with her when she packed her negligees, dental floss and philosophical tracts and left the Playboy Mansion in early June, according to People magazine.

"Crystal took Charlie with her when she left and I really miss him," a forlorn Hef typed on Twitter, his silk jammies soaked in tears.

Charlie is Crystal's dog, and she even posed with him on the July cover of Playboy. (Charlie was naked for the photo shoot.) But the little critter called the mansion home, People reports, and Crystal decided to take him back, on Father's Day.

"Crystal brought Charlie back because she thinks he's happier here & I appreciate it, because I really missed him," Hef tweeted.

The Playboy Mansion isn't generally known for dogs.

Dog Used to Belong to Suspect; Case Dropped
Vivian Ho, SF Chronicle Staff Writer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- A South San Francisco man who ran off with a dog after struggling with its owner will not be prosecuted because the dog actually used to belong to him, a deputy district attorney said Friday.

Genesis Sicat, 47, was arrested on charges of battery and robbery last week after he challenged a woman walking the dog he believed was his on Eucalyptus Avenue, police said.

Sicat said the brown Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix was his dog, Bruce, whom he lost about a year ago, said Sgt. Joni Lee, spokeswoman for the South San Francisco police. After fighting with the woman, Sicat took the dog off his leash and ran away with it.

The woman, whose name has not been released, adopted the dog in October from the Peninsula Humane Society after finding it in poor health at her South San Francisco apartment complex. She named it Kelsey.

Investigators discovered that Bruce and Kelsey are the same dog, said Deputy District Attorney Al Serrato. Sicat was released and will not be charged either with robbery or battery, because the struggle was "mutual," Serrato said.

The dog was returned to the woman after police arrested Sicat. If Sicat still wants the dog back, he'll have to pursue a civil case against the woman, Serrato said.

Klepto Kitty Piles Up the Loot

GENEVA — Forget mice. A Swiss cat named Speedy has an eye for finer things. Speedy has stolen so much loot that its owner had to post leaflets throughout a northern Swiss town saying “Help, our cat steals!” and inviting people to recover their missing things. Margrit Geiger of Wiesendangen said her kleptomaniac cat switched three years ago from bringing home mice to stealing badminton shuttlecocks, all to impress her teenage son. Then the cat began specializing in gloves, scarves and T-shirts. The latest obsession: underwear and black socks. Geiger told the Swiss daily Blick the cat has nabbed more than 100 items, and the paper said some neighbors have already claimed items back. Veterinarian Brigitte Buetikofer says animals steal to gain attention, so ignoring them is the best cure.

California Cat Thief ‘Purr-Loins’ Hundreds of Treasures

SAN MATEO, Calif. — A prolific cat burglar has stolen hundreds of precious possessions from homes near San Francisco. But police are staying off the case — the burglar really is a cat. Dusty, a 5-year-old feline from San Mateo, has taken hundreds of items during his nearly nightly heists. Owner Jean Chu tells the San Francisco Chronicle he has pilfered gloves, towels, shoes and more since she adopted him from the Humane Society. Dusty has a special love for swimsuits. Neighbor Kelly McLellan says he stole her bikini — on two separate trips. She said he appeared focused on keeping the ensemble. Experts say Dusty’s predatory instincts have gone astray, leaving him hunting for people’s stuff. The cat’s thieving has made him a minor celebrity.

How to Care for Pets During
Firework/Thunderstorm Season

With the recent thunderstorms behind us and the fireworks ahead of us, many families are making plans for the 4th of July. But while you may be checking out the fireworks or at a friend's house, your animal at home may not be having so much fun. To any average person, the sound of mother nature means incoming rain, at the very least. But to your animal, it means something very different. "Different sounds will scare them. What they normally knew what a sound was before, they may be more unsure about now," said Danielle Garcia, the assistant manager at the Pocatello Animal Shelter. That's why Garcia says our canine and feline friends need special attention and care for the upcoming celebrations.

A simple phone call to your vet can give you some tips on how to make sure your pet stays happy and stress-free.

"If you know for a fact that your dog has had these issues in the past, you can get a mild tranquilizer form your vet. Some people may recommend certain things over the counter - we definitely would not do that. Talk to you vet about it first. If you dog has any kind of health issues, age issues... You want to talk to your vet before you give your dog anything."

If your pet does get overwhelmed and run away make sure they have proper identification and check with the animal shelter.

That way, every member of your family can have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Age may also factor into your dog's reaction. The older they get, their eyesight and hearing may get worse, so don't expect how they were last year to affect how they will act this year.

Bono's Bird Lands Him in Trouble

The U2 star's petulant peahen is messing things up big style for its master

Upon consideration, I'm just going to play this one straight: one of Bono's peacocks has been wasting police time.

A resident of Killiney, the exclusive Dublin neighbourhood in which the U2 frontman lives, called the garda after a particularly vocal peahen had outstayed its welcome in her garden. As this Susan McKeon tells the Irish Independent: "They said: 'Oh, for God's sake, it's Bono's,' and I said: 'What will I do with it?' and they said: 'I don't know, you can do what you want with it.' I replied: 'Well, supposing I kill it and put it in the oven?' and he actually said: 'I don't care.' He said to me that they had put too many man-hours into Bono's peacock."

Well! What a beguiling vignette of Irish community life. But that was far from the end of it, as further Bono neighbours called a local radio station to relate their own problems with the bird, which apparently has "a tiny head and a huge body" (the exact obverse of its master, in fact).

"It went into my neighbour's house next door," another resident explained, "and left a lovely message on her lawn."

What can you say? Other than fair play to the bird. It has clearly decided to serve as a living, breathing Bono metaphor – squawking, preening, strutting around like it owns the place, and an irksome drain on civic resources funded by taxpayers other than itself. Indeed, I can think of no more eloquent way for the bird to illustrate Bono's tax avoidance than by quite literally shitting on his neighbours' doorstep, and demand this feathered performance artist be given a by on to this year's Turner prize shortlist.

Apartments Use DNA to Nab Poop-Scoop Scofflaws

LEBANON, N.H. -- Here's the scoop: Some apartment complexes are using DNA testing on dog doo to find out who's not cleaning up after their pets.

The Timberwood Commons in Lebanon, N.H., opened this year and already has had problems with some residents who aren't cleaning up messes their dogs leave.

So manager Debbie Violette is going to use commercially available DNA sampling kits to check the DNA that dogs leave behind when they go.

"We've tried doing the warning letters. We've tried all sorts of things," she said Friday. "It's always a problem. It's just that the majority of people are responsible pet owners and there are a few who are not."

She said residents have been told they must submit samples from their dogs so DNA profiles can be put on file.

"I want people to know that we're serious about this," she said. More than 30 dogs call the 252-unit complex home.

Violette just received the kits from a Knoxville, Tenn., company called PooPrints, a subsidiary of BioPet Vet Lab. Jim Simpson, president of the lab, said about 20 properties in the country have been using the kits.

For testing samples, the company provides a feces collection kit. A small amount is put in a solution and mailed back to the lab. DNA is extracted from the feces. The lab then checks to see if it matches any of the profiles listed for the apartment complex.

"It's one of the coolest things I've ever done as a property manager," said Debbie Logan, who manages the Twin Ponds Development in Nashua, which has identified some problem pet owners through the tests.

Violette said that she hasn't decided what to do if she catches a pet owner not cleaning up after their dog but that they'll probably be fined. Language about the DNA testing will be included in a lease addendum addressing pet issues, she said.

So far, Violette said, she has gotten a positive response from dog owners.

When You Have to Give Your Pet Away
By Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature Network

Ebony Stith gave Cookie, a shih tzu, to her mother to take care of when her household became too hectic.

(MNN) -- It's been three years, but Ebony Stith still cringes when her daughter Erin asks about their beloved shih tzu. Every time the question arises, Stith patiently explains that Cookie has moved on to a better place -- far, far away. A place called Flint, Michigan.

After months of handling parenting duties for their new baby -- not to mention poop duties for Cookie -- Stith's husband said out loud what she already had been thinking: Their household had become too hectic, and the dog's needs had taken a back seat.

"The priority was kids, job, husband, then Cookie," admits Stith, editor of Tween Girl Style Magazine. "It just wasn't working out. It's like Cookie would ask, 'How far do I have to kick my water bowl for you to see that I'm thirsty?'"

Life happens. Priorities change, finances change and, in some instances, pet owners must find new homes for their furry companions. Cookie is now the center of attention for her grandparents, Marcia and Eddie Watkins of Flint, Mich.

"She's happier and gets more attention," Stith says. "Of course, my daughter keeps asking, 'When can I have my dog back?'"

If circumstances force you to find a new home for your pet -- and if you are considering adopting a friend's pet -- here are a few important factors to consider:

Understand the financial commitment: In addition to food and basic dog gear, factor in the cost of regular veterinary care. In the 2011-2012 survey for the American Pet Products Association, pet owners said they expected to spend $254 on dog food and $220 for cat food. Basic veterinary care, such as routine checkups and vaccinations, adds about $248 for dogs and $219 for cats.

Of course, aging pets and emergency care bring additional expenses. For Cookie, surgery for kidney stones led to an unexpected $1,500 veterinary bill, but Watkins says that the companionship from Cookie more than makes up for the bill. If the original owner plans to help pay for pet care, avoid a potential conflict and work out a system up front.

There are no 'loaner pets': Marcia Watkins somewhat reluctantly agreed to take in Cookie, thinking the situation would be short-term. "I didn't have a sense of whether this was permanent or temporary," says the retired art professor.

Former colleagues gave the retired art professor a reality check. They said, "Oh no, you have a dog," she says. "After a year, that's your dog now." Both owners should go into the agreement with their eyes wide open on this point.

Share medical and behavioral history: Be honest about any medical or behavioral issues your pet has. Vaccination records are essential, especially if the pet has to travel as Cookie did. True confessions about behavior issues, such as a dislike for cats or a bit of incontinence, help ease a pet's transition to its new digs.

"It's just like having a child; they need love, attention from their owner -- and medical attention," Watkins says. "But they give so much back. In the quietness of the house, when it's just me and Cookie, I am at peace because I have someone with a keen sense of hearing."

Settling in takes time: Like people, pets must adjust to a new routine, especially if the new owner already has pets. Start by maintaining a schedule for walks, feedings and outdoor time. Also, take care when introducing the new addition to other animals and children. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth transition for dog and cat additions to the family.

Avoid the issue by planning ahead: To avoid dealing with a "me or the dog," conundrum, Atlantan Shawn McElroy weeds out pet lovers at the beginning of any relationship.

"I dated one guy who had cats," she says. "I never understood why I had such bad allergies when I visited him, then we discovered that I was allergic to his cats. No matter how much he cleaned, it was still a problem."

McElroy's guy even tried to create a cat-free zone at his place, but eventually she called it quits. Now she weeds out pet lovers when reviewing online dating profiles. "It's just easier," she said.

Meanwhile back in Michigan, Cookie the dog is thriving -- even though Watkins says the dog can return to Florida at any time. Occasionally, she reminds her granddaughter that she did not steal Cookie, but it's clear that there is a strong love connection.

"If I'm sick or have the flu, she will lay across the floor," Watkins says. "I value the sensitivity they [dogs] have and how they show their love to the people.

Drunk, Naked Man Operated on Pet Doberman
by Liam Ford -

Alerted by reports of a naked man covered in blood, police rushed to a Near West Side apartment and found a "highly intoxicated" man who had been operating on his pet Doberman, "Foley," officials say.

Stewart Gibbs, 44, was charged with felony cruelty to an animal late Sunday after he told police he had tried to remove a cyst from under the dog's right ear, according to police. Bail of $75,000 was set for Gibbs, whose attorney said is a health care administrator.

Gibbs' landlord got a call from other tenants in the building who said water was leaking into their apartments from the ceiling, according to Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto.

The landlord knocked on Gibbs' door, got no response and let himself in, police said. Gibbs then ran toward him, naked and covered in blood, Scaduto said. The landlord also saw a blood-soaked towel in the apartment before he left to call police.

Officers arrived about 10 p.m. and were met at the door by Gibbs, whose hands were covered in blood and who "appeared highly intoxicated," according to a police report.

Gibbs let the officers in, and they found blood on the floor and walls of the hall, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. They also found the Doberman with a wound under its right ear, police said.

Gibbs told the officers he had been using a butcher knife to remove a cyst from under the dog’s ear, and had turned on the water in the bathtub to clean up the dog, according to police and prosecutors. Gibbs told officers he had been drinking at Trump Tower earlier in the evening, returned to his apartment, had another half-bottle of wine and "proceeded to perform surgery" on his dog, according to a police report.

Gibbs did not claim to be a veterinarian but told officers he was a cardiologist, Mirabelli said. There is no state license information on Gibbs being a physician.

"Foley" was taken to an emergency veterinary center for treatment, authorities said. Gibbs gave up custody of the dog, and the Doberman is now in the care ofChicago Animal Care and Control, officials said.

In court today, Gibbs was attentive and wore dark blue jeans and a black T-shirt with a yellow or gold design on it. Public Defender Anand Sundaram said Gibbs has been inChicago five years, is a health care administrator and has a degree from the University of California, Irvine.

Gibbs will have to post 10 percent of his bail, or $7,500, to be released from Cook County Jail.

Should You Wait Until Your Kids
are Older to Get a Pet?
By Lisa Rossi -

When is the right time to adopt an animal?

I am a cat lover, but I grew up in a house with a brother who had allergies.

I always dreamed that “when I grew up” I would have a little feline of my own. In my mid-20s, I convinced my brand-new husband to let me pick up a kitty from the pound.

We named her Bean, and through the years, she’s been feisty. She hissed, she swiped, she growled. But when it was just her and me, she adored my undivided attention.

Then my husband and I had a baby.

Suddenly her hissing, growling and swiping seemed a lot more than "feisty."

More like dangerous.

We recently decided she wasn’t a fit for our home.

It was an agonizing decision. One animal advocate I spoke to mentioned that we should have waited to get a pet until after our children were older. She said many pets are displaced after couples have children.

I’m not sure I agree, totally. We have another cat with a wonderful disposition who doesn’t cause me to lose a blink of sleep, ever. I hope no animals go without having good homes because young adults have taken that advice and put off getting a pet to wait for marriage and children.

Novak Djokovic Just Can’t Bear
 To Be Apart From His "Impeccably Groomed,
Snow White Toy Poodle" Pierre
Brian Hickey -

The Brits won't let Novak Djokovic's dog Pierre into the country to watch his master play tennis at Wimbledon. This sucks for Novak, whose pooch has a Twitter account and managed to get onto the cover of the July edition of men's Vogue, or L'Uomo Vogue.

The dog, to whom he is devoted, has been an ever present during the European clay court season, which Djokovic dominated until losing for the only time this year in the French Open semi-finals.

Pierre was even spotted in Paris, sat on a cushion at a table cafe next to the tennis player who fed him noodles.

"He is upset he can't bring Pierre to Wimbledon and he is pleading with the authorities to let the dog in," said a source in the Djokovic camp. "Whenever he can he takes the dog with him. he is genuinely upset. For him this is a very serious issue."

Hints From Heloise


Dear Heloise: My outdoor cat and chief mouse-patroller needed a warm and dry bed. My husband came up with the idea of using an old foam cooler. She fits in there perfectly, and with a soft blanket or old bathroom rug, she is warm and comfortable. -- J.T., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I was always worried about how to wash my dog’s face. Would the dog shampoo sting her eyes? What about water in her ears? Well, I overcame my fears with this great hint. I took a pair of soft cotton gloves to her face, and voila! I softly rubbed her face, eyes and ears, and it worked like a charm! -- Joanne in Virginia


Dear Readers: If you notice varmints or vermin outside, especially around your trash cans and/or recycling bins, ask yourself what may be attracting them.

* Rinse cans and cartons before putting them out to be recycled. Try to secure raw edges of cut cans in an effort to reduce any serious injury to an animal if it gets into the trash.

* Freezing your food waste and placing it in the can on trash day also can reduce animal interest in your trash.

-- Heloise

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

Finally, "Lucky-Boy" Lives Up to His Name

Making Vacation Plans for Your Pets
By Tammy Zaluzney -

Pets require care when their people leave home

With schools out for summer, many people will soon be leaving on their summer vacations. Whether you plan to stay close to home, take a road trip or fly to some far-off destination, if you are a pet owner, some of the planning for your vacation should include Fluffy and Fido.

Although my dogs go on vacation with me, my cats prefer to stay put. They are generally cared for by a neighbor or friend in the environment where they are most comfortable, their home.

Short of ensuring plenty of supplies to get them through my time away, there is little I have to worry about preparing where the cats are concerned. I generally leave a radio playing at low volume to drown out any offensive noises from the outside and give the litter pans and food dishes a good cleaning to ensure they are fresh. I leave grooming brushes out for the cat sitter, as well as toys and treats. I make sure there is plenty of fresh food, access to water and any needed medication, along with clear detailed directions. I also leave important contact phone numbers, such for as the cats' veterinarian, emergency phone numbers and several ways to contact me. I leave a note pad next to care instructions, kitty preferences and any other tidbits of information that might be helpful.

This works well for my cats and for my situation, but not all pet owners have people nearby they can rely on to care for their pets. For those who need to hire a pet-sitting service, there are few things to consider. First, it's always good to go with a professional company. These people will be licensed and insured. They see their services as a serious profession, not a hobby. A company like Watchdog Pet Sitting Service in Bel Air is a good choice.

While hiring a neighborhood teenager can also be good option, provided he or she is mature and reliable enough to trust with your cherished pets and your household. I would strongly advise a very candid conversation with the teen's parents as well so expectations are clearly understood. Remember, even the most reliable teen is a child and not yet independently caring for themselves. If you leave your pets in the care of a teen, please make sure the parents are willing to oversee the care their teenager provides.

If keeping your pets at home and having someone stay over or come in to care for them is not an option, you could try your regular veterinarian. This is a place your pet is already known and the folks there are kind and caring. While your cat may spend most of his or her time in a cage, your dog may be allowed to keep the staff company behind the reception desk for part of the day. He or she will likely receive short walks and plenty of attention.

If your pet regularly attends day care at a facility such as The Snooty Pooch, he or she might be welcomed as an overnight guest as well. This ensures plenty of exercise and attention while you are away and a happy, tired, likely well groomed dog upon your return.

There are also boarding kennels that will gladly care for your pets while you are away. A boarding kennel should require that your pet is current on all vaccinations including a recent, but not too recent, bordetella or kennel cough vaccination.

Regardless of how your pets will be cared for while you are away, a good rule of thumb is to add a veterinary visit to the list of things to do two to three weeks prior to your vacation regardless of our planned pet accommodations. This way you can be certain that your pet is in good health or being treated for any ailments. A little planning goes a long way for the safety of your pet and others with which he or she may come into contact.

Summer for the Dogs
By Jacquelene Adam -

School is out and the parkway is packed, as are the beaches.

The smell of honeysuckle and backyard barbeques fill the air, the sun blinds our eyes and vegetable garden blooms fill our hearts. We kick up our feet after a hot summer day to enjoy the warm summer night filled with flashes of lightning bugs and well, it is still hot.

Not only does the summer heat bother us, but we cannot forget about our furry friends who, although they seem to enjoy running around the woods and in our backyards during the summer, need to be kept cool to avoid heat-stroke and dehydration.

So while we can fend for ourselves, let us explore ways to help our best friends have a cool, calm summer.

First things first; if you are searching for a friend to join your family, there is no better time then now to look. Dogs kept in shelters during the summer do not get to explore the great outdoors, take a dunk in the ocean or swim in your kiddy pool. While shelters take great care of them, especially at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, for these canines, there is no place like a new home.

If you are interesed in a pet, visit this site. While most of us are more active in the summer, remember, these pets will stay with you through the winter and need love year round.

So if you already have a dog, or are looking for one, you know summer can be great but also tough on our friends. They need to get plenty of exercise while also being kept cool.

You think you are sweating in 90 degree heat, check out the fur jacket your pooch has on!

Never leave your pet in the car. Even if your beloved pet loves to go on rides with you, it is best to leave it in the cool house or in a shady spot while you run errands. According to the ASPCA, you should always leave your pets inside if it is extremely hot out. In some states, including New Jersey, it is illegal to leave your pet in the car. In an online article done by the ASPCA, Dr. Louise Murray, Director of Medicine at ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital explained that, "On a hot day, a parked car can become a furnace in no time—even with the windows open—which could lead to fatal heat stroke."

Give them water to drink. Your pet needs plenty of water to keep cool during the summer. While we also need water to keep cool because we sweat, your dog keeps cool by panting. The ASPCA explains that animals with flat faces like persian cats or pugs have a harder time panting and need to be kept in an air conditioned room. All pets also need to always have a bowl of water on hand. Your pet will keep himself cooler if you keep his bowl filled. Swimming is also a great way to keep your pooch cool, but, according to the ASCPA, you should introduce your pet slowly to water and always keep your eyes on it. If you are letting your dog swim in the pool, try and keep it from drinking the water filled with chlorine.

Make sure the dog is groomed. The other day, I pulled up to my apartment and notice my neighbor's dog had a new cut. She had his coat shaven to keep him cool in the summer. It is always a good idea to keep your long-haired dogs' coats shorter during the summer. The ASPCA says to keep the fur at least one inch so the does not get sunburned.

In a quote in a recent ASPCA article, Dr. Lila Miller, ASPCA vice president of veterinary outreach, said, "symptoms of overheating in pets include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. They can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees."

Always be aware of the symptoms and remember, if you are feeling too hot to leave the air conditioned house, your pet probably is too. That does not mean you cannot take it for a walk, but be sure to use the above recommendations.

Now it is time to put on your sunglasses, stick your feet in the kiddy pool and let your pup splash around with you.

Gary Bogue:
Poisoning Pets is Cowardly,
Inhumane, Dangerous
By Gary Bogue - Contra Costa Times

"cool as a moose"

is this man who edits

timely is he

-- Nona Mock Wyman, haikuyun, Walnut Creek

Poisoning pets

Nothing freaks out a pet owner more than to read about a cat or dog that has been poisoned.

If you're a pet owner, the simple act of reading something like that is way too close to home.

I'm sure most of you are nodding your heads in agreement, even as we speak.

So Saturday I read about two dogs in Concord poisoned by strychnine-laced meatballs "... and then in Wednesday's papers about six dogs and a cat poisoned in Brentwood earlier this week.

I'm sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Nothing's more cowardly or inhumane "... or dangerous "... than tossing poisoned food into someone's backyard. You might be targeting a dog or a cat, but you might also end up killing a child "... or some other innocent creature, like a raccoon, opossum, skunk, fox, jay, sparrow, mockingbird, finch, towhee, just to name a few.

The Concord poisoning supposedly was to stop dogs from barking. A reason has yet to be found for killing those Brentwood pets.

If you have a problem with barking dogs, go have a friendly talk with the owner and explain the situation. And if you are the owner of a dog that is receiving such a complaint "... please be just as pleasant and work together with your neighbor to resolve the issue.

Yes, I know, this is all easy for me to say. I'm not the one dealing with the problem. Actually, I am.

Over the years, I've received hundreds -- probably thousands -- of emails and letters complaining about barking dogs. When I recommended talking to the barking dog's owner, a few later responded that this worked well and the barking problem had been taken care of.

Unfortunately, the majority of responses I have received in the last 40 years I've been writing this column have indicated they got nowhere talking to the barking dog's owner. People denied their dogs barked, or refused to even discuss it. Some even got angry that the subject had been brought up.

Dealing with barking dogs by another route, like complaining to your local animal control department, usually isn't much easier.

Check out our story in Wednesday's paper by Contra Costa Times staff writer Gary Peterson ("When the bark makes you want to bite back") and you'll see what I mean.

In Contra Costa, Animal Services' first response to a barking dog complaint is to send letters to the dog owner and the person who complains with suggestions to resolve the barking problem. If that doesn't work, there's a second letter. And if that doesn't work, a uniformed animal control officer drops by for a chat.

As the other Gary says in his story, it takes complaints from two neighbors about a barking dog to initiate a criminal procedure. The court process on that could take months and still not fix anything.

Bottom line, it can sometimes take forever and a day to resolve a barking dog problem and that's wrong "... and just plain silly.

We humans should be able to have a simple conversation to fix a problem caused by our pets.

And if it takes an official complaint filed with your local animal control agency because people can't communicate with each other, the mechanism for dealing with a barking dog complaint should be uncomplicated and not take months.

We need to fix a simple problem, not kill somebody's pets. That's crazy.

Does Your Dog Need to Go on the Green Bean Diet?
By Jennifer Quasha -

If you have a fat dog, you have two choices about how to “Go Green.”

Peel off those greenbacks and give them to your vet when your dog develops health issues, or feed your dog green beans. What, you say?

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 55.6% of US dogs are overweight or obese. That’s 43 million fat dogs.

“Roll over, Spot” takes on a whole new meaning when Spot rolls and rolls and never stops since he’s so fat his arms and legs can’t stop him.

Next time you go to the dog park, check out how many overweight dogs do you see. Every dog that doesn’t have a waist—or indentation—between her waist and hips, is overweight.

There are reasons/excuses abound why our pets are obese. As we get fatter, so do our pets. We work harder and longer, no time for walks. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

The real reason is: We feed them too much. They eat their food. We give them treats. Then they eat our scraps.

So, they get fat, and we end up shelling out hard earned cash after they develop health issues like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, joint issues, and others.

My advice for owners of overweight dogs: go green with the Green Bean Diet.

It’s easy, inexpensive, and it works. Green beans add fiber and to dogs’ diets and make them feel full without having the extra calories. Here’s what you need to know:

1.) Buy frozen green beans. Avoid canned green beans with salt since they’re loaded with sodium. Get French cut or regular cut, not whole green beans—they’re easier to measure and no cutting.

2.) Halve the regular amount of dog food that you feed your dog. Substitute green beans for the other half.

For example, when my Bichon Frise, Scout, got a little tubby from all my counter-top droppings, he got ¼ cup of dry dog food and ¼ of green beans twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

But will dogs actually eat green beans? Most do. If not, try baby carrots, but they’re pricier. Some pet owners start with less than half green beans to get them used to the change, but all the dogs I’ve known have liked them at first gobble.

Who knows, the Green Bean Diet as a canine health kick? We sure could use one.

Jennifer Quasha is a writer and most recently the co-author of "Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Canine Companions" and "Chicken Soup of the Soul: My Cat's Life: 101 Stories about the Ages and Stages of our Feline Family Members." Check out her website at

China's Latest Craze:
Dyeing Pets to Look Like Other Wild Animals
Emily Lodish -

Dyeing pets has been a trend in pet pampering for quite some time. At last summer's Pets Show Taipei, there was a fierce dog-dyeing competition.

But dyeing your pets to look like other wild animals is a more recent development.

The trend demonstrates how quickly and dramatically attitudes toward pets — particularly dogs — have changed in many parts of Asia.

In Taiwan, for example, just 10 years ago, dogs were still eaten in public restaurants and raised on farms for that purpose. Traditional Chinese medicine held that so-called "fragrant meat" from dogs could fortify one's health.

Now, eating dog is viewed by many as an embarrassing reminder of a poorer time.

With more money to spend, newly wealthy Chinese have embraced dog-owning culture with a vengeance. Dogs are brought into restaurants, fussed over in public, dressed up in ridiculous outfits and dyed to look like ferocious tigers.

Panda or chow chow? Tiger or retriever? You be the judge:

These dogs were put on show after being transferred to Zhenghou from southwest China's Sichuan province.

And here's another bizarre transformation, courtesy of the Daily Mail: a pet retriever in China has been dyed to look like tiger.

Thanks to Al in BHC, AZ

Be sure to scroll all the way down & read the story and thoughts at the end after the story.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ''I know why.''

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live..

He said, ''People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?'' The Six-year-old continued, ''Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.''

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do..

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.


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