Diapers for Your Pet?

World's Smallest Working Dog Lucy
Enjoys Her Brush with Fame
By Jeanne Donohue - patch.com

Lucy and Sally Montufar meet Dolly Parton In the green room at the Live! With Kelly show Thursday. Photo courtesy of Sally Montufar

Back home in Absecon a day after hobnobbing in the Big Apple with the likes of country music diva and movie star Dolly Parton and Miranda Cosgrove, teen star of Nick's iCarly, Lucy just wanted some treats.

Clad in a pink corduroy fleece-lined coat to keep her from shivering even inside on a blustery day, the Guinness World Record-holding smallest working dog let her owner Sally Leone Montufar know her desires.

She planted her tiny haunches on the floor at Montufar's feet and made what could only be described as a persistent squeaky sneezing noise.

When you only weigh 2.5 pounds and stand 5.7 inches tall from toes to withers, this is what amounts to a bark.

Maybe you saw Lucy, a micro Yorkshire terrier who is a licensed therapy dog, in one of her many television appearances this week.

Montufar said she submitted Lucy's measurements to Guinness on a lark and got word recently she had knocked a 6.6-pound Japanese police dog out of the top spot on the list. The media went nuts for the petite perky-faced pooch with the habit of sticking out the fingernail-sized tip of her perfectly pink tongue.

Local, Philadelphia and national TV outlets carried Lucy's story and footage of her adorable little canine self doing what she does best—making people happy by visiting them in nursing homes, schools and other arenas.

Thursday's appearance on Live! With Kelly in New York City was the icing on the cake. As usual, Lucy won hearts all around, including those of host Kelly Ripa, who snuggled her under her chin onstage for a couple of minutes at the end of the show, show staffers, and Parton and Cosgrove, who cooed over her in the green room, where guests wait backstage before going on air.

Cosgrove tweeted a photo of herself with Lucy, proclaiming her awesomeness. At one point, Lucy had an entire couch to herself while humans huddled on smaller chairs admiring her, Montufar chuckled.

And why not? Lucy's really is a Cinderella story.

Montufar was working in Paw Dazzle, a Smithville pet boutique she used to own, when a lady came in with a couple of dogs she said she was taking to a shelter because she couldn't care for them anymore.

When then-11-month-old Lucy popped her head out of a designer bag, “she looked pitiful and I couldn't let her go,” said Montufar, a retired teacher from New York City.

With TLC by Montufar and her neighbor and friend Linda DeSantis, and under care of staff at Absecon Veterinarian, Lucy gained about a half pound and is the picture of health at age 3. She eats healthily, including her favorite chicken biscuits from Paw Dazzle; the vet has cautioned the Yorkie shouldn't weigh more than 3 pounds, as it would be too much heft for her mini legs to carry.

It's hard to imagine how really tiny Lucy is until you see her in person. In photos, she appears bigger because her head is rather outsized for her 6-inch-long body—bobble-head-like. Lots of guinea pigs are bigger. Even some cheesesteaks I've seen.

As she grew healthier, Montufar said she realized what a gem Lucy really is.

“She became less lethargic and much more strong, with a stellar personality,” Montufar said. “She is non-aggressive and easily trained.”

Everywhere Lucy goes, people exclaim they have never seen a smaller dog. That's how Montufar got the idea to nominate her for Guinness. It was her personality—and her size—that prompted Montufar to put her to work, so to speak.

“No search and rescue for her,” Montufar quipped. “She's not ever going to bring me the paper.”

Montufar sought out Leashes of Love, a Cherry Hill-based group that certifies therapy dogs and connects them with hospitals, special needs schools, library reading programs, correctional institutions and other places where pets can spread joy.

“She'll make someone smile who hasn't smiled in years, nurses have told me,” Montufar said. “They get out of their misery for just a few minutes.”

Lucy often leads the pack when she's around the likes of Great Danes and Siberian huskies.

“She has to hustle to move as fast as they can go in one step, but she doesn't seem to know she's the little one,” Montufar said.

Lucy's cheer is likely to be even more in demand now with her newfound fame. But, other than being busier, her life won't change much. Oh, except for the Twitter account she's likely to get soon.

When she's not visiting people, Lucy snuggles with Gabriel, Montufar's cockapoo, and acts like a normal dog, romping and playing. Like many 3-year-olds, she does not enjoy getting dressed, and has been known to run and hide under chairs, from which Montufar has to coax her out.

Lucy loves playing outside, but has to be closely watched so she's not scarfed up by hungry hawks and other predators. Cold weather, she doesn't go out at all, as her body doesn't regulate temperature well. Lucy is warm and toasty on this day, but Montufar complains the bulky coat makes her look “hippy.”

“Eighty degrees is just perfect for her; she wants it 80 degrees all the time,” Montufar said. Hey, what starlet doesn't?

Proving once again—it's a dog's world. We just live in it.

128 Live Dogs, 1 Cat Found in U-Haul in West Tenn.

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Two women were arrested Tuesday when authorities in West Tennessee discovered 128 live dogs, one dead dog and a live cat inside a U-Haul truck and a van during a traffic stop on Interstate 40, officials said.

A West Tennessee Drug Task Force agent found the animals during a stop on I-40 in Fayette County, about 40 miles east of Memphis, said David Lytal, special agent in charge of the task force.

"He could smell the odor," Lytal said.

Lytal says the women told authorities they were taking the animals from California to Virginia, but they did not say why. The driver, Bonnie Sherman, 55, and passenger Pamela King-McCracken, 59, were booked in Fayette County jail on aggravated animal cruelty charges.

They were scheduled to have a court hearing Tuesday afternoon and had not yet secured lawyers, a jail official said.

The agent found dog kennels stacked in back of the truck. Some had overturned, allowing some dogs to get loose inside the U-Haul, Lytal said.

Some animals also were found in a van that was being towed behind the truck, Lytal said. The animals had been in the vehicles since Saturday.

Officials said the animals were to be cared for by shelters in the Memphis area.

Howling Dog Awakens Man in House Fire
Written by Tabitha Clark-The Marion Star

MT. GILEAD - A howling dog may have saved a man's life in a house fire.

Robert Hudson, of Morrow County, told firefighters that his dog woke him up, and that's when he saw the smoke.

"He went to bed at nine. The dog apparently heard the smoke detector and was howling. He got dressed, grabbed the dog and got out. The smoke detectors and a dog howling saved his life," Chief Don Staiger of the Mount Gilead Fire Department said.

The fire call came in at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday.

When firefighters arrived at the home in the 2300 block of County Road 67 in Morrow County, the fire was in the front of the house.

"When we arrived, there was fire on the first floor. It burned through to the outside wall," Staiger said.

The front of the house was on fire, and had burned into the floor of the second story bedroom.

Hudson, the owner of the home, was not injured.

Staiger estimated the structural damage at $27,000. "There was about $12,000 to $14,000 in content damage," he said.

The fire started inside the wall above the fireplace.

Cardington and Iberia fire departments assisted the Mount Gilead Fire Department.

Morrow County EMS responded to the scene as well.

Reporter Tabitha Clark: 740-375-5155 or tlclark@marionstar.com.

Urinating Cat, Not Fire,
Caused Smoke in Pa. Home’s Electrical Outlet

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — One western Pennsylvania fire department learned that there’s not necessarily fire wherever there’s smoke.

New Castle’s assistant fire chief Jim Donston tells The Associated Press that firefighters were called when an electrical outlet on a floor was smoking, only to find that happened because the family’s cat urinated into the outlet.

The New Castle News (http://bit.ly/zHd1RS ) first reported the incident Friday and Donston supplied more details to the AP.

The assistant chief says a Columbia Gas worker was at the house checking for a possible leak when he noticed the smoking outlet and called the fire department Wednesday about 7:30 p.m.

Donston says firefighters “found the receptacle wet from cat urine” and shut off the electrical supply to that circuit.

Does Your Pet Have an Innie or an Outie?
By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM - webmd.com

This is Joey, who you have met before my blog titled “The War Horse Kitten.” Not only did she have a serious esophageal problem which was corrected at The Animal Medical Center, but she also had an “outie” belly button seen at the tip of the arrow.

What is a belly button?

The navel, or scientifically speaking, an umbilicus, is where the blood vessels from the placenta attach to a baby before it is born. The blood vessels are an in utero life support system providing nutrition, oxygen and waste product removal. Once a baby is born, it no longer needs the blood vessel, which then dries up and falls off. The photo of the one-day-old puppy at right shows just a scab where the blood vessel had been the day before. In an adult dog or cat, the belly button is very different than that of a human. Belly buttons are typically flat, without hair and often white like a scar. Even though pets are covered with hair, the bellybutton is easy to find since they occur at a cowlick of hair on the abdomen.

What determines an innie or an outie?

Outies are not very common in humans and some estimates suggest only 10% of the population has an outie. Since most births of puppies and kittens are not attended by a veterinarian, I wasn’t sure what the determining factors for the type of belly button were. I contacted a friend who is an obstetrician at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. She has delivered a lot of human babies and I thought she could shed some light on my question. My obstetrician friend says, “When a human baby is born, two clamps are put on the umbilical vessels by the obstetrician. The placenta is separated from the baby by cutting between the two clamps. When the baby is discharged from the hospital nursery, the clamp is left on the umbilical vessel, which falls off a few days later.” The clamp nearest the baby is nowhere near the belly button location and in my friend’s expert opinion, a belly button happens on its own; she has no control over whether it’s an innie or an outie.

Why did Joey have an outie?

In some cats, dogs and people, the muscles of the abdominal wall do not close completely around the umbilical cord during development. The defect in the body wall is called a hernia and in severe cases, abdominal organs can protrude through the hole. Joey had an umbilical hernia which did not cause any medical problems but was successfully repaired at the time of her spay surgery since the umbilicus is near where the spay incision is routinely placed.

Hamster Owner Learns Lesson on Birds and Bees
By Katie Sampson - bostonherald.com

IT ONLY TAKES TWO: The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Nevins Farm recently received 94 hamsters, including the two above, from a Lawrence owner who found himself overwhelmed after his pets quickly reproduced.

Once upon a time, they were his beloved furry pets. Then nature stepped in, and they were his 94 beloved furry pets.

A beleaguered Lawrence hamster enthusiast placed a desperate call last week to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“He said he needed help. He realized he was in a little bit over his head and sought us out,” said Heather Robertson, outreach coordinator for the MSPCA’s Nevins Farm in Methuen. “They were generally in good health, so we took a few days to prepare and sent two staff members to help.”

She said the man, who is not being identified, is not an animal hoarder. He was just a pet owner who found himself on the wrong side of biology’s arithmetic.

The nearly eight dozen hamsters, she said, were all healthy and well nourished.

“He had taken very good care of them,” Robertson said.

After collecting the rodents, staff members spent hours examining each for health problems — and separating them by gender to prevent further breeding.

Next on the agenda for the MSPCA: 94 new homes for the hamsters. Nearly half of them already have been farmed out to shelters throughout New England. Nevins Farm kept 50, many of which already have been adopted.

Adam Zimmer of North Andover, who has provided a foster home for abandoned cats from Nevins Farm for 14 years, said his son Aidan found out about the hamsters. “Then he walked around all day asking for one, so I talked to my wife that night, and we agreed we should do it.”

Zimmer took his three children to the farm yesterday. They left with three female hamsters, one for each child.

“It’s funny because one of them is a little runt, like my youngest,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer added he is happy the original owner decided to give up the animals, although it may have been difficult.

“He clearly cared for them and loved them, he just realized they were more than he could care for,” he said. “It will make a lot of families very happy.”

Catfight Among Dog-Lovers
By ARIEL KAMINER - nytimes.com

In this past issue’s Ethicist column, I featured two pet-related questions. And if there’s one thing that the Most E-mailed List proves, time and time again, it’s that New York Times readers ♥ pet stories. Accordingly, the column generated a bumper crop of reader comments and e-mails.

Many took up the ever-popular premise that human beings are horrible, immoral, cruel and self-serving.

In the first letter, that verdict was applied to both the aging Pomeranian-owner who contemplated euthanizing her healthy pet and the veterinarian who contemplated granting her request, as well as anyone who would consider denying that request, given the even scarier alternatives. In the second letter, that judgement was applied to the cat owner who let her pet out of the house and the neighbor whose dogs dispatched it (along with a few other neighborhood cats) and who now contemplates telling the cat owner despite her ill health. It was also applied to Peter Singer, the celebrated philosopher who, for reasons I still can’t quite figure out, agreed to weigh in on the Pomeranian’s uncertain fate. And of course it was applied to me.

But the most heartfelt comments, of course, came from those pondering the moral stature not of human beings — those pasty, warty, cranky bipeds — but of our four-legged soft-coated friends. And there the debate fell into a few armed camps:

1) Dogs are precious; cat had it coming.

“Don’t cry on my shoulder when a dog, in his own yard, attacks your cat.” “Dog owners have absolutely no obligations to maintain a place of safety for marauding critters.” “Any cat that uses our yard as his toilet instead of it’s own deserves whatever fate it gets”

2) Cats are fuzzy bewhiskered innocents; dogs are vicious killers.

“I do wonder about a pack of dogs that gets so jazzed up every time they see and corner a cat that they kill it. Really? Its called training and socialization.” “Think of the cats for a moment their lives should mean something to you too??” “I was upset that not much feeling was extended to the felines, and actually, was somewhat horrified that the majority of letters in response to your article did not show much concern at all for the cats, either.”

3) A pox on both their houses; I like cows.

“Hello, I always enjoy your column and was so pleased to see you address the issue of “animal lovers” and the specifics of the animals they loved. I like cows. Cows do their business somewhere out in fields in the country, dogs leave my sidewalks a filthy, smelly wet mess of urine and uncleaned feces. I am supposed to support the A.S.P.E.A., saving dogs and donating money to help pay for the food they eat, gotten by killing other four legged creatures. … don’t get it … thanks for hoping planting a seed of thought in others. C. Diane”

5 Snow Safety Tips for Your Pets
By Lisa Steenson, N.O.A.H.- heraldnet.com

Benton the Beagle walks through the recent snow. These five tips will help you make sure your pets stay safe in the snow. Mary Ann Macomber / Reader photo

It's a blizzard outside! The winter time can be a fun time to share memories with your furry friends. Here are 5 helpful tips to keep your pet safe this winter season.

1. Pets are prone to frostbite, so after your fun in the snow be sure to soak their paws in warm water (not hot) and dry them well. This ensures that no icy cold snow stays packed in the pads.

2. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze. If you know of an outdoor kitty, set up an area for shelter to block the wind with blankets. Also use a hot water bottle under a blanket, they are sure to find the nice warm bed you provided for them.

3. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

4. Protect your pet's paws. Salt, de-icer and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Thoroughly wipe off your pet's paws, legs and stomach with a damp, warm towel when he comes inside. Pets can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals that can also irritate their mouth when licking their paws. Safe Paws is a de-icer that is 100 percent salt-free and safe for pets to walk on. Use kitty litter or sand as an environmentally friendly alternative to salt – while it will not melt ice, it will provide better traction.Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

5. Make sure all pets have ID tags and a microchip. A higher number of dogs are lost in winter months, as they can lose their scent in snow and ice and become unable to find their way home. Don't let your dog off the leash and make sure he wears an ID tag and has a microchip, so he can be easily returned if lost.

Your pets are part of the family, so remember to give them the cold weather care and protection they deserve! Thanks for being a pet hero.

Ask Dog Lady: Will Older Cat,
Puppy Get Along Together?
by Monica Collins - cleveland.com

Q: Although I do not have a dog yet, I read your column in The Plain Dealer quite regularly and I find it useful and interesting.

I have been thinking about getting a puppy for a while now, but cannot make up my mind because of one issue: We have an adult cat. The cat is 8 years old. Although he is not aggressive, I do not know how he will react to a new pet.

Some friends have advised me against taking a dog because they believe that the cat's life will become miserable. On the other hand, while the puppy is young, I could see that the cat may become aggressive toward it.

I would like to have peace in my house. Before I make a commitment to another animal, I would like to hear advice from a professional like you. Please let me know what realistically I can expect from having an adult cat and a puppy at the same household. How should I introduce them to each other? How to prevent/minimize aggressive behavior from one pet toward another? -- Anna

A: Here's the basic wisdom about dogs and cats living together: Better to put an old cat and a young dog together than an old dog and a young cat.

A puppy will be much more malleable and trainable around your senior feline, who knows all the tricks of the trade about how to elude the canine interloper.

There's a good chance that after a period of adjustment they will get along like ham and eggs -- smooshing on home plate when they have to. The puppy will have no reason to believe the cat is anyone but his mother; the cat, of course, will have a different opinion.

Still, as long as you give them space and time, there's every reason to believe they will get along just fine (and read the book or rent the movie "The Incredible Journey" if you need reassurance). Now, please understand Dog Lady does not have a cat. She has a senior dog who becomes catatonic at the sight of a kitty, so she might not be the best one to suggest a critter summit. You alone have the power to give peace a chance by introducing the animals happily, matter-of-factly and confidently.

I grew up with dogs but took in a rescue cat 13 years ago, my Maggie. She has been with me through thick and thin, and when my boyfriend left me, she climbed up on my lap as I cried. "Guess it's just you and me, girl!" Animals sense when something's wrong. -- Stephanie

Companion animals of all species provide implausibly simple comforts in times of stress and woe. They know far more than we can ever imagine. Thanks for sharing this magic cat story. Yes, even the felines give generously and unconditionally.

Pet perplexed? Visit askdoglady.com to ask a question or make a comment. Follow "Ask Dog Lady" on Facebook and @askdoglady on Twitter.

Diapers for My Pet? A Do or a Don’t
By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM - webmd.com

I must admit, diapers for a pet seemed way over the top to me. But recently some of my patients have convinced me otherwise. Their use of diapers is only part of the medical management required to keep them active and happy members of their family. Here are their stories.

One of the obvious uses for a diaper is on a female dog in heat. If your dog comes into heat unexpectedly or if you are waiting a heat cycle before breeding her, a diaper may be a good solution. The diaper protects the furniture, rugs and floors from staining while your female dog is in heat. Don’t count on the diaper as a form of contraception, as a male dog will find a way around the diaper and you may find an unexpected litter of puppies. Always keep a female in heat away, crated or in a separate room from an unneutered male dog.


Sophie is another example of how helpful a doggie diaper can be. She has several medical problems which we keep in check with regular visits and a strict medication regimen. Sophie’s bladder capacity is limited since she had surgery last spring to remove a bladder tumor. Her Cushing’s disease and elevated calcium level cause her to drink more water and consequently produce more urine. This combination of problems make her use of wee-wee pads unreliable, so she wears a diaper when her owners are not home. Sophie is happy, energetic and a vital member of the family.


Spenser only needed a diaper for a few weeks after his bladder surgery. Surgical manipulation of the bladder made it painful for his bladder to hold much urine and it was difficult for him to wait between walks. Even though his owner walked him extra times following surgery, the diaper prevented embarrassing accidents until his bladder recovered and he could hold urine normally again.


I even have a cat patient who occasionally wears a diaper. Even though he is a neutered male cat, Pumpkin has a bad habit of spraying urine on the living room drapes. When his family wants everyone to be together in the living room, Pumpkin wears stud pants, a special form of cat diaper to prevent urine spray on the drapes. The female form of cat diapers are sometimes called queen panties since female cats are referred to as queens.

How To Clear Cloudy Water in Fish Tanks
By Lori Thomas Dickert - allpetnews.com

Over time the water in your fresh water fish tank can become foggy or cloudy, making it difficult to see your colorful swimmers. There are a variety of things that cause cloudy water and once you determine the cause you can work on clearing it up.

One of the first things to consider if the water has become cloudy is the stones you are using. If you just set up your tank or just replaced the stones, they could have been dusty from the inside of the bag. If you didn’t rinse them before you put them in the tank, the water could have stirred up the dust. To find out if this is the cause, remove everything from the tank, rinse everything in hot water, then set the tank back up. Wait about an hour and if the water is still clear then the stones were the problem.

Another reason why the water could have become cloudy is insufficient bacteria growth or too much bacteria. In a new tank, it takes time for the right amount of bacteria to form so the water may appear cloudy in the meantime. The only resolution is to wait at least a few days to see if the water clears up on its own. When the water has too much bacteria it can raise the pH level and the fish will not get enough oxygen. In order to test the pH level of your water, you can purchase a tester kit in any pet store. Some pet stores will even test the water for you if you bring them a sample. Once you determine if the pH level is too high, you can purchase the conditioner.

A third cause of cloudy water could be the filter you are using. Check that your filtration system is working properly and set up according to the directions. Also make sure the pad is clean and the water is flowing freely. If you are still unsure if your filter is working properly, contact the store where you purchased it to find out more information. A working filtration system is the most important part of your fish tank.

If you are still unable to clear the cloudiness from the water, you can try removing half of the water and replacing it with fresh water. This will help to regulate some of the bacteria growth.

Most pet stores will test the water for you so if you’ve tried all of these remedies and still have cloudy water, you may need to enlist the help of the professionals!

Morrissey: The Importance of Giving
Your Dog Your Attention
By Louisa Morrissey - summitdaily.com

Last week we discussed that training a dog starts with getting their attention. This week, we will discuss how giving your dog attention can prevent several common behavior problems such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

For domesticated dogs, humans are an important part of the family unit and we must meet their social and mental needs. This does not mean giving into jumping or pestering. In fact, removing attention by calmly and quietly walking away from a dog when they try to jump on you, even closing the door, gives a clear message that this behavior doesn't work. Once they are calm, giving them attention reinforces the correct behavior “four on the floor”.

It is also important to understand how critical attention and mental stimulation are for domesticated dogs. If these needs are not met, consequences may follow. Excessive barking is one of the biggest consequences of a dog being left alone all day. Dogs get bored, stimulated by sights or sounds, or anxious at being alone and start barking. Barking becomes a habit that is challenging to change and deserves an article of its own. However, here are a few tips to prevent barking from starting or help address a barking problem.

Make sure your dog has adequate aerobic exercise. Play games with them that engage both their bodies and their minds such as fetch, ball or nose games. These kinds of games also encourage healthy social interactions between you and your dog. Give them several chew toys that require problem solving for mental stimulation. Hire a dog walker if you are gone for long time periods. Put up visual blinds to prevent stimulation by passing people or other dogs. Additionally, new methods to address auditory stimulation called “Through a Dog's Ear” are proving effective.

Excessive chewing and digging are also symptoms of boredom, anxiety, frustration or simply not knowing what is “OK” to chew on. Catching inappropriate chewing in the act and trading out the inappropriate object for a toy, bone or something they can chew on is one of the easiest and most effective ways to teach a dog what they can and cannot chew on. Supervision of dogs when they are outside is essential to curb unwanted digging or barking.

Your company, attention and supervision are important to your dog. Addressing their social, mental and exercise requirements will prevent common unwanted behaviors and also strengthen the bond that you share.

Louisa Morrissey is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and owner of Skijor-n-More. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and a licensed Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer. www.skijornmore.com.

Okla. Woman, Pet Kangaroo,
 Moving Out in Ongoing Feud
with Broken Arrow Officials
By Barry Leibowitz - cbsnews.com

Irwin, the pet kangaroo in the middle of a controversy in Broken Arrow, Okla.

TULSA, Okla. - When we last caught up with Irwin the pet kangaroo, his owner, a woman from Broken Arrow, Okla., had been granted a city council exemption that allowed her to keep Irwin under certain conditions.

Now the case is - forgive me- bouncing back into the news, with exotic pet owner Christie Karr - forgive me again - all hopped up and moving out of town.

According to CBS affiliate KOTV, in 2011 city officials revised an ordinance, and allowed Carr to keep the kangaroo as a "therapy pet" provided she meet several conditions: get a permit, purchase a $50,000 insurance policy for any injuries inflicted by the animal, and certify the marsupial has adequate housing for its health and to meet all federal and state guidelines for licensing.

In April 2011, an anonymous donor paid the liability insurance for Irwin.

Karr, who's been diagnosed as clinically depressed, says she and her pet kangaroo are moving to live with her parents in McAlester because city workers told her they would take the animal or fine her. But Broken Arrow officials say no threats were made to seize Irwin, and that Carr has simply not filed the necessary paperwork as required by the ordinance.

"If she did not fill out the paperwork, we are going to have to take Irwin away from her," said Broken Arrow spokesperson Stephanie Higgins. "I do not see the city council denying this application," Higgins added.

Carr told KOTV she doesn't trust the city. She'll fill out the forms, she says, but until the process is completed, she and Irwin are leaving town.

As a not so incidental footnote, Irwin has had problems of his own. The kangaroo fractured his neck when he ran into a fence, and that's when Carr initially took him home and nursed him back to health.

*** I am dealing with a family emergency, new posts will resume in 3 or 4 weeks -- While you're here, check out our older posts -- Thanks for stopping by ***

Cloning Your Dog

Skier Documents Proof of Dog’s Burial,
Escape from Avalanche
by BRETT FRENCH - Billings Gazette helenair.com

A Cooke City skier trekked into the Hayden Creek drainage on Thursday and found proof that Oly the Welsh corgi had indeed been buried alive and dug his way out of an avalanche that killed one of his owners just north of Yellowstone National Park.

Ben Zavora posted a video on his website, beartoothpowder.com of his trek back to the site, which showed the dog’s tracks following along a ski trail as well as a 3-foot-deep hole 40 feet below where David Gaillard, 44, of Bozeman was found buried last Saturday.

The smaller hole had fur inside and was no more than about a foot in diameter. Corgis are small dogs, weighing up to about 25 pounds and standing only about a foot tall on stumpy legs. They were bred small as herding dogs to avoid being kicked by livestock.

“We were all over the place, six of us, and we never saw or heard a thing” during rescue efforts Saturday, Zavora said in the video.

Whether the dog tried to alert rescuers is unknown. During avalanche training for search dogs, Mark Staples of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center has been purposely buried.

“You can hear everything,” he said. “But you could be screaming and it would be hard to hear” from above.

Passed on trail

According to the fatality report from the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center, Zavora and a companion had seen Gaillard and his wife, Kerry Gaillard, as well as Oly on the day of the accident. Zavora was on his way out of the area and warned the couple that his companion had been partially buried in a small avalanche.

The Gaillards continued and were searching for a lunch site when the avalanche broke, trapping David Gaillard and Oly. The slide narrowly missed Kerry Gaillard, who searched for almost three hours before skiing back to town for help. Both skiers were wearing avalanche beacons, but hers was old and the batteries may have been weak, complicating her search.

Zavora joined the Cooke City Search and Rescue that evening to help retrieve David Gaillard’s body.

“We were here 48 hours afterward doing an investigation and there was no sign of a dog or any other life around here,” Zavora said in the video.

Return to Cooke

On Wednesday, four days after the incident, the small, stout dog showed up at the doorstep to the room at the Alpine Motel in Cooke City where the Gaillards had stayed — four miles and a couple thousand feet in elevation below where the avalanche struck.

“We’re thinking it took him that long to get out,” said Kay Whittle, owner of Antlers Lodge in Cooke City. “It’s just bizarre, really. I wouldn’t have believed it was possible.”

Whittle’s husband, Bill, drove the dog to Bozeman on Wednesday to reunite Oly with his family. Bill was also one of the members of the search and rescue team that recovered Gaillard’s body, so he said it was nice to deliver the family some happy news.

Gaillard’s daughter, 11-year-old Marguerite, was putting photos of Oly on poster board as a memorial Wednesday afternoon when news of the dog’s survival was phoned in.

“She found out when she was halfway done with that that Oly was still alive,” Gaillard’s stepdaughter, Silver Brelsford, told the Associated Press.

Brelsford said Oly was tired but doing well.

Other incidents

Oly’s ordeal, although unusual, is not without precedent. According to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, in 1966 a dog was buried in an avalanche at a Colorado ski area. Although searchers organized a probe line, they found nothing. Three days later, the dog crawled out from beneath a small tree that had apparently created an air pocket and walked back to the lodge. In the spring of 1884, a dog named Bruiser was rescued from under a bunk in a snow-filled cabin 33 days after an avalanche hit a mining camp near Aspen, Colo., and killed five men.

Dogs have also been found days after their masters were killed, but it is uncertain whether they were buried in the avalanches or not. In 2004 a dog was found six days after its owner was killed in a Colorado avalanche. In 1995 a dog survived a 1,200-foot tumble when it was swept off a Colorado peak. The avalanche killed his master.

Family request

The story of the Oly’s survival captured the attention of news agencies and people across the United States and overseas. Calls came in from Stockholm, Sweden, The Weather Channel and Fox News to The Billings Gazette seeking information.

The deluge of media interest in Oly’s story prompted the Gaillard family, who held a memorial service for David on Friday, to issue a public request:

“David’s family appreciates the tremendous outpouring of support from the community in the wake of the tragedy that claimed the life of David Gaillard. We share the surprise and delight of his dog Oly’s unexpected return. The invincible spirit of the Welsh corgi who was able to dig himself out and return after four days in the wilderness is an inspiration and a joy to all of us.

“While our family understands the media’s interest in the situation, we are focused right now on celebrating David’s life. He was a wonderful young man who made an immense contribution to the community and to regional conservation efforts. He passed away far too soon and we are deeply saddened. David’s family will not be providing further interviews and ask that the media respect that request.

“Those interested in contributing to David’s legacy are encouraged to visit www.defenders.org/dgmemorial. Thank you.”

Lucky Cat Survives Gas Chamber Twice

Andrea the cat is proof that felines really do have nine lives, surviving the gas chamber at a Utah animal shelter not once, but twice.

Officials at West Valley City's animal shelter told The Associated Press that Andrea hadn't been adopted for 30 days when shelter officials tried to put her to death in October. She survived, so they gassed her again.

Shelter officials detected no vital signs and presumed she was dead, placing her in a plastic bag in a cooler. A later check, however, found that Andrea had vomited on herself and had hypothermia, but was still alive.

Shelter officials said they then decided to stop trying to kill the cat.

"It was just one of those things where they thought this cat obviously really wants to live," West Valley City spokesman Aaron Crim told the Salt Lake Tribune. "Let's give it a chance to find a permanent home."

Andrea has since been adopted and shelter officials are investigating why the gassing failed, according to the AP.

"She's pretty tough, obviously," Janita Coombs, a shelter volunteer who agreed to take care of Andrea told The Tribune. "She's definitely got some will to live."

Rescued: Beloved 14-Year-Old Cow
Pulled from Cold Waters
Written by Trevor Hughes - coloradoan.com

T-Bone, a 14-year-old cow, lies on the ground surrounded by Poudre Fire Authority, Windsor Fire and Loveland Fire Departments who responded after she slipped into a cold pond at the intersection of Ketchter Road and Colorado Highway 25.

Firefighters on Friday night rescued a pet cow named T-Bone from a lake south of Fort Collins.

Veterinarians said she is doing OK after spending more than five hours in the icy water.

The 14-year-old cow walked down a steep bank of the partially frozen lake at Island Lake Marina sometime Friday afternoon and couldn't get back up.
She slid partially into the water, and her owner, Lynn Williams, spent hours trying to rescue the brown-and-white Hereford from the lake west of Interstate 25 before calling 911.

Firefighters from several departments used rope, slings and a pulley system to haul T-Bone up the steep, muddy bank and onto a nearby road, where she was attended to by veterinarians Andi Lear and Tim Holt.

They fed T-Bone intravenously and gave her some feed to munch on while firefighters swaddled her in a blue tarpaulin and pumped in hot air from a portable heater.

"Praise the Lord," Williams said as T-Bone was winched onto the road. "Come on T."

Lear and Holt said T-Bone appeared to be in relatively good shape, given her ordeal.

She sat quietly and voluntarily on the ground for at least 30 minutes, her shivering body covered by makeshift warming tent. Lear and Holt are veterinarians with Colorado State University's Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
Holt said the fact that T-Bone was sitting quietly and eating was a good sign.

"She's doing pretty good," Lear said as she fed T-Bone and wrapped the tarp a little more snugly. "She's OK now. She's had a rough day, so we're just helping her relax."

Williams said the cow is allowed to wander the area and usually stays out of trouble. She said she was amazed by the response from the local fire-rescue departments, and impressed by the way firefighters worked together to rescue T-Bone.

"She's a real old cow but she gets around pretty good," Williams said. "We love her. She's more of a pet."

Firefighters with Poudre Fire Authority, Loveland Fire Rescue and Windsor-Severance Fire Rescue worked to extricate T-Bone from the lake, with assistance from Poudre Valley Hospital EMS paramedics.

Cloning Fido:
South Korea's Dog Cloning
Industry Raises Ethical Red Flags
by DAN HARRIS and KINGA JANIK - abc.go.com

Danielle Tarantola missed her dog, Trouble, so much that she paid around $50,000 to have his DNA harvested to create a clone she named Double Trouble.

Three years after losing her beloved dog, Trouble, the love of Danielle Tarantola's life returned from the dead.

A new puppy she named Double Trouble is an exact genetic replica of the original, developed in a petri dish by South Korean scientists in what has become a growing, high-tech and highly-controversial, industry of dog cloning.

Cloning first entered public debate in 1996, when researchers at the Roslin Institute in Scotland successfully produced Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal. Dolly opened the door for researchers across the globe to attempt to clone other animals, and there have since been successful horse, deer, cattle, dog and cat clones.

However, the laboratory environment in which these clones are developed, the surrogate mother animals who are charged with carrying the embryo clones to term, and the resulting multiple clones that sometimes have deformities are just some of the animal welfare red flags bioethicists raise with animal cloning.

Tarantola's journey to get Double Trouble started when she was 18 and she got a lovable mutt she named Trouble. She was so enamored with her new puppy, she painted Trouble's face on a wall in her house, printed his face on her pillows and on her bedspread, and dressed him up in an elaborate costumes.

"When I got married ... I had him in a tuxedo," Tarantola said. "I loved him to death. I couldn't, no, I probably did love him more than some people who were involved in my life."

Trouble died when he was nearly 18 years old, and Tarantola was crushed.

"He was like my baby," she said. "I didn't have children, so he was basically like my son. It was terrible. It was heartbreaking."

It was then that she reached out to an animal cloning company in South Korea and the only place in the world where people can have their dogs cloned.

The cost: $100,000.

At the time, Tarantola had recently lost her job on Wall Street and convinced the company to let her pay $50,000 instead because her journey was being chronicled by TLC for an upcoming hour-long special, "I Cloned My Pet," which airs on Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.

"I was willing to do it for $100,000," Tarantola said. "I got a deal."

A few months ago, Tarantola got a phone call from the company's scientists, who informed her that the surrogate mother dog carrying the embryos developed from Trouble's DNA was successfully impregnated. Weeks later, the surrogate went into labor in the middle of the night, and Tarantola watched the birth over Skype.

But not all clients are so lucky. Quite often, the clones do not survive because of abnormalities or multiple clones are successfully birthed and the client only wants one dog -- but those are just part of the reason the dog cloning business is so fiercely controversial.

John Woestendiek, the author of "Dog, Inc.," a book about the dog cloning industry, said the practice is based in South Korea because it's a country with much lower ethical standards for the treatment of dogs than is the United States.

"You can rent [dogs] from farmers for the laboratory and, hopefully, everything goes OK, return them to the farmer, but everything's not going to go OK," Woestendiek said.

Woestendiek said some of the dogs used in the cloning process as egg donors or surrogate mothers are later sent back to the farms where they are killed and eaten. In South Korea, dogs are raised on farms for their meat.

Pet Pointers: Broken Bones
By: Lisa Chelenza - hudsonvalley.ynn.com

A broken bone can happen in an instant. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza explains what to do if your pet has a broken bone.

Broken bones are a scary and painful traumatic event. They can happen as the result of a pet being hit by a car or an awkward landing just playing in the back yard. Even a small dog or young kitten can be injured falling from a high place. If you hear a yelp and see your pet has been injured, get them to your vet or emergency vet clinic immediately.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Maureen Luschini has seen lots of broken bones and tells us what steps your vet will take to treat your pet.

“First thing is to evaluate the dog’s overall health status because often times a broken leg is due to a trauma, and if they have trauma to the leg, there could be trauma elsewhere in the body. The second thing we usually do is stabilize the patient, whether that means IV fluids or pain medications. If the patient is stable then definitely pain medication is the next thing we do,” said Dr. Maureen Luschini, veterinarian.

After your pet comes home, whether you have a large or small animal, there will be more care needed with recovery taking several weeks.

“Quiet and calm, no major activity, basically lying around inside comfortable on pain medications. Go outside to go to the bathroom and then come back in, so minimum activity is required to help a fracture heal,” said Dr. Luschini.

If your vet doesn’t offer pet rehabilitation, most can recommend a pet physical therapist in your area to help your pet make a complete recovery after a serious injury.

The most important thing you can do if you think your pet has a broken bone is get them to the vet as soon as possible.

"Bella" Becomes Most Popular Name
for Both Dogs and Cats

BREA, Calif.- Holding tightly to the title of most popular name for dog lovers, "Bella" shot into the lead among feline fans for the first time in 2011. Though the "Twilight"-inspired moniker has reigned as top dog since 2009, "Bella" trumped "Max" in 2011 as the prime choice for cat owners with a lead of less than 10 frisky felines. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine last year's most popular pet names. Following are the top 10 most common names for dogs and cats, as well as birds and exotic pets:

The tendency toward selecting human names for pets appears to continue with nearly every name on the top 10 dog names list doubling as a popular name for people. Of the nearly half a million pets insured by VPI, only 13 were named "Fido," and just 17 came running to the name "Spot," which indicates a decrease in the popularity of traditional dog names. Though dog owners are rapidly adopting this trend, feline pet parents seem slightly more traditional with the names "Tiger" and "Tigger" lingering on the top 10 cat names list.

Charlie remained in the top spot on the birds and exotic pets list, which consists of the most popular names for feathered friends, lizards, gerbils, rabbits and other companion animals. Several new names debuted on the top 10 birds and exotics list this year including: "Buddy," "Angel," "Daisy" and "Coco."

Although "Bella" and "Max" remain among the most popular names for pets, thousands of others are donning monikers of a less conventional form, such as "Shooter Mclovin" and "Mr. Meowgi." To see some of the more creative monikers selected for VPI's Top 10 Most Unusual Pet Names of 2011, visit www.wackypetnames.com.

Do Dogs Go to Heaven?
The Bible Isn’t Clear,
but Animal Lovers Have No Doubt
by Brett Buckner - Anniston Star

Frankie the pug dog in the backyard pet cemetery where his owner, Joy Patty, has buried three previous dogs. Photo: Bill WIlson/The Anniston Star

Jennifer Moore can’t talk about pets without mentioning Pokey.

Moore was in the fourth grade and playing at her grandmother’s house when she all but tripped over what she thought was a rock. It turned out to be a baby turtle with a tiny crack in its shell. A born animal lover, Moore convinced her mom to make an appointment with the vet to have Pokey’s shell examined.

“My sister and I nursed him back to health, putting Vaseline on his shell daily,” said the now 30-year-old Moore, who lives in Heflin. “Every week for a year, I checked out the same book on turtles at the library. I became a young expert, or so I liked to think.”

When Moore left for college, Pokey stayed with her mom. He lived in a large cage built out of an old sandbox covered with chicken wire. A heating lamp fought back the chilly winter weather. Pokey loved people, often sticking his neck out from his mended shell just so visitors could pet him.

“At times, I swore he smiled at me,” Moore remembered. “I could even yawn in front of him and he would mimic me and yawn back.”

Two years ago, Pokey died. After being Moore’s pet for 18 years, his passing was very emotional. With tears in her eyes, Moore and her husband said a prayer before burying Pokey in the backyard.

“How could something as un-cuddly as a turtle make me cry?” asked Moore, who currently has six pets, including three dogs, two cats and a new turtle named Caesar. “The answer was simple. That turtle was part of my youth. When he died, I felt a chapter of my childhood had come to an end.”

But she also felt at peace. “I knew that Pokey was in heaven.”

Ask an animal lover if pets have souls, and the response is generally swift and certain.

“To say that only humans have souls is rather species-centric,” said Susan Sullivan of Anniston, who has two dogs, eight cats and a 19-year-old king snake named Stephen Kingsnake. “Some religions think animals are actually closer to God than humans are because of their simplicity. One can certainly learn and experience the basic tenants that loving, compassionate religions teach by caring for animals.”

The Bible on animals

The Bible is noncommittal on whether animals have souls, or whether they’ll be in heaven. Genesis states that both man and animal have the breath of life, the main difference being that man is made in God’s own image, while animals are not.

The prophet Isaiah said God will include animals in the afterlife. “The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on my holy mountain, says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:25).

In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John’s vision included Christ and the armies of heaven “riding on white horses.”

There is no question that man and animal are different. But this difference doesn’t necessarily mean a distance or separation from God’s favor.

“Logos” is Greek for “word,” but in early Christian philosophy it meant much more. Basically, “logos” meant the “essence of the divine,” the part of God that did not stay with God at the creation, but that traveled down into the world.

While humans obviously use this logos more perfectly than the rest of God’s creatures, it’s important to note that, even though animals can’t give voice to the logos in the same way that humans do, that doesn’t mean they don’t share it, writes Ptolmey Tompkins in The Divine Life of Animals.

“In other words, even if animals don’t manifest the logos or essence of the divine in the form of a conscious, rational ability, this does not necessarily bar them from participation in the immortality of the divine life that so many traditions promise,” he writes.

“That’s why Saint Francis could address all animals as if they were his brothers without fear of going against the truth he found in the scriptures, and it’s why so many Eastern saints and holy people could treat animals as if they were their brethren, as well.”

The legend of Saint Francis

Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was the patron saint of ecology, nature and animals, among other things, and was the poster boy for man’s harmony with nature.

Because he truly believed that all of nature was wondrous and all creatures sacred to God, Francis introduced a new way of looking at the world, one accessible to the rich and poor.

But it’s his relationship with animals for which he is most famous. It was said that birds would quiet down and listen when he preached, and there were many tales of his ability to communicate with animals.

It’s in the spirit of Saint Francis that various churches, including Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston, host a “Blessing of the Animals” service on the Sunday before Saint Francis’ Feast Day of Oct. 4. Over the years as a priest, Grace pastor Lee Shafer has blessed everything from cats and dogs to snakes – even a hedgehog.

For Shafer, who’s had both cats and dogs, it all comes down to one thing. It’s all about love,” she said. “On every level and in every bit of scripture, it’s all about love.

“Nothing shows us how to love better than animals, because their love is unconditional. That’s what we’re saying when we bless these animals. We’re affirming that they bring us joy, and it’s our responsibility to take care of them the way they take care of us.”

Backyard graveyard

Joy Patty always knew that one day she and her husband would move to the area outside of Piedmont where she grew up.

So when two of her beloved Chinese pugs died while they were still living in Prattville, Patty buried first Tang (1983-1997), then later Rocky (1996-2004), in plastic coolers in the backyard.

Four years ago, when they bought a house on Highway 9 between White Plains and Piedmont, Patty reburied Tang and Rocky, who were soon joined by Walker (2002-2011). She added headstones for each.

Now they have only Frankie, a rescued pug they found on St. Patrick’s Day in 2008.

While Patty hasn’t given much thought as to whether animals have souls, she knows that, for a couple who never had children, those dogs were a part of her family just the same.

“People go to the cemetery to visit the people they love who’ve died,” Patty said. “It’s different going to the grave than it is just sitting in the living room thinking about them. That’s the way I feel about my dogs. I know it might sound strange to some … but I wanted them close.”

There’s no question that losing a beloved animal is cause for grief. “It’s important to honor the lives of those we love,” Shafer said. “And these animals are often family members; they deserve to be treated the same way when they die.”

Shafer has officiated at several funerals for pets. She remembers one in another state where the family placed its beloved dead cat on a satin pillow on the dining room table.

“That was kind of creepy … and over the edge,” she said.

‘In my heaven’

After the funeral service, be it a simple prayer before burial in the backyard or something more elaborate, the question lingers … what happens next?

When Barry Nicholls, veterinarian at Animal Medical Center in Anniston, tries to comfort someone who has lost a pet, he’s reminded of what a preacher/client once told him.

“The Bible said that heaven would be everything you could imagine it to be. ... Since he could not imagine his dog not being there when he went to heaven, then dogs must indeed go there when they die,” Nicholls said. “They did not cover this in vet school, so I have deferred to the preacher’s opinion.”

Patty concurs. “We’re taught that everything is going to be wonderful up there, but how could it be without the pets we love best?” she asked. “In my heaven, all my dogs will be there.”

Shih Tzu Bites Off Tip of Home Depot Greeter’s Nose

OTTAWA — A greeter at a Home Depot store in Ottawa will have scars for the rest of her life after a customer’s Shih Tzu dog bit off the tip of her nose last week.

“It isn’t that nice to see. My little girl goes, ‘Mama, I don’t like you to have a boo-boo on your nose,” Anne Riel said. “It basically will never look like it did before.”

Riel, a 39-year-old mother of two, said she was working near the doors at the Home Depot in the Ottawa community of Gloucester on Friday when a woman entered the store with a medium-sized Shih Tzu in her shopping cart.

Riel greeted the woman and bent down to pat the dog, she said.
With no warning, the dog jumped out of the cart and bit off the tip of her nose, she said.

“No sooner did I touch this dog’s head and literally bend slightly, he bit my nose almost off.”

With blood gushing from her face, Riel said she started screaming for someone to call an ambulance. Other staff members came to her aid and a manager escorted the dog owner out of the store, she said.

Paramedics, police and City of Ottawa bylaw officers came on scene and made reports, Riel said. She said the dog owner showed little interest in her injuries.

“The lady didn’t say sorry, didn’t come see me. She was basically ready to leave,” Riel said.

At the hospital, Riel said doctors stitched her skin together over the tip of her nose and reattached her left nostril to her face.

They told her scars from tooth punctures on the right side of her nose will be visible for the rest of her life, she said.

Riel said she hopes to go back to work Monday, but she’s worried about the off-putting sight of the bandages on her face.

Home Depot has signs saying no dogs are allowed in the store, Riel said. She said she wasn’t sure if the dog was on a leash, but said if it was it wasn’t being held by its owner.

Riel said the dog should be put down. “Can you imagine if it was a child? The child would have no face right now.”

On Sunday, police referred calls the city bylaw department. A city spokesman said the case is under investigation and added the animal’s owner could be charged under the city’s animal care act.

Pet Sense: Teach Cat to Use Post

Declawing your pet cat may seem like the obvious solution to prevent unsightly scratching on your furniture. But declawing is actually a painful process that removes a portion of a cat's toes, rather than just its claws. Declawing can also have a negative impact on various aspects of your cat's behavior and its health.

Before you have such an extreme surgery done on your cat, there are many alternative options to consider.

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, and they enjoy scratching because it provides a way to establish their territory, is a good form of exercise, and it feels good to them. You can't make your cat understand through physical punishment.

Follow these simple steps to have better looking furniture and a happier kitty.

» Provide your cat with a scratching post.

» Never try to show your cat how to scratch on a post, it will make kitty wary of using it.

» Have a rough surface on the post that the kitty can work on happily shredding.

» Make sure the post is tall enough for the kitty to fully extend its body (at least 28 inches) and it must be secure. Often if a post tips over, cats will refuse to try them again.

» Sisal textile material is a perfect texture for the cat to shred (these posts can be ordered at www.purrfectpost.com).

» Keep your kitty's scratching post even when it's shredded, cats enjoy having a "broken in" scratching area.

Initially, put the post near the areas your cat goes to scratch and keep it in an area that the family is in, not hidden away. Feed your cat and play with her by the post to encourage more comfort with the post. If you cat enjoys catnip, rub dried catnip leaves or powder on the post. Try to ensure every experience with the new scratching post is a happy one. You can hang toys from the post or drag a piece of yarn over it while your kitty attacks it (never leave kitty unsupervised with yarn or string for safety reasons). If your cat has a special sleeping spot, you might want to add a second post in that area. Cats love to scratch and stretch right after they wake up.

If your cat is still hesitant about the new post but thrilled to destroy furniture, you can discourage scratching by covering the area with aluminum foil or double-sided tape that your cat won't want to touch. You might want to purchase a scent remover from a pet supply store to encourage your cat to stay away from that area. Cats usually do not like citrus odors; using lemon-scented potpourri or sprays will make former scratching sites less appealing.

The younger your cat is when you start teaching it appropriate places to scratch, the better your chances of success. You may decrease your cat's destruction of furniture by carefully clipping the clear tip of its nails, making sure to never clip into the quick of the nail, which is very painful. You can ask your vet about the best way to clip nails or find information through a grooming salon or cat care book.

You can also put Soft Claws on your cat's nails. They are a plastic cover which slip over clipped nails to prevent scratching. The covers fall off as the nails grow out and can work up to five months to prevent scratching. Soft Claws are available at any pet supply store or by calling 800-989-2542.

The best alternative to declawing your cat is to adopt an already declawed cat. You can ensure that you have a declawed cat that won't be able to destructively scratch, you will prevent an unnecessarily painful and expensive surgery on a cat, and you will provide a home for a homeless pet.

Liz Friedenfels is manager of the Lincoln County Humane Society.

My Pet World:
 Several Explanations Likely
for Yorkie's Picky Eating Habits
By Steve Dale - twincities.com

Q: We've spent a fortune on dry dog foods for our 1-1/2-year-old Yorkie, but she won't touch them. We've also tried the best canned foods. I worry because now I've resorted to cooking for this dog, even though lots of times she won't even eat what I make. I'm sick of trying to figure out what she wants. (I do know she likes chicken.) I'm tired of giving away our expensive dog food to the neighbors. Any advice?

- S.L., Cyberspace

A: Dr. Jeff Klausner, chief of medicine for Banfield Pet Hospital (banfield.com), says, "If you haven't done so recently, have your dog checked by a veterinarian. For example, portosystemic shunts (abnormal vascular connections) sometimes occur in Yorkshire Terriers, and weight loss and a poor appetite can be symptoms. But assuming your dog is fine physically, somehow this dog has trained you."

Another possibility is that you're simply offering too much food for too small a dog, and she just isn't hungry.

While some dogs may be picky eaters, anorexia has never been described in otherwise healthy dogs. Klausner says manufactured food is the best choice. Particularly with small dogs, obesity is more likely to occur when they're fed home-cooked meals. Also, home cooking is typically expensive and time consuming, not to mention the difficulty of preparing a well-balanced diet for dogs. For example, a diet of only chicken would not be a good idea for your dog over the long haul.

Klausner suggests adding a touch of moist dog food to your pet's home-prepared chicken meals. If she doesn't eat the mixture within 15 minutes, pick up the food dish and try again several hours later. She might even skip eating for an entire day. Once she begins eating regularly, however, offer less home-cooked chicken and more manufactured food.
Whenever your dog refuses to eat, simply remove her food and skip the meal. Over time, she'll skip fewer and fewer meals.

Q: I made a New Year's resolution, which you helped inspire, to keep our cat, Charles, indoors. Our veterinarian agrees with you on this, and since Charles is at least 13, the vet said it would be more challenging for the cat to handle our cold winters. Since you got me to make a resolution, what is yours?

- D.A., Lagrange, Maine

A: Your decision was a wise one. Even in the country, cats must contend with many dangers outdoors. It's also true that as cats age, keeping warm in climates like yours becomes more challenging, and some of the corners they choose to stay cozy in can be deadly.

Last week, I received an email about a cat who got stuck inside a home dryer vent. Cats sometimes snuggle under car hoods as if they were electric blankets. If an unknowing driver turns on the ignition, these cats can be severely mangled.

Older cats often slow down, and when their hearing declines, the combination could mean the difference between surviving an attack or being killed by a coyote or bird of prey or crossing a street safely vs. being hit by a car.

My New Year's resolution is to use my various media platforms, including this column, to support preventive care for pets. I don't have all the answers, but during 2012, I plan to offer many perspectives on this issue.

Sadly, veterinary visits are on the decline. As a result, preventable and treatable illnesses are on the rise, including diabetes, ear infections, hookworm and dental disease. Many diseases, even some cancers, can be treated more effectively and at less cost when detected early. Prevention, of course, is far less expensive than treatment. Cats, in particular, are missing veterinary care.

A visit to a veterinarian shouldn't be an ordeal or a last-ditch effort. At the same time, veterinary medicine, in some cases, does need to be more affordable, and options like pet insurance are a part of the solution.

Write to Steve Dale at petworld@stevedale.tv. Include your name, city and state.

There's Something Fishy About This Computer:
Photographer Creates Aquariums Out of Old iMacs
By Mary Mcconnell - dailymail.co.uk

When Jake Harms was told to throw away an old iMac he couldn't bear to see the sleek computer dumped on a scrapheap.

Instead, bright spark Jake decided to turn the old machine into an unusual home for his pet fish.

The 28-year-old removed the electronics inside the G3 iMac and inserted a custom-made fish tank to create the iMacquarium.

Ingenious: Jake Harms has to remove all the electrics from this iMac computer before turning it into an aquarium

At first he just built them for family and friends but now he collects old computers from scrap yards and makes up to 75 iMacquariums year, which he ships all over the world, charging £160 apiece.

Jake said: 'I couldn't bear to throw the iMac away so I just took it home figuring I could do something with it someday.

A different kettle of fish: These iMacquariums are shipped all over the world

Fishy business: One of the iMacs Jake Harms has turned into an aquarium

'Then, after some planning and experimenting I had a working iMacquarium - everyone who saw it thought it was awesome and soon I was building them for family and friends. I started collecting broken iMacs from local recyclers, invested in all of the materials and supplies I would need, and started building iMacquariums in my spare time.

'The hardest bit was making the tank inside, because the computers are not a cube shape the aquarium had to taper at the back. Also, I also had to curve the face of the tank to fit where the monitor's screen used to be o eliminate the gap that would be there if it were flat.'

Jake, from Nebraska, USA, added: 'I only build about 75 aquariums a year and I have shipped them all over the world. It's a great feeling to take something that was on its way to be trashed and transform it into something that will be admired in someone's living room or office again.

'Most iMacs I get from the recyclers are very scuffed and scratched, I usually spend about two hours buffing the scratches out and polishing them until they look as new as possible. I've received several comments on how new they look for a 10 year old machine.'

Animal World 2011

From Getty: LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21: A five-month-old female slender loris waits to be given her first health check by the veterinary team at London Zoo on July 21, 2011 in London, England. Two female baby slender lorises, who are yet to be named, were given health checks, their sex determined and micro-chipped. Slender Loris is the common name for the strepsirrhine primates who are nocturnal and originate from India, Sri Lanka, and southeast Asia. London Zoo supports conservation of lorises in Sri Lanka, where populations are thought to be under threat from deforestation. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

This photo taken on September 26, 2011 shows a group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A vet holds a Colombian Tigrillo or Margay (Leopardus wiedii) of about nine days old, found in a rural area south of Medellin and taken to the Animal Welfare Foundation, in Medellin, Antionquia department, Colombia on August 13, 2011.(RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

From Getty: Newborn female Asiatic Elephant (Elephas Maximus) calf born to Johti, a 44-year-old, plays at Ostrava's Zoo on May 31, 2011. The calf was born on April 15. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR

Three lion cubs play at the Santa Fe zoo in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia, on November 4, 2011. The cubs were born on October 9, 2011 at the zoo. (RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kopatch, a 15-year-old weeper capuchin monkey, carries her one-week-old baby at Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv on October 26, 2011. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Two white tigers cub are pictured on December 5, 2011 at the zoological park of Cerza in Hermival-les-Vaux, northern France. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

From Getty: A baby Pygmy hippopotamus takes a bath in an enclosure at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo on July 24, 2011. The baby hippo was born on June 22 at the zoo. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

Sumatran tiger Jumilah is seen with her cubs on display at Taronga Zoo on October 25, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

A male foal Zebra (Equus quagga burchelli) is seen with its mother at the National Zoo of San Salvador on October 4, 2011. (OSCAR RIVERA/AFP/Getty Images)

A one-month-old baby lion-tailed macaque clings to its mother at Berlin's Zoologischer Garten Zoo August 23, 2011. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A zookeeper holds up Kit and Kitty, the twin red pandas born in June on the first day of their introduction into their new enclosure at Tierpark Zoo on September 13, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A chimpanzee cuddles her infant in their newly renovated habitat at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on September 30, 2011. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

From Getty: An Indian rhinoceros cub plays in a mud hole with its mother Betty at the Tierpark Zoo in August 5, 2011 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

A day-old newborn giraffe stands beside his mother at Ramat Gan Safari Park on November 14, 2011 in Ramat Gan, Dikla, near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

From Getty: Two month old North China leopard cub Nekama sits in a basket in her enclosure at the Berlin zoo on March 15, 2011. Nekama was born on January 7, 2011 and weighs now around 4.5 kilogrammes. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

From Getty: A Lion 'Dukat' and lioness 'Rose' walk in the snow in Warsaw's zoo on February 18, 2011. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI

From AP: An adult female Francois' langur coddles a baby at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Cleveland. The baby was born Jan. 25, 2011. The care of the infant can be shared by several females and not just the mother. Babies are bright orange when born. At about three months of age the color begins to turn black. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

From AP: On this photo taken July 8, 2011, a man shows a two-headed albino snake in a private zoo in Yalta, Ukraine. (AP Photo/UNIAN)

From Getty: Two dogs plays during an animal rights protest in front of Romanian Parliament building in Bucharest on April 11, 2011. Romanian Chamber of Deputies Administration Committee approved past week the law on stray dogs euthanasia. The draft will be sent the Chamber of Deputies for a vote, which has the final vote. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU

From Getty: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 23: A Red Ruff Lemur enjoys a Thanksgiving meal at the San Francisco Zoo on November 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Fifteen lemurs at the San Francisco Zoo were treated to a Thanksgiving feast of green beans, a fruit salad made up of apples, bananas, grapes sweet potatoes and a turkey made out of monkey chow. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

From Getty: Magdalena, a tortoise with two heads and five legs, is displayed on March 11, 2011 in Zilina. Magdalena has become in recent days, the most popular animal in Slovakia. AFP PHOTO/ STRINGER

From Getty: A squirrel eats berries in a tree in Cologne, on October 24, 2011. AFP PHOTO / OLIVER BERG

Malaysian jellyfish swim in a tank at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo on August 1, 2011. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

All photos courtesy of The Huffington Post