JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

When Man’s Best Friend Is Obese

Pets Are Getting Fatter; Owners Find It Tricky to Count Kitty Calories, Cut Kibble

For 12-year-old Buffy of Calabash, N.C., the trouble began with too much steak (and chicken and ice cream) at dinnertime. In nearby Ocean Isle Beach, six-year-old Hershey harbors a fondness for beef and cheese snacks. And 14-year-old Fridge of Longwood, Fla., gets cranky if his bowl isn’t full.

Buffy, Hershey and Fridge are pets battling excess weight and obesity. As more Americans confront their own weight issues, furry housemates increasingly struggle alongside them. New data due out this week indicate the problem is reaching epidemic proportions, with more than half of U.S. dogs and cats now overweight or obese. Of pets considered to be "obese"— defined as 30% above normal weight—one-fifth of dogs and cats fit the bill, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, which conducted the survey with Mars Inc.’s Banfield Pet Hospital, the nation’s largest general veterinary practice.

The main culprit: owners who routinely overfeed pets, don’t exercise them enough and are unaware of the severe, and costly, health problems caused by excess weight. Common woes include diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, high blood pressure and cancer. Research also suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer.

Now, new efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country’s 171 million-plus dog and cat pets. They include software for doctors to track a pet’s "Body Condition Score," a blood test that could quickly determine animals’ body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills (that must be closely supervised and monitored if used).

 

More than half of America’s pets are obese, according to recent report. Kelsey Hubbard talks with the WSJ’s Wendy Bounds about the growing epidemic and what people can do to pare down their pooch.

View Full Image

fatpet9

Nunes family

Daisy Mae, a Folsom, Calif., beagle, weighed 41 pounds when she was adopted in 2009.

 

fatpet10

Max Whittaker/Prime for The Wall Street Journal

A diet and exercise regimen has brought her down to 29 pounds.

For 12-year-old Buffy of Calabash, N.C., the trouble began with too much steak (and chicken and ice cream) at dinnertime. In nearby Ocean Isle Beach, six-year-old Hershey harbors a fondness for beef and cheese snacks. And 14-year-old Fridge of Longwood, Fla., gets cranky if his bowl isn’t full.

Buffy, Hershey and Fridge are pets battling excess weight and obesity. As more Americans confront their own weight issues, furry housemates increasingly struggle alongside them. New data due out this week indicate the problem is reaching epidemic proportions, with more than half of U.S. dogs and cats now overweight or obese. Of pets considered to be "obese"—defined as 30% above normal weight—one-fifth of dogs and cats fit the bill, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, which conducted the survey with Mars Inc.’s Banfield Pet Hospital, the nation’s largest general veterinary practice.

The main culprit: owners who routinely overfeed pets, don’t exercise them enough and are unaware of the severe, and costly, health problems caused by excess weight. Common woes include diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, high blood pressure and cancer. Research also suggests that pets fed less over their lifetime can live significantly longer.

Now, new efforts are afoot to stem what many vets believe is the single most preventable health crisis facing the country’s 171 million-plus dog and cat pets. They include software for doctors to track a pet’s "Body Condition Score," a blood test that could quickly determine animals’ body-fat percentage, Weight Watchers-type pet diet plans and doggie treadmills.

"Obesity in pets is almost the equivalent of smoking in human medicine," says Steven Budsberg, director of clinical research at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. "There’s the high cost to people, and it’s self-induced. I never met a German shepherd who could open the refrigerator or food bag and pour himself another bowl."

In 2010, pet owners holding insurance policies with Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. shelled out $25 million to vets for obesity-related conditions, such as ligament ruptures (about $860 to treat), disc disease ($649) and asthma ($163). At Petplan USA in Philadelphia, five of the top insurance claims all have a close correlation to obesity.

When Cindy Nunes and her husband Joe of Folsom, Calif., adopted their beagle Daisy Mae, she was 41 pounds, suffered abdominal pains and couldn’t roll over. Through a special high-protein and fiber, low-fat diet that’s down to one cup a day, Daisy Mae has dropped to a more normal 29 pounds and walks three to four miles several days a week. Ms. Nunes estimates she’s spent upwards of $1,800 in the past two years treating Daisy Mae.

For years, the topic of "fat pets" was considered taboo in the veterinary community, says Ernie Ward, founder of the pet obesity association and author of "Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs Are Getting Fatter." Says Dr. Ward: "There are sensitivities to an owner’s own weight condition and to making them feel guilty for overfeeding their pet."

To encourage weight discussions, Banfield is rolling out software into its 770 hospitals that will require vets to give pets a Body Condition Score on a scale of 1 (too thin) to 5 (obese) during routine office visits. "The power is in the fact that it will spark an important conversation with the owner," says Denise Elliott, a Banfield veterinarian and nutritionist.

One hurdle: people’s idea of what constitutes a fat pet often differs from clinical reality. A study by Pfizer Inc.’s Animal Health business showed that 47% of veterinarians felt their canine patients were obese, while only 17% of dog owners agreed. For instance, a 90-pound female Labrador retriever is roughly equivalent to a 186-pound woman who is 5-foot, 4-inches tall—a human body-mass index that’s considered obese, Dr. Ward says.

Similarly, he says, a fluffy, domestic short-haired cat weighing 15 pounds is comparable to a 254-pound man who is 5-foot-9. (Recommended weight range is eight to 10 pounds.)

Charles Dolcimascolo, owner of the 12-year-old cocker spaniel Buffy, routinely fed his dog table scraps until she ballooned to 42 pounds, double normal weight for the breed. "You couldn’t tell if she was a dog or a pig because she’s beige," Mr. Dolcimascolo, 72, says. "She’d get depressed if I didn’t feed her."

But after Buffy became plagued by arthritis, Mr. Dolcimascolo, who says he struggles with his own weight, reduced Buffy’s dry food back to 1½-cups a day, cut back on table scraps and made steamed vegetables the only snack. Recent weigh-in: 33 pounds.

Knowing how much to feed pets can be confusing. Many cat owners leave out full bowls of food for pets to graze, but feeding just 10 extra kibbles of a typical dry cat food could add up to one pound of weight gain annually, says Dr. Ward.

Manufacturers aren’t required to list caloric content on labels unless the product bills itself as low calorie, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which says there’s now a proposal circulating to change that. Meantime, feeding directions are listed for the "most demanding" life stage for which the product is intended, such as reproduction. Subsequently, "feeding directions can overfeed by 25%," says Dr. Elliott of Banfield.

Getting owners to follow feeding guidelines can be hard. The owners of Hershey, a six-year-old Labrador retriever with joint problems, are trying to cut his 80 pounds to the mid-70s. His treats are broken into smaller pieces, and he now gets two measured cups of low-calorie food daily with a tablespoon of wet food. "Before, we were just dumping it in," says owner John Pannullo.

And as with humans, vets say some animals are more genetically prone to obesity, meaning they may need fewer calories than similarly sized pets who are metabolically lean.

Heather Noelte and Eric Frew own Fridge, who weighed a hefty 25 pounds when they adopted him eight years ago. Since Fridge had come from a shelter, "we didn’t feel a forced calorie-reduction regimen" was fair, Mr. Frew says.

His current diet consists of 2/3-cup dry food in the morning and a weight-management turkey-and-rice cat food in the evening. Even so, Fridge currently weighs 30 pounds and needs a ramp to get onto his parents’ bed, and Ms. Noelte said they cut off the side of his litter box because his tummy scraped it climbing in.

Food makers are expanding their offerings to make cutting back easier. Last fall, Nestle Purina, for example, launched "Project: Pet Slim Down"–designed to help pets achieve 1% to 2% weekly weight loss. In January, Hill’s Pet Nutrition Inc., maker of Science diet and Prescription Diet, introduced a line of weight-reduction food systems with meals and biscuits in pre-measured packets.

Exercise is another hurdle, especially when owners don’t keep themselves fit. Larger breeds such as Labradors and German shepherds need 30 to 60 minutes of active play daily, vets say, or two to three miles of walking. Smaller breeds still require about 15 to 30 minutes of play, while cats benefit from short five- to 15-minute bursts of activity like chasing toys.

The pet industry is hungry to help pets shed pounds. Sales of specialty "DogTread" treadmills costing $599 to $999 have risen 200% since Ogden, Utah-based PetZen Products LLC began manufacturing them in 2007.

At the Morris Animal Inn pet resort in Morristown, N.J., 32 dogs participated in "Fido’s Fit & Spaw Retreat" clinic this January, complete with swimming and dog yoga. And in April, Camp Bow Wow, a 125-location doggy day and night camp franchise will launch a "Furry Fitness Challenge" contest for owners and pets to lose weight together.

"It goes to the dynamic of people looking like their pets," says Heidi Ganahl, CEO of Camp Bow Wow. "If the owner is focused on health, then the pets will be, too."

—Anjali Athavaley contributed to this articleWrite to Gwendolyn Bounds at wendy.bounds@wsj.com for input or comments

Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

**One of the greatest gifts you can give your pets is to cook for them or buy them fresh raw and natural food and then supplement with a high end dry food, natural snacks and some natural supplements.  Add some exercise and both you and your pets will be the better for it… living longer healthier lives with few visits to the vet!!  Remember packaged pet food, like packaged baby food, are rather recent inventions or marketing items that are not necessarily better for either pets or babies than good old home-cooked and natural foods.

***Let us also remember that with age some pets will retain more wait plus spaying or neutering your pets can cause weight gain and urinary problems… something that we/you caused. As with many things in life, there is a ying for every yang and often a negative for every positive…

Related:

Doggin’ The Black Hills:  15 Cool Things To See When You Hike With Your Dog

Cat and Dog Owners Not Considering Age When Selecting Food

6 Ways to Whittle Your Pet’s Waistline

Lily’s Kitchen – A Dogs-Only Restaurant Opens in London

Pet Parties  – The Latest Craze

Why All Your Healthy Pet Efforts May Be Worthless if You Do This…

Natural Pet Remedies for Everyday Problems

February 26, 2011 Posted by | animal abuse, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories | , , , , | Leave a comment

This is NOT a bath towel. Do NOT step on it!

clip_image001
clip_image002
clip_image003
clip_image004
clip_image005
clip_image006
Don’t put it in the dryer, either!

It is a Scharpee… hey hey Winking smile

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, pet fun, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | | Leave a comment

When God Made Cats

clip_image001

When God made the world, He chose to put animals in it, and decided to give each whatever it wanted. All the animals formed a long line before His throne, and the cat quietly went to the end of the line. To the elephant and the bear He gave strength, to the rabbit and the deer, swiftness; to the owl, the ability to see at night, to the birds and the butterflies, great beauty; to the fox, cunning; to the monkey, intelligence; to the dog, loyalty; to the lion, courage; to the otter, playfulness. And all these were things the animals begged of God. At last he came to the end of the line, and there sat the little cat, waiting patiently. "What will YOU have?" God asked the cat.

clip_image002

clip_image003

The cat shrugged modestly. "Oh, whatever scraps you have left over. I don’t mind."

"But I’m God. I have everything left over."

"Then I’ll have a little of everything, please" said the Cat.

clip_image004

clip_image005

clip_image006

clip_image007

clip_image008

clip_image009

clip_image010

clip_image011

clip_image012

clip_image013

And God gave a great shout of laughter at the cleverness of this small animal, and gave the cat everything she asked for, adding grace and elegance and, only for her, a gentle purr that would always attract humans and assure her a warm and comfortable home.

Related:

Explanation of Life

A Dog’s Life… Can Be Longer Than You Think

Dogs Know

Rainbow Bridge

Pets and Heaven

Sometimes “Rainbow Bridge” Prayers Are Answered

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

Man’s Best Friend in Shariah’s Cruel Crosshairs

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’

GoD and DoG

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets | , | 1 Comment

Think your workplace is a zoo? Create a cohesive, well-run office by taking these tips from our furry (and feathered) friends.

Think your workplace is a zoo? Create a cohesive, well-run office by taking these tips from our furry (and feathered) friends.

Pet traits to emulate… and to avoid:Business Dog

So, you taught your dog to catch a Frisbee and your parrot to squawk "Loser!" when your brother walks into the room. Well done.

The rewards of animal training are many — ranging from the obvious advantages of a puddle-free house to the potential 15 minutes of "stupid pet trick" fame on Letterman.

But it goes both ways. Our pets also model valuable behaviors worth emulating, such as loyalty, trust and affection. Are you learning, Teacher?

Consider what pet traits are worth following and which demand avoidance in the workplace. Here are a few….

Old dogs can — and should — learn new tricks

Balancing a salad crouton on your nose might not impress your superiors, but updating your accounting skills to better balance the books might. Job security is often tied to adaptability. Jumping hoops is unnecessary, but growing your skill set to stay in step with industry trends is highly advised.

Social media has opened up new career possibilities for forward thinkers. What will be next?

No one is going to stand there holding a salary raise above that online class brochure or networking seminar. It’s up to you to picture the potential rewards of learning — and doing something new.

Friendly greetings and eye contact are key

Like your sociable pooch, sometimes you need to get up close and personal (but no sniffing). Say “hi” in person when possible. Answer emails. Check in by phone with key colleagues and clients. Bark wildly when unfamiliar people pass your cubicle (Not really. Just seeing if you’re paying attention. But feel free to “tweet” when appropriate.)

LinkedIn and Facebook make it possible to do more with less, but don’t minimize the value of face-to-face contact via local networking communities.

At after hours meet-ups do remember that social and business can be blended, but never blurred.

Leave the quick change to the real chameleons

A chameleon’s skin cells open and close in response to light, temperature and mood changes. The reflected pigment can change from green to brown or gray in as little as 20 seconds.

Kind of like the time Sharon loved your email campaign at lunch and then echoed Ed’s negative comments at the staff meeting that afternoon. Respect Sharon much?

It’s fun to watch a chameleon change colors. But, in the working world, random changes are unprofessional. Be sincere and be consistent. Own your ideas and opinions.

Give a dog a bone … not catnip

While monetary rewards are praise enough for most, bosses don’t generally hand out Ben Franklins on a daily basis. It’s long-term inspiration that best bolsters morale and builds successes.

Catnip won’t galvanize a dog. Similarly a juicy bone won’t set your parrot’s heart aflutter. And even within species, some will respond more readily to a scratch on the head over a treat or toy reward.

Think of your co-workers and staff as individuals. Whether you offer verbal praise, lunch, or a well-worded recommendation on LinkedIn, reward the positive in ways that encourage more of the same.

Keep incentives within reach

Placing a bowl of your finest kibble on the counter will only feed the most determined and creative dog. Likewise, stashing gerbil food in the fridge for your mini-rodent to self-serve from isn’t going to keep him fat and furry.

So why doesn’t the coffee shop keep loyalty cards where customers can reach them? And where is the contact number on the sportswear website? Procuring order forms and carryout menus shouldn’t require detective work.

Make it easy to be your customer to create — and keep — long-term clients.

To be sure you’re heard, bark less

"Oh boy! It’s the garbage truck/neighbor kid/15th time I’ve barked in the last minute!" Within 15seconds, you’re either fuming at the negligent dog owner or have totally tuned out the canine chatter.

It’s the same in the office: "Yum, roasted soy nuts!" "Sure is cold/wet/boring out there today!" "Another email!" "Hmm…"

Psst: Your 15 seconds are up. When you get to, “Let’s consider switching out our newsletter format in favor of…” they won’t hear you. A conversation about Nothing was funnier when Seinfeld did it and will only lessen your impact. Keep your credibility. No yipping.

Sometimes an accident is no accident

Accidents happen. Hopefully, not on the carpet. Or to your pet project (couldn’t resist). But shoe chewing? That’s a message. So is "forgetting" to inform you about a key meeting or spilling unflattering office gossip.

Passive aggressive behaviors won’t diminish with in-kind responses. With clear incidents of sabotage, first try clearing the air with the Career Chewer to unearth the root of the problem.

Sometimes the simple act of exposure will be enough to end the actions. If not, that’s what HR is for. Keep records and share them if necessary.

Cats and dogs don’t always see eye to eye

Each worker has a role in the office. (We’re not entirely sure what Doug’s doing over there in supplies, but he’s on the flow chart and the copier has paper, so let it go.) You won’t click with everyone. And here’s shocking news: Your natural canine tendencies may rankle co-workers with feline or avian preferences.

Respect functions within the office microcosm in spite of nasal voices, off-key elevator humming and misguided team affiliations. It’s work, so make it work. And if they don’t like you? Recognize it as a get-out-of-jail free the next time there is mention of a home jewelry party.

Some animals don’t play well with others

Someone will undoubtedly make a case for the alligator on a leash, the raccoon with a litter box and the backyard bear, but most will agree that there are animals and certain slithery reptiles that simply aren’t suitable pets.

Sometimes an employee simply isn’t a "fit" for the job he has landed in. Whatever the reason for the mismatch, it will strain patience and adversely affect productivity. If the square peg can’t be trained into cylindrical shape, let it go.

Unless the cubicles display signs listing the diet and Latin name for each department, keeping the untrainable is bad business.

Sometimes the alpha dogs are ‘fraidy cats inside

Intimidating personalities are akin to growling dogs or puffed up lizards. The great green iguana can self-inflate to present a more imposing profile, but when faced head on, appears compressed and thin like a successful and cranky dieter.

Lesson? Respect your co-workers, but respect yourself too. Blustering, self-important people are self-inflaters. Don’t allow appearances to deceive or dishearten you.

Larry from legal might know everyone in the courthouse, but he still puts his pants on one leg at a time (and doesn’t match them very well to his shirts, we might add… if we were catty).

Good dogs don’t do drama

A healthy parakeet won’t mope if its owner opts to play classical Vivaldi when it was really more in the mood for some smooth Pat Metheny tunes.

A beagle wouldn’t hold a grudge if its bed were moved closer to accounting to facilitate collaboration.

Emotionally healthy people keep the drama on their DVR. They don’t saturate tissues in a corner of the break room insisting they’re "fine."

No snarling or sulking at the office, please. Spare the staff and save it for Dr. Phil.

Persistence pays off

Ever tried to not play with a Labrador? Or walked away from a hungry cat? The dog will follow, nudge and gift you with soggy chew toys. Cats will implore with heart wrenching meows until the house smells like tuna fish again.

So why not try just a little harder with that creative brainchild of yours? Can you rework it to fit the current business environment? Who could help you define the technical parameters?

If it’s good, don’t quit too soon. We don’t recommend dropping grimy tennis balls into your boss’s office, but your idea might be worth another chat over a cup of coffee.

Confine your mess

When a cat goes rogue on litter box use, it’s unpleasant for everyone. And most pet owners don’t feed their lizards in the living room (mealworms and crickets are much better suited to a private dining experience).

Same for the workplace. An employee who leaves a stack of folders on the floor outside his cubicle so he won’t clutter his own desktop falls in the same etiquette-free zone as the dog owner who fiddles with her cell phone while ignoring Fifi’s ministrations next to the neighbor’s mailbox.

Tigger’s takeaway: Don’t let your clutter or messy habits infringe on others.

Kernels from the kennel

A few basic lessons from the animal kingdom could greatly improve human relations in the workplace. Pet principles often work because they’re stripped of human bias and rely solely on cause and consequence. A pet rabbit won’t cling to last month’s snub and read hidden messages into a late alfalfa delivery. And, for the most part, neither should you.

Sometimes, it may feel like a zoo, but your office is more like a team of sled dogs pulling toward a common goal. Think of this image during your next staff presentation. It beats imagining Bill in his boxers and may help you focus on how to better lead the pack.

by Heather Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer  -  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

February 25, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 1 Comment

Progressives Push To Require .. DOG INSURANCE – Dog Owners Barking Mad!

There is no other phrase for this liberal mess-of-a-proposal other than “WTF, Over?”

Under House Bill 998 Samual Huntsinger would need to get liability insurance in order to let his dog Scratch run through the snow covered streets of Richardson, Texas as he did Feb. 4, 2011.

Under House Bill 998 Samual Huntsinger would need to get liability insurance in order to let his dog Scratch run through the snow covered streets of Richardson, Texas as he did Feb. 4, 2011.

State Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio) has introduced a bill that would require any Texan who owns a male dog which weighs 20 pounds or more and is not neutered to have an insurance policy covering injuries or damage caused by that dog when it is off the leash or out of the dog’s yard.

Seriously, is this one of the biggest societal problems that an overly-intrusive Progressive dolt has to to push?

Now, I’m from Texas and perhaps that’s why this is even more insulting. Granted, San Antonio is not a great bastion of Conservatism, but it is still Texas and this is a ridiculous push to dilute personal responsibility even further.

Liability statutes already make a person responsible for the damage their pet causes. Next we’ll need Child liability insurance for baseballs that go through neighbors windows or juice spilled on someone’s carpet.

So now an entire community of dog owners will be forced to subsidize the actions of one idiot that trains his Pit Bull to hate pizza delivery guys. The only people that will actually buy the insurance are the middle class and up. The very same people that rarely have dogs that maul mailmen in the first place (although U.S. mail personnel may become extinct shortly due to impending bankruptcy).

Owners are already liable for the actions of their pets. This is an unnecessary burden on pet owners and will certainly create yet another failed bureaucracy for the federal and/or state governments to run.

Source: Conservative Daily News

Some Texas Dog Owners Barking Mad Over Proposal to Mandate Dog Insurance

Dog owners in Texas are hot under the collar over a proposal that would require them to buy $100,000 insurance for their pooches.

And they’ve vowed not to roll over and play dead for what they’re calling yet another example of needless nanny-state legislation.

House Bill 998, introduced by state Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-Texas, would require owners of unleashed, un-neutered male dogs over 20 pounds to carry a liability insurance policy of at least $100,000. Violations would be classified as a misdemeanor, and punishable by a fine up to $500.

McClendon said large, un-neutered dogs present the highest risk for property damage and injuries to others, and that owners should be held more responsible for their dogs’ behavior.

But getting HB 998 passed — the bill is currently under review by committee — will be no walk in the park.

"There is a movement inside the animal rights lobby to try to force mandatory spay and neuter laws across the states, and this is just another way to get at it," said Rob Sexton, vice president of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. The group, which works with sporting dogs, calls the bill "unnecessary and unreasonable" and has asked Texas sportsmen to actively oppose it.

McClendon says she’s just trying to take a bite out of a loophole.

"Existing Texas law allows a dog ‘one bite’ without making the owner responsible. However, it is clearly not working to resolve problems with dog bites," she told FoxNews.com. "According to county animal-control personnel, over 400 dog bites occur in San Antonio each month."

McClendon said one of the victims was a member of her district who was seriously attacked by a dog whose owner was not willing to help pay for the resulting medical bills.

"Situations like this would be remedied under this bill, as insurance would help cover medical expenses incurred as a result of a dog attack," she said.

McClendon added that a revision of the bill is being drafted to apply the law only within incorporated municipal areas; it would also exclude dog owners in hunting and sporting activities in less-populated areas.

Trial Attorney Herb Subin said he thinks the proposal is a great idea.

"It’s the same as driving a car," Subin told FoxNews.com. "If you want to have the chance to have a dog that could cause an injury to someone else then the government has a very strong interest to make sure their citizens have the ability to be compensated."

But pet expert and author Wendy Diamond said the same argument can be made for children.

"There are more bullies at school playgrounds than dog fights in dog parks," Diamond insisted. "The government is overreaching with the proposed bill … when they demand liability insurance on children then this will be fair."

The Heartland Institute’s Charlie Vidal added that if McClendon is trying to reduce dog attacks, she’s barking up the wrong tree.

"While Jones McClendon wants to protect people from large dogs, her proposal would do just the opposite. Dog owners, knowing that they are insured against any wrongdoing their dog does, will take less care to ensure that Rex is a good boy," Vidal wrote on the institute’s blog.

Fox News Legal Analyst Lis Wiehl said dog owners need not worry, and predicted a dog insurance law wouldn’t survive a court challenge.

"The whole issue of mandating insurance is being dealt with right now in federal courts with healthcare, and the latest decision says that it’s not constitutional to mandate health insurance. So how could you mandate insurance for your dog?" she told FoxNews.com.

Wiehl said the law already holds dog owners responsible for any damage done by their dogs. And victims of dog attacks that haven’t been properly compensated can always sue.

"Most homeowner’s insurance policies already cover dogs," she added. "The whole thing is ridiculous."

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Political Change | , , , | 1 Comment

The World’s Most Unusual Valentines Went to the Dogs

16,880 Valentines delivered to America’s ‘Forgotten Dogs’  -  by Dogs Deserve Better on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 11:33am

Tipton, PA, February 16, 2011—16,880 Valentines were delivered this week to some very unusual recipients: dogs. Dogs of every breed, size, and color may have received one, but all that did had one thing in common—they are America’s ‘Forgotten Dogs.’

Dogs Deserve Better, a national rescue and advocacy group dedicated to ending the suffering endured by chained  and penned dogs, annually sends Valentines and dog treat coupons to canines across the country. The 2011 campaign has reached a milestone: almost 17,000 dogs received Valentines between February 7-14, yet this was still a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of dogs living on chains and in pens across the United States.

Dogs of every breed, size, shape and color end up outside through no fault of their own. Caretakers claim they are not housetrained, too big for the house, or too dirty to be inside. Yet through it all dogs just want to be with humans, part of our pack, and putting a dog outside for life when he/she becomes a burden is not an acceptable solution.

The mailing includes a Valentine for the dog and a brochure for the dog’s caretakers, explaining why the practice of chaining dogs for life is a form of abuse and neglect. The materials encourage people to bring their dogs into the home and family or to find better homes for the animals.

“We call these dogs the Forgotten Dogs, because they may technically have a home, but do they really? Left alone in the elements, enduring extreme heat and cold, often withstanding inadequate or no shelter, food, or water, there’s no doubt that these dogs suffer, and suffer immensely. Winter is a critical time to reach out directly to the people who chain their dogs, and what better excuse than Valentine’s Day to send these forgotten animals a little love,” says Tamira Thayne, founder and director of the nine-year-old non-profit.

“Every winter our rescuers see dogs that have frozen in the snow, suffered frostbite, or otherwise endured horrific living conditions because of the longstanding misperception that it is ok to chain a dog and let it out there for life. It isn’t.”

“This is the perfect opportunity for people who pass chained dogs every day but feel powerless to help them to make a difference,” continues Thayne. “People anonymously provide us with the addresses of these dogs, or make us a batch of Valentines, and we do the rest.”

Schools, scouting troops, and other similar organizations and individuals from 37 states created the Valentines, expressing love and such unusual sentiments like ‘Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Your Dog is Sad, You Know it’s True.’

Every state in the nation had at least one dog receive a Valentine, with Pennsylvania having the most, where Valentines were mailed to 2,229 dogs. Ohio had the second highest amount, at 1384, and Texas was third with 835.

Although the practice of 24/7 chaining is pervasive in many parts of the country, states and cities have started to pass laws against the practice. So far four states have passed limitations on chaining: California, Texas, Connecticut, and Nevada. Hundreds of cities and counties have passed limitations or flat-out bans.

Meanwhile, countless backyard dogs are spending yet another winter in the cold. Often, they shiver day and night in hole-riddled doghouses, suffer from thirst because their water is frozen, and pace neurotically from lack of exercise and attention. Perpetually chained dogs often become aggressive from their constant confinement, thereby posing a danger to people, especially small children.

For more information about the Valentine’s Day outreach, go tohttp://www.dogsdeservebetter.org/vdaywrap2011.html or email info@dogsdeservebetter.org.

For general information about Dogs Deserve Better go to www.dogsdeservebetter.org.

END

Contact: Tamira Ci Thayne • founder, Dogs Deserve Better • www.dogsdeservebetter.org

P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684 • 1.877.636.1408 • 814.941.7447

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Dogs, Holidays With Pets, Just One More Pet, NO KILL NATION, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | | 1 Comment

Penguin Goes Shopping

King Penguin

This 10-year-old King Penguin was rescued from a fisherman’s line and refused to leave after he was healed. He was adopted by a family in a small town in Japan and became a beloved pet who has his own personal air-conditioned cold room.

Lala, the 10 year old King Penguin is so smart – he walks to the fish store with his little backpack to shop for fresh fish every day.

You are gonna love this little video!

Video:  Penguin Goes  Shopping

February 17, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

No Wonder Egyptians are Confused!

February 16, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

Explanation of Life

THE EXPLANATION OF LIFE

On the first day God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the  door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past.

   I will  give you a life span of twenty years." The dog said, "That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I’ll give you back the other ten." So God agreed.

   On the second day God created the monkey. God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty-year life span."

   The monkey said, "How boring. Monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that’s what I’ll do too, okay?"

And God agreed.

    On the third day God created the cow. God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of  sixty years."

   The cow said, "That’s kind of a tough life you want me to live or sixty years. Let me have twenty and I’ll give back the other forty."

And God agreed again.

   On the fourth day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I’ll give you twenty years."

    Man said, "What? Only twenty years?! Tell you what, I’ll take My twenty, and the forty the cow gave back and the ten the monkey gave back and  the ten the dog gave back…that makes eighty, okay?"

   "Okay", said God, "You’ve got a deal."

   So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

   Life has now been explained to you!!

(For us dog lovers… the change in nutrition and life circumstances for most pets has expanded their lifespan.  The oldest dog alive, that I am aware of is 27-years-old and many live to be somewhere between 16 and 22.  Small dog generally live the longest.)

Originally Posted on June 30, 2005 by Ask Marion

A Dog’s Life… Can Be Longer Than You Think

Dogs Know

Rainbow Bridge

Pets and Heaven

Sometimes “Rainbow Bridge” Prayers Are Answered

Meredith and Abbey… A Beautiful Soul at the Post Office

Man’s Best Friend in Shariah’s Cruel Crosshairs

Is Your Pet a Voiceless Victim of the Tanking Economy?

Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’

GoD and DoG

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Doggin’ The Black Hills: 15 Cool Things To See When You Hike With Your Dog

Doggin - newsletterlogo

"If your dog is fat," the old saying goes, "you aren’t getting enough exercise." But walking the dog need not be just about a little exercise. Here are 15 cool things you can see around the Black Hills while you hike with your dog.

ABANDONED MINES. The old rail lines-turned trails are good places to see vestiges of old mines. Along the Deerfield Trail you can see the remains of the Black Tom Mine and there are traces of several mines on the Mickelson Trail. Chief among them are the White Elephant Trail, where feldspar was pulled from the ground, and the Wasp Mine, that collapsed on the rail line in 1927.

BISON. When hiking the prairie trails through the Black Hills it won’t be long until you see North America’s largest land animal. Herds that once numbered in the millions were reduced to as few as 15 animals in the 1880s before conservation efforts began. Now Custer State Park is home to more than 1,500 free-roaming bison, one of the world’s largest public bison herds. Another small herd is in Bear Butte State Park.

BRIDGES. Railroad builders used bridges to level out the rollercoaster terrain of the Black Hills. There are more than 100 wooden trestles on the Mickelson Trail alone. The largest was the Sheep Canyon Trestle, 126 feet high and 700 feet long. Therickety trestle was considered so dangerous that engineers and brakemen would walk over the bridge instead of riding the train.

COLD WAR RELICS. In Memorial Park in Rapid City stands America’s largest exhibit devoted to the Berlin Wall – double 12-foot segments of the concrete wall. On the ground on either side of the Wall are tank traps. Photos and interpretive panels tell the story of the dominant symbol of the Cold War. Memorial Park is on the Rapid City Recreation Path.

DAMS. Flood control has been a theme in the Black Hills since the 1930s. Dams across streams and rivers have spawned water recreation areas that are favorite destinations for an outing with the dog. The largest such lake in the Black Hills is the Pactola Reservoir with trails along much of its 14 miles of pine-scented shoreline. Others include the dam at Cold Brook Lake Recreation Area on the Fall River and the Cottonwood Springs Dam.

FAMOUS CABINS. The Badger Clark Historic Trail in Custer State Park starts at the former home of Charles Badger Clark, South Dakota’s first poet-laureate. Clark rook five years to build the stone-and-frame cabin and lived here for 30 years. He also laid out most of the footpath. In Wyoming, along Sand Creek, publisher Moses Annenberg built historic Ranch A, now used for meetings and classrooms. Canine hikers can view the log home at the Dugout Gulch Botanical Area.

GHOST TOWNS. Mining towns came and went very quickly in the gold rush days of the 1880s in the Black Hills. The most intact deserted town in the region is Tinton, visited on the Big Hill Trails. There is an old miner’s hall, a post office and the Black Hills Tin Company store to explore. At the Mystic Trailhead on the Mickelson Trail is theMystic Townsite, where seven buildings and 14 foundations remain from a gold mining community.

HISTORIC BUILDINGS. Hikers can check out the Bulldog Ranch on Rochford Road that was a favorite stopping point for travelers in the late 19th century. Proprietoress Sarah Anne Erbe was known as "Madame Bulldog" for two dogs she kept died up out back to dissuade chicken thieves. Another building from that era that can be inspected up close is the Kroll Meat Market and Slaughterhouse in Spearfish City Park.

LOFTY PEAKS. There are many mountaintops in the Black Hills that can be reached with your dog. Harney Peak, at 7,242 feet, is the highest and Bear Mountain (7,153 feet) is right behind. Ski enthusiasts have carved 16 miles of year-round trails at Bear Mountain. The craggy peak of Flag Mountain serves up expansive views, including a long look to the east of Reynolds Prairie, the largest of three open grasslands in the vicinity. Crow Peak may only be 5,760 feet high but what it lacks in height, it makes up in difficulty. Your reward for a grueling climb is 360-degree vistas at the summit.

LOGGING FLUMES. Water flumes served two purposes in the Black Hills: to transport logs to railheads or to move water into isolated areas for hydraulic gold-mining. The latter is best exemplified by the Rockerville Flume, that operated in the 1880s. An 11-mile trail (the flume was 20 miles long) in the Black Hills National Forest now follows the route of the wooden flume. Remnants of the Warren-Lamb flume used to float logs can still be seen along the Deerfield Trail.

MOVIE SETS. For the 1990 Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves, star/director Kevin Costner filmed the Indian winter camp was set up in Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills National Forest; the exact spot of the final scene where Costner and Mary MacDonnell leave the tribe was once marked by signs but have long since succumbed to souvenir-hunters. The opening sequence, where Costner receives his orders at Fort Hays to travel to Fort Sedgewick, was filmed on a private ranch east of Rapid City. Two of the set pieces, the major’s house and the blacksmith shop have been moved to this tourist spot known as the Fort Hays Film Set (four miles south of Rapid City). The Sage Creek Wilderness Area in the Badlands National Park was the backdrop for the wagon trip through Sioux Indian country to Fort Sedgewick.

OLD FORTS. As you hike through Fort Meade Recreation Area you can still see stone jumps used to train horses in the old cavlary outpost. If you look closely, you may also notice some circular depressions in the hillsides created by exploding shells from artillery practice. The Old Fort Meade Cemetery is still on the grounds as well.

PRESIDENTIAL FOOTSTEPS. Calvin Coolidge became the first United States President to spend the summer west of the Mississippi River, selecting the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park for his "summer White House." Today, the Grace Coolidge Walk-In Fishing Area is an easy three-mile walk on a dirt path along a creek to Center Lake. Earlier Theodore Roosevelt was a frequent visitor to the Black Hills and a short trail leads to Friendship Tower on Mount Roosevelt, named in his honor. Alas, dogs are not allowed on the trails at Mount Rushmore and can experience this presidential memorial only from the car.

PUBLIC ART. As you walk your dog around Belle Fourche you can see bronze statues of some of the famous rodeo performers – human and animal – that have visited town. The favorite subject in Deadwood is Wild Bill Hickok and you can see his likeness several times as you hike through the historic gaming town.

RAILROAD SOUVENIRS. Anyone can appreciate obvious reminders of the railroad age in the Black Hills like the caboose in Edgemont Park but a more discerning eye can see more fascinating relics. For instance, on the Mickelson Trail near the White Elephant Trailhead, a canine hiker can see a sign with a "W" emblazoned on it. This is one of four places in the more than 100 miles of track that engineers were instructed to blow their whistles to warn people and animals. And near a bridge trestle you can see one of the original mile marker signs made of heavy metal and painted white with a numeral that pinpointed a train’s location on the line to .01 of a mile. Only a few of these old markers remain.

Source: Hike With Your Dog – Re-posted:  Just One More Pet

February 14, 2011 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, On The Lighter Side, Pet Blog, pet fun, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , | 3 Comments

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 234 other followers