Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

If You Have to Evacuate to a Shelter, Many in New York and New Jersey Will Allow You to Bring Your Pets


Photo  Credit:  The Blaze

BabblePets (Photo Credit: iStockphoto): New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just announced mandatory evacuations in low-lying areas of the city. There are 65 shelters ready throughout the city, and pets will be welcome. Remember, if you’re not safe in your home, neither is your pet, and you shouldn’t leave Fido and Fluffy behind.

In other areas, however, separate pet shelters are opening up.

iStock 000002529801XSmall 200x300 Hurricane Sandy: If You Have to Evacuate to a Shelter, Can Your Pet Come With You?In New York City, 65 schools will be transformed into shelters, says the Wall Street Journal, and pets will be allowed.

In Long Island, specific pet shelters have been set up in cooperation with the SPCA, says Newsday.

In Connecticut, rules vary by town as to whether pets are allowed. Note that some town shelters will require you to show proof of the animal’s registration and current vaccination record. For a breakdown by town, see NBC Connecticut’s website.

In New Jersey, not all shelters are pet-friendly. Some in Atlantic County are pet-friendly, some are not. In Cape May County, an animal shelter opened in Lower Township at noon today. Animal sheltering trailers will be set up at two other locations in the county.

If the shelters near you are not pet-friendly, try calling your veterinarian’s office, local kennels, and animal rescue centers to see if they have any kennel availability. If you’re heading to a hotel or motel, you can search for pet-friendly accommodations here.

Whether you’re bringing your pet with you to a shelter, a friend’s home, or a hotel, be prepared. Owners should bring their pets’ carriers and crates; and pet owners should bring with them any supplies that may be needed. For an excellent, comprehensive list of supplies to take with you, see Danielle Sullivan’s post, What to Put in Your Pet’s Emergency Disaster Pack.

The Suffolk SPCA, on Long Island, has two locations that allow owners to stay in the same shelter as their animals open and functioning. One is at Suffolk Community College Eastern Campus, located on Riverhead Speonk Road in Riverhead, and the other is the Brentwood Recreational Center at 99 Third Avenue in Brentwood. These shelters operate on a first come, first serve basis and can fit approximately 250 people and their pets in each. Animals allowed in the shelters are dogs, cats and birds.



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October 30, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Creek Walking with Violet

by Robbie Davis-Floyd – originally written July 2010

Bush the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. The horse riding buddy. I have a new dog, Violet—she is a Catahoula mix—a brindle—tan with black irregular spiral stripes and beautiful hazel eyes. After my beloved Shadow died of old age, I waited a long while to find a new dog, then tried to adopt one from the pound with no success—somebody else always got there first. Then I just started, and kept on, saying to the Universe, “I just want my dog to show up in my face, please let my dog show up in my face!” A few months later, after numerous repetitions of the plea, I walked into the holistic pet store to buy cat food, and there she was, in a cage with a sign, “Hi, my name is Violet, please adopt me!” I took her home that night, and went creek-walking the very next day—the test was, “if you are really my puppy, you will love being in water as I do.” And she did!

And since then, we have gone creek-walking every day for at least an hour and a half (except of course for when I travel). This is huge for me—I hate all other forms of exercise and absolutely love creek-walking. Shadow and I used to do it often, usually in the Blanco River, but I lost that when he died. I can’t seem to go just on my own—I need the motivation of a dog who needs her exercise just as much as I do! And I need mine even more now as I really need to exercise to heal from my knee and hip replacements.

The preparation has become a daily ritual. I put on a bathing suit and my water sandals, then strap on a waterproof beltpack that I found at REI, containing dog treats, car keys, and even a holder for my water bottle, plus, very importantly in case of accident, my iPhone in a special waterproof case that even lets you talk on it or dial out without taking it out of the case.

Having Violet has changed my life, much for the better! Here is a description of our creek-walking experiences.

The coolest thing about creek-walking is the "presence" it requires. I have to pay full attention to every step, as there are usually rocks, boulders, or odd and unexpected crevasses that can twist my ankle or break my leg at any moment if I take one wrong step. At the same time, there is this stunning natural beauty, intrinsic to the Texas Hill Country—white limestone and juniper trees, lots of wildflowers–around me that I keep wanting to take in fully. So it’s a balance between the wide and the narrow gaze, just like life.

And then there is the surprise of discovering the unexpected waterfall or rapids, the excitement of finding just the right place in the waterfall where it can beat blissfully on my back while the ferns wave above me, or the fun of climbing through the rapids, step by single step, the focus of negotiating the obstacles in my path—fallen branches, long clingy vines full of spider webs, large boulders, tiny tricky slippy rocks–the relief of sinking into the water when it’s deep, the feel of its tug on my muscles when I walk upstream against the current, the joy in knowing that my muscles are responding and strengthening with every step I take. The sudden thrill of the sunlight penetrating a shady glade, the ever-changing configurations of the stones beneath my feet, the constant decision-making–do I go this way or that? The path taken leads to discovery, the path not taken remains a mystery for the next time. No end to the adventure!

The enchantment of a beneficent nature that seems only lovely, the constant awareness that nature is not naturally beneficent and that danger lurks everywhere. The fear of a misstep and a fall on hard and uneven rocks, the thrill of "feeling the fear and doing it anyway." The delight on seeing a turtle hanging out in its chosen spot. The pure fun of watching Violet splash and play, the secure joy of knowing that however far she strays in the pleasure of the moment, when I call she always comes right back to me, water spraying all around her—droplets of reflected sunlight–running full out towards me then stopping at the last second to nuzzle against my hand or leg, licking my face as if to say “Yes, I’m here, I know you, and I love you—you are my human and I am your dog and we are forever together. You don’t want to lose me here in the wild and I don’t want to lose you either! I get it!!”

The wall I hit when I realize I’ve overstepped my physical boundaries–my legs are shaking from exhaustion, I wish for rescue, and I realize that I left the beaten out-of-the water path long ago, and now the only option is to keep creek-walking until I get to the trail at the end that leads to my car and the luxuries of civilization. At that point I stop, find a convenient rock where I can sit half in the water and half out, pull out treats for Violet, which she eats with intensity sitting on a nearby rock, contemplate the beauty around me and how lucky I am to be experiencing it, pull my act together, sink down in the creek water for the simple joy of the experience and of cooling off, and stick it out till I’m home free, one cautious and conscious and delicious step at a time.


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

October 29, 2012 Posted by | animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

Dr. Becker:

Story at-a-glance
  • High pressure pasteurization, or HPP, is a method of processing raw food to eliminate pathogens. High hydrostatic pressure is exerted by a liquid through a water bath that surrounds the product. The pressure is uniformly applied from all sides and throughout the product, which keeps the food from being crushed.
  • HPP is gaining popularity among raw pet food manufacturers who wish to make their products more appealing to the traditional veterinary community and pet owners who want to feed raw, but with zero risk of bacterial contamination.
  • Most raw food enthusiasts, however, do not believe “sterile” raw food should be considered raw, since HPP processing does modify whole living foods.
  • HPP-processed raw pet food can be beneficial for dogs and cats with compromised immune systems, and it’s a good alternative for pet owners who want to feed raw to a dog or cat in less than optimal health.
  • Dr. Becker believes unadulterated raw diets are best for healthy, thriving pets, and that “sterile” raw diets also have a place in households with an immunocompromised dog, cat or human family member.

By Dr. Becker

Today I want to talk about high pressure pasteurization, or HPP, and its controversial role in what we now refer to as "sterile" raw pet food.

High pressure pasteurization is a processing method used by the USDA to eliminate microbes in the food chain. According to Virginia Tech’s High Pressure Processing Lab:

"HPP is a non-thermal preservation and pasteurization technique that causes little or no change in the organoleptic and nutritional attributes of the product being processed unlike most conventional heat treatments."

Organoleptic attributes include things like taste, odor, color, and the feel of foods.

The High Pressure Pasteurization Process

The way HPP works is by applying high hydrostatic pressure, which is pressure exerted by a liquid, through a water bath that surrounds the product. The pressure is uniformly applied from all sides and throughout the product, which keeps the food from being crushed.

According to HPP proponents, the process does not cause the foods to undergo significant chemical transformation, but does successfully eliminate all pathogenic microbes from the food, including bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli.

High pressure pasteurization is USDA-approved, touted as being a 100 percent natural process, and is allowed for use on organic and natural products in both the human and pet food markets.

Is Raw Food That Has Been High Pressure Pasteurized Truly Raw?

Many raw feeders believe HPP is a method of processing whole living food into a modification of whole living food, and that we should not confuse truly unadulterated raw food with raw food that has been processed using HPP.

Depending on the amount of pressure used, research has demonstrated that proteins do denature, and beneficial good bacteria are obliterated during HPP processing. For these reasons, some raw feeders don’t feel pet food companies selling HPP-treated diets should be allowed to call them "raw."

Some raw pet food manufacturers have started using HPP for a variety of reasons. I think one of the reasons is they are hoping to increase acceptance of raw diets by the veterinary community.

I also think they want to opt out of the never-ending debate about the potential presence of bacteria and parasites in raw food. They are hoping to appeal to nervous pet owners who want to feed raw with zero risk of bacterial contamination to their pets or themselves.

Some Pets Can Benefit from Sterile Raw Food

There are animals who can benefit from sterile (HPP processed) raw food. These include some pets undergoing chemotherapy. Dogs and cats with significantly compromised immune systems should not be exposed to potential pathogens from any source, including food.

Raw food that has undergone HPP provides these pets with a convenient source of a better-quality food that is also sterile, which is important in reducing the risk to debilitated bodies.

Additionally, many veterinarians feel much more comfortable recommending sterile raw foods for pets with compromised GI defenses. Pets dealing with dysbiosis and inflammatory bowel disease may not have the gut resiliency to handle normal bacteria loads found in some foods. Many of these pets do much better on sterile foods until their gut issues are healed.

So sterile raw foods can be a good compromise for pet parents who want to provide the benefits of raw food to a dog or a cat, for which a true unadulterated raw diet would pose an unacceptable risk to the pet or themselves. We should keep in mind that some pet owners are also immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, but they still wish to feed their pets the best, most optimal diet.

One important point to remember is that HPP treated foods are sterile after processing, but are still susceptible to the same handling and storage issues that face all raw meat products. A half used bag of HPP treated raw food sitting in the refrigerator for four weeks will still pose the same risks as other raw meats. So the handling of HPP treated pet food is no different than the handling of any raw meat product.

Unadulterated Commercial Raw Pet Food: Safer than Canned, Safer than Kibble

I see two unfortunate issues unfolding with the increased use of HPP within the commercial raw food industry.

First, many HPP proponents believe ALL raw foods on the market should be treated with HPP in order to gain acceptance by the traditional veterinary community and pet owners who want to feed raw, but with the reassurance the food is initially bacteria-free.

Number two, a certain percentage of the general public may assume the increased use of HPP is due to issues or problems stemming from unadulterated raw food diets, which is simply untrue.

Most manufacturers of unadulterated (non HPP) raw pet food use high-quality USDA-inspected meats. They also test their products for proper nutrient levels and contaminants, which is why raw meat diets have substantially less potential for high loads of toxins and are typically not the subject of pet food recalls. By contrast, most mass-marketed dry foods, which are regulated by the FDA not the USDA, use rendered and 4-D meats (meats from dead, dying, disabled, and diseased animals).

Because commercially available raw food diets are grain-free and therefore mycotoxin-free… because raw pet food companies use high quality meats sourced from healthy animals… and because they focus on microbially responsible food processing, there’s actually a much lower risk of recalls involving unadulterated raw food than there is with commercial kibble.

My Recommendation

If your pet is a healthy, thriving dog or cat, then a completely fresh unadulterated raw diet is what I would recommend. There are tremendous nutritional benefits derived from eating non-sterile foods.

Those of you who have been subscribers here for many years know that I always recommend that we mimic Mother Nature when feeding our pets. Given the choice, our dogs and cats would choose to hunt and consume fresh prey — but they would certainly not be catching sterile prey.

Dogs and cats are designed to efficiently and healthfully process the normal bacteria loads found in their prey. That’s also why pets can lick their butts, eat poop, and not die from those behaviors — they were designed by nature to be able to do such things.

So, what’s my take on this up-and-coming hygiene procedure in the pet food industry? I don’t see a need for the majority of pets to be fed sterile raw foods, as the majority of pets are not significantly immunocompromised. However, I am thankful that we have some raw food options processed using HPP in the case of animals that cannot handle the normal bacterial load of unadulterated raw food. Feeding HPP-processed raw foods to healthy pets will not harm them, of course, but it’s unnecessary.

If you want to know whether the raw food you’re buying has been subjected to high pressure pasteurization, try checking the company’s website first and if you don’t find the information there, you’ll need to call the manufacturer to find out.

Homemade Chicken Jerky Recipe for Dogs (Pets)

chicken jerky

Yummy super-simple treat… and it’s also super-popular with dogs and healthy. Chicken Jerky is a Treat made from thin strips of chicken slow baked to almost the point of crispness.


1 pound chicken breasts (I baked three pounds!)

Start by preheating your oven to 170 or 180 degrees, depending on how low your oven will go. While that’s preheating, assemble the chicken. I used frozen chicken breast tenderloins (this is a great way to use any chicken you’ve got that’s become freezer burned!)

I had thawed the frozen chicken breasts by putting them in the refrigerator overnight…and woke up to find they were still frozen! I put the chicken in a big bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes which thawed it enough to slice with a sharp knife. TIP: It’s easier to slice the chicken when it’s semi-frozen rather than completely thawed; you can use the heel of your hand on the knife to “chop” the slices rather than trying to saw through thawed meat.

The only difficult part of this dog treat recipe is the slicing; you’ll want to slice the chicken no more than about 1/4 inch wide. Slice with the grain of the chicken, rather than against it; this will make the treats a little chewier and make them last a LITTLE bit longer when you give them to your dogs.

Slice up the chicken and place it on a greased cookie sheet; be sure to use one with a slight edge because there will be water and juices from the chicken during the first hour of cooking. Leave about a 1/2 inch or so between slices and just make sure they’re not touching.

Once you’re finished slicing, pop the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for two hours. After two hours, check the slices and see if they’re dry. You don’t want them to be crispy to the point of snapping but you do want them to be very chewy. (They should look like a very done french fry.) Because I baked three pounds of chicken at once, I had to bake my treats for an 90 minutes and I flipped the slices with a spatula after two hours of baking.

When they’re done, remove the treats from the oven and cool on a drying rack. If you don’t have one (I don’t), just flip a dish drainer over and drape with a dish towel then put your treats on the towel to dry. (You just want to get the treats up off the metal cookie sheets so they’ll cool crispier. A wicker basket flipped over and draped with a cup towel work work great, too.)

When the treats are completely cool, bag them in zippered bags or pop them in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can also freeze the treats for several months. Be warned, though: these are VERY popular treats…they’ll go fast! (Cats also love them!)


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Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.


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See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals


October 25, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

More Adorable Animal Photos – 10.22.12























October 22, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orphaned baby elephant is raised by human mom

Photo: AP Seven-and-a-half month old orphaned elephant calf named Moses cuddles with his adoptive "mother" and foundation owner, Jenny Webb, at sunrise at their home in Lilongwe, Malawi. Moses was found alone and close

Mail.com: LILONGWE, Malawi (AP) — Lots of mothers wake in the middle of the night to feed their babies, but not many get up to give a bottle to an infant elephant.

Jenny Webb adopted a baby boy elephant who was just a few weeks old in February. The orphaned elephant calf was named Moses after being found in the grasses of a riverbed by game rangers at Vwazi Wildlife Reserve in northern Malawi.

Rangers tried to find his family herd for two days without success, said the 48-year-old Webb, adding that the calf’s mother was likely killed by elephant poachers. The illegal killing of elephants is rife in Africa, with conservation groups saying that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed each year for their ivory tusks.

Malawi’s national parks did not have the funds to raise the little elephant, so Webb, the founder of the Jumbo Foundation an orphanage for large animals, took on the job of caring for the little pachyderm.

Moses weighs 100 kilograms (220 pounds) and each day he drinks 24 liters (6.3 gallons) of an infant formula that is boosted with coconut milk and 14 other ingredients. "Elephants are extremely sensitive," said Webb. "It amazed me. We think of elephants as big, strong creatures but they are very emotional. Moses picks up on my feelings. If I am sad, he is nurturing. If I am angry, he quickly gets upset."

Webb has placed a mattress on the dining room floor where she and Moses curl up for the night. Moses gets up about every two hours and shuffles around the room until Webb wakes and gives him his bottle feed.

In the mornings, as Webb has a coffee and watches television, Moses throws his trunk over her shoulder and nuzzles his head against her. Webb gets advice from veterinarians and from the Elephant Orphanage Project in Zambia, which for 16 years has offered similar support to baby elephants.

In the wild, a baby elephant would shelter underneath his mother to be shielded from the sun and remain warm and safe. To emulate this, Webb puts a blanket over Moses. His still tender hide is also protected with sunscreen and moisturizer.

Moses had to have a hernia operation not long after being taken in by Webb because his umbilical cord was damaged when he was born. He stopped eating because of the stress of the surgery and anesthetic and lost weight, but after force feedings the young elephant returned to a healthy weight, Webb said.

Caring for the baby elephant is a 24-hour job. Webb gets help from two employees Matimat Julius and Jim Tembo. All three take turns playing with Moses and using their arms to sweep the dust, the way a mother elephant would do with her trunk.

Like many toddlers, Moses likes to go outside and Webb takes him on daily walks with the family dogs. "The dogs are like his herd," she said. "He socializes with them in the day and likes going for walks with them. He quickly established dominance with them. But at night, he herds the dogs outside. He doesn’t like to sleep with the dogs. He likes to sleep with the cats, and me."

As soon as the sun goes down, Moses lies next to Webb on the makeshift bed. In a few weeks, Moses is expected to start eating hay, grass, bark and horse feed along with his formula. He has started putting grass and leaves in his mouth but he is not yet eating them. By the time he is four he will stop having formula and will be eating vegetation. And when he is five, Webb plans to reintroduce Moses to life in the wild, possibly in the national park where he was found.

In the meantime Webb plans to raise funds to build a boma, an African-style corral, where Moses can live when he becomes too big for the house. "By the time he is two years old, he will no longer be able to fit through the door and he will have to live outside," said Webb.

Webb wants to make Moses "an ambassador for elephants" to educate people against wildlife poaching. Raising Moses has been challenging, said Webb, "but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have raised children, and this is very similar, but you can’t put an elephant in a pram (stroller)."

Webb said that raising Moses gave her the idea to start an orphanage for other animals. "When we got Moses we found there is a desperate need for an orphanage for large animals. Elephants, hippos, buffalo, rhinos … there is no place for those babies to go if their parents are killed," she said. "There are some places in Zambia and Kenya, but no place here in Malawi, so that is what I am working for."

October 17, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , | Leave a comment

Giant eyeball on FL beach


Photo: (AP) Made available by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows a giant eyeball from a mysterious sea creature that washed ashore and was found by a man walking the beach in Pompano Beach, Fla. on Wednesday. No one knows what species the huge blue eyeball came from. The eyeball will be sent to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL.

MIAMI (AP) — It’s not that body parts never wash ashore on Florida beaches. But usually it’s not an eye the size of a softball.

State wildlife officials are trying to determine the species of a blue eyeball found by a man Wednesday at Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale. They put the eyeball on ice so it can be analyzed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

Agency spokeswoman Carli Segelson says the eyeball likely came from a marine animal, since it was found on a beach. Possible candidates include a giant squid, a whale or some type of large fish.

October 15, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories | , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s My Party Day – The Top 10 Over-the-top Pet Parties

Pet Parties

2 Pet Lovers: Forget Sponge Bob Square Pants cakes. For a pet-lovers party, guests might be dining on dog-friendly cakes made with peanut butter and yogurt.

Let’s face it. We all love to pamper our pets. They’re our best friends, and we want to show them how much we care. And every pet deserves a special birthday. Whether it’s a simple hike in the woods that day, or an over-the-top extravaganza, it’s nice to recognize your pet on his or her special day.

Of course, things can quickly escalate into the pet party of the century. And if you’re one of those over-the-top people who like to do everything to the extreme, then check out these Top 10 pet parties for some ideas.

  1. Ernie, a Bichon Frise who lives in New York, was recently the guest of honor at his own “Bark Mitzvah,” which celebrated Ernie’s 13th (dog years) birthday.
  2. A Manhattan Dachshund recently celebrated her special day with 15 canine friends. The menu included peanut butter and yogurt cake and a special drink.
  3. Book a day for your pooch and his or her friends at Manhattan’s Drop Off Service, where the special guests of honor will enjoy homemade cake, and will walk out with doggie blankets and gift bags, while their owners enjoy beer and hors d’oeuvres. Sign me up!
  4. If you’re in the Washington state area, check out The Dining Dog Café in Edmonds, Wash. The ambience is set with some soft music, chandeliers and elegant white linen tablecloths. The pet-friendly restaurant opened in 2005 and the restaurant’s owners are more than happy to accommodate your next pet party.
  5. Spa Day – Wow…I would need a spa day just to recover from planning a pet spa day, but believe it or not, it’s big business these days. If you’re near Westlake, California, The Barkley is ready and able to provide your pet, and a dozen or so friends, with a precious pooch pampering day. Animals will receive “Pawdicures,” massages, grooming and can even have their fur dyed. The hotel also offers in-room dining service, and a doggie day camp.
  6. Located all over the country, The Zoom Room is a favorite destination for humans to celebrate their companion’s special day. The venue has hosted pet marries, adoption parties and Doggie Disco days. The event can be a bit pricey, and typically starts at $150 for two hours. Additional options, like doggie cupcakes, are available as well.
  7. If you’re thinking of a cat party, skip this one. Most cats don’t appreciate water. But if your dog likes swimming as much as mine, check out Avon Lake’s annual Big Splash Dog Party, held annual at the end of each summer to give all dogs full access to Avon Lake’s municipal pool. Games, activities and prizes await your prized pooch as well. And proceeds benefit a local pet advocacy organization. You can’t beat it!
  8. Homemade pet parties might not be as over-the-top, but your pet can have a great day with a little creativity on your part. By organizing your own party, you can save lots of cash, and still provide your pet an outrageous time. Start with an invitation that includes a pic of your pet, and invite 10 friends over to your home for a hair-raising experience. Look on any homemade pet food website for a variety of cake recipes, and bake it yourself! Make up some doggie gift bags ahead of time, and send your guests off with their own treats. Not a lot of money, but a lot of fun!
  9. Party at the park! Take your pooch and a few canine companions and head to the doggie park for an afternoon of frolicking in the sun. Pack some doggie treats, and don’t forget the leashes!
  10. Me and You and a Dog Named Boo! Truly, there is no better day than just spending quality time with your faithful companion. Sometimes, less is more. How about celebrating your animal’s special day with the family. Enjoy a nice dinner, and treat your pooch to a special treat. Spend the day loving on your animal. It’s the best birthday present ever!


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October 14, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, On The Lighter Side, pet fun, Pets | , | Leave a comment



Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of 3 books including the bestseller The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild, bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated elephants all over the globe from human atrocities, including the courageous rescue of Baghdad Zoo animals during US invasion in 2003. (Lawrence also wrote The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World’s Greatest Creatures and The Elephant Whisperer: Learning about Life, Loyalty and Freedom from a Remarkable Herd of Elephants.

. On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died.

.He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2 grandsons & numerous elephants.

Two days after his passing, the wild elephants showed up at his home led by two large matriarchs.

Separate wild herds arrived in droves to say goodbye to their beloved man-friend’.

A total of 31 elephants had patiently walked over 12 miles to get to his South African House.


Witnessing this spectacle, humans were obviously in awe not only because of the supreme intelligence and precise timing that these elephants sensed about Lawrence ‘s passing, but also because of the profound memory and emotion the beloved animals evoked in such an organized way:

Walking slowly -for days –

Making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house. Lawrence’s wife, Francoise, was especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to his house prior to that day for well over 3 years!

But yet they knew where they were going.

The elephants obviously wanted to pay their deep respects, honoring their friend who’d saved their lives – so much respect that they stayed for 2 days 2 nights without eating anything. Then one morning, they left, making their long journey back home…


h/t to Sue Hooper

October 10, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures, Wild Animals | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sugar Gliders as Pets

What You Need to Know Before Getting Pet Sugar Gliders

About.com: Sugar gliders have become a popular exotic pet. They are small and relatively easy to care for, and have a cute if not unusual appearance. As with any other exotic pet, a potential owner should be aware of their care requirements and personality before acquiring a sugar glider. Sugar gliders are illegal in some places so you will need to check the laws where your live (see "How to Find Out if a Pet is Legal Where You Live").

Natural History
Sugar Gliders are marsupials; that is their young start life off in a pouch (like a kangaroo). They originally hail from Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea, and live in forests. Their name is derived from their diet (in part they feed on nectar and the sap of eucalyptus), and from the flap of skin they have between their wrists and ankles that allows them to glide between trees. They are omnivorous, meaning they will eat plant material and meat – food in the wild include nectar, fruit, insects and even small birds or rodents. They live in social family units in the wild, a trait which makes them inclined to bond well with their human family. However, if they are deprived of social interaction they will not thrive (in fact they can become depressed to the point where they may die).

Sugar gliders make endearing, playful, and entertaining pets. As mentioned above they are very social, and ideally they should be kept in pairs or groups, and in any case they should have a good deal of social interaction with their owners. They are fairly clean and do not have complex housing requirements. In addition, they tend to be fairly healthy (although it may be difficult to find an experienced vet to treat them) and can live to be 12-14 years in captivity. They do need a good amount of interaction (even if it is just riding around in a pocket all day), and aren’t great housetraining candidates. Their nails are sharp and will scratch if they need to dig in while climbing or landing on you (keep them well trimmed). They also have sharp teeth and though not aggressive, will bite if they feel threatened or frightened. If not acquired tame and used to being handled, it may take a great deal of time and patience to get them to the point where they are cuddly.

Sugar Gliders do have fairly strict dietary requirements. The ideal diet for sugar glider is still a widely debated topic among keepers. For some recommended diets, see "Feeding Sugar Gliders" for more information on diets and the diet options that are recommended by others. A potential problem in sugar gliders is paralysis stemming from an imbalance of calcium to phosphorus in the diet (i.e. too low in calcium and/or high in phosphorus). This disease (called nutritional osteodystrophy) can be prevented by proper diet and vitamin/mineral supplements.

As for housing, a cage of 24 by 24 inches, by 36 inches high is a good minimum size for a pair. This is a minimum, though – bigger is better and for sugar gliders the height is more valuable than floor space. The cage wire should be no more than 1/2 inch wide, and horizontal cage bars allow climbing. The interior of the cage should provide lots of interest with toys, and exercise wheel, nest box and/or glider pouch. Branches, ropes and ladders provide lots of opportunity for climbing and exercise. For more details on cages and accessories for sugar gliders, see "Housing Sugar Gliders."

If a sugar glider is not tame when acquired, time, patience, and gentle frequent training sessions will eventually allow bonding of the glider to its owner. Gliders adore being near their owners, inside a shirt (hint wear two shirts and let the glider hang out between them, or else their claws will tickle or scratch!) or in a pocket. They will be lovely companions, who view you as an equal. Sugar gliders do not respond at all to punishment or domination, so treat them with respect, gentleness and understanding, and you will be rewarded with a devoted companion!

More Information

  • Glider Basics – basic facts about sugar gliders.
  • Feeding Sugar Gliders – feeding recommendations from an exotic pet veterinarian and an Australian zoo, along with some other resources.
  • Housing Sugar Gliders – More detailed information on the type of cage and accessories needed for sugar gliders.
  • Photo Gallery – Photos of sugar gliders submitted by visitors to this site.
  • Sugar Glider Names – Glider names submitted by visitors.

October 6, 2012 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Wild Animals | , , , , | Leave a comment