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Mini-Yorkie stomped to death protecting owner

Police are looking for several men who stomped to death a 4-pound mini-Yorkshire terrier that was trying to protect its owner from an attack in San Jose over the weekend, authorities said Monday.

The dog’s owner said he was walking the 6-year-old dog, Shadow, at Winchester Boulevard and Colonial Way about 2 p.m. Saturday when three men approached and asked if he was a gang member.

The owner, a 32-year-old floor installer who asked that his name be withheld for safety reasons, said he had denied gang involvement, but the men attacked him anyway.

The owner said he had tried to run with his dog but tripped, and the men began kicking and hitting him. He heard the small dog barking and trying to protect him.

The men beat him for about a minute. Once they ran off, the man said, he looked at his dog and "just saw a big puddle of blood."

The dog died on the way to a veterinary hospital, he said.

"He wasn’t making too many noises, but I could see his eyes and that’s when I broke down," he said. "They were still blinking a little bit, but so much blood was leaking out of him. I knew the moment he died in my arms. I heard him take his last breath and just kept thinking, ‘There’s no way this is happening.’ "

Capt. Jay Terrado of the San Jose Animal Care and Services agency said necropsy reports showed that Shadow died of head trauma and suffered injuries "consistent with being stomped and kicked."

"You can imagine the type of damage a full-grown adult can do to a small dog," Terrado said.

Witnesses told police that the men had been waving signs for a nearby car wash before the attack, Terrado said. The car wash was a fundraiser for the family of Ramon Ruano, a 20-year-old who was shot and killed Feb. 5.

Terrado said investigators were looking at all possible motives, not just a gang attack.

The owner said he had been wearing a red sweater and a red Boston Red Sox hat, which may have been a rival gang’s colors, but that he is not part of any gang.

"I’ve lived at my place for six years, and I’ve never had any problems," he said. "I’ve known that there were gangs around here, but come on – you see me walking a little mini-Yorkie down the street, you’re not going to think, ‘Oh hey, look at this guy.’ "

He took care of Shadow since he was a puppy, he said. He named him Shadow because the small dog followed him everywhere – "he was my shadow."

"He was so small," he said. "He was just a little baby dog. I can’t believe it."

Vivian Ho is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. vho@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page C – 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

In my book, there us no punishment harsh enough for these horrible men!

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, We Are All God's Creatures | , , | Leave a comment

Bailey’s Not So Good Trip to the Groomer

Attached are some pictures of Bailey, our Yorkie.

Jean's Yorkie Bailey 3

Fall 2008

Jean's Yorkie Bailey

Baily and Maggie, part Shih Tzu and part Lab in fall 2010

We usually take Bailey for grooming about every 8 weeks or so. Otherwise his hair gets matted. In the winter, the snow gets packed in his fur and it becomes ice balls.

We took Bailey to PetSmart today to be groomed.  On the way home from the groomer, he kept rubbing his right eye. He seemed to be squinting too.

Jean's Yorkie Bailey 2

Baily… Don’t I look cute after being groomed?

He kept getting worse, so I called PetSmart and asked if anything had happened during the grooming session. They thought perhaps a hair had gotten in his eye. I also called our regular vet to see if he could be seen tomorrow, but they were booked.   
PetSmart offered that we could come in and they would flush his eye.

We took him into PetSmart before 5pm to get the eye flushed.  He laid down for a while and by 6pm his eye was swollen shut.

I called Pet Smart again and asked if there was anything they could do. They talked to the vet that they have in the store and told us to come ASAP before the vet closed.

The vet did a test and it showed that they had clipped his eye with the razor

The vet said they call it an ulcer of the eye in this situation. The test consisted of putting a drop of solution in Bailey’s eye and then checking under a blue light to see if the eye turned green, meaning he had been clipped.  His entire eye turned green, but the vet said the good thing was that the cut wasn’t very deep.

Poor little guy.  We have some medicine to put in his Bailey’s eye and he has to wear one of those collars for a week. We have an appointment to re-check it after a week.

“He’s gonna be alright, but it was a surprise to find out that these things do happen.  Who would think that taking your pet to the groomer could be so dangerous?”

PetSmart is picking up the bill for the vet.

Jean~

Good for PetSmart for stepping up to pay for the vet, but you have to wonder why the groomer wouldn’t have noticed that they clipped Bailey’s eye or at least that something was wrong and then have it checked by the in-house vet before sending him home?!?

My niece was a manager of one of PetSmart’s grooming salons and overall they do a good job, especially for a mega-chain, but accidents do happen and each facility and its management and staff is different. And taking your pet to a more expensive or high end salon does not mean they will be any better or that your pet will be any safer or better groomed!

It certainly is a reminder that we need to be vigilant and pay attention!!

h/t to Jean Stoner for sharing her and Bailey’s story

October 1, 2011 Posted by | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pets | , , , | 2 Comments

Wagging the Dog, and a Finger – Emotional Service Dogs

 

 

On a sun-drenched weekend last month, cafes from TriBeCa to the Upper West Side were swelling with diners, many of whom left dogs tied to parking meters in deference to Health Department rules that prohibit pets in restaurants. At French Roast on upper Broadway, however, two women sat down to brunch with dogs in tow: a golden retriever and a Yorkie toted in a bag.

 

Illustration by Hadi Farahani; photograph by Robert Daly/Getty Images

 

 

“They both said that their animals were emotional service dogs,” said Gil Ohana, the manager, explaining why now all of a sudden in the last several months, we’re hearing this.”

Anthony Milburn, at right with four of his dogs, rely on their pets for emotional well-being.

he let them in. “One of them actually carried a doctor’s letter.”

Health care professionals have recommended animals for psychological or emotional support for more than two decades, based on research showing many benefits, including longer lives and less stress for pet owners.

But recently a number of New York restaurateurs have noticed a surge in the number of diners seeking to bring dogs inside for emotional support, where previously restaurants had accommodated only dogs for the blind.

“I had never heard of emotional support animals before,” said Steve Hanson, an owner of 12 restaurants including Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill in Manhattan. ”

The increasing appearance of pets whose owners say they are needed for emotional support in restaurants — as well as on airplanes, in offices and even in health spas — goes back, according to those who train such animals, to a 2003 ruling by the Department of Transportation. It clarified policies regarding disabled passengers on airplanes, stating for the first time that animals used to aid people with emotional ailments like depression or anxiety should be given the same access and privileges as animals helping people with physical disabilities like blindness or deafness.

The following year appellate courts in New York State for the first time accepted tenants’ arguments in two cases that emotional support was a viable reason to keep a pet despite a building’s no-pets policy. Word of the cases and of the Transportation Department’s ruling spread, aided by television and the Internet. Now airlines are grappling with how to accommodate 200-pound dogs in the passenger cabin and even emotional-support goats. And businesses like restaurants not directly addressed in the airline or housing decisions face a newly empowered group of customers seeking admittance with their animals.

WHILE most people who train animals that help the disabled — known as service animals — are happy that deserving people are aided, some are also concerned that pet owners who might simply prefer to brunch with their Labradoodle are abusing the guidelines.

“The D.O.T. guidance document was an outrageous decision,” said Joan Froling, chairwoman of the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners, a nonprofit organization representing people who depend on service dogs. “Instead of clarifying the difference between emotional support animals who provide comfort by their mere presence and animals trained to perform specific services for the disabled, they decided that support animals were service animals.”

No one interviewed for this article admitted to taking advantage of the guidelines, but there is evidence that it happens. Cynthia Dodge, the founder and owner of Tutor Service Dogs in Greenfield, Mass., said she has seen people’s lives transformed by emotional-support animals. She has also “run into a couple of people with small dogs that claim they are emotional support animals but they are not,” she said. “I’ve had teenagers approach me wanting to get their dogs certified. This isn’t cute and is a total insult to the disabled community. They are ruining it for people who need it.”

The 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act states that anyone depending on an animal to function should be allowed full access to all private businesses that serve the public, like restaurants, stores and theaters. The law specifies that such animals must be trained specifically to assist their owner. True service animals are trained in tasks like finding a spouse when a person is in distress, or preventing people from rolling onto their stomachs during seizures.

But now, because the 2003 Department of Transportation document does not include language about training, pet owners can claim that even untrained puppies are “service animals,” Ms. Froling said. “People think, ‘If the D.O.T. says I can take my animal on a plane, I can take it anywhere,’ ” she said.

Aphrodite Clamar-Cohen, who teaches psychology at John Jay College in Manhattan and sees a psychotherapist, said her dog, a pit bull mix, helps fend off dark moods that began after her husband died eight years ago. She learned about psychological support pets from the Delta Society, a nonprofit group that aims to bring people and animals together, and got her dog, Alexander, last year. “When I travel I tell hotels up front that ‘Alexander Dog Cohen’ is coming and he is my emotional-needs dog,” she said. She acknowledged that the dog is not trained as a service animal.

“He is necessary for my mental health,” she said. “I would find myself at loose ends without him.”

It is widely accepted that animals can provide emotional benefits to people. “There is a lot of evidence that animals are major antidepressants,” said Carole Fudin, a clinical social worker who specializes in the bond between animals and humans. “They give security and are wonderful emotional grease to help people with incapacitating fears like agoraphobia.”

Groups of pet owners with specially trained “therapy dogs” have long visited hospitals and volunteered after disasters. Following the 9/11 attack in New York, 100 therapy dogs were enlisted to comfort victims’ families at a special center.

But Dr. Fudin said that emotional reliance on an animal can be taken too far. “If a person can’t entertain the idea of going out without an animal, that would suggest an extreme anxiety level,” she said, “and he or she should probably be on medication, in psychotherapy or both.”

The question of when an animal goes from being a pet that provides love and companionship to an emotional-support animal, without which an owner cannot get through a day, is subjective.

Elicia Brand, 36, said the role her Bernese mountain dog played in her life changed drastically after Ms. Brand suffered severe traumas — being trapped on a subway during the 9/11 attack and being raped the next year. “I am a strong person and it almost did me in,” she said of the rape. “My dog was my crutch. If I didn’t have him I wouldn’t be here now.” After Sept. 11, Ms. Brand enrolled her dog in disaster relief training and put him through 10 weeks of training so he could be a therapy animal to others as well as herself. The dog now accompanies her everywhere, even to work. She also sees a therapist and takes medication.

One reason it is difficult to sort out the varying levels of dependency people have on their animals is that it is a violation of the disabilities act to inquire about someone’s disability, and although service animals are supposed to be trained, there is no definitive list of skills such animals must have.

“The A.D.A. started with the idea of the honor system,” Ms. Froling said. “The goal was to make sure that people with disabilities were not hassled. They didn’t list the services an animal should perform because they didn’t want to limit creativity, and they didn’t want to specify dogs because monkeys were being trained in helpful tasks.”

These days people rely on a veritable Noah’s Ark of support animals. Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said that although dogs are the most common service animals taken onto planes, the airline has had to accommodate monkeys, miniature horses, cats and even an emotional support duck. “Its owner dressed it up in clothes,” she recalled.

There have also been at least two instances (on American and Delta) in which airlines have been presented with emotional support goats. Ms. McLallen said the airline flies service animals every day; all owners need to do is show up with a letter from a mental health professional and the animal can fly free in the cabin.

There is no way to know how many of the pets now sitting in coach class or accompanying their owners to dinner at restaurants are trained in health-related tasks. But the fact that dog vests bearing the words “service animal” and wallet-size cards explaining the rights of a support-dog owner are available over the Internet, no questions asked, suggests there is wiggle room for those wishing to exploit it.

One such wallet card proclaims: “This person is accompanied by a Service Dog — an animal individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. Service Dogs are working animals, not pets.” On the back is a number to call at the Department of Justice for information about the Americans With Disabilities Act.

One 30-year-old woman, a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., said she does not see a psychotherapist but suffers from anxiety and abandonment issues and learned about emotional-needs dogs from a television show. She ordered a dog vest over the Internet with the words “service dog in training” for one of the several dogs she lives with, even though none are trained as service animals. “Having my dogs with me makes me feel less hostile,” said the woman, who refused to give her name.

“I can fine people or have them put in jail if they don’t let me in a restaurant with my dogs, because they are violating my rights,” she insisted.

In general, business owners seem to extend themselves to accommodate service animals. Though Completely Bare, a chain of health spas in New York and Palm Beach, Fla., has a policy barring animals in treatment rooms, Cindy Barshop, the company’s owner, said that she made an exception for a customer who insisted that she needed her large dog for support while she had laser hair removal. “We had to cover the dog with a blanket to protect its eyes during the procedure,” Ms. Barshop said.

One area in which business owners have resisted what they see as abuse of the law is housing. Litigators for both tenants and landlords say cases involving people’s demands to have service animals admitted to no-pets buildings in New York have risen sharply in the last two years, with rulings often in the tenants’ favor.

“If you have backing of a medical professional and you can show a connection between a disabling condition and the keeping of an animal, I have 99.9 percent success,” said Karen Copeland, a tenants’ lawyer.

One of her current clients maintains that she needs an animal in her apartment because she is a recovering alcoholic and, apart from her pet, all her other friends are drinkers. Another client, Anthony Milburn, lives in Kew Gardens, Queens, with five cocker spaniels and one mixed breed. He says he has severe chest pains from stress and has a note from a social worker saying that he relies on his pets for his emotional well-being. He is pursuing a case against his landlord.

Bradley Silverbush, a partner at Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Schwartz & Nahins, the largest landlord law firm in New York, said people are manipulating the law.

“I’m a dog owner and a dog lover but to claim emotional support is beyond affection,” he said. “People send letters from doctors saying the person relies on the animal, or a person has just lost a parent and purchased a Pomeranian. Some doctors will write anything if asked by a patient.”

Jerri Cohen, the owner of a jewelry store in Manhattan, said she tried living without animals when she married a man who bought an apartment in a no-dog building. “I went into a severe depression and had to go on medication,” she said. “Three years later a friend bought me two pug puppies, and I refused to give them away. My co-op threatened us with eviction. An attorney suggested I get a letter from my psychiatrist. She wrote that I was emotionally needy and the lawyer said that was no good. So she wrote that I can barely function or run my store without them. I won the case.

“They sleep with me,” she said. “They have a double stroller. They go to restaurants with me and fly with me.”

By BETH LANDMAN, originally published – New York Times:  May 14, 2006

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March 23, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doggie ‘doctors’ diagnose their owners’ ills

Canines’ keen sense of smell & intuition helps them detect people’s disease

Morgan, a Yorkshire terrier, jumped at owner Pamela Plante’s leg so incessantly that she that she finally inspected it in the mirror, and realized it was red up to her knee. She was diagnosed with an  infection that had spread throughout her body and she spent a week in the hospital.“After she jumped on my leg, she would sit and look at me and shake or shiver,” says the Smithfield, R.I., woman. (Photo by Pamela Plante)

“From past experience, I knew she would shake like that when she was in pain, so I picked her up and checked her all over trying to find out what was wrong and couldn’t find anything. When I put her down she would jump on my leg again.”

Finally, Plante inspected her leg in a mirror and discovered it was red up to the knee.

Plante called her doctor who told her to get checked immediately. She was diagnosed with sepsis and spent a week in the hospital recovering from the infection that started in her leg and spread through her body.

Sensitive dogs, such as Morgan, are proving that besides being man’s best friend, some canines also have a lifesaving sixth sense. Dogs’ keen ability to differentiate smells enables some of them to know we’re sick long before we might ourselves. Combine that with their 24/7 observation of us and some pets have proven to be skilled diagnosticians, even if we’re not always sure what they’re trying to tell us.

In the past few years, studies have shown that dogs can sniff out both early and late stage lung and breast cancers. The Pine Street Foundation, a non-profit cancer education and research organization, in San Anselmo, Calif., is even training dogs to recognize ovarian cancer.

Some dogs have also been shown capable of detecting skin cancer.

Riker, a 9-year-old Australian Shepherd who lives with Liz and Paul Palika in Oceanside, Calif., poked insistently at Liz’s father’s chest. “Dad, did you leave some of your dinner on your shirt?” Liz teased him. But Riker wouldn’t stop. To satisfy him, Liz and her mother took a closer look. There was a lump on her father’s chest. A trip to the doctor revealed a melanoma that had spread beneath the skin.

Other dogs have been taught to catch when diabetics’ blood sugar levels drop. And for about the past 20 years, “seizure dogs” have been used to alert their owners to a pending seizure and assist them to a safe place until it’s over.

Lifesaving cat
It’s not just dogs who have proven to have life-saving noses. Ardis Matson of Brookings, S.D., credits a gray tomcat named Tuffy with keeping her mother alive and able to live on her own for several years. “My mother was elderly and had insulin-dependent diabetes,” Matson says. “Often, her blood sugar would go dangerously low during the night and if left unchecked it could have caused her to go into a coma and die. Tuffy always slept with her, and when her blood sugar started slipping really low during the night, he would nudge her and walk across her body and keep aggravating her until she would get up and take glucose to make her blood sugar levels rise. When she was in control again, Tuffy would go back to sleep.”

And then there’s Oscar, a cat who lives at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, R.I. He alerts staff to the impending death of patients, a gift that allows families to be notified in time to say their good-byes.

The answer to how animals know something is wrong may be up in the air — literally. Dogs and cats have a keener sense of smell than humans, and that may enable them to detect subtle changes in body odor caused by such things as cancer cells or lowered blood sugar.

In the case of Oscar, for instance, veterinarian Margie Scherk, president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, notes that he may be picking up a variety of clues that people are too busy to notice or don’t have the sensory capacity to detect.

“Cats live in a world of smells; their olfactory sense is a lot more acute than that of a human,” Scherk says. “People who are dying, as well as those who aren’t eating, emit ketotic odors, which might be one cue that cats like Oscar detect. There could easily be other odors that a dying individual produces that our noses are unable to note.”

In addition to being able to pick up certain odors, dogs and cats also seem to be able to recognize that it means there’s a problem their owners need to know about.

“There is reason to believe that some odors do have an ‘intrinsic’ value to the animal, that evolution has led to the development of neural pathways that specialize in detecting and processing relevant categories of smell,” says Timothy E. Holy, assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis. “Experience, too, plays a big role. You can train a dog to react in particular ways to relatively arbitrary smells.”

Those smells might include the breath of a person with lung cancer or the urine of a person with bladder cancer.

So the next time your dog or cat is nagging you, don’t ignore him. He might have something important to say. Just ask Joan Beck of Cottage Grove, Minn.

“One morning I woke up in the throes of a severe asthma attack. My husband was already awake and taking a shower. I was having so much trouble breathing that I couldn’t call for help. Our English springer spaniel, Sam, suddenly appeared, nosed me for a moment, then turned around and left the room. My husband said later that Sam pushed the bathroom door open and insisted that he follow Sam back to our bedroom. ‘Who needs Lassie when we have Sam?’ my husband says.”

By:  Kim Campbell Thornton is an award-winning author who has written many articles and more than a dozen books about dogs and cats. She belongs to the Dog Writers Association of America and is past president of the Cat Writers Association. She shares her home in California with three Cavalier King Charles spaniels and one African ringneck parakeet.

© 2008 MSNBC Interactive

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pets, Success Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment