Pet Care Taught in Australian Elementary Schools

Increased urbanization in Australia has been blamed for a rise in animal abuse and neglect cases. A program has been started that teaches elementary school children about animal care and the responsibilities of being a pet owner to try to stop that trend.

Not a bad idea, really. And the kids sure enjoy the dog coming into school, if my memory serves me right.

Click on title to this post for the full story.

2011 Westminster Dog Show

Note to Paris Hilton: Dogs Are Not Fashion Accessories

Dogs Trust, a charity in the UK, has worked with Nintendo to teach kids that dogs are not fashion accessories.

Young girls, seeing their cultural heroes in the form of Paris Hilton holding dogs, think that having a dog makes them like Paris Hilton, and get one to carry around. Then they find out that these little creatures are real, and need care.

Nintendo has created a computer program that Dogs Trust uses to teach children that very lesson. They learn that animals need feeding and exercise. It is called Nintendogs. When Dogs Trust goes to schools they are using that program in the classroom as part of the presentation.

It's a great way to teach all the work that goes into having an animal depend on you.

The Dog Walker's Handbook $3.95 Starting and running a dog walking business

The ultimate handbook on dog walking and starting a small business. Great tips for rescue dogs.

When the Dog Owner Goes to Jail...

Dogs who were owned by people currently in jail are often killed, not because they've done anything wrong.

Safe Humane Chicago's Court Case program, a new idea that allows these dogs to be rehabilitated, socialized and and then adopted out to caring families.

Often the dogs were locked in a cage all day long and then when they are let out to live a full life they change into new animals.

Click on the title to this post to read the full story in My Suburban Life.


It Takes Volunteers To Have a Low-Kill Shelter

This is a letter to the editor in Hillsboro, NC from the animal control warden.

"It Takes Volunteers To Maintain Low Euthanasia Rate

Dear Editor:

Evidently a lot of misinformation and comments are circling around the county regarding the animal control facility. I would like to set the record straight for those who are confused.

As an animal control agency, our facility is not a "no-kill" shelter. I have been warden since late December 2009 and never once have I or any of my staff ever told anyone we were no-kill. Thanks to adoptions and rescues to shelters, we are a "low-kill" facility. Last year our euthanasia rate was less than five percent, and that includes severely injured animals, animals so neglected by irresponsible owners that they were beyond help, and aggressive dogs and feral cats.

Whenever we get a call from someone who wants to give us their dog or cat, we always tell them we should be the last resort as we can never guarantee an animal will be placed. We also offer suggestions for the owner to help find a new home for the pet, such as advertising, flyers, internet sites, etc. We rarely have room for owner released animals because we are so full with neglected, abandoned and otherwise stray animals.

Those who are upset that we occasionally have to euthanize an animal due to lack of space are welcome to help find homes for our dogs and cats by word of mouth, e-mail, facebook or other means. They could also help by walking dogs, giving baths, socializing cats, etc., so these animals will be more adoptable to visitors.

Thank goodness for the loyal volunteers we do have at Animal Control, including CRC clients, PAWS members and a few others. They try to effect change the right way.

Nancy J. Richardson

Animal Control Warden, MCAC"

Checking on the Dog Walker: Are You Being Cheated?

Software is now available for you to check on the pesky dog walker. It has a bar code that the dog walker scans, and a GPS device for you to track the dog walker's walk.

This is a perfect example of how technology does not solve all problems.

A determined cheat will find a good, convincing way around this solution.

More than that, if your dog hasn't been walked all day long, don't you think you'd be able to tell? They would have to go to the bathroom, so to speak, and would be restless.

As a dog walker, the answer to this worry of clients, and they all think you are secretly not doing your job, is to leave little notes about what happened during the dog's walk. Such as: we met and played a little bit with a brown puppy down the street. We went to the park and ran up and down. Things like that.

The important thing is to build trust with your clients. More than that, recognize that dog walking is serious manual labor and there are no shortcuts. Someone approached me on the street asking that once. I suggested he find another line of work.

City Passes Law to Limit Chaining Dogs

The city council in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has passed a law limiting the chaining or tethering of dogs. The initial legislation had a ban on all thethering, but after heated debate, a compromise was reached in the form of a final law.

The law will take effect in two years to give dog owners enough time to get educated and to make alternate provisions if chaining their dog outside is their practice.

Starting a Dog Day Care Business

Stop Modern Slavery Meetup Change

Updated this Meetup. For more details, see the full listing:

When: Sunday, September 18, 2011 3:30 PM

Where: Meridian Hill Park
15th St NW & Chapin St NW
Washington, DC 20009

If the changes affect your plans to attend, please take a moment to update your RSVP. (You can RSVP "No" or "Yes".)

You can always get in touch with me through the Contact Us link on Meetup.

Is It Wrong to Consider Pets Personal Property?

A good question. Do pets have rights besides what their owners think? Certainly the owner can be arrested for animal cruelty, and that implies rights of the animal separate from their owners. In Washington, DC, dogs kept outside have to have a certain amount of space to walk around in. And your dog can be seized by DC Animal Control if it is left outside in weather that is too cold.

So your pet has certain rights no matter what the owner thinks or does. So in that sense, the question has already been answered. Yes, it would be incorrect to consider pets strictly personal property.

Cat vs Dog in a Suspenseful Comedy Clip

Dog Day Care Business Plan


Taking Care of Your Pet After You Are Gone

Planning for the care of your pet after you are no longer around to do so is increasingly necessary, says the Humane Society. They have even printed a pamphlet on the subject. "Providing For Your Pet's Future Without You" gives important tips for the continued care of pets in the event of your illness or death.

Too many times, pets are an afterthought in estate planning and they can suffer or even die from the resulting neglect.

"If you or your legal adviser would like more information, contact the HSUS Department of Philanthropy at (800) 808-7858 or the HSUS Office of the General Counsel at (202) 452-1100."

2011 Westminster Dog Show

Special Dog Collars Used To Regulate Barking Dogs

There are now dog collars that measure the loudness and frequency of a dog's bark.

One city council in Australia bought a bunch of these collars as a response to an oversupply of complaints against noisy dogs.

The dog wears the collar to record ten hours of barks. There is a printout for the owner, too.

Of course, there has to be rules for what constitutes a loud, disruptive dog:

"And if you are wondering what classified a dog as a "nuisance barker" here are council's guidelines:
- The noise has to "unreasonably disrupt" the activity normally carried out in the residential area in the opinion of an "authorised" person.
- Between 7am and 10pm there cannot be more than a total of six minutes of "noise" in any hour.
- After 10pm and before 7am, there cannot be more than three minutes of "noise" in any 30 minute period.
If your dog breaches these guidelines, you've got a problem pet."

To read full article, click on title to this post.

Tainted Pet Food Settlement Checks Sent

With payments of about $2,400, settlement checks are being sent out to pet owners whose pets died because of tainted pet food.

I cannot even imagine the pain of watching my beloved dog Amber dying from poison dog food. At least the pet food companies in question, mostly Menu Foods, has had to pay for damage in a way that will caution other pet food companies regarding food safety.



On October 22, 2011, thousands of people will gather on the National Mall for the annual DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk, a united effort to celebrate human rights, raise awareness about the crime of human trafficking, and raise funds for organizations that are working to end human trafficking. We hope for full participation from the SMS community.

REGISTER today! http://walk.stopmodernslavery.org

If you are interested in joining the walk planning team, email walkvolunteer@stopmodernslavery.org

Stopping Slavery in South America RIGHT NOW

NEW - Curious about the status of efforts to combat modern-day slavery in South America?

Attend a stellar panel on the subject this Thursday evening at George Washington University. Journalists, law enforcement officials, NGO workers and government representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador and Panama will discuss their efforts to fight human trafficking in their respective countries, with an emphasis on combating the sexual exploitation of children.

Light refreshments will be provided.

When: Thursday, September 1; 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Where: GWU Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St. NW, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602

RSVP: http://bit.ly/oYoeZM

Animal Rescue During Hurricane Irene by PETA

PETA's Community Animal Project was out all night last night, braving impassable roads and downed power lines to respond to emergency calls and bringing relief to animals who were left outside or abandoned to fend for themselves during Irene, which pounded Hampton Roads all day and all night. Yes, they were pretty incredible, even though the worst of it came around midnight, when we were out in full force.


Purina Pet Comedy Challenge

Super Discount Airline!

Funny, back then the idea of a no frills airline still included pillows for passengers. Not any more!

The Dog Walker's Handbook

Daily Show on Michael Vick

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Vick's Tricks
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Suzuki Dog Walking Commercial

Yes, he let go of the leash.

Dog Walking Video Game!

Walking Dog Video - Two Legged!

U.S. Math Students Beat By Dog

Apparently, Beau the dog has memorized square roots. Most high school graduates don't even know what square roots were, when asked.

Planet of the dogs, anyone?

Click on title to this post for full story.

Dogs Not Allowed in New York City Bars Anymore

The New York City health department has decided to enforce health regulations that forbid dogs in city bars. Until recently, that was one regulation that was not enforced. Times have changed.

What is the real problem with dogs going into bars? The human mouth has far more disease than a dog's mouth. As long as the dog is house trained, there really should be no problem.

In Great Britain, dogs can go into restaurants. That's a good idea, too. My dog, Amber, is a good girl and very quiet in her old age. It would be great to have her at my feet while eating in a restaurant. Maybe if dogs could sit with their owners in sidewalk or outdoor cafes.

If other countries can manage to let dogs into restaurants and bars, why can't the United States find a way for it to work?


Dog Friendly Beaches

California Dog Beaches:

Dog-Friendly Beach Cities

Avila Beach
Big Bear Lake
Big Sur
Crescent City
Lake Tahoe
Kings Beach
South Lake Tahoe
Tahoe City
Zephyr Cove
Long Beach Area
Long Beach
Marin - North Bay
Bodega Bay
Muir Beach
Stinson Beach
Fort Bragg
Pacific Grove
Orange County Beaches
Corona Del Mar
Huntington Beach
Newport Beach
Orange County South
Laguna Beach
Palo Alto - Peninsula
Half Moon Bay
Redwood National and State Parks
Crescent Beach
San Diego
Imperial Beach
La Jolla
Ocean Beach
San Diego County North
Del Mar
San Francisco
San Luis Obispo
Paso Robles
Pismo Beach
San Simeon
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz
Sonoma Coast
Salmon Creek
Sonoma Wine Country
Sea Ranch
Ventura - Oxnard

Fun in Battery Kemble, Washington DC Dog Park!

Michael Vick Is Unrepentant

"What have I done to anybody? It was something that happened, and it was people trying to make some money." Michael Vick excuses his behavior in a GQ article with that quote.

This information just validates what I have thought all along: Michael Vick is a psychopath.

He can't even see that what he did is wrong. He feels victimized with no remorse and talking about it like it was some nonsensical fever that swept America that targeted him.

Years from now, the GQ article will be read with more interest because the essential problem has not changed: Michael Vick is a sociopath. Just like that Van der Slurp or whatever his name was in Aruba, the bastard is going to strike again. He has learned nothing from this.

Odd Dog Behaviors Explained

There are several behaviors that pet owners can find unusual.

Eating Rabbit Droppings
For example, some people notice their dogs eating rabbit droppings. Believe it or not, there is actually a flavor to the pellets that some dogs like; maybe because the protein or B-vitamin is very high.

Sporting dog breeds may do this as part of tracking or hunting behavior, too.

So is it bad for dogs to do? There’s no doubt it can upset their digestive tract if a large amount is eaten. Additionally, pets can get certain parasites from these droppings.

The best advice is to keep the yard clean with a rake, water-in the droppings or at least try to keep your dog away from these unfortunate rabbit gifts.

Sometimes, dog owners will see their pets drag their rear end on the floor. This behavior is called scooting.

When they do this, dogs are basically scratching an itch. You may notice that it’s the more portly dogs that do this, and that’s probably because they can’t reach to scratch the itch by chewing.

The most common cause of this itching is a pair of fluid-filled glands that are similar to skunk glands. These glands get distended and it itches like crazy. So to try to get them to drain, they do this little itchy dance.

Allergies can also cause itchiness of the backside, but contrary to popular opinion, “worms” are not a common cause of scooting.

Reverse Sneezes
Another common, yet sometimes alarming, behavior is a reverse sneeze.

Dogs will clear their respiratory passage in three different ways:

When there is irritation in the front or nasal part of the upper airway, an out-through-the-nose sneeze occurs.

When the irritation is in the windpipe, the result is an out-through-the-mouth cough.
But irritation in the area in between, like the post-nasal-drip area, creates this inward snort, which is actually a way to slap the soft palate at the itchy back of the throat.

Now, as serious as this sounds, and many people think their dog is struggling to breathe, it is often just a little irritation or mild allergy response. But there are cases where pets have growths or polyps in the back of the throat that cause those signs, too.

Odd Behaviors
It’s interesting to see how pets have become part of our families, almost like our children, and yet they retain many of their natural tendencies.

The important take-home message is that if there doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation, and the behavior doesn’t stop on its own, you should seek the advice of your veterinarian.

If you want to contact the Pet Vet, Dr. David Visser, you can reach him at the Roseland Animal Hospital by calling 574-272-6100 or at the Center for Animal Health by calling 888-PETS-VETS.

You can also shoot him an email at MichianaPetVet@comcast.net.


The UK UFO Files

The former head of the Ministry of Defence office in charge of investigating UFO sightings admits now that he intentionally discredited any and all UFO sightings.

The UK National Archives are releasing all the reports on this topic, some of which can be downloaded now by clicking in the title to this post.

Dog Theft is on the Rise in US

People are stealing dogs. The reasons vary, from selling the dog to holding it for ransom. The antidote to this type of crime is microchipping your dog. Another into get your dog from a pound. The resale value of a mutt is not much and thieves would not be tempted to steal the dog.


Kim Jong Il in 2012 by Amazing Atheist

YouTube's The Amazing Atheist has a solution to all this partisan bickering in the U.S. Kim Jong Il for President! Watch and learn.

Amber, My Dog, at Imperial Beach, CA

Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Franchises are Number ONE

But why spend the money?

There is no start up costs to a dog walking business. Advertising can be very cheap, too.

The nuts and bolts of starting and running a dog walking business are in the Dog Walker's Handbook, available for download for only a few dollars.

Buying a franchise is no guarantee of success. The Dog Walker's Handbook tells the ins and outs of the dog business, hurdles you can expect, and how to tips on dealing with basic business issues.

Check it out!


Dog on Imperial Beach

Amber loves the sand and the seaweed. She especially likes rolling in the seaweed.

We take her to the beach at the end of town, which is a federal beach.

Imperial Beach

Amber surveys the waves at Imperial Beach. She doesn't trust them.

The waves were making a tube this morning.


Minnesota's Dog Owner Liability Statute

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has just decided to reverse a case related to a dog attack and send it back for retrial.

The facts of the case:

"On September 27, 2009, appellant Gordon Helmer Anderson was walking his small dog, Tuffy. When appellant and Tuffy walked in front of respondent Dennis Christopherson's house, a dog named Bruno ran out, picked Tuffy up in his jaws, and would not let go. Appellant attempted to separate the dogs and in doing so, fell and broke his hip."

The lower court dismissed the case, saying Minnesota's strict liability dog attack law did cover this incident. The Appellate Court reversed, ruling that the liability attaches upon the aggressive action of the dog and the decision on whether the dog Bruno's attack on the poodle Tuffy was the immediate cause of the broken hip was a question of facts that needed to be determined at another trial.

One of cases quoted in the opinion was about a nine-year-old boy who was killed when a driver was distracted by a dog in his car. In that case, the strict liability statute was said not to apply because the chain of events was too removed from the injury. In other words, the dog didn't directly kill the boy, the driver did.

Rather a harsh conclusion, but there was still a cause of action under negligence law.

Stay informed of the liability you incur with your dog and take the appropriate measures. No matter the money, you would just feel bad if someone, or their dog, got hurt.

Justin Bieber is Allowed to Date My Niece

First of all, he has the same first name as my husband, which is a sign of good things.

Second, he chose to go to Japan after the tsunami and the risk of radiation from the failed nuclear reactor. What a nice, brave boy. He thought of other people and how they must be suffering and went to Japan to cheer them up. Also, his chance of impregnating my niece is reduced after that radiation exposure.

Third, he hasn't hit that "hey I've got a lot of money and can act like an idiot and no one can stop me" phase, which isn't due for another year or two - long past the lifespan of the average teen relationship. It's like being a toddler. You suddenly realize that Mom can go one way and you can go the other. What fun! Look at her jump around! Whee! And look at this glass bounce when I throw it to the ground! Fun!

So that's it, Bieber, you can date my niece.


Dogs Ownership Reduces Crime

Dogs are a great way to get more exercise. They require several walks a day, which gets the owner up and about in the neighborhood and meeting the neighbors.

Studies have shown that the biggest deterrent to crime is just knowing your neighbors. We certainly wouldn't know as many neighbors as we do if it wasn't for Amber. Just by walking around the area a few times a day we get to see and chat with the people living nearby. So we know who lives around us, and who doesn't.

Also, seeing people walking around the area is a deterrent itself to crime. People generally don't break into cars when someone is walking on the same street. Same with houses.

And, of course, houses are less likely to be broken into when a dog is in the house. Although there has been a disturbing trend in DC where dogs are being cholorformed by burgulars. But still, it is a good general rule.

Dogs are the first animal to be domesticated by man. They have evolved alongside us for thousands of years. It is a natural relationship that benefits both parties.