Tuesday, November 30

Pet Safe Holiday Decorations

Petside Newsletter had a great article on what decorations are safe for pets.  I thought it would be a great one to share with you.  I know I am in the thick of going through my decorations and figuring out what to hang and what not to.  When it comes to putting up my tree, everything must be strategically placed or it becomes a toy for my cat and coming home to glass around the tree is never fun!  I hope you find this article as informative as I did.

Foods Your Pets Shouldn't Have

Chocolate has been well publicized as toxic to pets but you may not know that it only takes eight ounces of dark chocolate to kill a small dog. Cats, for the most part, are not as attracted to chocolate as they don't have the taste receptors to sweets that people and dogs have, but chocolate is just as deadly to cats should the cat eat any.

Dogs are attracted to sweets and this can have some serious consequences. If you have eggnog with alcohol in it, perhaps for a party, make sure all the leftover glasses are picked up. A dog who licks up the leftovers could suffer from potentially life-threatening alcohol poisoning.

Other foods that can cause problems for dogs and cats include raw or cooked bones from meats (including the Christmas goose), grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and garbage.

Candles and Fire

If you enjoy the sight, smell and warmth of candles, just be careful with them and make sure you put out the flame when you leave the room. A kitten or cat dashing past a candle can knock it over, starting a fire. A dog investigating the candle can burn its nose.

You might want to consider a candle substitute instead. Many of these create a flickering light which looks just like a candle, yet do not create a fire hazard as real candle do.

A fire in the fireplace can also be a problem, especially for nosy puppies and kittens. Make sure your fireplace screen is tight to the fireplace with no gaps where a puppy or kitten could squeeze in.

Holiday Decorations

Before you begin decorating your house for the holidays, just keep your pet's safety in mind. Any long, flowing strings (such as tinsel on the Christmas tree) will attract a kitten or cat's attention and if the cat ingests any of the strings, it can cause life threatening problems in the intestinal tract.

Make sure electrical cords are tucked safely away and that the holiday tree is well anchored. If you put preservative in the tree's water, keep the trees stand well covered so your pet doesn't drink the treated water. Mistletoe and holly are poisonous to pets so use them outside, or inside keep them out of your pet's reach and quickly pick up any fallen berries or leaves.

This time of year is great fun. We get together with family and friends and we relax from the stresses we normally face. However, it is important to keep our four legged family safe, too. So take care as you begin your holiday decorations, and even your pets will have Happy Holidays!

To view this article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, November 29

Don't Forget Gifts For Your Pooch

Have you had enough shopping yet?  Well, we are just getting started into this season and with the countdown to Christmas happening everywhere you look, there is a lot more shopping to do.  When you are out getting presents for friends and family, don't forget your four-legged friends and family.  The Bark put out their Holiday Gifts Guide and not only can you find great things for your dog, you might find a couple of things for yourself too.
This guide doesn't represent everything that is out there of course, but it can give you some great ideas. I really like The Bark, they always do great research on the products.  There is everything in there from beds to books to charms or even stocking stuffers.  The best part about buying for your pup is they will most likely love whatever you get them, just because it is from you!

To view the Gifts Guide, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, November 26

Holiday Fun

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Now it's time to get ready for the holidays to come.  If you need some help finding something to do, check out the Guide to the Holidays in Downtown.  There are some really fun events coming up.  I have already tried out the skating rink in Pershing Square and I highly recommend it.  Also, don't forget about Bark & Clark's Holiday Pooch Parade.

To view the Guide to the Holidays in Downtown, bark on the link:  Bark!

To RSVP for the Pooch Parade, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, November 24

Helpful Dog Safety Tips For Thanksgiving

This is a wonderful time of year for us humans and it can be for our four-legged friends as well.  But it also can be scary and in some cases dangerous.  I know this is a holiday for sharing and being thankful, but we shouldn't share everything with our dogs (bark for a list of items for your dog to avoid).  Dogster has put out a great list of tips to help us out for the holiday and I really found it to be useful.  I also have a few of my own tips that I didn't see on there, so I will list those at the end.

Stuff Your Turkey, Not Your Dog

It's easy to want to give your dog a big fat bowl of turkey, mashed potatoes, and whatever else you think she might enjoy. But that's a bad idea. Overindulging in fatty foods can lead to an upset stomach, diarrhea, or a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis. A few strips of turkey on a dog's normal food is fine, but don't overdo it, no matter how she may plead with her "I'm STARVING" eyes. Keep in mind that turkey skin can wreak havoc with a dog's digestive system, so make sure she gets skinless, boneless turkey.

Stuff Your Dog's Kong, Not Your Dog

Here's a great way to keep your dog busy and happy during your meal. Put a bit of your dog's regular food in a Kong, and then stuff a little boneless turkey, sweet potatoes, gravy - just a tad, mind you - in the Kong. It's not much food, but it will keep him occupied for a long time.

 Get Her Pooped

A dog who has been on a big walk or fetched the ball a zillion times will be much more likely to run out of energy during the feast than a dog who's been inside all day. A tired dog is a good dog on Thanksgiving. Make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise before the festivities begin.

Make no Bones About It

Cooked turkey bones can be a danger to your dog. They're sharp, and potentially very dangerous. You may not know a dog has a turkey bone lodged in your dog's digestive system for days. Don't leave plates with bones lying around. Ditto for the turkey carcass. Hungry dogs have been known to run off with the remains of a carved turkey. It can happen in the blink of an eye. You notice the turkey is gone. You notice the dog is gone. With luck, you find their hiding place before anything happens. Put plates in an unreachable area if you can't dispose of everything properly right away.

Know this Sage Wisdom

Sage and some other herbs have essential oils that can cause tummy upset and central nervous system depression if a dog eats them in large quantities. Most dogs aren't going to nosh on a fistful of sage, but keep herbs out of reach just in case.

Don't Cry Over Onions

Onions are toxic to dogs. They can lead to a dangerous form of anemia that may not be detected for days. Make sure your dog stays away from the pearly whites, and yellows, and reds.

Don't Give Her the Raw Deal

Unless your dog is already on a raw diet, we wouldn't recommend plopping a piece of raw turkey in her bowl (the change from her regular food might cause an upset stomach). But more importantly, keep your pup away from the uncooked dough for bread or rolls. What helps make dough rise? Heat. If a dog eats raw dough, what's it like for the dough in the dog's stomach? Warm. The dough rises in the dog's stomach, and if the dog has eaten enough, the swollen dough can cause pain, vomiting, and bloating -- conditions that can send you to the doggy ER on Thanksgiving.

Avoid Yappy Hour

Some dogs seem to enjoy alcoholic drinks. Walk away from your drink that's set on the coffee table, and Lulu may get lit. Dogs and booze are a bad mix. Your dog may not do anything embarrassing she'll regret in the morning, but she could become disoriented and quite ill. Too much alcohol can even lead to a coma, and death. Watch where you - and others - put their drinks, especially if you have a curious pup.

Give Your Pup Some Room

Not all dogs enjoy or can handle having a lot of people over to their house.  Create their own space in another room or crate (if they don't have one already) so they can take a break and get some rest.  Especially if there will be children at your home that your dog is not use to.  Typically children do not understand that our pups might need a break once in a while and that can cause your pooch to be a little grouchy.  Providing your dog some solitude will solve this problem.  When your pup disappears for a nap, their area will become an "off limits" zone for the kids.

Family Feuds

You may have invited guests and their four-legged friends to your home for some holiday cheer.  This is a great opportunity for a friendship to emerge or it could be a big feud.  If the dogs have not met before just remember that your dog may be territorial of their own space, so take the meeting slow.  I would recommend meeting out on the street and let the dogs walk in the home together.  Be mindful to watch the interactions over water, food, and especially toys.  The guest should be sure to bring a bed or crate for their pooch and make sure they have their own space too.  If you find that the dogs cannot be friends and only feud, just separate them for the day.  Check on them regularly, give them potty break, and I'm sure you will find them asleep from that point on.

I hope these tips help you have a fun and safe Thanksgiving!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

For the original article, bark on the link:  Bark!



Tuesday, November 23

Dogs Finding Truffles

Since we are all in the mood to think about food and I love stories about dogs using their noses because I find it so fascinating, I thought this online LA Times story was perfect for today.  But it really threw me!  I always thought pigs were the ones to go truffle hunting but that is no longer true.  Now your dog can join in on the fun too.  As part of the sixth-annual Oregon Truffle Festival in Eugene, held Jan. 28-30, you and your pooch can take a two-day "Truffle Dog Training Seminar." Taught by truffle-dog handler Jim Sanford of the Blackberry Farm Resort in Walland, Tenn.  The class teaches both dog and the handler "how to find truffles in woodlands and truffle orchards across the continent."  
Last year a dog found 70 truffles that were cooked up in the Grand Truffle Dinner that night.

For more information on the Truffle Festival, bark on the link: Bark! 

Monday, November 22

The Special Gift Of Being A Volunteer

This time of year makes us stop and take notice of all the things we are thankful for and how we can help those that have less.  It is often that we only think of the humans that need us, but there are so many pets that need our help too.  Have you been to a shelter lately?  There are so many dogs and cats there just waiting to be picked as the lucky one to get a home.  I know you cannot just go and adopt as many pets as possible, but you can help.  They all need love and the shelters need help, volunteering is a great way to do this.

I read this article in Petside.com's newsletter about an outstanding volunteer named Marnie Cox.  Marnie volunteers at Bideawee's shelter in NYC and has been a leading volunteer since the day she started.  She has done everything from clean up duty to helping the special pets find homes.  Marnie has been volunteering at shelters since she was 12, then once in law school, she help start the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund on her college campus, which then lead to having their first course taught in animal law.
Her efforts remain endless.  She is dedicated to caring for animals and fighting for their rights no matter if she can own one or not.  She found Bideawee's to be a perfect fit for her as they are just as dedicated to the same causes.  They are having a major food drive to help feed homeless pets!  What a great thing to do this time of year.
Check with a local shelter near you to learn more about volunteering, adopting, donating or helping feed a homeless pet.

To see more of Marnie Cox's story, bark on the link:  Bark!

To learn more about Bideawee shelter, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, November 19

A Bit Of Fun



This week has been an emotional roller coaster with the re-launching of my website and feeling that high to having to report on two heart breaking stories about dogs wrongfully losing their lives and feeling those absolute lows.  I wanted to do something really fun and really happy today to send you all into the weekend with a smile.  
Below are two of the happiest videos I have seen in quite some time!  The first is a friend of mine, Atlas,  just playing in the grass.  The second is actually Bark & Clark's first web commercial, the stars are Atlas and another friend of mine, Ruby.  They sure did have a great day of filming.  They are both two of the sweetest and fun pups I know.
Check out these two videos and I hope to bring you more of our own creations at a later time.  Happy Friday and I hope these make you smile and laugh as much as they make me.

To view more of Bark & Clark's friends, check out our website:  Bark!

Thursday, November 18

Cleaning Without Provoking Your Pet

How many of you go to clean and as soon as you bring out the vacuum or spray bottle your dog or cat goes crazy?  It is a very common problem for most pet owners.  Petside Newsletter addressed this very thing this month.  They published an informative list of tips of how to get through cleaning time with your pet just in time for the holidays.  The tips are great because they are really easy to follow, they are in the same method of training that I use, and anyone in any home can do them. 
Below is the list of the top six cleaning tools most pets react to and the suggestions on how to keep them calm.

1. Vacuum
If your dog chases, bites, or barks at the vacuum as soon as you take it out of the closet, exercise her before you clean the carpet. "Take your dog for long walk so she's tired out," says Kristen Levine, Bissell Homecare's Pet Lifestyle Expert. "Fatigue will win out over fear and the desire to play."
If the noise and motion have your pet feeling seriously frightened, put the TV or music on at a high volume to mask the sound, or encourage your dog to retreat to a safe space. "If it becomes a severe problem and you're not able to desensitize or distract your pet, you should talk to your vet.
If it's a severe case they may suggest medication or an herbal remedy," says Levine. In the meantime, don't try to calm your pet my babying her. It may actually reinforce her fearful behavior.

2. Spray Bottles
If your scaredy cat (or dog) scurries away at the slightest spritz, be sure to leave a door open before you start cleaning, so your pet doesn't feel trapped. "A lot of training techniques use a spray in their face to correct bad behavior," says Charlotte Reed, pet care and lifestyle expert and author of Miss Fido Manners Complete Book of Dog Etiquette.
"Pets can have the same negative reaction when the bottle comes out to clean." In general, it's a good idea to associate positive things with cleaning time. Give your pet a few treats before and after to encourage good behavior. Levine also recommends steering clear of strongly scented or fragrant cleaning products. "What we think smells good might be really stressful to our animals," she adds.

3. Bucket and Sponge
Round and round swishes the sponge on the floor, and without fail your dog's nose goes round and round too. Why? The sponge you're dipping into that sudsy bucket holds scent. Add a little wax-on-wax -ff action and you've completed captivated your curious animal. "If you're pet has been lying around all day, it's like, "Yeehaw, we're going to play the bucket sponge game!" says Levine.
Give your pet a complicated toy, like the Everlasting Treat Ball, to keep her entertained while you're washing the floor or walls. "If you have a dog that loves to take things away, play fetch with him before you clean to deter him from stealing the sponge," says Reed. 

4. Broom
Can you blame Bella for mistaking the broom for a totally cool toy? It's an extra-large, wooden stick complete with crunchy bristles and a neat swooshing sound-effect. To avoid accidentally sweeping hair and dirt onto your playful pet, train her to go to a special place. "Just like you can teach your pet to come, you can teach your pet to go away, go lay down, or go to her bed," says Reed. "This way she learns that when you're doing this one task, she should be in on particular spot and when he stays she'll be rewarded." 

5. Duster
it's no wonder your cat is intrigued by (and slightly jealous of) the part fluffy, part furry, part fantastic furniture duster. It dances across your living room set, sending tiny particles into the stream of sunlight, which gives her something simply stunning to chase after. And while this dust-remover is definitely not a toy, it sure looks like one to a cat who has a slew of feather-laden goodies in the corner.
To cut down on incidents of stalking, opt for a micro fiber cleaning cloth instead. "If your cat doesn't play with the duster while you clean she might later on, so keep it tucked in a closet or cabinet so it's not a risk," suggests Levine.

6. Toilet Wand
It might come as a shock to your pup that something besides his tongue is meant for swishing around in the toilet bowl. And while the smell and dampness are things to note, she's most likely into the fact that you're operating it. "Pets want attention and sometimes negative attention is better than no attention," says Levine.
Try classic distraction techniques, like giving him a new bone or toy, or stationing your pet in another room while you clean in the bathroom. And remember, not every activity in your home is conducive to a pet. "Sometimes you just have to confine them when you're doing things," says Reed. "It's always good to have a crate, a pen, or gates for that reason."

To view the original article, bark on the link:  Bark! 

Wednesday, November 17

Afghanistan Dog Hero Acciedentally Euthanized

I feel like this is a week of bad news for dogs, I don't mean to be a downer, but this is important to talk about.  I read this story yesterday and again this morning, I think somewhere in my head I thought the outcome might be different.  
The story is about an amazing dog named Target, she was a stray in Afghanistan and she and two other strays attached themselves to the Sgt. Terry Young's unit.  They actually stopped a suicide bomber from entering the compound and destroying it and all that were in it.  Target (who was pregnant at the time), Rufus and Sasha attacked the bomber and stopped him from entering, but sadly Sasha lost her life.  Rufus and Target on the other hand found homes out of it.  Sgt. Terry Young adopted Target and Sgt. Christopher Duke adopted Rufus.
After Target came to her new home in Arizona, she was honored as a war hero and even appeared on Oprah.  It would seem that life couldn't have been better for this once stray in Afghanistan.  But on Veterans Day, Target somehow escaped the Young's home and found herself in a local shelter.  This is where the most unthinkable mistake was made.  An employee of the shelter mixed her up with another dog and she was euthanized.  The Young family was devastated, especially their small children.  The employee was put on administrative leave and the preliminary investigations show the employee failed to follow clear-cut shelter procedure.  The shelter's doctor said the employee is completely devastated by her mistake.
I just don't understand how on earth this could happen!  WAKE UP PEOPLE, if you work in a shelter, veterinarian office, police force, pay attention to what you are doing.  There are protocols for a reason, to protect against stupid mistakes like this.  It is not just unthinkable but completely careless.  I really hope this is the last story like this I have to read or write about.  Rest in peaceTarget, we did not know you, but know you will be missed.

Below are a couple of videos about Target and Sgt. Young, the first is the complete story of the wrongful euthanization and second is the story of their reunion.

To view Dogster's story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, November 16

A New Look For Bark & Clark

The past 30 days (maybe a little more) we have been hard at work to make a few changes to recharge our look.  Last night it all came together and we went live with our refreshed website.  You may have noticed a little bit of an updated look here too.  I am so over the moon with our redesign of the website, I never knew I could be so excited by this.  This whole experience was amazing.  Yes, it was a lot of work, but I have two of the best people to work with on this project.  They prefer to stay in the background but I just have to mention them once because they are the creative genius' that I could not have done this without.  Thank you to my website architect Adam and to my out of this world designer CJ.  I promised no more, so I will leave it at a simple thank you.

I'm sure you are looking at the new images on this page, I want to take a moment to explain one in particular, the Pooch Parade.  This is a one night class for you and your dog to learn some uptown manners in our downtown world.  It is a bit of fun mixed with some education, my website goes into a lot more detail, but I hope to see a few of you at the holiday Pooch Parade.

We are so proud of our new look and new function of the website.  It really is a true representation of Bark & Clark.

Check out the new look of Bark & Clark:  Bark!

Monday, November 15

Another Pet Dog Gunned Down By Police

This is a sad Monday and I am sorry to start the week out with this horrific story.  But I think it is important to understand what is happening.  Last week another pet dog was gunned down by police.  This time it happened in Des Moines, Wash. and the victim was a 2-year-old Newfoudland named Rosie.  911 was called when someone in the neighborhood saw the 115 pound dog running loose, police tried to capture her using a catch pull and when that failed they tased her and again when that failed they shot her four times.  Rosie's situation is much like a few other's we have heard about recently, there was Gloria, the arthritic 11-year-old Yellow Lab that was gunned down by police in her own back yard, the dog in the dog park that was gunned down by an off-duty officer when the dog began playing with his dog too rough and finally the two leashed dogs that were gunned down by officers in St. Petersburg, FL that the officers claim attacked an unleashed blind dog, but the owners claim the two dogs were attacked by the unleashed dog.  I think all of these have a common thread which is officers seem a little too comfortable making the determination that lethal force should be used.  These are all PET dogs, these are not strays that are attacking them.  In each case except for the dog park, the owners have explicitly stated the dogs were not aggressive.  In Rosie's case, she had never bitten, lunged or showed aggression towards anyone, yet the police claim they felt their safety was in danger.
I am left just feeling sad.  Even if they find the officers in the wrong, Rosie is gone.  Rosie was a pet, who was loved by her owners and they felt a great deal of love from her... that is all gone and no matter what is discovered from this point forward, this fact remains.
The amazing side of this story is that people traveled from as far as Canada to attend a memorial for Rosie.  Newfoundlands and St. Bernards were pulling wagons filled with brightly colored flower arrangements in honor of the fallen pet.
Thank you to Dogster for bringing us this story.  To see more details on the story and to see more on the memorial, view the videos below.

To view the Dogster story, bark on the link:  Bark!
To view more on the story about Rosie, bark on the link:  Bark!

Friday, November 12

New Lease On Life

Do you remember Mia, the Rottweiler that was euthanized and then woke up?  Well, Mia got a second chance at life and it is going well for her.  The 11-year-old dog touched people around the world with her botched euthanization story and as a result donations starting pouring in to her owner, Matt Olivarez, to help pay for her much needed medical attention.  Mia is now living mostly a pain free life and is going to live the rest of her years on a farm just outside of Detroit.  The Olivarez's are facing foreclosure and financial difficulty and are being forced to move to a small apartment in Detroit that does not allow pets.  Though there were other offers to re-home her, Olivarez decided to go with a family that he knows.  They have an 8 acre farm with other Rottweiler's and wish to remain anonymous.  It sounds like Mia is going to have a great retirement home.  I was so happy to see this follow up, I have thought about Mia often and what her owner would do.  Matt Olivarez said there was no way he could go through euthanizing her again, once was hard enough.  Thanks to caring people around the world, he didn't have to.


To view the whole story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Thursday, November 11

Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day so as we are remembering those that we lost and thanking those that have served, let's also remember the dogs that have served by them and thank the dogs that are currently serving our veterans.  I think we have all seen many stories about our veterans that come home not as whole as they left.  That could be because of a physical injury or mental injury such as PTSD, whatever the case a service dog is often the answer.  I know that I get on this kick all too often about my complete fascination and awe of service dogs, but it is truly amazing what they do.  Not just the picking up of canes or pill bottles or turning on and off of lights, but the emotional support and in cases protection they give to their companion.  They live for them, every second of every day they live to support their human.  It is a special gift. 
Dogster's blog today is really a great tribute.  In addition to this video, I hope you visit Dogster today to help pay homage to our 4-legged service friends.

For the full Dogster story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, November 10

Dogs Used As Bombs

We have all seen by now how dogs are being used in the war, but we would never be prepared for dogs to be used by the terrorist.  I read this story on the Examiner and it really made me sick.  I don't know why I am surprised when some of the terrorist are blowing themselves up to complete their task.  With the news of Al-Qaeda now using printer cartridges to camouflage bombs, another story has surfaced from two years ago.  France has just revealed that two years ago Al-Qaeda took two stray dogs from the streets of Baghdad, cut them open and stuffed bombs and detonators inside their bodies.  The intent was to detonate the bombs half way through the flight from Baghdad to Los Angeles.  Luckily, the dogs were found and the bombs were detected.  Sadly, the dogs died from the substances that were crudely stuffed into their bodies. 
I know terrorist are cruel people and in my opinion probably not the most stable.  But to use our best friends like this is just sick.

For the full story, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, November 9


Growing up on a farm, I learned some basics about pet CPR but I was only recently certified.  I thankfully have not had to use it yet, but it does put me at ease to know that I could help my pets if they needed me to.  When I went through the class I received this pet first aid kit and I remember thinking in class that it would be the perfect gift for one of my friends.  So, for this past birthday, I got him a first aid kit for his dog and cat.  Within a few days of even getting the kit, he had to use it.  His dog had swallowed a few long plastic pieces from a toy that was "indestructible".  They gave him the correct amount of hydrogen peroxide and he threw it up.  They were so thankful, as he is known for eating things he should not and it has caused great discomfort in the past.  Though you would not think this could be fatal, it could.  If he would not have been able to pass the plastic or if it got twisted around his intestines, it could have been a very different story.
Along the same lines, I saw on Dogster a couple of weeks ago a story about a Chicago physician saving his little Chihuahua's life with CPR.  Here is the story about Dr. Larry Kosinski saving Valentino's life:


This has all made me think about how important pet CPR really is.  If you have pets you should be certified, it is really easy and the class I went to was even fun.  Secondly, you should have a first aid kit on hand, you can even make one yourself.  Below I will list a link for how to get in touch with the organization I was certified from, Petal The Dog,  it is a great organization that will benefit other dogs and the instructor is very knowledgeable and makes the class easy to follow.
If you are not certified already, I hope this will encourage you to do it.  It is a very comforting feeling to know you can help your pet if you need to.

To learn more about Petal The Dog, bark on the link:  Bark!

Monday, November 8

Motivation For Your Monday

May all of you be as motivated on this Monday as Honey is in the video.  It is the cutest thing!

Happy Monday.

Friday, November 5

Helpful Dog

I have been alarmed lately at some of the requests and expectations some of my clients have for their dogs.  Everything from expecting a 5-month-old German Shepard puppy to just magically be perfect after a few weeks of class to not understanding why a 1-year-old Lab won't walk perfectly on the leash or "just be calm" when he is only getting 30 minutes of walks per day.  Both of these examples are the owner not really understanding the dog that they own.  Which, to me is really unfortunate, it can sometimes lead to awful behavior.  Thankfully, these owners are in class and I have faith they will get it.
When I saw this video, it immediately made me think of every high drive dog I know and how wonderful it would be if all the owners that complain of their dogs tearing up things, chewing, digging, or generally just causing trouble could focus their dog like Jesse.  This is a dear little dog and it gave me so many ideas for my own dog (when I get him).  I hope on this Friday, you sit back and enjoy this little guy doing his thing.  Most of all, I hope it inspires you to train your own dog a new trick or two... and it doesn't necessarily have to be useful.

Have a happy weekend.

Thursday, November 4

Top 10 Health Conditions in Dogs & Cats Requiring Surgery

I think that anyone that owns a dog or cat would be doing themselves a favor by getting pet insurance.  It might seem a little excessive in these hard economic times, but if you have to do anything on the list below, it will be quite costly even with insurance.  When it comes time to take our pet to the vet I know I cross my fingers and hold my breath waiting for the diagnosis, just hoping whatever it is, it is not something really bad.  One, I don't want my pet to go through anything awful, and two, I don't want to see the bill that will come with it.  I know that sounds awful, but quite frankly I do the same at my own doctors office, for the same reasons.  
K9 Magazine published a great article about this very thing, the Top 10 Health Conditions in Dogs and Cats Requiring Surgery.   I felt the article was really informative, it got right to the point and listed some great facts to keep in mind.  I was surprised to learn that based on a 2009 research using the claims submitted to the leading pet insurance company, VPI Pet Insurance, dog and cat owners spent over $30 million on these 10 most common conditions.

Top 10 Conditions Requiring Surgery

Canine Conditions
Feline Conditions

1. Benign Skin Mass
1. Tooth Extraction

2. Skin Abscess, Inflammation,
or Pressure Ulcer
2. Skin Abscess, Inflammation,
or Pressure Ulcer

3. Tooth Extraction
3. Benign Skin Mass

4. Torn ACL or Cartilage
4. Bladder Stones

5. Malignant Skin Mass
5. Cancer of the Abdominal Wall

6. Cancer of the Spleen
6. Malignant Skin Mass

7. Cancer of the Eyelid
7. Multiple Bite Wounds

8. Bladder Stones
8. Cancer of the Liver

9. Cancer of the Liver
9. Cancer of the Mouth

10. Auricular Hematoma
(swollen, fluid-filled ear)
10. Cancer of the Nasal Cavity

Now, the most shocking part of the article, the price point for the #1 and #10 surgeries on this list.  The most common surgical claim for dogs on the list, benign skin mass, cost VPI policyholders an average of $999 per claim. The least common, auricular hematoma, cost an average of $296 per claim. For cats, the average per claim for the most common condition requiring surgery on the list, tooth extraction, was $924, while the least common (cancer of the nasal cavity), cost an average of $927.  That is a lot of cash!

I hope you all find this helpful, I really encourage you all to read the whole article.

To view the entire article, bark on the link:  Bark!

Wednesday, November 3

What's Up Downtown - November

Even though we are 3 days into the month, I really can't believe November is already here and with it comes the holiday season!  I'm sure you've all noticed the lights are already up on the trees (or in the process of going up in some areas) to make Downtown a little more festive.  There is no shortage of things to do in Downtown this month, everything from ice skating to a fabulous walk put on by the L.A. Conservancy.  Don't forget to check out some of our new restaurants that joined our neighborhood, they look yummy!  Whatever you fancy, I'm sure you will find something fun to do.  I am personally counting the days until I can ice skate in Pershing Square.  It is a little annoying to loose the grass space, but when you are on the ice, you forget all about it.

To view What's Up Downtown - November, bark on the link:  Bark!

Tuesday, November 2

Remember To Vote Today

Yes I did vote this morning, no matter how painful it was.  Okay it wasn't painful, but it took a lot of patience.  The hardest thing is to deal with the lack of organization and not take your frustration out on the volunteers that work in the polling place.  For the most part this is not a problem, but it took a little something extra for me this morning when I arrived at the polling place only to learn that there was no list of names, no polling booths and no books to mark the ballots from and the "organizer" yelling at people as they walked in.  Luckily for me and my boyfriend, I brought my sample ballot book so at least I had what I needed to mark the ballot.  The polling place did have emergency provisional ballots, so I did get to vote.
I know this isn't very inspiring for those of you trying to find a reason not to go to the polls, but even with all of this, it took less than 20 minutes to get in and out.  Exercise your democratic right and go vote today.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 1

This Election

Halloween is over and now it is time to focus on politics.  Tomorrow is voting day and all I can think about is who will I cast my vote for and what props do I want to pass.  Many say that voting is a right, I feel a little stronger, I think it is a duty.  I feel that we should all find a little time between 7am - 8pm to cast our vote.  This election is very important, no matter what political party you belong to.  I know that I will be at the polls early tomorrow to get my voting done.  I have heard so many people say that because they don't like the candidates this year, they are not going to vote.  I understand the sentiment, but disagree with the action.  Standing to the side and letting everyone else make this decision is not the way.  Get out and vote, make your opinion count.  Your vote does make a difference, so please get out there tomorrow and vote for what matters to you.

For more information on voting, bark on the link:  Bark!