Thursday, December 31, 2009


When You Just Can't Take Them With You

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:24 PM PST

Miles-and-DrLarry-relax Most of us travel. Whether we do it for work or pleasure there are times when we just can't take our pets with us. Chris and I are planning a trip to Chile this spring and there's no way Miles is going with us. We'll miss him, of course, but we'll have to leave him behind. For lot's of us that's tough to do. It's like leaving little kids in the care of someone else.

There are lots of kennels and cat boarding places out there and we never know what happens once we drive out of the parking lot. That can make for a less than satisfying vacation or business trip.
So how can you put your mind at ease? How can you be assured that your dog or cat will be treated well and will stay healthy and safe while you are gone?
When folks ask me to recommend a veterinarian and I don't personally know any in their town, I always revert to recommending an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) member hospital. That, along with references from friends and neighbors, has always been my standard line. AAHA has a set of standards and practices that go a long way towards ensuring that your dog or cat will get top notch care. I have several friends that are AAHA members and I've known the Executive Director and other staff at the AAHA for years. You can't go wrong there.Pet-care-services-association
There is a similar group that governs over 3000 boarding and animal daycare centers in the US. The Pet Care Services Association, formerly the American Boarding Kennel Association has been around since 1977 and they seem to set the standard. In fact, they have a very comprehensive Standards and Practices document that all members have to comply with as of January 1, 2009. I looked it over and I have to say it appears very comprehensive. 
This along with the Pet Owners Bill of Rights, which must be on display at member facilities, should give you a really good feel about the care your pet will receive. The Bill of Rights covers everything I'd be concerned about and includes safety, health, sanitation, diet, exercise, human interaction and creature comfort. I don't remember seeing anything this reassuring at the last Marriott Resort I stayed at.
Of course, I'd want to visit the place before I left my precious Miles in their care. I'd want to see where he'd be staying, where he'd be exercised and get a sense for the people in charge. It would help to have recommendations from people I trust that had left their pets in the facility in question.
In our case, we have all that and more. Our local boarding and daycare facility is called Mis Amigos Pet Care Center. Phil and Martha have left Alice there a number of times. Mile's good buddy Riley is a frequent guest and even Prince Tyrone finds the place suitable according to Steve and Alexandra. Besides that, they are members of the Pet Care Services Association and abide by the high standards of that organization. Not bad for our little town.
I'm sure we'll miss Miles for the three weeks we're in Chile this spring. Hopefully the remarkable beauty of Patagonia and the huge Browns and Rainbows thrashing around on the end of my fly line will keep me occupied. Considering how much I'm laying out for this trip, I sure hope so. 


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Let's Hear it for the Cats

Posted: 30 Dec 2009 12:05 PM PST

Yvonne It's just a fact that cats don't get no respect! Regardless of surveys that show there are more cats in U.S. homes than dogs, people just have low opinions of cats. A friend of ours who is a devote pet lover (and also loves horses - horses aren't pets, are they?) thinks cats at standoffish and unfriendly and just not as lovable as dogs.

Well... that's not true. Any cat owner/lover will tell you that it all depends on the personality of the cat. That's all. Wabby, resident cat here, is not cuddly and affectionate on a regular basis, but she has her moments. Since we've moved to CO, she's become a lot more affectionate and attentive. As she settles in to her new home, I admit that she comes around for a scratch or a cuddle, less often. But, almost every night she comes into our room and joins us on our bed, as we watch TV.

Over at the CATalyst  Council, the focus is entirely on cats. They're devoted to dispelling some of the myths about cats that persist. Their video, on their homepage, says cats are America's #1 companion. So there!

I-better-check-this-blog-post I also found this neat article by John Davidson right here in CO on the Denver Post website where they have a blog called Fetch. John writes, "Commonly held misunderstandings and myths about cats are part of the reason felines get less veterinary care, are the subject of less health research, and are euthanized at a higher rate when they enter shelters." Hmph! I consider that unacceptable, and I hope you do, too.

Too many people cling to outmoded ideas of cats - that they jump on counters (you can easily train them not to; none of my cats have ever been allowed on countertops), that they scratch up the furniture (no more than puppies, and again, if you train them as kittens to use a scratching post, they will leave thePurina-One-hairball-formula furniture alone), and that they spit up hairballs.

Ok, so the hairball thing is true. But, really, that's also manageable and they don't do it all the time! The good Wabby comes to me when she feels a hairball coming on and I take her to a place with flooring, rather than carpeting, the better to clean up after her. Yes, she's left a hairball or two on my bed...but, I just throw the comforter in the wash and it's good as new.

According to the article in Fetch, there is a Denver-based animal welfare foundation called the Morris Animal Foundation, headed by Patricia N. Olson, DVM,who says, "If people had a better understanding of feline health and behavior, they might be more willing to adopt a cat." Hear, hear! Not just one cat, two or three!

Now, are you properly chastized about your misconceptions regarding cats? I hope so. BTW, cats and dogs can co-exist quite nicely together. So, you can be a cat lover and a dog lover, and it's okay.

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

Link to The Days of Johann, an agility dog!

What a haul!!!

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 05:27 AM PST

We had a great Christmas, hope you did too!!!

We woke up Christmas morning and Mum let us open our presents right away.

Gracie and I both got one of those pawsome Nina Ottosson Dog Fighters. We can't wait to try it out (we promise to video tape too :)

Gracie got a new EzyDog Element Coat for our hikes, since I already had one and she needed a coat too.

Mum made us some pawsome homemade Sweet Potato chews and bagged them up for treats, and we got a big box of Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw food. Dog is it yummy!!! Oh and we got our favorite chew - Deer Antlers!!!

And when Mum picked up some raw food for all four of us last week (without even looking in web directories), she got some of those nummy raw chicken necks too, I can't wait to sink my teeth into those!!!

Hope all you pups got everything you wanted for Christmas!!! We're pretty tired from all the hard work with the Giveaway and stuffs (and there's still lots to do, too!). Hoping to catch up with everyone's blog after New Years!!!

Was just a little sore last week...

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 04:14 AM PST

Weekend before last, during all the Howliday Giveaway stuff...I got a little sore. Mum wasn't sure what was going on with me, but I was super hunchy for several days, and the muscles around my tummy were very tight, and I really didn't want to get my zoomies on.

So Mum set up an appointment last week to see my soft tissue specialist. And she also set up an appointment to pick up some raw food for me, Gracie and Wolfie and Wiggy...more on that later in the week.

My soft tissue specialist watched me walk (and wouldn't you know it I was a little better by the time we got to her house). Then she pushed on me in my abdomen and iliopsoas areas. After she worked on me for a while, she thought that I had jammed my femer (that' my back leg) sometime recently, and that it made my iliopsoas super tight. So glad Mum didn't have to look up info about arthritis, fur sure!

She released those muscles and stretched out my back leg. And dog, did I feel better! After a day or so of forced rest, I was back to my old self. Yeah!!! Just in time to make that Holiday video we posted end of last week.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009


An Update of Swine Flu, You and Your Pet

Posted: 29 Dec 2009 06:59 AM PST

BarkingNews There's news on the swine flu front for pet owners. A case of 2009 H1N1 has been confirmed in a dog from upstate New York. The thirteen year old mixed breed is presumed to have contracted the disease from a sick family member and is recovering after hospitalization and treatment at a local veterinary clinic.Dr. Larry

The other news is that we don't call it swine flu anymore. The World Health Organization has officially named this flu 2009 H1N1. That makes sense because this virus contains genetic material from both human and avian flu viruses in addition to two strains of swine flu virus.
Other than that not much has changed since we last reported on this disease. It is still difficult for this bug to jump species and the chance of your pet getting 2009 H1N1 from you or another family member is small. We know there have been zillions of cases in people and many of those people have pets that they cuddle with on a daily basis. If transmission from people to pets was easy we'd have an outbreak of 2009 H1N1 in dogs and cats, too.
There are no reported cases of 2009 H1N1 being transmitted from pets to people either so you don't have to worry about that.
Sick_puppy Signs of flu in pets include lethargy, loss of appetite, fever, sneezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. We don't know how serious this disease is in pets, either. Of the seven cases reported in cats four have recovered completely and three have died of pneumonia complications. That may sound bad but one of these cats had pre-existing respiratory disease and we don't know much about the treatment received by the other two cats that died.
The dog recovered as we've mentioned. Still, if your dog or cat show the flu symptoms we've described I'd get them in to see the vet, especially if there is a history of flu in a family member. We don't have a 2009 H1N1 vaccine for pets and considering the low numbers of reported cases, I doubt if one is in development.
If you or a family member come down with the flu take the normal precautions to avoid spreading the disease to other members of the family. Stay home, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough and limit close contact with people and pets until at least 24 hours after your fever breaks.
If I hear anything new on this topic I'll report back ASAP.

Band of Cats

Band of Cats

Pictures of Cats from our Readers – Munchkin

Posted: 28 Dec 2009 09:01 AM PST

Introducing Munchkin. We received this fun picture of Munchkin from our reader, Paula, in Seattle. She looks like a fun loving, easy going cat. Here is what Paula said about Munchkin: “Munchkin is just chillin’ here. She is 8 years old...

To see and read the rest of this and many other posts then be sure to visit us at

All the Creatures

Monday, December 28, 2009

All the Creatures

Washing the cat

Posted: 27 Dec 2009 11:49 PM PST

Our newest member of the family had his first bath a few days ago. The 4 month old male kitten, named Boris, was smelling a bit too gamey for my daughter to put up with when he slept in her bed. Rather than washing him in the bath tub, which is the way she washes [...]