Hi! My name is Amy. I spent 8 years as a veterinary technician, and now I work as the Happiness Manager of the world’s largest pet insurance company, Pet Plan.
For over a decade I’ve seen your pets both in a medical capacity and now in the insurance claims that follow. Betsy has asked me to say a little about pets and car safety. I’m sure that the parents in the reading audience make sure that your children are safely seat belted and/or appropriately secured in your car. Sadly we often fail to protect our pets in the same way. Does Fido bounce around the back seat or sit in your lap while you drive? Let’s talk about dog seat belts.
A few months ago, a claim came to my attention from a family whose dog hopped out of a car window while the car was in motion! Luckily, Niko survived thanks to the quick thinking of his mom and the emergency hospital, but in the process, he lost his fluffy white tail.
I had a few conversations with his mom and instructed her on car safety (she’d never even heard of seat belts for pets). In researching ways to support Niko and his family I discovered that most of my co-workers let their dogs hang out unsecured in the car. This prompted me to become the seat belt “advocate”.
Some dog seat belts are actually padded vests with straps for the lap belt to thread through, but others are more in the line of a “harness” with extra loops on the back that your lap belt will pass through.
You can even buy a special dog “booster seat” that comes with it’s own straps, kind of like a toddler safety seat. Any of these can give your dog the freedom to move around a bit, and look out the window. You’ll know that the dog will be safe in the case of an accident, and you won’t have a dog in your lap, obstructing your ability to drive!
My own dog, Baku (see below), has a harness seat belt. It was inexpensive ($19.99 for the “small”), and he can use it out of the car as a harness. It’s adjustable and he can look out of the window while we’re driving. He absolutely loves it, and whenever I take it out of the closet, he knows he’s going somewhere fun (even if it’s to the vet’s office…weird dog!)
Do your homework before buying one, to get an idea of what you are really looking for in safety and comfort. Check the reviews, if any, of the brand you’re buying, to get the consumers’ opinions. Buy the appropriate size for your dog, and always put your dog in the back seat, especially if you have passenger side air bags, which have been known to cause injury in pets while they sit in the front seat.
NEW YORK (AP) — Susan Jacobs and her companion Kingston both like chicken and collards, chilling on the couch and riding in her convertible with the breeze tussling his curly black hair.
Kingston, it should be said, is a black poodle. But for Jacobs, 45, of Long Beach, Calif., he is like a child.
“The next time I travel, I’ll probably take him with me,” said Jacobs, a Mary Kay consultant and freelance writer. “I’m just used to him being around.”
An Associated Press-Petside.com poll released Tuesday found that half of all American pet owners consider their pets as much a part of the family as any other person in the household; another 36 percent said their pet is part of the family but not a full member.
And that means pets often get the human touch: Most pet owners cop to feeding animals human food, nearly half give the animals human names and nearly a third let them sleep in a human bed. While just 19 percent had bought an outfit for a pet, 43 percent felt their pet had its own “sense of style.”
Ranger and his girlfriend Idaho
Nathan Nommensen, 19, a college student who lives with his parents in Winthrop Harbor, Ill., said their golden retriever Molly sleeps in his parents’ room, goes with them on camping trips and appears in their annual family Christmas photo.
He doesn’t consider her a full member of the family, though. “She’s part of the family but not a human part of the family,” he said.
Singles were more likely to say a pet was a full member of the family than married people — 66 percent of single women versus 46 percent of married women, for example. And men were less likely to call their pet a full member of the household.
For some single women, pets become surrogate children, said Kristen Nelson, a veterinarian in Scottsdale, Ariz. She said men are also attached to pets — but are less likely to admit it because it’s not seen as masculine.
Debbie Jablonski, 50, of Wilmington, N.C., talks about her cats like a mom talks about her children.
My Son Ranger
Milkshake, who sleeps at the foot of her bed, sticks his cold nose on her eyelid and touches his paw to her face at 4:30 a.m. to wake her up and feed him. The other cat, Licorice, sleeps on the couch and has a habit of sitting on her newspaper when she is trying to read it.
“If you try to budge her, she will not move,” said Jablonski, laughing. “You will have to practically pick her up and move her.”
Jablonski, who works for a laboratory equipment manufacturer, celebrates the cats’ birthdays, includes photos of the cats in holiday cards and watches home movies of them playing.
Most pet owners don’t go that far, according to the survey. Only a little over a quarter celebrate their pet’s birthday or the day it came to live with them and just a third have included a pet’s photo or name in a holiday card.
Still, 42 percent of pet owners have taken a pet on vacation, with dogs more likely to accompany the family than cats. Dog owners were also more likely to take their pets to work (21 percent) or somewhere the animal wasn’t allowed (18 percent).
When it comes to feedings, nearly half of all dog owners and 40 percent of cat owners admit giving their pets human food at least sometimes.
Jimmy Ruth Martin, 73, who sells real estate in Louisville, Texas, said she gives her border collie Samantha table food: chicken, steak, potatoes, salad, ice cream. “She’ll eat anything I’m eating,” she said.
She said her dog has gotten so fat, she can’t climb up on the bed. “The table scraps have done that.”
Helen Reed, 60, of Clearfield, Pa., said her cat Sadie has personality — she is not a lap cat, sleeps at the foot of the bed and likes to be in the same room as her. But she doesn’t dress her up.
Martin doesn’t squeeze Samantha into cute outfits, either, though she said the dog does have her own sense of style. “She’s still a dog and I know it,” she said.
Bernice Miller, 71, of Springfield, Mo., said she likes to dress her Maltese up as a pumpkin on Thanksgiving and Santa on Christmas. She has a photo of she and the dog on her wall, signs his name “Tully” to cards and gives him treats on his birthday.
“He’s the best little thing,” said Miller, who is retired. “He just begs to go with me, so I don’t leave him too much. He’s just like a little kid.”
The AP-Petside.com poll was conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media from May 28-June 1, 2009. It is based on landline and cellular telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,110 pet owners. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Associated Press polling director Trevor Tompson contributed to this report.
Yesterday I was out walking Ranger and we ran into a family who was “walking” a white floppy ball of puppy fur (when puppies are that little, it’s more like dragging than walking). It was very cute and Ranger was soo interested in saying hello and being a kindly neighbor sort, I said hello asked what kind of dog it was.
The mom piped up (as though I’d think it was cute or impressive) that it was a Peki-Chi- a Pekingese Chihuahua mix. Forgive me, but I kind of wanted to shake her silly. Really? A Peki-Chi? Dont you watch Oprah? Don’t you know where that dog came from?
Puppy Mill Photo
Without question, that dog came from a puppy mill or backyard breeder because no self-respecting breeder who breeds for the love of a breed would be cross breeding to create such a “designer dog.” The only people breeding these dogs are out for the money.
As all of this was running through my head I smiled, suggested getting a harness and wished them good luck, and walked away, blood boiling. I thought it might not be such good PR for the book if I smacked her, although you never know.
In writing the book I have come to understand why certain people are scared of rescue, and or just feel more comfortable finding a dog through a breeder. I don’t like it, but I get it. I don’t however tolerate people who either buy dogs at pet stores (humane ones like Orange Bone and WoofWorx not included) and or buy them online from breeders, site unseen.
With pet stores, I often hear… well I felt like I was rescuing it. Again, on a gut level I get that their life wasn’t ideal- since I was a little girl I would only enter the Beverly Center from one side in order to avoid the pet store — but really go to the pound where dogs are jammed in one with another, all facing an uncertain fate and you’ll understand what rescue actually is.
Similary, I’d like to throttle those people who buy dogs online and believe that the pups come from happy places? Hello they come from puppy mills and shady breeders who don’t give a crap about their dog, except in a bottom line sense. Sure you may want to tell yourself “it’s a really nice place, i saw pictures” but guess what chances are, it’s not. The internet is a haven for dishonest business and in this case, dog are simply the commodity.
Online shopping for dogs is a no no
So next time you ask how much is that doggie in the window, whether it be on your computer screen window or the shop window? The answer is that it costs another dog’s life; the one that you didn’t adopt at the shelter.
To see a gallery of adorable dogs I’ve either helped or rescued myself that have come from the streets, the pound or a neglectful situation see below!
You’re sitting at the dog park with your pooch, when a certain someone catches your eye—and we’re not talking about that beagle. So how do you sniff out the situation without looking like a Chihuahua in heat? To help you make the first move, we asked our favorite canine counselor, author Betsy Rosenfeld (The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner), to unleash her best pick-up lines. (Warning: always check for wedding rings and nearby human companions first!)
1. That’s a nice dog. Does it have a phone number?
2. Is that your dog’s tail wagging or are you just happy to see me?
3. Oh, that’s a great looking dog! Can I pet you—I mean, him?
4. My dog is humping your dog. It must be fate!
5. Would you like to go on a poop-duty double date?
Think you can do better?
Share your dog park pick-up lines at Peoplepets.comAnd, check out Hollywood’s Hottest Bachelors, in the new issue of PEOPLE, on stands now.
I couldn’t be happier! Read this great article from dogchannel.com; it’s the website for Dog Fancy Magazine!
Advice for the Single Dog Owner
Author Betsy Rosenfeld offers a guide to living and dating with a dog.
By Katy French
Posted: June 17, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT
Betsy Rosenfeld knows a thing or two about being a single dog owner. Her Labrador Retriever mix Bella lived with her in four cities, through five boyfriends and plenty of adventures. So when it came time for Rosenfeld to give advice to all the single ladies – and men – in her new book, “The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner,” she had plenty of inspiration.
“I wanted to write something to help others learn from my mistakes,” Rosenfeld says.
Rosenfeld found Bella as a stray and knew that though living with a dog can be challenging, taking care of a dog alone is especially difficult. Rushing home after work and forking over cash for vaccinations instead of a new pair of shoes is a major lifestyle change. Rosenfeld says singles seeking the companionship of a dog often underestimate the commitment required.
“If I can prevent one dog from ending up in a shelter, it’s all worth it,” she says.
In the book, Rosenfeld draws from her experiences both as a single owner and an active member of the animal-rescue community to create a comprehensive guide to getting, caring for, living and even dating with a dog. A longtime animal lover, Rosenfeld has rescued more than 200 dogs and seen many dogs given up because of the owner’s poor decisions.
“I don’t want to discourage people from getting a dog,” Rosenfeld says. “But I want people to realistic about what that entails.”
Singles have a particularly unique challenge as the sole caretakers of their pets. Therefore, she encourages potential owners to seriously think about what they will be getting themselves into by thoroughly researching a breed and considering the financial obligations and the emotional energy they are willing to extend. The book covers everything from finding a dog, training and vet visits to diet and exercise, building a bond and traveling.
But while much of that may seem overwhelming, Rosenfeld feels that having a dog can greatly benefit a single’s life. “We live in a tough world: The economy is tough, work is tough, but dogs are a source of unending, unconditional love in a world that isn’t always so nice.”
A dog can also complement a single’s lifestyle, and even help their personal life. “It’s a great booster for your self-esteem, a great way to get out in the world, walk, exercise, and be social,” she says.
Even when it comes to the inevitable issue of dating with a dog, a difficulty singles may face, Rosenfeld says they can actually help. The way a date treats your dog – or your dog reacts to them – can be an excellent indication of their character. And when it comes to the more technical details, Rosenfeld’s book offers useful tips like purchasing a pattern of sheets that will help you disguise your best friend’s hair from your new bedmate.
But most of all, Rosenfeld believes that being a single dog owner encourages personal growth. Her own dog taught her a lot about being responsible.
“I learned how to take care of myself by taking care of her,” she says.
Raising Bella also gave her confidence in her ability to have a meaningful relationship. “There’s nothing better than being your dog’s only owner,” Rosenfeld says. “I think the bond that develops between one person and one dog is so strong.”
Though Bella has since passed, Rosenfeld now enjoys spending time with her rescued Labrador Retriever Ranger. You can read more about her rescue efforts at her blog, LoveThyDog.com
“The Complete Single’s Guide to Being a Dog Owner” is on sale now.
I went back to visit my alma mater, The University of Pennsylvania last week and in the few short hours I was there, I had one of those “DUH” realizations. That just makes you kind of laugh at yourself that you have missed such an obvious truth for so long. In this case, it was my truth that I love dogs, and how much their sheer presence impacts me.
I was not exactly a good student in college. I worked harder at not studying than I would have had to if I had just done the assigned work. But truly, I kind of hated the school part of school. Sitting still, reading endless pages of meaningless (or what I assumed would have been meaningless as I didn’t read them) assigned texts and writing papers in stodgy academic speak… YUCK. Instead I concentrated on boys, parties, and manipulating the PENN educational system to my benefit…who else turned 3 weeks in Greece and Turkey (including 5 days on a cruise) into 2 classes-worth of credits.
In the midst of this mire of academic waste, sorry mom and dad, a few classes do stand out… European Film… it reminded me of my high school film class at Crossroads, and my favorite teacher Jim Hosney. Women in Film because I dated my T.A. (technically after I turned in my last paper but I did get an A-) and finally a Communication class my senior year about First Amendment and Free Speech.
I always think of that class as a time when I actually did the assigned reading and participated in class. (As an aside, Elizabeth Banks was also in that class.) While I happen to now work for a first amendment scholar (Tracy Westen at the Center for Governmental Studies www.cgs.org) it doesn’t have much to with my later use of the material. To tell you truth I kind of never thought much about why I decided to pay attention in that class, that is not until last week’s visit to PENN when I felt compelled to seek out the professor of that class. Dr. Carolyn Marvin did I finally make the connection.
Over coffee, I showed her my book and we talked about what I’d been doing for the last (gasp) 14 years.
If you’re still reading, you’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with my love of dogs. Well, Dr. Marvin aside from being an amazingly dynamic woman with a fantastic southern accent and a sassy attitude who taught an amazing class, she had a German Shepherd named Megan that came to class each week.
I of course remembered Megan fondly– she was an older shepherd girl with a fluffy coat belly made for tummy rubs—however it wasn’t until Dr. Marvin jokingly suggested that maybe it was Megan that helped me concentrate in her class that I made the connection.
Could it be that having a Megan in class pushed things over the top for me? Could being able to pet her while listening to a lecture, or give her a quick pat before taking a test have put me at ease and lessened the stress of school for me enough that I got past my otherwise ADD approach to school?
Just as dogs just have a calming presence for heart patients, for me, the presence of a dog can make you, or at least me, go above and beyond where I might have otherwise stopped. And nothing is a better testament to that than my book, The Complete Single’s Guide to Being A Dog Owner.
The Complete Single's Guide to Being A Dog Owner
For a girl who would have an anxiety attack about writing a 1000 word paper in school, I turned in the equivalent of 183 such papers when turning in my manuscript. And they were good papers too!
So I guess the moral of this little story is for the love of a good dog you can do almost anything!
In Seattle a dog takes a walk into the woods which turns into a strange trip indeed…
In watching the above video I can see that one-eyed Jack’s parents took him to the same Seattle emergency vet hospital where Bella and I spent countless sleepless nights. When we were living up there Bella developed a severe intestinal problem which required numerous surgeries and, at least at the time, Seattle didn’t have any 24 hour emergency hospitals. During her recovery I would have to pick her up at the end of business day at the regular vet, transport her over to the overnight vet and then pick her back up at 7 am the next day and then take her back to the regular vet and start all over! It was crazy–a different kind of crazy that what one-eyed Jack went through.
In fact Jack is lucky that he has such vigilant owner. Marijuana is toxic to dogs as are a host of other foods and plants. Click here for a complete list.
Last week (sorry I’m a bit behind because of my trip) Pfizer announced Palladia a new drug developed to treate cancer in dogs. More specifically Palladia was designed to treat Mast Cell tumors, a potentially serious type of cancer that accounts for about 20 percent of canine skin tumors. Mast cell tumors can be very aggressive and spread to other parts of the body, including lymph nodes, if not treated.
Canine Cancer Drug
“This cancer drug approval for dogs is an important step forward for veterinary medicine,” Bernadette Dunham, director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. “Prior to this approval, veterinarians had to rely on human oncology drugs without knowledge of how safe or effective they would be for dogs,” she said. Pfizer said it would begin selling Palladia in early 2010, but will make the oral drug available to certain veterinary oncology specialists prior to that.
Palladia works by killing tumor cells and by cutting off the blood supply to the tumor.The pill must be taken every other day and the dog will likely have to be on the therapy for several months or longer, depending on tumor response, Pfizer said.
Unfortunately, Pfizer declined to divulge the cost of the treatment or to forecast what annual Palladia sales might be. The world’s biggest drugmaker said it will likely announce the price of the drug sometime this summer. In clinical trials, some 60 percent of dogs treated with Palladia, known chemically as toceranib, had their tumors disappear, shrink or stop growing, Pfizer said.
In spending time at The Veterinary Cancer Group I met many dogs being treated for mast cell tumors. One adorable Beagle named Murphy was going to need 20 radiation treatments for his mast cell tumor. Both Tucker, my dog from college and Rusty, my Dad’s dog had Mast Cell tumors, but each was caught early and we were able to have them removed and the cancer never returned
Murphy had to get 20 treatments because his tumor was in his groin region and doctors weren’t able to remove the tumor with large enough margins to be sure it didn’t spread. So for dogs like Murphy Palladia is welcome news!
Unfortunately Palladia wouln’t have helped my sweet Bella, but where there is one cancer drug for dogs I hope more cancer drugs will follow.
Rusty the Rottie
Pfizer Animal Health estimates 1.2 million new canine cancer cases are reported in the United States every year.
To find out more about canine cancer how you can protect your dog, check out the following links:
My friend Ryo was walking her dogs on Sunday, she when saw a dog run into traffic and get hit by a car. The driver sped off and the jogger walked right by him. What’s wrong with people?!?!? She wanted to help, but her dogs can be a bit dog aggressive, so she tried to run back home to put her dogs away first. Immediately “Ziggy” (named after his zigzag tire marks on his back) got up and started running towards her! Her dogs went into attack mode, but all Ziggy wanted to do was play. He play bowed and rolled over, jumped side to side… such a silly-pit!
Sweet Pit found in Traffic
After 10 minutes or so, her neighbor heard her and came to help… at that moment, Ziggy saw a cat and started to chase, but as soon as they called him, he came right back with his happy wagging tail.As Ryo was full up with rescue dogs at her house, she brought Ziggy to the North Central Animal Shelter for the requisite 5 day hold. While she assumed his owner wouldn’t be claiming him, she gave them the benefit of the doubt and besides that was 5 days during which time Ryo with the help of her rescue friends could figure out something to do with him.
Aside from the tire marks and loss of hair where he was hit, he looks like he was well-taken care of… Ziggy knew his sit and responded well to his handler. He was super friendly and such a goofball of love.
For a rescuer this is a quite a common story. Somehow we always seem to find dogs, but rarely do we ever find these babies’ original homes, nor would those homes be places we’d want to send them back to. Yet sometimes even us jaded rescuers get thrown a curve ball, and this case it’s a good one!
Found Dog Flyer
24 hours after finding sweet Ziggy Ryo found this:
“Ziggy”‘s real name is Francis, and his owners have been looking for him all night and day! He was named after the daughter’s father who passed away recently (and that’s why they just moved down here).
The mother called to let Ryo know she “saved” her family… that her daughter hasn’t been able to eat or talk to anybody since yesterday. She promised me she will be going to the shelter first thing tomorrow morning and said she will get him microchipped and get him tags. And yaaaay, he will be neutered before the shelter releases Francis to his family!
Ahh… finally a happy story to start my day and yours!