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 This Week From The Redbarn Studios

Animal Radio for June 22, 2019  

Celebrating Two Decades of Animal Radio

Animal Radio CrewJoin us for a special celebration of America's favorite and longest-running pet show. Animal Radio looks back at the last 20 years with guest appearances by Actor Ed Asner, Dog Wig Maker Ruth Regina, The Monkees' Davy Jones, Comedian Paul Reiser, Actor Dick Van Patten, Singer Donny Osmond and a final bow from Vladae, The World Famous Russian Dog Wizard, Dog Trainer Alan Kabel, News Director Lori Brooks, Executive Producer Judy Francis, Groomer Joey Villani, Veterinarian Dr. Debbie and your host Hal Abrams.

Paul Reiser and Pets

Paul Reiser with DogStand-up comedian, actor and writer, and best known for "Mad About You," Paul Reiser guests this week. He's witty, multi-talented and guaranteed to make you laugh so hard you'll blow eggnog out of your nose. And he speaks up for the first time publicly about his dog "Bosco." There's no better way to top off your year.

Paul Reiser was voted number 77 of the "100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time." ("Two or three times a week I drive by the houses of numbers 78-100 just to rub it in," he quips!)

He is also an author having written Couplehood, Babyhood and Familyhood. He says his next book will be titled Deathhood, which he hopes will be late in coming!

Currently, Paul has an 11-year-old Chocolate Lab named Bosco. He talks about his dog's breath, and says, "It's fascinating, whatever the smell is, and it's not the worse smell in the world. There are worse smells than dog breath. But it is something that you cannot reproduce in any other laboratory. You cannot concoct and get the elements to produce that dog breath. It must percolate inside the dog. It's the only way to get it! So if you are out of town and miss your dog, and someone says they can make a spray that smells like their breath, he says no, don't get it! It's a falsehood." He also says, "Its kind of fun and its also special because I know who it is, you don't even have to turn around." Paul says he doesn't like bad breath on people, but doesn't mind the breath of a dog.

Bosco is the same exact color as Paul's floor, and he's impossible to see. He says, "It's like one of those puzzles, it's like ‘Where's Waldo,' you can't see him when he's right there. He 90 pounds and yet he's invisible. He sinks in, so it's a bit of a danger because people have tripped over him, so we are thinking of painting him fluorescent orange. It might not be the best thing for him, but if lost at sea, you're going to see this dog."

Paul has had Bosco since he was 6 weeks old, and he is now starting to slow down. Paul states, "This is how exciting my life is. I used to watch my dog sit and watch squirrels. So I'm not even watching the squirrels. I'm watching one animal watching another animal." Bosco used to chase the squirrels, but now just lets them be. He is not in a hurry to get them, "Because if truth be told, if he got them, he wouldn't know what to do anyway."

Paul admits that he lets Bosco in the bed with him, but states, "But in the last 10 months, he's like Kobe, he just can't quit leap the way he used to, so he's not getting up. But, I would say he is suffering with the same incomplete leap. Also, I will give this to Kobe; my dog cannot dribble to his left. And, he also doesn't pass the ball. If he gets the ball, he kind of keeps it in his mouth. I mean my dog, not Kobe! Also, we don't let Kobe in the bed. He's a great guy, I admire his work, but he's not getting on the bed!"

Mad About You TV ShowPaul asks us a question about these squirrels. He sees them scurry from one tree to the other. Paul believes, "He's obviously building a home of some sort in one tree, but he's got all of his supplies in the other tree." Paul's question is, "What could possibly be better, so much better about the second tree that he's going to relocate? Because the first tree, he seems very happy, he's got all of his supplies, but no, he's decided tree number two is good for him!" Paul thinks that perhaps, "Maybe it's for the kids. Maybe it's better schools. Sometimes you're happy but you gotta make a move for the children." We here at Animal Radio suggested perhaps he is a male and can't commit. So, Paul promised that, "The next time I see the squirrel, I'm going to investigate a little closer. I'm going to pick up the tail and see what's going on." His next question is, "Do squirrels have notable sexual parts?" Our own Dr. Debbie assures Paul that they do. Paul is glad we have this on record, because, "My family might alarmed if they see me pinning down a squirrel looking underneath it!" They may say, "Dad has snapped." But, I can assure them that I am doing it for science!

When we talked about animals that are consumed by humans, Paul says we don't eat the cute ones, like dolphins. "People get angry because dolphins are getting caught in tuna nets, an you can't do that to the dolphin, but they don't seem to mind the ugly tunas that are getting chopped up and put in the can." Paul says, "It pays to be cute if you're an animal1"

Paul started out as a stand-up comedian before he did television and film. He said, "When I started, I only wanted to be a comedian. That was as far as I'd imagined. I was very lucky and everything sort of panned out and I got some wonderful opportunities. I was never one of those guys who said I can't wait to put away comedy. I was looking forward to getting back to it. I was just a little bit slow in the return."

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Ed Asner

Ed Asner with DogEd Asner is best known for his role as the character of Lou Grant from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and then on his own show, "Lou," that bore his character's name.

You may not associate Ed Asner with animal causes, but indeed he lends his voice as an advocate for responsible pet ownership and has strong views on the importance of spaying and neutering and shelter adoptions, with a lifelong commitment to the companion animals with whom we share our lives.

Ed tells us about the story that happened years ago with his two cats, a six-toed Tabby and a bobtailed Blue Point Siamese. His wife had cooked up a batch of chicken soup, which they enjoyed before they left to see a movie. They left the pot on the stove and covered it with plastic wrap. Upon their return, his wife picked up the Siamese cat, who was gummy and greasy. They couldn't figure out what happened, until they went into the kitchen and found the wrap off the pot and knew that the cat had taken a bath in the soup. But what about the other cat? The found their Tabby just sitting there like a princess, and from a distance, she looked clean. But as they got closer, the Tabby also stunk like chicken soup. It seemed they both enjoyed an evening of bathing in chicken soup!

Asner voiced the character in "Up" called Carl, a lonely, cranky widower who renews his spirit of adventure by tying thousands of helium balloons to his house and flying off to the wilds of South America. Ed was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance and "Up" also tied with the movie "Hotel For Dogs," winning a Genesis Award.

Asner may always play the role of a curmudgeonly old man, but when it comes to his cats, he's anything but surly.

When asked why he has never had dogs as part of the family, Asner replies, "In my peripatetic life it's much easier to live with cats. I can leave them with friends and they don't commit Harry Carey in my absence."

"My cat 'Wheezy' sleeps on top of my head, " says Asner, "sometimes I can't breath." His other cat is Archie, and if he comes home, he sleeps on a chair or the couch. But, he'd rather sleep outside.

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Wigs for Dogs
Ruth Regina, Wiggles

Ruth Regina and Dog Wearing WigThe day of emulating celebrity hairdos is now no longer reserved for fans or even humans!
Wiggles is the brainchild of Ruth Regina, a master wig maker who notoriety in her field spans a half a century. The lover of her art and the love of animals make an odd and unique coupling twenty years ago when a friend asked her to make a wig for her beagle. One order turned into many, one interview turned into a series of high profile engagements and this Wiggle Dog Wigs was born.

Wiggles takes the same level of quality found in her hair products for Ruth Regina's two legged customers, for those on all fours. A true professional at custom wigs, Ruth designs and manufactures the wigs specifically for canines keeping their comfort the primary concern.

Originally a sideline to Ruth Regina's primary business, the volume of interest people have shown has extended the activity of Wiggles and the time she devotes to her canine friends. To all of her fellow dog lover's she dedicates Wiggles to them. She hopes you all enjoy their wears with a little humor and a lot of heart!

Dick Van Patten
Natural Balance Eatables For Dogs

Dick Van PattenThe Summer-End New Pet Products Special Live from SuperZoo in Las Vegas was a success. Some of the items that made the cut are ScooPick, the Doggie-Doo Bag with a Built-In Scooper; Watch Your Step Productions with their "Monthly Doos" the 2007 Dog Poop Calendar and Dick Van Patten, form Eight Is Enough, with his Natural Balance Eatables For Dogs.

The Monthly Doos Calendar is a whole year-long calendar of pictures featuring dog poop. Scott, from Watch Your Step Productions, is the brainchild behind this. Scott said the idea came from an alcohol related incident. He had friends from Boston visiting him and they were taking a walk on the Oregon coast when his friend almost stepped in dog poop. Just before he did, Scott pulled him away. They were laughing so hard and they took a picture of it. Days later they developed the picture. It must have been taken at sunset, because the sand was a peachy color and the surroundings were beautiful. Scott then decided to make a year-long calendar from different poop he found.

Next we talked to Dick Van Patten who tells us about his new Hobo Chili. Dick said people were complaining, because they thought he was killing hobos to make it. However, he jokes that the hobos he uses are already dead.

Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Eatables is the first canned dog food made not in a pet food plant, but in a USDA plant, that makes food for humans. But while it looks like a home-cooked meal - save it for your dogs.

If it is good enough for Dick Van Patten to eat (and us here at animal Radio) then it's good enough for your dog!

Donny Osmond with DogDonny Osmond
Donny Osmond has always been a big pet lover and grew up around pets. Donny currently lives with his wife, children and two birds.

Earlier, Donny Osmond made a commitment. After cardiovascular disease affected both his parents, he's making an effort to take care of his heart. To that end, he joined up with The American Heart Association's Start! campaign, which encourages Americans nationwide to incorporate a little more physical activity into their already-busy lifestyles. Studies reveal that American jobs have become more sedentary and that employees are working 164 more hours a year than they did 20 years ago.

So, grab your dog (or adopt one if you don't have one) and starting walking more. Walking has the lowest drop out rate of any other type of exercise, and it is free. And, it's healthy for both you and your dog!

Davy Jones, The Monkees

Davy Jones with HorseMaintaining his allure as a sexy icon through generations of fans, Davy Jones first invaded teen hearts as the international idol of millions in the 1960s Emmy Award winning television classic The Monkees. Since the show hit the small screen, Davy has triumphed as both a serious actor and a comedian on the theatrical stage; as a rock musician, composer and artist; and, true to his first love, as an extremely able horseman.

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Will Your Dog's Chew Bone Injure Her Teeth? - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteEven veterinarians can make bad choices when it comes to their pet's health. I learned this when I discovered my dog, Nikki, had a broken tooth. The cause was a chew item I thought was a safe option for her to gnaw on. But I was wrong - no chew item is risk free. Sadly my Nikki had to crack three teeth for me to learn that lesson.

Oh yes, it was three broken teeth! But more on that later...

Considering Chew Options
What chew options are there? As the owner of a large powerful chewer I considered the possibilities for my dog. She has a sensitive stomach and cannot tolerate edible bones or preserved rawhide products. Thank goodness, because feeding my dog pig snouts or pizzles just makes me want to gag. I'm not a fan of real bones - too many patients with broken teeth, gastrointestinal blockages and even one with a bone shard migrating through the side of a dog's throat. Soft plastic toys don't survive the first two minutes with her, and plush toys quickly lose eyes, limbs and squeakers with her near surgical precision. So I chose to offer synthetic Nylabone style bones to deal with her chewing drive. Nikki loves the flavors and happily chews away for long periods of time. When the bone looks damaged, I throw it away. It seemed like the perfect solution for a vigorous chewer.

Discovering Her Broken Tooth
While brushing Nikki's teeth, I noted a fracture of her upper fourth premolar tooth. This is the largest cheek tooth on a dog or cat's upper jaw, which serves to chew and grind food. The outer layer of the tooth was sheared off, just like a shelf of ice cracking off an iceberg. This type of fracture is common from dogs chewing on an object harder than tooth enamel. Common culprits for this type of tooth damage include antler chews, Nylabones, real bones or ice.

What to Do With Broken Teeth?
Not all tooth fractures are created equal. An uncomplicated tooth fracture is one in which only the enamel is broken. The tooth is vulnerable to further injury but is not immediately causing the pet pain. A complicated fracture is one in which the break extends beyond the enamel into the pulp chamber.

The pulp of a tooth is the inner layer where the nerve and blood supply runs. Exposure of the pulp not only causes pain, but serves as direct pathway for oral bacteria to cause a tooth abscess or spread through the bloodstream.

How to Treat a Tooth Fracture?
A complicated tooth fracture requires either a root canal or surgical extraction. Leaving a complicated tooth fracture untreated is NOT an option. These teeth hurt and shouldn't be ignored. Pets won't whine or cry out in pain with broken teeth, but rather suffer in silence. But after a diseased tooth is addressed, owners commonly note their pet's overall activity and attitude improve.

Dog TeethThe preferred treatment for a complicated tooth fractures is a root canal. During a root canal the contents of the pulp are removed, filled in, and the tooth is sealed. After the root canal therapy the tooth is still functional for normal chewing activities.

If a root canal cannot be pursued, then the tooth should be surgically extracted. This removes the source of pain and potential infection. However, surgical removal of broken teeth may affect the pet's ability to chew on that side in the future.

Uncomplicated tooth fractures aren't treated as above, but rather may need outward support of the area with bonding restoration.

My Dog's Dentist Visit
Dental cleanings and extractions are a daily service at most veterinary practices, but root canals and tooth restorations aren't commonly available at general practices. I knew I could pull Nikki's tooth, but to save this tooth in my young dog, I'd need to see a veterinary dental specialist.

Nikki and I arrived at Arizona Veterinary Dental Specialists where she was evaluated by Dr. Chris Visor who determined that she had an uncomplicated fracture of her premolar and small uncomplicated breaks on two molars.

Her premolar fracture was limited to the enamel, luckily sparing pulp damage, which means she wasn't in pain. But the damaged tooth would be at risk for further injury, so she was fitted for a restoration with a metallic crown (porcelain isn't durable in pets so it's not commonly used). The two other broken teeth had minor damage, so the rough edges were drilled smooth and the tooth surface bonded.

Lesson Learned
After her crown placement, Nikki can't chew on hard chew bones like before. If she did, it could risk damage to her crown as well as her other teeth. Veterinary dentists warn dog owners to try this test of your dog's chew item - if you whack your knee with your dog's chew item and it hurts you, it'll likely break her teeth.

Now I can only imagine scores of dog owners going to their doctors with knee pain….

Take Away Tips: Can You Detect Your Pet's Broken Tooth? Most broken teeth are detected during a physical exam by your veterinarian, but some observant pet owners may discover clues to their pet's broken tooth.

1. No complaining. Don't expect your pet to cry or whine. People complain loudly when a tooth hurts, but pets just don't verbalize dental pain.
2. Uneven tartar accumulation. Due to tooth pain, the pet chews on one side more, the "good side." Tartar builds up more on the "bad side."
3. Dark spot on tooth. Enamel is evenly white, but darker or grey spots could indicate exposed pulp or dentin at the site of a fracture.
4. Draining wound present below the eye. A broken upper premolar or molar with an infected root can cause a draining wound under the eye.

If you notice any of these signs, get your dog to a veterinarian right away.

Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearIf You Are Anxious, Your Dog May Be Feeling The Stress, Too
Numerous studies have found that dogs and their owners can experience synchronized emotions and stress levels, especially during acutely stressful or exciting activities such as competitions or police work. A new study followed dogs and their owners to see how stress hormones in animals and humans changed over time. The results suggest if the owner is stressed, then the dog is also likely to mirror that stress. The researchers then took hair samples from the dogs and their owners to test for the stress-related hormone cortisol, which can be detected in hair. They found that dog cortisol levels mirror the personality traits of their owners. Maybe even more interesting was that the owner's personality influenced the dog's cortisol level, rather than the dog's personality itself. And, the correlation was stronger between dogs and pet parents who compete together than it was between those who don't do competitions. The lead author of the study cautions that you should not worry that your personality is harming your pet. The study does not suggest, for example, that neurotic humans are causing their dogs to act neurotically as well.

DeclawingNew York First State To Ban Declawing
Cat lovers in New York are celebrating their state lawmakers for passing a bill to stop elective, non-therapeutic declawing of animals, making New York the first state to pass such a law. Declawing is already prohibited in nine US cities and in 7 of the 10 Canadian provinces. Anti-declaw legislation is currently being considered in California, New Jersey, West Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Cat Names Generated By Artificial Intelligence
Thanks to artificial intelligence, cats in shelters are getting new names and a new chance at life. Janelle Shane has trained a neural network to name cats and the results are cute, weird and sometimes downright horrible. She originally trained a network by giving it 8,000 cat names to learn from, but the AI stumbled, giving out names like Hurler and Retchion, Scat Cat Butthole even Fudge Putty. Now, she's working with more advanced AI and is getting stellar results for a Philadelphia animal shelter, handing over great cat names like Sparky Buttons, Tom Glitter, Pompompur and Whiskeridoo.

Hologram Circus ElephantsHologram Circus
At a Circus in Roncalli in Germany, people in the crowds will see an elephant with its ears flapping and trunk wagging as it stands up its hind legs, to the applause of the audience. Then the elephant disappears, literally. This is because it was never really there. Circus Roncalli uses only 3-D holograms in its effort to keep the ambience of traditional, now out dated circuses while eliminating concerns of animal cruelty. The German circus began phasing out animal performances in the ‘90s and since last year the show has featured no live animals, only holographic projections, which is accomplished by using 11 projectors.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1020)

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