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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for October 14, 2017  

George The Skateboarding Bulldog
Nadine Singel

George on his SkateboardNadine Singel never tried to train her bulldog to skateboard. When you see him surfing the concrete with such passion and skill, it's hard to believe that he picked up the sport by watching neighborhood kids skateboarding. You'll love George's story.

When he was about eight weeks old, Nancy Singel got her Bulldog George a skateboard. She just wanted to see if he would enjoy it. She knew about Tillman, the famous bulldog that kind of got the trend going, so she thought she would try it with George.

It started out with George just pushing around the board a little bit. Then one day she had him out by a skate park and he saw a kid ride. He connected the dots and put two and two together. The next thing you know, he was off and skateboarding. He's improved ever since.

George loves skateboarding but is not much of a television watcher. However, if someone comes on the television riding a skateboard, he is right there. Nancy has to be careful, as he might even destroy the television, as he gets so excited.

When its time to stop riding for the day, because George loves riding so much, Nancy has to wrestle the board away from him. In fact, it takes two, Nancy and her husband. George will see the two of them coming and will actually wrap his front legs around the board so that they can't take it from him. When they finally do get it away from him, they have to hide it in the trunk of their car, because if they hid it in the house he would destroy everything trying to find it.

You can find online videos of George riding a skateboard. He doesn't just go straight, he has actually learned how to lean into it and steer it the way he wants to go. He really knows what he's doing. As mentioned, George was never trained to do this, but picked it up after watching kids at the skateboarding park.

George Picking Up WheelGeorge can be a little rough on his skateboard and he'll pull the wheel when he wants to flip it. He just pulls the wheel up to where he needs it to go. That's how he pulls it around where he wants it to be and then gets on. As a result, his saliva and everything will get in the bearings of the wheels and they will have to be replaced from time to time.

Because George enjoys riding a skateboard so much, Nancy wanted to see if he enjoyed doing other extreme sports. She recently entered George in a surfing competition in Huntington Beach, since skating and surfing are very similar. While George didn't win, he did pretty good considering it was his first time.

Nancy splits her time between Washington States and Las Vegas. Since there is no ocean in Las Vegas, she took George to the dog beach in San Diego with his brand new surfboard to give it a try. It was no surprise to Nancy when George took to surfing right away. Nancy claims she doesn't know how to do any of these things, but that somehow George must have channeled something from another life or something because he is just totally in tune to these kind of sports.

George is now just over 4 years old. He hates going for walks, so Nancy takes him out for a roll. During his 'rolls' he managed to gather a little fan club at a retirement home. One day when they were in Washington, Nancy found a great parking lot at a retirement home for George to ride that was protected from cars. The next thing she knew there were these sweet people from the retirement center who were just coming out to watch George. It made everyone happy so George goes there on a regular basis.

It was never Nancy's intention to make George famous, but states his social media inbox is fuller than hers! In fact, he has been approached for bigger and better things. So keep your eyes and ears open, you might be seeing George soon, maybe even on the big screen!

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Older Dogs Need Love Too
Kim Skarritt, Silver Muzzle Cottage Dog Rescue & Hospice

Kim SkarrittSenior pets are often the most undesirable pets to adopt. But seniors actually make great pets, so says Kim Skarritt. She's committed to making the last months of a pet's life comfortable and happy.

Kim Skarritt is the founder of Silver Muzzle Cottage Dog Rescue & Hospice Program. They are a rescue for homeless senior dogs, primarily those that have three years or less to live based on their breed. They are also a hospice service. They take dogs in who have a limited amount of time, as determined by a licensed veterinarian, whether they have two days, two weeks or two months.

The whole point of the Silver Muzzle Cottage Dog Rescue & Hospice Program is to make sure that these dogs leave this world knowing that somebody has loved them and cared about him and that their lives matter to somebody.

Roughly 50-percent of the dogs that end up in their rescue comes from shelters. The other 50-percent generally are coming from homes, where either the owner has passed away or they went into a nursing care facility and nobody in the family wanted the dog.

They've rescued a total of 104 dogs in two years. Seven of those dogs they helped cross over and approximately 11 have passed in their new owner's care. These dogs all lived a year or longer, with the rest all finding adoptive homes.

Right now they have four that are looking for new homes and are expecting three more coming in the next couple of days that will also need new homes. Unfortunately Kim suspects that two of these will be hospice cases and they don't adopt out to many of those.

Kim loves the senior dogs. So when somebody comes to her and says they want to adopt a young puppy, she encourages them to think about a senior animal.

Silver Muzzle DogsShe tells them to first take a look at their lifestyle, which really kind of applies to just about anybody looking to take a dog into their home and their environment. Not enough people will actually do that, which is one of the reasons why so many dogs end up in shelters. This is because when people get dogs, they don't take into consideration their lifestyle or the needs of the dogs physically and otherwise. So they end up taking on a dog that really is not a good fit for them and it becomes difficult. So off to the shelter it goes.

Kim tells us about a gentleman who was 81 that came to them and said he wanted a three or four year old dog. Kim told this man that they needed to have one of those heart-to-heart real life conversations. She wanted to be tactful, but she just came out and said, "Look, the reality is that your life span is going to be somewhat limited at 81 years old. You're not going to live 20 more years you know. And so if you take a dog on that's three that dog, depending on the breed, may live to be 15. That's 12 years from now. So can you guarantee that you are going to be around for this dog when you're 93 years old?" She then told him to think about taking on a dog who's nine or 10 and the two of them can grow old together. And so he did. He ended up adopting a 10-year-old dog.

People are starting to see that these senior dogs are great. They're calm, they're sweet, they're loving. They don't need much. They really just want to be loved and cared for and have all their essential needs met and they're usually housebroken. And if they come out of a bad situation where they have been neglected or abused, they are grateful and you can see it. Kim states its an amazing thing to look at a dog and say, "That dog's not going to make it two weeks and then all of a sudden here it is two years later he is alive and well and thriving because he has been loved for two years." It's just absolutely amazing.

Their average cost per dog is about $350 because they provide full veterinary care for all dogs when they come into the rescue. A lot of times older dogs, especially if they haven't been cared for by their previous owners, may have things that nobody is aware off, so a full blood panel is done. They will even do dental work on them. They want to get them as close to a clean bill of health as they can, so when they adopt them out, they can tell the new owners exactly what their needs are.

The Silver Muzzle Cottage Dog Rescue & Hospice Program relies on donations. They do apply for grants as they become available and they're eligible, but most of it is just lots of fundraising. They also have a GoFundMe page.

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BrilliantPadAbout six weeks ago we gave 12 listeners the BrilliantPad, the automatic self-cleaning dog potty. We now check in with a couple of them.

Luvi has been out of town and is getting ready to set up the BrilliantPad. She is going to do it herself, because she claims she never gets any help from her husband! Plus, she will get to see how easy it is to set up. Luvi has already watched a video on the set up and said it looked simple to do.

Private Snowball is the name of Luvi's Maltese dog. She states he is a military dog who weighs around pounds, unless he overeats and then he is 9 pounds. She states he is also a very smart dog!

We're going to check back with Luvi in a couple of weeks to see how Snowball's training on the BrilliantPad is going.

Next we check with Jennifer and her dog Apollo, who weighs just over 4 pounds.

Jennifer has had success with Apollo in training him to use the BrilliantPad. He will poop on it and she just needs to convince him that he needs to go pee on it. She claims there is something about the little dog, as they always try to pee as high as they can.

Brilliant Pad RollThe BrilliantPad is working for Jennifer, because Apollo will pee on a puppy pad near the BrilliantPad and then will poop on a pad on the actual BrilliantPad.

Jennifer likes how easy it is to use. She also likes the fact that it doesn't smell and it's nice because she doesn't have to touch a soiled pad.

Jennifer manually advances the roll after her dog uses it. She likes to do it herself, because she can then see and check what Apollo eliminates to make sure he's healthy. It's been many weeks since she has been using the BrilliantPad and she hasn't used a whole roll yet. She loves how long each roll lasts.

BrilliantPad has some great videos and training tips so you can fully train your dog to use it so you can forget about their messy waste and give you more free time to do the things you want do to.

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9th Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66
Susan Sims, Fido Friendly Magazine

Get Your Licks on Route 66 BadgeIt's time again for the Ninth Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66 Adoption Tour. Miss Susan Sims is checking in from the road.

The Get Your Licks on Route 66 Adoption Tour is an annual cross-country pet adoption tour. They start in Los Angeles and go all the way to Chicago and work their way back. The tour is to help raise money for the shelters along the way and to raise awareness for the plight of these shelter animals. Their first 8 Get Your Licks on Route 66 Tours helped place over 9,000 pets into new forever homes.

Petco Foundation is their presenting sponsor with Animal Radio being their media sponsor. Other sponsors include: Legends Car Rentals, Overcare, Petcurean, Sleepypod, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Plato Pet Treats, Zeus Dog Toys, Hands on Gloves, Canada and Lucy Pet Products.

Today the tour will be in Kansas City, Missouri. Look for Susan and her giant spinning filled with prizes donated by their sponsors. Attendees then donate money to spin the wheel for those prizes and at the end of the day all of those donations go to the local shelter. It's a way for the tour to give back and make it fun for everybody.

Route 66 Touring VehicleSo what do they say to the person that says I'm not going to this event because I'll end up adopting an animal? You can still come out and have fun by spinning the wheel to raise money for your local shelter. Some of the spinning wheel sponsors are: Fresh Scents, Pet Gift Box, Petmate, BrilliantPad, Charlee Bear, John Paul Pet, Outward Hound, Handicapped Pets, The Emergency Tag, The Honest Kitchen, Wellpet, Kurgo, Shed Defender, Crazy Dog, Rescue Remedy, Nylabone and Pet Play.

Here are the upcoming dates for the tour:

October 14
Spinning WheelKansas City, Missouri
Event held 2-6
Wayside Waifs
3901 Marhta Truman Rd.
Kansas City, MO

October 15
Merriam, Kansas
Event held noon-4
Great Plains SPCA
5428 Antioch Dr.
Merriam, KS

Be sure to come on out to one of their stops along the way. Who knows, you may find your forever pet! And if not, come on out to support your local shelter.

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Get Your Pet To the Vet Safely with No Escapees - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteA frightening situation occurred the other day at my veterinary hospital. Working inside my office, I could hear a woman's shrieks coming from the parking lot. I ran outside to find a woman with one dog on a leash, and the other dog skittering about the parking lot - the result of a slipped collar. The owner would approach the panicked dog and he'd retreat, darting under nearby cars. Those familiar with our hospital location understand its proximity to a busy intersection. Should the dog run in the wrong direction, he'd meet up with 45 mph traffic.

My staff was outside in moments to assist the owner in retrieving her dog and safely escorted everyone into the building. Thankfully my client's few minutes of terror ended uneventfully. But that's not always the case. I've seen dogs run straight into the road, cat's leap from a family member's arms, and owners dive into oncoming traffic trying to catch an escaping pet.

The lesson is simple. Don't underestimate your pets' fears. Fear of car travel, new places or the veterinary office can cause a pet to behave in unpredictable ways. If you know your pet to be nervous with new people or new situations, be especially vigilant when transporting your pet in a vehicle.

Identify Your Pet
Use two methods of identification for best insurance your pet is returned to you if lost. Permanent identification with a microchip is a must and should be complimented with a collar and ID tags.

Restrain Pet in Vehicle
Keep your pet secure during travel and when the car door opens by using a doggie seatbelt. Small dogs and cats should be housed in a pet carrier which is secured with seatbelt to avoid undue carrier movement during travel. Do not allow cats and small pets to roam freely in the car. Cats have been known to take cover under car seats which may require sedation or seat removal to extract kitty from her hiding place.

Check for Proper Fit
Improper fitting harnessImproper fitting collarProper fitting collarA proper fitting collar allows 2 finger widths between the collar and pet's neck. Allow more than, and should your pet put on the brakes, he'll easily slip out of the collar. Poor fitting harnesses are just as dangerous and allow gap room which allows a back-peddling pet to wiggle out. Not sure if the collar is too loose? Snug the collar up one fitting in anticipation of your trip to the vet.

Try Other Collar Styles
Even if you don't normally use a choker or pinch collar, consider using one when going to the vet's office. For thick necked dogs with smaller head size, try the Martingale collar, a fabric and metal combo collar that snugs down should your dog try to back out. Boisterous dogs that jump and leap when on leash may benefit wearing a head collar that fits over the muzzle. Ensure your collar choice is properly fitted, since any of these styles can fail if improperly fitted or used incorrectly.

Call Ahead
If you anticipate difficulties getting your pet to the vet's office, call ahead. Veterinary staff members are on the ready to help ensure your pet's visit is a safe one.

So, take a few minutes to consider your pet's travel safety before heading out on that next car trip, whether it is to the park, groomer or veterinary office. Your four legged friend will thank you, but may pout on the way there.

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."

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5 Important Things To Know About Rabies
Robert Semrow, Listomania

Robert Semrow, Sugar and ZoeyRabies is something that many pet parents have heard of, but may not truly understand what it is or how it can affect us and our pets.

Recently, I was having a conversation with some pet guardians who brought the topic up and had many more questions than answers. So, in the interest of knowing more to do better, I bring you 5 important things to know about Rabies.

To begin with, rabies is something that can be encountered in most places of the world. With the exception of Antarctica, it has been reported on all other continents. It's a viral disease that affects the central nervous system and can infect any warm-blooded animal. Rabies is typically spread by contact with the saliva of an infected animal through a bite or an exposed wound or scratch.

Since Rabies attacks the central nervous system it's symptoms can be greatly varied from animal to animal. Signs may include a heightened state of anxiousness, aggressiveness or even more friendly than usual. As the illness progresses, infected animals will show a higher sensitivity to sound and light. In it's final stages, paralysis of the nerves that control the head and throat of animal occurs. Sadly, an infected pet will likely experience respiratory failure and pass over the Rainbow Bridge.

Aggressive DogWhile there is no cure for rabies, there are vaccines available. Most states require rabies vaccinations. Other entities like boarding facilities and even veterinary offices may require them as well. This is for the safety of not only the pets, but for the people they come in to contact with as well. If you are uncertain about your pet or another pet, work with your veterinarian to decide the best course of action. Remember, you have a responsibility to protect your pet and the people and pets that your pet interacts with.

Another important reminder is to always keep your rabies certification in a place that is easily accessible. In an emergency, you may need to provide this certificate for your pet to be allowed to shelter with you.

Wildlife That Carry RabiesAdditionally, if you live in an area where wildlife can interact with your pets, be extra vigilant. Raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes and more carry rabies and can easily transmit it to your curious pet. If you suspect your pet may have been bitten or even scratched by any animal, consult with your vet immediately out of an abundance of caution and care.

This is one of those illnesses that you can be very proactive with. Have a strategy and understanding of the risks to you and your pets. Work with professionals to put together the best safety course of action, as this is a serious illness that can have fatal consequences.

Share your Rabies pet tips on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearDog Poisonings On The Rise in Britain
The number of dog poisonings rose by 73-percent between 2012 and 2016 in Great Britain, according to reports collected by the RSPCA. Last year there were 368 incidents of suspected dog poisoning. So far this year there has already been more than 250 dog poisonings. The group says every year it receives reports by members of the public claiming people have left out meat laced with poison in parks and that pets have been deliberately poisoned with antifreeze. They add that pet owners also need to be careful when using chemicals. That means being careful where they use those chemicals and also careful how they dispose of them. Some examples of chemicals poisonous to animals include antifreeze, rodent poisons and snail or slug bait. The RSPCA stresses disposing of them properly and pleads with people not to dump those chemicals just anywhere, like on roadsides or in a park, just to avoid disposal ordinances in most cities and towns.

Dog in Cat CostumeMost Popular Pet Costumes
If you are one of the many people who just love Halloween, you may already have your pet's costume. But if you don't, PetSmart has a list out of the top ten costumes for pets this year. It turns out that this year you'll likely be seeing a lot of cats that look like dogs and dogs that look like cats. The number one pet costume is a pumpkin. Number two is a hot dog costume, followed by lions, pirates, bumblebees, devils, batman characters, witches and Star Wars characters. About 20-percent of pets will be parading around in costumes this Halloween.

History of Cats
Today, cats are found on every continent around the globe except Antarctica. But that wasn't always the case. So, how did cats make it across oceans and into homes all around the world? Apparently the secret is held in ancient cat DNA, which is currently being studied. In a nutshell, it all started around 10,000 years ago in what's now the country of Turkey where wild cats were used as mousers and rodent control for farmers. After that, by 2,500 BC cats had spread to Cyprus. Over the next few thousand years they accompanied their humans north into Bulgaria and Romania. By 800 BC, felines were found in Egypt. Later those Egyptian cats became popular among the Romans and Vikings who took them along on their ships to control rodents. Those voyages by sea put cats on the shores of Africa, Europe and Asia where they later hopped on ships headed to America. Today, a full one-third of American homes have at least one cat. That's about 93.5 million house cats in the US, alone.

Dollar Shaped DogTreatsMake Pet Treats - Make Money
Anyone looking to cash in on the booming pet products business would be smart to investigate making pet treats, which have outpaced both dog and cat food in the last five years in the US. New research shows that pet treat sales increased by 29-percent between 2012-17 growing to more than 4 billion dollars of the retail pet products industry. Dog food sales grew 8-percent between 2012-17, while cat food sales were up 11-percent during that time. If you're thinking of making pet treats, keep in mind that quality ingredients is top of mind. Forty-percent of US pet owners check the ingredient list when purchasing new pet food or treats and 64-percent say they would be interested in treats made with premium ingredients, such as all-natural or organic. Around 75-percent of pet owners say that treats are their way of showing their pet love, but 25-percent of those people give treats they think are healthy or health related like dental bones or hair ball treats.

Little Girl With HamsterGirl Mistakes Petco for Petco But Gets Hamster Anyway
In Washington DC, a little girl thought she was writing the pet supply store Petco and asked them for a hamster. However, her letter accidentally went to a local utility company called Pepco. You might think all would have been lost but the 8-year-old got her hamster anyway from the nice folks at the power company. She named it Brick Hamster. Her letter was pretty cute saying, "If I reseive a hamester, I will do better in school, make more friends and become responsible." She also drew a big picture of a bucktoothed hamster at the bottom of the page.

Would Your Pet Like To Run for Political Office?
Salt Lake County in Utah is looking for PAWlitical pets because they're having an election for a Pet Mayor. This special election is being held by county Animal Control. There's a pet deputy mayor and nine council members that are going to be elected too. And it's not just for dogs and cats. Bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, whatever are all eligible to run. The winner will serve a two-year term and act as an ambassador for all other pets in the county.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#932)

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