Animal Radio® Show #519 November 14, 2009

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An Artist - Who's A Cat!

Anita McCormick – Henry the Feline Fiber Artist

Anita McCormick got her cat a nice scratching post so he wouldn’t decorate the furniture with interesting textures. But before long, he outgrew it, knocked it over and went right back to working on her chair again.

Anita then heard about acquiring carpet scraps and nailing them to the wall.  This way, you don’t have to worry about the cat posts falling over and they can scratch until their heart’s content!  To entice Henry even more, Anita applied a catnip spray to the carpet scraps. 

It turned out the carpet scrap Anita had purchased had complete loops and was not the cut carpet kind.   Henry loved it and started pulling the loops out, which made an interesting design.

When Anita went to replace the carpet, she thought that the design left behind by Henry was to nice to throw away.  She then decided to hang it on her wall, as it looked like modern art.  In fact, anyone who saw it just loved it and wanted one for themselves.  When she told them it was made by her cat Henry, there were shocked!  To prove it, she showed them a piece in progress.

In the meantime, her local library was showing pieces of art.  Anita decided to contact them to see if they were interested in displaying his work.  Instead of thinking she was crazy, they agreed to view the art, after which they placed in it in their display case!

Watch Henry on Animal Planet – Cats 101 – on Saturday, Nov 14 2009!

HenryThe Feline


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Dog Barks At Dogs And People

The husband is to blame for this dog’s barking, according to the wife.  She says when the dog was little, he told it to “sic ‘em” which got the dog barking.  Now, the dog barks at both people and dogs.  She won’t go towards them, but she will stand there and bark for a few minutes.   Vladae says that this dog thinks that she is in charge and that it is her obligation to bark.   He suggests getting some treats that your dog loves.  Also, make sure that the treats are in a container that makes noise when you open it.   This way, the dog knows what is coming.  Next, get the Pet Convincer, which is a harmless blast of air.  When your dog barks, push the Pet Convincer.  The dog should stop barking immediately.  Give the dog praise and give them a treat.

When Off Leash, Dog Runs Away

This dog behaves very well, except for this one issue.  The dog has been through training classes with a choke collar, but still has this problem.  The first thing Vladae says is to get rid of the choke collar. He suggests using the Herm Sprenger Collar, which may not look very nice, but will NOT cause injury, used properly and gently as intended.  Remember, even a plastic knife can be a very dangerous weapon in the wrong hands. The collar works on the same principal that pups learn from the mother dog when she picks up or reprimands the pup around the neck with her teeth. The dog knows to relax or stop an unwanted behavior. Next get a 15-20 foot clothesline rope, which is lightweight, and let him get used to wearing it.    When your dog is preoccupied, tell him to come.   Of course he probably wont.  You then grab the rope and give it a snap.  Don’t pull it.  Make sure it is slack and just snap it and tell him to come to you.  When he does, give him a treat.  If he doesn’t come, repeat the snap and command to come. 

Dog Bolts Out Door

This dog will lie on the couch and be very relaxed, but when someone opens up the front door, she will bolt like a rocket!  She will then be gone for about 1/2 an hour.  The first thing Vladae says is to get the dog off the couch and never allow her to get back up there.  This will show her that she is not in charge.   He then tells the guardian to set up the problem.  Go to your local hardware store and buy a rope usually used for a clothesline, about 30 feet long.  It will be very light and give your dog a feeling of being on his own.   Next get the Herm Sprenger Collar and place it on the dog.  Then tie one end to the collar and the other end to the front door.   Open the door and let him go out and tell him to come, which of course he won’t do.  So just before he reaches the end of the rope snap the rope and tell him to come.  When he comes to you, praise him and give him treats.  You might have to do this a few times, but you need to get him to come on his own at least 3-4 times in a row.  In other words, in order to deal with the problem you need to set it up.



Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Stella’s 1st Fish: “Magnolia, Dandelion, Sarah, Betty…”

Well, we did it!  For those of you who listen to these segments of mine, I told you earlier that my five-year-old daughter Stella was ready for a pet.  We looked at a lot of different pets, but I wanted to start her off with a fish.  Actually, she already has had a turtle and a frog, but they have since moved on, and it was time to get another pet.  I wanted to start her with a fish, as I think that’s a good starting point for any 4, 5, or 6-year old.

We went to the pet store and picked out just the most beautiful pink fish.  Stella picked her out herself.  We got the nice little aquarium and she dressed it up and decorated it really nice.  We went down to the beach earlier that morning where she picked out a beautiful rock to put in the tank, and we were all set up. 

She looks at the fish and it’s called a Betta fish.  Essentially this is not a gold fish, but this is new terrain for me.  I had goldfish as a kid, I think they were goldfish, Cheech and Chong, but this is called a Betta.  Nonetheless, Stella looks at her and says, “I want to call her Magnolia!”  That was really a moving moment!  I looked at my daughter and said that I thought that name was fantastic!  We can call her Maggie for short.   And she smiled and thought that was a great idea.

We got in the car with the little carrying case with the fish and Stella stared at her the whole way home and was saying, “I love you Magnolia” over and over.   We got home and transferred her to her new home, dressed it up, and Stella was looking at her and said, “She is so beautiful, thank you daddy for buying me Dandelion.”  And I said, “Dandelion?  What happened to Magnolia?”  And she said she changed her name and now wanted to call her Dandelion.    Well, that’s all right, Dandy for short.  That kind of works, we can go with that.  Dandelion it is!

Not too long afterward, one of my aunts comes over and the first thing Stella wants to do is take her to see the fish.  She says, “You’ve got to come with me, you’ve got to come and see my fish.”  She runs over to see the fish and I hear my aunt, who’s 91 years old say, “Hey, that looks just like Nemo!”  Well, Magnolia who had become Dandelion, had now become Nemo! 

So I have to sit Stella down and say look, we can’t keep changing the name.  It would be like all of a sudden today if I just started calling you “Sarah.”  To which Stella replies, “I like that name Sarah.  I go to school with a Sarah.   I want to name the fish Sarah.”  At this point I’m a little bit out of my mind.  I’m confused, I don’t know which way is up!  Is it a girl thing?  I’d always heard girls were fickle, but this was bringing it to new heights!

Suffice it to say that this morning as I’m leaving to go and cut these segments, I say to Stella, “I’m going to go and talk about Sarah the fish today.”  And she says, “What kind of a fish is it anyway?  I heard you telling someone that it wasn’t really a goldfish.”  Well, I said that “Daddy’s learning as he goes, just like you.  I think it’s called a Betta fish.”  And Stella says, “Alright Daddy, go and tell everybody about Betty then!”  Aaahhhggg….


Play Date With the Dogs?

I just hung up the phone with my sister who lives out in Las Vegas.  She had to go because she was having what she called a “play date” with her dog.  She has a girlfriend who got the same type of dog at the same time she did.   Technically the dogs are brothers, or brother and sister, or sisters.  I don’t know.  I never inquire about the sex of the animal when a dog is introduced a family.   But she said she was having a play date with the dogs.  I said that this was a brilliant idea. 

Her friend comes over once a week and they let the dogs play in the yard and then they get to catch up.  She also mentioned a yappy hour – where they have drinks and crack open a couple bottles of wine.  And I thought to myself, this is not a play date for the dogs!  No matter what clever name you come up with, whatever guise, this is an excuse for you to get drunk with your girlfriend under the ruse that you care about your animals, and then drive the little guy home drunk!  And I have met her friend Annemarie before.  I can see her propping her dog up in her lap and having that dog steer the car!  Yappy Hour!



Animal Minute With Britt Savage

Lonesome George

Lonesome George may be the World’s Most Eligible Bachelor.  George, a giant tortoise from the Galapagos Island of Pinta, is believed to be the last of his kind.  His species was hunted for centuries and for the last 35 years, biologists have been looking for that special someone for George.  The problem is, lonesome George doesn’t seem to mind being lonesome at all.   In fact, the thought of romance seems to leave him shell shocked.  Although he is in his romantic prime, around 80-years-old, when two eligible tortoises of similar breeding were brought in, he ignored them. One rejected love interest flipped over in a wading pool and died, but the match making isn’t stopping.  The search is on for that special female that can help wake up this sleeping giant’s libido.  But for now, George is happy to be lonesome.



Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

More Cities Ban Declawing

Santa Monica California is one paw closer to banning the practice of declawing cats.  The city council voted in favor of an ordinance that makes procuring, performing or assisting in declawing a misdemeanor with a $500 fine and possible prison time.  The 6 to 1 vote to adopt the ordinance came after two and a half hours of public discussion. 

Fido Version of the “Oscar”

This year had an unusually high number of dog movies in theaters and now some of them are competing for the canine version of the Oscar.  The Fidos - the worlds first international awards for canine stars, announced their nominees.  Making the list were “Marley and Me,” “Bolt” and “Up” vying for categories like best comedy canine and best historical hound.  George Clooney got a nomination for voicing Mr. Fox in the upcoming Fantastic Mr. Fox.   A panel of British film critics will pick the winners that will be announced in London on Nov. 22nd

Dog Racks Up Credit Card Charges

Here’s yet another reason why consumers should never leave their credit card information saved on their Xbox game systems.  A Virginia dog owner who is also a rabid video game player did just that and awoke one morning to find a very slobbery remote control and $60 in credit card charges.  Seems Greg Strope’s dog got hold of the remote and racked up 5,000   non-refundable Xbox Live Marketplace points.  Strope’s still is trying to figure out how the dog turned the game system on...

Pets Rescued After Gasoline Explosion

When a gasoline warehouse storage tanks exploded and burst into an inferno in Puerto Rico late last month, animal rescuers went to work.  Volunteers in the U.S. territory in the Caribbean rescued over 60 pets from the homes of residents forced to evacuate.  According to the Associated Press, 10 cats, 22 dogs and 32 birds were safely taken to an animal shelter in Carolina just east of San Juan, all are reported in good condition.

Bob Barker Put His Money Where His Mouth Is!

The former host of the Price Is Right always closed the show with the phrase “Remember to spay or neuter your pets.”  Bob Barker has put his money where his mouth is by donating One Million Dollars to Drury University in order to establish a professorship on animal rights.  Barker hopes the gift will lead the small liberal arts school to establish a program of studies in animal rights.  If that happens it will be the country’s first undergraduate program in animal rights.  Barker, by the way, graduated with a degree in economics from Drury University in 1947.

Those Wacky PETA Animal Activists!

Those wacky animal activists over at PETA have come up with a new proposed use for a ranch once owned by Elvis.   The property in Horn Lake Mississippi is for sale by its current owner but PETA wants to lease it for an animal rights museum.  PETA says it will name the museum the Don’t Be Cruel learning center for children.  No response from the owner who’s asking 6.5 million for the ranch.

NEWS UPDATE Brought To You By World's Best Cat Litter™


Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

I Can’t Clip My Dogs Toenails

Whenever this guardian tries to clip the nails of his two pugs, they go crazy!  Dr. Debbie says this is not uncommon, and that pugs are a force to be reckoned with in the veterinary field.  She says she would rather clip the nails of a 120-pound Rottweiler than a pug any day!  However in their defense, she said normally a pug’s nails do curl in a little bit, so it may be a little bit more upsetting to have them trimmed.   She offers some tips to make the nail trim as favorable as possible. In the meantime, handle your dog’s feet constantly, rubbing their toes and squeezing their nails without trimming them.  This will get your dog used to having his feet handled.  While trimming the nails, feed them treats.  Also, trim one or two nails at a time, instead of all of them at the same time.

Dog Has Bowed Leg

A rescue dog was diagnosed with bowed legs, which needed surgery.  It was thought that the dog was previously malnourished resulting in this condition.    She is now obese and her guardian is having a hard time getting the weight off.  She is also not very active.    Because she is now about 6 years old, Dr. Debbie suggests having the thyroid checked.  If this checks out okay, you need to keep her caloric intake to her activity level.   The best thing to do is to check with the vet to see about a prescription weight loss diet.    In the meantime, no treats or table scraps.  Also, 30 minutes a day to one hour is recommended to get her to move and burn calories. As a last resort, there is a doggy weight loss drug available. 

Biting 10-Week-Old Puppy

A Bichon pup will sometimes sit in your lap but other times she jumps up and bites your hand.  Will she outgrow this?  The puppy is crate trained and Dr. Debbie doesn’t want to use it as punishment, but you can place the puppy in the crate when he is over stimulated to let him calm down.   A problem with puppies is that most people like to roughhouse with them and let them chew on their hands.  This is not a good thing, because as they grow older and stronger, they think of the human hand as a plaything.   Currently, the guardian ties to distract her with an appropriate substitute, such as a toy.    A suggestion is to loudly say “Ouch” or even make a yipping sound to the dog to make them stop.  You then stop playing with them and they realize that playtime is over when this happens and they will learn that they are being too rough.

Cat Licks Himself Until He Gets Sore

This 12-year-old cat constantly licks his belly and his legs until they get sores on them.    His guardian will put something on it and it will heal, but then it comes right back.   Cortisone shots don’t work and he wont’ touch anything with Omega 3 in it.   Dr. Debbie feels it might be an allergy to pollen, grasses, blankets, foods or even insects in their environment.   She suggests the first thing is to look at their food.  Try a hypoallergenic diet for at least 6-8 weeks to see if it improves.  You can try either a hydrolyzed protein diet or a novel protein diet such as venison or even kangaroo.  Steroid shots or pills can also help allergies.   And don’t forget about flea control, as this can also cause itchiness and skin sores.  If nothing works, you can try doing a biopsy of the skin. 

Dog Has Developed Lumps Where Vaccinations Were Given

Two years ago, a guardian vaccinated an eight-year-old Schnauzer with the parvo vaccination.  Now, there is a lump or a mass where the shot was given.  It also seems to be getting bigger.  Two other dogs who received the shots are fine and they didn’t develop any lumps.   The guardian wants to know if this can be scar tissue?  Dr. Debbie says that there is a potential with any injection which can, in rare cases, lead to tumors.  This seems to happen more in cats.  But in a dog of this age, they can have skin growths and tumors that occur on their own.   She suggests getting a needle biopsy done of the mass to determine if it is cancer or just scar tissue and possibly even a cyst.



Where Did The Saying “Cat Got Your Tongue” Come From?

Bob calls in and wants to know where the saying “Cat Got Your Tongue?” came from.  He mentioned a catfight in his neighborhood where one cat tore off the tongue of another.  Unfortunately the cat did not survive.   He was wondering if this is normal for cats and that is where the saying began.

Actually, the saying comes from the Middle East.  It was punishment for liars who then had their tongues ripped out and fed to the King’s cats!



Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner

Dog Is Not Acting The Same After Being Boarded

After spending time at a boarding facility, this English Setter Suzie has been exhibiting some uncharacteristic behavior when she came home.   Suzie tells Joy that while she has been boarded there many times before, there is a new employee that was not happy with her.  This person would bang on her kennel and discourage her from doing anything except for lying down and being quiet.   Joy tells the guardian to tell Suzie how sorry she is and that she will never have to worry about the employee ever again.


Great Trucking Dogs

After listening to a previous call from a trucker wanting to know the perfect “trucking dog," we received several calls.  Here are two of those calls:

Trucking Dog Available for Adoption

A trucker calls to say that while she is a trucker, she is also an animal rescuer.  She currently has an overabundance of animals, and might have just the dog for this guy.  The dog appears to be a Sheltie/Beagle mix and is about 40 pounds.  He is truck-trained and ready to go.  He was also recently neutered.    Currently, she has eight animals with her in her truck, 5 dogs and 3 kittens, who are also available for adoption!

The Perfect Trucking Dog

Ken, a trucker, has an 11-month-old Corgi who he says is the finest truck dog, as these dogs are very loyal.  His dog lies down under the drive’s seat and is ready to jump if someone were to try and break in.  In fact, the Vikings used to use the Corgi as protectors of their ships.  They also need a lot of exercise, which is great for truckers, as this gets them out of the truck.  In fact, Ken has lost 25 pounds already!


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