Network Newsletter
April 2008
Programming with a Purpose
In this issue:

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    Spring is in the air.
    Intestinal worm eggs and larvae may be in the ground.

    Some worm eggs and larvae can survive for months ­ even under harsh weather conditions ­ waiting for a chance to infect dogs of all ages.
    Untreated, these parasites can compromise your dog's health... and even infect humans.

    Proactively protect your dog ­ and your family. Deworm your dog at least twice a year with Safe-Guard® (fenbendazole) Canine Dewormer ­ a safe** and effective way to eliminate and prevent the major intestinal worms that can infect dogs. Just sprinkle it on your dog's food for three consecutive days every six months, for complete peace of mind!

    Visit for information on treating and preventing intestinal worms, and to sign up for our free e-mail reminder service.

    * Some heartworm prevention products may not protect your dog against all types of intestinal worms.
    ** Approximately 1% of dogs had vomiting associated with this product.

    Safe-Guard is a registered trademark of Intervet Inc. or an affiliate
    © 2008 Intervet Inc. All rights reserved.



    Animal Radio® made possible by:
    Did you know that Urine Off is the #1 Vet recommended Urine Odor and Stain Remover. In fact, for the last 3 years THOUSANDS of Vets nationwide have recommended Urine Off to their clients, solving their #1 Household problem, unsightly urine odors and stains. Urine Off's professional strength formula is designed to remove odors and stains ­ even old ones, by getting down to the source of the problem and removing it permanently. Endorsed by many of the leading animal organizations, and sworn on by our thousands of loyal customers, who after using it always say the same thing: "Thanks Urine Off, finally something that works."


    10 MOST COMMON PET MISCONCEPTIONS - Cats will NOT always land on their feet....
    A SKUNK AS A PET? - And no, "they're not like ferrets!"
    DOG CAR OF THE YEAR - What cars top the "pet-friendly" list.
    MY CAT USES MY SOFA AS A SCRATCHING POST - Time to get concrete furniture? NOT!
    MENDING A BROKEN HEART - Coping with the pain of losing a pet.
    A BUFFALO IN THE HOUSE? - This pet-bison is litter-trained too!
    TRAINING YOUR PET ON A TREADMILL - Even your cat can do this exercise.

    Also in this issue:
    Glenn Close has played some chilling roles that weren't always in favor of the animals. But, Glenn is nothing like the characters she plays, and in fact is a big animal lover!

    Rebecca Kolls teaches you how to plant a garden just for your pet. Find out what plants are bad for your pet and what plants can keep the fleas at bay.
    Listen to a LIVE STREAM of
    Animal Radio® Network's full-time animal channel while you read this newsletter. This link will launch player. More listening options here.

    Animal Radio® with Hal & Judy
    Check Schedule for Airtimes

    Quick Programming Note: Hey All! We're very delighted to announce that Animal Radio® has been picked up for XM Satellite Radio

    Animal Radio® became part of the XM Satellite Radio lineup March 29th - and airs twice weekly! Tune us in on XM "America's Talk" channel 158 Saturdays 12-2pm EST and Sundays 9-11am EST.

    And yes, you can continue to get Animal Radio® on 90+ AM-FM affiliate radio stations, streaming online 24/7, on your cell-phone, and downloadable podcast. Now we're everywhere you want great animal talk.

    "We've been working for a long time to fine-tune Animal Radio® for satellite radio," says Animal Radio Network Associate Producer, Judy Francis. "I've always wanted to be sandwiched between Bill Handel and Dr. Dean Edell," referring to the time-slot on XM Satellite Radio.

    Upcoming lineup for Animal Radio® on XM includes actors Glenn Close and Ed Asner, trainer to the stars Tyson Kilmer, Vladae the Russian Dog Wizard, TV legend Bob Barker and more to be announced.


    Ten Most Common Pet Misconceptions
    Dr. Debbie White, Lone Mountain Animal Hospital - Animal Radio® official vet
    You've all heard them. Things you should and shouldn't do with your pets. But, how many of them are true and how many are myths and misconceptions? Dr. White explains the 10 most common erronious beliefs she sees at her Las Vegas practice.

    A cat will always land on their feet after a fall.
    Cat's do have a keen sense of balance and often seem acrobatic and land foot side down, however they can be badly injured from falls of varying heights. Cats that fall from high elevations in large urban areas are commonly diagnosed with an injury called High Rise Syndrome. Pet owners should monitor cats on outdoor balconies and keep window screens secure.

    A dog's mouth is sterile and licking their wounds is a way to help heal wounds.
    A dog's mouth is a verifiable sewer of bacteria. Repeated licking on wounds can actually inhibit healing in the area.

    Cats need milk.
    Cats LIKE milk, but no they do not NEED milk. In fact, many kitties will display digestive upset with diarrhea after drinking milk.

    Cats can do just fine on a tuna diet.
    Feeding an all tuna diet is actually DANGEROUS for your cat. Tuna is nutritionally deficient for cats and feeding an exclusive tuna diet will leave your cat at risk of many nutritionally driven diseases. (Problems include: Thiaminase in tuna is an enzyme that destroys an important B vitamin resulting in a Thiamine deficiency, the risk for a dangerous disease called pansteatitis , and high Magnesium levels in tuna can increase risk of Lower Urinary Tract Disease, as well as other nutritional deficiencies of vitamins and minerals such as calcium.

    When dogs eat feces it is a sign of worms.
    While disgusting, this behavior is not a direct sign of worms, although it can increase the potential for ingesting and acquiring parasites from this feces tasting behavior. This behavior is called coprophagy, and is a behavior that is commonly displayed by mother dogs as she cleans the waste from the newborns. Puppies and adult dogs may continue this behavior forming a bad habit and some dogs will even do it for attention getting from their human companions.

    When a dog scoots it's rear end on the ground, it means he/she has worms.
    While some dogs with tapeworms can have itchiness on the anal area, the butt scotching behavior is not a direct indicator for intestinal worms. Actually, the most common cause of butt scooting can be problems with anal sacs, but also diarrhea or even allergies.

    If a cat's whiskers are cut off then they loose their balance.
    Cats whiskers act more as "'feelers" and are not involved in maintaining balance.

    Female dogs should have a litter or go through a heat before getting spayed.
    There is no sound basis for this old wives tale. There is no behavior benefit to letting a female dog have a litter. In fact, shelters are overfilled with dogs and cats - many of who may have been offspring of such unnecessary breedings. Also, waiting on getting your
    dog spayed can actually increase its risk of mammary cancer. If a female dog is spayed BEFORE she ever goes into heat, the risk of breast cancer is almost zero. The risk of breast cancer in dogs goes up with each subsequent heat for several years.

    If your dog eats grass then he/she is sick.
    Dogs often will eat grass and then vomit, however the fact that your dog nibbles on grass doesn't necessarily mean he/she is ill. Many dogs just nibble on grass for fun our out of boredom. Some veterinary nutritionists believe that grass and vegetation have some necessary nutritional need.

    A warm, dry nose is a sign of illness and a cold, wet nose-is a sign of health..
    From day to day the appearance of a pet's nose can change. It can be influenced by activity, climate, and overall behaviors of your pet. Healthy pets occasionally have a dry, warm nose, so unless it is accompanied by signs of illness, then no need to worry. Pet owners shouldn't rely on this rule to evaluate when its time to see your veterinarian. Consider overall activity, appetite, and other signs of illness when deciding if your pet needs a visit to the doctor.

    Hear Dr. White on Animal Radio®

    This weekend on Animal Radio®

    Glenn Close
    Glenn Close has had a lengthy career as a versatile actress and performer. Glenn is remembered for her chilling roles as the scheming aristocrat Madame de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons; terrorizing puppies as Cruella di Vil in 101 Dalmatians; and as the psychotic book editor Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. In her new series, Damages, Glenn brings force and power as Patty Hewes, a fierce litigator who has a dog killed. But, Glenn is nothing like the characters she plays, and in fact is a big animal lover! Glenn doesn't believe there was a time in her life growing up when she didn't have animals

    Glenn currently has two dogs, Bill and Jake, whom she takes to work with her everyday. In fact, they have become the mascots of the Steiner Studios.

    Look for Glenn's "Lively Licks" blog, which is a profile of dogs and their people, on the website, where she will ask questions such as: When did you become a dog lover? Why Dogs? And, if your dog were a famous person, who would they be? Some of the first subjects are Ted Danson, his wife Mary Steenburg. Glenn states that if her dogs were famous people, Jake would be the Dalai Lama and Bill would be Barney Fife! is a new website offers you the best-handpicked products for your dog, from healthy food and comfortable beds to unique toys and fashionable collars.

    Hear Glenn Close on Animal Radio®

    Gardening With your Pet in Mind
    Rebecca Kolls, Rebecca's Garden, HGTV
    Now that the warm weather is here, more and more people are out in their gardens. Which means our pets are probably out there with us also.

    When planning your summer garden, keep in mind a garden appropriate for your pets. So many times people complain that their dogs ruin their yard and gardens. A good hint is to watch your dog when he is in your yard. Dogs usually have a path that they follow around the yard - so don't plant anything in their path!

    Do you have yellow spots in your yard from your dog? Try feeding him tomatoes or tomato juice. The acid in the tomatoes has a tendency to break down the urine, which in turn won't yellow your lawn.

    There are organic products you can use on your lawn that won't harm your pets such as a product containing corn gluten. And, since you can't be sure what your neighbors have put on their lawns, after walking your dog remember to wash his paws.

    Plants to Avoid:

    Azalea, baby's breath, castor beans, clematis, dianthus, English ivy, foxglove, grapes, geranium, hops, lily of the valley, lantana, oleander, morning glory, narcissus, primrose, tulip bulbs, stargazer and tiger lilies (cats only) and yew.

    Plants that are Good for your Pet:

    Catnip, which your cat is naturally drawn to. It also works as an intestinal cleanser and cats will seek it out if their stomachs are upset.

    Marigolds, nasturtiums and members of the garlic family are well known to organic gardeners as natural de-buggers and help you keep those fleas away.

    Parsley, which is high in iron as well as being a natural breath deodorizer.

    Master Gardener Rebecca Kolls hosts the nationally syndicated Home & Garden Television Network (HGTV) series "Rebecca's Garden" and has served as the gardening and lifestyle contributor for ABC's "Good Morning America" since 1999. Her show has spawned several spin-off entities including the new gardening and lifestyle magazine "Seasons" and the book "Rebecca's Garden: Four Seasons to Grow On."

    Hear Rebecca Kolls on Animal Radio®

    Hear breaking news as it happens - Animal Radio® is streaming online 24/7  Listen LIVE Now!

    Bob Barker
    Barker is best known as ringmaster for the game show The Price Is Right, a job that he held from 1972 until his recent retirement. Barker is also an outspoken member of the animal rights movement.

    Since his retirement, Barker has spent a considerable amount of time championing animal rights. He helped move two elephants, Ruby from the Los Angeles Zoo and Maggie from the Alaska Zoo, to a more suitable habitat. Recently, Barker was directly involved with the passage of a Los Angeles Spay/Neuter ordinance - which requires most dogs and cats to be spayed or neutered by 4 months of age.

    "I've been so busy I wonder how I ever had time for a TV show," Barker tells Animal Radio®. Barker is currently working on Bill AB 1634, which will require most cats and dogs in the entire State of California to be spayed or neutered by 4 months of age.
    Hear Bob Barker on Animal Radio®

    Richard Karn (Home Improvement) - Air Buddies
    Richard Karn (Big Al on Home Improvement) has shared the movie-set with lots of animals...including, and not limited to, "Tim Allen" he says.

    Celebrating the anniversary of the AIR BUD movie series, Richard played "dad" in the last Walt Disney canine family adventure, AIR BUDDIES.

    Richard tells Animal Radio® listeners about working with chimps - saying some of his best roles were opposite primates. He also talks about his furry...and scaly family.
    Hear Richard Karn on Animal Radio®

    Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
    Even though Phil Keoghan, Host of the Amazing Race, is never on hiatus, he has had pets all of his life and continues to do so. Currently his daughter has a "cool" cat named mellow, because as you can guess, he is really mellow. Phil's first animal was a run-away dog named Buster, who when found as a young dog, stayed with Phil and his family for the rest of his life.

    You have heard people say that if you work in television, the most difficult things to work with are children and animals. Phil agrees. While working on the Amazing Race, he has worked with both stubborn animals and interesting animals. One animal that comes to mind were the yaks that bolted off during shooting taking the teams with them, while others just stood there and seemed to say "I don't care if you're in a race, I'm not moving!"

    When he was twenty-years-old and the host of a New Zealand adventure show, Phil almost died while diving underwater to explore a shipwreck. Faced with the possibility of death, he was filled with an overwhelming desire to live and to take risks. At that time, Phil realized that life was really too short. He then decided to make a list of 100 adventures he would like to do.

    One of the things on his list was to hand feed wild sharks. He also managed to round up three people who were debilitated by the fear of sharks and took them to Fiji to have a chance to get in the water with dozens of bull-sharks.

    Phil wrote a book about his philosophy, NOW, No Opportunity Wasted. Phil encourages everyone to make their own list and make these lists personal to us - only we know inside what will make ourselves most fulfilled.

    Look for Phil, who will once again be hosting the Amazing Race for its 13th Season, later this year.
    Hear Phil Keoghan on Animal Radio

    "Bart Simpson" Nancy Cartwright
    She is recognized as one of the world's leading voice-actors, Bart Simpson. Nancy Cartwright, who voices the character Bart Simpson on "The Simpsons" shares her feelings for her pets. Nancy tells us that pets have always been a major part of her life.

    Nancy lives with a ranch-full of animals including a plastic cow affectionately named "Milk-Dud," which she says is only appropriate because one of Bart's catchphrases is "Don't have a cow, man!" and she feels she should have a cow!

    Besides the Bart Simpson character, Nancy's achievements as an actor include dozens of credits in television, film and theater.

    Hear Nancy Cartwright on Animal Radio

    Vladae, The Russian Dog Wizard
    If you are fighting a loosing battle with your dog, it's because you are making the usual common mistakes. Do you want a well behaved dog? Vladae, the World Famous Russian dog Wizard, teaches people how to control their pets

    Why doesn't my dog listen to me?
    Vladae states that most people speak English to their dogs when they should be speaking "Doglish." He emphasizes that you should do what a mother dog does to teach her young:

    • Don't give any commands you can't enforce
    • Reinforce what you say
    • Don't repeat any commands

    Why does my dog listen to my husband more than me?
    Want to be the Alpha Female in your word? Vladae gives some great tips on how to make your dog listen to you with using only a 15-inch length of cotton rope and cutting it back one foot per week.

    My dog bolts out the door!
    Tie a lead to your dog and the front door. Next time he bolts, he will be stopped automatically by the lead.

    Vladae's DVD "Obedience for Life" is a dog-training program available on two interactive DVDs. You can quickly and easily teach your dog how to obey you with the affective methods that deliver astonishing results.
    Hear Vladae on Animal Radio

    Fitness for Your Pets
    It came to no surprise to Animal Radio® that dogs can exercise on a tread-mill. But so can your cat! If she's properly trained - this can be just one of the many techniques to keep you pet fit. Mike Torchia is a leading fitness trainer to the stars, having worked with Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and Matt Damon to name a few. Now, Mike has taken his mission of keeping healthy and fit to the animals.

    Today obesity is not just a problem in people; pets are packing on the pounds too! A recent report from the National Academy of Science shows that one in four pets is overweight or obese. This problem can no longer be ignored! And, Mike is doing everything he can to change this by educating the public. With the foods animals are eating to the lack of exercise, Mike is helping to educate what can be done to change this. His Healthy Pet Nation was designed to help people and their pets around the world live healthier and better quality lives.

    Healthy Pet Nation will focus on educating people about the physical impact on their pet's bodies whether it's because of time constraints, stress or over-indulgence. There should be no stress over what and how people and their pets eat. Starting a fitness program for your pet doesn't mean you have to spend 2 hours a day in the park and weigh every morsel they eat. What people need is to understand the effects and the benefits of smart decision making when it comes to exercise, nutrition and taking better care of their pets. Healthy Pet Nation provides the crucial information in a fun, entertaining and inspirational way.

    Tune in to the NBC Today Show on Friday, April 11th where Mike will be in Central Park at 8:00am with two handicapped dogs, Taylor and Abbey. Mike has never worked with these dogs before, but besides teaching them how to walk on a treadmill, they will also be running around cones and jumping over low hurdles.

    Hear Michael Torcia on Animal Radio

    Home Sweet Home, Where Bailey the Buffalo Roams
    Jim Sautner, Bailey the Buffalo
    For thousands of years, the majestic North American buffalo roamed freely over the wide-open Canadian prairies. Today, most of these brown, woolly beasts spend their time grazing on ranches - or in the case of Bailey, watching TV in the living room of an Alberta family's home.

    Jim and Linda Sautner are the proud owners of Bailey, who has a penchant for spending his time inside the couple's home, about 20 kilometers west of the provincial capital of Edmonton.

    "My wife wouldn't let me bring my German shepherd puppy in the house one day, so I got even with her by bringing Bailey in," Mr. Sautner said.

    "He's made a mess on the carpet a couple of times, so now we bring out an ice-cream pail whenever he gives us that look."

    The Sautners, who own 270 head of buffalo, have become used to having the 725-kilogram beast watching television in their lounge room. "He prefers to watch The Nature of Things," Mr. Sautner said, referring to a Canadian nature series.

    The couple rescued Bailey as a baby, after the calf was abandoned by his mother. Along with farm hands, they bottle-fed Bailey with milk daily and their affinity for one another grew rapidly. Christmas was especially memorable at the Sautners with 21 wide-eyed guests sitting down to a dinner of mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and buffalo meatballs - with the furry giant snorting behind them.

    The laid-back Bailey, who has been neutered, has been involved in some unusual promotional stunts, including showing up in the lobby of three-star hotels and climbing with Mr. Sautner to the top of a grandstand at the Calgary Stampede rodeo.
    Hear Jim Sautner on Animal Radio

    Is a Skunk Your Next Pet?
    Shelor Brumbeloe,
    Skunks are widely misunderstood as a family pet. They are very intelligent (sometimes too much for their own good) and are extremely clean, affectionate and quite funny.

    Skunks have a unique personality, health and dietary considerations that you should be aware of if your skunk is to become a member of your family. A baby skunk is not a puppy or a kitten, but an intelligent animal with its own set of natural actions and strange reactions!

    When you first acquire a skunk, it will need to be spayed or neutered, get the required skunk shots and be de-wormed. It will, however, have its scent glands removed.

    Skunks can be easily potty trained. They are naturally very clean and "corner trained" instinctively. This means they will choose their own corner, not one that you pick, but one it picks on their own!

    Just like a small child, you will need to skunk proof your home. This means that you will need childproof locks on cabinets and a secure screen door lock. You will also need to remove everything from the bottom shelf of your bookcase, as they will pull things off. And as with other pets, keep them away from your house plants, as some may be toxic.

    While you may be used to seeing skunks in the typical black and white color, they actually are born with many colors, strip styles, chips, swirls and even solid colors.

    But before you run and get one of these pets, make sure that is it legal in your state. Here are some states where it is still illegal to own a skunk as a pet:

    Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.

    In the remaining states were skunks are legal, they are only available in the month of June.

    Don't miss the 20th Annual Skunks as Pets Show on September 27, 2008 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
    Hear Shelor Brumbeloe on Animal Radio®

    Dog Car of the Year
    Dr. Marty Becker, Good Morning America
    Dr. Becker states that surveys show about half of all car-buyers consider the comfort of the family dog when buying a new car ­ and 65 percent take their pets on errands.

    So when you are looking for a new vehicle and reviewing car websites, you can find numerous sites that review cars for all of the usual reasons. But what about a car that is dog friendly? doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on horsepower, handling and other things that make the usual lot of car reviewer hearts go pitty-pat. They figure you know all about how many cupholders a car has, and how many pre-teen soccer stars you can fit in it. So their reviews are about ... well ... dogs. How well does a car hold dogs and their gear? How easy it is to get crates into the back or otherwise restrain a dog for safety? Can you get air in the back? Do the seats fold flat? And how economic is the vehicle? lists top vehicle picks in nine categories for 2007, plus the ones to watch for 2008 has chosen the Honda Element as the DogCar of the Year for 2007. The Honda Element's versatile cargo space, easy-clean flooring, crate-friendly rear design and optional all-wheel drive were cited as the key ingredients for the perfect dog car. They also gave high honors to the Suzuki Forenza wagon as the Best DogCarsValue among 2007 models.

    The team also noted four vehicles to watch for 2008: The all-new Scion xB, Volvo XC70, Dodge Grand Caravan and Buick Enclave. In the closely watched Green category, they mark the 2008 Ford Escape hybrid as worth a test drive for dog-lovers who want a cleaner ride.

    "We're glad to see car-makers address the comfort and safety of our dogs on the road because people don't want to leave their pets - or should we say 'four-legged family members' ­ behind. More than a quarter even sometimes take pets to work," he said.

    The Web site, which also offers Dr. Becker's pet travel safety tips, pet travel product reviews and reader comments, gave honors to top DogCars for 2007 in seven additional automotive categories, including luxury, mid-size and small SUVs, sporty, truck, minivan and compact.
    Hear Dr. Becker on Animal Radio®

    Bone Voyage!
    By Sarah Hodgson
    Herald the spring and the upcoming seasonal travels!

    As families start to venture out from winter's snowy blanket to sunnier climates, what is the best alternative when Fido can't come?

    Of the options to consider-- kenneling ones pet, leaving them home with a house-sitter/dog walker, or housing them elsewhere-- there is no ideal, and really is up to your pup's preference. There are dogs, for example, who view a kennel stay as a social child views camp, and other dogs who will literally chew their fur off, stop eating and return home completely unhousebroken.

    Here is a guideline to follow when choosing what is right for your furry friend:

    Kennels are ideal for social animals who enjoy interacting with other pets and people. They're not ideal for protective dogs or solitary pets who thrive on family interaction, but are stressed when leaving their home environment.

    Pet Sitter or Dog Walker
    This person comes to your home either living with your pet or dropping in throughout the day. This option is ideal for dogs whose life pattern is adjusted to unpredictable schedules and who welcome the attention of people outside of their immediate family. If your dog is accustom to an organized schedule, bonded to one particular person, or is wary of unfamiliar people or routines, he/she may be stressed. Examples of such anxiety may include destructive chewing, or house soiling.

    Another Home
    If you have the option to leave your dog with family or friends, or find a home-based kennel, consider it from two vantage points: your dogs and the person who will be responsible for watching him. The dog who fares best in a new setting is mature, reasonably trained, and socialized with and adaptable to new experiences. Placing a young puppy or nervous dog in a new household for a week is unwise and inconsiderate to the person asked to take on this responsibility. Dogs in this situation may resort to aggression (out of fear), running away, destructive chewing or house soiling. Consider this option only if your dog fits the first description or if you're paying for this service with a professional that know how to handle all dogs.

    To determine if a professional establishment is adequate for your pet, and to prepare your dog for the separation, keep these final things in mind:

    Referrals are useful, though you should visit the location in person. Do you feel comfortable talking to the staff? Ask to view the dog runs-are they clean, do the dogs seem content? Question the feeding schedule, exercise routines, and how emergencies are handled. When you bring your dog, label familiar bedding and ask if you may leave a favorite toy/bone.

    Ask for and follow up on referrals. Write out a lengthy explanation of your dog's schedule, habits, and training commands. The more this person's routines reflect your own, the calmer your dog will feel in their presence.

    Another house
    If you are leaving your dog in a different home, mirror the above instructions, outlining the course of your dog's day. Show everyone involved familiar handling routines and leave a command sheet so the people will use familiar directions.

    Needless to say, the question of leaving ones dog is unavoidable and points to yet another reason to socialize and train all dogs. When final decisions are made, and you kiss your pup goodbye, be sure to separate yourself emotionally and have a good time.

    Though your dog would rather his routine not change, he is lucky to have people who care enough to provide a safe alternative. Your dog will survive.

    Bone Voyage!

    Sarah Hodgson (Katonah, NY) has taught dog training for 20 years and is the author of seven dog training books, including Puppies For Dummies®, Miss Sarah's Guide to Etiquette for Dogs & Their People, DogPerfect, PuppyPerfect, and Teach Yourself VISUALLY™ Dog Training. She has appeared on national television and radio programs to promote her training methods and has served as a columnist for The New York Times. The owner of Simply Sarah, a dog training school and supply catalog based in Westchester, New York, she also has a website, Hodgson has a degree in psychology and animal behavior from the State University of New York.

    Coming Up on
    Animal Radio®:

    Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre
    The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and juggling skills of Gregory Popovich and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets.

    Each of the show's 15 cats and 10 dogs were once strays, rescued from animal shelters. "My pets all got a second chance," Popovich said. "Other animals should have that, too."

    Now, they love to show off onstage - by performing a variety of stunts and skills! The tricks the animals perform aren't dangerous or extreme, Popovich said. Their part in the show is more about funny skits than jumping through flaming hoops. In choosing his performers, Popovich looks for "personality" above all else. "You can't 'train' a cat to do anything it doesn't want to do," joked Popovich,

    For the past 10 years, The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater has delighted audiences with physical comedy, juggling and the antics of Popovich's trained dogs and "cooperative" house cats.

    The Circle of Healing
    Freedom, a bald eagle, came to the Sarvey Wildlife Center after she was rescued with two broken wings.

    Freedom had an incredible battle for her life ahead of her, and is alive because Jeff Guidry fought for her life. There is no doubt that Freedom sensed his love and commitment. Jeff gave Freedom the support she needed to want to live.

    When Jeff was later diagnosed with a serious illness requiring chemotherapy, he found himself turning to Freedom for support. Two or three times a week, whenever he felt well enough, Jeff would visit Freedom and walk with her around the grounds. Now it was Freedom's turn to give Jeff a reason to fight for his life.

    Only a short time ago Jeff was informed there was no trace of the disease left in his body. He immediately left for the Center to visit Freedom. When he took Freedom out of her flight, she did something she had never done before: She extended her wings and wrapped them around him.

    The circle of healing was now complete.

    Hollywood Paws
    Do you ever wonder what goes on behind filing movie scenes when animals are involved?

    Most actors will tell you that besides working with children, animals are the hardest to work with - you never know what will happen!

    Tune in to find out what really goes on behind those animal scenes!



    (rated 4 out of 5 paws)

    The Brush Buddy
    You have wipes for cleaning, a brush for shedding and a towel for drying your dog. But what if you could have all of this in one product?

    That's exactly what The Brush Buddy is. One side removes dirt, shedding hair and massages your dog, while the other towel side dries them off. And when it gets dirty, you can just throw it in the washing machine - how convenient is that!

    And I like the hand pockets. They are ergonomically designed to grip your dog's body - plus, you don't have to get your hands dirty!

    The Brush Buddy is compact and easy to transport and store. And, you will probably want more than one. Keep one in your car, place one in your backpack and leave one at home.

    Play-N-Squeak Cat Toys
    All cats have a preying instinct. The Play-N-Squeak Cat Toys brings out that natural instinct and encourages your cat to hunt, chase, stalk and pounce on these realistic looking toys. And, they even have a Mouse sound for added fun that is in the frequency of an actual field mouse - which no cat can resist!

    The Play-N-Squeak line of toys are available in toys that your cat can play with alone, toys your cat can play with other cats and toys you can play along with your cat. I don't know who had more fun - me or the cats!

    Bring out the wild side in your cat!

    See other reviews at Send products for review on-air and in this newsletter to: Animal Radio Network™ Product Reviews, 233 East 330 North, Kanab, Utah 84741. Product may not be returned. Allow 5 weeks for review.

    Animal Minute on Animal Radio®
    with Britt Savage

    Einstein - The Trained Goldfish
    Studies are showing that the common goldfish may be a lot smarter than we thought. Nine-year-old Kyle Pomerleau agrees. He won Albert Einstein the goldfish at a school fair and soon noticed that the fish would react to him whenever he came near the tank.

    Kyle and his dad decided that they would try to train the goldfish to do something. They first bought a finger soccer kit from a dollar store and rewarded Albert with food every time he swam near the net. As soon as Albert got the net trick, they added a ball. Soon Albert was trained to push the ball into the goal for a treat. The father and son training team have heard from so many people eager to train their own fish, they've now started selling fish training manuals from their fish school website They say it takes about five or six training sessions a day for about three weeks to teach most goldfish how to swim through a hoop.

    Boy Finds Rare Snake
    You know what they say "Two heads area better than one," unless they're on the end of a snake and they're fighting with each other!

    A Missouri boy found a rare two-headed snake with two independently thinking brains. Ten-year-old Cody Kannir was playing in his backyard when he found the two-headed baby black snake crawling on a stump. He brought it into show-and-tell the next day, but his mother suggested they take the snake to the local wildlife conservatory. Snake experts are taking extra care with the snake, which they say is about a week old. Feeding hasn't been easy because it's really two snakes with one body, so they feel like eating at different times, or worse, at the same time. That's when the fighting starts!

    Britt Savage is a regular Animal Radio® correspondent as well as an incredibly talented musician! She can be heard daily on Animal Radio Network.LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    Veterinary Minute on Animal Radio®
    with Dr. Jim Humphries

    Just What IS That Doggie in the Window?
    Call them mutts or hybrids, mixed breed dogs are definitely one of the most beloved pets. Some people are proud of their "half Collie, half Shepherd" and others are just as content to call their dog a "Heinz 57". But, how do you know what the "mix" is in your mixed breed dog? More importantly, does it really matter?

    Until recently, most people could only guess as to their pet's ancestry. The American Kennel Club recognizes more than 150 breeds of dogs and 62 more are considered Foundation Stock. About 400 hybrid breeds are listed by the Hybrid Breed Club. Without some sort of validation from the breeder, people were at a loss to discover what type of dog their pet might be. But, the mapping of the canine genome has now given scientists new tools to help answer some owners' questions about their pet's "roots".

    It is now known that humans first domesticated dogs from wolves more than 13,000 years ago, but some "tame" wolves may have associated with early humans as far back as 100,000 years ago. The mapping of the dog's genome has validated that all of our canine friends, purebred and mutt, descend from the gray wolf. It may seem far-fetched, but Chihuahuas and Great Danes have almost identical DNA and, believe it or not, could actually breed and reproduce. Although most people are content with the love and affection of their mutt, a recent survey showed that 60% of dog owners would welcome knowledge that would help them better understand their pets.

    The Wisdom Panel® DNA test for mixed breed dogs enables some of these owners to find answers. This new analysis is a comprehensive DNA based test that uses unique, breed-specific markers in the DNA to identify what breeds are most common in a dog's ancestry. By taking advantage of something called "SNiPs" or single nucleotide polymorphisms, scientists have designed blood tests that can determine from what breeds your dog might have descended. SNiPs are single changes in the DNA code that allow researchers to track human population migration, or for CSI fans, to find the murder suspect from a single drop of blood.

    With a small amount of blood drawn by your veterinarian, the Wisdom Panel can determine your pet's unique ancestry through the use of more than 300 SNiPs. According to Genetic Research Manager, Dr. Paul Jones of Mars Veterinary, the Wisdom Panel has the ability to identify 134 AKC registered dog breeds that could be present in your pet's past. Validation testing by Mars, which is ongoing, has shown an 84% accuracy rate.

    So what does all of this mean for you? Knowing the breed predilection to various diseases, could this test predict that your pet will develop cancer or kidney failure?

    Dr. Lowell Ackerman, a board certified veterinary dermatologist and noted author says that the test is "really more for entertainment rather than medical or diagnostic purposes." A point with which Dr. Jones agrees. He states "the Wisdom Panel should only be used for informational purposes. It should not be used to try and link a disease process with a pet because of its ancestry and known pre-disposition to certain diseases or congenital malformations."

    And what about the legal implications? Could an insurance company deny coverage to you because of your dog's ancestry? To date, this has not been an issue, but the thought does raise questions. As an example, some cities have tried to enact pit bull bans. But, according to Jones, there is no method of proving pit bull ancestry due to the genetic variability of this dog. Could other "aggressive" breeds be singled out? Is it possible you may have to move because of your Rottweiler or Doberman? Could your homeowner's insurance deny you coverage because your dog has too much German Shepherd?

    For those folks who want to provide the latest in pet identification, there is even a DNA fingerprinting test for your pet available through Using a cheek swab (just like CSI), scientists can often gather enough DNA to create a DNA fingerprint for your pet. Unfortunately, unlike CSI, pet owners often have to send multiple samples in order to generate enough DNA for the testing. Kansas State University uses similar testing to verify identity and parentage of racing greyhounds.

    If you want to know more about your pet's genetic background, ask your family veterinarian about the Wisdom Panel. After a simple blood sample, you can expect results back within a few weeks. These tests usually cost between $100 and $200. The cost difference may reflect your veterinarian's involvement and consultation in the interpretation of the results.

    All in all, the Wisdom Panel could be a fun way of taking a new look at your family pet. You should remember that there are limitations to this test and it will not likely provide any concrete evidence of either medical or behavioral issues. If you have concerns about breed specific diseases or problems, talk with your veterinarian. There are specific DNA tests available for many hereditary diseases of dogs. To see a video on this and many other medical advances, visit

    Dr. Humphries is a veterinarian in Colorado Springs and the National News Director for Veterinary News Network. Hear the Veterinary Minute exclusively on Animal Radio®-LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    Ask the Cat Coach with Marilyn Krieger

    Dear Cat Coach,
    I used to have nice sofas and couches. Now everything is in tatters. My 3 cats think that my furniture is their furniture and have scratched and ruined my nice sofas. I would like to replace my ruined furniture, but need to make sure that the cats won't ruin the furniture as well. A friend told me that I needed scratching furniture made especially for the cats. What do you think?

    Dear Scratched,
    Your friend is right. Cats need furniture that is made just for their scratching needs. Cats do need to scratch, but they don't have to scratch your furniture. Cats need both vertical scratching posts as well as horizontal scratchers, all available from most pet supply stores. Cats need to scratch for a few reasons. Cat have scent glands on the bottom of their paws. When cats scratch they are marking, both visually and through scent. Cats also need to give themselves pedicures and they need a good stretch.

    Cats can be trained to use their own cat furniture instead of your favorite sofa. Start by covering up the scratched area and putting a cat scratching post right in front of the area on the sofa that is being targeted. When your cats are using the post, praise them. Let your cats know they are the best cats in the whole world. After the posts are being used consistently move them gradually, over a few weeks, to a more desired area.

    Marilyn Krieger, CCBC is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant certified through, and a member of the Board of Directors of, The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She can be reached for phone and on-site consultations to help solve cat behavior problems either by e-mail or by phone: 650 780 9485. Marilyn is the Cat Behaviorist for the Cat Channel, Cat Fancy Magazine's web presence . Additionally, Marilyn teaches cat behavior classes and is available for speaking engagements. You can find out more about The Cat Coach, LLC® at Copyright 2008 Marilyn Krieger, CCBC All Rights Reserved.

    For Pet's Sake with Karen Lee Stevens

    Get a Load of This!
    The week of April 21-27 is National Scoop the Poop Week (no, really!). Snicker if you will, but this annual "holiday" was created as a way to bring awareness to the huge health and environmental issues caused by dog feces.

    Consider these facts:

    • Dog waste is brimming with bacteria and can harbor parasites such as roundworms and hookworms.
    • Because children frequently play outdoors in the dirt and sand, they are most susceptible to bacterial infection from dog excrement.
    • Many municipalities in the United States (including Santa Barbara) requires dog guardians to clean up after their pets and issue fines for those who don't.
    • Pet waste contaminates local waterways and beaches.
    • Feces attract flies and we all know how annoying they can be at family picnics.

    It wasn't too many years ago that I might have, er, poo-pooed the idea of picking up after a pet in public, but these days I actually find myself approaching delinquent dog guardians with a mutt mitt and a message. Take last Wednesday, for instance. I had just settled in for a quiet lunch in my car at the beach. As I sank my teeth into my sandwich, I noticed a cute boy and his even cuter Golden Retriever walking along the waterfront. A Kodak moment, for sure. As I took another bite, I wondered why this child wasn't in school (I later learned that he's home-schooled). As I munched and mused, the dog sniffed at the sand and then-to put it politely-"did his business."

    OK, I thought, the boy should be removing a plastic bag from his pocket right about now. But he didn't. He kept walking. I stopped chewing. Now I had a doggone doo-doo dilemma on my hands. Should I do nothing? Should I set aside my hunger and my sandwich, don a pair of water shoes (which I always keep in the car for spur-of-the-moment beach walks), grab a plastic bag (also in the car) and trudge over to pick up the poop myself? What would Scooby-Doo do? I knew I couldn't leave without first talking with the boy. God, I hate confrontations. Then I remembered that Earth Day was fast approaching and I thought of all the ways that people can help save our beleaguered planet, which includes making No. 2 clean-up a No. 1 priority.

    I gulped the rest of my lunch and waited for the villains, I mean the boy and his dog, to return from the end of the pier. With a biodegradable bag in hand, I strolled to the water's edge and approached the pair with a smile and a "How ya doing?!" They were doing great, according to the boy. I casually mentioned that I noticed his dog had "dropped something" and offered him the bag to clean it up. The boy-whose name I'll change to Sam to protect the embarrassed-offered profuse apologies and whipped out a mutt mitt from his pocket. His dog, with perfect comedic timing, squatted and plopped another "present" right in front of us. We both laughed as I handed Sam my plastic bag. "Guess you'll need this after all."

    "Thanks," Sam said rather sheepishly, as he gathered up the now-full bags and headed back to the picnic area where his dad was waiting for him.

    "No problem," I smiled. "Just doing my 'dooty' to help keep our beaches clean."

    Karen, a.k.a., the PoopPolice, is the founder and president of All For Animals, Inc., a pro-animal, educational organization based in Santa Barbara, California. Karen encourages all dog lovers to "just doo it" and pick up after their pets. Afterward, send her an email message at


    Talk With Your Animals on Animal Radio Network™
    hosted by Joy Turner Check Schedule for Airtimes

    Choices, Choices - Listening to Your Inner Guidance and Following the Magic
    Perhaps you remember a previous article, Made In Heaven? Just to remind you, here is a short recap.

    "I was working with a woman whose third dog, a German Shepherd named Sarge, was the love of her life. The woman was so heartbroken that she had to put him down. She cried every day for months after his passing and could still cry easily 20 years later. She knew Sarge was in pain from hip dysplasia. Sarge was very stoic. He did whatever he could to please her in spite of the excruciating pain. Finally one day when the pain was so great, he bit a boy. He knew that he would be put down because the house rule was "bite someone and be put down".

    20 years later, I was working with the woman. She wanted to know where Sarge was. When I found Sarge, he was very glad I had found him and that his person wanted to talk with him because he wanted to know where she was. She had moved to another town. He kept visiting the house where they had lived to see her and was confused about her not being there. For some reason Sarge never looked beyond their former home. I was able to connect them by asking the woman to think about the house they lived in. Then I energetically connected them at the old house. I asked her to think of driving from the old house to her current house. In this way we showed him how to get to the new house. Sarge was very interesting. He did something I've never seen another being on the other side do. Believe it or not, he was so interested in all the sights and smells along the way that he got lost. I found him, reconnected the two of them and we finished showing him the way to her house. It has been two years since this reunion. For now he waits patiently to reincarnate as he sits by her side."

    Ta Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Fast forward to today. At first he was coming back as a Golden Retriever named Teddy instead of a German Shepherd. He felt that the American German Shepherds had health problems. He liked the energy of a Golden. After awhile he realized that big of a dog was not going to work for his mom. So he started sending her clues about another dog. One clue was the softness of a horse's coat. At an event she attended, she petted a Springer Spaniel which felt like the horse's coat. Then Springer Spaniels started showing up in her life more often. He even orchestrated finding a breeder by having an e-mail with a link to dog breeders sent to her. She opened it up and then started looking for breeders of Springer Spaniels in her area. The woman fell in love with his doggie mom. It just so happened a litter was planned for February around her birthday and his mom made arrangements to be able to adopt one of the boy pups.

    The puppies were born on Sunday, March 16. Because, through conversations with him prior to being born, he had requested to keep his whole tail, his mom requested that his tail not be docked. The breeder agreed and let his mom have first pick of the litter on Tuesday. She drove nervously to the house to pick out her baby. She knew what he would feel like when their hearts connected. He had agreed that I could help if she got stuck.

    The breeder had named all the pups (at least temporarily). About 45 minutes after she arrived, I got a frantic message from her puppy. "You better help her because she is going to pick someone else. She needs to make her decision today. Tomorrow is the day the tails are going to be docked. I don't want my tail docked. Mom promised me she would not let that happen to me." So, what happened in this amount of time? Why was he worried about her choice?

    What had happened was she had picked him from all her usual types of signs. The first boy in the litter, she was the first to choose. His name was to be Teddy; he was called Sunny - both consonants, vowels, double consonants ending in y. He was the only one in the group who was not suckling or sleeping. He was standing up. Even the breeder told the woman Sunny was the one she thought came for the woman. Everything was pointing to him and then she heard, "You need to pick up each boy to feel which one resonates with your heart." The second boy struck a cord with her where as she could not feel a strong connection with Sunny (his breeder chosen name) Teddy. His mom knew the other 3 were not her boys. Sunny/Teddy was so worried that his mom was going to make the wrong decision because she was leaning toward another puppy called Finch, also a boy. He gave me permission to say which one he was - Sunny. I was also allowed to tell the woman the other puppy, Finch, had known his mom in another life time which is why there was a strong heart connection.

    Now his mom had to decide which one was to be her boy. Was it Teddy/Sunny or Finch? Teddy was not going to tell her she had to pick him. Instead, he steadfastly kept telling her she had to feel her heart and make the choice. When she asked if he would be disappointed if she chose Finch, he said no - although I knew he would be heartbroken. He was not all that pleased that she would consider Finch even after I confirmed Sunny was her boy coming back to her. He had waited very patiently to come back to her. He was so excited to be a part of her household especially in their new house which is situated on a lake. Lots of things have changed in his mom's life. The woman feels it is very interesting to feel him accommodate those changes.

    Choices, Choices, Choices! His mom could feel that it was very important that she pick appropriately. It was very agonizing for her because she was leaning to Finch. Does she leave Teddy/Sunny, her long awaited dog for another who jumped into the picture out of nowhere? Life is about free will. Sunny/Teddy knew that his mom had to make the decision. There are no right or wrong choices. Some are just more appropriate than others. His mom decided she needed to get back on track to why she was there, and guess who she picked? His name is officially Sunny! He made his entrance as a boy Springer Spaniel on Sunday, March 16. He was the second pup and first male born in a litter of 10 pups. His mom got to see him when he was here just 2 days.

    Are you wondering "what if Sunny's mom had picked Finch instead"? What impact it would have had on Finch's desired life and on Sunny himself. I see this situation quite frequently when people, including breeders, do not let the animals, prospective parents, or the Universe pick each other. This breeder was great and both let the people and animals choose each other as well as make their choice right after birth - the time when the instincts of Spirit are completely in charge. This way, everybody gets to fulfill their life's purpose as designed in Spirit. Otherwise, Finch would not have been able to fulfill his chosen role in life. And perhaps, as one domino falls in the wrong direction, all the others might also have fallen in the wrong direction and there is a possibility that all of the pups would have gone to people they did not intend to live with. This creates quite a situation from a Soul level. There is a saving grace in this possibility - Souls can exchange bodies or choose not to incarnate at that time and give that body to another Soul who would like to. So, perhaps Sunny would not have re-incarnated because he wanted to be with his mom. He might have given his body to another Soul. Perhaps never re-incarnate again because in his mind humans were too fickle and not to be trusted.

    Because Sunny's mom listened to her guidance and her heart, she did make the "right" choice and so all the dominoes all fell in the appropriate places. Each pup got the appropriate person. And, we will trust that the 2 girls still to be spoken for, will also.
    There is a cute story regarding Finch. The woman's human daughter, Sunny's human sister, named Allison, liked Finch. Finch's new human mom is named Alison.

    Sometimes the choices are not the easiest to allow. Sometimes they are not what seems the most obvious. But, then again, sometimes they are. You can be sure that every time you make the choice of your heart, you will find the magic in that choice. And, there is ALWAYS magic in the choice of your heart.

    Until next time, I'm Joy reminding you, you can never love your animal companions too much. You can only love them, hopefully, enough.

    If you would like to schedule a private session with Joy, call 425-867-1779 or go through If you are interested in being a caller on Talk with your Animals, please email to make arrangements. Joy Turner is a regular Animal Radio® correspondent. She can be heard daily on Animal Radio Network. LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    Public Events:

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    Open House at Maddie's Adoption Center
    Saturday and Sunday April 19 & 20, 2008
    250 Florida Street
    San Francisco, CA

    The San Francisco/SPCA will celebrate the 140th anniversary of its founding with an Open House at Maddie's Adoption Center. The weekend will feature a raft of festive events including contests, demos, raffles, give-aways, special adoptions, and tours of the new Leanne B. Roberts Animal Care Center, which is currently under construction. The weekend will also celebrate the 10th birthday of Maddie's Adoption Center.

    Protecting People and Pets National Workshop
    Tuesday April 22, 2008
    Mullane Auditorium - Public is Invited
    169 W. Grand Avenue
    Chicago, IL

    New research reveals pet abuse is common in the lives of battered women. As many as 48% of domestic violence victims remain in abusive homes out of concern for leaving their pets behind. Protecting People and Pets is a workshop designed to raise awareness about the connections between domestic violence and animal cruelty. The goals of the program are to teach participants how to increase resources for victims and their pets and to increase inter-agency communication and collaboration in the community. Specific focus will be given to developing and maintaining safe haven programs for pets of domestic violence victims.

    This workshop is relevant to anyone who works with families, individuals, or animals that may be affected by incidents of domestic abuse. This includes: animal care and control organizations, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, animal boarding facilities, social service workers, counselors, educators, law enforcement, probation officers, humane investigators, animal and family crisis advocates, medical & mental health professionals, public health officials, legislators, judges, court officials, attorneys, community and religious leaders and anyone interested in preventing violence and cruelty in their community. Protecting People and Pets is made possible through Humane Society University and The Anti-Cruelty Society

    Canine and Cocktails for a Cause
    Friday, April 25, 2008
    Loews Annapolis Hotel
    Annapolis, MD

    Loews Annapolis Hotel and Paws Pet Boutique will host a series of "Canines and Cocktails for a Cause" dograisers to benefit local animal shelters, while dog-owners and their four-legged best friends will enjoy cocktails, appetizers, mocktails and Snoopy snacks. Each Barky Hour, from 5 ­ 8 p.m. on the Weather Rail's patio, has a theme ranging from spring fever to a fall fashion show as well as contests for dogs and raffle prizes.

    Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland - April 25
    All dogs are invited to join in the "Spring Fever . . . Bark and Rejoice" contest, where prizes will be given for unique barks. With nearly 60 beagles seeking homes, representatives will be on hand to answer questions about Westminster's top dog.

    2008 Walk For Animals
    Saturday May 3, 2008
    Crownpoint shores - Mission Bay
    San Diego, CA

    San Diego Humane Society
    With one morning, and a little bit of effort, you have the opportunity to dramatically impact the lives of thousands of animals in our community.

    By participating in the San Diego Humane Society Walk for animals, you'll help feed and care for animals looking for loving homes, rescue animals in need, and provide humane education to enrich the lives of individuals and animals alike. At the same time, you'll have some fun! Enjoying a morning filled with a beautiful walk around Crown Point Shores, eating pancakes, enjoying our vendor village, and taking part in fun activities for pets and people alike.

    Won't you take the first step by registering today!

    California Country Hoe Down
    Saturday and Sunday May 3 & 4, 2008
    19080 Newville Road
    Orland, CA

    Farm Sanctuary cordially invites you and yours to our good old-fashioned Country Hoe Down-a rootin' tootin' weekend of animal-friendly activities. Join other animal lovers for this one-of-a-kind conference and get inspired to do more for farm animals in need.

    An event for all ages and activist levels, the Hoe Down features distinguished guest speakers who move and motivate attendees with presentations on current farm animal issues, campaigns and advocacy efforts, as well as workshops on health, the environment, social justice, and more!

    But the Hoe Down isn't all work and no play. Guests are also encouraged to hop on a hayride, visit friendly farm animals, and leisurely stroll around our beautiful sanctuary grounds. As the sun begins to set in the evening, participants will commune for a vegan feast, delight in the company of fellow animal advocates, and "get down" at a barn dance.


    \(rated 4 and 1/2 paws out of 5 paws)

    The Labrador Pact by Matt Haig

    Hardcover: 352 pages
    Publisher: Viking Adult (February, 2008)
    ISBN- 10: 067001852X
    ISBN-13: 978-0670018529

    The Labrador Pact is a novel about a family in crisis and the loyal dog that
    holds them all together, all from the perspective of Prince, a black lab.
    And, little does the family know, that their fate all depends upon their

    In the book, there is a creed that all dogs live by: Duty Over All to Their
    Families. The Labradors still adhere to the Pact and its list of Thou
    Shalts and Thou Shalt Nots setting out a dog's duties to the Family,
    promising, like any decent belief system, an Eternal Reward for the
    faithful: "To be reunited with your brothers and sisters, to run wild and
    free in a humanless universe." But, it seems like the Labradors are the only
    remaining breed willing to uphold the creed. Other breeds, such as the
    Springer Spaniels, seemed to have abandoned the creed and are living for

    Throughout the book as Prince tries to turn himself from the one saved into
    the one saving, he speaks to his humans, but no one seems to listen to him.
    But one day, one of the humans has "one too many" and actually hears the dog

    This book will give you a different perspective of your pet the next time he
    "speaks" to you!

    This book is both funny and strange at the same time.

    \(rated 3 out of 5 paws)

    Dog Man by Martha Sherrill

    Hardcover: 256 pages
    Publisher: Penguin Press HC (February 2008)
    ISBN-10: 1594201242
    ISBN-13: 978-1594201240

    The Dog Man is about Morie Sawataishi who lives in ultra-modern Japan but is
    radically unconventional by any standards.

    For Morie, wealth was not as important as his passion to preserve the Akita
    dog breed. He passes up promotions at work, moving to a bigger house and
    prestigious engineering jobs to devote himself to his dogs.

    Previously, Morie never owned a dog. But when he turned 30 (perhaps a
    midlife crisis?) he all of a sudden had this longing to get a dog. He
    selected the Akita breed, which was being slaughtered for their pelts to
    line coats of officers. Morie's family didn't understand this new longing
    and resented the fact that he spent more time and lavished more affection on
    his dogs rather then on them.

    Set in Japan's snow country (his wife hated living in the country), Morie's
    dedication to these animals helped to save the breed from extinction.

    See other reviews at Send books and literature for review on-air and in this newsletter to: Animal Radio Network™ Book Reviews, 233 East 330 North, Kanab, Utah 84741. Product may not be returned. Allow 5 weeks for review.

    Becoming a New Pet Parent!
    Last month, we talked about some things to consider before adopting a pet. This month, PETS 911 bring you tips for how to acclimate your new pet to its new home. There are many schools of thought and tricks of the trade when it comes to bringing a new animal into your home. The below suggestions are some general guidelines that many people have found useful. For advice about your specific pet, get some help from the volunteers or employees at the animal shelter or from your local vet.

    1. Limit the space your new pet has access to.
    Often when introduced to a new space, animals can get easily overwhelmed when they have too much area to be aware of. Limiting the animal to the kitchen, or the TV room, will allow the pet to take its time in getting familiar with the immediate space. Make sure to keep them in a space that you are also in, so they are not left alone in a strange new place.

    2. Limit the amount of people visiting the animal or your home.
    For the first few days, the pet should not be overwhelmed by meeting every person you know. Allow your pet to take it one day at a time and get comfortable with your immediate family before having other people over. When introducing your pet to new people, instruct your guests to come into the house and not give the animal any attention until they have calmed down and our in a calm state of mind. Guests help train your new pets as much as you do, it is important that they follow the same rules as the people who live with the animal. An easy way to do this is to place a sign on your front door informing visitors that you have a new pet in training. This may apply more to dogs then to other pets but it can be useful across the board.

    3. Always supervise your pets to make sure they are getting along.
    Just like humans, pets need to get use to each other and learn the different ins and outs of their new house. This means the other animals will be showing the newbie the house rules. This lesson may manifest in the form of aggression, and could, if not properly addressed, turn into a dangerous situation. It is important to not confuse the natural hierarchy in animal relationships for that of aggression. Though you should be the 'top dog' with your pets, they themselves will develop their own ranking amongst each other. This behavior will be established through body language, territory and sometimes showing of the teeth or a quick snap. These indicators will help to establish boundaries of respect and order. It is when these exchanges escalate or turn into aggression, that you as the owner, should intervene.

    4. Do exercise activities daily!
    Though this is not an action you only do at the beginning of your relationship with your new pet, it is a great time to start a routine that will last for life. Pets, just like us, need daily activities to keep them healthy and well balanced. This also benefits the owner as it relates to training and discipline. When you exercise an new pet before you do training, you increase your pet's ability to absorb what you're teaching. This occurs by burning some of that excess energy and creating a more balanced state. This primarily applies to dogs, but making sure to spend time with your cat or letting your reptile take a stroll in the fresh air, are just as beneficial.

    Animal Radio® is a proud partner with Pets911! Hear about the latest Pets911 activities on-air on Animal Radio®

    Pet Talk Radio! on Animal Radio Network
    with Brian and Kaye Pickering Check Schedule for Airtimes

    How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
    Don't let the title of this month's story put you off! ­ It has a happy ending

    Saying farewell to our mostly four legged furry friends is hard enough at the best of times. But when we have to make the decision for them it can literally 'break your heart. And experts are not sure why but for some reason the loss of a beloved pet can be harder to deal with than the loss of even a close human family member or relative.

    Last month our eldest miniature apricot poodle Cosmo (14 years) had a stroke, although we didn't really know it at the time. Cosmo hadn't been in the best of health for the past 12 months and we literally woke up one morning to see him standing 'staring into space'. For a number of reasons and medical issues he had, we felt it was going to be 'his time' this year and even told him Cosmo, if you want to go mate, then go and remember that we'll always love you.

    By the next morning it was obvious Cosmo was 'on his way' but now he seemed to be in some pain and quite distressed, not drinking water or taking food.

    So what are the choices here?... Our veterinarian helped us with this harder than expected decision. Long term medication, blood tests, scans etc with a slim chance of success?? (remember he was 14 years old) or do we make the hardest choice any pet owner can make. Help him to move on. 'Put him down' 'Euthanize' there is no easy way to say it!

    Our vet explained the process ­ fast, painless and quiet. Our vet is very special ­ candles in a dimly lit room.. all of us down on the floor on comfy mats with Cosmo some private time to say our last goodbyes and cry a lot
    Then ­ it's over ­ in just a few short moments.
    But knowing Cosmo is now free of pain and discomfort more than makes up for the deep loss we felt in the week or so following that moment.

    So how are we coping?... Fine thanks now. These things take time, and you should allow time for that process. It's normal.

    We still haven't told our radio listeners yet who have heard us talk about Cosmo over the years ­ we'll do that when we feel up to it but we did tell our closest friends and colleagues and it was wonderful the support we got back from every single one of them. And that REALLY helped.

    And that's the point of this story Crying is good ­ Grieving is good ­ and talking about your loss helps 'mend your broken heart'. We have done stories on Pet Talk Radio! about the grieving process ­ In fact there is a great book - When Pets Die: It's OK To Grieve' by Doris Zagdanski ­ it's just a series of great thoughts that help heal your heart. Likewise there are a number of individuals and organizations that have pet grief counseling services ­ almost always free.

    So if you are in this situation or have a family member, relative or friend who has just lost their pet ­ remember, it is important to give them time to get over their loss. Some people take longer than others ­ some do it harder than others. If that's the case ensure they seek professional help. Meantime NEVER say "oh you can always get another dog (or cat or whatever) " that's bound to see the end of your friendship forever!

    And the happy ending we promised?... We laid Cosmo to rest in a hole in the front garden that he had been digging for the past 12 months. We had always told him off and said "when you go to doggy heaven mate you'll be going right in there!!"

    Well he is now and we know he's happy. We're also happy. We planted an Australian native Bottlebrush tree on top and when it blooms in summer and attracts all the colorful parrots (Cosmo's favorite pastime was chasing but never catching them) we'll be able to laugh out loud as we remember all the good times we had over the last 14 years with 'our best friend'.

    And that folks is how to mend a broken heart.

    Take care and hugs for your pets from Brian & Kaye

    Hear Pet Talk Radio! on Animal Radio Network - LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW - Check schedule for showtimes.

    Voice of the Animal on Animal Radio®
    Rae Ann Kumelos Ph.D.

    All the Buzz About Bees
    Did you know that a bee helped open up frontier to the pioneers of the American West?

    In 1842, John C. Fremont, Pathfinder of the West, and later governor of California, was commissioned to lead an expedition to find a passage over the Rocky Mountains. Part of any government commission is writing the report, but Fremont was an adventurer, not a writer, so he turned to his wife, Jessie Benton Fremont, for help. As John recounted his successful journey to Jessie, she helped the report come alive in a manner that would capture the imagination of the nation. Jessie wrote of how her husband scaled what he mistakenly believed to be the highest point in the Rockies, and as he unfurled a US flag on the icy summit, all of a sudden a bee appeared. As Fremont tells it: "It was a strange place . . . for a lover of warm sunshine and flowers, and we pleased ourselves with the idea that the bee was the first of his species to cross the mountain barrier, a solitary pioneer to foretell the advance of civilization." Fremont then swiftly clapped the bee among the pages of his journal and thus insured its immortality.

    When the Fremont report was released to an eager public, the solitary bee captured the wanderlust of the nation, and as we know, that "solitary bee then became a swarm."

    It is not surprising that this immortal bee influenced a nation to move West. In ancient myth, the bee was often associated with immortality. Bees were a symbol of the Mother Goddess, with the hive considered the womb of the Great Mother. In a beehive, the Queen Bee is surrounded by virgin female worker bees who gather the pollen from flowers. This is one reason that bees are associated with the Greek Goddess Artemis and her priestesses; several of the ancient statues of Artemis are adorned with bees. The High Priestess that attended to Artemis was called Melissa, which means "bee," and the temples of the goddess were sometimes in the shape of the six-sided hexagonal honeycomb, a form that depicts the sacred geometry of harmony.

    The ancient Egyptians were the first to practice beekeeping. They placed the beehives on boats that floated down the Nile, taking advantage of the blossoms all the way down the river. The Egyptians also believed that bees were born from the tears of their Sun-god, Ra, and in honor of the god, bees performed a dance to the sun. Scientific findings have shown that bees actually do. The bees' dance involves movements that show the location of a new source of pollen in regard to the degrees of the sun's position. When a scout bee shares a bit of the new pollen, the rest of the hive can then determine the plant they are looking for, while the scout's dance tells them how to find it

    It was honey that was the ambrosia upon which the Gods of Mount Olympus dined, while mead, wine that is created from fermented honey, is thought to give those who imbibe it the powers of prophecy. The Viking giantess, Gonlod, also considered the Mother of Poetry, brewed her famous mead in the Cauldron of Inspiration, while the ancient Greek poets Homer and Sappho were believed to have had their lips touched with honey while they were infants, creating their gift for sweet speech.

    In Christianity, bees retain their association with the mother goddess as emissaries of the Virgin Mary. Throughout Eastern Europe, Mary is considered the protectress of bees and beekeepers, and consecrated honey is offered to her every year on the Feast of the Assumption, August 15th. It was, and still is, considered unlucky to kill a bee that may come into your home; she is not there to hurt or sting you, but to bring you blessings.

    Preserved in amber at the Natural History Museum in New York is a bee believed to be 80 million years old. From ancient bees encased in amber, to the enduring words of honey-tongues poets, to the lone bee John C. Fremont immortalized on that icy Rocky Mountain Peak, it is the buzz of bee that echoes through the ages.

    Visit us at to hear more stories and order Voice of the Animals CD's.. Copyright ­ 2008 ­ Voice of the Animal. Rae Ann Kumelos is a regular Animal Radio® correspondent. She can be heard daily on Animal Radio Network. LISTEN TO ANIMAL RADIO NETWORK NOW

    Ask the Bird Folks with Mike O'Connor

    Dear Bird Folks,
    I would like to start keeping a list of all the birds that I see, but I don't know where to start. Are there preprinted lists or books that I can simply fill in, or should I just make my own? Also, I just turned fifty-years old and am wondering if it's "legal" for me to include birds that I've already seen or do I need to start fresh?
    - Dave, NJ

    You are brave, Dave,
    It takes a man to admit that he has just joined the Half-Century Club, especially in public. I still don't have enough guts to do that myself. In fact, last week I went to see a guy who makes fake ID's for old people. For a mere twenty bucks I was able to move out of the Half-century Club and become a hip kid again. Unfortunately, I didn't do the math right and I told the guy I wanted my birth year to be 1997. That was a big mistake. On the way home I got stopped by a cop who was shocked to see that I was only eleven-years old. Luckily, he didn't give me a ticket but I was grounded for a week and couldn't watch TV for a month. I forgot how tough being eleven was.

    I think we touched on the topic of keeping a life list a few weeks ago. As a quick refresher, a life list is list of birds that one person is able see in his or her lifetime. It's pretty cut and dry and not all that exciting, but if you are into it, it can be kind of fun. For many people adding to their life list serves as motivation for them to get up and go outside more often. It's hard to see new birds by sitting on the couch all day; goodness knows, I've tried.

    Yes, Dave, of course you can count birds that you saw before you officially started to keep a list, if you want to. I certainly would. But it's your list so you make the rules. That's what's nice about keeping a bird list; it's one of the few things in life where you can make your own rules. There is one rule, however, that you should probably follow. It's really not cool to add a bird to your list unless you are close to 100% certain you have identified it correctly. Don't be checking off birds on a hunch. If you are going to do that, then you might as well check off every bird on day one and go back to sitting on the couch.

    Checking off birds prematurely can be a problem for younger birders who are eager to build up their list. I've looked back at some of my early lists and there are birds on it that I know I never saw. For example: The penguins that I thought were eating underneath my bird feeder were probably juncos. I had just gotten my first pair of binoculars and was having a little trouble with judging proper size.

    There are a number of ways to keep a life list. You can simply write down every new bird you see on a pad of paper. Done and done. Or, like I used to do, make a check mark in your field guide, right next to the bird's picture. That way you don't have to keep an extra book. All of your info is with you every time you go birding. The downside of using your field guide for your life list is that you may lose it while you are out I did when I fell into the ocean while trying to see puffins. That's when I decided to keep two lists. You can still check off birds in your field guide, but keep a second, more detailed list at home, away from the ocean.

    Again, your second list can be on a simple pad of paper; however, there are also some very good birding journals that you can buy, and buying birding stuff is something I'm never afraid to encourage. One such book, the Birder's Life List & Diary, is put out by Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. It lists the birds in taxonomic order, which means that all the woodpeckers, warblers, ducks, etc. are listed together. The diary also has a place where you can write the date, location and other pertinent information about the sighting. What I like best about this book is that it's spiral bound, so it easily lies flat when you want to write in it. Another good choice is National Geographic's Birder's Journal. It is somewhat similar to the Cornell book, but it has black and white illustrations of each bird, which is a plus. However, this book is very thick (500 pages), not spiral bound, and tough to keep open. Making notes in it is like writing with your hand stuck in a bear trap. Not fun at all.

    I'm glad you are thinking about keeping a life list, Dave. It's a great motivator to do more birding. Also, congrats on turning fifty. I'll be there myself soon...only another thirty-nine years to go.

    Besides being a frequent guest on Animal Radio® - Mike O'Connor is the owner of the Bird Watcher's General Store on Cape Cod, which opened in 1983 as one of the first stores in the United States dedicated solely to birding. His column, Ask the Bird Folks, appears weekly in The Cape Codder, The Register, The Harwich Oracle, and The Upper Cape Codder newspapers, and his writing was included in the Best American Science and Nature Writing 2004. Copyright 2007 by Mike O'Connor. All Rights Reserved.


    Final Thoughts:

    Tips & Advice from "Secrets of Cat Attitude Revealed" A Cat's Step-By-Step Living Advice by Carolyn Bartz

    Safety With Rubberbands (NO NO!!)
    You know how cats seem to find rubber band irresistible? Learn from my mistake. Take it from me.

    DO NOT LET THEM PLAY WITH ITEMS such as these !!!!

    I cannot stress this enough. This can be fatal!! Watch what is in your cat's mouth at all times! Keep small items out of reach.

    These small objects are very easily taken from your reach and ingested. In 24 hrs there can be stomach distress, but even more life threatening, a strangled intestine.

    My personal experience found me to be very lucky. Little Boy Blue has such an infatuation with rubber bands, anytime I am ready to use one, I have to keep in around my wrist till it's actually around the intended object.

    I was distracted by the phone one time, and wasn't thinking correctly.

    He ate two rubber bands while I wasn't looking!! I immediately made him swallow some toothpaste malt. The Emergency Vet on the phone said they would either show up in the litter box, be vomited up, or if he started showing lethargy or other signs of distress, he would have to be admitted to Emergency with in 24 hrs.

    I was soooo scared and agonized over the guilt of letting my guard down for access to the rubber bands, I could not sleep.

    Then.....I heard the tell-tale sounds of "hairball". I RAN to his side.

    I couldn't believe it.......the two rubber bands! Not one, but two! The sigh of relief was probably heard two houses down in the neighborhood. I would not have to worry anymore.
    Blue and I were very lucky. I hope my quick thinking to give the Petromalt helped in the inability of the rubber bands to be digested. I don't plan on this happening again, but, I always keep a tube of this in the house. Keep rubber bands out of reach or hidden and supervise small toys.


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