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Animal Radio® for February 9, 2013  

Doggy Concierge
Jerry Grymek, Hotel Penn

Jerry Grymek with dogJerry Grymek is the "Doggy Concierge" at the Hotel Pennsylvania, which is recognized as the World's Most Pup-ular Hotel and host hotel for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Now York's Hotel Pennsylvania is also pleased to announce its "Five-Paw" service as it prepares to welcome all canine hopefuls participating in the 2013 event.

It's no wonder! They go all out for the dogs and welcome them with open-paws! No one does it better than the Hotel Penn, which is known for hosting Westminster Champions, including 2008 Best In Show Winner Uno the Beagle, and even the first ever 'pup'tual Westminster Wedding Ceremony in 2011.

As Doggy Concierge, Jerry caters to the four-legged guests' needs. That includes handling the 'pup'arazzi, handling their food requests and handling any special hotel requests to make them feel extra comfortable. Some of the food orders he takes for the dogs are for spinach pizzas and cheeseburgers, without the onions of course! He once got an order for a pug for seven cheeseburgers! There was even a request for a Red Carpet for the arrival of a dog. The craziest request Jerry has seen so far was for an Opera singer to serenade a dog; all while the dog was wearing a top hat, bowtie and tuxedo. Apparently it's the dog's ritual!

New York's Hotel PennsylvaniaThe Hotel Penn has a whole list of amenities and events, including New York's largest indoor doggy spa. The spa includes his and her canine washrooms, grooming tables, bathtubs and Jacuzzis. There is also an animal veterinarian and acupuncturist on hand for the dogs.

While these amenities are for Westminster, the Hotel Penn is pet-friendly year round and accepts dogs of all sizes.

The 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show takes place on February 11-12, 2013 at Madison Square Garden, directly across the street from New York's Hotel Pennsylvania. Two new breeds will be competing this year, the Russell Terrier and the Treeing Walker Coonhound.

Sneaking In The Back Door At Westminster
Connie Newcomb, Dog Show Confidential

Connie Newcomb with dogConnie Newcomb has been showing dogs at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City for several years now. This year she will be showing her smooth coat champion Chihuahua, named Bill.

While Connie did make it to Westminster, it wasn't in a way she ever expected. Westminster offers a glimpse of the best of the best among canines. But a closer look behind the scenes at what it takes to get there reveals a society with its own language, hierarchy and complex traditions.

What began as an innocent attempt to fill her empty nest swiftly turned into a rollicking ride that brought Connie face-to-face with a host of indelible characters, canine and human, including the infamous Patty Hearst, her bodyguards, and her award-winning French bulldogs.

Dog Show Confidential book coverConnie soon found out that the dog-handling world is very competitive, even though you don't win anything. She tells us the professional handlers always have the advantage, because it is a small community, and everyone knows everyone. Then there are the handlers who will try to throw other dogs off. They do this by throwing bait in the ring or walking to closely to them while they are circling the ring.

In this day and age, it's no surprise that Westminster is a very political competition.

Connie lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with eight Chihuahuas, one Japanese Chin, a leggy mutt named Penny Lane, and her very patient husband, Jim.

Cancer Is Not A Death Sentence
Dr. Gerald Post, Animal Cancer Foundation

Dr. Gerald PostCancer is the most common disease we see in our aging animals. However, it is also one of the most treatable. While it might not be curable in many cases, it is still incredibly treatable.

One of the most common misconceptions that Dr. Post deals with when he mentions chemotherapy and radiation therapy to his clients is that they feel it will affect their pets just as this treatment affects humans. That is not the case.

While some animals do have such things as fur loss (not hair loss), the dose as well as the method of fur growth, makes their fur loss less of a problem. These therapies are adjusted specifically for an animal, so that they can handle it well.

The second most common misconception is that it is going to be extremely expensive. Cancer therapy can be expensive, with bone marrow transplants costing between $20,000 and $30,000, but because of the advent or oral chemotherapy and other types of antiangiogenic or metronomic therapy, therapy no longer has to be out of reach for most people.

Every pet should get the best therapy that a guardian can afford. This affordability may be about money or may be about time. A program and protocol can be devised that fits almost everybody's budget or constraints.

So much of cancer relates to genetic risk factors. So in other words, all of us, human and animal, are born with a certain level of cancer risk. There are also certain breeds that are pre-disposed to certain types of cancer. Do some research to find out if your own dog has a genetic risk factor to certain types of cancers.

There are things you can do to help prevent cancer in your pets. Give them a good balanced diet, keep them at a good weight and keep them active. Also, have them seen regularly by a vet, so if something does show up, you can find it early.

The most powerful weapon against cancer is information and that there is, in most cases, hope for the treatment of cancer in pets.

Dr. Gerald Post is one of approximately two hundred board-certified veterinary oncologists in the United States and the Founder of the Animal Cancer Foundation.

The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Joey VillaniLazy Groomers Just Want To Shave Dogs
Joey has heard this statement a million times, "Every time I take my dog to a groomer, they always say the dog needs to be clipped down because he's too matted!" They feel the groomer is telling them this because the groomer doesn't want to put the time and effort into brushing the dog out.

Matted dog shaved downWhat most people don't realize is that clipping the dog down is usually more difficult than brushing a dog out that has knots and tangles. So when it gets to the point where you are told that your dog's coat needs to be cut down, it's not because they want to. In fact, most groomers hate to do this. It is very difficult to shave every nook and cranny of your dog.

Joey's answer to anyone who is told this, is don't blame your groomer! There is prep work that needs to be done by you. When your dog has knots and tangles, if you don't brush and comb them out on a regular basis, they get tighter and tighter, until they are up against the skin, pulling it, making it very painful for the dog. When it gets to this point, it can't be brushed out without causing extreme pain to the pet's skin. This is when you have to clip it to remove it.

So, grab the brush and comb and make it a regular ritual with your pet. Who knows, you both might start to enjoy the time together and bond more.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

Ape with iPadApps for Apes
Workers in the Great Ape House at the Smithsonian's National Zoo have found a new, socially engaging outlet for their six orangutans, an iPad. Animal Keeper Becky Malinsky says the idea comes from a non-profit called Apps for Apes, which uses the program in 13 other zoos worldwide. Malinsky says the National Zoo started last year with a donated iPad and their orangutans' repertoire has now grown to more than ten apps, including musical instruments and cognitive games. She says the program is also important for nurturing conservation, because it lets visitors make a connection in seeing the apes use the same technology we use every day.

BigfootBigfoot or Sex-Starved Cougars?
Some people living on the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon are pretty sure they've been listening to Bigfoot for the past month or so. An employee at the tribal housing authority tells The Oregonian they started getting reports about loud cries coming from a swamp on the reservation back in December. Some are attributing the spooky noises to the legendary ape-like humanoid, which is part of the locals' tribal traditions and spiritual beliefs. But Wildlife Program Manager Carl Sheeler says it's more likely that the source is a slightly more common animal, like a fox or a cougar. He explains that, mixed with the echoing nature of the swamp and surrounding canyons, cougars' breeding calls can be "absolutely hair-raising."

ChickensChicken Adoption Turns Into Chicken Robbery
What was supposed to be a chicken adoption turned into a chicken robbery in Colorado. According to The Denver Post, Grant Family Farms hosted a three-day Hen Again Adoption Drive to help save a bankrupt farm and the lives of thousands of chickens. However, a local newspaper printed the wrong address in an advertisement for the event, causing a number of people to show up at the wrong end of the farm. The lost adopters started taking chickens without realizing the mistake, and Hen Again head Teresa Redmond-Ott says "carloads" of people left with fowl that weren't up for adoption. Redmond-Ott says they used social media to tell people about the mix-up, and she's pretty sure people will return the chickens that weren't supposed to leave.

Police dog wearing bootiesThey're Strong, They're Fierce, They Wear Booties!
Police dogs in Germany will soon be sporting some fancy footwear. Orange News reports the canine crime fighters are being issued special boots lined with a layer of stab proof material that attached with Velcro. The new shoes are designed to protect the dogs' feet from broken glass and other sharp objects at riots, crime scenes and other potentially dangerous situations. A German Shepherd named Rico led a trial of 12 dogs that showed how beneficial the boots could be. But even though the shoes were for the dogs' own good, head handler Thomas Shulte admits the animals weren't immediately appreciative. He says the dogs would just pull them off with their teeth at first, but eventually adapted after a couple of weeks.

Dog poopingPoop Is Guide To Health
Your dog or cat's poop is a kind of Google on your pet's health. Pay attention to it. There are many details about poop. Picking up isn't only the neighborly thing to do; it's for the best interest of all pets in the community. It's true there are some potential health issues to people, according to veterinary parisitologist Dr. Dwight Bowman, including roundworm, salmonella and whipworm which can be spread to other dogs, even the parvovirus to those not vaccinated. Also, as one now retired Chicago Alderman famously said "Dog poop is like caviar for rats." That's not exactly true in that rats don't relish dog poop, but like most things, they will cheerily eat the poo if they're hungry enough. And leaving it out may mean another dog will scarf up the poo. A community service? Well, not quite. Dogs that eat other dog's "stuff" have a condition known as coprophagia. Next time your pet poos, don't look away, instead, pay attention and then either pick it up outside or scoop the cat box inside.

ScoopFree Litter Box

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