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Animal Radio® Show #483 March 7, 2009


Behind the Scenes on Hotel For Dogs

Animal Radio® goes behind the scences for Hotel for DogsTom Gunderson is a dog trainer who currently has nine dogs at his house, either training them for movie work or for education outreach.  But that’s not all, he has a menagerie consisting of horses, a monkey, porcupines, a serval, a fox and many reptiles including three alligators. 

Tom was one of the dog trainers for the movie Hotel For Dogs, training dogs for the Shep character.  There were a total of 3 dogs, which were brothers, who played this role.   Overall, there were about 60 dogs in the movie with about 35-40 trainers working with them.  The hardest part about working on a movie with so many dogs is not having the dogs hit their mark, but getting all of the trainers to cooperate! 

The filming for this move took about 2-3 months to complete. There were a lot of complicated behaviors that the dogs had to do, plus the added complication of them all having to get along and not being distracted by each other

Hotel for Dogs on Animal Radio®Another thing that happens on a lot of movies, which is not easy, is that the dog trainers must groom the dogs every day to make them look like a million dollars before they go before the cameras.   In the case of Hotel For Dogs, Tom not only had to groom the three dogs everyday, but he had to make sure that they looked identical.  This includes using makeup and dye.

His words of wisdom for anyone who wants to become a dog trainer for movies is that you have to have a lot of patience.  You also have to have more than just an interest or passion for working with animals; you have to make it your lifestyle.   It can’t just be your job or occupation; it really has to be above and beyond that.  You also have to have a serious commitment and be able to take the animals home.  In Tom’s case, he has the animals at his home during training so that he can develop a relationship with them.  There are also the constant messes and need for grooming.

Tom offer some tips on saving on pet care including grooming your dog at home, just make sure you have all of the necessary tools. He also is a believer in the Swiffer Sweeper for cleaning up. He says he uses the dry clothes to pick up dog hair and the wet clothes for muddy footprints.


Pet Emergency Pocket Guide
Michael Coffin from Informed Publishing discusses the Pet Emergency Pocket Guide, which contains references for any kind of first-aid for pets you might need on the go.  Even though it is primarily for cats and dogs, you will also find information on “pocket pets.

This guide was created after Katrina and after the 2006 Pets Act where it was realized that there was a huge information void on what to do with respect to planning for an emergency that involves your pet during an evacuation.   If you don’t do any planning, things can get a little crazy when you are trying to carry it out and you will forget things.   A little bit of preparation goes a long way, especially when it applies to your pet.  Because just like a child, they have special needs in terms of food, water, medication, bedding, toys, leashes and things of that nature.  You have to think about these things in advance.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but if you do it, it will make a meaningful difference later on!

PET EMERGENCY POCKET GUIDE - a New reference for pet owners covers complete daily care and before-during-after emergency guidelines. Packed with current information in a convenient pocket-sized format, this guide provides easy to follow steps on daily care, travel advice, how-to first aid, disaster planning, and preparation, response, and survival for both common and uncommon injuries, illnesses, and emergencies.

Get $2 off the Pet Emergency Pocket Guide when you order online now. Just enter promotion code ANIMALRADIO at checkout.


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

My Dog Eats Her Poop

Your dog may be eating their poop as habit.  Maybe a previous guardian did not pick up the poop.  It could also happen while switching diets.  Also, your dog may not be producing certain enzymes to digest the food, and his poop still has the smell of some nutrition.  What to do:  Try putting the product “Stop” on your dog’s food.  This will help their digestion and make their poop taste bad.  If you do catch your dog eating poop, clap your hands and make a growling sound to startle him to a stop.  

How Do I Stop My Dogs From Fighting?

What to do: 1. Get two metal crates and put them next to each other. Place a dog bed in each one and rotate the two beds between the two dogs frequently so each dog has a chance to smell where the other has been. 2. Always keeps your dogs under your supervision for the next two weeks, either in the crate or watching them closely. 3. This will create a system where both dogs think they are in trouble. This way, they will turn to each other if they think you are mad at both of them. 4. Along with obedience training, you can reinforce that you are the alpha. 5. If you see either dog approaching the other, purchase Co2 Bicycle Tire Inflator. Push the button; move forward and make a loud growling noise at the same time, and this will startle them to a stop. 6. Praise them when they stop fighting.


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Video Kennels

I’m sure you animals lovers are very aware of this, but those of you who aren’t, I’m very excited to bring this to your attention.

My sister and her children were visiting for the past two weeks, at the end of the summer.   They put their dog, Ringo, in a video kennel, and they were able to log on everyday and check on Ringo.   The camera was aimed right at him.  I heard my nephews Ricky and Jay saying, “Ringo’s sleeping, mom, look at Ringo sleeping!”

This is great for all of those people out there who still have a little bit of paranoia when it comes to leaving their pet behind.  All you really have is the kennel owner’s words.  The fact of the matter is that kennels are fantastic and there is more than enough loving kennels out there.  But, every once in a while you hear horror stories.  There wouldn’t be 20/20 or Prime Time Live without those kinds of stories.  What would Barbara Walters do outside of the View?

But it was great now; there was so much piece of mind.  The boys were worried about Ringo and to be able to tune in in the morning and watch him in action, watch him chasing a ball, was great.   Every day they started off in a great mood, except for the day I had to explain to them what dry humping was and why Ringo was behaving in that manner, but my sister Julie says they are going to resolve that issue as soon as they get home.  But nonetheless, what a beautiful thing to be able to tune in and see him playing and being able to log in. 

(They all live in Las Vegas, so you would think that the boys would know about dry humping already.  Especially Ricky, he’s 12, and living in Las Vegas!)

But video kennels have to be all over, and if they aren’t, they are definitely something that is going to be happening.  Video kennels, it’s piece of mind for a couple of dollars, and even if it isn’t a couple of dollars, it is piece of mind for your pet!


Naming Your Pet

Today, a very important topic – naming your pet.  Now I am an Italian, I don’t know if you can ascertain that from the “Vinnie” thing, and Penn is an abbreviation of a very long Italian name that I can’t get into there.  But when it comes to Italians, Italians have a very interesting way nicknaming people, which you can find all of this out in my new book which recently came out (I don’t mean to plug here during my radio time, but I do have a book out called “Guido’s Credos” available at book stores every where – I hope you’ll check that out and check me out at )

But, I do have a chapter in there dedicated to how Italians come up with nicknames.  If you’re obese, your nickname is Tiny - that might be standard ethnicity not withstanding.  Interestingly enough though, if your name is Frank, your nickname might just be “Fat Frank.”  It really depends on your name before we go with the nickname. 

But there’s something about doing the complete opposite.  If you’re 6 foot 7, your name is “Shorty,” unless your name is Tom, in which case you’re “Tall Tom,”  really creative we Italians.

But nonetheless, it does kind of extend itself to the pet. If I meet one more ridiculously tiny sweater wearing dog whose name is “Thor,” I’m going to lose my mind!  Thor is reserved for Rottweilers, Labs, and even then, it’s kind of done to death. It’s kind of the “Jason” in the human world, or the Luke.   We have enough babies and dogs with the same name. 

If your pet is 3 pounds or so, and it sleeps in a hearth at the foot of your bed and you take him or her out in your pocket book, here are some of the names you cannot name that tiny pet:  Thor as I said, Bear, King, Hulk, Orca – choose a name that fits.  At the same time, don’t acknowledge the stature at all.  “Teensy-Weensy” is just as annoying, and we all know to steer clear of the human names. 

Naming your dog or your cat is the most important thing you will ever do.  They are going to respond to this name.  You might want to make it a little unique, but steer clear of human names, names that have anything to do with their stature.  If it’s a white dog, it doesn’t need to be named “Whitie.”  If it’s a black dog, it doesn’t need to be named “Blackie.”   Come up with something clever!  Your favorite ice cream flavor, you know, here’s “Rocky Road.”  What’s wrong with that?  Your favorite musician.  But, a lot of people do that “Marley” thing, that’s kind of annoying in and of itself! 

All I’m saying is be creative, pay homage to something that has affected you profoundly in your life, and don’t be so obvious!  Stop the Thors, and as a matter of fact, I want to see if Animal Radio® is going to get behind making T-Shirts that has the name Thor in a circle with a slash through it.  No more Thors!


Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill
Fido Fine Removed

California’s governor signed a budget plan recently that could have raised prices for pet owners. Thankfully, the so-called Fido Fine, a 10 percent increase in vet fees according to opponents, was removed from the Golden State’s budget.  The California Veterinary Medical Association launched a letter writing campaign while other animal organizations lobbied hard to have the proposed sales tax on veterinary services removed.  Chief economist fort he Humane Society of the United States, Jennifer Fearing, said, “It was a flawed idea that would’ve been a step backward in the otherwise progressive trajectory toward more humane treatment of animals in our state.”

Put the Lid Down on Your Toilet!

Pets are naturally drawn to sources of fresh water and the most common one, sadly, is the toilet. Vets advise cat and dog owners to “put the lid down” or close the bathroom door to keep pets from drinking toilet water. Pet care expert Gina Spadafori suggests these tips from breaking the toilet water habit: refill your pet’s water bowls at least twice a day to provide a source of fresh water.  Purchasing a pet fountain with re-circulating water is another option and if your dog or cat likes to play with running water - let them.

Movie Industry Animal Awards

Here are some awards given to the movie industry by the American Humane Association:

Best movie magic featuring an animal “The Dark Knight”.  The award for most poignant movie illustrating the human-animal bond: “Marley & Me” and the best behind the scenes rescue story “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.”  The lead dog was played by Papi, who was a day away from being euthanized before the movie’s trainer found him in a California shelter.

150 Dogs Rescued

The Associated Press reports the Humane Society of Missouri rescued 150 dogs from a breeder near Seneca.  The group says they rescued dogs from the “alleged puppy mill” who had no food and frozen water in their dishes.  The Humane Society also reported rescuing a Bengal Tiger from the substandard breeder who had been the subject of a raid two years ago.  The tiger was taken to the Springfield zoo while the dogs and puppies were taken to St. Louis for treatment and a custody hearing in March.

Socks Passes Away

The sad news of the passing of Socks the cat after a battle with cancer was recently announced.  The former first cat would have turned 20 this spring and was being cared for the President Clinton’s secretary Betty Currie since the end of Clinton’s term.  In a statement Bill and Hillary Clinton said, “Socks brought much happiness to Chelsea and us over the years and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere.”  Socks inspired television shows, books and even a series of stamps in the Central African Republic.

Goat Makes Himself At Home

Wisconsin resident Sherry Shirley did what she normally did every morning - opened her front door to let her dog inside.  But last weekend instead of her dog, a full-grown goat jumped into the woman’s Westford home.  The Madison Capital Times said the goat ate a freshly baked chocolate cake and broke some dishes but no charges will be leveled against the goats’ owners.  Captain Molly Soblewski said, “It was just an unfortunate circumstance, I feel sorry for the lady, but it is kind of funny.”

NEWS UPDATE Brought To You By Simple Solution Natural Line Of Products


Animal Minute With Britt Savage

Head-Butting Cow Saves Scottish Woman

A Scottish woman credits a head-butting cow with saving her life.  Sandra Kerr had been feeling some indigestion for a while, but it wasn’t until a cow butted her in the stomach that she sought an examination, which revealed that she had cervical cancer.  Doctors reported that without the examination, the disease would have likely spread to a dangerous level.  Kerr, who works as an agricultural expert, who was quoted as saying, “If it hadn’t been for that accident with the cow, I don’t know what would have happened!”


Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Cat Has Crystals

This cat has a problem with urinating and his vet says that he has crystals in his urethra, which he needs to have removed once a year.  The cat was put on a special diet for this.  Unfortunately, this is a very common problem with male cats.  A special diet can play a huge role in preventing future occurrences, but the cat won’t eat the food prescribed. Dr. Debbie says don’t give up; there are other brands of food which can address this problem.  She also recommends keeping the pet on a glucosamine supplement, which before anyone says anything; she knows the cat doesn’t have arthritis.  But glucosamine in cats has a kind of protective effect on the inside of their bladder, so it is like a natural anti-inflammatory,

Dog Constantly Sneezes

This is a dog that was recently rescued who started sneezing. Now, the other family dog has started sneezing as well.   The guardian was told it could be kennel cough and to also watch out for nose mites.   Dr. Debbie tells her that the term kennel cough relates too many respiratory conditions in dogs.  So even though the dogs are not coughing, they still might have kennel cough.   If you have a pet that is new to the home, coming from a kennel or an adoption event, they might bring this in and pass it on to other dogs.   If this condition persists with normal kennel cough treatment, you might want to think about treating the dogs for nasal mites. 

Dog Has Started Biting Everyone

This 8-year-old Maltese, which his guardian has since he was a baby, has recently started biting everyone including his guardian.   He has always been the perfect dog and well behaved.  About 4 months ago a new puppy joined the household.  At first, he wouldn’t accept the new dog but now they are the best of friends.  Currently, when the guardian interacts with the dog, she will all of a sudden bite him.   This started before the new dog joined the household.    Dr. Debbie feels that since this is a new behavior, she would first go the medical route and look at some possible orthopedic problems, which might be causing the dog pain intermittently.

Bulldog Has Pillow Ear

Pillow ear is directly related to an ear infection or some really bad scratching type of allergy, something that causes the pet to repeatedly scratch at the ear.  This then causes the small capillaries in the earflap to rupture.  What happens is that blood builds up between the cartilage flaps in the ear and the skin and you basically get a squishy pillow, which is where the term pillow ear comes from.   If there is a problem, such a bad ear condition, ear infections, bad skin disease and allergies, the first thing that needs to be done is to address these underlying issues or you will not get anywhere with this condition.

Ferret Is Really Thin

This ferret joined the household about two years ago, but now all of a sudden he is starting to look like a bag of bones.   He is acting normal, and bounces around and has a healthy appetite.   Dr. Debbie says that while she loves ferrets, they are challenging because they do have some weird things that come up.   In younger ferrets, she would look for the possibility of them having ingested something that would cause problems.   Ferrets are known for eating strange items from erasers to plastic toys.  Ferrets can even have hairballs, which can be large enough to cause an obstruction.   Older ferrets are prone to different types of aging diseases and with the weight loss she would look at the pancreas by checking his blood sugar.

Elderly Cat Has Started Vocalizing

This 13-year-old female cat, within the last year, has started waking up about 4 or 5 times a night and will go downstairs and start howling.    When this happens, the guardian will go downstairs and feed the cat.   This could be a result of attention seeking, but in older cats, there are some health conditions, which might be going on.  Both older cats and dogs can get true senility problems.  She should be tested for high blood pressure, which can cause this vocalization.  Her thyroid levels should also be checked, as this can also result in this annoying meowing vocalization.    Arthritis might also be a cause of pain, which can also result in the crying.


Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner

Joy talks to Brook, who is the guardian of a duck, named Lucy.   Brooks was getting out some plastic eggs for her arts and crafts projects, when Lucy started sitting on the eggs and treating them as if they were her own, and wouldn’t give them up.  Lucy tells her guardian that she wants to have regular duck experiences, and having eggs and hatching babies, is just a part of this.



The Infamous “Who’s Your Daddy” Saga Continues!

We previously had Ladybug, the Animal Radio Stunt “Chihuahua,” DNA tested and the results can back inconclusive.  However, they did show that there was no Chihuahua DNA in Ladybug at all.  Unconvinced, we are getting a second opinion.

The DNA of any dog governs the appearance of the dog as well as being related to the general behavioral characteristics of the breed. In recent years, there has been a great deal of research performed on how differences in DNA give rise to the differences that are seen between breeds. Advances in DNA testing technology mean that it has become possible to identify the ancestry of any dog by performing a simple test using a cheek swab. The DNA required for the test to be run is isolated from cells that are trapped on the swab. All cells carry the same genetic material, regardless of type or location in the animal. Taking a cheek swab is therefore the easiest way to obtain the samples needed for testing.

We are now using the DNA Breed Identification from BioPet Vet Lab and have sent in a cheek swab.  We will check those results against the previous DNA test and keep you posted!


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