Animal Radio® Show #435 April 5, 2008


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.

Combat Therapy Dog
Capt. Phillip Rittermeyer & Dean
Hearing a noise in the hallway, the long-nosed creature gets out of his bed on the floor and trots to the door as he searches the cool February air for a clue.

Once he confirms the presence of friendly forces, Dean cocks his long face around to see if his companion wants to go visit the Soldiers in the hallway as much as he does. With all four limbs on the ground, Dean will certainly need the chaplain's help to open the door.

Dean is a three-year-old black-Labrador mix and serves as a therapy dog. He deployed to Camp Taji with the Soldiers of the 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad.

Capt. Phillip Rittermeyer, a Kansas City, Mo., native, who serves as the battalion chaplain for the 64th BSB, adopted him from a shelter one month prior to the unit's deployment.

Rittermeyer, who works with and cares for the dog, brought Dean with him to Iraq on orders to provide comfort and boost the morale of the Mountaineer Soldiers during their day-to-day activities as they operate in the northern outreaches of Baghdad province.

"I worked with a dog previously in civilian ministry," Rittermeyer said. "They help comfort people as well as lower stress and blood pressure."

Capt. Christi Moreno, a San Antonio native, who serves as the brigade mental health officer with 3rd BCT, also sees the benefit animals such as Dean provide to Soldiers in an environment with increased stress.

"Animals are very therapeutic," she said. "They show unconditional love and they're not judgmental."

When Rittermeyer must attend a meeting or preside over church services, other Mountaineer Soldiers, such as Sgt. Tasha Jackson, a Colorado Springs, Colo., native, who serves as a supply sergeant with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 64th BSB, spend time taking care of and getting to know Dean. Caring for 'man's best friend' is nothing new to this dog lover.

"Dean reminds me of my very first dog, Raider, who I had from the time I was in second grade until a few years after high school," said Jackson.

The loving canine helps her overcome some of the difficult times during her deployment.

"If I'm having a down day and the chaplain brings Dean over for me to watch," she said, "it usually helps to cheer me up."

Between teaching the playful four-legged creature how to dance and trying not to let the dog walk her when he needs to be taken out, Dean provides her with comfort, which reminds her of home, she added.

Dean stays connected with the Soldiers by communicating his own needs or wants as well.
"If I'm working, he'll put his head on my lap so I'll pay attention to him," she said.

"(Animals) bring the best out of people," said Moreno. "People tend to have an inherent connection with them."

As their deployment continues, Dean will continue his morale support operations with the Mountaineer Soldiers, often bringing smiles and an eager hand to pet his black and white fur wherever he goes.
by Pfc. April Campbell
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

Woman Dresses Roadkill
Britt Savage
Jessica May, a 24-year old graduate art student at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, understands why some people don't "get" her art.

Recently Jessica has started dressing roadkill. She has dressed possums in baby doll clothes and painted their nails, applied makeup, and has even painted a deer with gold paint.

Jessica doesn't find this offensive and does it as a way of reminding drivers to slow down, causing people to give animals more thought and bringing animals and people closer to equality. While stating she is not an animal rights activist; she hopes that if these animals were given human characteristics, people will give more thought to them.

Vladae, The "World's Famous" Russian Dog Wizard
Is your dog our of control ­ barking non-stop, pulling on the leash, chewing your belongings, digging in the backyard, growling or possibly biting? If you have a problem ­ Vladae has the solution. Vladae, the World Famous Russian dog Wizard, teaches people how to control their dogs.

My dog barks at everything!
Use the Pet Convincer, which is a can of harmless air to startle your dog from bad behavior. But don't use Dust Off which you use for your computer because it contains a gas which can be harmful to your dog.

My dog is aggressive to other dogs
Crate your dog and bring in other nice dogs one at a time, such as a Labrador. Your dog will bark like crazy, but approach the crate and smack the crate lightly just to startle your dog. You then freeze and look into your dogs eyes and make a growling sound.

My dog greets people by jumping on them
Put a few pennies in an empty soda can and tape it up. And when your dog jumps on someone, very suddenly toss the can on the floor near him, move forward and freeze and make a growling sound which will all startle him. When he gets down, tell him good boy and give him some treats.

Fitness for Dogs
Mike Torchia, Healthy Pet Nation
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. Mike started the nonprofit organization Healthy Pet Nation to help get animals in shape and most importantly healthy.

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.

International Animal News with Kaye Brown, Pet Talk Radio
People with cats live longer - could it be that cats are soothing or cat people cope better with stress?

Woman has close encounter with crocodile - she thought it was a floating log

Pet Panther escapes from Las Vegas - neighbors now want pet laws to exclude such animals

Monica the Donkey retires from ballet - she performed for 19 years

Budhist dog prays - the Chihuahua mix imitates the Monks and prays in front of the alter

Exterminators start fire trying to kill gophers - score 1 for the gophers and zero for the exterminators

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."

Pets and Their Celebrities
Chris Ameruoso, PAW Print
Armed with a mantra of "Just Do It", Christopher Ameruoso has carved himself a unique and successful niche in the Hollywood Hills where dreams are made and stars are born. Gaining access to some of Hollywood's most sought-after stars, armed only with an artistic eye an his camera, Ameruoso has become a self-made photographer of Pets and the stars that own them. He has been photographing actors, actresses, and models since 1998, and has released a best selling pet book "Pets and Their Celebrities".

Over the years Chris has been involved with a vast range of projects, including 'The Osbournes pets' and 'Bark at the Moon', the official Osbourne Family Pet Book. Christopher was tapped for a special tribute to the search and rescue dogs of 9/11 for 'New Yorker' magazine featuring nine celebrities with hero canines.

Throughout the course of his career Chris' work has been featured in People magazine, In Style, Smoke, Star, US Weekly, The New York Times, Daily News, The NY Post, and The LA Times to name a few. In fact, People Magazine broke tradition and printed a unique black and white montage of some of Chris' select pieces.

He can now be seen every week in 'In Touch' in his column titled 'Stars and Their Pets'.

Christopher Ameruoso has also launched an animal lover's magazine 'PAW print'. After years of photographing a myriad of celebrities and their beloved pets.

Steven Colbert, Jr. (Comedy Central)
Jan Sluizer, Special Correspondent
The San Francisco Zoo has named one of its eagle chicks after Steven Colbert, of "The Colbert Report" which airs on Comedy Central. Colbert is a fan of American iconography and his show prominently features a computer rendition of an eagle in the opening introduction. The idea to name a chick after Colbert was the brainchild of the staff and volunteers at the Avian Conservation Center.

The Avian Conservation Center staff has successfully hatched their 100th bald eagle chick for reintroduction into the wild. Their grand total is now 103 chicks hatched since the program began 15 years ago.

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