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Animal Radio® for April 20, 2013  

Does Your Pet Have What It Takes?
Ryan Williams, Letterman Stupid Pet Tricks

Dogs doing tricks on the Letterman ShowWe welcome David Letterman's Talent Producer Ryan Williams to the airwaves. He's looking for a few good pets that do amazing.... or just plain silly tricks. He's casting for another episode of Late Night Stupid Pet Tricks on NBC. Does your pet have what it takes? All types of animals are welcome.

Tricks must be fun, safe and unusual (Mere fetching? Not so much). They are looking for something never seen before. It must be a unique, safe, fun trick.

Merrill Markoe was one of the original writers for Late Night with David Letterman. She came up with the idea of Stupid Pet Tricks when David was hosting a morning show in 1982.

Over the years, there have been many amazing animals doing some amazing things. The stupidest pet trick (meaning the silliest trick – not a stupid pet) is when cats, dogs and even birds chase laser pointers. Ryan's favorite trick was where a Beagle named Bailey would play dead with his big floppy ears. Bailey would go completely limp in his owner's arms.

There have been parrots that have participated as well as horses, fish and ducks. At one time, they had nine Alpacas on the show doing a country line dance with Girl Scouts.

Most animals don't have a problem with performing on stage. However, cats are the most unpredictable. During rehearsal they will be just fine, but then during the show they will sometimes freeze.

Do you and your pet have what it takes to appear on Late Show with David Letterman's classic "Stupid Pet Tricks" segment? Send an email to and find out!

All animals must perform voluntarily and be treated humanely, and owners must provide any needed props.

A Life With Soulful Chickens
Lauren Scheuer, Once Upon A Flock

Lauren Scheuer with chickenLauren Scheuer has a flock of chickens, or what she sometimes calls a herd. She also has a terrier dog named Markey, who along with herself, had to learn how to live in backyard harmony with her chickens.

When Lauren obtained her chickens, she selected them by their color, as to what would look good wandering around her garden. She was planning on eventually eating them, and looked forward to gathering eggs up until then. Lauren's chickens provide her with many unfertilized eggs, as there is no Rooster in her henhouse. Lauren told us that if the eggs were fertilized, and you gather them right away, you would never know it. However, Lauren wasn't planning on turning them into pets. But you know what happens when you name animals – they become pets! Lauren is now a vegetarian.

Once Upon A Flock book coverLauren's chickens have more extreme personalities than any other pets she has owned, and they are all different. Hatsy is the flock's leader; Lucy is a "Buddha" chicken; Pigeon is a fixer-upper chicken; and then she has the evil Buff Orpington named Lil' White. Lauren states she doesn't know why Lil' White would kill her if she could and that she is a sociopath chicken.

There is so much drama in Lauren's flock, that all she has to do is pull up a little stool, sit down with her girls, and watch what happens. Lauren states, "They talk like a bunch of old ladies having tea."

In order to have chickens, all you need is a little backyard. You also need to know if your town or city allows them. If your town or city doesn't allow chickens, Lauren says you need to, "Storm Town Hall and change the rules!"

The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Joey VillaniGet Rid Of Odors On Your Dog
Odor can be a problem in older dogs as well as in most Cocker Spaniels. Cocker Spaniels are more prone to skin infections and allergies than most other breeds, which causes odor.

Think about it this way. If you get a piece of steak fresh from the butcher, it will smell like meat should smell. But if you leave it out, decay forms. Once decay starts to form, bacteria builds up. This bacteria is what causes the odor.

A veterinarian would propose using a special shampoo to clear the problem. But during the process, the skin has to heal.

Another simple solution is a 1/4-cup of white vinegar to a quart of distilled water. Distilled water is the key element in this, because you don't want anything with chlorine or minerals.

Before applying this mixture to your pet, do a test patch to make sure it won't make the irritation worse. Test spray about a half an inch to an inch, depending upon the size of your dog, in the area where the problem is. Don't spray on the healthy skin, as this won't give you an accurate reading of any possible reactions. After spraying it, if your dog scratches at the area and it looks even more irritated or swollen, don't use this mixture on your dog. Contact your veterinarian about a different solution.

Dog wearing If there is no further irritation, you can use this as a rinse and let it dry, or apply it with a sprayer. If you do use a sprayer, make sure you spray enough that it will penetrate through the coat down to the skin. It's not the coat that's the problem; it's the underlying skin.

White vinegar will destroy bacteria, due to its acids. You must use this mixture on your dog daily, so applying it with a spray bottle is going to be easier than a rinse. The vinegar is digestible and won't harm your pet if they lick it.

If your dog has healthy skin and coat and still has a doggy odor, there could be two reasons. Number one, it might be their food. Their food might not be the proper composition for your particular pet. If your dog has a really unnatural foul odor, almost like a fish smell, it is probably their food.

However, if your dog just smells like a dog, that is just their own natural smell. They can be groomed and revert back to their natural smell in an hour. You'll just have to live with it.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

BigfootDEC Says Bigfoot Doesn't Exist
An upstate New York man with a fervent belief in Bigfoot is appealing to President Obama to ban the hunting of the elusive creature in the Empire State. Peter Hans Wiemer has written a letter to Obama, "respectfully" seeking his assistance in enacting a ban on those attempting to track down and kill Bigfoot. The Mayville man previously failed in his quest to get the Department of Environmental Conservation to enact such a ban. DEC officials turned down Wiemer's request on the grounds that Bigfoot doesn't exist.

Dog driving a carDog Hits Pedestrian With Car
Police in Pennsylvania say a dog that was left in an unattended vehicle knocked it into gear and the car struck a pedestrian. The pedestrian was found lying in the street. The York Daily Record reports police say the car had been left running when the dog inside pushed it into drive, causing it to slowly start moving. Police say the pedestrian tried to stop the car before it hit a parked truck, but was unsuccessful and was caught between the two vehicles. He hit his head, fell to the ground and was found unconscious. He was treated at a hospital for his injuries.

Cat obsessed with foodIs Your Cat Finicky Or Food Obsessed?
Cats with finicky appetites are not uncommon. In fact, after going through the frustration of refused meal offerings, untold numbers of kitty guardians will often go to extremes, searching for a cat food brand that whets the appetite of the furry family member. Cat guardians wait in anticipation with fingers crossed while kitty sniffs at the food dish, praying that the new flavor will entice them to chow down with gusto and letting out an audible sigh of relief when the offering is acceptable. Due to the great lengths pet owners go, these cats can be considered difficult to feed. On the other paw, however, cats that frequently prowl around the dining room table who look for and accept scraps might be considered easier to feed. Despite being easier to feed, though, these kitties, according to an item in the Daily Mail, may be suffering from a condition called food obsession, or "psychogenic abnormal feeding behavior." In the study, the veterinarians found that some cats that behave aggressively at meal time, exhibiting behaviors such as growling and hissing or trying to seize the can of cat food out of the guardian's hand, may also be showing signs of food obsession. Since the veterinarians were not able to arrive at any medical condition to explain his behavior, one cat was diagnosed with the first confirmed case of food obsession. The veterinarians prescribed a treatment plan, which would hopefully remedy the cats' food compulsion. It included prohibiting his guardians from eating in front of them, a regularly scheduled playtime and also instructing them at other times to ignore him, but to reward him for calm behavior. After five months of faithfully following the veterinarians' instructions, the treatment plan appears to have been highly successful. The Daily Mail quoted the researchers, who wrote, "The cat did not show any abnormal behavior at the sight of food and it remained relaxed at the owners' meals." The results of the study were recently published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.

Boy who lost finger with his dogMan Retrieves Sons Finger From Dog's Stomach
A Florida man gets credit for quick thinking after a caged dog bit his eleven-year-old's finger off. According to a police news release, the boy stuck his left hand through slots in the cage trying to pet the dog. The animal bit him, completely severing his pinky finger. The boy's father immediately pulled the dog from the cage and shot it then cut into the dog's stomach, retrieving the finger all while waiting for paramedics to arrive. The boy was hospitalized in St. Petersburg where doctors have indicated damage to the finger was too severe for reattachment.

Lynn Taylor in courtWoman Won't Pay For Cockatoo's Foul Language
A Warwick, Rhode Island woman won't have to pay for her cockatoo's foul language. Rhode Island's WJAR-TV reports that police have dropped a citation against Lynn Taylor, whose cockatoo reportedly used profanity directed at her neighbor. Police gave Taylor a $15 citation last year after the neighbor's repeated complaints. Taylor decided to fight the fine and took her case to the Providence Superior Court. Authorities say they dropped the charge because it would be a waste of city resources to enforce the relatively small fine.

Pet Speed DatingPet Speed Dating
Dating these days has gone to the dogs; at least it did one night at the Cumberland County SPCA's first-ever Pet Speed Dating event. The shelter designed the event to give the pet-loving public a simple way to get up close and personal with many of the dogs and cats available for adoption. Much like speed dating events for humans, visitors spent the evening getting to know various animals during five-minute intervals while cycling through different stations set up throughout the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter. During those short sessions, potential owners had the chance to connect with their possible future pets without the bars of a kennel between them. Employees and volunteers also were on hand at each station to introduce the animals and answer any questions. Adoption applications could be submitted before and during the event. "It's a fun and easy way to get some animals adopted," she said. "It's a little more user-friendly than walking into the kennels." The event drew great interest and delivered four adoptions, with three dogs and one cat finding homes, Greco said.

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