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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for September 1, 2018  

10th Annual Cross-country Pet Adoption Tour: Get Your Licks on Route 66
Susan Sims, Fido Friendly Magazine

Get Your Licks on Route 66 BadgeSusan Sims is the publisher of FIDO Friendly, the Travel & Lifestyle magazine for you and your dog. Now in its 18th year, each issue includes hotel and destination reviews, adoption stories and the latest trends.

Ten years ago Susan started the cross-country pet adoption tour, Get Your Licks on Route 66. Says Sims, "We have been fortunate to be able to travel the country with our rescue dogs, sniffing out hotels for purpose of review and wanted to think of a way to give back to the shelter community. Get Your Licks on Route 66 is the perfect vehicle to spread the word across America about the importance to spay and neuter your pet and to help shed light on the plight of shelter pets. Sponsors provide product so that at each event, attendees donate money to spin and win, with proceeds going to the shelter at the end of the day. In the first nine years, we have helped to place over 11,000 pets in new forever homes."

Now in it's 10th year, Susan explains that they didn't even adopt 1,000 animals in their first year of the tour. Fortunately that has all changed in the last nine years.

Each year the Get Your Licks on Route 66 tour travels the original route of 66 across the country. However, this year they are going off road. One of the sponsors of the tour is Tito's Vodka, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas. They've invited the tour to come by for a great event. Susan explains that the people of Austin love their pets and they hold many pet events year round.

The vehicle sponsor for this year's event is Nissan. Other sponsors include: Tito's Vodka, DogLeggs, Pet Box Sponsor, PawPack, Petcurean, Buddy Belts, Hands on Gloves, Rolf C. Hagen, Embrace Pet Insurance, Cosequin Joint Health Supplements, Petmate, Dexas and ZenDen Pets. Spinning wheel sponsors include: Handicapped Pets, Shed Defender, Outward Hound, Charlee Bear, The Company of Animals, The Honest Kitchen, John Paul Pet Blue Dog Bakery, Old Mother Hubbard Affordable Allergy Testing, Royal Animals and PureLuxe Pet Food.

This year, the Get Your Licks on Route 66 tour will be doing 13 events. They will start in Los Angeles on September 8th and finish on October 13th in Kansas City, Missouri.

Spinning WheelCome on out and meet Emmy Award Winning TV Host of the weekly CBS series "Lucky Dog", Brandon McMillan, who will be at the kickoff in Los Angeles filming his show and signing autographs on September 8th at the Los Angeles Animal Shelter, 14409 Van Owen Street, Van Nuys, California. Who knows, if you show up, you might even be on TV!

To see where the tour will be stopping near you, visit and click on the Route 66 Badge where you can see every event, the date and time. So if you're in the area for one of these fun events, come out and say hi!

Even if you are not planning on adopting a new family member, come on out and have some fun and see the animals. You can also win prizes on the spinning wheel, with donations going to your local shelter. It's a great way to support your local shelter and have fun at the same time.

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Birding In The Nude
Olaf Danielson, Naturist

Olaf Danielson Birding Behind a SignOlaf Danielson has made a hobby out of birding without any clothes. Olaf is an author, religious scholar, storyteller and adventurer. He will share some of his favorite stories of seeking out rare and exotic avian wildlife while naked as a jaybird.

Olaf became a nude-birder after a conversation with his publisher. While it wasn't a bet, it was an encouragement from her. They were sitting in her office one day when she asked him what he thought about the movie "The Big Year," that came out about five years ago. Olaf told her that it was all fine and dandy, but could he see 749 species naked? His publisher then took it upon herself and wrote out a draft contract for a book project. Olaf was confused at first, but then she explained that she wanted him to do a book on the subject and spend the next year seeing how many species of birds he could see while naked.

Olaf wasn't sure he should have said yes to the project, but admits it was fun and he met a lot of interesting people and had interesting adventures along the way, and that is what life's about! He spent about a year nude birding and saw 594 different species of birds. He went from North America to the Caribbean Islands north of 15 degrees, which was a sort of an arbitrary point, but excluded Cuba, because being an American you can't really travel affectively to Cuba, nor would he want to! And Olaf wasn't sure how it would work if he didn't include a couple of Caribbean Islands where they have nude beaches.

Most people would be afraid to be out in nature in the buff, but the main concern Olaf had was from bugs, then the coldness, as well as the authorities like the police. He didn't worry about what his mother or wife thought, but there were a lot of things he worried about. So was he worried about what other people thought? Olaf states that it's interesting for what tolerance people have, especially those on the west coast, but it's different for people in the other parts of the country. People on the west coast are a little more tolerant of finding the odd chance encounter of a naked guy on a trail in a national forest.

BirdWhen Olaf started, he knew there were a lot of places in America where people already go naked. He started there, but to get a better birding total, he had to get out of the naturists clubs and go to more interesting venues, which involved some risk for him getting in trouble.

It all worked out and Olaf didn't get arrested in spite of some encounters where this could have happened. However, a bear did chase him on the 4th of July in 2013. This bear actually chased him into a photography session at a Hindu wedding. He claims this was a good thing, because while all of the people yelled, "bare, bear," the bear stopped and he snuck around to his car. He says when he first arrived; there were no other cars or people around. Another time he was also almost shot at in South Texas with his friend. A guy was pointing a gun at them and Olaf thinks they may have accidentally stumbled upon a growing operation. They then spent the rest of the day hiding in the mesquite until dark.

While Olaf did most of his nude birding alone, some of the places required spousal participation, especially in the clothing optional clubs that he went to. Other times he would bring a friend, who is also a birder, who would sometimes take off his clothes too. Other times a friend would stay back on the trail to alert Olaf if someone came bouncing up the trail behind him. He did this by having a coughing fit or even talking to the person who was approaching. This would give Olaf some time to whip out a sari that he carried to cover himself up with, which sometimes garnered him some strange looks.

So having no existing record to pursue, Olaf decided to set up his own rules for NUDE BIRDING. "Being tough but fair," is how he wants to describe his rules. The results will be submitted to the American Association of Nude Recreation (AANR).

Here are the rules:

1. You have to be nude to count the bird. Hats and footwear are fine but nothing else. From the knees to the neck, it must be uncovered.

Olaf Danielson Sign 8272. You have to have left naked to go birding (or for another nude activity) to count the bird. Seeing a turkey vulture while playing nude volleyball is acceptable, while driving along in a car or walking textile, seeing a bird, and then slipping off your clothing does not count. In fact, being in car doesn't count ever. To count a bird, you will have to go back to car, or house, undress and then return unclothed. For legality reasons, leaving a car walking around a corner and disrobing is acceptable, as long as it wasn't because you saw a new bird.

3. You cannot be inside an enclosed boat, house, or car/ truck for it to count. A bird blind must be open to a degree any birder would consider it open. Being naked on an ATV if you left naked on an ATV or even a snowmobile (burr!) is acceptable. If you see a bird and you are walking or driving or riding on an ATV, a boat, canoe, or something like it and you are forced to cover up afterwards for obvious reasons like to avoid arrest, the birds you saw before that count but no birds after that point even if you could take your clothing off again.

4. Birds can count if you see it while located in all states except Hawaii, plus Canada, and all Caribbean islands north of fifteen degrees north latitude and the French Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence count as long as the bird species is considered free breeding and with an established population and not domestic. For honesty sake, barrier islands such as Roatan, Cozumel, and Ambergris Key, only count for a kilometer from shore on the mainland side of the islands, or until you can see the mainland, or on close islands, halfway to the mainland, which ever is a shorter distance. Otherwise you can go out from land to continental shelf. Bermuda does not count, but the Bahamas do. Since I as an American citizen at the time of writing this cannot legally visit Cuba, so for fairness, Cuba is excluded as well.

A wild Rock Pigeon is fine, even if it is feral. Chickens are not a species. Visiting Barnacle Geese from Greenland are fine as are Skylarks on Vancouver Island, which are established. I do not think we have any peacock communities that would qualify. Birds in zoos are not free in the sense so they don't count either. I defer to the birding associations for determinations.

Boobies Peckers & Tits Book CoverSo why did Olaf alter the territory from the movie, "The Big Year?" Initially, he wasn't sure how this would work and since it would be hard to bird naked up north for six months, he needed to expand the southern boundaries. Since nudity on the French islands is generally more tolerated than in the USA, he needed to go far enough south to include St. Barths and St Martin. In reality, he only added about one hundred to one hundred and fifty species to the mix, since even the barrier islands of Central America don't have all of the species that the mainland has and fifteen degrees cuts below Honduras and doesn't include Trinidad or Costa Rica.

5. Species now lumped together with another species will require a loss of a species, even in future. Flickers and Juncos have been split then lumped back together. The rules are set by the various birding associations and scientists over the years, so my total may fluctuate. Things happen and that is just the way it goes.

Olaf is not a big fan of rules but for something like this, you need a little guidance to keep you going. This is, like all bird counts, on the honor system as in many of the places you will go birding, cameras are forbidden. Since there is no record for this that he could find, he got to make the rules.

So would Olaf recommend nude birding to everyone? He says it's interesting in that it makes you feel one with nature and something you can easily start in your backyard, depending upon where you live. Olaf says he has a bit of a following of some people who will email him their list of birds they have seen - clothing optional. Olaf thinks that it is interesting that there are some people out there who are doing this now!

In his autobiography, Olaf also chronicles his own real-life adventure in "Boobies, Peckers, and Tits," one man's naked perspective, which proves the adage that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Visit Olaf's Blog

Training Pit Bulls for Good
Jeff Jenkins, Midnight Circus

Jeff with Circus DogJeff Jenkins is the ringleader for the Midnight Circus, a pit-bull agility performance that shows the often-misunderstood dogs in a positive light. He's helping youngsters train their pit-bulls to do tricks instead of fighting. It brings together acrobats and although it's not an animal circus, the unsung stars of the show are Jeff's two wonderful rescued Pit Bulls, Junebug and Rosie Rae.

Junebug and Rosie Rae are very talented dogs. They jump rope, they jump through hoops and do backflips, as well as comedy bits where the run in and out of their doghouse, opening and closing the doors. They also take Jeff's hat and steal the show!

Unfortunately, Pit Bulls are misunderstood and when most people see them, they freak out. But Jeff explains that his show is very theatrical and very contemporary and that his Pit Bulls in his show are a conduit to the community. People usually have those preconceived notions about Pit Bulls, so when they see these dogs in a different light, well-behaved and friendly and know their back story that they came from a difficult rescue situation, it tends to build that bridge.

Over eleven years ago Midnight Circus decided they wanted to transform their show into a much more community oriented event. So they partnered with the Park District's "Night Out In The Parks" in the City of Chicago.

Since 2007, Circus In The Parks has played to nearly 30,000 attendees. And this one of a kind event has raised nearly $850,000 for local park improvements. Celebrating community, raising funds and rebuilding parks one circus at a time. This allows the parks to do playground renovation and programming.

Jeff Jenkins with Dog on his Back   Midnight Circus isn't the only thing Jeff does. For many years, Jeff ran a program to end dog fighting with the Humane Society of the United States. He primarily worked with young men in Chicago who were at risk, or were involved with dog fighting, engaging them in a positive way.

So many people have never seen a Pit Bull, or a bully breed, in a positive light in a lot of these communities. Through the circus and the other work Jeff does, he has been able to shine that light on how great these dogs can be, to get folks involved in positive relationships with their dogs.

Pit Bulls are not for everyone and not everyone wants one in their neighborhood. If you do adopt one, you need to be a good neighbor and a good spokesperson for the breed. If you are active and engaged with your dog, then this could be the dog for you. But you have to put in the time, because they are very active dogs with a lot of drive. Also, you need to be a leader. So many of the bully breeds that are in shelters have been through the ringer. So, you will end up adopting a dog that might require a little more work up front than a Labrador or Golden Retriever. You need not only the time; you also need to be patient, firm and positive.

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What's Your Vet-iquette - How to Be a Good Veterinary Client - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteSure you think your vet visits go off without a hitch, but do you know how to be a good veterinary client, the kind veterinarians rave about? Follow these suggestions to participate as a vital part of your pet's medical care, to ensure your pet gets the most efficient care, and to always be greeted with beaming smiles.

Be Prepared
Before you arrive at the office with a sick pet, know your pet's ins and outs. Without a pertinent history from you, your veterinarian may need more diagnostic tests to sleuth out the answer to the problem. That takes time and can cost you more in veterinary bills.

Expect the questions your vet is likely to ask you. Has your pet been eating? What types and brand of food do you feed him? Is there diarrhea or constipation?

Bring Evidence
Nothing is more useful to your veterinarian as seeing something with her own eyes. Bring evidence like stool samples, vomited material, and medications your pet is receiving. Has your pet chewed on some unusual plant in the backyard? By all means bring a sprig of that plant.

Document video on your smart phone. This can be immensely helpful to your veterinarian to witness behaviors that may be intermittent. I've been thankful when owners bring smart phone video of seizures, separation anxiety behaviors, and respiratory ailments.

Video eliminates misinterpretation by pet owners, and can permit a quick veterinary diagnosis. Vomiting and regurgitating may look similar, but are caused by different disorders. Pets strain to defecate with both diarrhea and constipation. Inspiratory wheezing, coughing, congestion and reverse sneezing are often described similarly by owners.

Trust Valid Resources
By all means do your research in advance of your veterinary visit. Know what questions to ask. But remember that the internet is abounding with both good and blazingly incorrect information, some based on opinions and conjecture without any sound medical basis. Pet owners who value Dr. Google's opinion over their veterinarian, who has examined their pet, could put their pet's health care in jeopardy.

Confine Your Pet
Make sure your pet is secure before entering the veterinary hospital. Don't underestimate the unpredictable things pets do in a noisy, crowded waiting room. Birds fly off shoulders landing in snack zone of nearby dogs. Dogs instigate fights, and cats flee the waiting veterinary staff's arms. Pay attention to where your pet is and don't allow your pet to approach other animals without the owner's consent. Some animals are there because they are sick, and could bite in unfamiliar surroundings.

Dogs should be on a secure leash. Flexi leashes are dangerous in the veterinary hospital allowing dogs to bolt quickly toward another dog, or to entangle limbs of humans or other animals in the waiting room. Cats and exotic pets should be secured in an appropriate pet carrier.

If you have a pet that has been or could be aggressive to veterinary staff…absolutely share that information before the visit starts. Veterinarians look out for the safety of people in their employment and appreciate a heads-up in advance to avoid potential staff injury.

Cat at Vet OfficeOptimize Your Face Time
So now you are in the exam room with the doc, so make the most of it. Put the cell phone away and, by all means, don't waste time taking a phone call if medical staff is standing in front of you.

Avoid distractions that will limit your ability to communicate with your veterinarian. This might include a roomful of boisterous children or other pets. If possible, arrange child care or pet sitting so your sick pet gets prime attention and you don't miss any details of the visit.

Emergencies Happen
At the vet office, we recognize how valuable pet owner's time is and try to minimize the wait. But recognize that emergencies are unforeseen and create delays for other pet owners. Most folks understand that emergencies happen and are accommodating during situations as this.

But making a scene or outburst about your wait time, while the veterinary staff tends to a critical pet is just inconsiderate. Recognize that one day your pet could be in that same place and you would be appreciative that your pet's medical emergency was triaged ahead of the waiting routine appointments.

Don't Attack the Messenger
Emotions can run high when you have a sick or injured pet, but it isn't an excuse to be abusive to hospital staff. Obscene language and overly aggressive behavior doesn't help your pet get the care she needs, nor does it endear yourself to those people working hard for your pet's health.

Own Your Own Reality
Pet owners have the daunting responsibility for the health and well-being of pets in their care. That means accepting the level of veterinary care you can pursue, and recognizing choices if finances are limited. Pet insurance can help defer the cost of veterinary care, but there isn't government sponsored Obamacare for pets.

Don't blame your veterinarian for your pet's health maladies, or expect her to cover the costs of treatment. People in the veterinary field do what they do because they love animals, but they shouldn't be expected to take financial responsibility for everyone's pets. I once heard a veterinary colleague respond to an client's question, "Doc, why can't you just do my Sasha's surgery for free?" His response was, "Because my staff needs to get paid and my kids need shoes." Recognize that veterinary offices aren't lending institutions, but rather are small businesses with pressing bills, just as anyone.

Share Your Feedback
Share feedback with the hospital management about service excellence or shortcomings. Every hospital appreciates the opportunity to improve, or the chance to pat staff on the back.

Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearWhat's The Key To A Good, Successful Marriage? (Puppies & Kittens!)
You're thinking love, communication, trust, common interests and that kind of stuff, right? But, a new study from the University of Florida says it could also be cute, cuddly puppies, kittens and bunnies. The team of psychological scientists found that to break the 'familiarity breeds contempt syndrome' or boredom that can happen in long-term relationships, couples can make better associations with their spouse through a positive stimulus like puppies and bunnies. The researchers showed one group of couples images of their spouse together with positive words or happy images of puppies and bunnies. The control group saw their partner's face paired with neutral images, like a button, a box or a shoestring. After a few weeks, couples who were exposed to positive images had more positive associations with them.

Katys Pet CemeteryPet Crematory Gives Back Wrong Ashes
A pet cemetery and crematory in Illinois is accused of deceiving clients by giving them ashes that were not be from their deceased pets. Police found three deceased animals inside an old freezer at the facility and fortunately one of the animals had been microchipped. Authorities contacted the owner who said they had already received their cat's ashes. The owners were then told that it couldn't have been their cat's ashes, because their cat was recently found. The owner believed the pet had been cremated 4 years ago. In the end, investigators found the bodies of twenty-eight animals at Katy's Pet Cemetery and Crematory. The oldest case was one whose owners believed their pet had been cremated in 2001. But the only thing illegal in this case was misrepresenting ashes of an animal because pet crematories in Illinois are not regulated.

EddieRemember Eddie The Dog On The TV Series Frasier?
Eddie was a Jack Russell played by a dog-named Moose beginning in 1993 but had to retire before the last four seasons of the show. A son of Moose then took over the role of Eddie. Apparently there are other things the public didn't know about Eddie. TV Guide told the world recently after an interview with Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, who confessed that "Moose had gotten so old and gray that … the make-up department painted his faded markings back on and he just got to sit on the couch and take it easy, since he couldn't really perform anymore." However the big revelation from the interview was that Eddie's owner on the show played by actor John Mahoney, actually hated Eddie because he would bite Mahoney every time he had to sit on his lap.

Your Pet Purchases Are Being Tracked
With the pet industry growing so fast any information that can be gained from your purchases for your pets is going to be extrapolated every way possible for those companies which profit from your spending habits. Search data, pulled by Hitwise from major pet supply websites, shows the majority of both cat and dog owners, or at least those doing the buying for their pets, are women and that the women who own dogs make nearly twice as much as those who have cats. In the Pets & Animals industry, Hitwise says Chewy and PetSmart pull in more than 10-percent of pet industry website visits. Hitwise also analyzed the data from a lot of us that are online pet supply shoppers start off on Chewy then head over to Amazon to compare prices and end up buying on Amazon instead.

Tiger SelfieSelfies With Tigers
Too many exotic animals are in sanctuaries now because of misinformed or uncaring humans buying them as babies. But the huge population of captive tigers has gained a surprising new champion in Tinder after management at the dating app noticed the large number of profile pictures that featured men posing with captive tigers. There are only around 3,200 tigers left in the wild now, but it's estimated there are as many 10,000 in captivity now in the US alone. Tinder executives don't like the tiger exploitation and recently posted on its blog that, "Posing next to a king of the jungle doesn't make you one. It's time for the tiger selfies to go." Tinder urged users to remove the selfies and said it would donate $10,000 to Project Cat, which hopes to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.

Road Kill Is Just Not Funny - But This Incident Is So Strange
You can only imagine the bizarre calls authorities get, like one in California where the Highway Patrol had to respond to a report of a dead kangaroo on Interstate 580, near the Oakland Zoo. The CHP later tweeted, "Reports of a kangaroo on I-580 were false. Said marsupial was actually an enormous raccoon." The officer who removed the animal from the roadway said he had truly never seen a raccoon that big.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#978)

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