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Animal Radio® Show #510 September 12, 2009


A Memoir of a Joyful Dog

Dean Koontz – A Big Little Life

Everybody knows Dean Koontz. He is an enormously popular novelist with eleven #1 New York Times bestsellers to his credit. But do you know Trixie? She was the Koontz family's beloved golden retriever who passed away in 2007. Trixie even authored her own book, Bliss To You, and she had quite a following of her own.  

In Dean's latest book, A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog, Dean's first non-fiction work, he talks about Trixie's life and how she touched all those who knew her.   Trixie weighed only sixty-something pounds and Dean occasionally called her Short Stuff.   While she lived less than twelve years, she lived a big life.

Dean describes Trixie as a little dog with a huge heart.  He talks about her ability to recognize good character, her adventurous nature and her love of practical jokes!  Trixie affected everyone who was lucky enough to cross her path.  Like no other book authored by Dean, this one lets you into his private life and gives you a look into his home and family life.  Find out about his past, his inspiration for writing and his life with his wife.

After about eight months of grieving the loss of Trixie, Dean and his wife felt they were ready for another dog.  They contacted Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a nonprofit organization that trains dogs to assist people with disabilities, once again for another Golden Retriever and received Anna.  She has a totally different personality from Trixie, but what Dean didn’t know when adopting her, was that she is a descendent of Trixie.   Anna’s grandfather turned out to be Trixie’s littermate. 

Dean also reveals that Trixie's book, Bliss to You, sold more copies than any book of his, so we think there is a little envy in the Koontz' household! But don't expect his new dog Anna to author any books of her own, Dean says she is more of a mathematician!

All of the author’s proceeds from the sales of A Big Little Life will be donated to CCI.


Would You Dump Your Husband If He Peed On The Floor?

Randy Grim, Don’t Dump The Dog

Randy Grim knows that “bad” dogs are often “returned” when their behaviors don’t improve—he runs the biggest stray rescue organization in the Midwest, called Stray Rescue.  He’s heard all the excuses.  In fact, one dog was returned because the guardians put in white carpet and the dog had black hair that shed. 

In his new book, Don’t Dump the Dog, Randy tries to figure out how to stop people from dumping their dogs at shelters without going on a rant or yelling at them, so he made fun of himself. 

In one chapter, Randy talks how he adopted out some puppies.  When a prospective adopter would arrive, Randy would be decked out in his robe, have disheveled hair, a bottle of vodka under one arm with a bottle of Visine and a cigarette dangling out if his mouth, while holding the puppy in the other hand.  He would then ask for a light.  At this point, the prospective adopter would usually grab the puppy and run. 

There is also a chapter where Randy’s mother states that his house smells like pickled beets, while he thinks it smells like salad.   This is because he uses lemon juice for barking, vinegar for urine and Randy’s Tequila Lime Turd Spray for those dogs who eat turds.  Randy states that this spray is also great when sprayed on grilled fish, acting as a marinade.  But whatever you do, don’t label it TURD SPRAY while using it when preparing dinner in front of guest, like Randy did!

But on a more serious note, Don’t Dump The Dog features:

Randy believes that the hardest thing to do is to fix the people who have “bad” dogs!


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Dog Attacks Small Dogs 

This Siberian Husky likes to attack small dogs and gets along well with big dogs.  Vladae states that Huskies have beautiful eyes and are great pets, but if you don’t train them or socialize them right, you will have a lot of problems.  He also states that you shouldn’t risk it when it comes to dogfights.  He advises the guardian to find a good qualified trainer in her area.  This dog may never like small dogs,  but Vladae states that you can teach them how to get along.   

Dog Chews Things Up   

This dog will chew on everything he is not supposed to and won’t chew on toys.  He also steals household items and chews them up.  This dog is manipulative, smart and unexercised physically and mentally.  He has no leadership, so he does as he pleases.  The first thing Vladae suggests is to cover the items you don’t want him to chew on with an unpleasant taste, such as Chew Guard or bitter apple.  Don’t wait until your animal chews on an inappropriate item.  Spray it with an unpleasant taste and then touch it to his lips.  This way, he will sense it is not a good thing and won’t even approach the item.   At the same time, get appropriate items and put a pleasant taste on them, such as peanut butter.

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

Rest in Peace, Betty

For those of you that have been following the Party Animal Adventures, it’s been well over a year and maybe even getting close to two, then you know that my daughter and I went out and bought a goldfish named Betty, a beta fish.  Betty lived exactly one year and passed away this last 4th of July. 

My daughter was unbelievably strong upon the loss and for those of you out there who really know and who really have paid attention, you might be wondering if Vinnie Penn was a hypocrite, since he did a big rant about why goldfish were unceremoniously flushed down the toilet and not given a proper burial. 

I’ll have you know, I am a hypocrite but I just wasn’t in this particular instance, she was buried in the backyard and words were said.  A moving eulogy was delivered by myself and by my six-year-old daughter.

Interestingly enough though, Betty, just a few weeks before, we had bought another fish named Elmer and had one of those split tanks.  We bought a new tank and it was split.  So now my son had his own fish and my daughter had her own.   Betty died not long after Elmer’s arrival.  Could it have been “fishicide?”  Could Betty have killed herself?

In all honesty, those of you out there who know fish, could this have happened?  They weren’t in the same tank, and yet somehow it wasn’t long after that that Betty swam her final days. 

And now my daughter wants a brand new pet.  I can’t even get into that!  I will tell you in next week’s installment what my daughter’s new pet is, now that her goldfish has passed away.  What she wants it to be, anyway.

But send me an email at  We added a fish to the tank, a split tank, important to note, and the one that was there longer died only a few weeks later!

The Litter

I have two words for you.  Two words that women cannot resist.  Vinnie Penn!  No, they can resist me – believe me!

Those words are “The Litter.”  If a girl hears that someone, a coworker, etc., has a cat that just had a litter of kittens and there’s a “litter,” or a dog had a bunch of puppies and there’s a “litter,” they get magical!   “A litter, are they all claimed, are they all taken?”

I mean I have seven animals of my own in an apartment that doesn’t allow animals, but you just said the word “Litter.”  If there are nine kittens, they will immediately think, are eight of them one color and the ninth another color?  Because they will immediately think one that is a different color from all of the others, that’s the one that they want!

What are with the words “The Litter” that lights them up more than doughnuts in the coffee room at work?  Doughnuts in the conference room do nothing for the working woman as much as the words “The Litter!”



Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

Celebrities Curse Him But Animals Love Him

Celebrities curse him but animals love him - he’s Harvey Levin the man behind the celebrity gossip show TMZ.  Levin and singer John Mayer had a bet that TMZ couldn’t find his 2001 mug shot taken after his arrest for driving on a suspended license.  On the line - 25 grand.  It didn’t take Levin long to come up with the photo and Mayer being a man of his word forked over $25,000.... to Harvey’s favorite charities.  Mayer posted photos of two checks for 12,500 - one going to Ace of Hearts and the other to Pete Orphans of Southern California. By the way, Mayer’s suspended license charge was dismissed.

“There Oughta Be A Law”

Remember School House Rock - how a bill becomes a law - if so, you’re older than Hal!  But you can use your knowledge to help the Humane Society pass laws to protect animals. The Humane Society Legislative Fund, affiliated with the USHS, has launched a contest called “There Oughta Be A Law.”  Contestants are asked to propose humane laws that should exist but don’t.  You have until October 5th to submit your suggestion online through the Humane Society’s web site. Winners will get to experience what it’s like to lobby proposed legislation with a trip to Washington D.C.

Police Officer Busted for Feeding Pop Tarts to Gorillas

Roger Miller wrote a song that said you can’t roller skate in a buffalo herd.... he could’ve added the line - you can’t feed pop tarts to Gorilla’s at the Zoo... Earlier this year a St. Paul police officer who was on a special after hours tour of the Como Zoo was videotaped feeding a pop tart to a western lowland gorilla. The officer is under investigation.  The security officers who conducted the “after hours tour” are no longer employed by the zoo...the gorillas are fine.

What Would You Do If You Saw A Dog Locked In A Car On A Hot Day?

What would you do if you saw a dog locked in a car on a hot day? Would you take action, call Animal Control, call 9-1-1 or break the car window?   Animal lovers have those three choices and according to the California Highway Patrol, they’d rather you call     9-1-1.   Laws vary from state to state; here in California the section of the law covering this says it is illegal to break into a car to rescue an animal unless you are an animal control officer, humane officer or peace officer.  Good Samaritans could face charges of vandalism or destruction of property.  But the animal owner would be cited and fined for the offense.  There’s also the civil liability aspect to consider.

“Lion Of The Senate”

The late Senator Ted Kennedy is being remembered as the “lion of the Senate” but he was also an animal advocate.  Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle wrote that Kennedy was “a stalwart ally over the years on a wide range of legislation to protect companion animals, farm animals, animals in research and wildlife.”  The Senator had a particular affection for his own Portuguese water dogs, Sunny & Splash.

Air Force One And 28 Acres In Martha’s Vineyard

Most family vacations involve an over-packed station wagon towing a Starcraft camper filled with bickering siblings careening down the highway.  But not if you’re the fist family - they get Air Force One and 28 acres in Martha’s Vineyard.  The local dog lovers were so thrilled with the Obama’s family vacation destination; they threw the first ever Martha’s Vineyard Dog Parade in Bo’s honor.


Animal Minute With Britt Savage

The Hog and the Antelope

Willy didn't grieve long after his mate went to hog heaven.  The 10-year-old, 187-pound Red River hog wasted little time in taking up with his pen-mate Nicole, a much taller and heavier bongo -- the largest member of the forest antelope family.  The two share a muddy exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo, where they have been spotted grooming, napping and cuddling together. On occasion, they've been seen snout to nose.



Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Mini Schnauzer Only Wants Hot Dogs!

This woman is having a hard time getting her dog to eat his food.  It seems that her husband gave the dog some hot dogs and now she won’t eat anything else.   The dog has now gone two days without eating anything.   Dr. Debbie states that this is a common problem when dogs discover there is other food out there besides their kibble.   Her general rule is when trying to transition a dog back to their original diet or when starting a new diet, give them at least 2-3 days of not eating before you give up.  A dog will not starve himself.

Dog Is Scratching And Pulling Out Hair

A beautiful Husky Chow mix went to the groomer about a week ago and has now started scratching.  She has even pulled all of her hair out of her tail.  Her vet gave her an anti-inflammatory, but it is not working.  The vet also saw flea debris.  Dr. Debbie says that the tail area is a prime spot for fleas on dogs.   Besides using topical flea control on the dog, you might want to address the areas in your home where your dog frequents as well.  Remember, just because you can’t see the fleas, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

What Do You Feed A Turkey?

A turkey fell of a truck going to slaughter when this woman happened upon it.  She wrestled the turkey in her car and took it home.  She is keeping it in a dog pen and doesn’t know anything about Turkeys, such as what to feed him.  Right now he is not eating at all. Unfortunately, Dr. Debbie states that these turkeys were not bred to live a long life, but to get as large as possible as quickly as possibly.  She recommends going to a feed store and find a turkey feed, which he should be able to eat on his own.  You can also add fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as grass.  Also, some of these birds have fear of predators and will not thrive.  You can place some privacy fencing around the enclosure to make him feel secure.

Is Hamburger Okay To Feed My Dog?

These two Golden Retriever/Lab mixes were adopted from the shelter and won’t eat a dry food diet only. So, the guardian mixes canned food in as well as hamburger meat.  He wants to know if this is okay.  Dr. Debbie says that hamburger by itself, if it is cooked without the fat and no grease, is not necessarily a bad food.  The question is how much do we want to try to make them eat their dry food.  It is harder to adapt a dog to dry food if you are always dressing things into the food.  You can use tough love and give them 2-3 days by putting out only the dry food and see if they will eat it.  Hamburger meat given to dogs in large amounts and on a regular basis can cause digestive upset and even pancreatitis.  They can also gain weight from hamburger meat.  As a result, Dr. Debbie says play it safe and stay away from the hamburger meat altogether.

Can Diabetes Return In Cats?

Cat had diabetes but has since been cured.  His diet has been changed and he no longer needs insulin.  His guardian is now curious as to whether or not this can come back.  Dr. Debbie states that unfortunately it can come back.  Some things that can trigger the return of diabetes are stress and changes in the household environment.   The best thing for the guardian to do is keep their pet healthy and at a good weight, because an overweight cat is more prone to showing signs of diabetes. 



Dr. Jim Humphries - Veterinary Minute

Dogs Smell Cancer

The California study was conducted by the Pine Street Foundation and will be published in integrative cancer studies.  It shows that five dogs were 88% to 97% accurate in smelling several types of cancers in breath samples.  Dogs may be able to give doctors clues about chemical markers that have not yet been discovered.  The knowledge that dogs can detect cancer was initially established in 1989 when a pet’s repeated sniffing of its owner’s skin lesion prompted a cancer diagnosis.  Four cancer studies using volunteer dogs from around the country are about to begin.  The studies will focus on prostate, mammary, lung and ovarian cancers.  Researchers estimate that for accurate results, studies must use at least 108,000 original samples and be precisely staged.

Snakes And Lizards Creep Into Our Hearts and Home

Many people have fond memories of growing up with a pet such as a cat or a dog, but increasingly more children are growing up with Hissey the Snake and Iggy the Iguana.  According to the American Pet Products Manufactures Association, more than 11 million reptiles and 18 million small mammals have found their homes in American households across the country.  These numbers, when added to the 17 million pet birds out there, have topped 15% of all American pet-owning households.   Although many people shudder at the thought of a scaly creature in their home, reptile owners say that it is that exact uniqueness and individuality that has attracted them to their pets.  Low maintenance, low food bills and the ability to house these pets in smaller apartments has city dwellers becoming more interested in these distinctive animals.


Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner

19-Year-Old Cat Is Missing

Maria is going through a lot of grief and speaks to Joy with regard to her 19 and 1/2 year old female cat named Sheba, who is missing.  Normally Sheba goes in and out throughout the day and Maria fell asleep one evening and left her out all night.  Maria hasn’t seen Sheba since.  She has been frantically looking for her for the past couple of weeks.  Maria wonders if Sheba perhaps left to find a place where she could pass away.  Joy confirms that Sheba has left her body and that Sheba doesn’t want Maria to be upset.   Sheba states it was not an accident, but that this is the way things were suppose to happen.  She also doesn’t want Maria to look for her remains.


Animal Radio's Summer Giveaway

It’s back!  Animal Radio’s Summer Giveaway for 2009 and you can enter as many times as you would like before September 30th.

This year’s Grand Package includes items from Celestron, the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high quality optical products, with the Regal 65F-ED Spotting Scope; Bissell, with the Lift-Off Revolution Pet Vac; Automated Pet Care Products, with the Litter-Robot; Disney, with the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park passes; and recently added from SCS from the Disney G-Force movie which opened on July 25th, plush characters, t-shirts and trading cards.

The five runner-ups can win packages, which include the Outland Waterproof Binoculars from Celestron; the Pet Hair Eraser Corded Handheld Vacuum Cleaner from Bissell; and the  "UP" DVD, Leapfrog Reading System and "UP" Leapfrog Storybook from Disney-Pixar.  We have also recently added World's Best Cat Litter as well as Häagen-Dazs ice cream!

You may enter as many times as you want, but no more than 5 times a day prior to September 30, 2009. This contest is open to US residents 18 and over. Winner is responsible for all taxes on prize packages. Winners will be announced on Animal Radio® and notified by email or telephone. You may also enter by sending us a postcard with the requested information to Animal Radio -Summer-end Giveaway, P.O. Box 197, Shandon, CA. 93461. A complete list of rules is available at the Animal Radio Network™ Studios.

What are you waiting for?  Get entered now!



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