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Animal Radio® Show #511 September 19, 2009


Once In Nine Lives, Something Extraordinary Happens...

Gwen Cooper, Homer’s Odyssey

Homer the cat is blind and has always been blind.  He was found at two weeks of age with a very bad eye infection.  Nothing could be done to save his vision, and as a result, his eyes have been removed. 

The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat, as she already had two. But when her vet called her and told her about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who’d been abandoned, she just had to go meet him.   That was all it took – it was love at first sight!

Everyone, including Gwen, originally thought that Homer would have a hard time getting around.  But Homer has proven everyone wrong.  Gwen’s husband even compares Homer to Daredevil, the Marvel Comic Hero who is blind but has super-power-other-senses.  In fact, Homer can tell the different between a can of tuna and a can of tomatoes while they are still in the cans!  Homer doesn’t bump into things and can leap five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz.

Before Gwen was married, she had to explain her cat to anyone she brought home.  One time she failed to tell a date.  When they arrived at her house, Gwen opened the door to find Homer with a tampon in his mouth.  It turns out Homer thinks they’re cat toys and can find them anywhere Gwen hides them, as he can open drawers and cupboards with ease!   Gwen never saw that guy again!

Homer even survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center and even saved Gwen’s life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night.

You have to read this story about this amazing little guy who is now 13 years old!


People Food Calories Add Up In Our Pets

We all sneak people food to our animals on occasion.  But would we continue to do that if we knew just how many calories they were consuming? Proportionately, what we feed our pets in human food is a lot more calories for them than it is for us. 

For example:


Hill's Pet Nutrition


Protect Your Pooch Indoors and Out

Melanie Monteiro, The Safe Dog Handbook

We live in a world full of disasters, both manmade and natural.  For example, California is currently going through their wild fire season and Florida is gearing up for hurricanes.  But when these occur, that is not the time to think about the safety of your pet.  You should plan ahead for all emergencies.

The Safe Dog Handbook gives you some great information and tips for your family evacuation plan and your emergency preparedness plan, which include your pet.   This means preparing an evacuation kit for both you and your pet.   These should include a supply of food and water for about 3-5 days; a spare leash; make sure your pet’s collar and ID are current; vaccinations records, microchip information and all medication.  It is also very important to have a current photo of your pet.

A good idea is to learn CPR for pets.  Another good idea is to make sure that you have your pet’s veterinarian’s phone number programmed in your cell, as well as the number to the local pet emergency clinic. 

Some of the things you will find in this guide are:

* Dog- and puppy-proofing basics

* Color, illustrated first-aid guide

* Complete toxic plant guide

* Dangerous "people" foods and safe alternatives

* Disaster preparedness

* Tips for safe driving, flying, boating and outdoor adventures

* Holiday safety and how to avoid weather-related hazards

* Special section for toy breeds

Dog owners can feel comforted by the fact that their pets have an even better chance of staying safe because they know how to spot hazards, prevent accidents and respond to emergencies.


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Dogs Jumps The Fence

A Catahoula Leopard Hound jumps the fence.  The guardians purchased a no-jump harness, which attaches to the back legs and is supposed to stop them from jumping.  However, within minutes, the dog had chewed it to pieces.   Vladae explains that dogs jump the fence for many reasons.  Some of those reasons are they have not bonded with their guardians or they have separation anxiety.   He suggests making sure that the dog is comfortable in the backyard by providing him proper shelter and interactive toys.  Also make sure that he is tired.   To tire him out, try doing obedience training at least 2 times per day, which consists of him going through the basic commands such as sit, stay and down.   Another idea is to place a stick on a rope, just a little bit higher than our waistline, and put it near the area where they like to jump.   When a dog sees an unstable object like a stick waving back and forth, they quickly lose their confidence and won’t jump.  Along with doing all of this, you can also increase the height of the fence.

Dog Pulls On Leash

An 8-month-old male Amstaff pulls real hard on the lash.  His guardian has tried a pinch collar, but the dog pulls to the extreme that his tongue turns blue.   Vladae says that is it easier to learn how to correct this behavior by watching it being done than by trying to explain how to do it.  Watch his video on YouTube.  When practicing this, use the Herm Sprenger prong collar at the same time, which mimics what nature intended, mommy’s teeth! 

NPR - All Things Considered

The rest of the world thinks Americans are crazy for the way they treat their dogs: Doggie day care? Gourmet dog food? Ultrasounds? According to Business Week, Americans spent $41 billion on their pets in 2007.

That's all fine, but Vladae Roytapel, the self-proclaimed "Russian Dog Wizard," says American pet owners are not giving their dogs the most important thing they need.

"Your dog needs to know you are the boss," he says. "Humans, we don't like having a boss so much, but your dog? He loves it! Dogs need to know the order of things. They need to know who's in charge."

And that, of course, should be the household human. How dog owners communicate their status to their dog makes all the difference between a well-mannered canine companion — and the kinds of dogs that keep Roytapel in business.

Check out Vladae on NPR All Things Considered.


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Part II – Betty

If you listened to last week’s installment of the Party Animal then you know that my daughter’s goldfish Betty was either murdered or killed herself, or just died of natural causes.  She was a year old, or maybe even a little older than a year old.  It’s not like we bought her and watched her hatch from a goldfish egg.  (Do they lay eggs?  I don’t even know!)

Nonetheless, my daughter has now decided what she wants her new pet to be, and it is the natural evolution. It is what you think the next animal would be after having a goldfish, and that is a horse!  Yes, a horse!  I don’t even know where she thinks we would put it.  Well, we do have a two-car garage and that’s rather extravagant to a six-year-old.

There is some show she watches on the BBC where snobbish British equestrians fight over who gets to ride “Calico” today!  Now all of a sudden my daughter Stella thinks she can take care of a horse and ride a horse, when what comes out of a horse is twice the size of her!

But yes, her goldfish died and I said to her we can move on. What is the next pet you would like?  Is the family ready for a dog?  I haven’t really recovered from the passing of my last dog, but for my kids I will. 

And she said she thinks she knows what’s next.  I’m afraid it’s going to be a cat.  I have had some friends with cats that I love, and I was a little bit worried that it was going to be a cat, when she said, a horsey!  Okay, we’ll go down to the horse store and pick out a horse. 

I then asked her what she would name it, and of course Stella, ever creative with her names for horses, said, “I just said, Horsey.”  So yes, when the time comes and we’re in the bigger house and this passion continues, thanks to that snobbish BBC series, Vinnie Penn, your Party Animal, will be the owner of Horsey the Horse!

Don’t Be Afraid Of Dogs – They Can Smell Fear

I was thinking about something the other day that was very interesting.  I may have mentioned it on the air before, when I was very little of being afraid of dogs.  This is why I understand my daughter’s fear of dogs.  Of course, when I was little, we ended up owning two, which were the greatest loves of my life, Rocky and Cruiser.

But, what I was remembering the other day that doesn’t help, because somebody almost said it to my daughter and I stopped them, is when you’re told, “Oh, don’t be afraid of dogs, they can smell fear you know!”  No six-year-old wants to hear, they can smell fear, and they’ll know I’m afraid, they’ll smell my fear!

First of all, fear doesn’t even have a scent, but somebody said to me that they would smell the fear on you.  Then the next thing you know, your walking by a dog and you’re like, “I’m not afraid, you certainly can’t smell the fear, what are you looking at?” 

But there is this weird kind of electric in-the-air current thing that happens and a dog will start barking.  I remember one time walking by a dog and I’m not afraid, I’m looking straight ahead, and I’m not afraid!  And he started looking at me sideways and he started thinking, “You’re walking like a young boy who’s afraid of me, and now I’m going to give you something to be afraid of!”

What is it with the “they can smell the fear” thing?  I don’t even understand that!  And if that were the case, wouldn’t dogs just be beefing with skunks?  Wouldn’t it be something out of West Side Story, the dogs and the skunks rather than the Jets and the Sharks?

Don’t tell little kids that dogs can smell the fear – that’s Vinnie Penn’s mantra!



Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

Vick Fulfills Deal With HSUS

Convicted dog killer and reinstated NFL quarterback Michael Vick began fulfilling his deal with the Humane Society by bringing an “End Dog Fighting” message to a group of kids.  Anti-dog fighting advocate Tio Hardiman said of Vick’s talk to youths in Chicago, is that he told them what he did was something they shouldn’t follow and he described the quarterback as struggling with emotions as he spoke.  ASPCA president Ed Sayres, who wasn’t particularly convinced of Vick’s change of heart during a “60 Minutes” interview said, “CBS did a grave disservice to the animal welfare community by failing to show the ugly truth of Mr. Vick’s actions and the horrors of dogfighting and animal cruelty in this country.”

Cat Myths Can Be Debunked

Here are a few popular cat myths that we can debunk for you: 

What Do You Do When Animals Positively Have To Get There Overnight?

What do you do when you have three dolphins that absolutely, positively have to be there overnight?  Call Fed Ex!  That’s what Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo did!  According to the Chicago Sun Times the trio of dolphins were shipped along with their marine mammal curator Rita Stacey, to the Twin Cities.  The dolphins were described as “very comfortable and relaxed” during their flight.   Stacey said the dolphins underwent training exercises to get them used to air travel.  They’ll be back at the Brookfield Zoo next spring after a major overhaul of their exhibit. 

Monkeys Like Metallica

It’s true according to a new study from the Royal Society Biology Letters. While the study showed animals like sounds of their own kind or just plain silence - it also showed monkeys kinda like Metallica.  The primates reacted calmly to the metal music, which surprised researchers.  However, according to the study there’s no explanation as to why the monkeys like the metal.

“Myth-Conceptions” About Pet Health

There are lots of “myth-conceptions” when it comes to pet health. Here are some popular dog myths:

That’s our dog Myth busting for today!

Positive Reinforcement Works On Husbands And Cats

Behaviorists say you can train your cat with simple positive reinforcements no matter if it’s a kitten or adult.  Here are a few easy tips to succeed - keep an eye out for your cat’s “good behavior” like using the litter box or scratching post. Give the cat a reward - a treat or affection or a toy to encourage the good behavior.  Don’t antagonize or play games that tease the cat or encourage biting. Remember to keep potentially poisonous plants out of your cat’s reach.



Animal Minute With Britt Savage

You Smell Like a Pig!

You smell like a pig!  You might not be able to say that much longer!  Purdue University scientists are trying to determine why pigs smell so much and how they can make it stop.  

Their research is in response to growing pressure from federal regulators, environmentalists and rural residents sick of the stench.  Linda and Perry Trader’s Indiana’s backyard is so stinky from a nearby hog farm, they have to stay inside, never using their swimming pool.

Scientists are attacking the stink where it starts.  Hogs are fed experimental feeds to help change the strong sulphur and ammonia smells they leave behind.  And, the research is promising.  Scientists say the pig farms won’t ever smell great, just maybe more like cattle farms.

Do Chickens Have Teeth?

Matthew Harris, of the University of Wisconsin, was examining a mutant chicken embryo when he noticed several small bumps that looked like teeth.  The teeth actually looked like small alligator teeth.  This new discovery shows that chickens have the ability to grow teeth, even though they lost this feature quite some years ago.



Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

What Should I Feed My Great Dane puppy?

Adopted Great Dane puppy is 4-months-old and her guardian has been told conflicting things to feed her.  Some say she should eat a low carb/high protein diet, while others say it should be the opposite, a low protein/high carb diet.   Her guardian is confused!  Dr. Debbie says that all large breed puppies should eat a large breed puppy diet.  This allows a more gradual growth without a rapid growth burst, which can result in hip dysplasia or other growth disorders of the elbows, etc. 

Dr. Debbie also mentions the condition called “bloat” which is seen in any breed but more in the large and/or deep-chested breeds.  The stomach flips on itself and become an urgent emergency problem where they can’t vomit and they can go into shock.  It is very fatal.  It was earlier thought that the food bowl should be elevated, but this can actually cause bloat.  Keep the food bowl on the floor and feed foods with low fat.  Spread out smaller meals over the day instead of feeding large meals.  Also, stay away from an all-dry diet.  If you do feed dry, add some canned food to the mix.  There is also a preventative surgery for bloat where the stomach is tacked to the body wall.

Dog Had Tetanus – Can It Come Back?

Last year this Brittany Spaniel got tetanus.  He was holding his head a little crooked and was treated by a vet with antibiotics.  Now it seems to be recurring, although he has been on antibiotics for 2-3 months at a time.  Can a dog have a relapse on tetanus?  Dr. Debbie says tetanus in humans is called “Lock Jaw” which is usually caused by a puncture wound, but it usually doesn’t come back.  Foxtails, which are hard to locate, can also cause tetanus, so if this is a reoccurring problem, check for any signs of foxtails in the toes, etc.

Can A Dog Be Allergic To Black Mission Figs?

A miniature Rat Terrier all of a sudden started dragging her back legs.  Before they knew it, she was totally paralyzed in her back end.    The vet gave her the steroid prednisone and within a couple of days she was up and running.  Her guardian is confused and is wondering if the black mission figs she is eating in the yard could be causing this?  Or could it be a bad disc in her back?  Dr. Debbie feels that this is probably not associated with the figs, as figs are harmless to dogs unless they eat a lot of them, and she may just have a bad back.

Can a Prospective Racing Greyhound Puppy Be Raised at Home?

A guardian has recently acquired a greyhound puppy and wants to train her for the track.  This is going against the grain, as most people say that these dogs should be athletes first and then pets, but she wants to raise it as a pet first and then as an athlete.   Can she still be a good race dog?   While Dr. Debbie is not familiar with the greyhound industry, she states that in general, if a dog has a job and lives and breathes that job, they become very good at it.  If they are raised at home, you could have a problem with them not having that same drive. 



The Cat House on The Kings

Lynea Lattanzio

Over 17 years ago, Lynea Lattanzio dedicated her home, her property, her finances and her entire life to create The Cat House on the Kings, a no-kill, nonprofit sanctuary, rescue and adoption center for cats.  Lynea has rescued thousands of animals from shelters, abusive homes, and abandonment.

The Cat House on the Kings is California's largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center located on 12 acres along the Kings River in Parlier, California, which is in the central San Joaquin Valley, southeast of Fresno.

The Cat House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, receives no government or public funding, and relies entirely on donations from the public to carry out its mission.

Since its founding 17 years ago, The Cat House on the Kings has saved over 18,000 cats and 5,000 dogs (not counting the 40,000 animals we have spayed and neutered!) and currently cares for more than 700 cats and kittens in a unique, cage-free environment!  Take a tour of our facility!

Join Us!

It's easy! We need folks with all sorts of talents. A good deal of our work isn't glamorous; in fact, our greatest need is for people to help us scrub the facility and keep it in tip-top shape!

We also need people to foster kittens and cats, and help us medicate and tend to those cats and kittens that need extra TLC. To get started, just fill out a volunteer application, shoot us an email, or give us a call.

The Cat House showcases its adoptable cats at the following locations and times:


4144 N Blackstone Ave

Fresno, CA 93726 (map)

(559) 226-4941

Saturday, September 19th, 10:00am - 3:00pm

Saturday, September 26th, 10:00am - 3:00pm


2140 West Cleveland

Madera, CA 93637 (map)

(559) 664-9277

Saturday, September 12th, 11:00am - 2:00pm

Saturday, September 12th, 11:00am - 2:00pm

Saturday, September 26th, 11:00am - 3:00pm


The Cat House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and receives no government or public funding, and relies entirely on donations from the public to carry out its mission.  You can help The Cat House on the Kings just by spreading the word!  Just send this link to our YouTube video to all your friends and family.


Animal Radio's Summer Giveaway End 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.  Enter as many times as you would like before September 30th.

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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