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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for October 10, 2015  

Blessing Your Pets
Dr. James Capers

Grab your pets and bring'em around the radio for our annual "Blessing of the Animals" performed by the extra charismatic Dr. James Capers. Our virtual ceremony celebrates the pets in our lives.

Dr. James Capers joins us to "Bless" the animals. Traditionally a Catholic holiday, the Blessing of the Animals is held every year on or around October 4 to commemorate Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226). It has become a worldwide festival, celebrated by a variety of religions in recognition of our animal friends. St. Francis of Assisi was a Roman Catholic friar and is the patron of animals and the environment. He believed that humans had the ability and moral responsibility to protect animals, a simple and compassionate edict that we should all do our best to live by.

St. Francis of Assisi'Do-it-yourself' Franciscan Animal Blessing For all animals:

Blessed are you, Lord God,
maker of all living creatures.
On the fifth and sixth days of creation,
you called forth fish in the sea,
birds in the air and animals on the land.
You inspired St. Francis to call all animals
his brothers and sisters.
We ask you to bless this animal.
By the power of your love,
enable it to live according to your plan.
May we always praise you
for all your beauty in creation.
Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.

For a sick animal:

Heavenly Father,
you created all things for your glory
and made us stewards of this creature.
If it is your will, restore it to health and strength.
Blessed are you, Lord God,
and holy is your name forever and ever. Amen.

Dr. James Capers has been a pet clairvoyant for close to 20 years, first learning how to communicate with animals with his cat, "Felicia," who lived to be 21 years and 6 months old. He has done pet counseling and has helped a dog who refused to eat dog food after being fed only table scraps; he helped a cat who refused to get off the bed (it turns out she was afraid of mice!); and an elderly Schnauzer who was afraid his guardian was going to "put him to sleep."

No Dog Should Die Alone
Laura Coffey, My Old Dog

Laura Coffey with DogsLaura Coffey created a coffee-table book that features senior dogs with "second-acts." These senior dogs could've wasted away at the shelter waiting for adoption, but instead they are going on to live resourceful and happy lives with a second or third guardian. Senior pets make great friends!

While the subject is a bit disturbing, Laura tells us that her book is a happy one. It is sad to think about an older, sweet, mellow animal being alone in a shelter at the end of its life. However, there is a grass roots movement across North America, as well as around the world, to help homeless senior animals. About ten years ago, this was unheard of.

Laura wanted to put together this book to change people's perspective of senior shelter animals. People need to learn how wonderful they are; what fantastic family members they make as they fit right in; they're calm and mellow; and housetrained and ready to go. When people do take these animals into their homes, it tends to make their lives so much better.

Puppies are wonderful and fun, but senior animals are so much easier. An older animal is also great companion for someone who has a busy life.

Oftentimes these animals end up in shelters through no fault of their own. Perhaps there was a life upheaval of some sort on the part of the owner, which can frequently involve financial pressures. There could also be illness in the family where an owner needs to go into an assisted living facility that doesn't accept pets, or perhaps an owner passed away. Major changes like this can be very confusing for an older pet.

Some of the elders you will meet in the book, My Old Dog, are Marnie, the irresistible Shih Tzu who has posed for selfies with Tina Fey, James Franco, and Betty White; Remy, a soulful nine-year-old dog adopted by elderly nuns; and George Clooney's Cocker Spaniel, Einstein.

BretagneOne of the stories in the book is about Bretagne (pronounced Brittany) who was the last known surviving search dog from 911 who worked the pile at ground zero after the terrorists attacks. In her younger years, she did an incredible service, but in her later years she started to lose mobility and was having a difficult time walking. She was the only dog in the book that was not rescued as a senior, but was included because they wanted to showcase what her long-time handler did to keep her active and engaged and prevent boredom. Bretagne then went on to volunteering at a school, helping first graders learn how to read and many other amazing things in her retirement years.

They may be slower moving and a tad less exuberant than puppies, but these pooches prove that adopting a senior brings immeasurable joy, earnest devotion, and unconditional love. It is important not to overlook these senior animals in shelters, as they have much left to offer.

My Old Dog Book CoverIn her book, Laura has accumulated about 20 success stories about people from all walks of life who took in elderly pets, and they all said that the animals were so grateful and so happy to be in a home and out of the shelter.

There is also a comprehensive resource guide in the book with contact information for senior dog rescue groups. These groups spring older dogs from shelters and handle all of their major veterinary work before putting them up for adoption. Some organizations, such as Old Dog Haven in Washington state and Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee, do something slightly different that is quite amazing: They pull older dogs from shelters and take care of any urgent veterinary needs, and then they place the dogs in permanent foster homes and continue to cover all veterinary costs for the rest of the dogs' lives. In cases like these, people who open their homes to these senior dogs never have to worry about a single vet bill.

Products With A Cause
Lucy Pet Foundation

Lucy Pet ShampooAt Animal Radio, we try all things that we advertise and endorse. So, the Lucy Pet Product Shampoos were no different.

On Ladybug, Animal Radio's Stunt Dog, we used the Blue Lightning, a Blueberry Brightening Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioning Spray. Not only did it make her white coat brighter, she smelled wonderful.

Next, Judy Francis tried the Purple Rain, a Calm and Clean Lavender Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioning Spray on herself. She states the whole shower smelled very calming and she even used the leave-in spray on her towel-dried hair and around the bathroom. She is going to try Berry Berry Smellicious, a Tropical Freshening Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner next, on both Ladybug and herself. She will then work her way through the product line consisting of The Big Apple Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioning Spray, skin soothing apple oatmeal; Surfin' Jack Shampoo Leave-in Conditioning Spray, moisturizing coconut; and Pup a Dub Dub, Gentle Puppy Fresh Shampoo and Leave-in Conditioning Spray.

These are all products from Lucy Pet Products. The great thing about this company is that all of the products they sell benefit the animals. 100% of the proceeds are put back in the company to help fund The Lucy Pet Foundation.

The Mission of The Lucy Pet Foundation is to reduce pet overpopulation by having mobile spay/neuter clinics across the country and to support causes that benefit animal welfare. The Lucy Pet Foundation currently has two buses that travel around Southern California focusing on spaying and neutering. These buses are state of the art surgery units. Their next focus is in generating more funds to expand the work of these buses and have more across the country.

The Lucy Pet Foundation not only offers free and reduced spays and neuters, they also do microchipping, vaccines and de-wormings. Spaying and neutering is not only great for pet population control, but it has been proven that an animal will live on an average of 40-percent longer after having this surgery.

Lucy Pet Foundation Mobile ClinicHere is a list of upcoming free or reduced fee mobile spay and neuter clinics in California (Please call and reserve space):

October 12, 19, 23, 28, 30
Location: Baldwin Park, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd., Baldwin Hills
Check in 7:30am
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

October 10
Location: 2720 Cochran Street, Simi Valley, CA

October 14, 16, 21
Location: Inland Valley
Check in 8:00am
Prices Vary
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

October 17
Location: 350 S. McPherrin Avenue, Monterey Park, CA
8:00am - 11:00am
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

October 29
Location: Rolling Hills Country Club, 27000 Palos Verdes Dr E, Rolling Hills Estates, CA

Remember, you must get on a list to have your pet seen at these locations. Please call The Lucy Pet Foundation toll free at 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment, or register at the events.

See the current list of clinics at

7th Annual Get Your Licks On Route 66

Get Your Licks On Route 66 Badge

FIDO Friendly is once again traveling down the Mother Road, stopping at shelters along the way to support adoption events. The cross-country pet adoption tour started September 11 in Riverside, California at the Riverside Animal Shelter. Every year Susan Sims of Fido Friendly Magazine travels from Los Angeles to Chicago, helping to place puppies and kittens into new forever homes. In the previous 6 years of the tour, they placed over 3,000 pets in their new forever homes and he states.

The Get Your Licks On route 66 tour will include 15 cities to visit this year and they would like everyone to come out. Even if you are not looking to add a forever family member you can still join the fun by visiting one of their partner shelters and donating $2.00 to spin their custom spinning wheel filled with prizes you can win, with proceeds going to the shelter at the end of the day!

Spinning WheelSpinning wheel prizes will be provided by John Paul Pet, Synlawn, Petmate, Sleepypod, Fresh Scents, Pets Best, Buddy Belts, Kurgo, Earth Rated, Charlee Bear, Kids n Pets, Pet Botanics and Simply Fido. Thanks to the sponsors who have signed up to help us save lives, one shelter at a time! Please visit their websites to see the great products they have to offer.

If you can't attend and would like to donate to the tour, they will send you a complimentary one-year digital subscription to FIDO Friendly magazine with a minimum donation of $10! With a $30 or more donation you will also receive a Get Your Licks on Route 66 t-shirt. Your name will also be listed as a grass-root supporter.

Here are the upcoming dates and locations of the 7th Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66® tour:

October 10
Chicago, IL
PAWS Chicago
1997 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614

October 11
Springfield, IL
Benefits Animal Protection League
Event Held:
3801 S. MacArthur Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62711

October 17
Kansas City, MO
Wayside Waifs
3901 Martha Truman Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64137

October 18
Merriam, Kansas
Great Plains SPCA
5428 Antioch Drive
Merriam, Kansas 66202

FIDO Friendly is an American dog travel and lifestyle magazine published bimonthly including hotel and destination reviews along with health and wellness topics, dog training advice, celebrity interviews, and the latest fashion trends.

Dr. Debbie WhiteIts Not Doggie Asthma - It's a Reverse Sneeze -Dr. Debbie

What dog owner hasn't heard that frightening sound that dogs make - part cough, part sneeze and often described as a dog being unable to catch his breath. But it really isn't asthma, or some kind of bone stuck in your dog's throat - it's a reverse sneeze. So before you panic and run into the veterinary office on emergency, ensure you know what a reverse sneeze is.

Meet the Reverse Sneeze
A reverse sneeze is a respiratory sound in a category all its own. Also known as a pharyngeal gag reflex or backwards sneeze, the reverse sneeze is a commonly observed respiratory sound in dogs, and less commonly in cats. While a true sneeze occurs on the exhale, the reverse sneeze occurs as the dog inhales. The result is a reverberating snorting, wheezing, episodic sound that lasts for a few seconds to a minute or two. A reverse sneeze is a completely harmless sound and dogs do not suffer any immediate health threat from these episodes.

How can you tell it's a reverse sneeze?
There is no easy explanation of the sound - you just have to hear it and you'll recognize it. Click to see and hear an example of a dog's reverse sneeze episode.

Part of my enjoyment on the weekly national radio program, Animal Radio®, is describing the peculiar smells, sounds and essences of veterinary medicine with our listeners. On many an occasion when speaking to callers, I have re-created the sounds of reverse sneezing. I'm no Rich Little, but I do take pride in my impersonation of a canine reverse sneeze, which is admittedly better in person with the visuals to complement the throaty sound.

Characteristics of a dog displaying a reverse sneeze include:

Chihuahua-Vibrational coughing/wheezing sound
-Stiff, extended neck
-Facial grimace
-No discharge from nose
-Not followed by coughing or vomiting up material
-Not involving collapse episodes
-Animal is completely normal after event

What causes a reverse sneeze?
Some reverse sneeze episodes occur when a dog gets very excited or pulls against a leash. Brachycephalic breeds (short faced breeds) like Pugs and Boston terriers commonly display reverse sneezing due to their upper airway conformation.

Allergies, respiratory infections, nasal mites, inhaled foreign bodies and masses can also trigger reverse sneezing. Dogs with inflammatory conditions such as lymphoplasmacytic rhinitis can also display bouts of reverse sneezing. And sometimes reverse sneezing occurs in the wee hours of the night, while a dog is sleeping, for no apparent reason. In fact, many veterinarians receive panicked phone calls at 2am from pet owners, concerned of impending asthma attacks or respiratory arrest, only to have it turn out just to be a typical case of reverse sneezing.

What to Do?
There is no required treatment for a reverse sneeze episode. However, I recommend stroking a dog's throat while gently speaking to him in a calm manner until the episode subsides. Some advocate closing/pinching the nostrils off, which forces a dog to swallow and curtails the reverse sneeze episode. Whatever the approach, reverse sneezing episodes are over within minutes, so no emergency treatment is indicated. Antihistamines may be prescribed to minimize reverse sneezing episodes.

When to Worry?
If all of a sudden your dog is having repeated bouts of reverse sneezing, evaluation by your veterinarian is indicated. Consult with your veterinarian if your dog is reverse sneezing along with other symptoms such as facial rubbing, nasal bleeding, nasal discharge, coughing, or significant sneezing episodes.

Nasal mites are a common cause of reverse sneezing and may be noted after a recent boarding visit, especially if multiple dogs in a household are involved. Nasal mite treatment is easily pursued with anti-parasite injections of ivermectin (or in collie breeds - the alternative Milbemycin.) If reverse sneezing is excessive and prolonged, the nasal and pharyngeal areas should be evaluated by a veterinarian through rhinoscopy - a procedure performed under anesthesia in which the nasal passages and pharyngeal areas are visualized with an endoscope, a micro camera. This is how foreign objects and masses are typically identified. In other cases, further tests may be needed including a CT scan or with biopsy samples from sinus passages.

Final Thought
The good news is that most of reverse sneezing episodes are harmless, and do not indicate any serious illness. Arm yourself with information by learning what a reverse sneeze looks like and you may save yourself an unwanted emergency veterinary visit over this peculiar but non-life threatening occurrence.

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."

It's a Wacky Wednesday Here at the Animal Radio® Studios

WackyWed Contest IS ON - LIKE your FAVORITE pic and the three pics with the most LIKES & SHARES are this week's winner will receive bath poufs, which are an effective and easy way to bathe dogs from Absorbine Pet.

Wood PoufTO ENTER Send us your FUNNY pet pic to - (Please put WACKYWED in the subject line & give us your pet's name, your name & where you hail from) If YOUR pic is chosen then spread the word to your friends & family on Wednesday - the pics w/the most LIKES and SHARES will be the winner!

This week we are giving away a ShowSheen Woof Poof and an UltraShield Green Woof Pouf from Absorbine Pet. The soft mesh poufs from Absorbine Pet contain specially-formulated soap beads, providing bath after bath of rich lather lasting for up to 15 washes. The ShowSheen Woof Poof contains Ordenone® soap beads that help eliminate even the toughest odors - including skunk smell. The UltraShield Green Woof Pouf features soap beads infused with seven natural repellents proven effective against fleas and ticks with gentle, yet effective herbal extracts.

Animal Radio® Facebook
Join Animal Radio® on Facebook for Wacky Wednesday! Win great prizes every week for your wacky pet pictures. Last month we gave out goodies from Endure Flap, Bare Bites, SynergyLabs, Magiclatch, Glandex and more. Visit us on Facebook now.

Lori and FlobearAnimal Radio® News - Lori Brooks

Filmmakers Intervene To Save Animals
If you enjoy watching a good nature flick like the rest of us, how many times have you sat there and watched in horror as something happened and wondered how those filming the scene could just stand there and watch? Now, some filmmakers are admitting to coming to the rescue of animals while filming some of the most heartbreaking scenes in nature documentaries. Photographers working on the Springwatch and Autumnwatch films say they constantly agonize over whether to save animals from perilous situations, and often decide to do so, IF it does not interfere with nature's intended path.

Dolphin with Pregnant WomanDolphin-Assisted Human Birth
Dolphin-assisted birth is a newer take on water births for human babies and it's a trend growing in popularity. The Sirius Institute, a New Age center in Hawaii dedicated to encouraging the bonds between dolphins and humans, offers dolphin assisted childbirth, but that does not mean it's a good thing. However, one woman in Hawaii seemed to think so, as she and her husband planned to deliver their baby in the Pacific Ocean off the Hawaiian coast. They had planned on having a flippered midwife on-the-fly by just showing up at the ocean once she went into labor. There is a you tube video about this and believe it or not, the mother to be thought her baby would be able to "speak dolphin" as a result of immediate exposure to the animals. It's claimed by some that human babies born in the ocean reach developmental milestones six months ahead of babies born in regular settings. Still, if you were hoping a dolphin will "help" birth your child, I would think it's also conceivable that a shark might also want to "help."

Skunk With Container on Head  Animal With Cups Stuck On Head - No Joke
If you spend anytime online I'm betting you've seen all the videos of animals running around helplessly with plastic cups stuck on their heads. No doubt people have shared the videos thinking it's funny, but the humane society says it is no joke because some of those animals are hopelessly trapped and can easily die. One of the worst containers for getting stuck on the heads of animals are the Yoplait yogurt cups because they are more narrow at the top and have a ridge inside, which can trap the animals leading to starvation. The answer is to stomp on it and crush the cup before it makes its way to a landfill or as litter along a highway.

JackieMost Unusual Pet Insurance Claims
The "most unusual" pet insurance claim is sought each year with the announcement of the nominees for the Hambone Award by Nationwide Insurance, which sells animal policies under the Veterinary Pet Insurance brand. One of the favorites to win this year is Jackie, a terrier mix in Indiana that needed X-rays and laxatives after she figured out how to open the family's junk drawer and ate all of its contents, including a medicine bottle, a bottle of perfume and a pair of sunglasses.

So You Think You Know What America's Favorite Dog Breed Is?
You may know what America's favorite dog breed is, if you're thinking of America as a whole, but each part of the country also has its own favorite or most popular breed according to Trupanion. The insurance company went through its database and reports that in the Midwest, the Great Dane is the most popular dog. In the Western US it's the Australian Shepherd, in the Southwest it's the Miniature Schnauzer, in the East it's the American Pit Bull Terrier and in the South it's the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But before you get too excited about this, Trupanion also points out that mixed breeds are the most popular dogs overall in the U.S., followed by Labrador retrievers and then German shepherds.

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Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#827)

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