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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for October 11, 2014  

Paws By Your Side
Margot Ahlquist, Paws To Talk

Margot AhlquistWe all wish our pets would live longer. But, unfortunately if you have a pet, chances are that you will outlive them and have to deal with the loss.

Pet loss is not an easy thing to go through, but Margot Ahlquist, creator of Paws To Talk, has created the Paws By Your Side Kit to make it a little easier.

The kit includes 21 days of audio healing activities that she used to help her when she lost her childhood dog a few years ago, as well as a workbook/journal that goes along with the healing activities that you can complete.

The kit also contains a healing copper bracelet for the human and a dog tag, which is a memorial tag that can be used for the animal that has passed, or if you'd like, you can put it on the leash of a new pet.

Of course, by no means can anyone get over the loss of a pet in 21 days, it's impossible. But, science has shown that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or a new way of thinking.

Paws By Your Side Pet Loss KitAs a result, Margot felt that 21 days was a good starting point to turn the tide if you will, when you are going through grief. It is a good tool and a good amount of time if you are feeling lost, numb or depressed after losing an animal to help get you back on a pathway to a normal life while you continue to grieve.

The audio clips in the kit are about 2 minutes each. They include instructions on healing activities. These activities include thinks like cooking yourself a nice meal, which may seem very simple, but when you're depressed and going through a tough time that is something good to do for yourself. There are also activities on how to memorialize your pet. Do you want to have a physical memorial, such as planting a tree? Do you want to have an on-line memorial? The audio has things to guide you while the workbook brings it home for you, with guided questions.

With Paws to Talk and the Paws By Your Side Kit, Margot combines two of her passions: dogs and helping others. Margot credits her Poodles Bella, DiDi and Toby for helping her make it through the toughest times in life and being constant inspirations.

"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - Elizabeth Forsberg, Rescuing Paralyzed Dogs

CloudThis week's Hero Person has her hands full with paraplegic and quadriplegic dogs. Elizabeth Forsberg has adopted animals that normally would be put-down because of their handicap.

Elizabeth Forsberg currently has three dogs. One is an English Setter, and the other two are an Irish Setter and a Chocolate Lab/Beagle mix, which are both in wheelchairs. Both dogs are paralyzed in their rear legs.

Jessie, the Chocolate Lab/Beagle mix was pinned under an outbuilding many years ago in the snow in New Jersey. Her elderly people couldn't get her out. Help didn't arrive until the next morning, but it was too late, the damage had been done, and she will never walk again.

Cloud, who is the Irish Setter, was hit by car in Tennessee as a puppy and left in a yard with no medical help for a week. He was rescued by an organization who gathered the $18,000 needed to repair him, which including having plates inserted in his legs. He was given to Elizabeth to rehabilitate, who got him walking for about 5 years. Unfortunately, an internal infection in one of the screws necessitated in removal of the plate, and he is back to being paralyzed.

Elizabeth didn't start out rescuing paralyzed dogs. It all began when Elizabeth had an Irish Setter, named Merlin, who was a rescue that came down with degenerative myelopathy, which is the canine form of Lou Gehrig's Disease. First, he lost the ability to use his back legs and eventually also lost the ability to use his front legs, making him a quadriplegic. She then had to learn real quickly how to deal with dogs that were not only paralyzed in two legs, but also all four.

If you love them enough, you figure out how to deal with these dogs, according to Elizabeth. She found a harness that helps you lift the back end. She also learned when her dog couldn't use any of his legs, to lift him into a quad-cart where she could roll him with four wheels.

Elizabeth says you just manage. She was already in her 50's, only 5' 2", when she learned how to pick up a large dog. She was also working fulltime, but states that she loved her dog enough that, "You don't give up on your friend, you figure out how!"

Pets With Disabilities LogoCurrently, Elizabeth is also a volunteer at Pets with Disabilities, an agency she came across when she was looking for wheelchairs for her dogs. She now helps people worldwide learn how to handle their paralyzed pets.

Why does she do this when many veterinarians would recommend euthanizing the animal? Elizabeth states that a lot of veterinarians don't know what can be done with a paralyzed dog, because it is those who have these dogs that have learned how and not given up. These animals can have a beautiful life, they can have a full life, it's just that they do things a little differently than other dogs.

Elizabeth says it is a joy caring for these unique animals, and if everyone knew how fun it was, they would want one too! These dogs have the most beautiful outlooks on life with great attitudes. Elizabeth states she can now no longer go back to having a "normal" dog!

Thinking Globally. Acting Locally. Do you know someone that should be nominated for our Hero Person of the Week? Send us an email to:

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6th Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66
Susan Sims, Fido Friendly Magazine

Get Your Licks On Route 66 BadgeEvery year, Susan Sims from Fido Friendly Magazine gets on the road to help spread the word about adoption and help out shelters along the way. They start in Los Angeles and travel along Route 66 to Chicago. They are currently in the Windy City, Chicago. So far, they have adopted out over 200 animals.

Powered by Ford with Animal Radio as a media sponsor, the tour travels down America's Favorite Highway stopping at shelters along the way to support adoption events. In the first five years, the tour helped place over 2,000 pets in to new forever homes.

This year's Official Spokesperson is actress, best-selling author and animal lover Danica McKellar. Danica, best known for her role as "Winnie Cooper" on The Wonder Years, was recently seen competing on Dancing With The Stars.

If you can't take home a new family member, they also have a spinning wheel with lots of prizes set up at different shelters along the way, with the money raised going to that shelter.

Here is a list of their upcoming schedule. Check back often to see if they've added more shelter stops.

10/11/14 - Chicago, IL
PAWS Chicago
1997 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL
Hours: 11am - 4pm

10/12/14 - Springfield, IL
Animal Protection League
3183 S. Veterans Pkwy.
Springfield, IL 62702
Hours: 1pm - 5pm

10/18/14 - Kansas City, MO
Wayside Waifs
3901 Martha Truman Rd.
Kansas City, MO
Hours: 2pm - 6pm

10/19/14 - Kansas City, KS
Great Plains SPCA
5428 Antioch Drive
Merriam, KS
Hours: Noon - 4pm

Get Your Licks On Route 66 FordAlso look for them on the road in their 2015 FORD expedition. They will be traveling down the Mother Road with their two rescue hounds, Junior and Jake, helping to save lives, one shelter at a time!

To learn more about this life saving tour and the cities where they will be holding events, visit their website or

See more at:

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Puppy Grooming 101
Joey tells us that he has gotten a number of unruly puppies coming into his salon recently. The reason being is that the pet owners are saying that the dogs won't let them brush them at home. There are number of reasons why this happens.

First, you need to identify the right brush for your dog's coat. There are many different types of brushes with different types of teeth and in many different shapes. They can actually work on your dog's coat or can hurt your pet. You need to determine what brush is best for your pet. But, there are so many variables on brushes that Joey cannot give an easy answer.

The best thing to do is to take your pet to your local groomer or even a pet store and ask them what type of brush is best for your pet.

Once you get the right brush, be aware of how your approach a new puppy. Don't approach them holding the brush up as if you were going to beat them with it. Your dog will look at you, coming at them with this foreign object in your hand, which isn't food, and might be afraid.

Puppy Being BrushedA big misconception is that you need to be overly friendly when you are approaching your dog with a brush. Not so! You remember when you were a child and your parents came to you overly friendly, you just knew that something was up! Dogs aren't dumb and can feel the same way.

Just have the brush with you and sit next to your pet, petting them casually. Then get the brush and start brushing through their coat lightly, as if you were still petting them. The dog will know it is different, but as long s you're not making a big fuss about it, they're not going to make a big fuss about it either.

Once they get used to it and don't mind it, then you can get a little more aggressive and get down to their skin to remove any knots and tangles. The process isn't difficult, it just takes a little time.

You will then have a happier pet and a happier groomer as well.

Dr. Debbie WhiteHow to Build the Perfect Litter Box - Dr. Debbie

One sniff upon entering your home and you recognize the unmistakable odor of cat urine and feces. Simba has used your entry hall as his litter box again. But before you lose your temper- stop. By scrutinizing the environment through your cat’s eyes, you will likely discover the cause of his toileting mishaps.

Elimination issues are a main reason for veterinary visits and a primary reason for relinquishment of cats at shelters. House soiling problems can be multi-factorial, with an overlap of behavioral, environmental and medical causes. Feline house soiling can be managed however with sleuth work and patience. The challenge is to think like a cat.

First and foremost, say this and repeat it…”My cat does not eliminate out of the litter box to get even with me.” Cats do use urine and fecal scent marks to communicate territory, but this isn’t done with spite or in effort to “get even” with you. Inappropriate elimination is a cat’s way stating that something isn’t right in their world. Understanding this is key before tackling feline house soiling. Focus on what’s wrong in Simba’s toilet area, not on how the house soiling makes you feel.

Start With a Vet Check
Cat owners often struggle with house soiling mishaps for months or years before enlisting help from their veterinarian. But seeing the veterinarian should be the first step, since health disorders may be at the root of some house soiling issues. Your efforts in restoring litter box usage will be doomed if an underlying medical cause is not addressed at the same time.

Size Does Matter
Make sure your cat’s litter box is of adequate size to allow maneuvering. Litter box size should be 1 ½ times the length of cat’s body length. Height of the edge also matters. For older kitties, try lower profile litter boxes or plastic under bed storage boxes. An arthritic older cat won’t complain or cry in pain with arthritis, she’ll just chose to eliminate elsewhere.

Consider the View
Cats don’t want to be startled while in the loo. Don’t place the litter box in a high traffic area where people and pets are always a-coming and going. Cats prefer a low traffic area where they can have an eye out on things.

Don’t place the litter box near appliances which give off noise, vibration and heat, all which disturb your cat while eliminating. Once a negative aversion is created, your cat may not return to use that box in the future.

Litter BoxDitch the Litter Box Cover
While some nervous kitties prefer the privacy of litter box covers, the majority of cats dislike the tight quarters and limited ventilation litter box covers provide. Consider how you feel in a public porta-potty... do you like to touch the walls when inside? Sure, people like the way the lid contains odors, but does it really matter how little odor comes from the litter box when your cat is pooping on your oriental rug?

Provide More Than One Box
A common error is assuming that one litter box is all your cat needs. What cat owner loves the litter box, and relishes seeing more of them in the home? But the more the better when it comes to faithful litter box usage, especially with multiple cats. The general rule is to provide one more box than the number of cats. Some cats share litter boxes, others will not. Unless you provide alternate sites you may have elimination issues in multiple cat homes.

Another special consideration is differences in cat’s personalities- timid cats may avoid crossing paths with other more assertive pets in home. Be sure to provide litter box sites that won’t be blocked by other animal’s movements.

If you live in a multilevel home- you must provide litter box sites on each level. This is especially important in multi-cat homes, those with senior cats or those with health conditions.

The Pick of Litters
Litter texture preferences vary and there are many choices from scoopable, clay, crystals, or natural litters. However in one research study of cat’s litter box habits, it demonstrated that the majority of cats prefer fine grained scoopable clay based litters that have carbon as their odor absorbing ingredient. Every cat is different though, so try other litter varieties until you find your cat’s preference.

Skip the Scents
The verdict is still out on what odors cats prefer, but avoid heavily scented litters or deodorizers if your cat is missing the box. Interestingly enough, one study showed cats preferred cedar and fish odors, while avoiding citrus and floral scents, while another study concluded cats preferred fish or bleach smells to other scents.

Kitty Litter Depth
Ideal litter depth is 2 inches- more isn’t always better. Some cats thrive on scratching the bottom of the pan, which is obscured by excessive amounts of litter.

Keep It Clean
Cats are fastidious by nature and will avoid using a soiled or smelly box. The overall cleaning frequency depends on the number of cats in the home. General advice is to scoop twice a day and deep clean the litter pan weekly. Change out clumping litter every 2-3 weeks.

Build It and Kitty Will Use It
By building your cat's dream litter box, your cat will find litter box nirvana. And you’ll come to enjoy a better relationship with your kitty family members without those unwanted "presents" in the foyer.

Need more help managing those frustrating litter box “Oops”? Look for my next blog on how to deter the return offender to the site, and how to draw kitty to the right spot.

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"

Animal Radio® News with Tammy Trujillo

Couple split by dogWhen a marriage breaks up, it's the children who often get caught in the middle, but pets can end up becoming the subjects of custody battles too. Now the British animal charity Blue Cross has come up with what it calls a 'Pet-Nup' that spells out who will get the family pet if a couple splits up. The question is, will the 'Pet-Nup' hold up in court? So far, it hasn't been tried and it's not clear if the British courts will enforce the agreements.

Goldfish SurgeryGoldfish Undergoes Life Threatening Surgery
You don't hear very often, maybe never, about a goldfish having an operation. But you don't often hear about a goldfish having a life-threatening tumor growing from its head. Little George of Melbourne, Australia had both and the tumor was recently removed at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital. The tumor had been slowly growing for a year and was started to affect how 10-year-old George swam. George was a very beloved pet and his family and vet worked together to make this amazing feat happen. The surgery took about an hour and George was almost immediately swimming along as if nothing had happened.

Can Rabies Be Eliminated?
Experts on rabies have come up with a plan to eliminate the disease once and for all, but it still needs funding and cooperation. It involves a program for mass vaccinations of dogs in certain regions of the world where rabies is most common. Rabies is rare in developed countries since we routinely vaccinate our pets for it, but it kills nearly 70,000 people a year, mostly in parts of Africa and Asia. The global effort would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and need governments and health agencies to work together.

SherlockBeagle Returns Lost Airport Items
If you leave something behind when you get off a plane, getting it back can be a real pain. Not so anymore if that plane lands at Amsterdam Airport Schipole. Sherlock will get it back to you, no problem. Sherlock is a beagle specifically trained to return lost items to passengers. When a KLM flight crewmember finds something that's been forgotten, they let Sherlock get the scent and send him running off through the airport with the item tucked into a special pouch on his vest to find the item's owner.

Owning A Chimp Can Harm Them In The Long Run
The first ever study on how human interaction affects chimps shows that we are doing them more harm than good when we have them as pets. The study was done by the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. It found that chimps raised during the first four years of their lives by humans suffer serious social and behavior problems when they get older, if they are sent to a new home at a zoo or sanctuary. They don't know basic chimp behaviors and many don't seem to be able to learn them. And this is interesting, it is legal in most of the U.S. to have a chimp as a pet, even though they are endangered and can be quite dangerous when they become adults.

Dragon CatMakeovers For Dogs & Cats
One pet groomer in Yekaterinburg, Russia is doing more than just baths and hair cuts, she's giving dogs and cats makeovers into creatures like mythical green dragons or yellow and black striped bumblebees. Daria Gotz says she only uses dyes made from botanical extracts that wear off once the animal's coat grows out. She says she's getting plenty of positive reactions from visitors to her grooming shop.

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