Animal Radio® Howliday Special
We're breaking format for holiday stories and song. Open your presents while
listening to a dozen inspirational and emotionally driven tales about the
connection with our pets. Celebrated authors and celebrities share their
most intimate thoughts on the animals that surround us.
I Yell Because I Care
As I sat enjoying a cup of tea one morning before work, my children brought a catalog to show me what they had found. They pointed at a picture of a T-shirt. They said it reminded them of me.
Flattered that they were thinking of me, I looked at the picture. Then I frowned. On the front of the shirt, in large bold print, were the words, "I Yell Because I Care."
"But I don't yell at you," I said softly. This brought laughter and rolling eyes from my precious offspring.
"Oh yeah, Mom, you sure do!" said my oldest daughter. The second child chimed in with, "All the time!" The youngest put his hands over his ears in mock fright and spun around in a circle until he collapsed on the floor, giggling and dizzy.
"No, no," I protested quietly. How could they possibly think I yelled at them? I was a good mother. I listened and helped when I could. I was always there for them, lending support and love. But a mom that yelled?
"We can prove it," said the oldest. "Every time you raise your voice, Bo Peep goes nuts."
I eyed my little blue and white parakeet with suspicion. Bo Peep sat calmly on her perch, watching us. She was waiting for someone to notice her and perhaps come over for a talk and a little playtime. She thrived on the attention that four children could give.
"Okay, I'll prove it," I challenged them. "Let me think of something to say loudly, and then we'll see."
I'd like to say that it took me some time to come up with an appropriate phrase to "yell," but in all honesty, one just popped into my mind. I cleared my throat daintily, and then sang out, "You kids, hurry up or you'll be late for school!"
Before I finished speaking, Bo Peep was flapping around inside her cage, hopping from perch to perch, screeching, "Tsk. . .tsk. . .tsk!" She certainly gave us her two cents' worth. We all received a thorough scolding from the tiniest member of our household.
It was a very humble mother who apologized then. The kids were right; I was wrong. I now realized the truth. I was a mom who yelled, after all.
A few minutes later, the children were still laughing as they made their way out the door and on to school. I took another sip of hot tea, then turned and shook a finger at my feathered friend.
"Miss Peep. . .," I began, only to be interrupted. Bo Peep puffed out her cheek feathers and said earnestly, "You are so-o-o-o-o pretty, pretty, pretty."
Well, I could hardly argue with such an honest friend, could I? It had to be true.
After all, a little bird told me so.
(Reprinted with permission from Angel Animals Story of the Week. Pamela Jenkins is a contributing author to Chicken Soup books and magazines. Her story, "Tough Guy " is in the new book, Angel Cats: Divine Messengers of Comfort by Allen and Linda Anderson.)
The Origin of Cats and Dogs
Ed Sayres, ASPCA President
The ASPCA President has found an addendum to Genesis that explains the creation of Dogs and Cats. You might be surprised to know that God felt the dog was a reflection of himself and named the creature "DOG" - GOD backwards:
It is reported that the following edition of the Book of Genesis was discovered in the Dead Seal Scrolls. If authentic, it would shed light on the question, "Where do pets come from?"
And Adam said, "Lord, when I was in the garden, you walked with me everyday. Now I do not see you anymore. I am lonesome here and it is difficult for me to remember how much you love me." And God said, "No problem! I will create a companion for you that will be with you forever and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will know I love you, even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish and childish and unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourself."
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam. And it was a good animal. And God was pleased. And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and he wagged his tail. And Adam said, "But Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and all the good names are taken and I cannot think of a name for this new animal." And God said, "No problem! Because I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him DOG."
And Dog lived with Adam and was a companion to him and loved him. And Adam was comforted. And God was pleased. And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that Adam's guardian angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam has become filled with pride. He struts and preens like a peacock and he believes he is worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught him that he is loved, but no one has taught him humility." And the Lord said, "No problem! I will create for him a companion who will be with him forever and who will see him as he is." The companion will remind him of his limitations, so he will know that he is not worthy of adoration."
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam. And Cat would not obey Adam. And when Adam gazed into Cat's eyes, he was reminded that he was not the supreme being. And Adam learned humility. And God was pleased. And Adam was greatly improved.
And Cat did not give a **** one way or the other.
Happy 2B Music
I Love My Pets
The Christmas Angel
Pamela S. Zurer
When my daughter Rachel was six years old, we went to the local shelter, looking for the perfect cat. We liked a lot of the cats we saw there, but we were especially taken with a mother and her kittens. All the kittens were entirely jet black, except for one. She had a small white tip to her tail, like one bright light in the night sky. We brought her home and called her Star.
Starry was a charmer. Rachel admired her proud manner and enjoyed even more the secret knowledge that it was all an act. Starry could only appear aloof for so long before leaping up into Rachel's arms to be cuddled and stroked.
As time went by, Rachel and Starry adopted certain routines. At night when we watched TV, Starry crawled into Rachel's lap, and stayed there, purring contentedly. Starry always rubbed her face along Rachel's chin, ending the love fest with a gentle nip on Rachel's nose.
Sometimes I couldn't help but feel the injustice of this. I was the one who took care of the cat, feeding, cleaning, grooming - yet, Starry was clearly Rachel's cat. Eventually, I came to love watching their cozy bond.
My little girl grew up, went to junior high and finally high school. Starry was ten and Rachel was sixteen. Starry and Rachel were still close, though Rachel spent less and less time at home. Starry spent most of her day sitting on the sideboard in the dining room, looking out of the window into the backyard. I loved seeing her as I'd pass, her glossy black coat almost sparkling in the sunlight she loved to seek out, the white tip of her tail brilliant against the shining black of her curled body.
One Sunday morning, early in November, Starry got out the door before we could stop her. When Rachel's friend came over to study that evening, she came in the door with a worried expression. "Where's Starry?" she asked. When we told her we didn't know, she had us come outside with her. There was a black cat lying in the street.
It was Star. The cat's body was warm and she didn't appear to be injured. There was no blood or wounds that we could see. It was after hours, but our vet agreed to meet us after our distraught phone call. Rachel was upset, but holding it together. My husband Burt and I told her to stay at home while we took Star to the vet.
Burt and I picked Starry up carefully and rushed her to the vet's office. The vet examined her briefly before looking up at us and saying, "I'm sorry, but she's gone." When we got home, Rachel could tell by our faces that Starry was dead. She turned without speaking and went to her room.
It had been a hard year for me. My father had died not long before, and I hadn't totally come to grips with the loss. Rachel and I were in the midst of the delicate dance mothers and teenaged daughters everywhere find themselves performing - circling, pulling away and coming together in odd fits and spurts. I took a chance and knocked at her door.
When she said come in, I sat with her on the bed and we cried together. It was a good cry, clearing out some more of the grief I couldn't face about my father and bringing Rachel and I closer as we shared our sadness about Starry.
Life went on. Thanksgiving came and went. Rachel and I both found ourselves mistaking black sweatshirts strewn on chairs or floors for our newly missing black cat. The sideboard looked desolate, empty of the warm presence glowing with life I'd come to expect there. Over and over, little pangs of loss stung our hearts as the weeks went by. I was out Christmas shopping, when I saw it. It was a Christmas tree ornament in the shape of a "cat angel."
A black cat with white wings and a red ball between her paws. I had to get it, but bought it wondering if it would be a happy remembrance of the cat we'd loved or a chilling reminder of our loss.
When I got home, I painted a white tip at the end of the angel cat's long black tail and hung the ornament on our tree.
That evening, when Rachel came in, she flopped on to the couch. She sat staring at the Christmas tree, "spacing out" after a long day at school and after-school sports. I was in the kitchen when suddenly I heard her gasp. "Mom," she called. "Mom, come here!"
I walked in and found her standing in front of the tree, looking at the cat angel with shining eyes. "Oh, Mom. It's Starry. Where did you find an ornament with a tail like hers?"
She looked about six again. I gathered her into my arms and wonderfully she didn't resist. We stood together, looking at the tree, feeling our love for Starry and for each other.
Our charming, nose-nipping cat was gone, but now Starry, the Christmas angel, would be a part of our family tradition for years to come. Sometimes you can make your own miracles.
Peter Gethers was a confirmed cat hater until the day he received a six-week-old kitten as a gift. Walking the streets of New York with Norton tucked into his pocket, Gethers began forming an intense attachment to his new pet. Before long, Norton was flying with his owner on the Concorde to Europe, sipping milk in Parisian cafes, and eating custom-made pounce pizzas at Spago. Soon Gethers began to detail Norton's adventures in print, and with The Cat Who Went to Paris and A Cat Abroad the duo made history as well as many, many friends around the world. Now, Norton the Cat is recognized wherever he goes worldwide thanks to his author-guardian. In this special story we examine the reasons why we let our cats take up so much room in our bed.
Laurel Canyon Animal Company
Bring An Animal Home for the Holidays
It's That Time Of Year
Helen Woodward Animal Center
The Director of the nationally recognized Helen Woodward Center in San Diego had a rough start in the animal world. Moving from Kentucky to New York, a search for work landed him at the local shelter. After being beaten by thugs for saving a dog, he had dedicated his life to the animals:
Michael Arms was an enthusiastic young man who set out to change the world, one puppy at a time. After completing his education and serving a tour of duty as a United States Marine in Vietnam, Mike returned to his home in New York and accepted a position with the Humane Society.
While he took great pride in saving the lives of orphaned pets by finding loving, permanent homes for them, the stress of all the pets he could not save was beginning to take its toll. He was losing weight. He tossed and turned through one sleepless night after another. Convinced that there was nothing he could do, he tendered his resignation and accepted a position outside of the animal welfare industry.
During his final week, just as he was ready to leave the office one evening, a call came in informing the Humane Society about a dog that had been struck by a car in the Bronx. When Mike's secretary asked what she should do, he told her to send a truck out to pick up the dog. "There's nobody available. They've all gone home for the day." So Mike removed his suit jacket, put on a technician's coat, and drove to the site to pick up the dying puppy.
When he arrived, it was immediately obvious that the pup's back was broken. Bending over to pick it up, he was interrupted by two men standing in a doorway. "What do you think you're doing?" they asked. Mike explained that the puppy was hurt and that he was going to take it to the Humane Society.
"No you're not."
"Why, is it your dog?" asked Arms.
"No, but we have a bet on how long it's going to take before it dies."
"You guys are really sick," he said, stooping once again to pick up the little body.
"That was when these two heroes attacked me from behind. They stabbed me; they beat me, and left me there in the street to die with the puppy."
Just as Mike Arms was slipping into unconsciousness, the pup crawled over to him and began licking his face. "There was no way that the little guy should have been able to reach me with his broken back. But somehow he pulled himself over to me with his front paws and brought me back to life."
"There in the gutter I prayed and promised God that if he would allow me to live, I would never turn my back on an orphaned pet."
The puppy didn't survive, but Mike Arms did. And since that time Mike has dedicated his life to saving orphaned pets. He is credited with finding loving, lifelong homes for more dogs and cats than anyone else in history.
"I'm often asked why I've dedicated my life to saving animals. I'll never forget that brave puppy with a broken back, crawling through a gutter in the Bronx, to bring me back to life. And I'll never forget the promise that I made to God that day. How could I possibly think of doing anything else?"
Life is Good!
Trixie Koontz, Dog
Dad teaches me to type. Hold pencil in mouth and type. At first is fun. Then is not fun. He says to me, "Write, Trixie, write. Write essay for website." Being good dog, I write. Not fun, but I write. Expect treat for writing. Get no treat. Stop writing. Get treat. Carob biscuit. Good, good, good. Okay, so I write some more.
Dad promises website visitors my essay end of July. Must give up important ball chasing, important napping, important sniffing to write. Work hard. Writing hard. So many words. Stupid punctuation rules. Hate semicolons. Hate; hate; hate. Chew up many pencils in frustration.
Finish article. Give to Dad. Then I rip guts out of duck. Duck is not real, is Booda duck, stuffed toy. I am gentle dog. Cannot hurt real duck or even cat. But am hell on stuffed toys. Work off my tension. Rip, rip, rip. Feel pretty good. Cough up soggy wad of Booda-duck stuffing. Feel even better.
Dad gives editorial suggestions. Stupid suggestions. Stupid, stupid, stupid! He is not editor, is writer. Like me. I pretend to listen.
Am actually thinking about bacon. Bacon is good. Bacon is very good. I am good, too. People call me "good dog, good, very good." Bacon is very good. I am very good. But I am not bacon. Why not? Mysterious.
Then I think about cats. What is wrong with them? Who do they think they are? What do they want? Who invented them, anyway? Not God, for sure. Maybe Satan? So nervous writing about cats, I use too many italics. Then I hit hateful semicolon key; don't know why; but I do it again; and whimper.
Dogs are not born to write essays. Maybe fiction. Maybe poetry. Not essays. Maybe advertising copy.
Here is my advertising copy: BACON IS VERY GOOD. BUY BACON. BUY LOTS OF BACON. GIVE TO ME. THANK YOU.
Dad gives me editorial notes for study. Eight pages. I pee on them. He gets message.
Dad says he will give my essay to webmaster as is. Webmaster is nice person, nice. She will know good writing when she sees it.
Days pass. Weeks. Chase ball. Chase rabbits. Chase butterfly. Chase Frisbee. Begin to notice sameness in leisure-time activities. Pull tug-toy snake. Pull, pull, pull. Pull tug-toy bone. Pull tug-toy rope. Lick forepaw. Lick other forepaw. Lick a more private place. Still do not taste like bacon. Get belly rub from Mom. Get belly rub from Dad. Mom. Dad. Mom. Dad. Get belly rub from Linda, Dad and Mom's assistant. Get belly rub from Elaine, Dad and Mom's other assistant. Linda. Elaine. Linda. Elaine. Dad. Mom. Get belly rub from Elisa and Paula, housekeepers. Elisa. Paula. Elisa. Paula. Linda. Elaine. Mom. Dad. Belly rub, belly rub. Read Bleak House by Charles Dickens, study the brilliant characterizations, ponder the tragedy of the human condition. New tennis ball. Chase, chase, chase. Suddenly is September.
Webmaster asks where is Trixie essay. Where? Dad lost. Dad got busy working on new book, got busy and forgot Trixie essay, and lost it. My human ate my homework. Sort of.
All my hard work, my struggle, all those hateful semicolons-for what? All for nothing. Essay lost. All for nothing. Feel like character in Bleak House. Worse. Like character in Joseph Conrad book.
Think about getting attorney. Get agent instead. Writing fiction. Novel. Maybe knock Dad off best-seller list. Teach him lesson. Writing novel called My Bacon by Trixie Koontz, Dog. Already have invitation from Larry King, David Letterman, be on shows, do publicity, sell book, get belly rub from Dave. Maybe get limo for media tour. Ride around in limo, chasing cats. Life is good when you're a dog!
What Do I Get That Puddy Tat for Christmas?
How Could You
When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" - but then you'd relent and roll me over for a bellyrub.
My housetraining took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.
Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.
She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."
As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch - because your touch was now so infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be.
I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.
Now you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.
I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.
After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"
They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you - that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.
I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.
She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"
Perhaps because she understood my dogspeak, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.
May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.
Copyright Jim Willis 2001, all rights reserved
Rae Ann Kumelos, Voice of the Animal
A move means more than packing, changing my address and ordering new phone service. It also means saying good-bye to the wild animal friends who have shared my life for many years. Discover how a bobcat, bear, rose-breasted grosbeaks and an elderly turkey made it difficult to say good-bye.
Animal Presence – Our Present
Animal gift us with the most marvelous of presents every single day. During this holiday season, listen in for a reminder of how to appreciate the presence of your animal friends as your present.
Shorty by Larry Monk
from Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover's Soul
It doesn't seem like that long ago, but it has been nineteen years since a little ball of joy (and fluff) came into my life and changed it forever. I was working for a property management firm in San Francisco and was asked to relocate to Texas to oversee an apartment complex there.
Soon after my wife Linda and I arrived, the building maintenance man discovered a little mutt in a recently vacated apartment. The dog was in a closed closet with no food or water. The maintenance man and his wife were unable to keep her, so Linda asked me if we could do so, "Just for a little while." I reluctantly agreed, but added, "Just for a few days."
I nicknamed the dog Shorty. And Shorty took to me like you wouldn't believe. She followed me everywhere. She was closer than a shadow and when she lay beside me on the couch or in bed you couldn't get a dime between us. Both Linda and I quickly knew that a "little while" was going to become a lifetime.
When our time in Texas came to an end, we returned to San Francisco where Shorty adjusted to being a city dog. We'd take her to the park and for walks around town, but it wasn't the same as when she and I went running out in the fields together just enjoying the day and one another. That was truly our favorite time.
In San Francisco, Shorty learned how to play baseball. She absolutely loved it. Linda pitched, I hit and Shorty fielded the ball. She would catch it in the air or at the most on one hop, trot up to Linda, give her the ball and then run back to the outfield and bark as if to let us know she was ready for more.
As time went on, Linda wished she had a dog that was as devoted to her as Shorty was to me. So one day we went to the SPCA. Sitting in the back of a cage was a terrier-mix a little bigger than Shorty but with the same coloring. He had the biggest brown eyes and was just begging to be taken home. And he was.
Shorty and Buddy took to each other from the beginning and people used to think they were brother and sister.
Some years later, we rented a little house with a fence and room for Shorty and Buddy to play in. By then in her old age, Shorty started losing her teeth, and her tongue used to hang out of the side of her mouth. She also lost her sight and her hearing.
But Buddy became her eyes and ears. He knew that when Shorty went to the front door and barked once, the way she had always done, she wanted to go outside. But now she needed assistance, and Buddy knew exactly what to do. He would take her ear in his mouth and gently guide her down the steps to the lawn where he would lie down and watch her roaming around smelling everything she could. When she was ready to come into the house, Shorty would stand motionless, bark once and again Buddy would go to her, take her ear and guide her up the stairs to her bed.
One evening the door was open, and Shorty somehow made it down the stairs unattended but she collapsed at the bottom. I carried her to her bed and she lay there for a day whimpering, just as she had seventeen years earlier in that dark closet. I told Linda that it looked like it was about time.
Linda knew what I meant and nodded. We took Shorty to the vet that night and as expected there wasn't anything that she could do. She helped us feel better by asking us to think of all the positive things that Shorty had brought into our lives. I will always feel grateful for that.
I decided to remain with Shorty. The vet left us alone in a room, and I stood just stroking her. I think we both gathered some comfort in being with each other. When it was over I cradled her, not ever wanting to let her go.
Linda and I had Shorty cremated and today her ashes and her picture sit atop our dresser.
When the time comes, I've requested that I too be cremated. And Linda has promised me that she will scatter my ashes, together with those of Shorty, in the biggest field she can find.
Then Shorty and I will go running together once again.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Larry Monk passed away suddenly just three weeks after writing this story. In accordance with his wish, Linda Monk scattered Shorty's ashes, along with her husband's, in one of their favorite fields.)
Special Tribute to Buddy Hackett
Leonard Hacker, a.k.a. "Buddy" Hackett, was a class clown who grew up to become one of Hollywood's most famous comedians. Buddy Hackett passed away on June 30, 2003 in Malibu, California. The late comedian loved animals so much he started a foundation and yearly comedy show to help the proliferation of abused and homeless dogs and cats. People had always asked Buddy if he ever thought about dying, but he said no, he just though about seeing his dog again. Buddy felt that all animals wait for heir human companions at the Rainbow Bridge. While they wait, they can’t talk and their eyes have a film over them. When their owner comes, the film goes away. While they still can't talk, they are able to communicate with their owners. We only hope that he finally met up with his beloved dog of 18 years, Cupie, at the Rainbow Bridge.
Dodge Journey Pet Destinations
What Is Your Favorite Place To Take Your Pet?
People who have pets love to travel with them. At Dodge, they have made it easier with their pet friendly vehicle, the Dodge Journey, which contains concealed storage bins, Chill Zone glove box cooler and second-row dual in-floor storage bins with removable and washable liners (very handy for muddy paws!) Call us with your favorite place to take your furry-friend: 1-866-405-8405
This week's Dodge Journey Pet Destination:
Leslie of Richland, Washington loves to take her Alaskan Klee Kai dog to the Columbia River Park in Kennewick, Washington. Leslie states it is a wonderful place to take a dog because there are wide-open spaces along the river with a mile long paved walk that follows along the river. It's a very clean and dog friendly place, as long as you keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them.
Past Dodge Journey Pet Destinations:
"Julie" likes to take her dog Ladybug to the San Simeon Beach in San Simeon, California. The beach is across the street from Hearst Castle, which you can see up on the hill. It is a great little beach to walk your dog on and if you are there at the right time of year, you might even see sea lions. The City of Cambria is just minutes away where you will also find a great dog park.
Randy is an Over The Road Trucker (OTR) and never travels without Bridget, his venerable Cardigan Welsh Corgi, traveling companion. Randy has a Dodge Journey Pet Destination that is great for truckers with pets. It is in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is the Cottonwood Dog Park at 850 Redwood Road. What makes it so great for truckers is that it is about 3 blocks away from the Sap Brothers Truck Stop. A trucker can actually take a bobtail truck and drive it to the park, parking on the street right at the dog park. Randy actually found the dog park using the website www.dogparkusa.com.
Larry is an Over The Road Truck Driver (OTR). He travels with his six-year-old Chocolate Labrador that's been traveling with him for over four years. After many years of trucking, Larry tries to avoid truck stops. He finds that there is too much garbage from truckers who throw their trash on the ground. He has come across many items that have been tossed, including chicken bones. As a result, he now stops at Rest Stops across the country. One of his favorite rest stop is the Dows on I-35 about 70 miles North of Des Moines, Exit 159.
Bill is a trucker who travels all around the country. One of his favorite places to take his dog is the Manatee Avenue Causeway in Bradenton, Florida (Highway 64). There is the bay on both sides of the road. People take their dogs, everything from Chihuahuas and Great Danes, to even horses to this beautiful bay.
Mike who lives in Grand Junction, Colorado loves to take his dogs Glade Park just outside of Grand Junction. It is on the Grand Mesa National Forest and it has a good wide-open area to let your pet run around and play in. His two Staffordshire Terriers love this park. It is a big recreation destination and people not only bring their dogs, but you will see many people out riding their horses. A glade is an open space, and in this case, it is surrounded by natural wonders: Colorado National Monument, Piñon Mesa (with a chunk of Grand Mesa National Forest), and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area.
Sharon is a trucker and travels around the country. She has a Labradoodle named Phoebe who has been riding with her in the truck all of her life. One of her favorite places to take Phoebe is the Executive Suites in Wichita, Kansas. Having a big parking lot for her truck is very important to Sharon, and the Executive Suites can accommodate her, her dog and her truck very easily. The Executive Suites are very "trucker" friendly and even offer free laundry and breakfast.
Theresa from Montana says that there are lots of beautiful places to take your dogs in Montana. But, her favorite place is Heart of the Valley Dog Park in Bozeman, Montana. The park is six acres and it is like a social event for dogs. There are usually at least ten to twelve dogs there at a time. Theresa has 2 black labs and they go weekly to the dog park.
Joey Villani, the Dogfather and Animal Radio® Groomer, recommends a place back in New Jersey called the Riverwalk. Riverwalk runs about three miles along the Hudson River with a beautiful view of the Manhattan Skyline. You will see the most posh pooches in the world with the greatest haircuts, well, maybe not so great now that he is no longer there!
Mike of Santa Maria, California likes taking his dogs to PetSmart in Santa Maria, California. He has 2 Shih Tzus and they love going there. It is their treat of the week. They like to run around the store and smell all of the items on the shelves. He states that they are very social dogs and they get to meet and great all of the other dogs and people. They even enjoy riding in the carts!
Animal Radio® nominates the Loews Lake Las Vegas as this week's Dodge Journey Pet Destination. This was the first time anyone from the Animal Radio dream team had ever visited Loews Lake Las Vegas and we were all truly enchanted by the grounds. The fact that they let your furry friend (with all sorts of pet amenities) enjoy it with you, makes it that much more inviting. If you are ever in the area, don't miss the opportunity to check this hotel out - we give it a 5 Paw Rating!
While Victor was currently in the process of moving to Alaska from Alabama, he recalls the fond memories he had with his Lab who loves any place that has water. Her favorite place was Twin Mulberries in Alabama, which has a Little Mulberry Creek and a Big Mulberry Creek. She loved playing in the Big Mulberry Creek with her football. I am sure she will find some exciting places to play in Alaska as well!
Carol from Pennsylvania loves to take her dog to the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, which is a family and luxury vacation destination on 2,000 wooded acres in the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania. You will also find the Nemacolin Wooflands, Pet Resort and Spa, Pennsylvania . You will find everything from climate-controlled rooms with elevated beds to a grooming salon, daycare and obedience training classes. The only problem you will have is that your dog will not want to check out!
John of Clinton, Iowa loves taking his dogs to Eagle Point Park in Clinton Iowa , which has a big dog park and is situated in the northern section of Clinton. There, you will find a place to walk your dog on the levee along the river. Eagle Point Park overlooks the Mississippi River and General Zebulon Pike Lock and Dam (No. 11). It is a 164 acre park. Visitors are provided with spectacular views of the river and parts of Illinois, and Iowa. In the fall, you might even get lucky and glimpse hundreds of eagles fishing in the river.
Susan Sims, Publisher of Fido Friendly Magazine, travels constantly around the country exploring Fido friendly places. So, we asked her what her favorite place was for her and her husband Gregg to take their dog, Junior. Susan loves Seattle, Washington, and tells us some great places. Susan picks Kimpton's Hotel Vintage Park in Downtown Seattle as her favorite hotel. During her stay, she enjoyed a view of the Space Needle from her room. Next, she picks Tulio Restaurant in the hotel. While your dogs can't dine in the restaurant, she was able to order some fabulous food from room service. And lastly, while she was in Seattle, she took her dog to Marymoor Dog Park in Redmond, Washington , which has 40 acres of off leash fun for your dog!
Mark, from Southeastern Wisconsin, recommends the Burlington Dog Park in Burlington, Wisconsin. He tells us it is a great place to take your dogs in the summer. They have some great open fields to let your dogs run free. It is also next to the Fox River, so if you have a dog that likes to flop around in swampy mud, it is a great place!
Vladae, Animal Radio's own Russian Dog Wizard, is one busy guy. He sees one client after another and is always hard at work turning unruly dogs around for their guardians. But after a hard day of training dogs, he and his wife like to take their dog Mika (who is of course very well behaved), to the Huntington Beach Dog Park in Huntington Beach, California. There, Mika can run free with the other dogs and just be herself!
Steve from Tennessee recommends the town of Townsend, Tennessee, one of three gateways to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has dubbed itself "The Peaceful Side of the Smokies." You can find many roadside parks along the Little River to take your pets. Steve states that his dogs first learned how to swim in the Little River.
Richard of Bend, Oregon likes to take his Labrador Retriever to Tumalo State Park in Bend, Oregon, in the heart of sunny central Oregon. Tumalo State Park rests along Oregon's spectacular Deschutes River, which is a great place for your water-loving dog to romp.
Glenn of San Diego recommends Ocean Beach Dog Beach in San Diego, California. Ocean Beach Dog Beach is open to canines any time. This small beach has plenty of sand for the dogs to run on, and waves for them to run through. On weekends there can be up to 100 dogs there.
Bo from Los Angeles, California tells us her 2 black labs like to go hiking and to the beach. But one of her favorite places to take them is Runyon Canyon Park in Los Angeles, California. It is a 130-acre park in the Santa Monica Mountains, two blocks from Hollywood Boulevard. She states that this is a great place where your dogs can frolic with other dogs and have a good time! And who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of a celebrity and their pet while you're there!
Danielle from Shell Beach, California tells us her favorite place to take her dogs is Avila Beach, California. She states it is a very secluded beach with a nice protected area to let your dogs run free. Everyone brings their dogs to this beach and it is a very pet-friendly place.
The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
Prepare Your Puppy For Grooming
If you happen to get a new puppy for Christmas, this is the perfect time to prepare them so they want to be groomed. Grooming is a very important step for all dogs and cats, and you want to start early.
If you wait until your dog is around six months of age, their coat could be a mess and/or they could be terrified of being handled and worked on in a new environment by strangers.
You can get them used to being groomed by starting with brushing them. This is also a great way to bond with your animal. Just make sure that you use the proper brush. Next, start playing with their feet. Put your finger between their toes, along their pads and touch their nails. You can also start playing with their ears and get them used to having them touched. And lastly, take them to the sink and turn on the water to get them used to the sound. You can also splash a little water on them.
This will make the job of the groomer much easier. If your puppy can't handle being touched, you probably just spent good money on a bad grooming.
DOGFATHER'S GROOMING TIP Brought To You By SeniorPetProducts.com. Use the code "radiospp" to receive 25% off!
Hurricane Katrina Kitty Reunited
Five years after Hurricane Katrina, a kitty and his family are reunited. The Humane Society of South Mississippi identified Scrub, the seven-year-old gray and white cat, by his microchip. Scrub had been being fed for several months by a Gulfport woman, who thought he was a stray. But when a recent cold snap hit, she worried about his safety and took him to the shelter. Scrub's owner, Jennifer Noble, says she was skeptical when she got the call, but by the end of the first night back, Scrub had snuggled in with one of her sons. The woman that had been feeding him lives almost 15 miles away and Scrub was in excellent condition.
Bob Barker Honored
Retired game show host and big time animal supporter Bob Barker was recently named an Honorary Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics for his exceptional contributions to the protection of animals. He is the first person from the entertainment industry to be selected for this honor. The award highlights Mr. Barker's efforts to encourage the teaching of animal law in colleges and universities. Among those schools now teaching animal law are Stanford, Harvard, UCLA, Georgetown and Bob's own alma mater, Drury University. You'll recall during his 25 years hosting 'the Price is Right', he closed each show by saying, "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." One of the professors for the Oxford Centre says that Bob Barker helped propel animals from being a marginal issue into the academic mainstream.
Actress Crazy For Alpacas
Nicole Kidman. Glamorous star. Oscar winner. Alpaca walker. She keeps several on the ranch in Nashville she shares with her husband country star Keith Urban and their daughter Sunday Rose. She says she loves having exotic animals, but the alpacas are as exotic as it gets for right now. Nicole and her daughter think the animals are very pretty, with their long eyelashes, and enjoy walking them on a leash around their property. The next exotic to be added to the clan? She is thinking snakes.
Chihuahua Joins Celebration At Hollywood Walk of Fame
After 20 years on the job, Reese Witherspoon recently received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For the honor, she was joined by her children, other family members, work colleagues and Moonie, the Chihuahua that played 'Bruiser' in both of her Legally Blonde movies. Moonie is a rescued Chihuahua, and counts amongst her friends not only Reese Witherspoon, but also other show biz animals, including Gidget, the late Taco Bell Chihuahua.
Dogs Recovered After Van Stolen
A couple of professional pet breeders in Southern California for a competition recently, went outside in the morning to discover their van missing - with their championship dogs in it. They left their two Akitas, and two Pembroke Welsh Corgis in a cargo van overnight, thinking that the heavy coated dogs would be more comfortable in the van. They came out at 6:30 in the morning, and their vans, and dogs, were gone. The good news is that all the dogs have been recovered safely. Police suspect the van was the target, even though the dogs estimated worth is several hundred thousand dollars. The two Akitas were found a couple days later in nearby Compton and the Corgis shortly after that. One Akita, Didi took first place in her class, winning best puppy.
Best In Show
The Best in Show winner at the AKC Eukanuba national championship, though, went to an Australian Shepard, named Reckon. Terriers do well generally, but this is the first herding dog in a long time. And, Australian Shepherds are not from Australia, they originated in Europe. You can catch the full show on ABC Jan. 23.
Did You Buy Your Pet A Gift For Christmas?
56% of women were likely to, more likely than men, at 49%, according to an AP poll. However, it was the kitties more likely to get the coal treatment, as 56% of dog owners said they would buy a gift for the hound of the house, and only 48% of kitties were going to get the gift treatment.
Marriage Is Going To The Dogs
In the city of Toowoomba, Australia, Joseph Guiso married his best friend, his five-year-old lab, Honey, who he adopted five years ago. The couple decided on the location of Laurel Bank Park after seeing a wedding there during an afternoon walk. Mr. Guiso says he looked at Honey and stated, "That could be us," and she didn't say anything, so he took that as a yes. 30 friends and family witnessed the emotional ceremony, which took place at dusk, where Joseph's vows included, "You're my best friend and you make every part of my day better." Mr. Guiso says he is a religious person and could no longer take the guilt of living with Honey out of wedlock. He assures it is not a sexual thing, it's just pure love. The couple was planning a short honeymoon to one of the local parks.
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