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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio for December 31, 2016  


We here at Animal Radio wish everyone, including their furry, two-legged and four-legged, feathered and fishy friends, a Happy New Year in 2017. Every year we see great strides towards making a better life for our animals. Let's hope that the trend continues in 2017!

Ralph Nader Guests

Ralph NaderNamed by Time, Life and Atlantic Magazines as one of the hundred most influential Americans, former U.S. Presidential candidate Ralph Nader is our guest. Now, he's speaking out for the animals in his new book called "Animal Envy."

Ralph explains, he, like millions of other people, has often wondered what would the animal kingdom say to us if we had a common language? What would they want to tell us?

In Animal Envy, mammals, reptiles, birds fish and insects all speak to humans. Ralph states it is a fascinating mixture of the way they get together and the way they strategize. They think humans are unintelligent and pumped up by their DNA and that they don't understand if the animals become extinct and their habitats are destroyed, that is going to severely harm humans as well.

Ralph tried to make every page a gripping one that astonishes the reader with things like the way sharks can recreate without a male. He also wanted to get people to imagine the plight of these animals.

The books revolves around a human genius that develops an app allowing all animals and insects to talk to human beings and to probe all of the knowledge of the natural world assembled by human beings.

An elephant, owl and a dolphin take charge and the human genius opens up 100 hours of global television. The human states to these three animals that they need to program what all of them in the animal kingdom have been wondering and wishing they could say to human beings.

Animal Envy Book CoverRalph was inspired to write the book because of his own curiosity. He states we all grow up as kids reading fairy tales and watching cartoons where animals speak English.

Ralph used to watch squirrels as a child and once saw a squirrel leap from one limb in a tree to another, forty feet off the ground and it didn't slip. It then occurred to Ralph that he never saw a squirrel make that leap and fall. Humans consider squirrels as dumb animals, but Ralph states just think of the calculations in the squirrel's brains allowing for wind, moisture and the flexibility of the branch they are going to land on. They know if they fall it is curtains, whether it comes from the fall itself or perhaps even a cat. Ralph tells us he sees humans all the time just walking down the street and they fall on a flat sidewalk.

Ralph has been reading scientific information from naturalists, biologists and ecologists about the intelligence of dogs and cats and more recently chickens and they way they communicate. We have already learned about the knowledge and intelligence of primates. We have now learned and how elephant herds take care of their injured babies and how they can experience sorrow, grief and empathy and how crows can figure things out and actually use primitive tools.

Because of all of this knowledge, Ralph felt his book would challenge and delight the imagination of anyone who reads it. It is for people of all ages and backgrounds, as well as for all cultures all over the world. Just as he did when he wrote Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us, Nader shows here that his visionary genius knows no limits.

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Kids Design Collar For Blind Dog
Josh & Zack Armstrong, Timberwolves

TimberwolvesJosh and Zach Armstrong are 13 and 15 respectively. They're home-schooled. But don't let that fool you. They've invented an electronic circuit that a blind dog can wear on his collar to alert him of impending obstacles. They'll tell their story to us this weekend.

They describe their invention as a circuit box that attaches to a blind dog's collar. While the dog is wearing the collar, it sends out a burst of infrared light. When the dog approaches an object, the light bounces back and sends out a small beep. The beep lets the dog knows he needs to either stop or turn away. Humans can't see the infrared light and it is believed that dogs aren't able to see it either.

Along with Josh and Zach, their sisters Mariah and Rachael, as well as their friend, Matthew Lewis, are all working on the device.

Great Dane Wearing Infrared CollarThey are currently testing it on a blind Great Dane, but are hoping in the future to get the device out to many more people.

Zach mentions that they are currently having one problem with the collar in that it doesn't work as well in sunlight. This is because sunlight already contains infrared and causes interference. As a result, they are looking into laser technology, which will work better in sunlight.

Everyone knows the pet business is a $60 billion dollar market and the tech sector is rapidly growing. I expect we will hear more from these guys in the future - remember their names!

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The Pit Bull Life
Deirdre Franklin, The Pit Bull Life: A Dog Lover's Companion

Deirdre Franklin with Pit BullsAuthor and pit bull advocate Deirdre Franklin wants you to know that the breed gets a bad-rap. She'll tell us why Pit Bulls are misunderstood. If you're thinking of adopting this adorable breed, you'll need to know what hurdles lay ahead.

All dogs are special, but living with a Pit Bull really is different. You know how loyal and lovable your dog is, but your life can be affected by the breed's undeserved reputation. Deirdre Franklin, author of The Pit Bull Life, has dedicated her life to these dogs who have an undeservedly bad reputation.

Deirdre wrote her book because she wanted people to understand the laws affecting these dogs; what it's like to own this dog, especially as it pertains to peoples' perceptions; and to give people a sort of map to survive these challenges and enjoy their dogs a the same time.

Some of the laws banning Pit Bulls in some cities were set up long ago and in different times than we are living in now, according to Deirdre. For example, the ban of Pit Bulls in Denver was started back in the 80's. This is when the city was worried about gang situations and drugs. The city felt that if they banned dogs associated with these types of people, it would keep these dogs out of the population. However, it had the opposite affect. It made the breed more popular with the people they were trying to affect.

Even to this day people are trying to change these laws. But part of the issue is that people no longer have Pit Bull type dogs in Denver, which are needed as ambassadors to bring back the breed, so it is sort of a Catch 22.

Is there really a dog that is a Pit Bull Breed? Deirdre explains that there's no such thing as a true Pit Bull dog. However, there are three different kinds of dogs that are purebred and associated with the Pit Bull name. Part of the problem is that most dogs look like some sort of Pit Bull today, because it is such a motley breed. There are around 57 different Heinz kinds of dogs that are short and stocky with blockheads that people consider to be Pit Bulls.

The Pit Bull Life Book Cover   If you are thinking about adopting one of these dogs, Deirdre explains that you are going to be stigmatized automatically. Thankfully a lot of people are changing their minds about these dogs, but there are still going to be people who might even yell at you when you walk your dog down the street, thinking that your dog is dangerous because of the way they look. You may even receive threatening email, like Deirdre does. While some people cross the street when Deirdre walks her dogs down the street, there are still others who cross the street to come meet them. So, things are getting better for these dogs.

Also know if you get one of these dogs, they need to behave twice as well as other dogs because people are going to be watching.

Remember, all dogs have teeth so they all have the potential to be problematic. You need to train all dogs positively and give them a good structure in order to be great representatives for their breeds.

The Pit Bull Life celebrates the everyday joys of owning a pit bull―from their boundless energy to their love of life―while providing helpful facts and strategies you need to counter unfair laws and policies you may face.

You'll learn the history of how the pit bull got to where it is today and what you can do to help secure its future. You'll also find practical advice about breed characteristics, how to find a good match, and how to communicate with your dog, along with inspiring stories of people who've devoted their lives to this very special dog.

Deirdre Franklin is also the founder, president and soul behind Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc., an education and advocacy group that helps shelters and animal rescues around the country. They do an annual Pin-Up Calendar, using pin-up style hair and makeup and costuming for the people and then include a Put Bull dog in each picture. This is to help people see these dogs as they are - goofy, sweet and loyal.

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New Year's Resolution for Cat Owners - Don't Forget Kitty - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteWhile it doesn't seem right, cats are 30-percent less likely to receive veterinary care than dogs.

For example, Patty cringes at the idea of taking Muffin, her 12 year old Persian cat to the veterinarian. She envisions the ten minute wrangle to catch her, the acrobatics placing Muffin in the pet carrier, and the ear piercing protest on route to the hospital. Patty observes Muffin lounging contently on the couch, considers her cat's healthy appetite, trouble free litter box use, and indoor lifestyle. Patty puts the carrier away declaring, "Why would I want to go through the hassle taking her in to the vet when I can see she is perfectly healthy." But skipping that veterinary checkup could mean big trouble for Muffin though.

Senior cats over seven years old can develop diseases such as hyperthyroidism, hypertension, osteoarthritis, kidney disease and diabetes. And failing to detect these problems can lead to more advanced health problems, less treatment options, less favorable outcome and higher future veterinary costs down the road.

Why Are Cats Forgotten?
In the U.S. cats are the most popular household pet, with over 80 million pet cats nationwide. But despite the cat's status as top pet, they are 30-percent less likely to be taken to the veterinarian than their canine counterparts. So why don't cats receive the same veterinary care that dogs do?

There are many reasons why cat owners might not present the cat to the veterinarian. Cat owners may not see perceive a health concern. Cats don't typically complain, especially with chronic developing diseases, so cat owners miss the boat if they expect kitty to tell them when they are sick. The self-sufficient feline nature makes it is more difficult for pet owners to detect abnormalities in appetite, elimination and behavior.

Cat in CarrierThe economy is a common reason that some pet owners fail to get kitty in to the veterinary office. Some cat owners forgo preventative veterinary visits as a means to minimize costs, not realizing the long term health consequences. And like Muffin's owner, many cat owners' just don't want to stress the cat and chose to skip the vet travel and feline melodramatics.

Some cat owners also don't value the veterinary examination or the health clues it provides. And preventative pet care for some owners consists solely by vaccinations and when those aren't pursued, veterinary care falls by the wayside.

My Perspective
In my veterinary office I've seen cat patients whose last veterinary exam was many years ago, perhaps two, three or even ten years ago. That's a long time for a cat's medical problems to brew and develop. Sometimes it's already too late and advanced disease has set in. I'd much rather see those cats years before when we can better help them, rather than at a euthanasia visit.

During a veterinary exam, the doctor performs a comprehensive examination to detect abnormalities. Maybe it's a new lump, a change in body condition, an altered stance, a tell-tale odor of kidney disease or a useful clue provided by the owner's health history. The veterinary examination is the best $45 you can invest in your cat's health and which generates teamwork between you and your vet to keep your pet healthy.

Resolutions for the Future
No wonder cats are the favored pet with their gorgeous looks, complex personalities and mysterious aura. Resolve to keep your kitty healthy in 2017 and ensure your cat gets to the veterinarian at least once a year, although twice a year is preferred for senior cats. When that next veterinary visit comes, be armed with confidence, patience and of course, a sturdy pet carrier.

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."

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5 Thoughts As The Pet World Says Good By To 2016!
Robert Semrow, Listomania

Robert Semrow, Sugar and Zoey2016 was another incredible year in the Pet World. So many touching stories ranging from pets rescuing loved ones to loved ones rescuing pets. The pet world is full of inspiration, passion and dedication.

I am happy to say that even in all the crazy that was 2016 and the election, pets still remain a unifier for all. I often commented to family and friends that at every political debate they should unleash a few puppies and kittens. Who can spew anger when a cute puppy or kitten is around? I know it sounds "pollyannaish" but I think everyone needs to look at their pets and remember their pets are a reflection of their energy. If they are stressed and screaming at the TV or people, then their pet is going to reflect that back. Plus, if you happen to have a bird that can vocalize your words, you might want remember that the next time you rant about the world.

Within the industry we saw a lot change. Companies merging, companies releasing new products and of course, pet parents demanding better for their pets. We saw more natural products coming to the forefront, not only in nutrition but also in toys, litters, health care, grooming and more. We know that natural is no longer an alternative, but instead a lifestyle that many of us strive for in our lives and in those that we love. For our pets, that is also true and in 2016 we saw more opportunities to achieve that than ever before.

Goodbye 2016Technology was another area in the pet world that exploded with new gadgets and gizmos that improved the lives of pets from medical devices, to communication devices to toys and the way our pets engage in play, as well as eating. Technology is exciting because it offers improvement that is needed and wanted.

We also saw an increase in pet businesses like dog training, behavioral counseling, photography, nutrition consulting and more. People are increasingly turning their passions for pets in to businesses and in 2016 that really showed. It doesn't take a pet psychic to know that our pets deserve and appreciate pampering. However, an animal communicator will be happy to share your pet's thoughts. So maybe add that to your 2017 list of things to do with your pet.

For me, 2016 was also the year I lost my soul dog, Sugar Semrow. She was my best friend; my family's guardian and I have learned that I will always miss her very much. There isn't a day that goes by without her, her mannerisms, her love or the lessons she taught me coming to mind. She was a dog that was abused until she rescued my wife and I. She taught me that things can and do change and that enjoying every possible minute, regardless of the outside world, was what life is about. She inspired to be a bigger part of the pet world and the human world as well. I may turn the page on 2016, but I'll never fill that hole in my heart that has been there since she left. And I know that's ok.

Share your 2016 Pet world memories on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearDogs Can Recall Past Events
A recent study published in the Journal of Current Biology has found strong evidence that dogs have what is called "episodic memory," or the amazing ability to recall events from the past, just like their humans. To test and explore the dogs' memory, researchers took advantage of a trick called "Do as I Do." Dogs trained to "Do as I Do" can watch a person perform an action and then do the same afterwards. For example, if the owner walks two steps forward and then gives the "Do it!" command afterwards, the dog will do exactly the same. They tested each of the subject dogs using the said technique after one minute and after one hour. The results show they were able to recall the demonstrated actions after both short and long time intervals. The researchers said, "From a broad evolutionary perspective, this implies that episodic-like memory is not unique and did not evolve only in primates but is a more widespread skill in the animal kingdom."

Dog Kissing Man  Dog Kisses are "Dirty"
Many of us don't think twice about the saliva that comes out of our dog's mouth when we lean in for a slobbery kiss. Affection between humans and their pets is the norm for most of us. However, what is common is the lack of education surrounding animal saliva, its bacteria and how it impacts both humans and pets. So from PetMD, here are some facts about dog saliva that can change the way you think about your pet and its mouth. Dog saliva helps prevent them from getting cavities. It is much better than human saliva at this, mostly because a dog's saliva is more alkaline than ours. Dog saliva is antibacterial, but licking won't cure all superficial infections in dogs, so vet visits are still necessary. Just because dog saliva has antibacterial properties does not mean that dog "kisses" are clean and humans should let their guard down. One study published in Oral Biology in 2012 found that there could be a transmission of bacteria between dogs and their humans. Dog saliva may also produce allergies in humans. While many people believe that pet fur is the culprit of allergic reactions to dogs, many allergies actually stem from proteins found in dog saliva. According to a study published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, dog saliva contains at least 12 different allergy-causing protein bands. When dogs lick their fur, the saliva dries and these proteins become airborne. Researchers who conducted the study concluded that dog saliva has greater potential as an allergen source than dog dander.

Luke WesternMan Sleeps Outside In Cold For the Animals
An Ohio man has gone to extremes to encourage pet owners not to leave their animals outside during the extremely cold weather. Luke Westerman is a well-known animal advocate who recently spent the night in Goodale Park in Columbus. Temperatures at the time were in the teens. He says he wants people to think about what it is like to be outside in these conditions. Westerman says that domesticated animals are just not equipped to handle frigid conditions and that if it's too cold outside for you, or your children, then it's too cold outside for your pets.

First Time in 150 Years There Will Be No Pet in the Whitehouse
Barring a new addition to the Trump household between now and Jan. 20, Donald Trump will become the first president in 150 years who does not have a pet. If horses are included, every president except James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson has owned a pet for at least part of his term in office and with these furry first friends have come a host of political benefits. Aside from the benefits they've bestowed on first families, presidential pets have for decades served to soften a president's image and give them positive White House news coverage. Presidential pets have ranged from the conventional to the exotic. Martin Van Buren had tiger cubs, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt had bears and Calvin Coolidge had a pygmy hippopotamus. However, in recent decades, presidents have stuck to cats and dogs.

Clay Luthy andCharlotteDog Lands Jobs at Lowes With Guardian
Clay Luthy is an Air Force veteran who can't go anywhere without his 10-year-old service dog Charlotte, even to work. That's why the dynamic duo is especially overjoyed that they finally landed a job at the Lowe's in Abilene, Texas. Up until Clay's wife gave him the idea to apply at Lowe's, the vet had a hard time finding a business that would be okay with his Charlotte following him around in a work zone. Lowes Human Resources Department says Clay won the job on his own merit, but the company just got the benefit of getting Charlotte right along with him."

Top Dogs Names Nationwide
Last week we gave you the list of the most popular puppy names of the year. This week we have more. dug into their database of hundreds of thousands of dog names to dish up the top dog names nationwide. This year they uncovered some surprising trends. Did you know that 28-percent of dog names are basically human names? However, it's much higher as evidenced in this year's top ten list, which includes 5 male and 5 female dog names. Starting at Number 5 are Jack and Luna. Coming in Fourth are Cooper and Lola. In third place is Buddy for males and Daisy for females. The second most popular dog names are Charlie and Lucy. And the most popular dog names once again are Max and Bella. It's also interesting that Charlie, Lucy, Max and Bella, plus Jack and Luna, are included on the list of the top human baby names for 2016. As for food related names, health food names like Peaches, Mango and Tofu are down, while Kale is up and most popular in Portland. There are also apparently many dogs named Quinoa, which is a popular dog name in Los Angeles. Names that have increased in popularity include those from Game of Thrones, Pokemon, Harry Potter, Stranger Things and X-Files.

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NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Fear Free. "Take the 'pet' out of 'petrified'" and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.

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