® | February 3rd 2006 Newsletter
Programming with a Purpose

                        In this issue:

DENTAL DISEASE How to avoid this deadly killer
40 TRICKS TO TRAIN YOUR HUMAN - Darlene Arden Translates

Now on Animal Radio®
explores the world of Pets and Spouses -
AGING PETS SPECIAL We'll be uncovering all the aids and tips guardians can use to make the older pet happy and comfortable, from supplements to stairs - it'll be in this special program. Be sure to join us February 11th for this informative show.

Animal Radio Weekly Show Animal Radio Network® Programming

ASK "THE DOG BIBLE" ­ Based on THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You To Know by Tracie Hotchner

Just because your dog has a fur coat (and then again, not all of them do) don't assume that she can't feel the cold or suffer from it. Any of the delicate, thin-coated dogs ­ especially dogs like Italian Greyhounds or any other short-coated toy breeds ­ are going to need special care in cold conditions. This is going to be even more true for those originally bred for a warm climate, so it's important to educate yourself about the origins of your breed.

However, in really cold winter weather conditions, even the big, energetic, outdoor dogs like Labradors are at risk for hypothermia (a lowered core body temperature), frostbite or just plain being uncomfortable. In many areas of the country we are smack in the middle of winter - whether the conditions are wind, snow, ice or very low temperatures - so here are some tips for keeping your dog comfortable and safe.

1) MORE WATER ­ Make sure your dog is drinking enough water because she can get dehydrated in the cold weather. You may notice this is true for you, too. Every time you are thirsty, or take a drink, think about whether your pet is doing the same. Make sure water is accessible and appealingly fresh.

2) LESS BATHS ­ Do you suffer from allergies and therefore usually bathe your dog frequently to reduce dander on her skin? If you live in a cold climate, washing your dog can have a drying effect on her skin in the dry winter months. Try to give fewer baths and when you do bathe your pooch, be sure to use a moisturizing, non-soap shampoo, followed by an after-bath conditioner formulated especially for dogs with dry skin.

3) OUTERWEAR FOR GOING OUT ­ If you have a frail, thin-skinned type of dog she should never leave the house unprotected: it doesn't take much exposure to cold air to chill such a dog to a dangerous extent. A sweater vest type coat is the warmest kind of covering for a dog because it holds in all of the dog's natural body heat. If your dog shows signs of being cold even with a close-fitting sweater ­ standing with his tail tucked in and/or shivering - then layer a coat over the sweater for greater protection against the elements.

4) KEEP IT SHORT & SWEET ­ Make your dog's trips outdoors brief and frequent. Even a dog wearing protective equipment can suffer from hypothermia or frostbite. The longer you are outside with any dog, the greater the risk of a cold-related problem. Once a dog starts to shiver you need to get inside out of the cold immediately: violent shivering is a sign that the dog is already suffering from hypothermia and urgently needs to be re-warmed (see #8 below).

5) RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA so that you can intervene immediately. Those symptoms are:
Intense, prolonged shivering;
Lethargy and weakness (especially in a normally active dog);
Disinterest in doing anything at all;
Disorientation and confusion (like going in circles);
Lifting paws one at a time.

6) WARMTH AS THE CURE: Intense and prolonged shivering is the first emergency symptom of a dog whose core temperature has dipped dangerously low. The remedy is to re-warm that dog quickly. The way to do this is to take the dog immediately into the warmest possible room, wrap him closely in a polar fleece or quilted blanket and then hold him against you for comfort and extra warmth. At the same time, have someone else raise the heat and put several towels or blankets into the dryer for about five minutes. Take these warmed blankets and put them directly against the dog's skin, taking the blanket you had on him before and wrapping it as insulation around the warmed blanket.

7) KEEP THOSE FEET WARM & DRY ­ If you live in a very cold place ­ especially a very cold city - it is really beneficial to get your dog to accept the idea of wearing boots. If his feet are covered it has multiple benefits: it will help keep all of him warm, it will protect his feet from snow and ice and will also keep irritating ice-melting salt and crystals off the pads of his feet.

8) REMOVE HAIR BETWEEN THE TOES ­ Some dogs have tufts of hair between their toes or footpads. In some extreme environments ­ for some breeds developed just for those conditions - this hair can function as a protection for the feet. However, where snow and ice are concerned it is hazardous for a dog's feet to accumulate that hair. Get a round-tipped hair scissors and carefully clip away those tufts of hair, from between the pads on the underside of the foot and in between the toes, too.

9) USE FOOT CREAM ON THE PADS ­ There are products made especially to spread on a dog's footpads before going outside when it is extremely cold. However, there are many inexpensive products that may work just as well, some of which you may even have around the house. Some sled dog trainers spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly or aloe gel (the latter doesn't stick as well) to their working dogs' footpads. There are also products like Musher's, which exist especially for this purpose. You can also try a propellant baking spray like Pam right before going outside. Be forewarned that many of these products are greasy so you should apply them the very last thing before you and the dog go out, and then keep a cloth by the door to wipe off her feet before you go back inside. Otherwise you'll have greasy footprints all over the house.

10) A HAIR DRYER on the lowest setting is the best way to melt ice that has already formed between your dog's footpads. Hold the dryer at least 6 inches from the dog's foot until the ice melts. Gently rub the dog's feet in your hands afterwards to restore circulation.

11) BABY SOCKS are a nice way to temporarily protect irritated footpads if your dog's feet came into contact with salt or other ice-melting products. The first sign of irritation is that a dog will lick her feet intensely ­ this will only further irritate the pads and she will also be ingesting whatever was enough to bother the tough pads of her feet. First rinse her paws in warm water ­ you can even soak them for a few minutes if you see debris trapped between the toes that you can't brush or rinse off. Then gently but thoroughly dry her feet and apply some aloe gel or any mild healing cream before slipping two pairs of baby socks over her feet to give them a rest from her licking and to let the aloe soothe them. The socks only work as long as you are in the same room as the dog and can discourage her from removing them - which you can do whenever you get sick of interrupting her attempts to do so!

So - now that you know some of the dangers and solutions to cold weather problems for your dog, go on outside and let her chase snowballs! There is nothing quite as heart-warming as seeing the delight a dog gets, feel of snow all around her and the taste of it on her tongue.

{"Ask THE DOG BIBLE..." is a regular column by Tracie Hotchner - Featuring excerpts from her new 700 page encyclopedic book that has been called "a Dr. Spock for dogs." Further information may also be on her website,, where you can email questions.} Copyright 2006 by Tracie Hotchner, All Rights Reserved


Latka's Treats is having a contest and three winners are going to receive prize packages featuring assorted Latka's Treats and a mix of delightful doggie gifts from Animal Radio Network (including a KongTime - doggy day care in a box, The Poop Hound by Hound Dog and a New Puppy Kit from Planet Dog), bags from Sherpa Pet Trading, subscriptions and gift items from Bark Magazine, videos from Dog Trainer to the Stars Bash Dibra, a gift from, books from author Darlene Arden, subscriptions to Animal Fair Magazine, books from author Cheryl S. Smith, pawsitively fabulous accessories from Purple Pebble (including LEEDZ 6-footer leashes, Buckle and Slip COLLARZ collars, FLEEZ Ravioli Fetch-a-Cinne toys and a FLEEZ Cuddle Mat) and more!

To enter the contest, email us one or two photographs (in a digital file, i.e. jpg or pdf) of you and your dog, along with your name, your dog's name, your phone number, your email and snail mail addresses to or mail a hard copy photo(s) to Latka's Treats, PO Box 231384, Ansonia Station, New York, NY 10023

Contest judges are Dr, Kevin Fitzgerald, Animal Planet's "Emergency Vet" and Jen Greenberg, Pet Photographer, who will choose the winners on Animal Radio on June 3rd!

Deadline for entries is midnight EST May 31, 2006

Veterinary Minute with Dr. Jim Humphries

Of all dogs 2 years old or more, 80% have some form of dental disease, and veterinarians say that periodontal disease is the number one diagnosed condition in pets today.

When Marlene King's two dogs fought over a bone one night, she had to rush her eldest pet, 14-year-old cocker spaniel "Toby" to the veterinary emergency hospital. She knew that Toby would have to have a few stitches for the bite wounds on his face, but she was shocked when the emergency veterinarian was more concerned about the severity of Toby's dental disease.

"The veterinarian was much more worried about the infection in Toby's mouth. One of his big canine teeth had been knocked out in the fight and if we didn't do gum surgery to repair the hole, he would always have severe sinus infections. Because Toby's gum disease was so advanced, the doctor was worried about the chances of the surgery healing. I never knew that dental care was that important."

Dental care of dogs and cats is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of pet health care. Approximately 80% of all dogs and cats have periodontal disease by the time they are only two years old. Dental disease affects much more than fresh breath. It frequently leads to more serious health problems such as liver, kidney and heart disease. That's why more veterinarians are not just treating dental disease, but taking new steps to prevent it. A major step in this process is encouraging owners to participate in their pet's oral health at home.

Periodontal disease in pets is the same as it is in people. It's a sneaky and insidious process that begins when bacteria in the mouth attach to the teeth and produce a film called "plaque". When the bacteria die, they are calcified into "calculus" commonly known as tartar which makes a rough surface for even more bacteria to stick to. In the beginning, plaque is soft and can easily be removed by brushing or chewing on appropriate toys or treats. But if left to spread, plaque leads to gum inflammation (called "gingivitis") and infection. Eventually, the infection spreads to the tooth root and even the jaw bone itself ­ causing pain and tooth loss.

The American Animal Hospital Association recently devised new guidelines for veterinarians in order to highlight the need for more professional oral hygiene care for pets. The organization stressed the necessity of going beyond the traditional "scraping the surface" of routine dental cleanings, known as "prophies". Veterinarians are encouraged to teach owners the importance of good oral hygiene when puppies and kittens are only a few months old in order to begin a lifetime of healthy benefits that go far beyond sweet smelling kisses.

Dr. Johnathon R. Dodd, DVM, DAVDC, of the Animal Dental Clinic in Austin, Texas is a big proponent of dental health awareness and says, "The bottom line is that periodontal disease is extremely aggressiveit is a disease of neglect."

Unfortunately, good oral health care hasn't been an important part of the veterinary school curriculum until recent years. Many veterinarians simply were not taught the serious health consequences of untreated dental disease. But research proves that unchecked dental disease can be the root of other problems. Seminars and workshops at the Western Veterinary Conference, the largest educational conference for veterinarians, are filled to capacity by veterinarians learning good preventative dentistry and oral surgery.

Marlene King was fortunate that Toby's emergency doctor had a special interest in veterinary dentistry, and had learned new dental procedures at a recent conference. "Toby had x-rays of his mouth and we found out that he actually had several abscessed teeth which the vet removed. Toby had been eating more slowly for several months and I thought it was just a part of old age. Now I know that he was probably in pain every time he ate."

A recent roundtable discussion between veterinary dental experts shed even more light on the impact that good preventative dentistry plays in a pet's life. They strongly recommend daily dental care for pets and twice yearly mouth exams beginning when puppies and kittens are two months old. And while that schedule may seem too complicated for some pet owners, dental specialists, veterinary supply companies have developed products that will help pet busy owners put some bite into home dental care for their pets.

A recent development that goes beyond good veterinary and at-home care, is the actual prevention of plaque using a barrier sealant gel. This is applied by the veterinarian and continued at home by the pet owner. Called OraVet®, this system is the first method used by veterinarians to create a physical barrier that reduces bacterial plaque adhesion above and under the gum lines. It is applied at home only once a week after the initial hospital application.

Marlene has learned how to easily clean Toby's mouth on a regular basis in order to keep him healthy and to prevent his mouth from getting infected again. She began using the new plaque prevention system. "It's not that expensive, it's easy to do, and Toby likes the attention. And he gets special treats that actually help clean his teeth as well."

It's important for all pet owners to know that pets can lead longer and healthier lives with good dental care. In fact, studies show that proper dental care can extend a pet's life by as much as five years! Ask your veterinarian about good dental care for your special furry friend. For more information on veterinary dentistry, visit, or for video information.

Dr. Jim Humphries is a veterinarian in Colorado Springs, CO. and Head Cheese at Animal Radio partner: Veterinary News Network. You can hear the great Doctor every week on Animal Radio®. We welcome Dr. Jim to Animal Radio's News Department Hear up to date animal news at the top of the hour every day on Animal Radio Network's full-time animal channel.

Hear the Veterinary Minute on Animal Radio's Full-time animal channel.

Up-to-date Vet News from Dr. Jim Humphries at the top of every hour...coming soon to Animal Radio Network®

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Voice of the Animal - Rae Ann Kumelos


Traveling to Greece and don't speak Greek? Make your way to Olympia, the Acropolis or Delphi, and you will find a community that speaks a universal language: the cats of Greece.

From Athens to Zakynthos, cats live among the ancient sites and fabled seaside villages of Greece. Charming images of these cats are found on calendars and postcards in every kiosk in the country. These stray cats are famous, or infamous, depending upon one's attitude toward animals. One travel guide describes them as "sinister, pitiable and ugly."

But that travel writer failed to do his homework. For although there are many stray cats throughout Greece, there is also an organization helping them: Friends of the Cat. Staffed entirely by volunteers, Friends of the Cat has spent the last ten years feeding, spay/neutering, vaccinating, running education programs, and on really good days, finding homes for the cats who live at the various ancient sites around Greece.

On a recent tour of the Athens National Gardens with Friends of the Cat volunteers Mary Cochran and Eleni Kefalopoulou, cats appear from all directions when they hear their caretaker's call. These cats are healthy, with shiny coats and clear bright eyes. Carlo, a gorgeous jet-black cat with only half a tail and deep green eyes welcomes me in that most universal of languages: a purr.

Mary and Eleni can recount each cat's story: many are rescued after being dumped as kittens; others from culverts where they have hidden to escape the packs of stray dogs; others abandoned when their people became bored with a grown cat and want a kitten instead. The stories are depressingly familiar, ignorance and a lack of compassion, can, sadly, also be a universal language.

And tragically, the cats were the victims of that ignorance. You may recall hearing the story from New Year's Day of 2003, when the bodies of dozens of cats and dogs were discovered in the National Gardens, the victims of intentional poisoning. Speculation from the Greek media centered on the fact that Greece had assumed the presidency of the European Union, and a ceremony to commemorate the event was scheduled to be held that week at.. the National Gardens.

These were the cats Mary and Eleni had been caring for, many for years. When news of the poisonings was broadcast, there was outrage among the citizens of Athens. Animal welfare groups swiftly organized an anti-poisoning demonstration and an unprecedented
four thousand people convened at Syntagua Square, home to the Parliament of Greece.

Sadly, the perpetrators of these crimes have not yet been brought to justice. And on this particular day in June, just two months prior to the Summer Olympic Games convening in Athens, we walk the few blocks to Syntagua Square, where to help maintain attention on the animals, another anti-poisoning protest is being staged.

As we arrive at the Square, where the thousands of pigeons who live were also poisoned, a Greek chorus is heard, not of Aristophanes or Sophocles, but of thousands of Greek citizens united on behalf of the animals. The chants, I am told, rhyme in Greek. Twenty-eight centuries after Homer, the compassion of the Greek people maintains its artistic eloquence.

Carlo and the cats and dogs of the National Gardens remained safe during the Olympic Games in Athens that summer; the efforts of Friends of the Cat are making a difference. Mary explains that when she first started feeding the cats, mothers would warn their children to "stay away from those filthy animals." Now, she hears, "Leave the kitties alone so that they may eat in peace." A small difference, but one that speaks to a change in the psyche of the Greek people. As the Olympic flame is lit to celebrate the Winter Games in Torino, Italy this month, one hopes the language and spirit of the Games, an ideal of peace, unity, and a transcendent vision of our better selves, will continue to extend to the cats of Greece and to the cats of Italy, as well as to animals around the world.

Visit to see photos of the gorgeous Carlo and his friends, all are available for adoption, and to find a link to the Friends of the Cat website,

Authored by Rae Ann Kumelos, Ph.D. Copyright ­ 2004 ­ Rae Ann Kumelos - Hear Voice of the Animal every week on Animal Radio, or anytime at Animal Radio's Full-time channel.


(rated 5 paws)


Format: Paperback, 78pp
Pub. Date: December 2005
Publisher: Dogwise Publishing
Edition Number: 2
ISBN: 1929242360

Reviewed by Darlene Arden
Dogs are masters at interpreting our body language, now we have the opportunity to learn to interpret their body language. Turid Rugaas has a made a serious study of the way dogs interact with each other. The owner of a dog training school in Norway, Rugaas lectures worldwide. Her observations were set down in the first edition of this acclaimed book. This new second edition leaves the line drawings behind in favor of beautiful color photos. Rugaas, who has found over 30 of these canine interactions gives us, in a sense, the Berlitz of dog books. This book deserves to be in the home of every dog owner, to be read and reread.

Send books and literature for review on-air and in this newsletter to: Animal Radio Network® Book Reviews, 233 East 330 North, Kanab, Utah 84741. Product may not be returned. Allow 5 weeks for review.


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Animal Radio with Hal & Judy
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We have some great Animal Radio Specials coming up! Here's what we have planned so far:

Animals Online (Feb 25th) - As the Internet makes a rebound, more and more pet-related technologies are available. We'll cut through the clutter and introduce you to the cream of the crop.

Pet Wear and Gear (March 18th) - The ever expanding world of pet clothing, leashes and accessories. If it's out's featured here.

Live broadcast from the Global Pet Expo for Animal Radio's New Pet Products and Paraphernalia for 2006 (March 25th). Don't miss any of the newest entries into the 36 billion dollar pet industry.

Picking the Right Pet Food can be tough with the array of choices and claims. Be sure to join us April 8th for this Animal Radio Special.

Pets in Books and Literature (Apr. 22) We're focusing on all the thousands of great books and literary resources being published.

Pet Grooming is becoming more and more a project we take on at home. We'll help you with our tips and product exposes. This Animal Radio Special airs May 6th.

Pet Stuff for Humans (May 20th) - We examine the clothing, artwork, and many hundreds of products desiged for 2-legged pet lovers.

Be listening. Think you should be a part of these great features? Call 435.644.5992 or submit your contribution ideas to

ASK THE CAT COACH - Marilyn Krieger

Why Do Cats Sharpen Their Claws?

Dear Cat Coach,
Why do cats "sharpen their claws"? I've observed my own little boy "sharpening his claws" on his cat tree and don't understand why he needs to do this. I do realize providing a scratching post for him will save my furniture and we do have a few positioned around the house for him. Why do cats need to "sharpen their claws"? -Baffled in Belleview

Dear Baffled,
The commonly used term "sharpening claws" is misleading. Cats do not actually sharpen their claws when they use cat posts and sometimes their owner's favorite couch. Dr. Nick Dodman in his book The Cat Who Cried for Help compares the image of a cat "sharpening claws" to dragging fishhooks across an armchair to sharpen the barbs on the hooks. So, what are cats doing when they claw and scratch the cat posts and why are they doing it?
Cats scratch cat posts for a variety of reasons. First of all cats condition their claws and toes by exercising muscles and shucking dead nail husks off. A second reason is that scratching objects leave both a visual and olfactory marker of the cat. The claw marks are usually placed strategically on objects, insuring that other passing cats will see their marks. The more and deeper the claw marks the better. I guess one can make an analogy to someone scratching their initials into a tree or painting graffiti on a wall. Cats also have scent glands in their paws that release pheromones. These pheromones are also scent signposts for other cats, telling other cats exactly who was there and when. Cats don't have telephones, they have claws and paws. The third reason for scratching posts is to stretch. Nothing feels better then reaching up, arching ones back and having a good scratch and stretch.

Since this behavior is normal for cats it is important to provide adequate scratching posts and trees for cats to use, redirecting them away from furniture and rugs. With patience and consistency it is easy to modify your cat's behavior so that he will not use the furniture as his own personal scratching post.

Do you have cat-behavior questions? Ask the Cat Coach. Is your cat acting aggressive, spraying or chronically afraid? Ask the Cat Coach. Every issue will answer 1-2 of your cat-behavior questions. Please send your questions to:

© 2005 by Marilyn Krieger.
You can find out more about The Cat Coach at


Pet Talk Radio! with Brian and Kaye Pickering
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{Editors Note: We are absolutely thrilled to have Australia's top animal show on Animal Radio Network® We've brought together the world's best pet programs under one roof. If you haven't heard our full-time animal channel - check it out now and enjoy quality programming with one click.}


Hi to all Animal Radio Network listeners,

Well our summer holiday season here in Australia has come and gone all too fast... we played with our 4 dogs 24/7 for almost 4 weeks - probably too much it seems because now we've returned to the computers and the phones and of course Pet Talk Radio! (Starts first week in Feb), we have some very sad faces - it's called 'separation anxiety'.

All dogs - and we guess cats - get this condition when their humans are away from the pack or ignore them.
And to be honest - we have a touch of it ourselves :-((

But we make up for it at 'knock-off time' (does that translate into US??)

Whether you have one dog or a dozen, to a canine, a pack is you and them - end of story.

Of course this is not a life threatening condition unless your dog does a 'Houdini' - you know, escapes from your home or yard. We know Hal and Judy have some great tips to overcome separation anxiety so we'll leave it up to them, but the whole situation in our household made us realize how much animals depend on us for everything.

All domesticated animals depend on us for food, water and shelter. As to whether the 'love' we give them and that we receive from them is true love or just our collective imaginations we'll leave up to you to decide, but it did bring home the fact that animals really DO depend 100% on us for their care and that we can't afford to be complacent and 'take them for granted'.

A very quick - but unfortunately sad example for you.

We mentioned last time that New Years day here in Sydney was about 48degs Celsius (120+F) - REAL middle of the Nevada desert hot. Our 4 pack were in the struggling semi air-conditioned house WITH WET TOWELS ON THEM!! (on the lounge watching Animal Planet with us :-))

Our neighbor decided to go out for the day and couldn't decide whether to leave her Staffy (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) in or out of the house.

She made the WRONG choice - with very little shade - a bowl of water that had grown too hot to touch (in a metal bowl!!!) in the horrendous heat her dog died of acute kidney failure - basically heat-stroke.

We were sad for her but very angry at the same time. How could she NOT know that already at 9am it was a heat wave and the forecast was for things to get worse?

The moral of all this?... NEVER assume your dog (or any other pet) will be ok - be like a mother hen with your first-born baby - don't take ANY chances. Basically don't take your pets for granted. They really do need us to hold their paws every inch of the way - whether white fluffies, Newfies or something in between.. and don't forget the cats.. they too need looking after despite their 'independence'

On another topic - our 'Say No To Backyard Breeders' (Puppy Mills) campaign here has ruffled some feathers... stay tuned as we follow up on this in our first shows you get to hear on Animal Radio early Feb.

Take care & hugs for your pets
from Brian & Kaye
With featured Co-hosts Dr Harry Cooper & Animal Trainer Steve Austin, Proudly Sponsored by Supercoat Pet Care

Hear Pet Talk Radio! on Animal Radio Network® - Check schedule for showtimes.

Talk With Your Animals hosted by Joy Turner
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So you have spent the last month practicing talking with your animals. Have you found out what your primary form of communication is? Pictures, Words or Feelings? You remembered to remove the word, not, from your speech. You used the language of a 5-year human, talked slowly, paused often, and focused on the pictures in your head, used no slang and used positive statements. Did you see any improvement in your animal's behavior?

Remember animals follow your intention and attention. So if you don't want your dog to go into the street, you need to let the dog know what you do want. Let's use going into the street as an example. You see your dog running into the street. What quickly comes into your mind is my dog is going to be hit by a car. You see the scenario happening in your head. You run out to the street and start yelling, "Bad dog! You are not to run into the street." Your dog is now totally confused. Your dog is not bad; just his behavior is. You used the N-word. Remember there is no picture for the word, not. What he hears is, "He is bad. You are to run into the street."

Now you have to apologize to your dog! Let him know that he is a great dog! His behavior was bad. You need to show him what you do want him to do. You want him to stay in the yard instead of going into the street. You show him the boundaries of your yard by walking him around the yard. You change the picture in your head of him going into the street with one of him staying in the yard. These changes will tell him what is expected of him.

Now when he runs into the street. You let him know that his behavior is bad. You take him back to where you want him to stay. You let him know why he needs to stay in the yard. You give him a consequence for his bad behavior.

Animals like to know why and have consequences. They need to know what is expected of them. You might have to work with your dog on the problem running into the street a few times. As you are consistent with your intention and attention, within no time running into the street will no longer be a problem. Maybe running into the street is not a problem for you. It could be chewing shoes or peeing in the house. The same principle works for these behaviors.

Joy is available to speak to your pet on Animal Radio. Call 1-866-405-8405 to set up a time.

Listen to Joy Turner's Talk with Your Animals every weeknight on Animal Radio Network's full-time channel.

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Animal Minute with Britt Savage

Save a Wild Mustang
One of Americas most cherished animals is facing an uncertain future, but you can help save the mustangs. To millions, the Mustang represents freedom and the unbridled American spirit. Help preserve the wild Mustang legacy by supporting "Save the Mustangs"-a fund created by Ford Motor Company in collaboration with the United States Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of the Interior - Take Pride in America. The fund allows us all to help ensure the future sustainability of these wild horses.

Hairballs ­ Watch Where You Step!
Hairballs are just that, balls of hair that a cat can't digest. There are two kinds of hairballs, those that start in the throat and those that begin in the stomach. But no matter which, it is not a pleasant thing to step on in the middle of the night! There are things you can do to help eliminate hairballs, such as buying food to reduce hairballs, and also brushing your cat frequently. Don't be alarmed, hairballs are normal for a cat, but if they seem excessive, you might want to have your cat checked by your vet.

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(rated 4 1/2 paws)

DOGGY DAYCARE DVD ­ Don't Leave Home If Your Dog's Without It!

Doggy DayCare DVD is a calming and unique home entertainment experience for dogs to watch when their owners are away. The DVD presents 3 chapters that showcase sights, sounds and behaviors that engage and delight our canine best friends.

Created by Leslie Alexander, owner of the NBA Houston Rockets, when he noticed his own dog Joy would sleep through most of the day, except when he took her on vacation. Leslie decided it was the stimulation of nature. As a result, Doggy DayCare DVD was born. But be careful if you watch it with your dog, because you too will get hooked on this DVD!

All profits from the sale of the DVD will be donated to animal charities. Get your copy today!

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Animal Wise Radio
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This month on Animal Wise Radio, we will draw attention to the issue of animal mills. Many people know that puppy mills exist. But there are also ferret mills, kitten mills, bird mills, and mills that produce exotic pets for the retail trade.

The Animal Wise Radio pack will be howling it up at the Twin Cities Pet Expo. We will broadcast live on Sunday, February 19 from 2 ­ 4 PM on KTNF, AM 950 in the Twin Cities, and KDWA, AM 1460 in Hastings. The Twin Cities Pet Expo will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center Saturday, Feb 18 and Sunday, February 19. Anyone in or around the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is encouraged to come down and check out the fun.

Looking forward into March, we are planning a special 2-hour-long
special about global warming. Did you know that global warming could place more than 35% of the animal species on our planet at risk? In this special, that will be broadcast live from the Millennium Hotel in Minneapolis, we will talk to Eugene Linden about his new book, "Winds of Change: Climate, Weather, and the Destruction of Civilization". We will also talk to business leaders about innovative things being done around the country to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Its going to be an exciting show. It will be broadcast live from 2 - 4 PM on KTNF, AM 950 in the Twin Cities and KDWA, AM 1460 in Hastings.- Mike Fry, Executive Director, Animal Ark No-Kill Shelter, Co-Host of Animal Wise Radio

Hear Animal Wise Radio on Animal Radio Network® - Check schedule for showtimes.


"This ... is the Forest of No Return! ... This ... is the Forest of No Return!" It's just a children's song, from an old show like "Zoom!" or "Puffinstuff" ... but it's scary! I shake off the shivers, and look over my shoulder. Nobody's following me. But, if nobody's following, then why do I have the creeps?

"Come on, fella," I say to Nahgua, my riding horse of many years, as I urge him forward on the trail. We ride like this often; just Nahgua and me. We've ridden these trails many times through the wooded game lands of Pennsylvania's Dutch Country, where I was born. We ride among the trees, jumping over logs, splashing through streams and racing across fields. Birds fly overhead, rabbits scamper across our path and whitetail deer lift their heads. It's peaceful here. It's a place where we can think, and breathe, and feel.

I always feel "different" here. Having lived in places like New York, Beverly Hills and Philadelphia (not to mention the many places I've been able to visit in my travels) I was always glad to come home to this part of Pennsylvania, with its red earth, called "Ironstone Valley." There are mysteries here. And, my rides take me through them as if they live on the mountain, waiting to be discovered. Sometimes, like today, I lose my sense of time ... trees begin to sway ... and the artist in me sees them not as trees anymore, but as people. All kinds of people, like you and me, singing, laughing and swaying in the wind.

A squirrel scampers ahead of us, sniffing at the usual things squirrels find fascinating, making a big deal out of a tree stump, playing with a pile of leaves, rushing after things that, to me, seem imaginary. I think about imagination, itself, and my thoughts turn to Mamie, the free-spirited cat who claimed my barn for her kingdom. Mamie has an imagination far greater than her little self. Mamie has imagination without boundaries. I like it here on these trails. I like the way my mind explores its own nature, with no limits. Maybe, I've been hanging around Mamie too much. I think of Mamie as a teacher, dressed in a tortoise-colored suit with a string of white pearls around her neck. I see her wearing glasses as she gives lessons in freedom of spirit and I listen. I have many such animal advisors in my life. I suppose one could say what I learn from them is merely a reflection of my own thoughts and conclusions. But, I guess it doesn't matter, as long as what I come to understand when I am near them is significant and true. Nahgua, the stallion I've ridden most of his life, and surely my animal soul mate, doesn't concern himself with such details. To him, Mamie the cat is part of the barn and the riding trails are his own way of showing me freedom. He carries me like nothing in the world could be more important to him than our time together.

But something is different today. Although we have ridden this trail many times before, suddenly, I don't know where I am. Is this Canada? Is this Oregon, where I was once kidnapped by gun smugglers? This isn't the trail I know so well. What happened to all the trees? Why were they cut down so indiscriminately?

Not a bird, not a quiver, not a sound ... What does it mean?

Who chopped down all my happy tree-people, without any regard for their beauty, their fragility, or their wisdom? Who slashed through the living forest cutting trees off at the ground, tossing branches in a mass of broken arms and legs, and leaving the remains to rot? The artist in me, or maybe it was the cat lover in me, searches for meaning - and doesn't have to look far. We must leave. We must get away from this. "Take us home, Nahgua," I say, realizing that for the last mile or so I don't remember hearing one sound or seeing one rabbit or chipmunk. I don't remember my ride at all.

It's been a long time since I took that ride. I go about my chores, feeding Nahgua as Mamie preens herself not far from my touch, but I have never stopped wondering about it. If you listen to the experts, they'll have you believing that we can have a stroke and not know it, and that your mind plays tricks on you. But, being a cat lover, I don't accept that explanation. Cat lovers search for deeper meanings when they want answers.

What did those trees signify? Haunted by that question, I spoke with a group of people at a library recently and found my answer. As I looked around the room, loving them for caring so much about their pets, I began seeing them as colorful and graceful trees in a beautiful forest. I knew there were dangers lurking ahead - new laws, new attitudes affecting our lives that could change us forever. But, I also knew how pets affect our emotional development and greater wisdom.

There are plenty of human beings for us to interact with and learn from as we grow and take our place in the world. All of us have parents, and neighbors. But, only by playing with, caring for and being around animals - other forms of life - do we discover a wider range of love and our capacity to feel it. Not having this is like a forest cut off at the knees.

Was I worried as I studied the faces of those people that night? No, I wasn't worried for them. I was worried for the lawmakers and unhappy people dreaming of ways to take away our songs and laughter as we sway in the wind. They don't realize how powerful pet lovers are when we know the score, and what to do about it! We are more powerful than we ever thought possible. Looking into the trusting eyes of the pets that depend on us, we should remember that.

Nahgua is older now, Mamie is sunning herself not far from my feet as I write this and I may never know where my spirit really was during that ride on the mountain. But, I do know it was a ride of faith. How can broken trees in a frightening forest give us faith, you ask? Like jumping over a fallen log on your path, it can give confidence, hope and faith in the most natural way. New and strange rules being forced upon us everywhere we turn are like chain saws ripping through a forest, but animal lovers understand something deep and wise and ageless. No matter how different we are from each other, and no matter what laws are being forced upon us, pet lovers know that horses can have foals, cats will have kittens ... and trees will grow again.
By Ron Hevener

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Darlene Arden on Animal Radio®
40 TRICKS TO TRAIN YOUR HUMAN ­ Your Cat Has More Power Than You Realize!

If you think your cat doesn't train you, think again. I have it on very good authority that they do. Here are just 40 of their tricks, right from the, uh, cat's mouth.


1. Wait on top of the refrigerator, and when your owner enters the kitchen, leap onto her shoulders. You'll have her attention and enjoy watching her jump.

Mercy on the lookout for a training opportunity. Photo by Mercy's Owner, J.C. of San Jose, CA

2. Lurk behind a chair. Jump out and grab your human's ankle as he walks past you.

3. Right when your owner begins to talk on the phone, whine. Loudly.

4. Station yourself outside the closed bathroom door. As your owner comes out she will probably trip over you. Look especially pained.

5. Groom your owner's face while he's sleeping. He doesn't groom himself nearly enough anyhow, and the feel of your tongue and the hairs pulled from his head should wake him quickly.

6. If your owner is sitting in the bathroom, walk in and sit on her lap.

7. If she doesn't let you sit on her lap in the bathroom, bring in a toy so she can play with you.

8. When he's in the shower, use his towel as a comfy bed.

9. Drop a toy at your owner's feet and look up. Paw it until he picks it up and throws it for you to chase. Repeat often.

10. Have your owners carry you from room to room to look out the windows together.

Mercy contemplates the weather out there Photo by Mercy's Owner, J.C. of San Jose, CA.

11. Bring her a love offering. Something you've killed yourself is always appropriate.

12. While your human sleeps, stare at him just before the alarm clock goes off. He'll wonder how long you've been sitting there and will feel guilty.

13. Bang on the bedroom blinds to wake your owner in the middle of the night for a play session.

14. Find the phone locator button and step on it repeatedly for nighttime play sessions.

15. If your owner mistakenly feeds you after being awakened at night, accept the food and simply wait another half hour and wake her again for play.

16. To sleep under the covers near your human, paw the covers near her head until she lifts up the blankets to let you snuggle underneath them.

17. Sit next to your owner's computer keyboard and STARE at her until she plays with you.

18. Stand near the closet that houses the fishing-pole toy and stare pitifully until your owner retrieves the toy and plays with you.

19. Teach your owner which items you will fetch. For example, if you want her to throw the green ball, but she throws the red one, refuse to fetch it. Only the ball of your choosing is acceptable. Ultimately, she will only buy the green balls for fetching.

20. When you want to play with the laser toy, sit it front of your owner, paw his leg and wait for him to look at you, then look at the place where he keeps the laser toy.


21. If your owner sleeps late, swish your tail back and forth over his face to help wake him up.

22. Another way to wake your sleeping owner is to extend one claw, reach out and pull down her lip.

23. When guests sit at the table for dinner, jump on the table and go from person to person for food. Odds are better when you train several people at once.

24. Wind around your owner's legs when she begins to pour food into your dish. She thinks you're being affectionate, but you're really just keeping her there until you've been fed.

25. Train your owner to leave water dripping in the sink so you can always have a fresh drink from the faucet. Look at him with sad, pleading eyes until he complies.

26. Do you prefer moist food? Take your dry food and drop it in your water dish before eating it.


27. To receive treats, go where they are kept and yell until your owner gets the idea.

28. If you usually receive treats every evening when you come in from the screened-in porch, get a second helping. Go back, bang on the door, go to the treat cabinet and yell. She'll get the idea.

29. You can also train your owner to give you treats by stretching up on the back of his legs and whacking his bottom fast with both paws. Follow this by going over and sitting below the treat cabinet.


30. On rainy days, refuse to go to your outdoor enclosure. Stare at your owner, making her feel guilty for trying to force you out of your warm home. Make her late for work.

31. When it snows, look out the window, then let your owner know that you do not appreciate the weather change and she should fix it, now


32. If guests have overstayed their welcome, sit on top of a door or high shelf, wait for the guests to stand beside you and suddenly drop down in front of them. Repeat as necessary until they get the hint.

33. If your owner leaves the toilet seat up, enjoy some playtime making sure much of the water ends up on the floor. This will help remind your owner to keep the seat down.

34. Try opening cabinets that are not shut tightly. Sleep on the dinner plates or rearrange the cereal boxes.

35. For advanced trainers, opt for a cabinet over the refrigerator. It will take your owner a long time to find you and she will feel badly that she did not know where you were for so long.

36. Drawers make a nice place to curl up for a nap. Particularly if your owner just spent a lot of money on a nice bed for you.

37. Train your owner to leave closet doors ajar. If he closes the door while you're sleeping inside, shred some items in an effort to get out.

38. Do not take medicine when first offered to you. Force your human to be creative about administering it.

39. The most important thing you can teach your owner is not to mind when a hairball squishes between her toes.

40. But the best thing you can teach your owner is that a kitty means love.

Article © 2005 Darlene Arden. First published in the March 2005 issue of Cat Fancy.
You can hear Darlene Arden every week on Animal Radio. Visit her website at

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