Archive for the ‘Adoptions’ Category

We Made It!

November 20, 2011

Quinn and yours truly in travel mode

I’m pleased to report that our menagerie (my hubby and I included) have arrived, safe and sound in North Carolina! Thankfully, our trip was mostly uneventful. We had only one hiccup along the way and that occurred in our very own driveway in California. We had packed the bed of the pickup truck with oodles of stuff including a wooden table. With the very first turn out of our driveway, the gooseneck of the horse trailer pushed the corner of that table right through the rear window of our pick up truck. The result was an explosive noise and flying glass. Fortunately, no one was injured, but I’ve never witnessed two dogs fly from the back seat of a vehicle into the front so quickly! We cleaned up the shattered glass, used cardboard and “gorilla tape” to replace the missing window, took a really deep breath, and headed east. The remainder of the trip was smooth sailing.

Our overnights were spent in Bakersfield, California (where our younger dog Quinn was rescued from a “kill shelter”), Flagstaff, Arizona (a gorgeous place), Tucumcari, New Mexico (I love the way the name of this town rolls off my tongue, but never have our dog’s feet encountered such nasty stickers), Cromwell, Oklahoma (this year a tornado, an earthquake, and a severe drought have ravaged the area), and Jackson, Tennessee where we truly felt like we were in the “east” for the first time.

Part of the gang right after arriving in North Carolina

We encountered fabulous people at every overnight stop along the way. All had fascinating stories to share about their lives and why they ended up where they have. The common thread for all of our hosts was a profound love for animals as evidenced by properties filled with horses, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. Michelle, our host in Cromwell, Oklahoma has several adorable rescue dogs desperately in need of homes. If you live anywhere near Cromwell and are ready to add a new member to your own menagerie, please let me know and I will put you in touch with Michelle. By the way, she also has a rescue horse she is hoping to rehome.

We arrived at our North Carolina home in lovely 70-degree weather and some remaining fall color. Some of the leaves are such brilliant shades of red and orange, that trees appear as if they are on fire. After six days on the road, we all thoroughly enjoyed stretching our legs. My husband’s horse galloped around his new pasture (I am currently horseless, but hopefully not for too much longer), our kitty enjoyed inspecting her new surroundings, and my husband, the dogs, and I took a long hike through a six inch carpet of crisp leaves. The dogs must have run a good five miles on our one-mile hike. It feels great for all of us to be in our new home and we are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving here.

Have you ever moved cross-country with animals in tow? If so, would you ever consider doing it again?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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More on Colorblind Adoptions

October 30, 2011

"Tessa" Photo Credit: Jackie Maples

Wow! What a terrific response I received following my recent blog post about colorblind adoptions. I discussed the fact that black colored dogs and cats tend to languish in shelter and rescue situations because they are less likely to be adopted. Thanks to all of you who took the time to respond with your terrific comments. Some of your stories about your own animals brought me to tears.

Jackie Jurasek, supervisor of City of Rosenberg Animal Control in Texas, pointed out that the darker the animal’s coloring, the more difficult it is to capture their facial expression in a photograph. Such marketing photos are key for creating the “Awww!” factor amongst potential adopters. Jackie has recruited professional photographers to take photos of her shelter animals. The photos they take result in higher numbers of adoptions, and as Jackie so eloquently states, “We see a lot of the bad and the ugly in my profession, so adoptions are the ‘balm for our souls’… it is what helps us keep on doing what we have to do.”

The photos in this blog come from Jackie Maples, one of the three professional photographers who volunteer their time snapping photos at City of Rosenberg Animal Control. Jennifer Marie,  a second photographer, has graciously provided us with some tips for capturing the funny, adorable, and endearing expressions on the faces of our dark colored dogs and cats. Thank you Jennifer!

Tips on Photographing Black Pets By Jennifer Marie Photography

Are you tired of your cute pet looking like a black blob with red eyes in your photos? The color black absorbs light thus making it difficult to see texture and shadows on fur. And then if you have used your flash aimed at them, often times you see the red-eye effect and a funny blue-cast on the body.  Ugh! We need to see those cute personalities shine through!

"Elvira" Photo Credit: Jackie Maples

So here are some tips to help:

  • Go outside and turn off the flash! Take your pet outside in the early hours, around dawn or later at dusk when the light is warm, and have the sun at an angle to your back. If you have to go out during the bright daylight, seek shade from a big tree or the shaded side of a building. If those are not options, have a friend hold a big piece of cardboard or a sheet stretched out over the pet to prevent harsh light. Turn off your flash! If you can change your ISO setting (equivalent to film speed) to 800+, do so. This increases the light sensitivity of your exposure but keeps the shutter speed fast enough to capture some small movement.
  •  Turn your flash to the side! If you have to take the photo inside, turn your flash to the side and bounce the light off of a wall close to the pet. This will light your black pet from the side and give some nice shadows and visible texture on the fur as well as reducing red-eye effects. If your flash is built in, try using a piece of white paper just to the side or under the flash to direct the light to the wall or ceiling. Best yet, if you have a large window, place your pet beside and close to the window and turn off the flash. Use the window light from the side as the lighting source instead of the flash.
  •  Be aware of the background! Keep an eye on what is behind your pet, but still visible in the frame of picture. Try to use a background that is not busy or cluttered, that way the attention goes to the pet. Importantly, use a significantly lighter background behind a black pet to create contrast. Vice versa for a white pet. And focus your shot on the eyes of the pet.
  •  Don’t forget treats, squeaky toys, and your high-pitched funny voices to get your pet’s attention for that one second, and then snap away!

Now go have fun with Fido’s photo session!

Tell us about your successes( and your foibles) while taking photographs of your dark colored four-legged family members! Please feel free to share your favorite photos on my Facebook page.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

The Time of Year to Think About Colorblind Adoptions

October 16, 2011

I see pumpkins everywhere in my neighborhood reminding me that Halloween is right around the corner. This might be a good time to repost the following blog that I wrote a couple years back. Enjoy!

Dr. Nancy Kay with her dog Lexie (all black before her muzzle turned grey)

Whenever I meet with a patient (the pet) and client (their human) for the first time I always ask some version of, “How long have you two known each other?” I love watching my client’s face light up as they recall that first moment of kitten or puppy love.  I delight in hearing the wonderful and amazing tales of how their lives managed to cross paths. If my patient happens to be a black cat, I always provide kudos to my client for having performed an extraordinarily good deed. You see, black kitties are notoriously more difficult to find homes for than are cats of other colors. Perhaps this is related to black cat Halloweenish superstitions. What I hadn’t realized, until now, is that black dogs are also more difficult to place than their colorful canine counterparts.

According to an NBC News article by Emily Friedman, just as is the case for black cats, large black dogs tend to be the last ones to be adopted from shelters. There are a few theories as to why. Many shelters offer no natural lighting, making it hard for the face of a black dog to stand out. It is more difficult to distinguish their facial features than it would be in lighter colored dogs or those with contrasting markings. Kim Saunders, the head of shelter outreach for the Web site Petfinder.com believes that black dogs are overlooked because they don’t photograph as well as lighter colored animals. When people are shopping for the next love of their lives, they are looking for a face that stands out with special appeal. Some theorize that it is human nature to be drawn to things with more vibrant color or riveting hair coat patterns. Placing solid colored black cats and large black dogs can be so difficult that some shelters run promotions and try to create more color and appeal- necks adorned with colorful scarves, discounted adoption fees, and even superhero names.

When you are ready to begin searching for the next canine or feline love of your life, I encourage you to pay special attention to those that are solid black in color. They’re in need of a special advantage when it comes to landing in the type of loving, caring home that every dog and cat deserves.

Have you ever adopted a dog or cat with a solid black hair coat? I would love to hear your story.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

 

 

 

 

Puppy Mill Awareness Day – September 17, 2011

September 10, 2011

Photo Credit: Susannah Kay

Heads up everyone! This Saturday, September 17th is Puppy Mill Awareness Day.  I’ve spent plenty of time on my soapbox in an uproar about puppy mills  and I will continue to do so until I no longer have to witness the physical maladies, behavioral nightmares, and broken hearts created by those who profit from the mass production of puppies.

Puppy Mill Awareness Day is all about educating as many people as possible about the inhumanity and insanity of puppy mills.  Might you know someone who is thinking about adopting a puppy?  If so please counsel them on the importance of avoiding an impulsive pet store purchase (guaranteed the “livestock” there were born at puppy mills).  Also, teach them that purchasing a pup online, sight (and site) unseen just about guarantees they will be providing income to a puppy mill. Rather, encourage them to adopt from a rescue organization, shelter, or reputable breeder.

About the only thing that keeps me sane when it comes to puppy millers are those wonderful souls who reside at the opposite end of the human spectrum- namely those who work in shelters and rescue organizations because they are passionate about giving animals a second chance.  As a way of honoring these folks and “celebrating” Puppy Mill Awareness Day, I hope you’ll help me out with the following plan.  Please tell me about your favorite rescue or humane organization and why you believe it is special.  Provide me with the group’s email address and contact information. From the list of responses I receive I will choose 10 organizations to receive a free copy of Speaking for Spot  and when I mail the book to them, I will let them know it was a gift from you (so be sure to include your full name).  Thanks ever so much.

Now get out there and spread some puppy mill awareness!

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

 

Adopt the Internet

March 14, 2011

  

Please, will you join the “Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day” effort on March 15th?  Email your dog loving friends and relatives.  Feel free to share this blog post with them.  Heck, write a blog post of your own! Together we will increase awareness about adopting homeless pets and hopefully create the kinds of happy endings that Quinn and my family have enjoyed.  

Do you have your own story about adopting a homeless pet?  We’d love to hear it.   Know of an animal who needs a home?  On March 15th, please post a photo along with adoption contact information on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/speakingforspot).

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook  

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

March 15, 2011: Adopt the Internet Day

March 10, 2011

Photo © Susannah Kay

 

When I first met Quinn, he was a two to three month old pup with a soft orange and white coat and an even softer disposition.  That was two years ago and I often find myself reflecting on the fact that the life of this adorable dog I love so dearly came disastrously close to being purposefully ended.   

Quinn was one of many orphans in an overcrowded shelter in Bakersfield, California.  The notion of “no kill” is nonexistent there, which is why this shelter is a regular stop for a wonderful rescue organization called The Dog Spot (http://members.petfinder.com/~CA1428/index.html). Their hard working volunteers make it a habit to scour the California central valley pulling adult dogs slated for euthanasia out of shelters. On what will always be Quinn’s luckiest day, The Dog Spot volunteers made an exception and opted to rescue a few puppies as well.   

The Mighty Quinn Photo © Susannah Kay

 

The Dog Spot rescues are showcased on Petfinder (http://www.petfinder.com/index.html) and that’s exactly where my daughter began her search the minute our family agreed we were ready to add another dog to our family.  The Petfinder photo of Quinn captured her attention and his personality captured all of our hearts.  It has been an ongoing love affair ever since.  

Why am I telling you all of this?  The organizers of Petfinder are asking us to do something special in honor of their 15th birthday.  They would like us to join together online on Tuesday, March 15th to promote the adoption of homeless pets.  Frankly, I’m willing to do most anything Petfinder asks of me.  Not only did they help my family find the world’s cutest dog, they work tirelessly to do a fabulous job rehoming millions of wonderful animals each and every year.  Petfinder is truly remarkable and I am profoundly grateful to this fabulous organization.   

  

Please, will you join the “Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day” effort on March 15th?  Email your dog loving friends and relatives.  Feel free to share this blog post with them.  Heck, write a blog post of your own! Together we will increase awareness about adopting homeless pets and hopefully create the kinds of happy endings that Quinn and my family have enjoyed.  

Do you have your own story about adopting a homeless pet?  We’d love to hear it.   Know of an animal who needs a home?  On March 15th, please post a photo along with adoption contact information on my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/speakingforspot).  

Best wishes for good health,  

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook  

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Home for the Holidays: let's make some magic!

December 4, 2010

While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers!  Today’s post comes from Dr. Jessica Vogelsang (“Dr. V”) who blogs regularly at www.pawcurious.com.   Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Note:  Dr. V’s article appeared on her blog in early November at the start of her one week campaign to generate food donations for shelters through The Iams Pets In Need program.  Her one week campaig generated 45,700 meals!  You can check out the results at http://www.pawcurious.com/2010/11/happy-surprises-part-one/ .  While her campaign is completed you can still earn food donations for shelters through the links provided.

——————–

I despise the week between Christmas and New Years.

Why? Because without fail, I see piles upon piles of new holiday pets. Pets from pet stores, whose owners overpaid for them and can then not afford to treat them for the parasites, distemper, or congenital disease they all too often wind up with. It happens every year.

In 1999, Mike Arms at The Helen Woodward Animal Center decided to change that. With 14 local shelters, they launched the “Home for the Holidays” campaign to encourage people to adopt a pet instead of buying one.

To say that it was a success is a bit of an understatement. Since its modest beginnings in 1999, Home 4 the Holidays has seen the placement of 4.6 million pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles, and birds. It has grown from 14 Southern California shelters to over 3,500 animal organizations in over 21 countries.

Helen Woodward has partnered with Iams to make this program a worldwide movement. This year’s goal is to adopt 1.5 million animals and donate 5 million bowls of food to shelters in need. You can help make this a reality! Here’s how:
1. Adopt a pet in need and/or encourage others to do so.

Even if you aren’t ready to adopt a pet yourself, I bet you know someone who is. Someone who has mentioned they are looking for a dog/cat/ferret/whatever. You’d be surprised how many people are still not aware that the shelters and rescues are overflowing with puppies, kittens, purebreds, and whatever it is they think they won’t find there.

Petfinder is one of my favorite sites in the whole world and I still meet people every day who had no idea it exists.

2. Leave a comment here. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

Seriously. It’s that simple. Comment on this post and Iams will donate 25 meals to a shelter in need. Any comment counts. Tell your friends, tell your Facebook buddies- we have ONE WEEK to drive this as high as we can. My goal between now and November 8th is 400 comments. Can I do it? Can we do it? I need your help!!

3. Post a picture on my Facebook page to generate FIFTY meals. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

•“Like” Iams on Facebook.
•Go to the pawcurious Facebook fan page.
•Upload a picture of your pet with a caption that says what your pet is most curious about. Get it? curious?
•Make sure the picture is tagged with @Iams to select their page. That tag is what will generate the 50 meal donation.
•To sweeten the pot I will pick one picture from this group to receive a prize. Don’t ask me what since I don’t know what it will be yet, but it will be a prize and it will be delightful.
Easy, right? Can I count on you guys to help me get 400 comments this week?

Dr. V – Pawcurious

Dr. V is a small animal veterinarian.  After a brief and feverish attempt to throw 8 years of college out the window and become something else entirely, the dogs won her over. They always do. She decided to start a blog about her pets and the veterinary field after I realized just how many people are interested in the odd little vignettes that make up her day, both in and out of the vet clinic.

You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx

Dr. V’s promotion through her website was a 1 week campaign in early November. 

_____________________________________________________

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

Free Christmas or Chanukah gift wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).

Home for the Holidays: let’s make some magic!

December 4, 2010

While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers!  Today’s post comes from Dr. Jessica Vogelsang (“Dr. V”) who blogs regularly at www.pawcurious.com.   Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Note:  Dr. V’s article appeared on her blog in early November at the start of her one week campaign to generate food donations for shelters through The Iams Pets In Need program.  Her one week campaig generated 45,700 meals!  You can check out the results at http://www.pawcurious.com/2010/11/happy-surprises-part-one/ .  While her campaign is completed you can still earn food donations for shelters through the links provided.

——————–

I despise the week between Christmas and New Years.

Why? Because without fail, I see piles upon piles of new holiday pets. Pets from pet stores, whose owners overpaid for them and can then not afford to treat them for the parasites, distemper, or congenital disease they all too often wind up with. It happens every year.

In 1999, Mike Arms at The Helen Woodward Animal Center decided to change that. With 14 local shelters, they launched the “Home for the Holidays” campaign to encourage people to adopt a pet instead of buying one.

To say that it was a success is a bit of an understatement. Since its modest beginnings in 1999, Home 4 the Holidays has seen the placement of 4.6 million pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, reptiles, and birds. It has grown from 14 Southern California shelters to over 3,500 animal organizations in over 21 countries.

Helen Woodward has partnered with Iams to make this program a worldwide movement. This year’s goal is to adopt 1.5 million animals and donate 5 million bowls of food to shelters in need. You can help make this a reality! Here’s how:
1. Adopt a pet in need and/or encourage others to do so.

Even if you aren’t ready to adopt a pet yourself, I bet you know someone who is. Someone who has mentioned they are looking for a dog/cat/ferret/whatever. You’d be surprised how many people are still not aware that the shelters and rescues are overflowing with puppies, kittens, purebreds, and whatever it is they think they won’t find there.

Petfinder is one of my favorite sites in the whole world and I still meet people every day who had no idea it exists.

2. Leave a comment here. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

Seriously. It’s that simple. Comment on this post and Iams will donate 25 meals to a shelter in need. Any comment counts. Tell your friends, tell your Facebook buddies- we have ONE WEEK to drive this as high as we can. My goal between now and November 8th is 400 comments. Can I do it? Can we do it? I need your help!!

3. Post a picture on my Facebook page to generate FIFTY meals. (You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx)

•“Like” Iams on Facebook.
•Go to the pawcurious Facebook fan page.
•Upload a picture of your pet with a caption that says what your pet is most curious about. Get it? curious?
•Make sure the picture is tagged with @Iams to select their page. That tag is what will generate the 50 meal donation.
•To sweeten the pot I will pick one picture from this group to receive a prize. Don’t ask me what since I don’t know what it will be yet, but it will be a prize and it will be delightful.
Easy, right? Can I count on you guys to help me get 400 comments this week?

Dr. V – Pawcurious

Dr. V is a small animal veterinarian.  After a brief and feverish attempt to throw 8 years of college out the window and become something else entirely, the dogs won her over. They always do. She decided to start a blog about her pets and the veterinary field after I realized just how many people are interested in the odd little vignettes that make up her day, both in and out of the vet clinic.

You can still donate to the Feed Pets in Need program by visiting  http://www.iams.com/RescuePet/FeedPetsInNeed.aspx

Dr. V’s promotion through her website was a 1 week campaign in early November. 

_____________________________________________________

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

Free Christmas or Chanukah gift wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).

Emily and Chester, at home

November 18, 2010

While I’m busy recovering from some back surgery, you have the good fortune of reading posts from some of my favorite doggie bloggers!  Today’s post comes from Yvonne DiVita who blogs regularly at www.scratchingsandsniffings.com.   In an earlier guest post Yvonne introduced us to Chester (http://speakingforspot.com/blog/?p=1395).   Please make her feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Recently, we adopted a terrific coon hound from our local shelter. He was placed there by Kindness Ranch, a rescue that takes in research animals. Chester is 7 years old and the kindest, gentlest, sweetest dog I’ve ever met. We fell in love with him the first time we met him.

Shortly after adopting Chester, we contacted Kindness Ranch again to see about adopting a ‘friend’ for Chester. Somehow, knowing he’d been around other dogs his entire life, and that we occasionally have to leave our home-based office for business meetings, it seemed right to make sure he was not alone. Mind you, we have a cat we refer to as The Grumpy Old Lady, but … she wasn’t going to keep Chester company, trust me on that!

Chester and Emily at home

Well, it turned out that there was another hound at Kindness Ranch, a young, female, two-years old, who was Chester’s friend when he lived there. Her name was Emily. She was a Treewalker Hound. The folks at Kindness said they felt Chester and Emily would love being reunited.

And they were so right! We adopted Emily (after a nice visit one day…where she spent more time watching the birds in the trees than paying attention to us; probably because she wasn’t used to extra attention from ‘humans’) and brought her home and the change in Chester has been amazing.

Chester and Emily are perfect for each other. They adjusted to our house easily, although they still can’t figure out the cat. Together, they like to sleep in one dog bed on our landing. Together, we walk them and Emily rushes out front, to make sure nothing ever gets in our way, while Chester lumbers along, more intent on the interesting smells at his feet, than anything else.

Together, these two dogs have made our house a home. They bound to the door to greet us when we return from shopping or a meeting. They seem amazed at the treats we offer for good behavior. Chester, especially, regards treats with suspicious, until he sees Emily begin to devour them. They are learning to play with each other, to run around the back yard with all the abandon of a kid let out of school. At night, they share the dog bed… only occasionally coming into our room, as if to make sure we’re still there.

As the weeks go by, we’re noticing their personalities emerge. Chester, for all his easy-goingness, has learned to give Emily the low growl that says, “This is my bone, go get your own.” For quite some time, he just let her have his bones. Emily, to her credit, sneaks little bits of Chester’s food, from his bowl… always eying us, because she knows she isn’t supposed to take Chester’s food. I guess it’s okay for her to steal food, just not bones!

Neither dog knows how to play ball. They just look at it, and us, when we throw it in the backyard. They are learning to play tug-of-war with chew toys, but only minimally. Mostly, they like their walks and being home with us. And, we like that, too. We are so thrilled with these two dogs – it’s hard to remember life without them. I hope we never have to be without them!

Yvonne DiVita

_____________________________________________________

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

Free Christmas or Chanukah gift wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).

And the Winners Are…

October 31, 2010

 

The results are in!  Five winners were selected from the 58 entries in the Speaking for Spot Halloween Contest. Each winner received an adorable canine Halloween costume compliments of OhMyDogSupplies.com

Ready to meet the winners and hear the stories supplied by their human companions?  I’m ever so pleased to present Buddy, Gayle, Marty McFly, Roxy, and Elmer Fudd. Before you begin reading about them, grab a couple tissues. I think you might just need them!

Nebraska winner:  Buddy, a devilishly handsome (and lucky) doggy doctor

According to Buddy’s mom Linda “Buddy is 10 3/4 years old and will turn 11 in January.  I have known him since he was born but he wasn’t a member of my household until a little over two years ago.  He used to be shown in the conformation ring but because of medical problems was neutered.  He has been trained as a Delta therapy dog and has made many trips to hospitals and rehabilitation centers to help others feel better.  On a Sunday morning in August, 2008 his owners (and my best friends) were murdered at their rural home north of Lincoln by a young man who was looking for money for drugs.  Why he and his granddaughter were spared we will never know.  He was found later that day by a neighbor as he and Annie (the granddaughter Boxer) were wandering the neighborhood, probably looking for help.  He was turned in to animal control and I went and got the two dogs the next morning.  A daughter took young Annie but asked if I would like Buddy to stay with me.  He has been my constant companion since that time.  I had back fusion surgery this summer and Buddy was at the door to greet me when I came home and lay beside me to comfort me during the three months of recovery.  We are now pretty much back to normal and taking the walks that we both love.  He is a memorial to the friends that I lost and whenever I am missing them I talk with Buddy.  I am so glad to have him in my life.”  

Tennessee winner: Gayle, a vampire who’s a sweetie pie

Charon, Gayle’s human companion, tells this story.  “Gayle was a found puppy (during a thunderstorm in Texas) in May 2000.  In January of 2010, (when Gayle was ten years old) we noticed a small lump on her right front wrist.  It was a soft tissue sarcoma, grade III.  Gayle had her leg amputated February 17, 2010, followed by five rounds of doxorubicin chemotherapy.  She is the bravest girl I’ve ever known.  She’s ever once backed away from doing what we’ve asked, and she never really complained, even though there were a few times when the chemo was pretty rugged.  I’ve been by Gayle’s side during every step of this journey.  I’ve knitted a zillion socks watching her recover, sitting through chemo, and just being in the moment with my sister. Every day with Gayle is a gift and a learning experience.  She’s not only my ‘sister’, but she’s my teacher.  I learned a big lesson when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July.  Through surgery and now radiation treatment, Gayle is by my side every step of the journey.  We both know how lucky we are to have each other, to have such supportive family and friends and to be enjoying every moment.  Gayle keeps a blog to document our challenges and achievements – www.etgayle.tripawds.com.”

Maine winner: Marty McFly, an insanely adorable “Maine lobstah”

Here’s what Lisa has to say about her little dog. “Marty McFly is thrilled to be selected as a costume winner.  He is a very special Miniature Dachshund whom I rescued from a shelter in Ohio two years ago when his time as a stray was up.  He arrived skin and bones and with pneumonia, and almost didn’t make it.  After lots of TLC, he gained five pounds and blossomed into an incredible dog who has taught us so much.  He has been a therapy dog, and made lots of friends at a local nursing home.  He adores children, and if we’re out for a walk and he spots a child he makes a beeline right to them to give them kisses.  It makes us wonder whether he had children in his previous home.  We do not know his true age, but estimate he is about 14.  He has lots of spunk, loves to chase squirrels, and ‘sings for his supper.’  There are thousands of senior dogs in shelters with so much life left.  We feel so fortunate to have this one in our life.  Of our five dogs, he makes us laugh the most.”

Northern California winner: Roxy, a cherub of a chimp

Karen adores Roxy as you can tell from her description.  “As a volunteer dog trainer and foster provider at my local shelter, I was asked to come to meet a couple puppies that had been placed in the back of the shelter in a small enclosure with their mama.  The mama was a confiscated ‘breeder dog,’ that is, a dog whose sole purpose is to become impregnated with money-making pups.   The shelter’s plan was to euthanize the mama once the puppies could make it on their own due to her being a Pit Bull and that fact that she was a black dog.  Add to the fact that she was engorged with milk, and you have a dog whose adoption chances are nil.  I went down and met the puppies and mama and learned she had been in that small enclosure with them for over a month without ever having gotten out or any contact aside from being fed. She was scrawny and scared, but she still had a sparkle in her eye and absolute love of people. I brought the pups home along with the mama who we called Roxy. We spent the necessary time socializing the pups and eventually they were adopted, but since the day I brought her home Roxy has truly been my best friend.  We eventually adopted Roxy.  Her adoption essentially saved the lives of four dogs:  Her life was spared, her two pups’ lives were spared, and another stray dog had a chance at life since an enclosure was empty.  Roxy has become a great teacher of life.  She has taught us to live in the present and not dwell on the past, as she never looks back at her hard life with regret. She does not let the bad things that have happened to her affect her today.  She taught us that we can change if we just let go. Against the odds, Roxy has become an ambassador to her breed and is now effectively helping other shelter dogs become stable and happy dogs. She has opened the eyes of so many people with misconceptions about this breed.  She is a friend to anyone she meets.  Roxy has impressed us all with becoming a certified ‘Good Canine Citizen’ and is currently in training for therapy. Roxy’s story is important and we want to send this message to the masses:  Many many shelter dogs are put down needlessly every day. So many of them are good dogs like Roxy that just need a chance at a good life. Provide food, shelter, leadership, exercise, and love and the benefit you receive in return is immeasurable.”

Southern California winner: Elmer Fudd, a precious little vampire

Anne shares her home and heart with Elmer Fudd.  Here is how she describes him: “Elmer is about 13 years old and I adopted him from the LA city shelter about six months ago after a plea went out for him from the shelter staff.  He’s probably a Jack Russell/something mix and they said he was geriatric and visually impaired, but he’s actually a pretty active and somewhat hyper little guy.  But he’s got some kind of brain damage. I’m not sure what caused it.  We saw a neurology specialist but without spending a lot of money on an MRI and spinal tap, we don’t have a definitive diagnosis and I decided to watch and wait and see how things go for now.  He mostly walks in circles, always in the same direction.  He can’t go up and down steps and if he’s on the sofa he’ll walk off and fall on the floor instead of jumping – I think it’s a visual problem.  He has hearing impairment too, he can hear but can’t identify the source of the sound and has not really learned to understand any words.  He has a bunch of other quirks but he’s very sweet and full of spunk.  He likes to be picked up and held, having his ears rubbed and eating.  Especially eating, he is just crazy about food.  He is very curious and loves exploring the yard (in a circular fashion) and chasing the cat when he has the chance.  I could go on and on, but anyway he’s a special dog and I think he makes an awesome vampire.”

Now here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members a safe Halloween and abundant good health.  

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook 

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller. 

You can support your favorite rescue group.  The Speaking for Spot Gives Back Program shares a portion of the sales proceeds with approved non-profit organizations when you purchase a book via the Speaking for Spot website and designate the organization at the time of purchase.