Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Walk with Your Dog

December 29, 2010

My esteemed fellow blogger, Jana Rade (Dawg Business: It’s Your Dog’s Health!)  has written an excellent piece that is ideal for any dog lover as we think about transitioning into a new year.  I think you will enjoy what Jana has written as much as I have.

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

 

Time of resolutions is here. Personally, I prefer to avoid falling into this trap, I think that the only thing New Year’s resolutions are good for is to give you something to feel bad about later.

But if you are the New Year’s resolution type, and sometimes you even succeed in keeping them, here is a New Year’s resolution suggestion for you. Walk with your dog.I know it sounds obvious. But how often do you take your dog for a walk?

Walking with your dog is as good as putting money in the bank. It will keep both you and your dog healthier and happier, and it will strengthen your bond with your dog.

I’m sure you have heard the saying: ” A tired dog is a good dog”. People run into behavioral problems with their dogs all the time. Many of these could be easily avoided by providing their dog with enough exercise, mental stimulation and quality time with their owner.

A lot of people believe that you shouldn’t have a dog (particularly larger breeds) unless you own a house with a big yard. If you live in an apartment, no dogs for you. What I am seeing though is, if anything, it is the other way around.

I think that dogs living in an apartment are often happier than the ‘house with a big yard’ dogs. Here is why. If you live in an apartment, you have no choice. You have to at least take your dog around the block to go potty. More often than not, for dogs with big yards, the yard is it. They get put into the yard to go potty and to entertain and exercise themselves. This might work if there is more than one dog—they will play together and have a good time. But what is a single dog to do? Your dog doesn’t want to be alone in the yard, he wants to go somewhere and do something. With you.

Walks mean the world to dogs. We often spend a day at a friend’s farm. Our dogs are with us all day, having a great space to roam and investigate. But even then, they still cannot wait for their walk. We take them at the beginning and at the end of the day. And even though they have been outside all day, the walks are still exciting and important to them. It is just different from just hanging out and playing.

Even the  friend’s dog, who lives there and gets to use the property all the time, gets so excited to tag along. It is special time for him. It’s a ‘pack thing’.

Walking with your dog might help your dog to keep out of trouble, and it will make your bond stronger. Jasmine taught me this very early on. We walk our dogs every day, no matter what. Our dogs don’t get themselves into trouble, because they are content. They calmly hang around the house, awaiting their next walk time.

May you and your dog have the very best year ever!

Jana

Dawg Business: It’s Your Dog’s Health!

A graphic designer by profession, Jana became a dog mama by design. Her first puppy, Jasmine, changed her life completely, and now everything she does revolves around her. Jasmine’s health issues led Jana to focus her blogging efforts on dog 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. 

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).

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).

A Gift of Spot – Black Friday Special

November 26, 2010

Purchase Speaking for Spot through this link between November 26, 2010 and November 30, 2010 at a special “black Friday” price of $15.00.  Your book(s) will be personally signed and, if desired, receive complimentary holiday gift wrap.

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.

Holiday Roads and Traveling with Fido

November 24, 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 Carol Bryant and Susan Sims who blog regularly at blog.fidofriendly.com.    Please make them feel welcome by posting your wonderful comments.  Be back soon! 

Best wishes,

Dr. Nancy Kay

Marsing, ID – Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. No doubt, millions will trek to the abodes of family and friends as the holiday season approaches. Just how many are traveling with Fido this holiday season? 

PetRelocation.com released recently the results of its first annual Holiday Pet Travel Survey of more than 7,000 pet owners worldwide, finding that sixty-three percent of pet owners say they travel at least 50 miles with their pets during the holidays. 

Leave No Dog Behind® is the FIDO Friendly mantra and getting there safely is of utmost importance. In some states, seatbelts are mandatory for dogs. From a safety perspective, unrestrained pets are responsible for more than 30,000 accidents every year according to the ASPCA. 

FIDO Friendly shares a ‘Holiday Road Warrior Survival Guide’ as we take to the highways and byways for holiday gatherings with family and “fur-ends.” 

Vaccination Records
Keep a copy of all vaccination records in your doggy’s duffel bag. Should an emergency arise once you are on the road, you will have the important information you need. You will also need these records when boarding Fido for the day or overnight if you take in an excursion where your furry companion is not allowed. 

Collar and Leash
Remember that taking Fido out of the car for potty breaks must include his collar being secured and him being leashed (don’t forget the poop bags). A foreign territory brings unique smells that are oh so hard to resist, and your little darling can escape before you can say, “Sit, stay.” 

Harness

With the lives of you and Fido on the line, isn’t it important then to consider a safety harness when traveling? The back seat is the safest place for Fido to avoid air bag deployment in the event of an accident. Acclimate Fido to the harness by allowing him to wear the harness around the house for a few minutes at a time. Graduate to short car trips in the area. Work into longer trips and never scold Fido in the process. He’s getting used to it just as you are. If he could thank you for saving his life, right now he is. 

Things to look for in a good safety harness? Strong webbing such as nylon, strong stitching, allow the pet to sit and stand comfortably, and comfort combined with reliability if an accident occurs. 

Tags
Fido won’t want to get lost, so be sure that he has a current tag with an emergency phone number firmly attached to his collar or harness. Most people travel with a cell phone, making this the perfect number for your dog’s tag. 

First Aid Kit
There are a number of doggy first aid kits on the market, and if you have the time, you can even put together your own. Check out the FIDO Friendly blog for a walk-through to get you through. Some essentials to include are:

  • Tweezers to remove ticks
  • Styptic powder to stop toenail bleeding
  • Eye wash to flush wounds
  • Gauze bandage
  • Adhesive tape
  • Scissors
  • Antiseptic moist wipes 

Food and Water
Be sure to bring along Fido’s favorite food so as not to upset his stomach. There are great roadworthy foods and treats on the market. If you will be cooking for Fido, make the food ahead of time, and pack it along with your own goodies. Your dog is used to drinking water from your hometown, and when traveling it’s a good idea to bring along as much of Fido’s drinking water as you can, and rely on bottled water as back-up. Nothing puts the damper on holiday spirits like an emergency visit to the vet. 

Seat Covers and Blankets
Holidays are supposed to be fun, and nothing says fun like four muddy paws…not! Protect your seats with covers and blankets made especially for your type of automobile. Be proactive: Always carry additional towels and wipes to clean off your rambunctious Rover when visiting with family and friends. 

Beds and Crate
Don’t leave home without Fido’s favorite blankie or bed. You don’t want him sleeping on the guest bed-or do you? Bring sheets, too, so if your furry companion is accustomed to sleeping on the furniture, he won’t leave any tell-tale signs. If Fido calls his crate his den, then bring it along for a good night sleep during your Thanksgiving trip. 

Fun Stuff
Don’t forget the toys! If Fido is a nervous Nelly when away from home, help ease his discomfort by bringing as many toys from home as you can. Familiar smells and chew toys will help calm even the most anxious pet. If Rocky is a Rachmaninoff aficionado, by all means pack his favorite CD for his and your listening pleasure. 

Double-Check Hotel Reservations
You are ready to go-but before you back the mini-van out of the driveway, call your hotel to confirm your reservation and that they are expecting Fido. Nothing says bummer like a newly implemented “no pets allowed” policy since you made your reservation. 

FIDO Friendly is the only magazine dedicated to the Travel & Lifestyle of our canine friends and according to APPA, (American Pet Products Association) spending on pets has increased from $34 billion in 2004 to $47.4 billion now, partly because people are spending more to travel with their pets. The Travel Industry Association of America says 78% of the pets taken on vacation are dogs, with cats coming in second at 15%. 

Susan Sims (Publisher), Nicholas Sveslosky (Editor in Chief), and Carol Bryant (Social Media Director and Writer/Blogger) are available for interviews on any dog-related travel topics as well as dog training advice, trends, dog news, and health/wellness/fashion issues for Fido.

For more FIDO Friendly content, subscribe to the magazine at www.fidofriendly.com and visit our blog at http://blog.fidofriendly.com.

_____________________________________________________

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).

Avoiding Pancreatitis During the Holidays

November 22, 2010

I wrote the following for one of my favorite magazines, BARK (the inventors of “Dog is my co-pilot”).  With the holidays once again upon us, I thought I’d toss this information out into cyberspace as a timely reminder to avoid overindulging our dogs!

‘Tis the season for family gatherings, gift giving, and food galore.  Veterinarians know that this is also the season for canine pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), a painful, potentially life-threatening condition most commonly caused by overindulgence in foods that are particularly rich or fatty. And what kitchen isn’t overflowing with such foods this time of year?

The pancreas is a thin, delicate-appearing, boomerang-shaped organ that resides in the abdominal cavity, tucked up against the stomach and small intestine. While the pancreas may be diminutive in appearance, its actions are mighty! It is the body’s source of insulin and enzymes necessary for food digestion. When pancreatitis is chronic or particularly severe, this little factory sometimes permanently closes down, resulting in diabetes mellitus (requires insulin shots) and/or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (requires digestive enzyme replacement therapy). 

When a dog eats, enzymes are released from the pancreas into the small intestine, where they are activated for food digestion. Sometimes, for reasons we do not understand, these enzymes are activated within the pancreas itself, resulting in the inflammation of pancreatitis. In addition to rich or fatty foods, certain drugs, hormonal imbalances and inherited defects in fat metabolism can also cause pancreatitis. For some dogs, an underlying cause is never found. Classic pancreatitis symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, and decreased appetite and activity levels. 

Short of performing a pancreatic biopsy (an invasive and risky procedure), diagnosing pancreatitis can be challenging, because noninvasive tests are fraught with false-negative and false-positive results. Veterinarians must rely on a combination of the following: 

• A history of dietary indiscretion, vomiting and lethargy.

• Physical examination findings (particularly abdominal pain).

• Characteristic complete blood cell count (CBC) and blood chemistry abnormalities.

• A positive or elevated Spec cPL (canine pancreas-specific lipase) blood test.

• Characteristic abdominal ultrasound abnormalities. 

There is no cure for pancreatitis—much like a bruise, the inflammation must resolve on its own. This is best accomplished by allowing the pancreas to rest, which means giving nothing orally (not even water) to prevent digestive enzyme secretion. Treatment consists of hospitalization for the administration of intravenous fluids; injectable medication to control vomiting, pain and stomach acid secretion; and antibiotics to prevent secondary infection or abscess formation. Dogs should be monitored around the clock for the life-threatening complications that sometimes accompany pancreatitis, such as kidney failure, heart rhythm abnormalities, respiratory distress and bleeding disorders. Small amounts of water and a fat-free diet are typically offered once vomiting has stopped, abdominal pain has subsided, and there is blood test and/or ultrasound confirmation that the inflammation has calmed down. If your dog has pancreatitis, count on a minimum of two to three days of hospitalization, and be sure to ask who will be caring for your dog during the night. 

Long-term treatment for pancreatitis typically involves feeding a low-fat or fat-free diet. This may be a life-long recommendation, especially if your dog has been a “repeat offender.”  Most dogs fully recover with appropriate therapy; however, some succumb to the complications associated with this disease.

Nicky 

How can you prevent pancreatitis during this food-oriented time of year? You can avoid feeding holiday leftovers altogether (this would cause canine mutiny in my household) or you can heed the following recommendations. New foods should be fed sparingly and only if well tolerated by your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and waistline.  Keep in mind that whether offered a teaspoon or a tablespoon of something delicious, most dogs will gulp it down in the same amount of time and reap the same psychological benefit. Don’t offer tidbits from the table while you are eating. This is a set up for bad behavior. Offer the treat only after you’ve left the table. If you shouldn’t be eating the food yourself (emphasis on shouldn’t), please don’t feed it to your dog! By all means, give your precious poopsie a bit of turkey breast, but without the turkey skin or fat-laden mashed potatoes and creamy gravy. Go ahead and offer your sweet snookums a bite of brisket, but please —no potato latkes or sour cream! Bear in mind that most dogs are so darned excited about getting a treat, they don’t care what it is, only that they’re getting it!

Some people dream of sugar plum fairies, a white Christmas or a stress-free family gathering. I’m dreaming of a holiday season in which not a single dog develops pancreatitis!

Wishing you and your four-legged family members a joyful and healthy holidays season.

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 guft wrap with books purchased between now and December 25th (www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html).

A Short Sabbatical

November 13, 2010

After four years of procrastination, I’m finally gonna do it!  I’m heading into the operating room, only I won’t be the one holding the scalpel blade.  A team of surgeons aim to fix a nagging back issue I’ve been annoyed by for far too long. Fret not, the prognosis is very good and I aim to be busy word processing again in no time!  In the meantime, some of my esteemed co-bloggers will provide guest posts that I know you will enjoy.  While in the midst of my post-operative narcotic haze, I won’t be emailing blogs as I normally do. Rather, I hope you will join me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/speakingforspot) so you will be notified of new blogs as they are posted.  

And now for some shameless self-promotion!  I emphatically urge you to place Speaking for Spot at the very top of your holiday gift list for all of your dog loving friends, relatives, groomers, trainers, pet sitters, and dog park compatriots. And while you’re at it, don’t forget your veterinary hospital staff!  

Here are five reasons to give the “Gift of Spot” this year:  

  • Free Christmas gift-wrap included (an adorable double-sided wrap with bright Christmas doggie décor on one side and red and white dog bones on the other).
  • Free Chanukah gift-wrap included; sorry, no adorable canine theme (go ahead, you try to find dogs and Chanukah on the same wrapping paper!).
  • Four dollars from each book purchased will be sent to the participating animal-centered nonprofit organization you designate at the time of purchase.
  • Your gift will be personally signed by yours truly!
  • Your gift will provide an invaluable lifelong resource that is sure to enhance the life of a dog! 

Please visit www.speakingforspot.com/purchase.html to do your holiday shopping!  

Thank you for your readership. I extend my heartfelt best wishes to you and your loved ones (including those who are furry or feathered) for a peaceful and healthy holiday season.   

Dr. Nancy Kay
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

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.

Boo!

October 11, 2010

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  Skunks and caterpillars and zebras, oh my!  Never have I seen such an adorable and hilarious assortment of canine Halloween garb as can be found at OhMyDogSupplies.com. I hope you will check it out (click on the link at the bottom of this blog), but I recommend doing so only if you have an empty bladder- you’ll be laughing so hard you just might ……….   have an accident!  I keep going back and forth about which is my favorite costume- it remains a toss up between the Cheerleader and the Spicy Taco!


   

Please have a look and then let me know which Halloween outfit is your favorite!  When you respond be sure to provide the following information:

1.  The name of your favorite costume (just one) from the OhMyDogSupplies website
2.  Your dog’s size (see sizing recommendations provided on the website)
3.  Your dog’s name, age, and breed (best guess if he or she is a mix)

Be sure to respond by October 18th because on October 19th I will randomly choose five names from those of you who have responded.  If your name is chosen, you and your dog will receive a wonderful Halloween costume (we’ll try to provide you with your favorite) compliments of OhMyDogSupplies.  In return, I will ask that you provide me with a photo of your dog in his or her Halloween duds so I can share them with my blog audience.  Happy Halloween!

Now here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members 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

Oh My Dog Supplies

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.

Keep Your Pets Safe This 4th of July

June 30, 2010

You will find some great articles and advice for keeping your pets safe over the July 4th holiday weekend.

http://vetmedicine.about.com/cs/diseasesall/a/petsfireworks.htm

http://www.marinhumanesociety.org/Press/InNews/tomfireworks2.html

http://blog.fetchthepaper.com/2007/06/4th-of-july-saf.html

Now, here’s wishing you and your four-legged best friend a most enjoyable and safe summer!

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
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
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life

Website: http://www.speakingforspot.com
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, or your favorite online book seller.