Sunday, October 5, 2008


After being out of town for 2 weeks, Desperado and Helpful Buckeye are glad to be back home again.

Gene Autry-one of the original singing cowboys, and whose birthday was this past week, gave us the perfect expression of that sentiment in his classic "Back in the Saddle Again": Enjoy!

We have also moved into October, the month in which those of us who live where the deciduous trees change their colors get to witness yet another of Mother Nature's wonders. Faith Baldwin (1893-1978), an American writer, described it best: "Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees"....

Helpful Buckeye doesn't get to see as many of the reds and oranges as do our readers in the Midwest and further east, but we do see a lot of the golden aspens....

....and they are a thrill to behold! If any of our readers have a favorite picture of Fall foliage in their area, go ahead and send it by e-mail...we'll include them for everyone to share.

Helpful Buckeye received numerous compliments on the two blog issues that were released while we were on the road. The personal touch displayed in the issue about service and therapy animals (a shout out to Desperado for putting that one together) appealed to many of you who have benefited in similar circumstances. Also, we received a few "thank yous" from readers who had some trouble finding topics in previous issues and they appreciated the "Index" issue. In fact, one of those readers, Arlene from Ohio, sent us a picture of her cat, "Sammie," trying to use the index:

Apparently, Sammie had made a paw print by the listing for "Gourmet Cat Food" in the August 10th cat, huh?

Helpful Buckeye will keep the index updated periodically; however, feel free to e-mail or add a comment if you want to know where to find a specific topic. Thanks for all of the feedback!


1) World's First Cloned Dog Becomes a Father

South Korean scientists say Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, has become a father after the world's first successful breeding of cloned canines. Seoul National University officials said the Afghan hound impregnated two cloned dogs of the same breed through artificial insemination. The scientists said the whelping marks the first time that puppies have been born from cloned parents. One of the 10 puppies born May 14-18 died, but nine remain healthy. "This shows the reproductive ability of a cloned dog," said Professor Lee Byung-chun, whose team created Snuppy in 2005 and also produced the world's first cloned wolves. This year he has cloned dogs capable of sniffing out human cancers. The breeding of cloned dogs "opens the way for cloning sniffer dogs and seeing-eye guide dogs, which usually have to be sterilized for training and therefore lose the ability to reproduce," Lee said.

For those of you who follow stories about cloning of animals, some of the results from such procedures in South Korea have been questioned over the last several years as to their credibility. Nonetheless, until shown to be otherwise, this report is interesting....

2) The following news release came from The American Veterinary Medical Association:

Pit bulls, Pigs and Barracudas:AVMA Calls on McCain and Obama to Help Keep America's Animals Healthy
— Pigs, pit bulls, donkeys and elephants – the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today reminded presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama that America's veterinarians play vital roles in preserving and protecting both human and animal health – lipstick or not.
Speaking from their headquarters just outside of Chicago, the AVMA's chief executive challenged the candidates to integrate into their platforms positions in support of veterinary medicine, food safety and animal health and well-being.
"Animal and human health are nonpartisan issues, and we call on Senators McCain and Obama to honor America's citizens by supporting measures to protect them from zoonotic diseases, food safety outbreaks and animal-related bioterrorism," said Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, Chief Executive Officer of the AVMA.
America's veterinarians, Dr. DeHaven said, are helping keep healthy and safe a national ecosystem abounding with animals. "Whether the eagles that soar through our airways or the barracudas that cruise our coastal borders, America's veterinarians are the first-line of protectors of the health of our nation's animals," DeHaven said.
"Unfortunately, our nation is heading toward a crisis because there are only 85,000 veterinarians to keep all of these animals and the humans in contact with them healthy," he added.
The AVMA urged the candidates to pledge leadership on these key issues affecting the United States:
Veterinarian Shortage
-With a population of almost 305 million – approximately 85,000 of which are practicing veterinarians – America faces a dangerous shortage of veterinarians – especially in critical rural areas, where food animals are typically raised and inspected. The new President will need to champion measures for growing the number of veterinarians and recruiting more to serve in rural areas.
Food Safety-Crucial food safety programs and resources, such as the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD), will fall under the new President's administrative jurisdiction. These programs are frequently underfunded or at risk of closure, and the new President must take strong stances to preserve them.
Key administrators. Top-level politically appointed positions that deal with veterinary, animal and food safety issues are best served by having veterinarians in those positions.
Additionally, the AVMA reiterated that the association is a first-line policy, research and knowledge resource in Washington, D.C.
"After the election is over and the campaign a memory of the past, we will still be caring for and researching the health and welfare of pigs and pit bulls -- not to mention cows, cats and camels," DeHaven said.

Since Helpful Buckeye is still working out the kinks from being on the road so long, the usual sections on "Diseases, Ailments, and Medical Conditions" and "Non-Medical Concerns" will still be on excused absence from this issue. They will return next week...promise!


Dog Breeds--Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world and is named for the Chihuahua State in Mexico. Chihuahuas are best known for their large eyes, small size, and large, erect ears. Prized for their devotion, ferocity and personality, the chihuahua's curious nature and small size make them easily adaptable to a variety of environments. Though often stereotyped as high-strung, proper training and socialization can ameliorate this. Chihuahuas tend to not be well-suited as small children's pets because of their size, temperament and tendency to bite when frightened. It's also not uncommon for Chihuahuas to focus their devotion on one person, becoming overly jealous of that person's human relationships. Chihuahuas also seem to have no concept of their own size and may fearlessly confront larger animals.

Helpful Buckeye "fondly" remembers that the very first dog to bite him after beginning to work at his veterinary hospital was a bit me on the sole of my shoe and would not let go!

Anyway, the reason the pet of the week is the Chihuahua is due to the Disney movie that was just released, Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Check out this preview:

Following on the heels of the Taco Bell Chihuahua, this movie could result in a renewed interest in the breed...we shall see. Linda Lombardi, writing in The Tacoma News Tribune, describes a different perspective on perceptions of dogs as depicted in movies:


1) There will be more "General Interest" items than normal in this issue of the blog, in order to make up for the omission of the "Disease/Disorder" sections. Continuing on the Disney movie theme, The USA Today has compiled a list of the Top 10 Disney dogs in Movies. See how many you remember:

2) Questions On Dogs and Cats has mentioned in 2 prior issues the AKC "election" to choose the dog for the Obama family (8/17/08 and 9/14/08). Along that line of thought, and keeping everything as bipartisan as possible, check out this article from The Tacoma News Tribune: Reporter Lisa Gutierrez describes a thriving business that is benefiting from "an election going to the dogs."

Helpful Buckeye has been hearing reports that certain dogs and cats have been gaining support from their constituencies and are nearing their own nominations as Presidential candidates. Stay tuned for further developments on this story....

3) A truly touching story is coming from Spencer, Iowa, about "Dewey, the library cat"...a stray kitten that was left in the library book-drop slot and was then adopted by the library and lived in the library until he died 18 years later. The librarian has written a best-selling book about the experience and a movie is probably in the making. Enjoy this story from The USA Today:

4) To get the last of our stories involving politics or politicians out of the way, this past week, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA, vetoed a bill to fine motorists $35 for sharing the driver's seat with lapdogs or other animals. Schwarzenegger says he's signing only bills that are "the highest priority for California,"...and a lapdog ban is not one of them. Helpful Buckeye doesn't have any problem with the Governor's explanation because, at some point, a driver has to use some common sense and take responsibility for their own actions.

5) A couple of news stories have some relevance to our blog issue on service and therapy animals. The first one comes from The San Francisco Chronicle and relates a great story about military veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder:

6) The second story is from The Seattle Times and presents an interesting account of a dog breed that usually doesn't ever get any positive publicity. Yes, the Pit Bull is usually associated with stories of vicious attacks, dog-fighting, and general mayhem, but these Pit Bulls in the Seattle area have an entirely different story to tell:

Not only do Pit Bulls offer the less common blood type, but also they are much easier to draw blood from due to their short hair coat and their tendency to not be obese.

7) This past week, the Food and Drug Administration proposed regulations that would allow the commercial use of genetically engineered animals. Such animals are genetically altered (either their genes are changed or genes from another animal are added) for a specific purpose. Most of the animals species currently involved in this type of research are food-producing types, such as salmon, goats, chickens, cows, and pigs. However, one of the areas of interest is that of hypoallergenic dogs and cats...anyone having allergies to dogs or cats will be able to appreciate that. For the rest of the story, see The USA Today at:

Genetically engineered animals and plants have been a source of controversy due to claims of consumer safety concerns, but with further research and regulations like these proposed by the FDA this area has potential for future benefits.

8) For those readers who have just gotten their first dog (and those long-time dog owners who didn't already know this), comes this tip about your dog's food bowl. It is best to feed your dog in glass, stainless steel, or ceramic bowls, but not in plastic ones. Jura Koncius, of The Washington Post, and reported in The Seattle Times, explains why this is best:

9) OK, picture this've gone off to college, you've got a new roommate, and your biggest concern is not with their late night study habits, their penchant for loud music, or their dirty laundry being everywhere. No, your new roommate has brought their pet dog or cat to school! With all of the tough adjustments students need to make in a college environment, imagine what it must be like for the dog or cat in this situation. Well, this apparently is the new trend on some American college campuses. Read more about this from Sharon Peters, in The USA Today:

I don't know about you, but Helpful Buckeye can think of numerous reasons why this shouldn't be happening.

10) As reported in the September issue of Smithsonian Magazine: "Eighty years ago, Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming returns to St. Mary's Hospital in London from a holiday on September 3, 1928, to find mold growing on one of his staphylococcus cultures. Noting that no staphylococci are growing near the mold, Fleming investigates. He names the "mould juice" penicillin, for the penicillium mold that produces it. Fleming publishes his discovery in 1929, but it will be a decade before Oxford scientists Howard Florey and Ernst Boris Chain isolate and purify it for use as an antibiotic. Fleming dies in 1955 at age 73."

Helpful Buckeye included a picture of the penicillium mold in the August 10th issue for Fleming's birthday, but here it is again: 11) This past week, on Sept. 28th, was the birthday of Gene Autry, in 1907.

12) Also, the 28th of Sept. marked the 88th anniversary of Major League Baseball's biggest scandal. That was the day in 1920 that a grand jury indicted 8 Chicago White Sox players (including Shoeless Joe Jackson) for throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

For a really good read of this story, get a copy of Eight Men Out, by Eliot Asinof and rent the DVD of the movie of the same name, starring John Cusack and Charlie Sheen.


The LA Dodgers have defied all earlier expectations in winning their National League West Division...and then, sweeping a playoff series from the Cubs!!! We now will face the Phillies for the NL Championship with the winner going to the World Series. Along those lines, the very first World Series opened in Boston on 10/1/1903, with the Boston Pilgrims beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 games to 3...the World Series was originally the best of 9 games.

The Ohio State Buckeyes came from behind in the last minute last night to beat Wisconsin in Madison, which is always hard to do. Our highly-publicized freshman QB, Terrelle Pryor, led the drive which ended in him running for the TD.

The Pittsburgh Steelers gave the Jaguars a large dose of "pay-back" tonight by beating them in Jacksonville. The Jaguars eliminated the Steelers from the playoffs last season.

It's been a great weekend for my 3 teams!!!


It's nice to be back in a normal rotation of putting the blog together on the weekend for release on Sunday night. The enjoyment of putting it together has been its own reward, but it has also been fulfilling to hear your comments as well...thanks a bunch!

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

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