Sunday, November 30, 2008



Many of our readers may have expressed this very sentiment after their big Thanksgiving feast. Share with actor Peter Boyle as he utters this now famous lament in a recent ad for Alka Seltzer:

Hopefully, all of you made it home safely, if you were driving. Secondly, Helpful Buckeye expects (wishfully) that none of you overindulged in the feast, nor did any of you go beyond the boundaries set for you in last week's blog issue as to what you could feed your pets! If you haven't had to make an emergency visit to your veterinarian in the past 3 days for a gastrointestinal upset in your dog, then pat yourself on the back for either being truly judicious or very lucky. Remember all the lessons you learned from last week's blog because there will be many more of these type meals between now and New Year's Day...that's why it's called Holiday Season!

Regrets after a big meal, like the Thanksgiving feast, can include Peter Boyle's lament, our readers wishing they had pushed away from the table a little sooner, pet owners being sorry they fed the wrong thing to their dog, and this possible scene from a New Yorker cartoon:

Helpful Buckeye would like to thank all of you who have either sent in an e-mail or entered a comment at the end of a blog issue during the past 2 weeks! You have sent questions, ideas for topics, interesting videos you have seen, and some good constructive criticism...all of which will be incorporated into future issues of Questions On Dogs and Cats. Also, there have been several new readers who were referred to this blog by some of our faithful readers, and for that, Helpful Buckeye is also very thankful. The more readers we have and the more we exchange ideas, the better this blog will be! Remember, the easiest way to make a comment is to send an e-mail: or click on "Post a Comment" at the end of each blog issue and follow the simple instructions.


1) The American Veterinary Medical Association has just issued this news release about an interesting program at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, in Blacksburg, VA:

Billy the Kid just shot two deputies, has escaped from prison, and is making his getaway on horseback. How far can he expect his horse to go—and at what speed? To provide a realistic answer, a production crew from The History Channel visited the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine this fall.
They filmed a horse going through her paces on a high-speed treadmill. The film footage will be used in "Real Cowboys," a six-part television series which is slated to air in early 2009.

2) Hardly a month goes by without reading or hearing of a story about a long-lost pet being reunited with its owner because of a microchip providing the clue. The story this week comes from New Jersey:

Missing dog found after almost 5 years ----------PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. - A Pleasantville, N.J., family said their pet dachshund, which went missing nearly five years ago, has been found by a Pittsburgh animal shelter. Edna Colon, 18, said her mother, Elda Arguello, received a letter from the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania informing her that the male dachshund, named Tootsie, was found as a stray in Pittsburgh. The shelter tracked a microchip implanted in the animal back to Arguello and her family, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, reported Monday. Colon said several members of the family planned to travel to Harrisburg, Pa., for a reunion with their long-lost pet, who was about 6 months old when he went missing from Arguello's yard nearly five years ago. "We appreciate the Animal Rescue League. If not for them and the microchip, we would never have seen Tootsie again. Because (the Animal Rescue League) understands animal lovers, they did all that they could to find us. We are so thankful to (the organization) and their work to get Tootsie back to our family," Colon said.

Helpful Buckeye will continue to include these stories as a nudging reminder of how important it is for pet owners to be able to have their lost pet be properly identified. A very simple implantation of a microchip will accomplish this....

3) From the Arizona Daily Sun, comes this story about pseudorabies, a viral disease normally associated with pigs:

Colo. hunting ranch quarantined over animal disease Saturday, November 29, 2008 GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) -- State officials have quarantined a western Colorado hunting ranch after 14 feral hogs tested positive for pseudorabies, a contagious disease that can threaten commercial swine herds, wildlife and pets. For the rest of the story, go to:

Unfortunately, dogs and cats which are exposed to this Herpes virus can develop very serious damage to the central nervous system and die suddenly. The virus does not cause illness in humans. It will be interesting to learn if this outbreak causes any further problem in that part of Colorado.

4) Medical researchers in Atlanta have found a way to be able to predict the amount of immunity provided by a vaccine without actually testing it on a group of subjects:

ATLANTA (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say they've discovered a way to predict how successful vaccines would be in triggering immune responses. In the first-ever study of this type, researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Vaccine Center at Emory University said they used immunology, genomics and bioinformatics to predict a vaccine's immunity without exposing individuals to infection -- a long-standing challenge in the development of vaccines. The team, using the yellow fever vaccine as a model, wanted to determine why the vaccine -- one of the most successful vaccines ever -- was so effective so they could design equally effective new vaccines against global pandemics and emerging infections, the Atlanta university said in a news release. "A single shot of the (yellow fever) vaccine induces immunity in many people for nearly 30 years," said Bali Pulendran, lead Yerkes researcher and professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. "Despite the great success of the yellow fever vaccine, little has been known about the immunological mechanisms that make it effective." Pulendran said the team, using several lines of study, identified distinct gene signatures that were correlated to the antibody response induced by the vaccine. To determine whether the gene could predict immune response, "we vaccinated a second group of individuals and were able to predict with up to 90 percent accuracy which of the vaccinated individuals would develop" immunity to yellow fever.

Since both human and animal vaccines are formulated and produced in much the same manner, this news also means progress in the development of vaccines for your pets.

5) The AVMA has revised its policy on ear cropping and tail docking:

Schaumburg, Ill.
— The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board voted to strengthen association policy on two practices common in certain breeds of dogs—ear cropping and tail docking.
The revised AVMA policy states: "The AVMA opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The AVMA encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards."
"For many years the AVMA has acknowledged that ear cropping and tail docking of dogs for cosmetic purposes are not medically indicated nor of benefit to our canine patients," explains Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "Our latest policy revision doesn't represent a change in perspective, but, rather, makes that perspective clear with a stronger statement."
The AVMA decided to adjust its policy on tail docking and ear cropping after a scheduled review of an existing policy. The review included an analysis of scientific literature and available data, an assessment of the practical experience of veterinarians, and deliberations by the AVMA Animal Welfare Committee.
"Why we perform certain procedures is one of the first questions we ask. Once that question is answered, committee members look at any associated welfare concerns," explains Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. "'Cosmetic' implies the basis for these procedures is to alter the dog's appearance. Welfare risks identified included those associated with surgical procedures, i.e., anesthetic complications, pain, blood loss and infection. In the committee's opinion, the risk-benefit analysis supports professional opposition to performing these procedures for purely cosmetic reasons."
In recommending policy revisions, the committee was careful to distinguish ear cropping and tail docking performed for cosmetic reasons from procedures performed for therapeutic or preventive purposes. "If it can be responsibly demonstrated that the purpose of performing the procedure is to protect the health and welfare of the dog, then of course the Association would support the appropriate surgery," said Dr. DeHaven.

For those readers not familiar with these surgical procedures, ear cropping refers to the surgical removal of part of the ear flap in order to make the ear stand erectly, while tail docking refers to the surgical shortening of the tail. Certain breeds of dogs have been associated with these procedures: Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, and Schnauzers.

The American Kennel Club, which maintains the standards by which pure bred dogs are judged, has provided a response to this position:

New York, NY (November 21, 2008) -- The American Kennel Club® was advised this week of the AVMA's newly amended policy on ear cropping and tail docking following its adoption by the AVMA Executive Board at the recommendation of their Committee on Animal Welfare on November 15, 2008.
Historically, the AKC has worked closely with the AVMA to ensure that the rights of individual dog owners, and breed standards, remain protected. However, the AKC was very disappointed to not have been consulted regarding this latest iteration of the policy, despite having been in frequent contact with the AVMA in recent months.
At a joint meeting this Wednesday AKC explained to the AVMA that we recognize ear cropping and tail docking, as prescribed in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character, enhancing good health, and preventing injuries. These breed characteristics are procedures performed to insure the safety of dogs that on a daily basis perform heroic roles with Homeland Security, serve in the U.S. Military and at Police Departments protecting tens of thousands of communities throughout our nation as well as competing in the field.
Mislabeling these procedures as "cosmetic" is a severe mischaracterization that connotes a lack of respect and knowledge of history and the function of purebred dogs. Breed standards are established and maintained by AKC Parent Clubs (each of the 158 AKC registered breeds is stewarded by a breed-specific Parent Club) keeping foremost in mind the welfare of the breed and the function it was bred to perform.
As a not for profit organization that has been devoted to the advancement and welfare of dogs for 125 years, the AKC believes that all dog owners bear a special responsibility to their canine companions to provide proper care and humane treatment at all times and that responsible dog owners, in consultation with their veterinarian, have the right to make decisions regarding appropriate care and treatment of their pets.
AKC's policy on the issue, which remains unchanged, states:
The American Kennel Club recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.

It is not difficult to see that there is a difference of opinion between the AVMA and the AKC about these procedures. Most veterinarians have long ago admitted their own reluctance to do these procedures, for humane reasons. Helpful Buckeye doesn't know how this difference of opinion will ultimately be played out, except to say that the court of public opinion usually gets its own way in the end. How do most of you feel about this subject? Send an e-mail with your opinion to: and we'll see where your consensus lies.


1) What do these pictures have in common?

They all have something to do with how we measure ourselves and our pets (the dog weighing scale photo is from )....which brings us to this week's main topic of Obesity and Your Pet.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have estimated that a little more than 1/3 (about 35%) of the adult human population of the USA is obese. Current estimates for pets are that almost 40% of all dogs and cats in the USA are either overweight or obese.

There are a few diseases that can actually cause your pet to become overweight, the two most common being hypothyroidism (underproduction of thyroid hormone) and Cushing's Disease (overproduction of ACTH by the pituitary gland). In addition, certain breeds of dogs and cats are predisposed genetically to weight gain. However, the most common contribution to weight gain in pets is by far the overindulgence of their owners, either by over-feeding or feeding the wrong kind of food. First of all, if the owners don't have the proper discipline for their own weight considerations, they probably won't have any better regard for controlling their pet's weight. Secondly, even if owners try to do the right thing, they tend to sometimes "feel sorry" for their pets and give them too many unnecessary, calorie-filled treats. Most pet owners either don't realize or don't accept that they are solely responsible for their pet's diet, and thus, their pet's overall health. As Dr. Jennifer Brinson, veterinarian and researcher on obesity in pets at the University of Illinois, says, "Pets don't choose what or how much to eat. Owners dictate the animal's diet and how much they get. People food, table scraps, and fast-food take-out should not be options. There are dietary treats that are good for pets that will also satisfy the owner's need to indulge the pet." Helpful Buckeye used to remind his clients that dogs and cats couldn't open the refrigerator door. Since your pets cannot prepare their own food, they are at the full mercy of what you give them. Excess weight is easier to prevent than to lose. Proper adjustments to your pet's diet and amount of exercise should be made early in its life so that any problem with obesity can be avoided. Your veterinarian will advise the best diet for your pet's particular needs, whether maintaining its normal weight or attempting to lose weight. Exercise is something that requires regularity and structure, both of which most humans find difficulty in honoring in their own schedules. Pets are best exercised by playing with them. Take your dog for walks; play throw and fetch; give the cat toys it likes to chase. If your cat follows you up and down the stairs, then do the stairs repeatedly. By and large, if the owner is unwilling to exercise, then the pet won't get any exercise either.

Of course, "walking the dog" can mean different things to different people. Some people walk without "walking the dog" ...and some people pretend they've gone walking and the dog feels cheated, from The New Yorker:

Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. sponsors the web site,, which has numerous videos illustrating how both dog and cat owners can get exercise for themselves at the same time as exercising their pets: . The videos (9 for dogs and 5 for cats) are done by a personal and pet trainer and are full of great exercises for humans and their pets.

Pets which have been over-indulged either with too many treats or the wrong kind of food run the risk of making many pre-existing problems worse by becoming obese. Obesity tends to make:

  • diabetes more difficult to manage.

  • torn ligaments more common, due to the animal's disproportionate size and the fact that they don't have the muscle tone to balance and support the extra weight.

  • arthritis worse because of the extra load of weight on the arthritic joints.

  • a physical exam more difficult by masking heart and lung sounds and interfering with the palpation of abdominal organs.
The AVMA has produced a very informative podcast, entitled "The Perils of Pudgy Pets," which you can listen to at:

The main point that Helpful Buckeye wants to leave you with is that you, the pet owner, must show some restraint in how you lavish affection on your pet. Remember, love for your pet is NOT spelled..."T-R-E-A-T." Don't let yourself get caught up in the sentiment of this cartoon from The New Yorker:

Another important topic that goes hand-in-hand with obesity in pets is pet nutrition. Pet owners actually spend more money each year on pet food than they do on veterinary care. Some of this is money well spent, while some of it would be better directed if the pet owners knew a little more about their dog and/or cat's nutritional needs. Helpful Buckeye will help guide you through this mine field of correct vs. incorrect food choices for your pets in an upcoming issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats.

Any comments, send an e-mail to:


1) Helpful Buckeye discussed some of the things pet owners must be aware of as sources of trouble for pets around the "Holidays" in last week's issue. Also, it was pointed out by the AVMA that President-Elect Obama had made the smart decision to wait until after his inauguration to look for a new "First Dog." The Holiday trouble sources for pets are difficult enough to deal with when you have a mature pet which has been in the household for some time, let alone trying to bring a new puppy or kitten into the hoopla of the Holidays. For one person's take on why this is a no-no, read the opinion of Matthew Margolis, Dog trainer, and host of the PBS series "WOOF! It's a Dog's Life!" : Warm and cute. Wide-eyed and innocent. Peering out of a box once tied with a big red bow. Who wouldn't want a puppy for Christmas? But that's not the question. The question is: Who's a good candidate to receive such a gift? The problem with holiday puppies has everything to do with the holidays. It's a chaotic time, and puppies need stability and routine. They require significant one-on-one attention, which is hard to give while prepping hors d'oeuvres, filling glasses and basting a turkey. And it's even harder to give en route from JFK to LAX with a connecting at O'Hare. Holiday travel simply leaves no time for puppy. But even for those staying put for the holiday season, the home itself is often turned on its head, filled with strange people coming and going, doors opening and closing, lights blinking, candles burning, cords tangled up behind that irresistible glowing tree playing host to a cornucopia of bite-sized glass ornaments. All dangerous for puppy. People who give the gift of a puppy often have their hearts in the right place. In many ways, a puppy embodies the spirit of Christmas: hopeful, playful, joyful, and full of life and love. But a puppy isn't merchandise that can be returned like a lamp. A dog of any age is a living, breathing, sensitive creature that demands and deserves the time and attention it takes to make him a welcome and permanent member of the family. The frenetic nature of most households during the time leading up to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's in no way lends itself to the essential introductory and bonding period that forms the foundation of the human-canine relationship. Strike one. Then there's housebreaking. If the dog owner is consumed with cleaning, cooking, shopping and wrapping, the dog probably isn't steeped in the Feed-Water-Walk system that leads to successful housebreaking. Strike two. And from a motivational standpoint, if it's 28 degrees outside, it's that much more unappealing to get up and take a puppy out two or three times between sundown and sunrise. Strike three. Why don't people give puppies for the Fourth of July? The reality is that many -- far too many -- holiday puppies are returned to pet stores or abandoned in shelters come January. This being the case, the description of the best candidate to receive a puppy for Christmas looks something like: -- has very few friends -- has no travel plans -- received minimal party invitations -- loves freezing walks in the dead of night -- hates holiday decorations, doesn't open the door to carolers, and refuses to buy or bake sweets of any kind, but especially those containing chocolate. Lucky pooch. All that considered, a puppy is still a personal choice. Not everyone wants one. Not everyone can take care of one. And those who want and are able to care for one will also want to be involved in the process of finding their perfect pup. This year, instead of giving an actual puppy, why not give a puppy starter kit to someone you suspect might really love to have a dog? The kit could include a few books or videos on dog training, a soft chew toy, a blanket, a crate with good visibility, and a gift certificate for a trip to a shelter or rescue on you -- or any combination of the above! In the end, if it turns out that puppy person is actually a cat person, no harm done. Everything in the box wrapped with the big red bow is as it should be -- merchandise that can be returned.

Sounds like the perfect advice to Helpful Buckeye!

2) In addition to the stress of the Holidays and how it affects your pets, there are other stressors to be aware of when it comes to cats. Dr. C.A. "Tony" Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital, discusses how environmental stressors on indoor cats may contribute to lower urinary tract disease and other illnesses. Studies have determined that cats are highly sensitive to their surroundings, and stimuli that appear to be innocuous to a pet owner can be considered a threat by the cat. For instance, cats are not a pack species, Dr. Buffington explained, and cats in a multicat household may experience harmful stress if they are unable to exercise control over their environment, such as spending time away from other cats. "The consensus seems to be that cats appear to benefit from appropriate access to resources, control of interactions with owners, and a tolerable intensity of conflict," Dr. Buffington said. He recommended that veterinarians educate cat owners about their pet's needs and that cats be provided with adequate access to food and water, scratching objects, resting areas, and litter box. (from AVMA and American Association of Feline Practitioners)

If any of you cat owners aren't sure about your cat's needs, perhaps it's time to have that conversation with your veterinarian?

3) The AKC is conducting a survey to determine how much, if any, the present economy is affecting how pet owners are making monetary decisions about their pets. You can find this survey at: Go ahead and participate in the survey...the results might be interesting! Helpful Buckeye will publish the results when they become available. If you happen to get what looks like the final page of the survey, simply click on the "previous" button to find the questions, then go ahead and answer them.

4) In the 12 OCTOBER 2008 issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, Helpful Buckeye presented an overview of the various brands of Pet Health Insurance available to pet owners. The topic generated a lot of e-mails and comments, as evidence that pet owners are considering these policies. The American Animal Hospital Association has recently made an endorsement of one particular plan that you may not have read about: SAN ANTONIO, Texas, September 17, 2008 – PurinaCare®, the first pet health insurance under the Purina brand, today announced it has been awarded the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Seal of Acceptance for its policies with deductibles of $500 and $1,000. The acceptance seal was established by the AAHA to help increase pet owner education and awareness regarding the need to meet their financial responsibility for the care of their pets.
The Seal of Acceptance is awarded to pet insurance policies with high levels of deductibles of at least $500 that provide owners with the coverage they may need for major veterinary expenses. PurinaCare pet health insurance offers four different deductible levels: $100, $250, $500 and $1,000. There is a 20-percent co-pay once the annual deductible has been met.
“We are pleased to have been awarded the AAHA Seal of Acceptance for our high deductible policies,” said David Goodnight, D.V.M., president and chief operating officer of PurinaCare Insurance Services, Inc. “We share the AAHA’s commitment to helping ensure pet owners have the financial resources they need to care for their pets throughout their lifetimes, including the ability to pay for lifesaving catastrophic care or unexpected emergencies.”
Pet health insurance plans must meet a number of criteria in order to be awarded the AAHA Seal of Acceptance, including allowing the policy holder to seek care from a licensed veterinarian of his choosing. In addition, marketing, sales and promotional materials must include the availability of the $500 deductible (or higher) policy option.
PurinaCare offers two plans that are designed to help dog and cat owners take advantage of the latest advances in veterinary medicine with less worry about the financial implications. Both plans provide coverage for illness, injuries and accidents, hospitalization, surgery, prescription medications, and hereditary conditions. The PurinaCare plus Preventive Care plan is designed to encourage the use of routine preventive care by also covering certain customary annual costs of routine vaccinations, flea and heartworm preventative medications, routine annual physical exams and lab tests, and certain other preventive care as outlined in the policy. A complete list of coverage is available on
A subsidiary of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is the issuer of the insurance policies and is registering the insurance offerings in every state. For the complete list of states in which PurinaCare is currently available and to obtain a free quote, pet owners can visit

A further review of this PurinaCare insurance product is available at:

The only potential concern for Helpful Buckeye on this offering would be the recent misfortunes of AIG, the parent company.

5) Our old friend, Mark Twain, had something important to say in reference to all this reading about health matters: "Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."


Palpation--noun; the act of feeling with the hand; the application of the fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body for the purpose of determining the condition of the parts beneath in physical diagnosis.


Pet Safety Collar--....alerts motorists and other pedestrians...Features quick flashes, intermittent flashes, or constant light...can be seen from 1 mile away! Check it out at:


Peruvian Hairless--

This is one of the breeds being mentioned as a possible candidate for being the "First Dog," due to its supposed hypoallergenic traits. Not to be confused with the Xoloitzcuintli, seen below, the Peruvian Hairless does share some traits with the unpronounceable Mexican breed. The same gene that is responsible for the hairless nature of these breeds (and, consequently, their hypoallergenicity) is also responsible for them not having any of their premolars or molars. Needless to say, there aren't very many of either of these breeds found in the USA...which results in them being very expensive! Helpful Buckeye is still wrestling with the pronounciation of the Xolo.... Why isn't it just called a Mexican Hairless, the same as the one from Peru???


1) In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this past week there was a nice editorial opinion in The USA Today about the good work that is being done by humane societies, animal shelters, and animal rescuers. For a feel-good read, go to:

2) Also, this past week, there was a heart-warming story in The USA Today about small plane pilots who donate their services to help relocate homeless pets from a shelter where they will soon be euthanized to another location where they can be safely held until adoption. They refer to themselves as Pilots N Paws and they have flown several hundreds of pets on these missions of mercy. "Doggy kisses are worth the $6 a gallon," says Westminster, Md., businesswoman and small-plane pilot Michele McGuire. She was recently part of a two-leg rely that flew a 110-pound skin-and-bones Great Dane from Arab, Ala., where a rescue group saved it from euthanasia, to a new family in Baldwin, Mass. For the whole story, go to:

3) Helpful Buckeye has received this video of the "Talking Dogs" from several readers this past week, but Charee, in Virginia, was the first to send it. For those of you who haven't seen it, these dogs are much better "talkers" than those in various other videos! Take a look and see what you think: (then click on the black and white dog to start the video)

4) As a sort of follow-up to the smart dogs, we now have the "crazy" dogs. Almost as interesting as the action is the music accompanying this video: and be careful where you are standing!!!

5) A final fun video to watch was sent to Helpful Buckeye by Sara, in Virginia, and this one involves what is called, "The Slinky Cat." It appears that this cat has perhaps swallowed a Slinky (just joking, folks!)....

At this point, a quote from Henry David Thoreau about cats would be appropriate: "A kitten is so flexible that she is almost double; the hind parts are equivalent to another kitten with which the forepart plays. She does not discover that her tail belongs to her until you tread upon it."

6) Another AVMA podcast (audio only) presents an interesting picture of some of the differences between dog and cat owners. Listen and see if you agree or disagree with some of the observations:

7) The 24th of NOV marked the anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, in 1859. The actual complete title was On the Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life and it still stands today as one of the most significant pieces of scientific literature ever written.

8) Also, on the 24th of NOV 1874, Joseph Glidden received the first meaningful patent for the production of barbed wire. It was the introduction of barbed wire that made farming the Great Plains possible. Now, what does barbed wire have to do with dogs and cats, you say? Well, absolutely nothing, except that Helpful Buckeye vividly remembers touring a small un-air-conditioned barbed wire museum in McLean, Texas on a 103 degree the pleading request of Desperado, a true barbed wire aficionada!

9) The 26th of NOV (1922) was the birthday of Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts. As our readers will recall, Snoopy, one of the Peanuts characters, ran for President several weeks ago. One of Schulz's famous quotes was: "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."

10) The 30th of NOV (1835) was the birthday of our old friend Mark Twain, who later died in 1910. Twain was a great one for observations and appropriate quotes. Here are two pictures of him and his pets, along with quotes about each one:

"Entrance into Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in."- Mark Twain, A Biography

"One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."- Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson


The Pittsburgh Steelers went into New England and soundly beat the Patriots today. That's only the second time in 9 games that we have beaten them! Hopefully, this momentum will carry over into next week, when we play Dallas in the Steel City.


My really good friend, Ken, who is currently recuperating, has a very different sense of winter than does Helpful Buckeye. We both really like's just that I like it here and he wants it somewhere else! So, as we head into the month of December, Helpful Buckeye would like to offer Ken this poem of hope, even as winter is approaching:

"I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

A magical thing

And sweet to remember.

'We are nearer to Spring

Than we were in September,'

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December."

- Oliver Herford, I Heard a Bird Sing

Hang in there, good buddy!!!

I guess you could say that Ken is a pessimist about winter, while Helpful Buckeye is an optimist. None other than Sir Winston Churchill gave us his view on this difference: "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

~~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.~~

1 comment:

  1. Helpful Buckeye,
    That's an interesting addition you have made to your blog--the polling question. Also, how do I go about including myself as "following" the blog?

    Sam, Cedar Rapids