Sunday, December 21, 2008


Helpful Buckeye and Desperado wish all of our readers a happy and safe celebration of the Holidays!!! This issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats takes you through New Year's Day. The next issue will be available on 5 JAN 2009, so this is it for 2008!

One of my favorite videos of a Christmas song is this one, White Christmas, recorded by The Drifters (featuring Clyde McPhatter and Bill Pinckney) in sure to catch the choreography by the Santa and the reindeer:

As a final reminder that you only get out of life what you put into it, this quote from William Makepeace Thackeray (English author who wrote Vanity Fair) sums up Helpful Buckeye's final present for our readers this year: "Life is a mirror: if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting."


1) Scientists at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts have come up with an interesting way of possibly "killing" pathogenic bacteria:

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have developed a method of "fooling" a bacterium's evolutionary machinery into programming its own death. Researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst said their achievement shows a synthetic "hole punching" anti-microbial depends upon the presence of phosphoethanolamine -- a cone-shaped lipid found within Gram-negative bacterial membranes. "The basic idea is for an antimicrobial to target something in a bacteria that, in order to gain immunity, would require the bacteria to kill itself through a suicide mutation," said UI Professor Gerard Wong, corresponding author of the study. "It's a Catch-22," he added. "Some mutations bacteria can tolerate, and some mutations they cannot tolerate. In this case, the bacteria would have to go through a mutation that would kill it, in order to be immune to these anti-microbials. The anti-microbial reorganizes PE lipids into holes in the membrane; the perforated membranes leak, and the bacteria die." The study that included graduate student and lead author Lihua Yang, as well as Professors Dallas Trinkle, John Cronan Jr. and Gregory Tew has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is currently available on the journal's Web site.

2) Vice-President-Elect, Joe Biden, has gotten a new puppy, a German Shepherd. Read the account from MSNBC: It seems that the acquisition has aroused the ire of animal shelter supporters, who felt that any of the Presidential or Vice-Presidential dog adoptions should come from a shelter. Helpful Buckeye thinks the more important point here is that the German Shepherd puppy was chosen after an extensive background check. Vice-President Biden will have plenty of opportunities to show how well cared for his dog will be.

3) Comedian Jimmy Kimmel, not to be outdone by the shelter supporters, had this comment: "When Vice President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month, he's going to have a German shepherd puppy. That's good to know because his dog will stand by in case Barack Obama's dog becomes incapacitated."

4) Speaking of "First" Pets, former President Clinton's cat, Socks, is gravely ill with some form of cancer. Socks was adopted by Betty Currie, President Clinton's former secretary. For the story, see:


1) This interesting factoid aroused some thought: The average paper and paperboard consumption in the U.S. is more than 655 lbs. per person (World Resources Institute, 2005). Yes, you read that right...655lbs.!!! So, for those of you who print off a copy of each week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, you'll be using less paper this week! That's a GREEN benefit!

2) The National Weather Service has verified what Helpful Buckeye has been promoting:

(From The USA Today)

...and with the approximately 36" of snow we've gotten in the last 5 days, the white Christmas will be 100% this year!

3) Two new books, one about a cat and one about a dog, present an entirely new perspective on being a dog or a cat. Read a little about each one at these web sites (cursor to the lower half of each page): and

4) A new survey by Forbes Magazine has determined what the Ten Most Pet-Friendly cities are in the USA:

5) Forbes Magazine has also come up with a list of Ten Techie Things For Your Pet (some of these are pretty interesting and some are a little bit "out there"):

6) A third study by Forbes Magazine has produced a breakdown of America's Most Popular Pups by various cities:


The Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team is up to #17 in the rankings.

The Pittsburgh Steelers ran into problems in Nashville today. It appears they have had too many high-pressure games in a row and just ran out of gas...the Titans beat them soundly. We might face them again in the playoffs.


Helpful Buckeye extends a big "Thank You" to all of our regular and loyal readers for sticking with us for the last 8 months! Hopefully, you all feel that you have gained some insight into the world of dogs and cats, how they function, how they hurt, and how they love to be with a great owner. For those of you who have been infrequent visitors, Helpful Buckeye will leave you with the words of John Greenleaf Whittier, American poet, : "For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, 'It might have been.' "

The best way to correct that oversight is to read Questions On Dogs and Cats every week and contribute when you find the opportunity. This will be the final issue of 2008. Helpful Buckeye and Desperado are looking forward to sharing this blog with all of you in 2009. Be safe over the Holidays!

~~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-
    I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year! A friend of mine at work told me about the blog. Each week you have talked about something interesting and I look forward to finding the new issue on Mondays. The recent article on flea control has helped me get better organized in the fight against fleas. Thanks!

    Sally, Dallas