Monday, November 30, 2009


Basking in the afterglow of a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend, it became obvious that coming up with a decent subject for this week's dog/cat disease was beyond the scope of reality. As everyone delves into the leftovers from their Thanksgiving meal, returns home from their day-long shopping expeditions, and revels in the exploits of their favorite football team, Helpful Buckeye realizes that the last thing on your minds is "digesting" more facts about a disease or illness of your dog and/or cat. Not that we're letting the pets take care of themselves this week....

No, Questions On Dogs and Cats will be providing a potpourri of interesting features covering our end-of-year holidays, highlights of pet news, some fun things about dogs and cats, and just a general hodgepodge of diverse happenings...for your reading pleasure, of course!

The results of last week's poll questions showed a couple of things. First, a lot of you do actually read the articles that are referenced by link to the web site. You had to read the story about the Boykin Spaniel to know that it is the official State Dog of South Carolina, as 14 of you responded. Secondly, most of our readers were at least partly familiar with turkey production in the USA. North Carolina was the leader for a lot of years and Arkansas was the 2nd leading producer last year, as many of you wrote in e-mails. Nobody selected Minnesota, which was the leading producer of turkeys in the USA for 2008. Be sure to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.


1) Several Arizona families have been certified as foster families for deployed soldiers' pets through this program:

Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets

  • What: The Arkansas-based non-profit organization finds temporary homes nationwide for the pets of people in the military. Volunteers provide foster care for the pets until they can be reunited with their owners. The organization also is working to build a sanctuary for pets when foster families aren't available at the time needed.

  • How it works: Military service members can submit a request for a pet foster home online or by phone. People interested in volunteering as foster parents or making donations can contact the organization in the same ways.

  • Details: Arizona coordinator C.J. Anderson, 602-206-0736 or e-mail National office, 501-325-1591,

For a description of how this program has been working in Arizona, go to:

2) CHICAGO (UPI) -- U.S. medical researchers say patients using pet therapy may need less pain medication.

Pet therapy helps decrease painkillers
Researchers at Loyola University Health System in Chicago said adults recovering from total joint-replacement surgery given pet therapy required 50 percent less pain drugs that those not receiving pet therapy. The study was presented by Julia Havey at the annual conference of the International Society of Anthrozoology and First Human Animal Interaction Conference in Kansas City, Mo. "Evidence suggests that animal-assisted therapy can have a positive effect on a patient's psychosocial, emotional and physical well being," Havey said in a statement. "The data further support these benefits and build the case for expanding the use of pet therapy in recovery." Havey and Loyola colleague Frances Vlasses have been raising puppies to become assistance dogs to people with physical and developmental disabilities for more than a decade through the program Canine Companions for Independence.
3) WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (UPI) -- Purdue University scientists say they'll use a $1.3 million grant to help further students' understanding of the role animals play in keeping people healthy.
Animals at center of new health curriculum
The five-year-grant from the National Institutes of Health was awarded Professors Timothy Ratliff and Sandra Amass of Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine to create a new health science curriculum for third-, sixth- and ninth-graders; start a faculty mentor program in Indiana schools; create fitness programs centered around animals, and develop a museum exhibit focused on the links between animal and human health. The initiative is called "Fat Dogs and Coughing Horses: Animal Contributions Towards a Healthier Citizenry." "Animals play a large role in keeping people healthy," Amass said. "A lot of conditions that affect humans affect animals. For example, horses get the heaves, which is just like asthma in kids, and dogs get the same cancers that people do." The School of Veterinary Medicine is working with Indiana teachers to develop a curriculum focused on filling the gaps in health science education. Officials said the curriculum will be available to Indiana schools, and, eventually, to schools nationally. "We're really interested in introducing people to science and the impact science has on their lives," Ratliff said. "We felt that if people learn science at an early age, they will know better its impact on their lives."
4) Members of the Wounded Warrior Battalion from Fort Campbell, KY enjoyed two beautiful days of quail hunting at Cedar Grove Plantation near Clarksville, VA....
AKC Sporting Breeds Hunt With Wounded Warriors
Mr. James Kinnear, owner of Cedar Grove, readily accepted the opportunity to host the Wounded Warriors. There was no shortage of dog power, with five Vizslas, one German Wirehaired Pointer and six Boykin Spaniels taking turns leading the hunt. Many of these dogs had earned titles, ranging from Junior Hunter to Dual Champion, in AKC field events. The local field trial community raised over $1,000 to defer the Wounded Warriors travel expenses.
The pointing breeds and spaniels worked in tandem with two pointing breeds locating and pointing the quail and then the Boykins were sent in to flush and retrieve. Doug Ljungren, AVP of Performance Events was one of the pointing breed dog handlers. "I had never hunted in this manner before but it worked well. The Boykins are a delightful little dog. They really know their business." With the pointing dog handlers working out front, the Wounded Warriors were transported on a wagon drawn by two mules. Sunday night the hunting party was treated to a Cedar Grove dinner specialty – quail potpie. The Wounded Warriors appreciation was obvious. It was a unique weekend that will be remembered by all.
This story is from the American Kennel Club. For the story and several pictures, go to:
You did notice the mention of the Boykin Spaniel again, didn't you?

1) Watch Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association, as he presents AVMA Holiday Tips for Pet Owners:

This is a nice over-view of several things we've discussed in previous issues of Questions On Dogs and Cats.

2) In addition to keeping our pets healthy and free from problems during the holidays, we also want them to look their best. The following is from the ASPCA:

Grooming Your Dog

Snip, clip, wash and dry! Groom your dog like a pro. Ever watched your dog roll on the ground, lick her coat or chew at a mat on her fur? These are her ways of keeping clean. Sometimes, though, she’ll need a little extra help from her friend to look her best.

  • Make Grooming as Enjoyable as Possible—For the Both of You!Grooming sessions should always be fun, so be sure to schedule them when your dog’s relaxed, especially if she’s the excitable type. Until your pet is used to being groomed, keep the sessions short—just 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually lengthen the time until it becomes routine for your dog. You can help her get comfortable with being touched and handled by making a habit of petting every single part of your dog, including such potentially sensitive areas as the ears, tail, belly, back and feet. And here’s one of our most important tips of all—pile on the praise and offer your pooch a treat when the session is finished!

  • Brushing
    Regular grooming with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. And grooming time’s a great time to check for fleas and flea dirt--those little black specks that indicate your pet is playing host to a flea family.
    If your dog has a smooth, short coat (like that of a chihuahua, boxer or basset hound), you only need to brush once a week: - First, use a rubber brush to loosen dead skin and dirt.- Next, use a bristle brush to remove dead hair.- Now, polish your low-maintenance pooch with a chamois cloth and she’s ready to shine!
    If your dog has short, dense fur that’s prone to matting, like that of a retriever, here’s your weekly routine: - Use a slicker brush to remove tangles.- Next, catch dead hair with a bristle brush.- Don’t forget to comb her tail.
    If your dog has a long, luxurious coat, such as that of a Yorkshire terrier, she’ll need daily attention: - Every day you’ll need to remove tangles with a slicker brush.- Gently tease mats out with a slicker brush.- Next, brush her coat with a bristle brush.- If you have a long-haired dog with a coat like a collie’s or an Afghan hound’s, follow the steps above, and also be sure to comb through the fur and trim the hair around the hocks and feet.

  • BathingThe ASPCA recommends bathing your dog every 3 months or so; your pet may require more frequent baths in the summertime if she spends lots of time with you outdoors. Always use a mild shampoo that’s safe to use on dogs, and follow these easy steps: - First, give your pet a good brushing to remove all dead hair and mats.- Place a rubber bath mat in the bathtub to provide secure footing, and fill the tub with about 3 to 4 inches of lukewarm water.- Use a spray hose to thoroughly wet your pet, taking care not to spray directly in her ears, eyes or nose. If you don’t have a spray hose, a large plastic pitcher or unbreakable cup will do.- Gently massage in shampoo, working from head to tail.- Thoroughly rinse with a spray hose or pitcher; again, avoid the ears, eyes and nose.- Check the ears for any foul odors or excessive debris; if you choose to use a cleansing solution on a cotton ball, take care not to insert it into the ear canal.- Dry your pet with a large towel or blow dryer, but carefully monitor the level of heat.
    Please note: Some animals seem to think that bathtime is a perfect time to act goofy. Young puppies especially will wiggle and bounce all over the place while you try to brush them, and tend to nip at bathtime. If this sounds like your pet, put a toy that floats in the tub with her so she can focus on the toy rather than on mouthing you.

  • Nail Clipping
    Most people really don’t handle their dog’s feet until they are about to clip the nails and then…watch out! Some animals can get very upset at this totally foreign feeling. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your dog used to having her feet touched before you attempt a nail trim. Rub your hand up and down her leg and then gently press each individual toe—and be sure to give her lots of praise and some food treats as you do this. Every animal is different, but chances are that within a week or two of daily foot massage, your dog will be better able to tolerate a trim. Here’s how to do it: - Begin by spreading each of your dog’s feet to inspect for dirt and debris.- Use sharp, guillotine-type nail clippers to cut off the tip of each nail at a slight angle, just before the point where it begins to curve.- Take care to avoid the quick, a vein that runs into the nail. This pink area can be seen through the nail. If your dog has black nails, however, the quick will not be as easily discernible, so be extra careful.- If you do accidentally cut into the quick, it may bleed, in which case you can apply some styptic powder to stop the bleeding.- Once the nails have been cut, use an emery board to smooth any rough edges.

  • Special Breeds, Special Needs--Dogs with loose facial skin or wrinkles—such as shar peis and pugs—will need special attention. To prevent dirt and bacteria from causing irritation and infection, clean the folds of skin with damp cotton. Always thoroughly dry the areas between the folds.
    If your dog has long or droopy ears, you should check them weekly. Remove wax and dirt from your pet’s ears with a cotton ball moistened with water or a little mineral oil. You may need to remove any excess hair leading into the ear canal; ask your pet’s vet or groomer to show you how before trying it at home. There are special hair removers that allow you to carefully pull one strand at a time.
Check out this pair of Pet Drying Mitts at:


As the staff at the Mayo Clinic presents in this article: "Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression."

For the rest of this very informative and helpful list of suggestions, go to:


Pet Greens Catnip Buds are the closest thing to growing your own catmint without having to remember to water. Entire stems of the herb are handpicked and dried, which you then crumble up and stuff in catnip toys, rub on cat beds, or simply sprinkle on the floor. A review of this product is available at:
One place at which you can order these "Catnip Buds" is:

To learn more about catnip and its effects on cats, go back to Helpful Buckeye's discussion in a previous issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats:


1) From the web site All About Dogs and Cats, at: comes this comparison of what the diaries of a dog and a cat might look like:

From a Dog's Diary….

  • 8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

  • 9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

  • 9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

  • 10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

  • 12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

  • 1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

  • 3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

  • 5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

  • 7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

  • 8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

  • 11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

From a Cat's Diary....

  • Day 983 of my captivity.

  • My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

  • They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

  • The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

  • Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am.

  • There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

  • Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

  • I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

  • The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now....

This web site has a lot of very interesting topics of interest to dog and cat enthusiasts. It also includes a clickable link to Questions On Dogs and Cats on its "Pet Health" page.

2) A BP gas station/convenience store in Florida has taken customer service to the dogs:

3) A backyard dog ran into a buzz saw when it tried to come between a mother squirrel and its baby. Check out the story and pictures from Great Britain:

4) Take a few minutes to enjoy this music video as a lead in to a "birthday" observance this past week:

On 11/23/1889, 120 years ago this past week, Louis Glass and William S. Arnold placed a coin-operated Edison cylinder phonograph in the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It was an Edison Class M Electric Phonograph in an oak cabinet that was refitted with a coin mechanism patented (U.S. 428,750) by Glass and Arnold. This was the first Nickel-in-the-Slot, one of the early forerunners to the modern Jukebox as we know it. The machine had no amplification and patrons had to listen to the music using one of four listening tubes. In its first six months of service, the Nickel-in-the-Slot earned over $1000. Not bad for a nickel per play! At Buck Owens' rate of a quarter per play, you get a sense of the rate of inflation....

5) On 11/24/1874, 135 years ago this past week, Joseph Glidden received a patent for the production of a product, sometimes referred to as Devil's rope, that made farming the Great Plains possible and actually helped change the West as it was known at that time.

If you ever pass through north Texas on I-40, stop into the small town of McLean and make a visit to the Devil's Rope Museum...tell them that Desperado sent you!


The Pittsburgh Steelers played our most-hated rival, the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday evening. The Ravens pretty much had to win the game to salvage any chance they have to make the playoffs. The same could be said for the Steelers. Just before sending this issue to the publisher, the Ravens won the game in overtime with a FG. Our 3rd string QB had a nifty TD run to put us ahead in the second half...but he also threw an interception in the overtime which lead to the winning FG. Oh well, you live by the sword...and you die by the sword.


Helpful Buckeye and Desperado rode the train to the Grand Canyon this past week. A private rail line, the Grand Canyon Railroad takes passengers from their terminal at Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon station just below the El Tovar Hotel. The trip allows for a 3-hour stopover at the South Rim before heading back to Williams. We had lunch at the El Tovar and spent the rest of the time walking along the rim. No matter how many times you see the Canyon, its awesome vistas still inspire appreciation. Helpful Buckeye came out on the winning end of a wager between 2 OSU from Oklahoma State and one from Ohio State. When Ken's OSU lost to Oklahoma this weekend, they ended up with a 9-3 record, vs. the 10-2 record of Helpful Buckeye's Ohio State. We won't disclose the amount of the wager...suffice it to say that it will buy me just about 2 good cups of coffee.

Now that we have gotten our first snow accumulation of the year here in Flagstaff, this quote from Mark Twain applies: "Shut the door. Not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the cozyness."--Mark Twain's Notebook

~~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. SOONERS aren't very nice...poor Ken won't be right until wrestling, golf, tennis, baseball, basketball,soccer,cross country,etc, etc, roll around. Then he'll be all smiles and back into Bedlam and Blogs :^)

  2. Hi Doc:
    Lots of fun stuff in this one, except for the loss to Baltimore...which still leaves me conflicted as I am from B'More...

    Rory & Fiona will be joining hubby and me on a two week trip here shortly. We head south to be with Evan at Hurlburt Field where he is stationed for Christmas which is also his birthday.

    Stops between to visit family and also Williamsburg which is my Christmas gift from Michael.

    Fiona and Rory travel very well, except Rory who is never a gusty eater gets off his feed pretty much...however, I've never known an animal to starve itself, so I suppose he'll eat if he gets hungry.

    That said, should you have any tips to help with that, I'd sure appreciate it.

    Warmest Regards,

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