Sunday, July 18, 2010


Several weeks ago, Helpful Buckeye offered a video clip of the movie Hachi...a story about a Japanese Akita dog and his unending devotion to his adoptive owner.  The movie never made it to Flagstaff so I had to wait until I could borrow the DVD from the library.  Desperado and Helpful Buckeye watched it this past week and really enjoyed the performances of Richard Gere and Joan Allen.  If you haven't already seen it, be sure to get yourself a copy...and have a box of Kleenex handy.

Veronica, from Milwaukee, sent the following e-mail:

Helpful Buckeye, I just started reading your blog a couple of months ago (found it on Google) and have really seen lots of interesting ideas for my dog.  After reading each week's blog, I've also begun to pick out 2-3 topics at random from the labels list and read what shows up.  This allows me to learn even more for my dog, in addition to catching up with previous issues of the blog.

Thanks, Veronica, for the kind words...and for the suggestion for all of our readers to use the list of topics found in the left column under the heading of Labels.

Half of respondents to the question about contracting poison ivy from a pet said they had not and half said they weren't sure about it.  None of our readers said they would buy ice cream from the company that used a kitten in their ad.  100% said "no sale!"  Be sure to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.


Every week is different concerning the amount of news being generated about dogs and cats.  Some weeks only have a single item of interest, while others, such as this one, are loaded.  Enjoy....

1) More recalls of  pet products have materialized:
Feline’s Pride recalls Natural Chicken Formula Cat Food...Merrick Pet Care recalls Beef Filet Squares 10oz Bag...United Pet Group expands recall...Iams recalls canned cat food for insufficient thiamine.
The reference for the list of product numbers of the first 3 of these is at:  and the reference for the Iams products is at: 

2) The city of Vienna, Austria, has introduced a ban on dangerous breeds of dogs.  Last week, the city passed a controversial new law that will require the owners of so-called "fight dogs" to carry a license proving they can keep their pets in check.  Needless to say, several pet organizations have stood up to fight this ordinance.  Determine for yourself which way to go with this one:

3) The city of Austin, Texas, has unanimously passed an ordinance banning  retail sales of cats and dogs that are not spayed or neutered.  The ban is meant to strike a blow against puppy mills and other uncontrolled sources of pets.  Read the whole story at:

4) Massachusetts is poised to become the 13th state to require a different formulation in the makeup of antifreeze.  The other states with similar legislation are: Arizona, California, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Similar legislation has been approved by the Illinois Legislature, and awaits the Governor's signature. Bills are still pending in New Hampshire and Ohio. Check out the rest of the story:

To read about the dangers of the current form of antifreeze, refer to this previous issue of the blog:

5) An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires, however, nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets, according to a new data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association.  The American Kennel Club has put together a comprehensive list of how to keep your pets safe and to help prevent them from starting house fires:


1) Even though heat exhaustion has been a repeat subject here at Questions On Dogs and Cats, the broad-ranging heat waves all over the USA this summer justify further mention of this serious problem.  The American Veterinary Medical Association is taking a proactive stance in preventing heat exhaustion:  "It's only the second week in July, and already the summer of 2010 has produced record-setting heat waves in many cities, including New York, Boston and Washington, D.C.," said Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "When the heat rises, it can be a dangerous time for pets.  Signs of heat stroke include hard panting, staggering gate, rapid heartbeat, listlessness, restlessness, dark red or purple gums and tongue, and vomiting."  Read the rest of their advice at:  and watch this short video on heat related problems: 

2) Since we are well into the summer and mosquitoes are well-distributed across the USA, this would be the time for a quick review of the dangers of heartworm infection.  The AVMA's new podcast provides some interesting refreshers on heartworms:

For a more extensive review of heartworms in dogs, go back to Helpful Buckeye's column in an earlier issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats at:


1) Both of these items address the problems associated with air travel by your pets.  If your dog is one of the short-faced (brachycephalic) breeds, it might experience respiratory difficulties when flying.  Learn about it before your pet flies:

Another reference that includes death rates of specific breeds of dogs while flying is at: 

2) To help you sort through all the offerings and restrictions for flying your pets on the various airlines, had provided this nice chart that decodes airline pet policies: 


Running with the heat wave theme, here are some interesting warm weather products for your pets, ranging from an antimicrobial beach collar to a crate fan to a water bottle with a built-in dish.  See the rest of these products and where you can purchase them at: 


1) Oscar, a cat in England, has been roaming his neighborhood and bringing underpants back home.  His owners, who have been keeping Oscar as a foster cat, did let the local police know what was going on so that the neighborhood wouldn't be alarmed of a "panty-stealing" thief in their midst.  Even so, the owners have decided to permanently adopt Oscar, including presumably the underwear collection.  Check out the whole story at:

2) A dog in Pennsylvania possibly saved himself from a serious problem or even death by honking the car horn after being closed in a hot car accidentally by his owner.  The honking did get her attention and Max was rescued unharmed: 

3)  To answer the long-standing question of which is more expensive to keep, cats or dogs, this column goes through a pretty thorough breakdown of expenses:
4) Helpful Buckeye did a short informative piece on how to remove a tick from your pet several issues ago.  Now, the Mayo Clinic provides a good description of what a person should do if they find a tick embedded on their own body: 

Good advice that's easy to follow.

5) Since we've already made several references to dogs having free access to adequate water during these hot months, Helpful Buckeye thought our readers might enjoy watching the actual mechanism employed by dogs in order to get water into their mouth.  Watch this video (more than once, if necessary) and see if you can pick up the technique:

Helpful Buckeye will not be burdening you any more this year with tales of the hapless LA Dodgers.  Their antics the last 4 days against the Cardinals remind me of a famous quote by John McKay, former head coach of the old Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  During a prolonged losing streak, when asked by a reporter about his team's execution, McKay replied: "I'm all in favor of it...."


Desperado and Helpful Buckeye had one of those special evenings this week, when we drove down to Sedona for an outdoor movie offered by the Sedona Film Festival.  The outdoor arena of red rocks, starry sky, and adobe made for a truly memorable experience.  We're fortunate to be so close to such an environment.

My friend, Ken, with the recent heart-bypass, is just about to get rid of his "training wheels" as his rehab gets ready to move into higher gear.  We're all cheering for a stronger, healthier, and more vigorous Ken....

As if speaking for the 4 of us (including Ms. Cowpoke), Lord Chesterfield (English man of letters, 1694-1773) had this to say about appreciating the moment: "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it."

And, of course, we'll let Mark Twain have the last word this week, as he offers Ken some advice from Following The Equator...1897:
~~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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