Sunday, May 8, 2011


Se Habla Espanol?

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone and Helpful Buckeye can't let that slide.  Your favorite Chihuahua was all dressed up for the occasion and had no party to go to...because Desperado and Helpful Buckeye were driving home from California, 626 miles, that day.  However, never fear...we celebrated "Ocho de Mayo" with some friends at our casa on Sunday evening (the 8th) and the Chihuahua was not disappointed.  Our dishes included shrimp, black beans, corn, red peppers, rice, cilantro, cumin, pomegranates, pine nuts, limes, salsa, green chiles, asadero and queso cheeses, arugula, mango, jicama, avocado, and a cerveza...or two.
It appears that many of our readers have a dog and/or cat that are considered to be "seniors".  80% of respondents the last 2 weeks reported as such.  Also, just about 50% of you that have a senior pet take it in for more frequent health check-ups.  That's pretty's senior pets definitely benefit from more frequent visits to your veterinarian.  Be sure to answer this week's polls questions in the column to the left.

When we finished last week's issue on senior challenges, Helpful Buckeye had discussed the signs/symptoms you might expect to see as your pet ages as well as some lifestyle changes that could possible help your senior pet adjust to the vagaries of being older.  This week, Helpful Buckeye will finish this topic with some ideas on what you can do to make your senior pet more comfortable and some considerations for when it's time to "make the final decision".

The ASPCA provides a nice lead-in to the question, "What Can I Do to Make My Senior Dog More Comfortable?"

- Older dogs are unable to regulate body temperature as effectively as young dogs, and should be kept warm, dry and indoors when not outside for exercise. Likewise, senior dogs are extra sensitive to heat and humidity. Please take precautions to protect them from conditions that could cause heatstroke.
- An arthritic pet may appreciate ramps in the home, extra blankets and an orthopedic bed.
- If your dog is losing his sight or hearing, remove obstacles and reduce his anxiety by keeping floors free of clutter.
- Regular tooth brushing (with special dog toothpaste, please) will help cut down on excessive plaque that can lead to a host of problems, but many senior dogs will require professional cleanings under general anesthesia.

The American Animal Hospital Association adds this advice on exercise, surgery, and pain management: 

Exercise is yet another aspect of preventive geriatric care for your pets. You should definitely keep them going as they get older—if they are cooped up or kept lying down, their bodies will deteriorate much more quickly. You may want to ease up a bit on the exercise with an arthritic or debilitated cat or dog. Otherwise, you should keep them as active—mentally and physically—as possible in order to keep them sharp.

In the event your veterinarian is considering surgery or any other procedure in which anesthesia is needed, special considerations are taken to help ensure the safety of your senior pet. AAHA recommends all senior dogs and cats undergo  laboratory testing, ideally within the two weeks before any anesthetized procedure. A blood pressure evaluation and additional tests might also be recommended, depending on your individual pet. These screening tools can provide critical information to the health care team to help determine the proper anesthesia and drug protocol for your pet, as well as make you aware of any special risk factors that might be encountered.

Pets experience pain just like humans do, and AAHA recommends veterinarians take steps to identify, prevent, and minimize pain in all senior dogs and cats. The AAHA guidelines encourage veterinarians to use pain assessment as the fourth vital sign (along with temperature, pulse and respiration). The different types of pain include acute pain, which comes on suddenly as a result of an injury, surgery, or an infection, and chronic pain, which is long lasting and usually develops slowly (such as arthritis). You can play a key role in monitoring your pet to determine whether he suffers from pain. To help ensure your pet lives comfortably during the senior life stage, it’s critical to work with your veterinarian to tailor a senior wellness plan that is best for your dog or cat. Be sure to monitor behavior and physical conditions and report anything unusual to your veterinarian, who can help your pet head into the twilight years with ease.

A few products with the aging cat in mind are presented by the folks at Pawnation:

If your cat is becoming gray around the whiskers, a number of products can help it adjust to the physical changes that come with getting older. Whether your senior cat needs a cozier napping spot or a gentler grooming routine, a few basics can keep it active and content.  To smooth your cat's transition to senior status, our friends at Zootoo rounded up some of their favorite products to comfort aging cats, Bristle Finishing Brush, Deodorizing Kitty Wipes, Grain-Free Cat Food Pouches, Heated Wellness Pad, and Hip+Joint Cat Soft Chews...which are available at:

Also, from Pawnation, comes this Sunny Seat for:  Many cats are always trying to get the best spot. They want to sit right in a sunbeam, and no, they do not want to share that spot, "thankyouverymuch". 

The Sunny Seat is available at:

One more aspect of making senior pets more comfortable is this interesting concept from College Station, Texas:

Cats perch in sunny windows and sleepy-eyed dogs melt onto beds. Feline castles — their carpet cladding hanging in tatters — line the wall. Tantalizing bowls of dog chow clang the canine dinner bell.

The scene at Texas A&M University's Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center could come straight from a 19th-century painter's vision of the “peaceable kingdom” — lions, lambs, babes and bulls all lolling in blissful communion.

For 17 years, the center, adjacent to the university's college of veterinary medicine, has been a cushy retirement home for pets whose owners have died or are no longer are able to care for them.  Home to 21 cats, 16 dogs and one llama, the center is poised for its second expansion in seven years. With construction set to begin in June, the addition will provide quarters for cockatoos, parrots and other large birds, and screened porches and added rooms for four-legged guests.  The 2,600-square-foot addition, which would bring the total to about 11,000 square feet, is needed to keep up with the center's growing enrollment.

Director Dr. Henry Presnal said 359 animals from 20 states are registered to become future residents.  Presnal, a one-time farm boy who practiced veterinary medicine 27 years, marvels at the intensity of the bond between humans and their pets.  “It's been an evolution,” he said. “Growing up on the farm, dogs would be outside and cats lived in the barn. To go from that as a kid, to a practicing veterinarian ... I'd see big, grown, tough men cry when you'd give them a poor prognosis for their pet. To me, it was just unbelievable how things had changed. Animals have become children substitutes.”

People desiring to place pets at the center can do so through an endowment, either by bequest or up-front payment. The fee is contingent on the owner's age; for a 30-39-year-old client wishing to place a small animal, a minimum $100,000 bequest or $10,000 up-front payment is required. The fee doubles for large animals.  For that money, the lucky animals are pampered for life and, after life, enshrined as cremated remains in a tasteful hallway shrine to the departed.

More information about this facility is available at:

Another article about the Stevenson Center, as well as similar capabilities at other university schools:

When Pets Outlive Owners, 'Retirement Homes' Offer Refuge

Betty Kyle knew that after she passed away her daughters did not want to care for her menagerie of four Italian greyhounds, two donkeys, a goat and horse.  So the 66-year-old ponied up more than $100,000 for her animals to live out their final days at the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center, a pet retirement home run by Texas A&M University in College Station.

"I was just impressed with Stevenson after having visited a couple of other facilities that were available to me," the Santa Fe, N.M., resident explained.

Acknowledging the strong human-animal bond, some veterinary schools now help people plan for their pet's future. Programs either provide animals with lifelong care or find them new homes after their owners die or are no longer able to care for them.  Most people probably don't think their pets will outlive them but accidents, illnesses and even old age can sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly take a pet owner's life. Animal welfare experts estimate that, each year, tens of thousands of pets are killed in overcrowded shelters and veterinary hospitals because their owners didn't make arrangements for their continued care.

At the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, the Tender Loving Care for Pets Program places animals in pre-screened homes then keeps tabs on them to make sure they're cared for properly.

Since 1996, Kansas State University has offered a similar service called the Perpetual Pet Care Program. "Our main goal is to provide peace of mind for the owners," said Chris Gruber, director of development for the college of veterinary medicine. "We try and replicate the exact environment the animal came from originally."

Today, more than 35 families with 110 animals have signed up, he said. The minimum enrollment amount for a small companion animal (cat, dog or bird) is $25,000, which is given to the school after an owner's death through an estate, trust or life insurance policy.  If any funds remain after the animal's death, owners can choose to support the next generation of veterinarians by applying it toward scholarships, for instance, or equipment for the teaching hospital.

At Texas A & M's Animal Life-Care Center, the brick building on campus where 16 dogs and 20 cats currently reside looks like a sprawling mansion surrounded by a sea of green grass.  Long-time director and veterinarian Dr. Henry Presnal said the 8,300-square-foot facility, which will expand this summer because of demand, is designed to give personalized care in a home-like setting.

"We don't do anything to the animals that live here that you wouldn't do for one at home," he said.  Paid staff and students pursuing veterinary degrees make sure the orphaned cats and dogs receive everything needed to stay happy and healthy: daily exercise, regular medical care, grooming and specialized diets if needed.  A fully equipped barn for horses and other large animals is located on a quiet, shady part of the property.  Currently 135 owners from around the country have enrolled 350 companion animals in the privately funded program, said Presnal.

To place an animal, owners must establish an endowment through a will or trust, or pay a fee at the time of enrollment.  The amount is based on the pet owner's age. Someone in their 30s, for example, with a dog or cat must leave $100,000 to the university or pay $10,000 up front. Doing so insures a spot for the owner's current animal or one owned at the time of death.

Oklahoma State University's Center for Veterinary Health Sciences also runs a pet retirement home, the Cohn Family Shelter for small animals.

Planning for a beloved pet's future is something more owners are beginning to think about, especially among those who don't have family or friends willing to care for their pet after they're gone.

"The human-animal bond has changed greatly in the last ten years," notes Gruber of Kansas State University. "Animals are much more an important part of our lives and it's growing every day."

Further information from this article can be found at:

OK, we've pretty well covered all the different aspects of keeping your senior pets comfortable.  Now, the big question that's left is, "How do I know it's time to say goodbye?" 

The following position of the American Association of Feline Practitioners suggests guidelines to veterinarians that are equally appropriate for cats and dogs:

Concurrent with the management of chronic illness in senior patients comes the responsibility to control pain and distress, assess quality of life, and provide guidance to the owner in “end of life” decisions.  Veterinarians can assist clients in managing home care and changing the environment as necessary to ensure comfort.  The veterinarian must act as a patient advocate when counseling clients about decisions regarding use and/or continuation of any treatments.

This article from the St. Louis Beacon illustrates those guidelines being used in everyday situations:


One of the hardest decisions that dog owners face is whether or not to euthanize a dog that is sick or very old, and if so, when.

"Almost everybody does (euthanize)," Dr. Stephen Brammeier said. "It's seldom that an animal curls up and dies without a long period of deterioration."

Quality of life for both owner and pet, vets say, is the most important consideration when deciding whether or not to end a dog's life. Is the dog still interacting with you and happy to see you? Does the dog still eat? Is the dog in pain? Can the dog move by itself?

"If the responsibilities and stress of caring for a dog that is soiling the house is creating a burden, it causes resentment and changes the person's relationship with the dog, which affects the dog's quality of life as well," said Brammeier. "At some point, I encourage people to take their own lives into account and not feel guilty. It becomes a gift that you can decide to peacefully end their suffering."

When Belle, a black cockapoo was 18 and a half, Ruth Przybeck of Creve Coeur decided it was time. Prior to that moment, Przybeck, her husband, Tom, and two sons had adapted to Belle's weaknesses. When Belle lost her hearing, around 16, the family used hand signals to call the dog. When Belle started having accidents in the house, they put her in a room behind a baby gate and used diapers. After Belle lost the use of her back legs, they carried her outside. Belle wasn't allowed to go outside by herself because she was blind and had fallen in the pool. They gave her prescription food for her kidney disease and a tranquilizer to help with peeing accidents. Still,it was hard to let Belle go.

"I called her my little old lady," said Przybeck.

But, when Belle began losing her fur and wouldn't eat, they decided it was time.

"We were struggling a little bit before we put her down," she said. "But she was getting worse."

The full text of this article is at:

A feature writer in Wisconsin recounts his experience observing at a veterinary hospital for a day, that included being present for the decisions in saying goodbye:

But of the 19 "Day In The Life" assignments I’ve experienced as Herald Times Reporter features editor, one stands out as being an emotional roller coaster — the day I spent with veterinarian Dr. Joseph Sutton and his staff at Manitowoc’s Memorial Drive Veterinary Clinic in 2008.

Driving over to the clinic that frigid November morning, I figured my assignment would consist largely of observing employees vaccinate pets, check X-rays and perform surgeries.  And, indeed, that happened. Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Campbell recounted some of the items he has surgically removed from pets: underwear, towels, bras, cornstalks, carpets, toys, key chains and $600 in cash.

There were lighthearted moments that day, too, like when I grimaced while watching three cats about to have their testicles removed. “Yeah, that’s usually how the guys react,” a female certified veterinary technician said with a grin.

What I wasn’t prepared for, however, were the heart-wrenching moments that the staff experiences every day.

My first eye-opener came at about 9:45 a.m., as Fred, an 11-year-old collie, lay sprawled on the floor suffering from possible spleen damage.  After one X-ray was taken, Fred’s owners made the tearful decision that because of his age and potential medical costs they’d put their beloved pet to sleep.  “They’re going to take him home now so the family can spend one more day with him before saying goodbye and returning tomorrow to euthanize him,” veterinarian Dr. Melanie Goble told me. “There are really difficult decisions made here every day, not just by the staff here, but by the families. It can be very sad.”

I had no ties to Fred, but it was painful nonetheless to see a pet hobble out of the clinic, knowing he would die the next day.

An hour later, I watched as Campbell performed surgery on Madeline, a Yorkshire terrier, and discovered a tumor encompassing nearly 95 percent of her bladder.  “We’re not going to let her wake up from this,” Sutton told me. “It’s just too much. We wouldn’t be helping her at all by letting her wake back up.”  Campbell pushed the bladder back inside and stitched up Madeline. She was carried to the back of the building, where she awaited cremation.

Those back-to-back experiences gave me a headache and made my stomach queasy. Twice, I nonchalantly walked to the front waiting area to clear my head and avoid showing I was bothered by what I saw.

I wasn’t the only one fazed by it.

“The hardest thing for any of us is euthanasia,” Sutton told me. “Anybody who gets used to that is sick in the head. Along with that are animals that are abused. That’s hard for us to see. We get to see a lot of cute animals, all furry and fun. But we also have the very tough job of having to put animals to sleep. Sometimes it’s unbelievable, all the emotions we go through. There are days you just leave here crying.”

Find this story at:|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

If you think you're capable of making the decision to say "Goodbye," the next natural step in the process is to take the proper time to mourn your loss.  Take a minute to read this short article by noted author, Gail Sheehy, about her experience:

For many of us, mourning the death of a beloved pet becomes a major passage.

Wallace Sife, a psychologist, was getting ready to retire when his beloved Dachshund died. "I hit rock bottom, and I had no idea why," he told me. When he couldn't find any literature to help him cope, he wrote a book himself, titled The Loss of a Pet. It may take only a few weeks for some people to work through the grief, but those who take a year or more may be looking for the impossible: a facsimile of the dog they lost. As Sife cautions in his book, there is no such thing as a "replacement pet."

People can't believe how attached they are to their dogs until they lose them. "I'm so embarrassed to admit this, but I didn't cry this hard when my father died." It's a common refrain when the loss is fresh, confessed by roughly 75% who call the ASPCA counseling hotline, says Stephanie LaFarge, the psychologist who picks up on the other end; they're ashamed at feeling deeper emotions over a dog than a parent.

The reasons are understandable. It's rare to have as much physical intimacy with a parent as with a dog. Pets observe no boundaries. They follow you into the bathroom or bed, places where you're at your most vulnerable. "Part of our brains are especially sensitive to the presence or absence of an animal," LaFarge says. When the dog who leapt up the moment you came home is no longer behind the door, it's a daily reminder of your loss.

People feeling the early stabs of pet loss often blurt out to LaFarge: "I will never go through this again. All the pleasure of having my animal is erased by the pain I'm feeling now." LaFarge gently responds, "You can't have a once-in-a-lifetime pet."

That was where I had gotten stuck. Sky, my Tibetan spaniel, had been with me for 18 years. He died a year before I lost my husband of 24 years. They left a sky-sized hole in my heart. Oh, I made halfhearted attempts to find a source for the same rare breed, but the puppies I visited didn't look or act just like my Sky. It was only in retrospect that I realized I wanted not just my dog back, I wanted my old life back.

I got a new pet only because an intuitive friend offered me the gift of her Cavalier King Charles spaniel. I knew nothing about the breed. "You don't have to," said Donna Schiavone. "This dog is right for you."

I drove a long way to pick up Chollie. He was 1½ with soulful eyes. It was love at first sight. We played fetch. He accepted my arms. He curled up over my belly for the ride home, which took more than 12 hours (I'll admit to being a pet felon — the ASPCA recommends always driving with a dog in a restraint or a crate). By the time I crawled into bed at 3:30 a.m., and Chollie nudged his rump up against mine, we were totally bonded.

Some people would feel guilty at being so quick to transfer affection to a new dog. Sife has seen many people bring a new animal into their lives prematurely, and then feel guilty and treat it as a second-class pet. He suggests that whenever you get a new dog, ready or not, tell it loving bedtime stories about the pet who died. It will help bond you with your new companion. "Dogs sense emotions," Sife says, "and they will want to protect you."

Let's be just as protective of the new dog in our life, and wait to find it until we are good and ready.

Gail Sheehy's article is from The USA Today:

For one last look at dealing with the loss of a family pet, this woman's experience provides some suggestions for what you can do yourself when it happens in your household:

Dealing With the Loss of the Family Pet

Today I came home and she didn’t have her nose pressed against the window. There was no clickity-clack of nails on the hardwood when I dropped a piece of food while cooking and when I sat down at the end of yet another hectic day there was no soft muzzle nudging my hand.

This last week my family lost our energetic and loyal dog, Emma, very suddenly. On Monday she was prancing by the door for a walk and by Thursday night she was gone.

Emma considered herself another human in the house. She “talked” in long rawr-rawr sentences, sat all 80 pounds in your lap for attention and understood so many words that we had to spell like we were living with a toddler. Emma wasn’t just a dog, she was family.

So how do you cope with the loss of a pet? Honestly it is different for everyone, but with still very raw emotions here are some of the ways our family has taken it one step at a time:

1) Talk and write down some of your favorite family memories with your pet.

It surprised me how much my kids wanted to share silly stories and favorite Emma moments. I thought the emotions might be too strong, but to laugh and remember the lighter moments was a way to bond and even re-live some things we had forgotten. Suddenly even her naughty moments seemed comical and we each had different stories that stood out in our minds. Now that my children are teens, I’ve learned that all their childhood little phrases and funny episodes are easily forgotten if you don’t write them down. So spend some time journaling moments you never want to forget.

2) Pick out special items to save or create a memorial and store the rest.

Save a collar, a sentimental toy or dish and place them with a favorite photo somewhere in your home that will serve as a memorial to help your family honor their memory. Many vets and animal hospitals will provide a paw casting that can either be placed on a mantle or set into a homemade memorial stepping stone. Take the remaining items and store them in boxes or donate to another family with a pet to help lessen the constant reminders that may be all over the house.

3) Use social media to let others know and get support.

If you use social media such as Facebook, work with the family to create a picture album of some of your favorite pet photos and post along with a message sharing that you have lost your pet. This not only helps your friends and loved ones know what you are going through, but it also results in many thoughtful messages that you can read as a family to remember that others care and understand how hard this is. We also found that our kids were invited out with friends because other parents understood that they needed some distractions in the first few days and sitting at home was tough.

4) Let your emotions out.

Explain to older children and teens that having a variety of emotions is not only o.k., it’s to be expected. One of our children broke down and cried immediately while another was angry and kept trying to ask questions about how this could happen so fast. Another family member just sat in stunned silence. Even a few days later we still get chocked up when a dog walks by on the street or we have to roller dog hair off our clothes. The kids might have trouble sleeping and need some distractions. All of this in part of the grieving process and understand that not everyone will “get it.” Make home a safe place to talk and remember that crying is a healthy way to let out stress no matter your age.

5) Get some laughter and legwork.

Rent a comedy, break out a board game or watch a comedian online. Get out for a walk, go to the movies or clean out the garage. My children wanted to stay home from school, but honestly getting out of the house and having to concentrate on something else was the best thing for them. Don’t spend too much time alone. It may feel mechanical or forced, but keep busy. In moments of great pain it feels like the world should stop and people should notice, sadly it won’t and many people may not understand. Keep talking as a family, and find some reasons to get out of the house since that will be where the strongest memory triggers are. Exercise is a natural mood lifter and don’t feel guilty if you find a reason to laugh. You need it!

6) Be careful of replacing your pet too soon.

The urge may seem overwhelming to fill the tremendous void left by your pet. Trust me, our house seems way too quiet and I feel so lonely walking the neighborhood without my four-legged confidant. However, after doing some reading online I learned that if you replace your pet too soon it is usually disappointing. You are looking to have your previous pet back, and no animal can live up to that. Your new pet will be different; they will present different personalities, challenges and habits. Likewise, the family is grieving and your pet will likely pick up on this emotion and may feel the need to become dominant which leads to many obedience issues. When your family has dealt fully with your loss and is prepared to take on a whole new family member with a totally new set of quirks and qualities, only then consider pet ownership.

7) Check out grief resources.

The Golden Valley Animal Humane Society (Richfield, Minnesota) offers a pet loss support group that is always open to new faces. My family was given a copy of the children’s book Dog Heaven and it really touched us. Consider the needs of each of your family members and don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Many vets and animal hospitals offer grief services and can also suggest memorial options.

8) What would Emma do?

It sounds cheesy, but remember that your pet would want you to be happy. That’s the best thing about pets. They love you unconditionally. In our case, Emma was in tremendous pain from a very fast moving cancer. She was not the energetic and precocious young dog in her final days that she had always been. The most loving thing we could do for her, was end her insufferable pain. I know if she was here, she would want to end ours. Think of their soft eyes, purring tummies or wagging tails and the answer is clear, they love seeing their loved ones happy. In our house, we are still struggling day-by-day and sometimes hour by hour, but we recognize that our lives are better off because of the time we spent with our furry family member. Life is precious and in the end every paw printed moment counts.

This account is from:

Helpful Buckeye wanted to share these personal stories with you because they all carry the common theme of our emotional attraction for our pets.  Knowing that you are not the only one feeling such a loss sometimes helps you get through those tough times of saying "Goodbye."

A good summary for this series of discussions on "Getting Older Is Tough For Pets Too" is this, from the AAFP:

While aging itself is not a disease, the aging process induces complex and interrelated metabolic changes that complicate health care.  Management decisions should not be based solely on the age of the pet, as many conditions that affect older animals can be controlled if not cured.  Veterinarians treating senior pets will be adept at recognizing, managing, and monitoring chronic disease and, when possible, preventing disease progression, while ensuring a good quality of life.  With prevention, early detection, and treatment of health problems, the human-pet-veterinarian bond is strengthened, and the quality of life for pets can be improved.

If you have a story to share about the loss of a pet or the decisions involved in saying "Goodbye," please send it to Helpful Buckeye at:  or submit it at the "Comment" section at the end of this issue. 

The LA Dodgers continue to wallow in their own funk...they can't pitch, they can't hit, they can't win...a terrible combination.  The only bright spot has been Andre Ethier, who had a 30-game hitting streak going...until yesterday.  Now, that's gone too.


Desperado and Helpful Buckeye just returned from a driving trip to the central coast of California.  In addition to all the stuff we expected to see, there were the serendipitous sights, experiences, and discoveries that we'll also remember.  The Mojave Desert full of ocotillos in bloom, the 2 pairs of mom and baby gray whales migrating up the California coast at Cambria, the hundreds of motorcyclists making their way to Laughlin, NV for the annual River Run, a bike ride for Helpful Buckeye that started out in a valley filled with vineyards and lavender fields and ended up with an 8-mile ride on the Friday afternoon traffic, the finding of 2 great photos of Desperado as a tot, and a chance meeting with an aunt of Andre Ethier (see Sports News)...all will go into the memory bank.  Pictures to follow at the end of this section....

Helpful Buckeye has one more day-trip planned for our "See Arizona" campaign before the summer travel season gets here.  After Memorial Day, we'll hold off on this series of trips until the Fall months.  Also, Helpful Buckeye's 2011 Quadathlon will feature its first event sometime before June 9th...the weather conditions need to be just right for this one.

Rose garden at Orcutt Ranch, Canoga Park

Reagan Library, Simi Valley

Part of Berlin Wall, Reagan Library

Air Force One, Boeing 707 retired, Reagan Library

On our patio, Cambria

Sunset, Cambria shore

Cambria architecture

Cambria fashion

Coastal wildflowers, Cambria

Part of Tehachapi, CA windfarm, world's largest 

~~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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    The scene at Texas A&M University's Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center could come straight from a 19th-century painter's vision of the “peaceable kingdom” — lions, lambs, babes and bulls all lolling in blissful communion.

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