Spokesdog's Canine Couch
A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich
by Gwen Cooper
When I was asked to write a review on this book, Love Saves the Day, I scanned through an overview on this book and was motivated to read it and write a review even though the main player was a cat and this is a dog blog.
Love Saves the Day was written by New York Times bestselling author, Gwen Cooper, author of Homer’s Odyssey. I was immediately swept into the story by the calm, honest and loving Prudence, a rescued tabby that made observations about humans, herself, and her life. She enlightened, entertained and educated the reader by her comments throughout the book. I found her absolutely charming and she made me miss my wondercat, Kiddo even more than I already do.
Prudence tries to make sense of humans and poses interesting questions as to why we do the things we do. In her thoughtful way she explains cat behavior to the reader as she takes us through the life she cherished with her favorite human who rescued her. After losing her lifeline, her only human who loved her she tried to understand the new scary world she entered with a new family. Prudence noticed her new family didn’t understand cats and she wasn’t sure if they could be trained but was hoping it would work out.
If anyone is owned by a cat and is scratching their own head on how cats tick, this book may help put things into perspective. Prudence will help you understand cats a little bit better.
The author includes humor from Prudence’s perspective including this feline’s take on the noisy and frightening self cleaning litterbox which this intelligent cat decided to avoid at all costs. The insight from Prudence’s perspective may help cat people understand why cats don’t always take to this mechanized monster and may seek out a more sensible location to do their business.
The book is above love, connection, loyalty, grief, relationships and the healing of both the human and feline heart. Love Saves the Day is an easy read and I think cat lovers will enjoy it. Prudence, I am in love with you.
Thunderleash and Monster Walker
I am always on the lookout for the next no pull product that may make it easier and safer for an owner to walk the family dog. I was given these 2 leashes to try out for a review.
Do I believe in teaching the dog to walk nicely on the leash wearing a regular collar or harness? Of course and include demonstration and training for both ends of the leash to help the human achieve this goal in real world situations.
Do owners practice? Some absolutely yes and others, well, you know the saying you can lead a horse to water blah blah blah
Some owners with challenging dogs don’t want to practice and just hope or even pray the dog improves with time. Sorry to say without practice all one will usually hear is tick tock as time continues on as the dog doesn’t improve on its own
In the real world of pet parenting many owners just want a quick fix for this normal canine conundrum and lose patience and the motivation to practice. So, rather than a pet parent not wanting to walk the family dog due to being pulled down the street, finding a product that helps keep a dog under control for daily walks is the next best option.
I have experimented with just about every type of harness and collar on the market all with stated promises on the packaging and product’s website to manage a canine’s leash pulling episodes. I have yet to find a no pull product that is a magic bullet for the power puller so was anxious to try out these products.
c Diane Rich 2013 Meet Nitro
This product comes from the company that made the Thundershirt which was created to manage a dog’s anxiety. The company has changed their name to Thunderworks as their line of products is expanding such as this leash.
The Thunderleash is very easy to put on unlike many no pull harnesses. The innovative hardware easily converts from a leash to a no pull type harness. The Thunderleash uses the dog’s collar for the attachment so if your dog has any problems with its trachea or you don’t want any pressure at all on the dog’s neck pass on the Thunderleash. The leash wraps around the dog’s torso applying mild pressure around the torso if the dog pulls. It is designed to put less pressure at the dog’s throat.
The company states that the safety buckle does not allow it to over tighten or put pressure on the dog’s joints. The leash is nylon and ¾” wide with the full length measuring 6 feet. The handle is padded.
1.Easy to put on the dog
2.Width of the leash is spot on
3. Successful result for the mild to moderate puller
1. The leash needs to be adjusted to the dog to prevent moving around the dog’s torso
2. Variable success for the power puller.
Many determined dogs get used to the pressure and continue to pull
I tried this product on several dogs that were not used to any type of harness and a couple dogs took longer to tolerate something around their chest and until distracted just stood still. They did get used to it however.
The padded handle is comfortable but many people hold a leash at the handle with one hand and hold the leash itself with the other hand. My preference for leash material is quality leather as I find nylon uncomfortable to hold if a dog pulls but I understand leather would increase the cost. .
There is a 100% manufacturer’s satisfaction guarantee. Sizes range from small: 12-25lbs and large which they factor at over 25lbs. The Thunderleash retails for $29.95
The Monster Walker was developed to help curb a dog’s desire to pull on the leash without putting added pressure on the dog’s neck. When the dog pulls, there is a gentle pressure from the belly strap around the tummy. The difference with this leash and the other one I reviewed is that this leash fits around the belly, not the torso.
Monster walker advertises this leash system as a no-choke design. This leash was quite simple to set up and is easier than many of the no pull harnesses on the market today.
After testing this leash on a few dogs found it may be better suited for dogs that are built with a tuck up vs. dogs built more square. The tuck up behind the dog’s rib cage can be seen on a Vizsla, Doberman, or Weimeraner and that tuck helps keep the belly band in place a bit better but the leash still tends to ride up from the groin area to the dog’s rib cage.
Monster Walker offers two sizes: Mini (less than 20 lbs) and Large (over 20 lbs) and comes in three designer colors. The Monster leash unassembled is 5ft 8 in long and when assembled is anywhere for 2 to 4 feet depending upon the size of the dog
1. Pressure is somewhat limited to the belly area vs the joints
2. Easy to assemble
3. May be good for the mild to moderate puller
1. There may be slight pressure transferred to the throat as the leash attaches to the collar
2. Dogs may not like the feel of something around their belly
3. The protective fabric created to make the band under the belly more comfortable is free flowing over the leash and moves around. So when the dog moves this fabric shifts up to the dog’s sides and constantly needed readjusting. This occurred on every test dog
Monster Walker retails for $24.99
Nitro’s owner helped me with this review by trying out both leashes on her dog. She liked both leashes but preferred the Thunderleash to the Monster Walker and I agreed.
I give the inventors of both these products my compliments. Any product that can make it easier for someone who wants to walk the family dog but the dog pulls, and training is not likely going to happen, I would suggest giving either one of these leashes a try.
Las Vegas, Nevada
SuperZoo is truly a SuperZOO showcasing a mind boggling array of pet supplies exhibited within expensive real estate from simple design to more elaborate design financed by deep pockets.
This show, produced and managed by the WPA, World Pet Association attracted close to 1000 exhibitors this year featuring about 800 products. SuperZoo is usually in September but this year was moved to July.
I had the opportunity to attend this pet industry trade show held July 23rd –the 25th. at the Mandalay Bay Hotel which is where I stayed. I arrived early the morning of the 23rd, got to my room, quickly unpacked a few things and could not wait to get to the show.
A friend escorted me to the show and I was initially overwhelmed with where to begin. I decided on an action plan and started walking. I did have a few meetings pre-scheduled with exhibitors and enjoyed learning more about their products.
Networking for both the exhibitors and retailers is critical to stay relevant. Many retailers met up with their suppliers to place orders, learned about new trends or top selling products or picked up new ideas and made new connections.
The major pet foods you see on your favorite pet store’s shelves were represented of course. There was a sea of exhibitors showcasing pet toys, beds, leashes, collars, pet beds, the next greatest pet bowl or grooming tool. Supplies for the reptile or small mammal retailer were also exhibited.
I chatted with a Ferrier who invented an antiseptic spray for horses and livestock that he stated treats a variety of maladies in horses from thrush to hoof abscesses. He said it was also effective on dogs.
c Diane Rich 2013 This product modeled by a relaxed Great Pyrenees was invented to help keep dogs cool. Fill the plastic collar with water, freeze and attach around the dog’s neck. Once the frozen water melts, an opening is accessible for the dog to drink the water. I asked the exhibitor how much the collar weighs when frozen and it was estimated to be about 2 pounds.
One gentleman invented the iFetch which won SuperZoo’s Best in Show product. Still in the prototype stage this product allows the dog to drop a ball in the hole, the activation to launch the ball begins for a game of fetch. The ah hah moment and head nod seemed to be the reaction to this invention in that no human was needed. But, the human can be the one dropping the ball in the hole. Dogs already skilled in flyball may readily understand the dynamics of how this product works, just in reverse when it comes on the market.
There was a huge area just for new products, some still in their prototype stage. There was another area designated just for new exhibitors.
The Groomer Supershow allowed groomers to showcase their best work with sanctioned competitions in various categories. So, if you like the look of a painted poodle the creative talents of these groomers would have captured your attention.
Part of the real estate at this show was designed with a theme in mind. You could walk down Rodeo Drive to see the latest pet fashion trends, take a stroll down Ingredients Row to meet suppliers of health and nutrition ingredients, and then amble down Nature’s Pathway to learn more about holistic and organic products. Groomers Court featured everything any groomer could want from dryers to shampoos to scissors. Grooming is big business and can be big dollars and at this show a professional groomer could walk away with a $10,000 grand prize in the grooming competition.
I had a great time.
Stealing Pets can Mean Fast Cash for Thieves
As unbelievable as it seems, our pets can pad the pockets of thieves. Thieves either directly steal a dog from someone’s yard, home or car. Thieves target dogs left unattended tied up outside a store while an owner buys a latte’. What do the thieves do next? Once a defenseless pet ends up in the wrong hands, a for sale ad may be posted in a local paper, Craig’s list or some website. Many of these pets are taken away from the area to be sold elsewhere. Buyers may be unsuspecting and don’t ask questions.
This disturbing trend is on the rise nationwide. The American Kennel Club has compiled stats on dog theft and find the trend has increased over the last 5 years and unfortunately is not slowing down. Reports indicate a spike specifically in the Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis areas. Dogs are stolen from pet stores, even shelters. So far Pit bulls are the most stolen dogs so far this year, with French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Labs and Pomeranians also topping the list of breeds thieves have their eye on.
The thieves also watch the found pet ads and local found pet fliers posted around a city contact the good Samaritan claiming to be the pet’s owner. The pet is then flipped and sold for profit or sold to a 3rd party.
Purebred Dog Owners Beware If a purebred commands a high sales price from a breeder or pet store, all the better for the thief. And, if that pet has not yet been fixed, big score. In that case, the thief may keep the pet for breeding to sell pups, flip the dog for immediate cash or sell that dog to a broker who in turns sells it to a puppy mill owner and that defenseless dogs ends up breeding pups for the rest of its life.
Designer Dog Owners Beware As breeders and puppy mills create the various trendy cross breeds that command $1000 and up these popular dogs are also eye candy to a thief.
Limit the Possibility of Becoming a Target
1. Make sure gates to your property are secure. Consider padlocking gates visible from the street
2. Install security cameras if your pet spends the majority of its time outdoors. Obviously it won’t stop the thief but may help in capturing the bad guy
3. If you leave your pet in a car while you shop, make sure the car doors are locked. Thieves have been known to break in just to steal the pet
4. Never tie up your dog while you run in for a coffee, even if you can see the dog once inside the store. Thieves sometime work in tandem looking for an easy target. One person takes the pet another drives curbside and the pet is taken, put in the car and gone in a flash
5. Invisible fencing systems do not stop anyone from walking on your property to take your pet.
6. Microchip your pet
7. Spaying and neutering the pet makes them less valuable for the thief although the pet can still be flipped for cash
8. Be wary of strangers in your neighborhood especially if they ask questions about your pet.
9. Thoroughly interview anyone selling their services to pet sit in your home or if you take the dog to their home for boarding.
10. If your pet goes missing, check lost and found pet websites, craigslist and local shelters to see if a pet resembling yours is listed for sale. Report the pet stolen to local police or animal control. Look beyond your own zip code.
11. Update photos of your pet. Photos should include profile and head shot, make note of unusual markings when writing up a description
12. It is best if your pet is not visible from the street
If when you are out and about walking your dog, the ASPCA recommends being suspicious of strangers who admire your dog, asking about the cost of the dog and even where you live.
There have been stories of dog owners who did see their missing pet advertised for sale, acting as an interested buyer set up a meet and greet with the thief, contacted police and set up a sting type operation and when cash was exchanged for the pet, the police made an arrest and thank DOG these pets were reunited with its family.
We don’t live in a society anymore where we can keep our doors unlocked. It is nice to know your neighbors so a neighborhood watch of sorts can be set up.
Although some people buy a dog for protection, dogs also need our protection.
|Get Half Off the Adoption Fee for Dogs 3 Years and UpJuly 19th – 21st
Psado’s Safe Haven Offering a Reward to Find the Guilty Party
Bear the Pomeranian is a beloved family member who was severely injured in a drive-by shooting in Granite Falls, Washington on Tuesday.
We need your help to find his abuser and ensure that no other animal is harmed.
When Bear was shot, his family – including five children – heard him yelping and ran outside.
“It was like hearing that one of my kids had been shot!” said Angelica, Bear’s owner.
Pasado’s veterinarian found a BB lodged next to Bear’s spine. If the pellet moves, it could potentially paralyze him. Bear’s family is devastated – but Pasado’s is here to help.
Read the rest of Bear’s story here.
Because of the generous support of our donors, Pasado’s is able to provide support to the Granite Falls Police Department. If the perpetrator is found, the Granite Falls Police will pursue Animal Cruelty in the First Degree.
It’s likely that someone saw something that could help solve this case. Pasado’s is offering a Reward for information leading to the arrest, conviction, and prosecution of the person or persons who committed this crime. All tips should be reported to 206.300.7218. They will remain anonymous.
Help us continue to investigate cruelty cases like this and provide much-needed medical care. Please make a donation today.
Please continue to check our website for further updates to this case.
Top Ten Pet Friendly Cities
When I moved to Washington state I moved here with my German Shepherd. I explored Seattle and the Eastside and found one city was prettier than the next so could not decide on a zip code. I looked at houses to buy but got more confused as my new friends rallied for their particular city . So I decided to rent, learn my way around and get to know all the cities before making a purchase.
This was in the early 90′s and I could not believe how challenging it was to find a rental that was not only pet friendly but would accept a 95 pound German Shepherd. There were few options. I looked at single family homes, condos and apartments to rent. So, when someone representing Rent.com contacted me to post their info on my blog it took me back to my initial months in the beautiful NW in search of pet friendly rentals.
Landlords have become a bit more welcoming to dog owners since I became a WA. resident. However, some landlords still have a size or weight limit on dogs and other landlords still have their hit list of breeds they will not accept at their property.
According to a recent Rent.com national survey, 38% of renters have at least one pet (8% have more than 5!) and 83% have had at least some difficulty finding a pet friendly rental. Check out the infographic below for more stats.
Rent.com has compiled a list of the Top 10 pet-friendly cities to help renters get started in their apartment search. Find out where you can dine with your canine, find Fido-friendly activities and parks for pets to roam free! Check out the full list below.
Top Ten Pet-Friendly Cities
With a plethora of rental properties to choose from, where should your search for the perfect pet-friendly pad begin? Rent.com lists the nation’s friendliest pet cities:
- New York City has a plethora of dog parks including a few in the infamous Central Park. Look out for Bocce’s Bakery Bike where you can grab your pet a PB&J or truffle mac and cheese dog bone! New York is also one of the few cities where pet daycares can be found in nearly every neighborhood.
- Chicago provides canine cruises across the famed Navy Pier, as well as pet-welcoming patio restaurants throughout the city including top picks like Joe’s Bar and Bistronomic. If you’re lucky you can catch Fido to Go—Chicago’s premier “gourmutt” food truck serving canine treats at dog parks, beaches and special events.
- Boston invites pets to tour the harbor by boat, as long as their pet owners come along! If you feel like stretching your legs, take your dog for a walk along the Freedom Trail to explore the many historical sites that this city has to offer. Grab some brunch with your pooch in your PJs out on the patio of Tremont. Leashed dogs and felines are even welcome on the subway.
- Houston is home to a variety of pet-friendly hotels and restaurants that span throughout the city. Barnaby’s Café is a local favorite, where wait staff provide a cardboard dog bowl to keep your pet hydrated so you can hit Ervan Chew Dog Park when you’re done!
- San Francisco boasts plenty of pet-friendly dining in addition to off-leash beaches and outdoor areas. Pets are even welcome to ride in the cable cars or walk alongside their owners across the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Austin offers the Zilker Botanical Gardens and Congress Avenue Bridge Bats as top-rated pooch attractions, in addition to outdoor cafes and off-leash parks. You can’t miss out on good Texan cooking from favorites like Red’s Porch and Phara’s that offer outdoor seating areas to accommodate you and your pet!
- Washington, D.C. offers a completely dog friendly Capital River Cruise along the Potomac River where you can view the Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and more! In addition, The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial is dog friendly as well!
- Portland, Ore., is home to the famously pet-friendly Lucky Labrador restaurant chain, in addition to the well-known Rose Gardens and Saturday Outdoor Market. If you’re just headed there for a visit, your pet can sleep in style at the Hotel Vintage Plaza where all dogs are VIPs (Very Important Pets).
- Charleston offers tours throughout the historic city where pets are welcome, including day tours to Boone Hall and Magnolia Plantations. If you’re feeling brave you can bring Fido along to the Old Charleston Ghost Tour—your pooch may even hear a frightening “tail” about a ghost dog!
- Ann Arbor invites pets for outdoor fun from dog-friendly canoeing, farms and gardens such as the Nichols Arboretum, a 123-acre botanical garden at the University of Michigan. Hit the Canine Corral dog park full with random dog toys and free dog treats are available at The Pet Emporium located nearby!
Is your Dog a Power Chewer like Mine?
I reviewed this product years ago, a chew toy called the goughnut. Found it initially at a dog show searching out something new for Chase to chew on as most toys he could destroy in an hour without too much effort. Took him longer to destroy the black kong toys but even those toys were no match for Chase.
As with most of the dog parenting public my house was up to its chair rails with every toy imaginable when Chase was a puppy and due to his destructo capabilities, thought my Doberman would be toy-less for life. So, I was happy to find the vendor years ago at that local dog show who thankfully introduced me to the goughnut. I was skeptical at that time but made the purchase keeping my fingers crossed it would be THE toy for him. It was and it is.
The info via the company’s website states that their whole line of GoughNuts chew toys is nearly indestructible. They now have come out with the MaXX stick made bigger for dogs like mine. I just received these sticks and will see how long they last.
The product comes in various shapes such as sticks, balls and doughnut shaped. Green for the less aggressive chews and black for the big guns.
The stick seems to be most dog’s favorite as they can chew on the end of the sticks. Chase would go through all the sticks annually but what is unique about this company is that once the item is chewed to the red safety indicator, the company will replace the toy free of charge.
You will appreciate that guarantee and replacement policy as each chew toy is pricey. But then it can be expensive buying dozens of toys over the life of your little or big chewer. And pricier to replace your expensive shoes, smart phone and other prized possessions.
Per my initial review, the texture of this rubber chew may be a bit different for the dog so not all take to it immediately. I have found when our guest dogs watch Chase chew the toy they become interested.
Choose the toy that is size appropriate for your dog. You can order this product from the website or find a store locator to purchase the product from your local pet store.
The goughnuts no matter the shape are floatable, cleanable, rollable and recyclable.
Always monitor dog chew toys and take the toy away when damaged
The company stands behind their product, it is made in America and so far so good.
I would like to know if you tried this chew toy and your review of the product. www.goughnuts.com
Every paw is up on this toy at my house.
The 4th of July is a fun holiday for humans, not so much for our pets unless a tasty morsel of steak, chicken or burger falls off the BBQ and the dog can score the bounty. Pets frightened of thunder will usually be frightened of fireworks. Sometimes it is not just the kabooms, but some pets are quite sensitive to the vibrations they feel from fireworks. Even though it is illegal to use fireworks in many cities around the country, people may still shoot off fireworks in your neighborhood.
You may observe your pet shivering, panting, pacing, hiding under beds, desks or in bathrooms and bathtubs to escape the noise. Many pets will not eat during this time as they are so stressed. Many pets try to escape the home or yard and can easily run into traffic or run for miles trying to find refuge.
1. Leave the pets at home should you choose to attend a fireworks display. Daytime parades can be over-stimulating and scary so leave your pet at home. There may be little shade while watching a parade for your dog to escape the sun and heat.
2. Fireworks may be set off in and around neighborhoods days before and after the 4th so be prepared whether this is legal or illegal in your zip code. Keep your pet indoors during festivities. If your dog has access to a doggie door think about securing the door to keep pet inside.
3. Pets may bolt out an open door, jump or climb a fence to escape, dig under a fence, chew through drywall trying to get out of the house. If the temps are hot and you don’t have AC then an open window is important but be careful if the dog has access to that window.
4. If a dog sees an open door be it front door or garage door he may try to escape. In these situations you may find it best to confine your pet in a room or in an appropriate size wire crate for ventilation if temps are high. In a dog is confined be sure the area is cool and water is accessible. Make sure outdoor gates are secure as pet theft is on the rise.
5. If your pet is confined, keep a radio or TV on to help drown out the noise. Placed in a safe location, a fan can also help dissipate the noise. Just be sure the dog cannot chew the cord or knock over the fan.
6. If you are entertaining, be sure people keep alcoholic drinks away from the pet. Alcohol is poison to pets. Certain foods are toxic to pets so educate your friends on sharing snacks and any part of the meal with your dog.
7. Your pet’s collar should include a license if required in your municipality and an ID tag with updated phone info. Cell phone and land line number should you still have a land line be included on the tag. Consider microchipping your pet, just remember to register the chip with the appropriate company.
8. Take 2 photos of your pet or update your photos. A close up of the face and a profile photo should your dog escape and you need to post flier. Contact your local shelter, animal control and neighborhood Vets immediately should your dog run away from home.
9. Do not leave your pet in your car while attending festivities. It will be too warm and not a safe feeling for any animal. Also, easy for a pet to be stolen out of your car.
10. If you know your pet will get distressed during this time of year you may want to talk with your Vet about a mild sedative. There has been recent debates about the use of a particular medication normally prescribed for reactions to fireworks so be sure to discuss meds with your Vet. If this is your course of action, then make sure your pet is confined in a low lit room, with a radio and/or fan on to help create a noise buffer. Some people have had success having their pet wear body hugging canine couture for these situations.
Another thing is that kids and dogs don’t always mix well. If you are entertaining, be proactive when children are around your dog or new puppy so everyone has a positive, fun time during the festivities. Even kid friendly dogs may not be so tolerant around a lot of hugging from children and other stimulation.
Contact your local experienced behaviorist to get started on some desensitization techniques to help prepare your pet for this noisy and busy holiday.
Have a Safe, Fun Holiday.