When I first began practice as a veterinarian, it took all of about three months before I got tossed out on my own. This was not by choice, mind you. My clinic had opened up a satellite office and sent my ‘mentor’ over to staff the place, leaving me at the main clinic with a couple other part time vets. To be frank, I was glad to have a break from the guy. He was a nightmare. Within one week the entire staff at the new clinic threatened mutiny if they were forced to work with the vet in question one more day, so off I went to be a solo practitioner, an agreement that, had I known what I was getting myself into, I would never have agreed to.
Trial by fire: a tale as old as time. And the outcome is usually the same no matter what, a sort of horrified bemusement in retrospect, the realization that That Never Should Have Happened, and a great relief that you survived. Or in this case, my patients. My patients all survived.
Granted, I have a bad habit of rushing into things by myself without the benefit of guidance, mentorship, or advice. That’s how I would up in vet school in the first place, and that worked out ok. That’s how I ended up hiking to a 14K foot peak in Africa with a group of strangers and 0 camping experience. I’ve decided that being the overly cautious risk aversive type that I am, when faced with adequate information, the only way to take a chance in life is to go in with inadequate information- I call it the “too stupid to know better” approach- and hope for the best.
I realize that this often results in people dying. But for now, it’s working for me.
It was in this spirit that I decided to take my new mountain bike out for a spin yesterday. I needed the exercise. We live in an area with a nice bike trail loop. I’ve done spin classes for a while. How hard could it be?
As I circled the driveway six or seven times with my shiny new wheels practicing gear changes, it occurred to me that there was a good chance I would end up pushing my bike back home with either a flat tire or a broken ankle, but it was a risk I was willing to take, because I’m not quite sure who would have the patience to walk a novice through bicycling in the first place.
I learned many things out on the trail this sunny morning.
“Steep” is relative. When pedaling is involved, “gentle incline” = steep.
Taking Brody along in our current condition would be a suicide mission.
I am so glad no one was following me with a cameraphone. Because that scene was ugly.
I spent a good amount of time huffing, puffing, cursing, and screaming at branches I mistook for rattlesnakes as I skidded by them. By some miracle I emerged, dusty and unscathed, 50 minutes later having covered probably a mile or so of San Diego’s finest amateur trails.
I spoke about my misadventures with a friend today, whose husband is into mountain biking. She told me he bought her a $1500 bike and took her to a flat lake area, where he proceeded to chastise her bad form for so long he eventually left her behind as she sat on the curb, crying. She hasn’t ridden it since. That is a perfect analogy for many of my colleagues who have since left the veterinary profession, convinced of their insurmountable inadequacy. Sometimes it’s better to muddle through as you go without the benefit of knowing how badly you are doing.
So far I’ve done a ridiculous amount of things the wrong way- raising kids, writing about vet life even though vets aren’t supposed to blog (“Conventional Wisdom 2008” in action), mixing white wine with red meat, you name it, I’ve messed it up. That being said, constructing life without an instruction manual has been immensely rewarding for me, so I guess I’ll just keep on soldiering on and seeing what happens. Though I do suspect I would benefit from a tire repair kit somewhere along the way.
Friday, 11:30 am. I’m wandering the halls of the Orlando Convention Center as it’s gearing up for this weekend’s Celebrate Dogs event. I’ve already been there since Wednesday, working on a couple of projects before the main event, but now I’m just wrapping up interviews with Beatrice and Lambchop, otherwise known as:
Stella on Modern Family;
and Yakult on Suburgatory:
I was really happy to get the chance to meet these celebrity dogs up close and personal. This is the first year the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship has expanded into the full fledged Celebrate Dogs event, a full tilt weekend of activities of which the dog show is just one component, and I was very much looking forward to seeing the dock dogs, Meet the Breeds, check out the Olate Dogs from America’s Got Talent, so I was in a good mood.
And I remember this very clearly, standing on the side of the ring right after this happy picture was taken, and being suddenly overwhelmed with a longing to call home. I missed my children in a way that was sudden and immediate, and I remembered thinking it was strange I felt so compelled to do that right then, in the middle of a busy day. I called them at my parents’ house, talked for a few minutes, and hung up, still feeling disconcerted.
A few minutes later I ran into Jen Borke from Eukanuba, who apologized for being distracted. “You’ve heard about the shooting, right?” she said, and I hadn’t.
I spent a good 45 minutes reading the story about the tragedy in Newtown online, before realizing I had to stop or else I would just break down. I thought of my first grader’s classroom, the little faces I said goodbye to on Tuesday when I left, and I just couldn’t stop crying. There’s nothing you can do in these situations, of course, other than hold your loved ones close- but they were on the other side of the country, and I was in Orlando for the next three days, acutely aware in that moment of just how lonely you can feel when you don’t have someone to hug and it’s the only thing in the world you need.
I spent a good part of the next few days immersed in dogs, submerged, really, watching the way their owners would look into their eyes, or how they would lay a paw on their person when they weren’t getting enough pets.
I needed to see love.
I needed to see the casual ease with which a dog would sidle up to their loved one.
The soulful gaze of one who sees in front of them that who they love best.
I needed to see genuine happiness untouched by grief. All of us humans were putting on a brave face but everyone was muted, the strain of what we were hearing wearing on the collective consciousness, shadowy and grey.
So instead of going and doing what I would normally do, collect lots of information about breed history and ask questions about coat or temperament, I went in search of expressions of love.
I placed hands on fur and gave pet after pet, as if I were trying to absorb some of their contentment through my pores.
I was not alone in this.
There is something utterly comforting about being around dogs, isn’t there? A dog at ease will put you at ease.
If I couldn’t be at home, this was the next best place to be.
Many kinds of dogs, show dogs and pet dogs and mixed breeds and purebreds.
One of the little perks of doing what I do happens at Christmastime, when I get to go on Fox 5′s local morning show with the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and present “A Dog’s Holiday Wishlist.” I don’t have the video downloaded yet, but I’m working on it because it’s really silly but also just fun. I’m with the anchor while each adoptable pet goes up to Santa. They (and by they, I mean one of the producers or camera guys behind the scenes talking in a goofy voice) tell Santa what they want for Christmas, and then I describe the product. It’s one way I like to contribute to the local community and some of my favorite pet businesses, by sharing items I know are both useful and safe.
So here’s the scene- I arrive at the station about half an hour before it’s time to go on, and they show me to the green room. The humane society has yet to arrive. Now last year, they actually sent their director – tall, thin, and young- along to play Santa, and I was expecting the same this time.
A couple of minutes later, as I’m getting a drink, in walk two adorable young girls wearing Make-a-Wish t-shirts. A moment later, I hear a “HO HO HO!” and in strides the most glorious Santa I have seen in my life, and considering the age of my kids, I’ve seen quite a few. He is attended by two delightful elves and a small coterie of PR agents. Santa sits with the girls and starts to talk to them, and he is mesmerizing. He’s so mesmerizing that station employees are walking in to take pictures with him, grown men and women.
He sees me eyeing them jealously from across the room and asks me if I would like to take a picture with Santa too, and of course, I say yes, because now I’m caught up in the moment too.
As it turns out, I have just met the official Santa from the Macy’s National Santa Tour, you know, THE SANTA from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade? I’ll admit it. I was starstruck. There is some small part of me that believes, though I can’t substantiate this, that he might have been the actual guy from the North Pole. I had a bit of a moment.
It made it easy to not be nervous, because I was too busy fighting my inner child whispering “No, that REALLY IS SANTA” and my amazement at how wonderful and composed this beautiful young girl from Make-a-Wish was to really be worried about my bit.
“The dogs are here,” chirped the producer. “Santa, are you up for helping with a dog segment?”
“Sure!” he said, grabbing his stomach- no, really, he did- and ho-ho-hoing some more. And then I got even MORE excited because now I’m going to be doing my bit with the BEST SANTA EVER.
It was around this time that I noticed a woman, about my age, sitting quietly in the corner. She asked me a question about my curling iron and we chatted for a minute, then I asked her if she, too, was here for the Make a Wish segment.
She pursed her lips, looked furtively around, and scooted closer.
“No,” she said in hushed tones. “I’m a sex therapist.” She looked up to make sure the kids weren’t within earshot. “I didn’t know they were going to be putting my holiday sex tips on after a Make-a-Wish segment. I feel kind of weird about this.”
And as if on cue, who materialized from the other side of the room but the jolly old elf himself, unaware of the conversation we had just been having in quiet voices.
“HO HO HO!” he boomed, “Would you like a button?” And then he hands us both little pins that say something like, “I’m on the good list!” so the sex therapist takes one, murmuring “thank you Santa” and I just about died.
Then I went on, and the segment went great- all the dogs were perfect and I didn’t mispronounce anything. I had thought they would just finish up Santa’s work and do the Make-a-Wish segment next, but wouldn’t you know it, they decided to break it up a little, so this poor woman had to go on the air with her own special happy holiday tips while Santa and his young charges sat behind the cameras just out of sight.
I’m sure Santa’s pretty open minded. I doubt he minded that much.
I saw his tricked out tour bus on the way out too. Beats that old sleigh, I’ll wager.
I live for this kind of stuff.
And just because, “You sit on a throne of lies” has been my favorite quote all this month and I felt the need to share.
It’s been a long time since I’ve needed a baby monitor. Not that long, mind you, but long enough that technology has apparently been soaring by me in leaps and bounds since the year I slept with static-y radio by my side.
When I was asked by Next Step Baby monitors if I wanted to review their cameras to see what my dogs were up to while I was gone, I agreed, because oddly enough- and this never ever happens- my husband had JUST SAID “We really need a baby monitor or something to figure out once and for all which dog is being bad here”. I had just discovered that all the treat-stealing, all the counter surfacing and bread ingesting and pantry raiding I had pegged on Brody, was in fact the fault of one Kekoa. It was a mind blowing moment for me, realizing she had been tricking me all along, but the proof was in the chocolately vomit.
It was her all along.
I was also pretty sure that when the dogs got left home alone and started howling, that Koa was the one who started it, because it was a bad habit she has indulged in her whole life, and Brody- well, he’s until recently always been the quiet one. This was about to become really, super important, since we were taking Brody into an apartment where implacable howling was likely to be frowned upon (though now that I know how flipping loud our upstairs neighbors are, I wouldn’t mind subjecting them to a little BAROOOOO ing now and then. But I digress.)
So here we are, in an apartment with a dog, and very nervous about whether or not his inherited howling behavior would continue without his enabler. And as luck would have it, we just received the NextStepIP Pro, and I tasked my husband with keeping an eye on Brody while we were gone.
The camera uses wifi and is easy to move wherever it needs to be. With wide range of motion, you can tilt the camera to find your pet if you suspect they are engaging in problem behaviors. And- to me this is the best part- you can not only watch the camera from your phone or PC, you can control it remotely too.
We had the NextStep sitting by our front door, waiting to see if Brody would start howling. My husband had the audio running at work so he could listen for errant howls. Generally with separation anxiety, the most pronounced behavior happens soon after departure, but it’s helpful to know the exact triggers so you can address them through behavior modification.
In our case, apparently, the trigger was Koa.
This is how Brody spends his time when we are gone:
Screen resolution has come a long way since 2004.
Busted, on multimedia platforms. But it’s QUIET couch crashing, and that peace of mind is very, very valuable.
At $150, it’s a great price for the amount of versatility you get. The Next Step IP, which also allows you the ability to observe and control with a mobile device, starts at $119. We were also very happy with the customer service who helped us walk through the setup. If you are struggling with a dog on the potential naughty list, this may be just the ticket for you.
Speaking of that, I will definitely be using this in the new house with Koa. Do you have any idea how much of her bad behavior I’ve blamed on poor Brody over the years? Talk about dogshaming.
Happy Holidays! I’ve been lucky enough to attend both Global Pet Expo and SuperZoo this year, skulking about the aisles in search of my favorite pet items of the year, and fortunately for us there was plenty to choose from. I’ve teamed up with the pet enthusiasts at Blog Paws to bring you some suggestions from the BlogPaws Great Gifts for Pets Holiday Gift Guide. (The guide in its entirety is viewable at the Blog Paws site.) Here are some of my favorites for under our tree, which if fate and the banks smile upon us will be up at OUR NEW HOUSE about two days before Christmas!
1. Soggy Doggy
I can tell you from personal experience that wet Golden + hardwood = bruised tailbone. Not fun. The Soggy Doggy Doormat® is made from millions of textured, ultrafine strands woven together to create “noodles” that absorb 5x more water than regular cotton doormats! The durable, microfiber chenille doormat has a non-skid backing, and is odor-free and super quick-drying. It’s so velvety-soft that it works as a travel bed and crate-liner too. Plus, the product is available in a variety of colors and sizes to compliment any home’s interior. From $39.99-$84.99, the Soggy Doggy Doormat can be purchased at www.SoggyDoggyDoormat.com.
2. FURminator deShedding Tool Vacuum Accessory
For the millions of pet owners who simply love their FURminator deShedding tools, here is great news: FURminator now has a vacuum accessory that fits on to your tool for a faster and cleaner pet grooming session. Compatible with small, medium and large size FURminator deShedding tools for dogs and cats, the new product features two removable heads to adjust tool size, and two attachments to fit most vacuum brands.
FURminate and… ZIP… the fur is in the vacuum.
The Furminator Vacuum Accessory retails for $19.99. FURminator products are sold at pet specialty stores, professional pet groomers, veterinary practices and rescue organizations, and are also available online at www.FURminator.com.
3. Cool Blue Dog Hoodies
Just in time for the cooler temperatures that come with winter, dog owners of shorthaired, smushed-faced breeds can take comfort that Cool Blue Dog Apparel has got them covered, literally! Cool Blue Dog Apparel just launched their new hip hoodie line which will be perfect for keeping our Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs and other hard to fit breeds warm, comfortable and in style! Click here to see them now: http://www.coolbluedog.com/products-page/hoodies/.
These hoodies retail for $56-$58. And though they are marketed for your favorite broad chested brachycephalic breed, I see no reason why you couldn’t put your longer nosed barrel chested dog into one of them if hoodies strike your fancy.
4. PetHub ID Tag
The holidays are a prime time for pets to get lost, with all the hubbub and travel of the busy season. Give your pet the gift of reassurance. Each PetHub QR tag links to a comprehensive pet profile that includes multiple contacts, critical medical information and more. Every tag includes a 24/7 Found Pet Hotline number, where operators are available around the clock to help lost pets get home fast. PetHub’s Premium Services include Instant Email Notifications w/GPS Mapping, a nation-wide Shelter Alert System & $3000 of Emergency Medical Insurance.
This holiday season, PetHub is offering a FREE Limited Edition Holiday QR tag with every new or renewed Premium Subscription (you also have the option of a FREE basic tag instead). And, as a special exclusive offer to readers, PetHub is offering 25% off all Premium Subscriptions. Use code HOLIDAYBLOG25. For more information, visit PetHub.com.
5. Thundershirt for Dogs and Cats
As festive and fun as the holiday season can be, it can cause many pets to suffer from severe anxiety and stress. No one likes to come home to a trashed tree or 15 unwrapped presents chewed up all over the rug. Thundershirt can help. With its patent-protected design, the Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect that has already helped tens of thousands of dogs with anxiety problems. The product is also used and recommended by vets and trainers worldwide. Anxiety experts believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system and may release calming hormones.
For a limited time, the company is offering a FREE personalized stocking and a squeaky toy for holiday purchases! Simply use code GIFT12 at checkout and be sure to type the name you want embroidered in the “Gift Notes” box. Retail price starts at $39.99.
OK, this one made me squee. You know how I feel about cake pops. Bubba Rose dog cake pops are made from a pumpkin and molasses cake ball (similar in texture to biscotti) on an edible peanut butter and carob “stick”.
Husband and wife team, Jessica and Eric Talley, are founders of the internationally known Bubba Rose Biscuit Company, located in Boonton, New Jersey, dedicated to providing healthy, preservative-free dog treats; made with organic and natural ingredients and free of wheat, corn and soy. All treats are handmade in small batches in their bakery in NJ using locally sourced ingredients from the U.S. Bubba Rose only uses local cage-free eggs, free-range meats with no added hormones or antibiotics and never any chemicals, artificial flavors, colors or fillers. A portion of every sale goes towards animal rescue.
These can be purchased at www.bubbarose.com and in hundreds of fine pet boutiques around the country.
Retail price: $13.99
I think I know what someone is getting this year!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. While BlogPaws compensated me for sharing these cool gifts with you, I retained the right to pick and/or reject items I would not personally recommend.
We, the collective animal loving internet, have done a great job of telling people to “Adopt, Don’t Shop.” We do it so much that people say it without thinking, assume without asking, and demand without discourse. Now, don’t get me wrong: I absolutely support the concept, and this is why I am here writing a post today in honor of Petside’s Pet Net Adoption Week. It’s why I’ve adopted lots of pets over the years. But this is only half the equation.
We tell people they should adopt, and why they should adopt, and then do nothing to support people during the transition. Here’s the reality: pets do get returned to shelters and the rescues, usually for reasons that could have been avoided with a little owner education and preparation. In the rush to get pets out into homes, we sometimes neglect to make sure those homes are ready and willing to take on the challenges, which are rewarding beyond measure once you get past them- as long as you know they are coming.
1. Be honest with adopters about the pet’s behavioral issues that need to be worked on.
Nuke, the 10 year old coonhound I adopted from UC Davis, was a moderately neurotic agoraphobic hound dog who had never been housetrained. Translation: I left him outside when I was gone, as the well meaning person at the school had recommended, only to have him howl inconsolably because he was scared of being outdoors. I got a notice from the neighbors within 36 hours.
6 months, three adopted pets: for a vet student, pretty typical.
I wouldn’t say crate training an elderly, set in his ways dog was an easy task, but I did it, only because I had access to professionals who reassured me that with patience, it was possible. He never did learn to sit on command, but he ended up housetrained, and we had three lovely years together before he passed away.
Koa has terrible separation anxiety that leads her to howl like a banshee- one currently in a state of torture- when she is left alone. It’s why she was returned to the rescue twice. Unfortunately I didn’t know this until I got home and reviewed the paperwork in detail and found the note from the previous owner. Luckily, I can keep her inside where she doesn’t bother anyone, and I have Thundershirts and all that good stuff.
We make do. But some people couldn’t in that situation, and it’s better to give them fair warning and let them find the right pet for them than to make them return a pet later, which is stressful for everyone- and might even turn them off rescue entirely. Some people can’t handle a cat who sprays or a dog who doesn’t like other dogs, and that is part and parcel of having a pet, yes, but this is also a great opportunity for us: all pets have their quirks. The difference between a puppy and a senior is that with the senior, those quirks are known ahead of time, and for that I am grateful.
2. Put all dogs, no matter the age, in an obedience class.
Some rescue dogs will have had oodles of training. Most haven’t. Regardless of their age or training status, a basic adult obedience course is the perfect way for new owners and pets to get to know one another better, work through their kinks under the care of a professional, and most importantly, develop a clear understanding of each other’s place in the developing relationship.
Nuke was a sweet dog, but in 8 weeks he never did learn how to sit. He just wouldn’t do it. He wasn’t motivated by anything. Needless to say, he never learned down, either. No matter. We had a structured hour each week to work on his socialization, his manners, and for him to learn to trust me. It was worth every dime.
3. Remind new owners to be patient.
I have yet to take a rescued pet home and NOT have a day when I seriously regretted it. It happens. The dog eats something expensive. The cat has diarrhea in your shoe. You discover your new pet hates all men with grey beards and baseball caps, which just happens to be 85% of your neighborhood. The key is to acknowledge that these bumps are normal and expected and to provide support for owners to work through them, rather than just give up.
Here’s the good news: that regret is always gone within a few days, once I have a plan in place for dealing with whatever it is that was frustrating me. And the only regret I have now is that my husband won’t let me go our and adopt just one more.
This post is part of Petside.com’s 5th Pet Net Adoption Event. Petside will be donating $5000 to a shelter in one lucky community in honor of the event- click the link for details! Disclaimer: I received no compensation for this post.
by Dr. V | Sunday | November 25, 2012 | Comments are off for this post
Heading out for the holidays with Fido or Fluffy in tow? Bringing your pet with you can be a great alternative to boarding or housesitting, as long as you plan ahead and make sure you are prepared with pet-friendly accommodations. There’s few things worse than showing up at Grandma’s, dog in tow, only to have her stare in horror at your dog and say, “I didn’t know you were brining HIM,” while pointedly stroking her Persian cat and glaring at you.
Assuming you know what you’re going to do when you get to your destination, there’s a few things you can do in advance to make sure the trip itself also goes as smoothly as possible. Perhaps the only thing worse than the scenario I described above is showing up to Grandma’s like I described with a motion sick dog covered in vomit.
1. Stay secure.
Small pets should be in crates or carriers that can be secured with a seatbelt. Large dogs should be secured with a harness. Not only does this prevent the pet from getting underfoot, it keeps them from becoming a projectile during an accident. More pets are killed after car accidents when they start running around on the road than die during the actual traffic incident.
Manufacturers are starting to listen to consumer demand for safety-tested harnesses after some independent testing showed that many dog seat belts don’t hold under the impact of a collision. Kurgo’s enhanced strength Tru-Fit Harness is an example of the newer, stronger safety harnesses.
2. Have paperwork in order.
If you’re flying, you will likely need a health certificate signed by your veterinarian. Check with your airline to see what their requirements are. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gotten panicked calls from owners at the airport wanting us to fax a health certificate over to the United counter- and it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately. Even if you’re driving, a copy of your pet’s vaccination history is a good idea.
3. Know your needs ahead of time.
Have a hyperthyroid cat? Flea allergic dog? Get those medications ordered and socked away before the day you need to leave. If you know your pet has travel related issues such as anxiety or motion sickness, schedule an appointment a week before you leave with the vet. We’re got ways to help.
4. Try to maintain a routine.
If your pet is used to an 8 am and a 5 pm feeding, do everything you can to stay close to that. The more that is consistent, the less stress they will feel. Exercise is also a great way to help alleviate travel anxiety. Tagg the Pet Tracker has an Activity Tracking feature that will allow you to monitor your pet’s daily activity so you can see if you are maintaining the level of exercise to which your pet is accustomed, or if you need to add a few minutes to that afternoon walk.
With a little planning and flexibility, there’s no reason your pets can’t enjoy a safe and happy holiday right alongside you, no matter where you end up. Got a travel tip I missed? Share them below!
There are blogs that I like, and blogs that I love. There are blogs that I read and think, wow, this person is the bomb and I love what they are doing and I wish I had done some of that too. Those are rare. Joanne’s is one of them.
The Tiniest Tiger has been a voice for conservation for years. By drawing parallels between our feline friends in the foyer and the majestic cats on the prowl in the wild, Joanne brings home issues that are near and dear to my heart. And because she is smart and stylish as well as awesome, she has designed a really fantastic line of bags that are thoughtfully designed, cute (and I am a hard to please purse person), and, as you know if you’ve been following her blog, in the hands of lots and lots of animal loving celebrities after a second appearance at a major red carpet event- first the Oscars, then the Grammys. She has her act together.
Do you see the swag?
Do you see the BAG? She managed to get it so the dogs are part of the quilting. That is just awesome and I’ve already taken mine to my kids’ school, which was a bad idea because I had to fight off a room full of girls who all tried to rip it off my shoulder. Nice try, ladies. I took aikido for years.
Perhaps you would like one for yourself. You could wear it majestically, like HRH King Brody:
Dignified despite his yellow flower no-stink collar, which I love and refuse to take off him.
Or you could keep it for yourself, as I did. Either way, we have one Canine Cool Hipster to give away today in honor of this auspicious product launch. You’ll be stylin’ just like the VIPS on the red carpet, since your bag will come with all the same extras!
All you have to do in order to enter is leave a comment- perhaps a caption of what Brody is thinking, if you’re stuck for ideas and join the Rafflecopter giveaway. To make it easy on the shipping this one is US only. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
There are multiple sites giving these away, so feel free to enter them all!
Welcome to Giveaway Tuesday, where we offer you the chance to win a cool prize for your favorite spoiled pets. Today, we have a 10-Pack of Low Odor Bully Sticks From Doggyloot. (This prize is not affected by the current recall. I checked.)
I’m already in a lot of trouble from flash sites: Gilt, the Clymb, just to name a few. A good deal is pretty irresistible. And now there’s a new pet flash site to suck up your disposable income: Doggyloot is a flash sales site where you can discover new dog treats, chews, toys and other essentials at up to 75% off retail price. Plus there’s free shipping on every order.
Here are the details on our PAWsome giveaway:
1. PRIZE: One winner will get a pack of 10 six-inch low-odor bully sticks from doggyloot – a $42 value! You know those things are expensive, so the winner’s going to be one happy pup.
2. ENTRY: All you have to do to enter is join doggyloot through this link: https://doggyloot.com/pawcurious-giveaway-0912 and leave a comment below that you entered. You’ll then have access to their exclusive, members-only deals – they run great new products every day!
3. WINNER: Content closes on Tuesday. We’ll choose one winner and announce it on Wednesday, October 3nd. Good luck!This contest is only available to new doggyloot members, but we’d love to hear about your favorite doggyloot products below. I like the Vetericyn, myself.
Another day, another Vegas conference. I don’t what it is about Vegas, but even when I go for work and behave and don’t stay out late and don’t do anything more titillating than eating nachos at 11 at night in the 24 hour cafe, I still come back feeling like Axl Rose after an all night bender. I guess this is what getting older does to you, when the simple act of walking around a convention floor all day wipes you out.
Nonetheless, it was a good show. I have to say, there was nothing earth-shattering, nothing that will Rock Your World. I don’t think I was expecting it. Perhaps as a reflection of our current economic woes, manufacturers are turning away from the ostentatious gold-plated ostrich leather leashes and collars and thousand dollar gadgets of dubious usefulness in favor of eco-friendly, cost conscious items that put a modern design spin on items already in existence.
The other trend I see more are items meant to help pets in their quest to be more healthy: weight vests and floatation harnesses and several types of dog treadmills. Seems the industry has finally caught on to the obesity epidemic. Glad to see more items out there for us to take advantage of.
I like the current crop of items that are hitting stores. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Green Interactive Feeder
Puzzle feeders are nothing new, bowls that force animals to slow down while they’re chowing down. The Green feeder from The Company of Animals is nice because it’s simple- no hidden drawers that make it difficult to clean, and it’s dishwasher safe. It also has a lip around the edge so if this heat wave continues, you can actually put some broth in it, freeze it, and give your pet a puzzle-sicle.
Collapsible Klip Scoop
If there’s something I say over and over, it’s this: you need to measure your pet’s food. Each time, every time. And oh, how people react, as if I said one should delicately weigh each kibble on a kitchen scale, polish it, and then place it in the bowl with tweezers. I get it, if the cup isn’t convenient, you’re going to eyeball it, and you’re going to overestimate the food, every time. Popware for Pets has created a simple and elegant solution, a collapsible measuring cup that doubles as a bag clip, so now there’s no excuses not to measure.
The Catemporary Cat Castle/ GeoDome
Every cat likes a cat tree. Apollo would, no doubt, love one. The use of vertical space, the hiding areas, the lounging areas, I get it. Cats love them. But you know, they’re pricey. The Refined Feline has introduced a cardboard version that provides all the benefits at a fraction of the cost. And if it gets torn up, you won’t be too torn up- just get a new one.
KittyPod also has a version- the Geodome- that you can customize by adding or taking away detachable pods. I featured this on my Facebook Color Feed.
Not a new product, but speaking of KittyPod, the original pod itself is quite striking in person. I kind of want one, for me.
Ruff Wear Float Coat
Brody has a life jacket. All good surf dogs do. However, it is, like most life jackets, bulky and a bit unwieldy. I fell in love- LOVE, I tell you- with Ruff Wear’s designs this week. The float coat is sleek, sturdy, low-profile, and filled with thoughtful features such as a well placed handle on top and reflective trim. The hiking packs, with various sizes depending on how much you want your dog to carry, are fantastic too. This is at the top of our Christmas wishlist.
Major news? Well, Hills is reformulating Science Diet, which I thought was kind of a big deal. No more chicken by-product, and no more corn. I believe the official statement was somewhere along these lines: While we continue to feel that our ingredients had and still do provide excellent nutrition, we have reformulated our foods in response to overwhelming consumer demand for these changes. So good on them for listening. I have another bit of exciting news from a company I’ve spoken highly of already, but I’m waiting on their official announcement to write about it. Stay tuned.
And just for giggles, let me remind you that no Vegas trip is complete without an Elvis sighting.
There will be an extreme dog grooming reality show someday. Mark my words.
I knew we were in for a long morning when I saw Elvis’s name on the schedule. A fearsome and mighty miniature pinscher who thought he was a Great White, Elvis held the reigning title of ‘most challenging dog to vaccinate’ I had ever seen. He had the unique ability to turn himself into a Tasmanian Devil on demand, a whirling, 360 degree tornado of teeth, claws, and anal gland secretions. And today he was coming in for a cough- one of the first signs of heart disease in dogs.
The ECG is one of the most useful tools in medicine, a device that measures the electrical activity of the heart to help you determine whether or not it is in good health. While the ECG is technically a noninvasive procedure, it’s one of the less well tolerated procedures in awake dogs and cats because it requires holding still, chilly alcohol, and some rather uncomfortable alligator clips on the skin. Needless to say, as much as I dearly wanted an ECG on my friend Elvis, the procedure was as likely to kill him- or us- as his potential underlying cardiac condition. Which is why although it is regularly used on anesthetized pets, its usefulness on awake animals is often limited to those who will actually tolerate it; it is sometimes limited as well by the need to get the pet close to the machine itself, which doesn’t always work in the confines of an ICU.
When I was at AVMA last month, AliveCor Vet was in a booth promoting a new veterinary ECG that works with your iphone. I walked by the booth, not expecting much- maybe an app that sends the results to your phone or something, I thought, but I’ll check it out. And then, my mind was blown.
An ECG on the floor at the AVMA convention
The AliveCor actually turns your iphone into a portable ECG machine. It consists of a case that snaps on over an iphone, turning it into a single lead ECG that is placed on the side of the animal, or, in the case of those animals who don’t want to deal with that, you can hold one paw on each contact. And that, my friends, is awesome. While it’s not an exact replacement for a three lead machine, it’s a pretty fantastic way to get a quick assessment on animals like Elvis, whose alternative is no ECG at all. It’s portable, and can send results via email so a printed copy can be saved to a medical record.
Taking an ECG on a dog on an iphone with the AliveCor Vet at the World Vets Latin American Training Center in Granada, Nicaragua.
The next day, I flew to Granada, where AliveCor had sent two devices to Dr. King to use at the World Vets Latin American Training Center. Now here is another application- out there, there’s no ECG machine at all. Surgeries are performed without the benefit of an ECG, which can be really helpful when one is working with older, malnourished animals with no history of veterinary care. We were even able to take it into the field to use on horses. An horse getting ECG out in the middle of a field in Nicaragua. Who would have thunk it. ECG devices of any kind are not used in places like Granada, but the veterinarians there do have iphones, so thanks to AliveCor the pet population now has access to a very valuable too.
AliveCor was selling the units at AVMA and they were flying out of the booth faster than I could keep track. My colleagues were all as impressed as I was. The device is inexpensive- $199- and the app is free. Veterinary interpretation, of course, not included. But next time you bring your pet in for a wellness check, you very well may get a quick in-room ECG!
Anyone else watch Star Trek back in the day? Remember those little handheld tricorders, that magical device that could with the wave of a hand give you invaluable health information? I’M NERDING OUT HERE.
I admit, with no shame, that I’m an online shopping fanatic. Amazon, Zappos, you name it, I love it. It’s so much easier that driving to the mall, finding a spot, trying to find what you want, learning it’s out of stock, blah blah blah.
Of course, the other fun thing about online shopping is indulging that competitive “who’s got the best price” itch and finding something, anything, to type into that “Promotional Code” box. Free shipping. 10% off. I’ll take whatever you got.
I can’t bring myself to hit “place order” without at least checking if someone, somewhere, has a little coupon code. It’s funny, because I was never a coupon clipper of actual paper coupons. Too much work, finding scissors, sorting the ones you want, keeping them in a baggie, nope, don’t do it. If it sounds lazy, it is. I know this. But doing a quick online scan and hitting cut and paste- that’s my speed. CouponCabin, one of my go-tos for that ever welcome Valid Code, estimates the average code takes 90 seconds to obtain on their site.
We can shop for anyone and anything online these days, including our pets. Petco has teamed up with CouponCabin to offer oodles of offers to save on everything from cat trees to ferret food, and to draw your attention to that fact, they are also offering one $50 Petco gift card to one lucky pawcurious reader.
So let’s look at what they are saying here, that the average user saves $32. That’s a couple tubes of Advantage, or a bag of good food from one of their super premium lines, or a big bag of that awesome Cat Attract litter that got Apollo to stop his inappropriate elimination. Good stuff. Stuff I use. Stuff you could use, even if you don’t win the gift card. Viva la online coupons!
To enter, just leave a comment below as to what you would buy with a $50 Petco card and then click enter on Rafflecopter. Aquarium plants? A Halloween hotdog costume? Inquiring minds want to know.
I received no compensation for this post and the opinion stated here is that of my own. I was not influenced in any way. By entering this promotion, each participant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries and their respective representatives, officers, directors, shareholders, agents and employees from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions or liability of any kind resulting from or arising from participation in this promotion.
or, TLDR: No one paid me for this and you won’t sue anyone if you use the coupon to buy pigs ears and your dog gets pancreatitis from it. No one here told you to do that.