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Friday, September 01, 2006

Dental Dog!

Terrie Lastra is a dentist, so what better plaything for her to discover than a toothbrush for Jasmine, a 15-year-old Chihuahua she dog-sat while the family took a cruise.

"This was the first time her beloved pet was separated from the family, so I tried all sorts of ways to keep the puppy entertained," Terrie wrote. "But being a dentist by profession, it was easy for me to try a toothbrush as a new toy for her (aside from being good for her dental hygiene)! As you can tell from the picture, the toothbrush was a hit!"

Honoring Working Dogs on Labor Day

So this weekend, when we're supposed to honor working Americans - especially those who have to work while the rest of us loaf - let's not forget the labor of dogs that help disabled people, rescue disaster victims, sniff out explosives, herd livestock, and perform a host of other chores on humankind's behalf.

To see a really wonderful online NOVA slide show on working dogs, click here.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

ET Phone Home

Remember the scene in ET where he's hiding in the closet among the toys? That's exactly what this photo recalls for me. Her name is Jilli and she lives with a Miami menagerie presided over by faithful blog reader Mila Dorotea.

Happy Ending for a Katrina Dog

Seattle's a long way from the Big Easy, but that's where one lucky Katrina canine has found a happy home. Click here to read the story (and see a great picture of this handsome lass).

Tampa Shelter Animals Losing High-Visibility Spot

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay has been showcasing adoptable cats and dog at a shopping center for several years, in addition to its shelter, which has enabled higher adoption rates. Now that arrangment is about to end. Click here to read the story from the St. Pete Times.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dexter in Repose

He's a 3-year-old Westie and it appears he lives a life of gentlemanly leisure.

Want your critter on the blog? E-mail a jpg photo to

World's Hippest Cat

Like, Dude, check out my piercing. (It isn't really a piercing, but blog reader Vincent Vicari says some of his friends have fallen for it). I'm just astounded that he got a cat to sit still for this!

Ernesto Fizzles; This is a GOOD THING

This happened, of course, because I wasted five hours of my life putting up shutters. And the rule at my house is that once they're up - with the exception of the French doors - they stay up until hurricane season ends. This means I live like a mushroom for the next two months, but so be it. I can't bear wrestling with those aluminum panels more than once a year.

No one, apparently, used the pet-friendly shelter at Highland Oaks Middle School in Northeast Miami-Dade. The Herald reported that it was empty at 5 p.m. Tuesday. But it's good to know it's available just in case.

Glad we all got through it with relatively little hassle.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Dog Drives Car: Bad Idea

Woman Crashes While Teaching Dog to Drive

BEIJING (Aug. 28) AP - A woman in Hohhot, the capital of north China's Inner Mongolia region, crashed her car while giving her dog a driving lesson, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday.

No injuries were reported although both vehicles were slightly damaged, it said.

The woman, identified only be her surname, Li, said her dog "was fond of crouching on the steering wheel and often watched her drive," according to Xinhua.

"She thought she would let the dog 'have a try' while she operated the accelerator and brake," the report said. "They did not make it far before crashing into an oncoming car."

Xinhua did not say what kind of dog or vehicles were involved but Li paid for repairs.

What she needs to be paying for is a brain transplant....

More Hurricane Info

Thanks to Patricia for bringing the following link to my attention: There's a pet-friendly shelter guide and more tips on getting your critters safely through the storm.

And this from Yvonne Conza of Woof Patrol, the Miami Beach group that proved dog walkers could be depended on to clean up after their pets, thus keeping the beachwalk pet-friendly.

The City of Miami Beach is taking very proactive pet measures to ensure the safety and protection of animals. During a hurricane, we’ve all come to understand the realities that pets have become stranded, lost and/or injured.

24 Hour Emergency Animal Care

Knowles Animal Clinics with two locations: CENTRAL, 1000 N.W. 27th Ave., 305-649-1234, and SNAPPER CREEK, 9922 Sunset Dr. 305-279-2323.

NOTE: If an injured animal is brought in, Knowles will treat the injuries, stabilize the animal, then contact Animal Services. Their first priority is to save the life of the animal.

Aussie Animal Hospital has the same policy. They're located at 453 West 41st St., Miami Beach. 305-535-4695. The likelihood is that all veterinary clinics follow the same guidelines.

She included the ASPCA's disaster preparedness tips for pets:

- Stock 3-7 days' worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
- Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
- Litter or paper toweling
- Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
- Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
- Pet feeding dishes
- Extra harness and leash (Note: harnesses are recommended for safety and security)
- Photocopies of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless.)
- Bottled water, at least 7 days' worth for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
- A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
- Flashlight
- Blanket (for scooping up a fearful pet)
- Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make "Lost" posters)
- Especially for cats: Pillowcase or EvackSack, toys, scoopable litter
- Especially for dogs: Long leash and yard stake, toys and chew toys, a week's worth of cage liner.

FINAL NOTE from Yvonne: On Aug. 27, Pomo, WOOF Patrol mascot and adoring Shih Tzu, ended up on the wrong side of a red ant or some other insect. His face swelled up and the concern was that the breathing passages would be compromised or worse. Calls were made and Patroller Francine Segal jumped into action prepared with Benadryl, blankets, water and calming influence on dog parents that were hysterical. Please note the Benadyl in our home was expired and we did not have a pet first-aid kit. At midnight we arrived at the Knowles 24-hour clinic and we returned home at 3:30am. Pomo was given a steroid and antihistamine shot. Our experience with the Knowles Clinic was pawsitive. Big thanks always to hero and pet champion Francine Segal.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Canine Amber Alert

I'm now on a service that automatically alerts me to lost pets in my part of the world. Got one today a bulldog in Coral Gables. Here's the link to theDog Detective site where you can see it.

Ernesto's Coming; Safeguard Your Pets

If you live in South Florida, you're probably going to get smacked by Hurricane Ernesto, which promises to be a very wet storm. Flooding is expected in coastal areas (where I happen to live - oh joy). So tonight, I'm shlepping the critters up the highway and out west to the safety of my boyfriend's house on the borderline of Dania Beach and Davie, because - like the postal service - newspaper reporters work no matter what the weather.

I tell you this by way of urging you to make sure your critters will be secure. There are pet-friendly shelters in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties now, which is a real blessing for people who have no other choice.

But if you do, make plans now. Book a room in a pet-friendly hotel or find a relative or friend who will let you and your animals encamp. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you leave animals alone to fend for themselves. Every hurricane produces horror stories about dogs tied up in yards who die of injuries or drowning. Remember how so many New Orleaneans left their animals with a few days' supply of food and water because they figured they'd be right back? That's a lesson for all of us.

For tips on getting through a storm with your pets, as well as information on the pet-friendly shelter, go to the following websites: Humane Society of Greater Miami-Adopt a Pet, Humane Society of Broward County, or Miami-Dade Animal Sevices.

To find a pet-friendly hotel, click here.