RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Lynette George

Furry Friday: Adopting “Other-Abled” Pets

PetFinder.com sponsors Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week September 17-25. The event is devoted to giving those pets who are often overlooked at shelters and rescue groups for whatever reason — they’re old, the wrong breed, have special needs, or are simply different or the wrong color — a better chance at finding homes.

Y’all know how I feel about golden oldie pets, after writing two award-winning books that help folks care with the needs of aging cats as well as aging dogs. Senior citizen pets have just as much love to give and often fit very well into families unable or unwilling to manage the hijinks of in-your-face puppies and kittens.

old dog

Old dogs make great friends.

Adult cats and dogs grown out of the “cute” phase also can have a hard time being chosen. But remember that healthy cats and small dogs can live well into their mid to late teens or longer, and you can expect to enjoy at least another half dozen years by adopting a four year old pet. And usually you save costs because they’ve already been “fixed” and have their shots, as well as basic training.

“Other-abled” pets don’t know what they’re missing. Despite loss of limbs, mobility, sight or hearing, they live and enjoy life regardless of the challenges they face. Often, the pet has less difficulty coming to terms with such changes than do owners. Cats and dogs seem to willingly accept conditions that devastate people.

My friend and colleague Natalie C. Markey shares her life with Oscar. His epilepsy inspired her to write a book about Caring For Your Special Needs Dog. Would she have adopted Oscar knowing that he had health challenges? Absolutely! You can hear from her directly in this Pet Peeves radio interview.

Pets can suffer paralysis through accidents, degenerative back diseases or other health conditions. Nobody knows what happened to Willy the rescue Chihuahua, who lived with rear-limb paralysis. He wouldn’t stop dragging himself from place to place, determined to stay in the thick of things. Once owner Deborah Turner got him strapped into his K9-cart (wheelchair for dogs), he was literally off and running. Willy became the mascot for his local branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, has his own website, and two children’s books written about his exploits.

Dr. Paul Gerding, a veterinary ophthalmologist, never considered that his Labrador couldn’t still enjoy life when Katie began losing her sight. He wasn’t able to correct the progressive disease medically, but took steps to ensure the blind dog could still navigate her home and yard by memory. She continued to hunt—in safe clover fields with no ditches or holes—and at home Katie relied on the younger dog Grace to be her personal guide dog pal. Similar stories are found in my cutting edge book.

I recently heard from my colleague, Lynette George, about her latest addition to their own little doggie family. “Her name is CeeCee and she’s a miniature, long-hair, double-dapple dachshund.” She went from the breeder to three different owners, and then ultimately was surrendered at the Oklahoma Spay Network because nobody really wanted to handle a blind dog. “Four months old and thinks she owns the world. She has absolutely no clue that she’s supposed to be “handicapped.” Anyway, she’s absolutely adorable. Everybody who sees her falls in love immediately. She took over Petco when she went in – kind of like she does everywhere she goes. She’s just a hoot every day. We LOVE her!”

Pets inspire us with their stoic attitudes. They don’t know how to feel sorry for themselves, and may not recognize they’re any “different” than other cats and dogs. Fluffy and Prince simply want to get on with the important business of eating, playing, and loving their family. As readers know, furry love comes in all shapes, sizes, and packages.

Do you share your home with a “less adoptable” pet? How did you find each other? Has living with an “other-abled” pet affected your life in positive ways? Please share! I’d love to hear your stories and see pictures of your special fur-kids. And here’s the deal. I’d love to create a whole gallery post next week so you can either post comments or email me amy @ shojai.com with “special pets” in the subject line with a picture. SEND NO LATER THAN NEXT TUESDAY (Sept 20) so I can post the next day. Spread the word–we’ll make your pets famous!

Just for fun, I wanted to share the latest Ask Amy video with a question from Tiffany. This applies to dogs as well as cats. What are some other puzzling behaviors your pets perform?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Woof Wednesday: Cute Puppy Pictures & Doggy Pacifiers

P1010008

Magical-Pup nursing on his "pacifier."

Last Saturday I spent the morning with my colleague Lynette George who runs a small private rescue operation locally. She’s also my editor at the newspaper, and lets me know when puppies (or kitties) are available for adoptions–and photo ops! I wanted to test some toys for future reviews on the Puppies Site, and these energetic models offered their expert puppy-licious opinion. The toys are courtesy of Planet Dog, one of my fav puppy toy sites not just because the dogs love ’em but they’re environmentally responsible.

You should have seen the Magical-Dawg’s face when I took these toys out of HIS house. Talk about a hang-dog expression. That’s him (above) when he was still a little guy. Get a load of those ears! He’s sucking on a stuffed toy–and he still does that to this day. Actually that’s the subject of today’s Ask Amy video —

But first, the SQUEEE! puppy pix! If you’re interested in adopting any of these beauties post a note in the comments and I’ll put you in touch with Lynette.

Decisions decisions...Pup with toys

Decisions, decisions . . . what if I want 'em both?

Pup with Ball

"It's mine, ALL MINE!"

pup with ball

For me?

pup with toy

Don't even think about it!

2 pups argue over toy

I saw it first!

2 pups wrestle

Oh yeah? Just make me!

Sleepy pup

Worked like a dog...sleep like a puppy.

So what are YOUR dog’s favorite toys? Do they have interesting habits or preferences, like nursing on a particular object? My first shepherd couldn’t eat unless his favorite ball was in the bowl for him to eat around it. He didn’t nurse on stuffed toys but would fall asleep with a tennis ball in his mouth–and end up with dry tongue, LOL! What are some other possible reasons for the dog in the Ask Amy holding on to a blanket or pillow? Please share.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Feline Friday: Ask Amy, Cute Kittens & That BITES!

Posted on
kitten clawing feather

Gimme the FEATHER!

It’s Adopt-A-Cat Month! Are you in the market for a new kitten? There’s sure a bumper crop this year. In fact, my friend and colleague Lynette George hosts a kitten adoption event tomorrow at Sherman Petco, starting at 10 am. I plan to visit for some SQUEEEEE! kitten photo ops, and hope to see you there. Likely my Seren-kitty will make me sign in blood that I won’t bring home an “interloper” but the Magical-Dawg would welcome a new furry friend.

(WARNING: blatant self promo…) You can find all must knows on adopting and raising kittens in the award-winning book, Complete Kitten Care, updated and available in all Ebook and print formats. Or if an older furry friend strikes your fancy (gosh, I hope so!) discover the rewards and special issues of these golden oldies in Complete Care for Your Aging Cat, also updated and in all Ebook and print formats.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a special month for y’all to adopt a cat. Shelters and rescue organizations do the work of the angels every day, all year long, and some go the extra mile.

CWA colleague Mary Anne Miller routinely takes in furry waifs and finds them homes, but the expense both in $$ and emotional trauma can be an issue when not all have happy endings. She’d taken in 10 needy cats from a colony, and despite above-and-beyond medical effort, most died. *sigh* To recoup the expenses so other cats can be helped, Mary Anne hosts a one-week-long fund raising auction of donated items (BLING ALERT!) so visit and if you’re of a mind, support with a bid.

Should you adopt a kitten, try to adopt an older baby–one 12 weeks old or more so s/he’s already been taught how to inhibit claws and teeth. Or adopt a pair, so they can use each other as kitten punching bags! Otherwise, you’ll run into problems like the owner in the Ask Amy question!

Did you plan your kitten/cat adoption? or did your cat find you? Seren showed up on the back porch of a friend. Have your “free” found pets cost you more than expected (like Mary Ann?). But weren’t they worth it! Please share.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Thievery & Furry Angels

Posted on

 .

The weekend kept me hopping, again, with a Pet Contest on Saturday I got to judge. Hey, there’s perks to this job and I luv getting all the happy wags and purrs. That’s “Lainy” up above–who won a “owner look alike contest” with the male owner named Lane. Fun stuff! The event was to benefit my friend and colleague Lynette George’s new “Kitty House” sanctuary–and interestingly, mostly dogs showed up to give ’em a wag and woof to help. Major wags & purrs!

Pet people are…how can I put this…we’re “different.” So are writers. And when you combine the two, you get spontaneous combustion, and a passion that could light up Texas and beyond. I’m eternally in awe of the community of writers and pet lovers who come together to celebrate all-things-furry and writing successes. We also support one another when the @#$%^&U! wheels fall off. Don’t hiss off pet writers–we travel in packs, and show our teeth and claws.

Copr. Melanie Snowhite. http://www.melaniesnowhite.com

That’s my colleague Terry Albert with shelties Tux, Lily and Bonnie.  Terry Albert’s blog recently got hijacked. Purloined. Lifted. STOLEN! The scum-sucking bottom feeder (who probably doesn’t even LIKE pets!) cut-and-pasted multiple posts and smack-dabbed ’em onto his own blog. Pretty funny when you think about it, because here’s Terry writing in first-person about her pets, her painting, her world-‘o-doggy-stuff, and this guy’s doing a “Sybil” multiple voices and viewpoints. Major howls & hisses!

Terry has two books coming out next year–Animal Planet: Labrador Retrievers,  and Animal Planet: Boxers, and I betcha this guy would try to take credit for those, too if he could. Read the REAL Terry on her own blogs and sites, with her own original art (the un-hijacked variety). In case you’re wondering, I ASKED and was given permission to post the pictures here. Click-Treat, GOOD-Amy. *s*

Terry’s painting is of “Mac,” a yellow lab. She writes, “I have about five careers, all dog related. I’m lucky- I get to combine my profession with my passion. I write, paint pet portraits, work as a pet sitter, and design websites– many for pet related businesses, like pet sitters, doggie daycares and trainers. My spare time (ha ha ha) is spent with my horses!” Learn more about Terry Albert at her website, and her pet sitters blog.

Terry isn’t alone in having her online work stolen. Another colleague, Mary Anne Miller, had an entire WEBSITE copied–text, pictures, pages, advertising and all. For those of you wondering what’s the big deal, here’s the scoop. Just because it’s posted on the Internet does not mean it’s free-for-the-pickin’s. And nope–it’s not flattering or “good advertising” to steal somebody else’s creativity and pass it off as your own.

Many bloggers and online writers–including Terry and Mary Ann–want to get good information out about our animal companions or other work, and welcome “sharing” of content. That is, sample a smidgeon of a post you like, maybe a first paragraph. Think of this like a sample at the deli, where the owner gets hissed off if you gnosh the entire wheel of cheese. Just offer a taste, and then say something like, “To read the rest of this great post, click this link…” and provide it.  I’ll give you an example:

Mary Anne with special friend.

“My name is Mary Anne. I am a 24-hour human can-opener and  Chief Petting Officer. I don’t do drapes, wear black for any reason and the running joke at the local post office is that I send all my letters “Hair Mail.” For the last thirty-plus years, I have shared my life with a very patient and loving husband and a crew of high-risk strays and at-risk bottle babies. . .” To learn more about Mary Anne, check out her outstanding website here.

Mary Anne comes to mind because she writes an incredibly touching and passionate feral cat behavior blog.  Recently she organized a fund raiser for medical care of Shell, a special kitty-girl, who ultimately lost her fight to live. Yet Shell touched cat lovers around the world in ways that changed their lives. A furry angel sent with a higher purr-pose? You be the judge.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways! REMINDER–the books COMPLETE KITTEN CARE and PET CARE IN THE NEW CENTURY: CUTTING-EDGE MEDICINE are available for a limited time for only $2.99 (Kindle price) to help out during kitten season.

Monday Mentions: Mutts, Ferals & Chew On THIS!

Posted on

Hold still!

Thanks muchly for all the wonderful wags and purrs about the new “blog home”–I hope y’all will consider subscribing and sharing with other pet-centric and writer-types. I’ve a whole pack of shout-outs to share today.
Could you be my new family?
Saturday I had the hard job of schmoozing (techie term) with a slew of puppies, courtesy of Lynette George. She also happens to be my PETiQuette newspaper column editor–and runs a local rescue organization. As a result, I’ve now got close to 200 puppy-licious photos for future blogs and other writer-icity projects. That’s Lynette (above) with the land-shark pups guestimated to be a Rottie-cross. Next Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm she’s hosting a “Pet Contest” at the Sherman Petco ($5 entry, benefiting local rescue), for the largest, smallest, furriest, best dressed, best trick, looks most like owner, best behaved, oldest, most colorful pet. I’m donating a couple of books as prizes–and I get to be a judge. So sucking up can officially begin. (Guess folks would frown on me entering my own fur-kids, eh?).

Louise with a special kitty friend.

Do you have feral cats in your neck of the woods? I guarantee that you do, whether you’ve seen them or not! I’m not talking stray cats, or “community cats” that collect kibble by visiting the neighborhood like kitty trick or treaters. You might call them yowling nuisances when they potty in your garden or drive indoor cats crazy—but they’re simply trying to survive. Louise Holton, founder and president of Alley Cat Rescue (ACR), says TNR (trap-neuter-return) can solve a host of feral cat problems in a humane way. My latest Pet Peeves show, Feral Cats – The TNR Solution explains how you can help by partnering with the ACR-sponsored “Free Feral Cat Spay Day” on April 27, 2011. 

Are you already using TNR in your community? Me-wow! How’s that working for you? Please share!

The puppy pictures I took on Saturday featured “mixed breed” pets. Betcha a bunch of y’all reading this blog have a “mutt dog” (or a mutt cat) you love.  Even if they don’t have papers (no…I’m not talking about the piddle pads), they are of course just as worthy, smart, loving, and stunning as any purebred or pedigreed pet. My Seren-kitty will attest to that!

And now, in celebration of mixed breed dogs, my colleague author Cheryl Smith has been named the National Mixed Breed Columnist at Examiner.com.

Cheryl and her "furry muses."

Cheryl says, “The examiner column is a national column on mixed breeds. So far it’s been mainly AKC related because of the upcoming agility championship and the first mixed breeds competing. But it will cover all the other dog sport organizations that welcome mixes, as well as mixed breed topics and issues. For example, I looked at canine DNA tests already, and next week hope to look at how many mixes typically go into a mix, and what are actually the correct terms to use when talking about non-purebred dogs.”

Cheryl and her roomate share their home with mixed breeds. “The apricot dog is my dog, Joe Cool, who I’ve only had for a little more than two months, and the white dog is Taiwan Teddy, Judy’s dog. They are a handful. Joe was originally owned by a drug addict who lived in her car.”

How did you find your pet? Did you rescue a mutt or get on a waiting list for a purebred? Did Kitty-kins show up on the back porch? What’s your “gotcha day” story?

I love hearing from you. Do you have a “furry muse” who inspires your writing? Please let me know and I’ll try to get you a Monday Mention. Share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!