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Monday Mentions: PUBSlush, Dolphin Tale & Birdbrain Video

Greta

Greta, a lovely girl--image copr. Ryan Chronister Photography/Flickr

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. Get a load of that GORGEOUS dog in the photo! Today we’re celebrating lots of doggy AND kitty content, plus some interesting writer tips and links. As a treat, there’s even a clever parrot video, enjoy!

Please don’t be shy about sending me your own links or suggestions for others to highlight. I love doing a SNOOPY-DANCE-’O-JOY! in celebration of all the savvy writers and animal advocates doing the work of the angels–and to a few angels as well.

WRITER SCHTUFF

Copyright Violation Protection information in this detailed article about what to do and how to do it. An additional tip that can help is to BLOG about your article as soon as it’s posted and include a link to that article. Apparently Google registers blogs quicker than articles so this can help the author get “first dibs” on the content you create.

PUBSlush PRESS is an interesting alternative pub opportunity but there are still questions–as the fine folks at Writer Beware point out.

FUN PET LINKS, BLOGS & INFO

JACQUIE LAWSON Animated E-cards are simply a treat to view and to send. They often feature animals (especially dogs and cats) and are appropriate for any age or occasion from funny, celebratory or poignant. You can subscribe for a nominal fee. Here’s one of the newest–featuring Fluff the kitten.

The Hero Dog Awards Celebrity Auction is live! The auction will run from September 19, 2011 to October 7, 2011, with proceeds supporting American Humane Association’s mission to create a more humane and compassionate world by ending abuse and neglect of children and animals.

Cat Therapy Helps Jail Birds from Petside.com Blogger Jo Singer.

NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED Review Blog from American Humane (check out Winter the dolphin’s story here!)

Shakespeare’s Cats, a whimsical blog-look at the Bard’s roles played by felines. If you liked that, you’ll also enjoy the pictures of Yoga Kittens as well as Yoga Puppies, aroooooooo!

Snakes Are Snacking and wreaking havok on dogs and cats–know the signs and get them help! Great info from Raya-the-Vet’s blog.

Adoption Pictures MATTER!  Improved pet photos increase adoptions–a Texas photographer shows you how, very kewl!

Partnership Launches Cat Health Initiative, with some movers-and-shakers in the world of vet medicine research.

Musings of Natasha Finkel, the Fashionista Felina–fun blog your cats will want to read.

CAT HERO–DIABETIC ALERT FELINE, you’ve heard about the dogs–well kitties care, too. Lovely touching story from blogger Angela Wallace.

Houses Designed for Cats! Warning…don’t let YOUR pets get a look.

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!

Monday Mentions: Funds for Shelters & Furry Blog-icity

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Cappy

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. So I had to share this lovely picture taken by photographer Sherry Aldritch Sineath posted in my Flickr Kitty Publishing group. There’s also a  Puppy Publishing group on Flicker, and the picture (below) is courtesy of Summer Whyte. A number of these great pictures will also get posted over at the Puppies site but of course you can post ‘em directly there with details about your baby dog’s gotcha day and more. Please don’t be shy about sending me your own links or suggestions for others to highlight. Today’s blog is a major shout-out and SNOOPY-DANCE-‘O-JOY! to a whole passel of pet-savvy writers and animal advocates doing the work of the angels.

Pepsi and Pup

ADOPTASHELTER.COM  Chris Ruben and his team have just launched an awesome website AdoptAShelter.com that fund-raises for animal shelters. What’s neat about it is you get to choose the shelter–you can add your own shelter, too–and then simply shop for whatever you want from the store-partners (amazon, petmeds, Kmart, Office Depot and 400 more!). Every time a purchase is made through AdoptAShelter.com, 100% of the amount displayed is donated to the animal organization or shelter chosen by the shopper. The shelter gets a donation, the site gets a small percentage and the pets win because their volunteers can concentrate on helping cats and dogs instead of beating the bushes for donations. It’s free for you to use the service, there’s no login or password required, they DON’T collect your information–it’s all for the animals. They’re already getting some media attention.

VETSTREET.COM is a new site with some awesome content and contributors–you’ll recognize Dr. Marty Becker and there are a host of savvy veterinarian and animal-expert journalist contributing to the site. They’ve also got an online pet products store which I discovered also links to my own vet’s “pet portal” so Magic and Seren health records are available for ordering authorized prescriptions. Kewl beans!

DR. RAYYA’S ONLINE VETERINARY JOURNAL  offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes into caring for our pets. I just discovered her blog and it’s well worth the follow.

CHARLIE, THE THERAPY DOG lives with Patricia Tirrell. She writes a kewl blog called A Dog’s Life and you don’t want to miss this amazing and touching story about Charlie–a blind beagle who provides furry inspiration and love to friends and strangers alike.

MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION does so much for animals–pets as well as wildlife–I’m always excited to read their news. Some of their funded studies look for ways to develop DNA tests for diagnosing kitty cancer, as well as using genetic markers in dogs to breed-and-avoid genetic diseases to improve doggy health. Morris Animal Foundation also funds research to help sea otters and sea lions.

CAT HOUSE RENTAL? ME-OWY NICE! My colleague Jane Denny, creator of  THE PRIDE Cartoon starring Crazy Johnny (the cat) inherited 18+ cats when her mother passed away. She couldn’t sell the NYC house and evict the cats, so she did the next best thing–she turned the house in Queens into a DESTINATION for vacationers who love cats.

Finally, huge CONGRATULATIONS to all the nominees and winners of the PETTIES, awards presented from Dog Time Media to some of the best pet bloggers around. They were presented at BlogPaws Conference this past week and I’m proud to say many of my colleagues and friends are among those honored.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. 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: Heat Stroke, Hot Weather Games & Pit Bull-Kitten Luv

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Savannah takes a dip in her water bowl to cool off.

Dogs may be “man’s best friend,” but parrots, cats, lizards and horses also form connections to human beings. Not only can having a pet cheer you up and reduce your stress levels, but your pet could save your life. These pets may be able to detect diabetic crises, seizures, migraines and Parkinson’s “freezing,” helping owners get timely — and often critical — help.

Dogs can actually be taught to detect cancer. Melanoma is the least common but most deadly skin cancer, accounting for 79 percent of skin cancer deaths. Diagnosis relies mostly on the way the skin looks — even though many melanomas are invisible to the naked eye. But cancer causes the body to release chemicals into our urine, sweat and even breath that smells different than normal. My most recent Huffington Post article gives even more cool details about how pets can avert human health crises. 

Of course, it’s up to the human part of the equation to keep our pets happy and healthy. At my house, PLAYTIME offers great brain candy and mental health breaks for both the furry and two-legged family members. But this $%$%^&^&! hot weather makes that a challenge.

What games does your puppy play during hot weather? Do you know how to give your pet first aid for heat stroke? When the temperature climbs near to 100 degrees, pets have trouble staying cool. But they don’t know any better and can over-exercise and risk death—yet they need healthy exercise. What’s a pet parent to do?

I’ve come up with some options for the Magical-Dawg. I’ve shared a few of them in this article about safe hot weather games for dogs.  Of course, the Seren-kitty (aka “coyote bait”) doesn’t go outside even in comfortable weather. I found a fun YouTube video that offers suggestions for cat-dog games and couldn’t resist sharing.

What creative games do your fur-kids play? Do the dogs and cats get along? Seren’s fav game of all is getting Magic in trouble. Please share your furry foibles!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. 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!

Weird Woof Wednesday: Knee-Jerk Reactions & Poopy-Puppies

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Puppies often eat schtuff--and then want to SMOOCH you on the lips.

We’ve had two blogs in a row filled to the brim with writer-icity, so it’s time for a bit of SQUEEEE! puppy-licious fun. There are a number of weird behaviors, though, that puzzle even savvy dog owners. One’s enough to make you question your dog’s good taste–literally.

Coprophagia–sounds all literary-like, right? But that’s just a fancy word for eating (ahem) poop.

Ew! You might want to put down your McMuffin while reading this.

Poop eating can be nature’s way for mom-dogs to keep the nest clean, and Junior-Dawg simply copy cats the behavior. It’s annoying, nasty, and great fun for juvenile delinquent pups. Even the Magical-Dawg indulged in his youth, played keep-away with the crap and one time actually carried some inside the house. Oh yeah, THAT went over well, and reinforced the cat’s opinion of him.

Most pups outgrow the behavior. If you have a canine connoisseur of pungent productions (say THAT fast five time!), these 10 tips to stop eating poop will help.  Just take a look at that face (below) and tell me you couldn’t forgive that keep-’em-laughing puppy! In fact, read on for some neato news.

July 15-17, Petfinder.com is joining with over 1,500 rescue groups and shelters across North American for what could be the largest adoption event in history–in honor of Petfinder.com 15th Birthday year! That sweet puppy above with the goof-ball grin is Booger-Boy  and he’s available–just click on thr picture for a link to details. Betcha once he’s adopted (and you could change the name!) he’d promise not to eat anything you don’t want him to eat…except maybe a favorite sock that reminds him of his beloved human . . .

A less annoying but still puzzling behavior involves doggy scratching behavior. Does your pooch kick when he’s scratched? Is it a certain place if you rub him the right way, or will his leg jitter and jump with any scratch? The Ask Amy video below has some answers–but what have I missed? Why do you think dogs “fiddle” when scratched?

And do your dogs (or pups) eat nasty stuff? How do you handled the problem? 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!

Furry Friday: Lulu’s Furry Miracle

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Lulu has a human angel, named Carol Duncan!

I couldn’t do foster work, I don’t think. When I traveled for Purina as a spokesperson and visited countless shelters, the hardest part was walking away from all those needy bewhiskered faces. Bringing a fur-kid into the house, only to later give him/her away into the loving homes of another, would be rewarding but –I know this about myself — it would flat kill me.

Thank God there are rescue organizations and individuals who can do this!

While it sounds romantic to raise up cute babies and unwanted dogs or cats and give them a much needed second chance, reality ain’t the same. Dogs and cats are dumped, relinquished, lose homes for no fault of their own but challenging behavior problems and/or health issues make foster care even more daunting.

Did I mention God has a hand in such things? And the human angels on earth sometimes are granted miracles–my colleague and friend Carol Duncan gave me permission to share the latest. It seems particularly timely because of the BOOM-BOOM noise phobias mentioned in the Woof Wednesday blog that caused Lulu–that gorgeous Border Collie–in the picture–such angst. You see, Lulu panicked during a thunderstorm and tried to escape her crate, resulting in severe injuries that required hip surgery. Yes, they can do amazing things these days with cutting edge medicine for pets–and the video puts a furry face on some of these techniques.

I’ve seen other video of Carol’s foster BCs, one called Possum that was so fearful–and the progress made until she actually PLAYED with Carol’s other dogs. Makes me weepy again just to think of how far some of these fosters can come with the right care. Now, it’s Lulu’s chance.

Carol writes,

“I’m almost afraid to say anything lest I jinx myself, but Lulu, a BC is being adopted on Monday.  Lulu is reactive to other dogs and needs to go to a home with no other dogs.  Plus, she has hip dysplasia and is recovering from an FHO right now.  And she has mild urinary incontinence.  She barks a lot, too!  And she is sound sensitive, terrified of thunder and fireworks.  She is currently on Fluoxetine and Clonazepam.  She’s probably around 6 or 7 years old — has a lot of years left, we hope, but not a young dog, by any means.

Who would want such a dog?

Well, a couple in El Paso contacted me.  Their BC passed away in February at age 15.  The wife is a high school teacher and is home for the summer.  They chose to wait until the summer to get a new dog.  The wife really liked the way Lulu looks and wrote to me.  They have a pool and will be able to continue her rehab there.  They specifically wanted an older dog. And the last time they had a thunderstorm there was 2006. They had a fabulous vet reference and their home check was conducted yesterday by a woman who is a herding trial judge who lives in El Paso.”

WOW! Who can dare argue that God didn’t work a miracle? Well, the Almighty and human angels, that is–the rescue organization, veterinarians, and of course Carol and her furry crew of doggy helpers.

Are you involved in rescue work? What challenges do you individually and your rescue organization face? What about dogs (or cats) with hip dysplasia–have you ever included water therapy for your pets?

The cool video, below, shows Lulu receiving underwater treadmill therapy (WAY COOL!) from the Dallas Veterinary Surgical Center, so that Lulu’s new family has a demonstration how to continue Lulu’s rehab. Carol works with Border Collie Rescue Texas which paid for a good portion of Lulu’s treatment–but Carol funded quite a bit herself.

Love doesn’t come cheap! Think about supporting a rescue group in your area. Have you had similar miracle matches–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: Writer-icity, Dog Surfing & PeePee Dance

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Those who read the last Thoughty Thursday blog know I’ve been struggling with my back. I’m not supposed to sit for long periods of time and over the weekend had to focus on creating more puppy-licious behavior content. So I plan to keep the blogs pretty short-and-sweet this week. That doesn’t mean they won’t be chock-full of content, though!

I’ve collected some of my fav blog, article and video posts for today’s shout out. Enjoy! And please post your own suggestions for future Monday Mentions in the comments section.

WRITING SCHTUFF

Horror author Thom Reese on Growing Pains in Publishing

Author and terrific blogger Jenny Hansen asks Are Writers Now A Company of One?

David Gaughran’s outstanding blog covers writing and self publishing, and today asks Have Publishers Lost the Backlist Battle?

Kristen Lamb’s latest killer blog on Mastering Plot by Getting Primal

Ellie Ann Soderstrom puts writing, life and humanity in perspective in her PeePee Dance Blog

PET SCHTUFF

Dog Walker 8 has an excellent blog post on Pet Poisoning Dangers, check it out!

Curfew for Cats in Australia–say WHAT?

It’s not just dogs and cats that need rescue. Get your tissues ready–happy ending and AMAZING photos in this horse cruelty case detailed in Sarah K. Andrew’s Zodiac Blog

Let’s end on a happy furry–and WET note with these fun videos, enjoy! Do your cats or dogs love or hate the water?


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! By the way, I just updated the sidebar (on the right) with direct links to all the pet books–check ‘em out!

Monday Mentions: The Devil Made Me Do It!

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I’ve been a fan of Jim’s even before I met him at Thrillerfest a few year’s back, and then got to interview him for this Pet Peeves radio show about his Altar of Eden thriller featuring a veterinarian. So I can’t wait to read his latest Sigma Force novel.

Tomorrow, June 21st, is an all-day virtual launch party of James Rollins’ new book, The Devil Colony. If you’re a thriller lover, then you already know the name–and if you don’t, WOWZER you’re in for a treat!

Yep, that’s right, he’s a VETERINARIAN! A thriller guy who likes puppy dogs and kitty cats, yay! He even has some very cool swag available, with all proceeds benefiting the Humane Society of America (check it out!).

Oh, and did I mention, a thoroughly nice guy willing to talk to unknown wannabe thriller writers–like me. He may not even remember cuz I know he does this so often. But Jim is the reason my pet first aid book qualified me for full Thriller Writers membership when he was co-president with Steve Berry.

Did I already say–WOW!? Oh you devil, you! Just what were you thinking?

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"Devil Colony? Aha! A veterinarian finally wrote a tell-all about your family!"

And nope, he wasn’t under the influence of catnip–I can only think the Devil Made Him Do It. I know from devils. I live with a feline demon who answered to “Devil” long before her real name, because she got called that so often. And in turn, I make that sweet innocent kitty live with a “devil dawg” that’s an affront to feline-icity just by breathing the same air. As a behavior consultant, I deal with furry and human devilish behavior on a regular basis–and then there’s those devilish writing deadlines. Guess you could say the devil makes ME do it, too.

In fact, later today I’m giving a live Webinar on Senior Moments: Quality of Life Issues for Aging Pets (both cats and dogs). Sometimes I wonder if Magical-Dawg will survive to senior citizen canine status, while Seren-kitty is already well into her 9th life.

Let’s turn this devil-may-care c’attitude around and make dancing-with-the-devil a fun nose-thumbing event. Are you up for it? Join the virtual launch party tomorrow and give the Devil his due! Hang out with thriller authors, wear costumes, win prizes. My colleague Kristen Lamb (another Jim-Fan-Girl and a social media genius) came up with the idea so read all about Kristen’s devilish party plans here. You can learn more about James Rollins–the man, the author, the veterinarian–in the video below. Check out his books – here’s the full list.  And for those on Twitter, come party on Twitter at #DevilColony.

A slew of devilishly talented bloggers have already started the party ball rolling, so check ’em out:

Jenny Hansen’s Blog – Friday Devil’s Playground

Danielle Meitiv’s Blog – Digging Taters & Devilish Book Party

Piper Bayard’s Blog – On Life, Belly Dancing and Apocalyptic Annihilation

Tiffany White’s Friday FabOoolous Post on James Rollins

Writers in the Storm – Devilish Fun…A Worldwide Book Launch Party

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!

Woof Wednesday: Old Fogey Dog Webinar, Ask Amy & Dogs Rolling Over

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Those who regularly read my blog know about all the cute puppy pictures and content (SQUEEEE!) I’ve been creating. Our old fogey dogs are just as–or even more–deserving of our love and attention.

I’m thrilled to offer the fine folks at the Danish-Swedish Farm Dog USA organization a live Webinar next Monday June 20, based on my best-selling updated Complete Care for Your Aging Dog book. The presentation–with Q&A and some fun pictures from the powerpoint–has pending CCPDT accreditation. And a portion of the registration goes to fund dog-specific causes (your choice). Feel free to spread the furry word– and I  hope to “see” some of y’all there.

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"Rub my tummy....please?"

That puppy in the picture from last weekend’s local adoption event wanted to just chill on my lap, sleeping on his back, all afternoon. What a sweetie. When we first got Magic, he was NOT inclined to “roll over.”

Rolling onto the back and baring the tummy places a dog into a vulnerable position and not all feel comfortable doing this. As Magical-Dawg has matured, he’s much more willing to volunteer this behavior–and I’m flattered. It actually can be a sign of great trust, although many folks assumes this posture always means submission.

And no, of course I never “forced” Magic onto his back. Okay, guess I need to also mention “alpha roll” where the owner forces a dog onto his back to establish dominance. Probably a better name for it would be the “stupid roll” because it does nothing to foster submission and actually can get owners bit.

The premise comes from thinking that wolves make other wolves roll over to prove who is in charge. Uh…nope. Wolves roll over on their own to indicate deference, they aren’t “forced” to do this by a bigger wolf. And of course, dogs aren’t wolves. Dogs will show deference and respect to more potent, powerful and in charge individuals (whether that’s another dog, a cat or human). And sometimes the most powerful doggy in the group rolls over to show a less confident canine he means no threat, as an invitation to play or build confidence.

The fellow asking the question in the Ask Amy video was not happy about his newly adopted dog’s inclination to roll over. I suspect he wanted his dog to be “macho” and “dominant” and wasn’t clear on exactly what his dog was telling him–or what the dog “heard” his new owner saying.

Do your dogs enjoy tummy rubs? Does your dog flip on his back at the drop of a “hello?” When does he show his tummy–do you ask, or does he simply volunteer and request your attention?

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: Cancer Support, Disaster Help & Furry Professional Ops

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Please take me home!

I’ve saved up lots of great info to share in today’s Monday Mentions. First, I had to share some of the puppy-licious pictures from this weekend’s adoption event. The babies mostly slept but finally woke up for some yappy-happy playtime. If you have a dog intent on breaking the bark-a-thon record, the latest puppies.About.com tips for curbing barks may help.

Older dogs benefit from a terrific promotion hosted by Morris Animal Foundation on Sunday, September 18, for a K9 Cancer Walk at the Cove at Concord Park in Knoxville. The event will benefit the Foundation’s Canine Cancer Campaign, an initiative to fund research to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure cancer in dogs. An estimated 50 percent of all dogs will battle cancer. All dog lovers are invited to attend and are encouraged to walk to celebrate the life of their canine best friend or walk in memory of dogs that have lost their battle with canine cancer.

Last week I talked about disaster pet preparation tips on the blog. The ASPCA has worked closely with the Joplin Humane Society and the last I heard, nearly 850 animals have since been rescued__with more than 200 beloved pets being reunited with their families. Here’s one story of a kitty and owner reunion!  Now the recent fires have displaced more families–and animals. Check out this video…and help if you can:

Some might be curious about those initials after my name, C.A.B.C.–that stands for Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (dogs and cats). I’m a professional member of IAABC. This professional membership organization promotes Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) principles in work with companion cats, dogs, parrots, horses and working animals.

In honor of Cat Adoption month in the U.S, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants have a “special deal” for Cat Division applicants. The application fee has been waived for all new members (to all divisions) throughout the month of June–YEEE-HAW!!! President Marjie Alonso writes, “Cats are currently the most popular pet in the United States and  it’s imperative that we support and educate regarding growing need  for feline behavioral assistance and services to help cat owners.  Learn more about joining IAABC here.

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Adopt a new friend, don't wait!

This past weekend I attended a puppy and kitten adoption and am pleased to say several fur-kids found new forever homes. But there are always so many more waiting . . . and after all, there’s still several days left in Adopt A Cat Month.

CATalyst Council is working with American Humane Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, and Petfinder.com to make this June the most successful Adopt A Cat Month® ever! Check out the official website here. Better yet, visit your local shelter this month to take home a new feline friend! Oh, and check out the fantastic how-to video on kitty carrier training at the end of the blog, courtesy of Catalyst Council folks.

Can’t adopt right now? No problem. Consider fostering. Everyone wants to help critters–well, those who read this blog do anyway! But it comes at a cost. Good news! Did you know that your expenses of caring for “foster animals” may be tax deductible?

Unable to foster? One of my fav organizations Alley Cat Rescue offers a brilliant alternative. You can have a virtual adoption and sponsor an ACR office cat or special needs kitty.

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!

Woof Wednesday: DISASTER! Plan Ahead

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magic in paintbrush

Storm showers do bring flowers.

I’m tired of the wind and weather—how about you? I’ve written about disaster prep way too often recently but now again with fires in Western states, hurricane season upon us, and tornadoes whirling through my neighborhood, it bears repeating.  When Mother Nature throws a tantrum, you have no time to waste. Keeping your human and furry family safe can prove daunting unless you’ve made advanced preparations.

Watch weather reports. When weather turns ify, bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them. Make sure all dogs and cats are wearing collars and up-to-date identification. If you have nothing else handy, use a felt-tip marker and write your phone number and name on the pet’s tummy.

Designate a “safe room” in the house to confine pets until the all clear. Many homes in North Texas don’t have basements or storm cellars. An internal room without windows, often a bathroom without windows, can be a good option. At my house, Seren gets stuffed into her cat carrier and placed inside the pantry situated under the stairs. It’s big enough that the humans and Magical Dawg can fit inside, too.

Seren is NOT a fan of the carrier--but it's the safest spot for her.

If you must evacuate, take your pets along. It may be days before authorities allow you to return home. If you’ve got to evacuate, find a hotel, friend, or other accommodations in advance that will let you bring your dogs and cats.

Attach the phone number and address of your temporary shelter, if you know it, to the pet’s collar tags. You can buy temporary tags or put adhesive tape on the back of your pet’s ID tag, adding information with an indelible pen. Write directly on a flat nylon collar or halter to make it easy for a stranger to read the information.

In addition to providing for human family members, have a “pet kit” ready to take along that contains a three-day supply of all the pet essentials. If easily packed, take an extra towel or blanket for each pet. Don’t forget sturdy leashes, harnesses, carriers or X-pens for safe confinement.

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Carriers for the small pets are a necessity!

Most facilities will require your cats and dogs to be under your control, and may also require proof of current vaccination. Include a favorite comfort toy or treat, the pet’s food and can opener if needed, and don’t forget water—one quart per cat-size pet per day (more for big dogs) is a good rule of paw. One of the pheromone spray products such as Comfort Zone/DAP for dogs or Feliway for cats can help relieve the stress of being in a strange environment.

Have plenty of plastic bags and newspapers as well as containers and cleaning supplies to help deal with pet waste. Puppy training pads or Depends undergarments work well.

Prepare for the unthinkable, too. Include current photos of your pets in case they get lost, and bring a first-aid kit to care for possible injuries. Include disposable latex gloves, sterile dressings, antibiotic towelettes and ointment, eyewash, thermometer, and any prescription medications your pets need. You can find more specifics in “The First-Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats.”

Your evacuation kit should also include a cell phone, flashlight, extra batteries, battery powered radio, map of area, whistle/air horn to signal for help, and matches in a waterproof container. Keep a list of emergency numbers with your phone, including a pet emergency clinic number and shelters that may temporarily house animals. Keep your car tank filled with at least half a tank at all times.

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A halter and leash gives you something to grab.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides information and relief for human victims of disaster, and also offers more information about pet disaster planning.  Petfinder.com also offers great disaster preparation information for pet owners.

Have you ever had to ride out a storm with your pets? How did you manage the situation? Did you evacuate and take the fur-kids with you, or were you forced to leave them behind? That would just about kill me…I’d likely risk my life and stay with them, if it came down to it. Be ready for Mother Nature’s “what if” surprises now and prepare for the worst. Then pray that you and your pets will never need this information.

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!