Ask the Vet: Advice on pet health – How can I stop my dog from itching?
Q: Lucy, a 2 year old female Patterdale Terrier, is a very itchy dog! She's constantly scratching. Its weird to see her not scratching, or rubbing her belly on the floor! She doesn't have fleas or ticks and the itch seems to calm after a shower with …
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Pet Vet: Pets with itchy ears
Itchy ears are very common. In fact, the largest pet insurance company, VPI, researched and reported the top reasons that pets went to the veterinarian. The 8th most common reason for cats to see the vet was ear infections. For dogs, ear issues topped …
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Bird's itch, sneezing might be caused by allergies
Answer: Birds can have allergies to pollen, molds, and foods, cleaning supplies and other fabrics or products. They are difficult to test for allergies in the traditional way that humans and dogs are tested. Most birds are diagnosed with allergies by …
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The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner My rating: 5 of 5 stars Ironically as I was reading “The Finishing School” it was during a time when I am re-evaluating and making some life changes that included how I was doing bible studies and managing my time. Going through each chapter, I was impressed as a…
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Hey, Donna, I shared your "A New Dog in the House" handout with a friend who is hoping to bring home his first dog very soon and basically he freaked out and shut down. He thought maybe the content would be better served up in a blogpost, so I tried to share blogposts, but even the title "Boot Camp" (for the story of Tater), was so upsetting to him that he couldn't read it. He promises he's pro-structure (I explained that anxious dogs need this structure every bit as much as boisterous dogs), but he refuses to use these methods on the timid little fluff muffin he's applied to adopt. So… I was wondering if you have any favorite "new dog" resources that wouldn't be quite so intimidating to a soft-hearted first time dog-owner.
BAD RAP Blog
Israel’s Mission Discovery Guide by Laan Vander Ray My rating: 5 of 5 stars A visual stunning DVD and accompanying study guide, “Israel’s Mission Discovery Guide” really challenges the reader to discover what it means to be an ambassador for Christ. An in depth dvd from the founder of “That the World May Know” and…
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I’ve gotten to the point right now where I can let something go.
One of the reasons I’ve had such a rough time writing about dogs lately is that I’ve had a hard time letting something go.
The thing I’ve held onto is an ideal, a dream dog, the kind I once knew but is now pretty darn rare.
I’ve had to let go of whatever dream I had of ever having a decent working retriever. I’m not in the position where I can have such a dog, and I’m such an incompetent dog trainer that giving me such a dog would be a total waste.
I know about dogs. I appreciate dogs. But I don’t know enough and I don’t have the skills to do what I thought I would do.
Further, such a dog would be totally useless here in the hinterlands west of the Atlantic flyway and east of the Mississippi flyway. I once talked to a bird watcher from New Hampshire who was looking for West Virginia waterfowl, and he said all we seemed to have were mallards and Canada grassmuckers. Virtually all duck stamps sold in West Virginia go to stamp collectors.
I see a dog world that is in a lot of ways flawed, but I’m no position to offer any kind of challenge or critique.
For my own sanity, I’m letting all of this go. I spent a lot of time chasing lost dogs through what I’ve written on this blog, but these dogs are gone.
Golden retrievers have become a cancer-ridden, structurally unsound, and often temperamentally unsound mess. I don’t know how this mess gets fixed, but I don’t think it ever will. This is the curse of popularity, and it’s not helped by the simple fact that these dogs are perceived to be inferior to the Labrador, and over time, this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a half century, will we think of golden retrievers the way border collie people think of Old English sheepdogs now?
It’s depressing to see something that once gave you a lot of joy fall apart before your eyes. It’s even more so when you know that there is nothing you can do about it.
I have to stop torturing myself.
I have to let this go.
I’ve found I like hunting deer to wasting my time with dogs.
And there are plenty of deer around here.
More K-9s in South Jersey receiving body armor
More K-9s in South Jersey will be protected with the addition of new body armor, the Press of Atlantic City reports. After a police dog in Egg Harbor Township was wounded during a 2013 shooting, the Pleasantville Police Department decided to make a …
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Deputy Escapes Murder Attempt Thanks To His Dog, Cops Say
A Mississippi sheriff's deputy was about to be dragged to his death when his quick-acting canine came to his rescue, authorities said. Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy Todd Frazier was attacked by three men who beat him and sliced him with a box cutter …
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I came across this rather remarkable little documentary a few weeks ago. It features the work and ideas of John Skeaping, who made his name as a painter of horses.
It has wonderful footage of the bulls and horses of the Camargue in South of France, as well as the “cowboys” who tend them and how they rely upon the wisdom of the horses to manage the wild bulls safely and efficiently.
Skeaping was quite worried about the downgrading of animal art because artists couldn’t stop themselves from projecting their humanness onto them. He calls the “sentimentalizing,” but I would have called it something else. He talks about the domestic animals having a kind being “wild,” and if you think for just a few second, you can figure what he’s talking about.
Essentially, we’re debasing animals by turning them into humanized versions of the beast. This was the great sin of Timothy Treadwell, who sang songs and talked baby talk to Alaskan brown bears and then wound up partially consumed by one. It’s the same sort of humanization that I see as the underpinnings of the irrational aspects of the animal rights movement.
It is wrong to say that animals are just mindless automatons with no feelings or no insight, but it is just as wrong to assume that those feelings and insights are the same sort that we have.
And although Skeaping’s main concerns were with art, these ideas can be extended into how we view animals in general. Much of what is totally wrong in the domestic dog is really removing them from their “wildness.” This is why I think my aesthetics are more strongly influence by dogs bred solely for their purpose than over dogs bred for show. A dog bred for show has been bred for appearance and movement, which may or may not have any kind of evaluation in the actual world. It comes across as an overly sentimentalized portrait of a horse does. I see the “wilder” aspects of a dark-colored working golden retriever as infinitely more stunning that any dog winning at Westminster or Crufts. The former still largely exists within the milieu that created it. It might not be exactly like white horses of the Camargue, but it still approaches them more in their dignity than the dog bred solely for conformation.
He was able to point out, nearly 50 years ago, where the human and animal relationship would go awry. It’s as we’ve begun to alienate ourselves from the processes that produced those animals, we’ve allowed our human tendency to project cuteness and emotion to get the better of us. The working English cocker has more feral eyes than the round-eyed, shagged-up American cocker, and although one is certainly more useful than the other, the aesthetics of working dog are just so much more pleasant to my eye than the other.
There is a scene in the documentary where Skeaping allows his two very roughly cut standard poodles run loose in a bit of marshland, and they move with such grace and power. He gets some of the history of poodles and French herding breeds messed up in his commentary, but he very eloquently describes poodle as the raw water dog of yore.
This animal is outside our popular understanding of the poodle. We see it as the canine topiary, even though many of the standards retain this essence of their ancestors. It is hard to explain the uninitiated what a poodle and what it can be.
As I think what this means for the future of the human and animal bond, I shudder a bit. We don’t see the horse’s gait the way we once did. It was once as important how the horse gaited as how smooth a family sedan rides. Now, it’s only as important as much as one gets pleasure from riding it. The conformation of dogs and horses were not esoteric theories that were debated by only those in the cliques and clubs. It was once essential knowledge.
We have the luxury now to have this knowledge drawn out in the abstraction. Horses are still largely owned by only people who use them, but dogs can go any direction our flights of fancy demand.
Each breed moves on deeper into the realm of caricature of its ancestors. Some, like the bulldog and the pug, may be removed from all hope of ever having even a glimmer that former animalistic glory. They have become the living caricatures of what once was and never shall be.
And the same can be seen in the wedge-head Siamese and the brachycephalic exotic short-hair. It was the same with chickens and pigeons and Rouen ducks with keels that drag the ground. We’re now seeing it with rats and mice, and any other small fluffy things that we’ve managed to domesticate.
We are the sculptors of animal flesh and bone now. We were once limited by the climate and the simple utility of the animal. But as we come to rely less and less upon the work of some many domestic species, they become subject to our whimsy.
And this whimsy moves us further along into the abstract. What we’re leaving behind is the domestic animal as an art-form.
They will exist, but they will be so modified that they will cease to be.
The inaugural DOG FILM FESTIVAL that my Radio Pet Lady Network produced last weekend in New York City was a rousing success. What had been a crazy idea amazed me by taking wing – with the New York Times devoting half a page in the Weekend Arts section to the festival, Time Out magazine picking it as their top feature for the weekend, and Good Day New York on Fox News welcoming me and a few adoptable puppies from our beneficiary, Bideawee.
People and their dogs braved semi-hurricane conditions to crowd into the Festival kick-off Pooch Party on the Friday night and got great enjoyment simply from being surrounded by other dogs and dog-lovers, along with a creative doggy fashion show. The movies I had chosen for the program felt different when seen in a huge theater surrounded by devoted dog lovers: I could feel their joy and tears as they were moved by the films. It reminded me of the various ways that dogs are important in our lives and how deeply moving it is to see the remarkable bond between us depicted in films.
Halo was my presenting sponsor, along with VCA Hospitals, so it was natural for me to include some of the marvelous films Halo has created to tell the story of what matters most to this philanthropic company: shelters and the animals and people who care for them. I picked one of the Halo films made by director Peter Mcevilley – “Le Sauvetage” – which is so witty in having the rescued performing Olate dogs “speak” their thoughts about humans and how much time and effort it requires to look after them. The dogs plot to bring together two lonely humans.
Even though the film has been on YouTube for some time many of the festival-goers seemed not to be familiar with it. It felt great to hear their laughter as they heard the dogs expressing the same doubts and concerns about “adopting a human” as people often do about dogs – and realizing that any qualms we’ve had about adding a particular dog to our lives always seem fairly ridiculous in hindsight.
My favorite comment about the film festival was someone who said she really appreciated the foreign films in the Festival – Iran, Spain, and especially the French one, “Le Sauvetage.” Those of you who have heard my interview with director Peter Mcevilley on my radio show “Dog Talk” know that he is far from French himself and the movie is a tongue-in-cheek homage to French films! The magic of the movies!
Halo and I are planning now taking the Dog Film Festival around the country, so if you live in a city and would like to help us bring the fun to your town, get in touch with me at TheDogFilmFestival@gmail.com.
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.
She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.