Last time we met Marley, an adorable French bulldog puppy.  This is her housemate, Pakkun, who is 4 months old – a handsome chocolate labrador. They live in Monaco.

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Two things people always say when a pet dies at home and other DeathLord lessons

Life is weird in lots of way. Things happen for a reason, and you have to kind of be open to what life’s going to throw at you because you certainly aren’t going to expect most of it. Even the good stuff. Especially the good stuff, which is often hidden in bad stuff.

When I go to a house for a euthanasia, people invariably say one of two things:

1. This must be so hard.

2. I wish we had this for people.

The answer to both is “I agree.” The interesting part is that they co-exist.

Lots of things we deal with in life are rotten: losing an eyeball, I imagine, would be hard. Crawling through the Amazonian rainforest naked and afraid with no water. Chaperoning a group of fifth graders on an overnight field trip on a boat you can’t escape from. All of them hard, and none of them leading me to say, “gee, I wish I could replicate this experience for my family and loved ones.”

Death is hard. It can also, in certain circumstances, be good. Not always. Sometimes deaths are horrible and tragic and cruel, and when we see that we fear it, and forget that many times it can also be meaningful and loving and bittersweet. We need to cherish those experiences to give us the strength for the times it is not. We need to learn that we can talk about it and lean on each other and be there, really be there, in every way we can.

This is what I do as a hospice vet, and while it is very true that this is in my opinion the best way for a pet to experience death, I have found the ones who benefit the most from the experience are the people, not only for their pet but for their whole idea of what death is about.


Pets don’t know what death is or that it is coming. The fear they exhibit in the clinic euthanasia appointment is fear of the clinic thermometer, because when I go into a home to euthanize a pet I cannot tell you how many very ill pets look up, give me a wag and a lick, and in essence signal to their families that they are ready. It’s quite stunning to see.

When I submitted a talk for Ignite San Diego titled “I’m the Angel of Death, Now Gimme Your Kids” I think I freaked out a good 95% of the attending audience who had no idea who I was or why I wanted to steal their dumplings. By the end, though, I think they all realized that no, really- it’s a good thing to learn to move forward without fear. Pets teach us so much, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave us. Yes, even then, if we are open to seeing it.

If you want to hear me sum it up in 5 minutes on the nose, here’s the link:

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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The magic of snow fleas

The magic of snow fleas
Snow fleas in the heel portion of a boot print. Photo by Jerry McCormick. What is a snow flea? Turns out, that is an interesting question. They are not true fleas, that much is certain. And, over the years biologists have argued whether or not they are
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Hunterdon County-author-pens-book-on-flea-markets
Luftglass said the inspiration for his new book was his shopping experiences at flea markets. He said he would research destinations online but sometimes the websites lacked certain details he hoped to learn. "One day it dawned on me, why not write a

Dog Doesn't Like Boyfriend, Cat Attacks, and Flea Fiesta: Your Pet Questions
Q: My Chihuahua growls constantly at my boyfriend, even snapping at times. My boyfriend does give him treats, or tries to, but the dog is scared. My dog seems to respond this way to all males. How can I get him to stop? — N.S., via cyberspace. A: "Put
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Pet Food Recall: Pet International Inc. 6″ Beef Trachea Pet Treat

The FDA has released a pet food recall for 6″ Beef Trachea Pet Treats.  You can find the official report below and here.

(305) 591-3338

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — February 11, 2015 — Pet International of Miami, Florida is recalling 1500 units of 6” Beef Trachea Pet Treat because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals (i.e. dogs) eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet produTracheacts, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Dogs with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets (i.e. dogs) will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your dog has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The 6” Beef Trachea Pet Treat was distributed to retail stores in the following Cities: Conifer, and Lakewood in Colorado.

If you have this product, use gloves and put in a double bag and throw it away as soon as possible. Do not touch the product in any way, and if you do, it’s recommended you must wash your hands immediately with an antibacterial soap.

The potentially affected product will pertain to a particular lot number, and are specific to a particular size of the pouch it’s sold in. Anyone having these products should verify the following:

Brand: Buster’s Natural Pet Supply,
Lot Code: 8501450,
Size: 6” Beef Trachea/ 12 Pack Plastic Pouch,
UPC Code: 8501450

No illnesses have been reported to date. We are still warning consumers that if any of the above information is on the package you have, do not feed it to any animals at all. It may be hazardous and should be disposed of immediately.

The recall was as the result of a routine sampling program by the Colorado Department of Agriculture and analyzed by FDA, obtained from Buster’s Natural Pet Supply in Conifer, CO. and found to be positive for Salmonella. The product sampled had a Buster’s Label on it, but was manufactured by Pet International. Buster’s Natural Pet Supply recalled the entire product from the two stores that the distributor sells it. The Pet International Inc. continues their investigation as to what caused the problem.

Consumers who have purchased 6” Beef Trachea with Buster’s Natural Pet Supply Label on it and are wishing to be refunded because of the recall, can take the product back to where bought it from, with receipt. A special form will be provided to be filled out as well. Both the form and the receipt are needed for the refund.

Consumers with any questions about the recall product may contact the company at by phone at (305) 591-3338 Monday through Friday 9:00am too 5:00pm EST or via e-mail at

PetsitUSA Blog

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Looking for Featured Pet Sitters

It’s been a while since there has been a featured pet sitter or business on PetsitUSA.  We would like to post an interview from pet sitters that has been in the business for years and thinks they could provide helpful information to other pet sitters, especially ones who are just getting started.  If you are interested, send an email to PetsitUSA!  The interview will be posted on this blog and a link to it will be posted on PetsitUSA’a social media outlets.

PetsitUSA Blog

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The Endless Winter

Can’t help but find a bit of irony in that I just left San Diego in December, a city that never snows, to record breaking snowfall in New England.  It’s been a long, harsh, unforgiving, and at times perilous winter but it’s impossible not to appreciate the absolute beauty of it.  
There are two photos nearby that embody this dichotomy – the first is of while taking the boys out for their evening constitutional, shadowcasting.  Nothing more than a rustic rotted out fence and a distant light but witness the symmetry and the simplicity.  

The other photo is of Hudson trying to take a piss in the several feet deep of spongy soppy messiness that makes it difficult for him postoperative.  I’m sure there’s a greater metaphor here but right now it’s buried beneath two tons of snow.  It’s been so unending here we’re about to make Winterfell look like the Sahara.  

He’s recuperating super well, we slept on the kitchen floor last night but brother, can you spare some green grass?  
YBD’s Notes 1:  Didn’t post it here but Hudson had a mast cell tumor removed yesterday.  Off social media sites for a spell to prepare for the upcoming filming for the interview.  To get updates here’s the link: Puppy Up Foundation
YBD’s Notes 2: Ginger called me up this morning to complain about the 3 inches of snow they got in TN but in all fairness, she has a Doxie and I’m sure his pecker is snowier than Hudson’s.  


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Latest Scabies News

Scabies Scare At DHMC
Now that DHMC has identified the infection as scabies, officials are seeking to determine the extent of the infestation, Dr. Antonia Altomare, an infectious disease specialist at DHMC, said. Officials have reached out to staff who may have had direct
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Superbug Found at LA's Elite Cedars-Sinai Hospital
Less than two weeks after the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center revealed that 179 patients might have been exposed to the “superbug”–the carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)–Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills admitted on …
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Vid We Love: Watch Sintha the Dog Ski in the Swiss Alps

It’s been a long, trying winter for certain areas of the country, and there haven’t been many bright spots. Yeah, one of our writers created a path-to-poop for his dog and wrote a nice long story about it, but lost in all the record snowfall is the realization that, among people who are not currently shoveling it or driving in it, snow is great.  

Snow is fun!  

Here’s our reminder. It took a man and a dog and the Swiss Alps to do it, but we’re back on the side of snow. The dog’s name is Sintha. She has one of those lives that are the envy of both dogs and humans.

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Why? Because Sintha skies with her human, and then gets to run like a rocket down the slopes. And it doesn't hurt that those slopes are the Swiss Alps.

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“Our dog Sintha loves skiing," writes her human, Adrian Schaffner. "Mostly sitting on my back and enjoying the ride. Sometimes she jumps down and runs through the snow to be a real backcountry powder doggy.”

Look at at this backcountry powder doggy: 

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Watch the full video:

You might be wondering -- how do you get a dog to just sit on your shoulders like that? Well, Sintha learned that at a young age, when Adrian adopted the pup after she had an accident, as he writes on YouTube:

She grew up on a farm in the mountains pretty wild and more or less without any supervision. And she had severe problems with walking because of an accident with a biker when she was about 5 weeks old. She almost died. When we adopted her at the age of about 13 weeks, we had to carry her around. So she was used to it from the beginning. After some months her injuries completely healed -- but we kept trying to prevent long walks in her first year -- the doctor advised so. That time I started to carry her on my back. That's why she is so comfortable with it.

Cheers to Adrian and Sintha for reminding us that snow ain't all bad. 

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Read more dog news on Dogster:

The Scoop | The Scoop

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The hidden victims of austerity

The hidden victims of austerity
Besides the lack of doctors, guards are known to demonstrate apathy regarding the spread of communicable diseases such as scabies or tuberculosis, leaving those infected in close quarters with other inmates even when the latter complain of the need to
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An unwanted winter guest: scabies
Your daughter most likely contracted scabies from another person. Specifically, it requires direct, close, skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, transmission typically occurs from family members or other close caregivers. However, mites can survive for up
Read more on LancasterOnline

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Houseplant Happiness: Bringing Life to the Indoors

Houseplant Happiness: Bringing Life to the Indoors (via Bubby and Bean)

Despite the fact that my mother’s green thumb was not passed down to me, my skills at keeping houseplants alive has (somewhat) improved in the last couple of years. And thank goodness, because adding some green to our indoor spaces has not only been a really great way to liven up our decor, it’s also a huge part of what keeps me from legitimately losing my mind during the winter months. Houseplants (literally) bring life to a room, and decorating with them may just be the easiest way ever to make a home feel instantly put together. Filling up rooms with greenery has become something of a trend over the past couple of years (I mean, how many indoor succulents, cacti, and fiddle leaf figs did you see on Pinterest in 2014?), but it’s a trend in which I feel okay about investing. (Because really, how could houseplants ever go out of style?)

I don’t really do decoration goals, but I did recently mention to my husband that I’d like every room in our place to have at least a couple of houseplants this year. The spaces above have been providing inspiration and ideas for me, so I thought I’d share them with you guys as well. I think that last one is my favorite. I love the idea of walking into my living room and feeling like I’m in a forest.

Who else finds happiness in houseplants? And where in Chicagoland can I find some reasonably priced split leaf philodendrons (I want big ones)?

Images from top:  Modern Findings  //  Gardenista  //  wifeefiw  //  The Jungalow  //  Dynasty Plant Design  //  The Design Files  //  Kinfolk  //  Old Chum


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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