Archive for December, 2010

Lost Dog – 12/28/10

NAME: MURPHY

Species: Dog

Breed: Australian Shepherd/Cairn Terrier

Color: Black, White, Tan, Gray

Sex: Male

Age:  2 years and 11 months

Weight:  18lbs

Other Characteristics:  Left front paw is white.

Last Seen:  Northridge on Brandywine Circle and Applecross, Brownsburg, Indiana 46112 

MICROCHIP NUMBER:  4A4354524B

If found, please call: 1-888-455-3242

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Top 5 Pet-Friendly Ski Resorts

Breeds like the Bernese mountain dog and the Siberian husky live to set paw on freshly packed powder. But even warm-weather dogs love to lay tracks on the slopes surrounding these pup-approved ski retreats — and then curl up (and warm up!) with their owners by a crackling fire.

The Mountain Top Inn & Resort, Chittenden, VT
Killington’s epic runs are just 11 miles from this mountain hideaway, which accepts dogs in its fireplace-accented cabins. The 350-acre spread features one of the oldest Nordic ski and snowshoe centers in the country, with 37 miles of trails — including pet-friendly cross-country and snowshoe sections. Well-behaved canine boys and girls get another special treat: A spin on a horse-drawn sleigh, an activity that resident beagle, Bailey, (see photo above) loves. Rates from $205, including breakfast.

Lake Placid Lodge, Lake Placid, NY

In 1980, the Olympic Winter Games were held in Lake Placid, which still draws crowds of skiers, ice skaters, snowshoe trekkers, and even bobsledders to this corner of the Adirondacks each wintry season. At the posh Lake Placid Lodge — digs have hand-hewn beams, hand-carved beds, and hand-stacked stone fireplaces — dogs are just as welcome as snow bunnies in the cabins. Neighboring Whiteface Mountain has the longest vertical drop of any Eastern ski mountain, but there are also plenty of leisure pursuits offered at the property, like nightly snow bonfires, complete with hot cocoa and s’mores. Rates from $750, including breakfast, in-room drinks and noshes, and lodge activities.

Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa, Jackson Hole, WY
The slopes at Snow King, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee are all accessible from this rustic resort located in Teton Village. Four-legged guests have on-site walkers, groomers and sitters at their disposal, and the Solitude Spa will even allow dogs to partake in a 50-minute “couples massage” from one of two certified staff canine masseuses ($135 per pup). Note to lazy lap dogs: The hotel offers dog-sledding excursions led by a team of Alaskan huskies. Rates from $149 per night; alpine studio rooms and suites come equipped with cozy stone fireplaces.

The Little Nell, Aspen, CO
Pampered pooches get serious white-glove treatment at this five-star Rocky Mountain resort situated close to Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Aside from plush pup bedding, discerning dog guests also receive personalized brass I.D. tags should Fido get lost on the slopes while cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, pet room-service meals like salmon with scrambled eggs and even a Puppy Jet Lag Kit for canines suffering from altitude sickness. Rates from $410.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
As its name implies, this glamorous getaway overlooks a picturesque lake within Banff National Park, where you can sign up for every winter sport that exists, including heli-skiing, ice walking and snowshoe trekking by moonlight. Frosty paw activities for four-legged guests are also limitless and led by the hotel’s official Canine Ambassador, a sprightly Lab named Mark, who can even go for a whirl on Mirror Lake alongside human companions on ice skates. Rates from $229.

T’was the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

Pet Travel – Can Dog Relatives Get Along?

Are pet holiday visits in your travel plans? Family gatherings are a big part of the holidays, and pets double the fun — and the stress. Cats hate strange environments, so a pet sitter is the best choice for kitty.

Dogs, however, love new places, but when your King meets Grandma’s Sheba for the first time, how do you keep the fur from flying?

Follow these eight tips to keep pets happy and safe — and help you stay on speaking terms with your relatives. Pet introductions can take days, weeks, or sometimes months to be successful, so don’t expect overnight miracles. Be patient. How would you like a stranger sleeping in your bed, eating from your plate or, ahem, using your toilet?

Rules of the House

1) The resident pet “owns” the home and yard. Therefore, don’t crowd him out. Be sure to give him continued access to his territory.

2) Confine the guest pet in one room at first. Provide familiar bowls, bed, litter pan and toys in the room where the guest pet’s owner sleeps. The owner’s scent helps keep the guest pet calm even when he’s alone, and confinement provides a familiar home base where he’s safe from the resident pet. Confining him behind a closed door also tells the resident pet that only part of her territory has been invaded.

3) Create good associations. Offer favorite toys or games to the pets. This helps each identify the other pet’s presence with “good stuff” and helps relieve tension.

4) Use temporary baby gates. The see-through barrier allows the guest pet to be part of the gathering without trespassing on the resident pet’s turf. A baby gate also gives curious, friendly pets (especially dogs) a safe way to meet. Movable baby gates can divide a hallway or stairs to segregate whole sections of the house when necessary.

5) Leash the guest dog. This keeps him under control around the resident pet. That’s especially important with a resident cat.

6) “Potty” dogs separately. Distract the resident dog with treats or a game out of sight when the guest dog does his business.

7) Create supervised yard dates. Once dogs experience friendly meetings through the door for a couple of days (no growls or elevated fur), a nose-to-nose play meeting is possible. Be sure each dog’s owner is present. Leash both dogs and bring the resident dog out first because he “owns” the yard. Remove any toys, bones or other resources they might argue over.

Walk the leashed dogs parallel to each other on opposite sides of the yard, back and forth, slowly bringing them closer. Stop if you see a tucked tail or fluffed fur or hear a growl. If a dog exhibits these behaviors, he’s not ready to play. Play bows (when the front of the dog goes down and the butt goes up) buy the dogs a 5- to 10-minute off-leash game. Playtime can be extended if they do well.

8) Don’t force interactions. It’s hard to predict first meetings. You don’t love everyone you meet — especially weird Cousin Claude — so why should your pets be any different? If pets will be together only a few days, aim for management or tolerance. There will be time enough over future visits for love to blossom.

Dangerous Pet Gifts to Avoid

Most dog and cat owners consider their canine and feline friends full-fledged members of the family. That means when birthdays, major holidays or other celebrations roll around, dogs and cats get gifts too — and lots of them.

 Whether you’re shopping for your own pet or for a friend’s, here is what you need to know about pet gift safety regulations and possible hazards.

 

Pet Product Safety

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission focuses solely on products made for human use. Ed Rod, vice president of government affairs and general counsel for the American Pet Products Association, says that pet product safety is instead market driven, where manufacturers and retailers focus on these issues:

– Choking hazards and small parts

– Strangulation hazards

– Toxicity levels

Also, major retailers require that pet product makers use quality-control testing laboratories to certify product safety before allowing items on store shelves.

“Fortunately, with pet toys and pet accessories,” Rod says, “there is not a big history of adverse events.”

Buyer Be Smart

Individual differences in pet play styles and motivations require pet owners to examine pet products for safety issues and supervise play. No pet toy is indestructible. Some pets are much more destructive. In fact, the destruction is much of the fun for most dogs and some cats. It’s a little bit of buyer beware,” says ASPCA’s Katherine Miller, PhD, a certified applied animal behaviorist.

Miller advises families to:

– Assume any pet product will be chewed up or torn apart, eventually

– Check pet gifts often for wear

– Remove any damaged items Potential hazards include:

– Sharp pieces or edges, such as torn plastic toys, internal parts, squeakers, splintered bones

– Long strings, cords, ribbons, or unraveled fabrics

– Small parts, stuffing, or other items that pets might swallow

Don’t just look at the product exterior. Figure out what’s inside that could become a hazard if exposed. “Imagine the pet pulls it apart,” Miller says, “what’s inside might be what is the most interesting.”

Dog Gift Watch List

Veterinarians worry most about things dogs swallow that they shouldn’t. Dogs, relatively early in their lives, declare themselves as eaters of stuff or not eaters of stuff.

For instance, a Doberman pinscher famous for eating the family’s socks. Someone gave the dog a child’s sock puppet. He ate the whole thing and required surgery. It was something that for most dogs wouldn’t have been a problem, but a good rule of thumb is that if the dog is specifically silly about something like that, then watch out for those kinds of toys. Some dogs will eat and swallow anything.

Keep an eye on toy or pet product size. Often, dogs get into trouble with items too small for their use, even if just by a little bit. For example, the ER sometimes sees dogs that have gotten marrow bones stuck in their mouths. While not life-threatening, if the bone is just the right size, it gets stuck behind their canine teeth.

Cat Gift Watch List

Dogs can have trouble if they eat linear or stringy objects, but cats are famous for it. These long items have a higher potential to do damage. Limit strings, ribbons, or nesting material used in wrappings or gift baskets — or cat products themselves.

Cats enjoy toys with dangly parts, If you choose to get something of this sort, it should be an interactive-type game, not a self-play type of game.

Kids Toys vs. Pet Toys

People sometimes offer dogs and cats children’s toys. On the surface, it might seem safe, but the two kinds of toys serve different purposes.

Kids’ toys are often not suitable for pets because pets put toys under different stresses and actions than kids do. So even though kids’ toys are tested for safety standards, they are meant for child-size bodies and child strength and physical capabilities, not for predators. Dogs and cats are strong. They have sharp teeth. They can be persistent.

Food Gifts for Pets

Barring any food allergies or intolerances, food items like pet treats make good gifts.

If homemade treats are more your style, review pet poison resources, like those from ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, to ensure you skip common ingredients dangerous to pets.

Another great idea are food-delivery toys for dogs and cats. These toys, which require work to get food out, provide much-needed mental stimulation to pets.

With each refill, the toy garners renewed interest. They also keep pets busy and away from other possible hazards. The toys smell like food, and it’s easier for a young pet, like a puppy, to learn it’s OK to chew on items that smell like food and not chew on items that don’t.

Lost Dog – 12/18/10

NAME: MADISYN

Species: Dog

Breed: Bichon Frise

Color: White

Sex: Female

Age:  4 years and 10 months

Weight:  13lbs

Other Characteristics:  Lump between shoulder blades, limps/draws her back leg up.  Shakes/pants when nervous.

Medical Information:  Has low calcium. 

Last Seen:  Thomson/Arlington, Indianapolis, Indiana 46234 

MICROCHIP NUMBER:  47444B5504

If found, please call: 1-888-455-3242

Kroger recalls pet food in 19 states, including Indiana

The Kroger Co. is recalling select pet food packages from stores in 19 states, including Indiana, fearing some of these products may contain aflatoxin, a toxic chemical byproduct that could be harmful to animals. 

The recall involves certain bags of Pet Pride Cat Food, Pet Pride Kitten Food, Old Yeller Chunk Dog Food, Kroger Value Cat Food and Kroger Value Chunk Food, the company said Saturday. 

The Kroger Co. urged customers to immediately consult with their veterinarian if their animals show any signs of sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat. A yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, severe blood or diarrhea are also warning signs, the company said. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Aflatoxin is a fungal toxin that contaminates maize and other types of crops during production, harvest storage or processing. 

The company has set up a Customer Recall Notification system to help customers determine whether they have purchased any of the contaminated products. Most of recalled products have an expiration date of October 23 and 24, 2011. 

States with Kroger-operated stores included in the recall are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. 

Customers who have questions about this recall may contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900. For more information, please visit www.kroger.com/recalls.