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BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER

URGENT: PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOU PETS
28th July 2016

Our Humane society of Vero Beach and Indian River County is in need of donations for their SNIP program.  This is a wonderful program to help get pets in our community spayed and neutered.  Everyone needs to know that nationwide our shelters are overcrowded, and it is not just dogs, the amount of kittens and cats is just as heartbreaking.  Cats are very adept and sneaking out unnoticed.  Well one unneutered male can wreak havoc with local and feral cats.

This needs to be said:  A neutered dog or cat does not reflect on the masculinity of the owner.  The pet is the one being neutered.  Neutering helps with many behavioral problems that lead to animals ending up in shelters.  If an animal is neutered before 6 months spraying to mark territory should not be an issue.  As the animal matures unneutered males tend to get more aggressive, again leading to them ending up in shelters.

Having just one litter “because my dog is so beautiful, good tempered and cute” is NEVER a good idea.  All it does is guarantee that one more shelter dog will not get a forever home and be put to death or linger longer in a no-kill shelter.

I am making this plea to all people who own a pet.  WE CANNOT ADOPT OUR WAY OUT OF THE PET OVERPOPULATION CRISIS!

The kindest and most humane action you can take if you love animals is to make sure that less are born and more get to live out their lives with loving, responsible families.

 

 

 

A parakeet found my heart
18th November 2015

Finally, after 2 days of heavy rain a break in the weather.  My dogs and I can’t wait to get out for a walk.  So with much jubilation (I mean barking) I get all 4 leashed up and out the door we go.  Two doors down we spot a little box turtle flushed out by the rain, a quick sniff and down the road we go.  Nearing the end of my street I see something on the side of the road that I thought was a mouse.  As I get closer I realize it is a parakeet.  I get all the dogs behind me and as I step forward the little bird jumps on my shoe! I put my hand down and he jumps in my hand.  So with my 4 dogs and a parakeet I walk back home, all the while thinking this poor little bird probably has a broken wing because why else would he just jump in my hands and let me carry him home.

Well, years ago I inherited a canary who was old and passed quickly, then a gift of a parakeet who was not tamed and flew out the window one day when I didn’t know he was out of his cage.  I never considered myself a bird person.  They are noisy and scatter everything in the cage all around the cage.  I also don’t like anything to live in a cage so birds were just never my thing. I would even tell the girls at work I was glad I didn’t have one.

So now here I am with 4 dogs 3 cats and no cage for this little bird.  Still not knowing if he is hurt, I put him in a cat carrier in the garage with a towel over the front and some bread and water and drive down the street to knock on doors to see if anyone lost a parakeet.  I had no luck, so now I know I have him at least overnight so off to Walmart I go to get a cage and supplies.  Upon my return I go to the carrier and their is no bird!! In a panic, all I can think of is one of my cats found a way to get him.  All of the sudden I hear him in the back yard chirping away, well now I know he can fly, and there he is nose to nose with one of my cats.  Thank goodness my cats are very mellow and he was just checking out the bird.!  So I grab the bird and put him in the bathroom until I get the cage set up.

All this time my husband is at work, so when I call him and tell him I found a parakeet he was a little skeptical.  Thank goodness he is as big an animal lover as I am and I told him I would find his home or find him a good home, never thinking he would steal my heart.

I put up signs all over the neighborhood, contacted the local Vets and shelters and put a lost and found ad on Craigslist.  Three days and no response So now my husband starts saying he wouldn’t mind if we kept him.  You see he was stealing my husbands heart too.  I have never seen a more social, funny and affectionate bird in my life.  We named him Simon and he learned to say his name in about one week.  I got him a bigger cage.  I let him fly around with supervision but that didn’t stop my little pom from getting to curious and rambunctious and breaking his wing.  Dr. Slade took me in on an emergency appointment and was wonderful.  Very informative and instructions on how to care for my little guy.  Dr. Slade was not sure he would ever fly again, but Simon would not let a little thing like a broken wing keep him down, after all he had survived a rain storm and a walk down the road already and in about 2 1/2 weeks he was healed up and flying.  Topper has been trained to ignore the bird with a water bottle and there is again peace in my valley.

We decided we needed a bigger cage for Simon so we bought him a parrot cage.  We had to take a piece of furniture out of the living room to make room for it.  Simon was in heaven but still likes getting out and being part of the family.  I felt he was lonely though, so of course I got him a little friend.  His name is Sidney and he and Simon are becoming best buds.  Sidney doesn’t fly free yet since his wings had been clipped and that has helped with his taming.

I cannot believe how obsessed we have become with these birds.  We laugh everyday at their antics and Simon is truly one in a million.  So now I tell everyone proudly, Yes I am a bird person.

 

 

 

SUMMER’S HERE! LETS HAVE SOME FUN!
20th May 2015

Summer is here!  This is a great time of year for you and you dog to have some fun.  Being outside this time of year is great but requires some precautions to keep your dogs  safe and healthy.

Of course we all know DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR.  Even with windows open a car heats up fast and dogs can overheat in a matter of minutes.  When your dog gives you the sad eyes because you are walking out the door remember they will be safe and happy when you return and then you can have some supervised fun.

Throughout the day, in the summer heat, the sidewalks and roads heat up.  If you can’t walk your dog in a park, walk in the morning or evening so their feet don’t get too hot.

Dogs with short noses don’t handle the heat well.  They are prone to overheating if outside too long or have too much exertion in the heat.  Keep outside running and walking to a minimum.  Always have water available and watch for signs of heat exhaustion, such as lethargy, disorientation, excessive panting.  If you see signs of heat exhaustion, bring dog inside, apply a cool cloth to ears, (the blood vessels in the ears are close to the skin and will cool down the blood to the body quicker) and call your Veternarian or emergency animal clinic.

Dogs with short noses don’t do well in water either.  When they are near a pool supervise them so they don’t inhale water and panic.  If you are a boater, life vests for dogs are available in case they get in the water and get separated from you, they can suffer exhaustion and the vest will keep them afloat until you can help them.

Outdoor summer fun with your dog can be lots of fun and with a few safety precautions you can really enjoy all our community offers!

 

 

GIVE A GIFT OF HELP AND HOPE THIS CHRISTMAS
11th December 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED MAKE THIS ANOTHER BLESSED YEAR FOR CANINE DESIGN.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR KIND WORDS, THE SMILES AND THE LAUGHS.  IT IS BOTH AND HONOR AND A PLEASURE TO BE YOUR GROOMER BECAUSE I KNOW HOW MUCH YOUR PET MEANS TO YOU.  THANK YOU.

I KNOW YOU ARE ALL ANIMAL LOVERS SO I HAVE MADE A LIST (AND CHECKED IT TWICE) OF GIFTS THAT WILL HELP ANIMALS WHO THINK SANTA HAS FORGOTTEN THEM.

ALL OUR ANIMAL SHELTERS NEED OUR HELP TO CONTINUE DOING THE GREAT WORK THAT THEY DO EVERYDAY.  DONATIONS OF :

FOOD

TOYS AND TREATS

BLANKETS, TOWELS AND BEDS

AND OF COURSE, MONEY.

DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN GO TO A SHELTER AND SPONSOR A DOG OR CAT BY PAYING FOR THE ADOPTION FEE?  THIS IS ESPECIALLY NEEDED FOR OLDER DOGS AND CATS .  I FIND OLDER DOGS IN SHELTERS ESPECIALY HEARTBREAKING, IT IS NO WAY TO END A LIFE OF LOVE AND LOYALTY.  OLDER DOGS AND CATS CAN COME WITH SOME ADDITIONAL EXPENSES SO HAVING THE ADOPTION FEE PAID FOR MAY BE AN INCENTIVE FOR SOMEONE WITH A BIG HEART BUT NOT A BIG BUDGET.

ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVORITE CHARITIES IS THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES.  THEY HELP ALL ANIMALS FROM DOMESTIC TO FARMS.  JUST GO ONLINE TO  THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES AND SIGN UP FOR THEIR EMAILS.  THEY WILL ALERT YOU TO URGENT NEEDS AND EVEN LEGISLATION IN YOUR STATE THAT NEEDS ATTENTION.  DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO SPECIFIC ACTIONS, LIKE GETTING ANIMALS OUT OF PUPPY MILLS OR HOARDING SITUATIONS, ABUSE OF ANIMALS AT FACTORY FARMS OR ABUSE OF ANIMALS IN ENTERTAINMENT.  YOU CHOOSE WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES AND THERE ARE SO MANY ANIMALS IN NEED.

A SPECIAL WISH ON MY LIST IS TO SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR DOGS AND CATS.  THERE ARE TOO MANY DOGS AND CATS AND NOT ENOUGH HOMES.  ONE LITTER IS ONE TOO MANY.  FOR EVERY ANIMAL THAT GETS ADOPTED AND ANGEL GETS THEIR WINGS.

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Flea and Tick Protection
16th July 2014

If there is one draw back to living in our Florida Paradise, it’s that we have fleas and ticks here all year long.  It is important to have your dogs and cats on flea protection all year.

Even if you have never had fleas before its just a matter of time before your pet comes across one or two which quickly turn into 10 or 20 and then you have a problem.  A fleas life cycle is 7 to 10 days, so if you get rid of 1 or 2, if they have laid eggs you now have many more and they are reproducing rapidly.

It’s not just the dog next door that can give your dog fleas, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, mice and rats all carry fleas.  These fleas may end up in your yard where your dog or even your own shoes can bring them in your house.

There are many flea protection products on the market.  Most protect pets from ticks also, which is very important (more on that later).  DO NOT PURCHASE YOUR FLEA PROTECTION FROM THE ”BIG MART” STORES.  The products purchased from these type of stores is not the latest generation of flea control.  Over time, fleas become resistant to the chemical mix and become stronger, the discount stores buy up the old stuff sell it at a discount but it is not effective.  The products offered to Vetenarians is the latest and most effective. So don’t waste your money on something that doesn’t work.

Another problem with having fleas on you dog is the skin.  A dogs skin is thinner than ours.  When a dog scratches it is easier to aggravate and break the skin which usually causes an infection which makes the dog lick and scratch more and may require an antibiotic.  Some dogs are allergic to fleas (actually the saliva from the flea when it bites) and this causes flea bite dermatitis which usually require an antibiotic &/or steroid to help settle it down.  So you can see why the cost of monthly flea protection is worth it. It may very well save you money in vet visits and medications.

Ticks are also a problem in Florida.  I never worried too much about them, assuming if I saw one I could just pull it off.  Well I could not have been more wrong.  My Pomeranian Topper had a very thick coat (providing some protection from bugs)  I may have pulled 2 or 3 ticks off him in 3 years.  I noticed his breath smelled awful one day and thought he might have had an abcessed tooth. I made an appointment with Dr. Moon for a teeth cleaning.  Upon weighing Topper , my 5 pound dog had lost a whole pound in 8 months since his last check up.  Thank goodness Dr. Moon decided to do a full blood workup rather than just a pre surgery work up.  Toppers red blood cell count was extremely low.  It presented as either leukemia or tick disease.  The blood went out to a lab and I had the longest two days ever waiting.  I was given instruction to watch for nosebleeds (or any bleeding for that matter) since Toppers blood could not clot and he could bleed to death without a transfusion.  The test came back positive for tick disease and he was put on a month long dose of antibiotics.  A few months later a client lost their dog to the same disease, he started a nose bleed and couldn’t be saved.  Thanks to the thorough diagnostic care from Dr Moon Topper is alright.  The illness did take a toll on his immune system which I am in the process of rebuilding with organic food, soothing baths to help his hair loss, exercise and lots of love.

My dogs now get a topical flea product called Activyl.  It is new on the market and treats fleas and ticks.  Heartworm should always be given two weeks from flea treatment just to be safe.  Activyl works off the enzymes of the flea and is basically benign on the dog.  I have found it to be very effective.

NEVER PUT DOG FLEA PROTECTION ON A CAT:  IT CAN KILL THE CAT.  The biological difference between cats and dogs is great.  MAKE SURE ANY FLEA PRODUCT YOU PUT ON YOUR CAT IS FOR CATS ONLY!!!

Well as always I hope this information is helpful and shows you that flea protection all year in Florida is important.