Dog Ate 62 Hair Bands And More

A dog living in Pennsylvania luckily lived after having quite a huge surgery in July. Tiki, a black lab who has a problem with eating things, had to have surgery to remove 62 hairbands and 8 pairs of underwear. There were also some other items in the mix. The owners noticed Tiki was feeling ill and had stopped eating her usual amount of food at meal times. She also began vomiting.

An X-ray at the vet office revealed that Tiki had a large mass in her stomach. The vet recommended surgery to find out what was inside. As the vet started pulling out a few of the items, the team noticed that the hair bands were attached to each other and had wrapped around themselves, several pairs of underwear, a few rubber bands, and a band-aid. The veterinary team was surprised but glad the dog survived the surgery.

Tiki has eaten other things in the past like a toy, pacifier, and some other items but this was the first time her addiction to eating items became dangerous. If your dog has a tendency to eat things make sure to keep items off the floor, supervise your dog, and train your dog as best you can to know the command “leave it.”

We’re all happy that Tiki is healthy and ok! To read the complete story of Tiki, check it out here.

Has your dog ever eaten something crazy? Let us know!

Image from Time

World Rabies Day – September 28th 2015

On Monday, September 28th, the world will raise awareness and help prevent the spread of rabies through various events being held worldwide by different organizations. This year’s theme is “END RABIES TOGETHER,” and builds up on previous themes to highlight the commitment to end the spread of rabies.

The annual event is in celebrating its 6th year and led by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. The aim is to prevent human rabies-related deaths and to educate and alleviate the spread of it from animal to animal.

Rabies accounts for about 55,000 deaths a year in humans and is one of the most deadly but yet most preventable disease in the world. Most human rabies death occur in Africa and Asia and about 30 to 50% of these deaths occur in children under 15 who were bitten by an infected animal. All of these deaths could be prevented with proper medical care and proper control and administration of the vaccine to the dog population.

What is rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that affect the brain in warm-blooded animals. It is transmitted from animal to animal, typically through a bite and is fatal if not treated. The virus travels to the brain by following the peripheral nerves and incubates for a few months in humans. Once the virus has reached the central nervous system, the infection is effectively untreatable and fatal.

What are the symptoms of rabies?

Early symptoms are often malaise, fever, headaches, numbing and tingling around the area of the bite, and some pain. As the virus progresses, there may be violent spasms, uncontrolled mood swings, depression, and extreme lethargy, eventually leading to coma.

In the U.S. the vaccination against rabies that is required of pet owners has virtually eliminated the disease to humans. Any recorded rabies-related deaths to humans were from bat bites and that is only 1 to 2 deaths a year. Some other countries do not have rabies present anymore and this is why when animals are transported from one country to another, there are waiting periods and quarantine periods to ensure that the disease is not reintroduced into the country.

If you would like see all the events being planned around the world for World Rabies Day, you can visit their site: http://rabiesalliance.org/world-rabies-day/.

Tama, The StationMaster of Kishi Station, Died

Back in June, NPR reported that 16 yr old Tama passed away. She was a calico cat who was the stationmaster of Kishi Station in Southeastern Japan. The lovely cat had heart failure, a common cause of death in older cats. She, however, was not a common cat. In the years she was the stationmaster, she helped save the train station from financial problems. People would come to the station to see her in the office. She wore a railway hat and collar.

Not many people travel through Kishi Station but because of her presence, tourists would come to see the cat who had a human’s job. The station also opened up a Tama-themed cafe where people could drink coffee, relax, and even buy Tama-themed merchandise.

Kishi Station has a new cat who is getting ready to fill some big shoes, named Nitama. Let’s hope Nitama wows the crowds just as much and takes on the responsibility of being cute, sitting, and sleeping just as well as Tama did!

To read the full article, check it out at NPR.

Image from CNN

Teaching a Cat to Sit

People believe you can’t train a cat… and while it may seem impossible when compared to how dogs will learn commands and tricks, a cat can be trained. If you want to try this, it takes patience and a technique that is a little different than what you would do to train a dog. A cat can learn their name, come when called, and sit.

So, want to teach a cat to sit? Here’s how to do it

First you have to lure you cat into a sit. A treat may do the trick like you would do with a dog or maybe their favorite toy can be used. Raise the lure slowly above your cat’s face, moving past the nose and towards the forehead. The idea is to get your cat to look up and have to sit back to do so. Once your cat begins to sit, say, “Sit” slowly. After you cat sits, offer the treat or toy and praise.

Try this a few times and once your cat seems to get it, fade out the lure and replace it with a hand signal. If you’re using a soft treat, you can keep the lure in your hand sometimes. This isn’t too different to how you teach a dog but it is because you cat may lose interest a little faster or take longer in understanding what you are asking. When you start to fade the lure, reward your cat still with a pet on the head and praise. Still use a lure now and then and a hand signal.

After a number of times of doing this your cat will start to understand that to get a treat, s/he must sit and follow the command and hand signal. Keep the training sessions short and make it fun. Your cat might get easily distracted and may walk away. Don’t be discouraged. No one ever said training cats was easy. But once your cat gets it you can show her/him off to your friends.

Image from Awkwardfamilyphotos.com

Delta Airlines Lets You Track Your Pet’s Comfort in Flight

For years airlines have tried to make flying with pets comfortable for the pet, the other passengers, and you. Some airlines have restricted the size of a pet to prevent pets being in the cargo area where temperatures fluctuate and can harm or even kill pets. Other airlines will not allow pets on flights during high peak summer months.

Delta has had the most animal deaths in the past five years and is now working to remedy this problem. Delta has unveiled a new GPS tracking device that will monitor your pet in real time. It will monitor the conditions and let you know if the temperature spikes or their crate has been turned upside down. If so, an alert is sent to Delta’s call center and to the pet owner’s phone.

Since passengers can’t use a cell phone during a flight, if there is an internet connection, passengers can check by visiting the website. The device costs $50 and it is attached to the pets carrier. Hopefully, this will ease the nervousness of pet owners and also help Delta and other airlines figure out what is the best solution for pets who must travel in the cargo or other areas of the plane instead of the cabin.

Pets Help Heal Broken Hearts

Breakups, divorce, loss of a loved one bring about a lot of emotions and can leave us feeling hurt, sad, physically exhausted, and depressed. It can take months, weeks, days to heal from loss. But there is help. An article from the Huffington Post talks about how pets can help heal a broken heart.

The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of owning a pet are known – lower stress, keep us in routines, and keep us healthier when we walk our dogs everyday. There’s also the emotional safety we have with a dog who may bark if strangers come to door and the hugs we get from our pets. How many of us hug our cat or dog when we’re sad? Cuddle with our buddies? I know I do.

Pets may not know it but they are therapeutic for us. They remind us of the little things to be grateful for each day. They can distract us for a few minutes from the depressing thoughts and loss we feel… and can make us laugh even during our darkest days. The article talks about two people who definitely needed some pet TLC in their lives and their stories sound familiar.

If you can’t have a pet right now, there are alternatives: volunteer at your local shelter, visit the pet store that has rescued animals for adoption, visit your friends who have pets and play with them while you hang out, wander to your local dog park and say hi to the furry canines who are running around and playing.

Do you have a good story of how your pet comforted you? Let us know!

Rhode Island Wants to Reinstate Breed Discriminatory Laws

Pawtucket, Rhode Island wants to retain their breed ban even though a judge found that the law is void under the state laws regarding domestic pets. However, a bill known as, H 5800, would amend the state’s animal control law that prohibits breed discriminatory laws. The Amendment would allow for a ban to stand that was enacted prior to July 2013.

If this law passed, it would not just affect Pawtucket, it would allow any other town to re-instate their breed discrimination laws too. Breed laws have shown to not control or stop the number of dog bites in a community and it has been speculated that these laws are a roundabout way to discriminate against a class of people. The stereotype of who owns what type of dogs has led some people to wonder if these laws are actually being used to prevent minorities from living in certain counties, cities, communities.

If you are interested in learning more, read the article here.

Image from Becuo.com

Blind Dog is a Therapy Dog

Smiley, a golden retriever, is doing just what his name says, making residents of a nursing home smiley. Smiley was born without eyes and rescued from a puppy mill when he was about 1 or 2 years old. When his owner, Joanne George, first adopted him, he was scared because he had never been outside of the barn that he grew up in. But Smiley met Tyler, a deaf Great Dane and the two became best friends.

Tyler helped Smiley become the happy, playful pup Joanna knew was there underneath the fear. Smiley showed promise as being a great therapy along with Tyler. The two dogs now visit schools and hospitals. Smiley is nearly 10 years old now and he’s a favorite among those who see him at the various places.

Joanne said in the time she’s had Smiley she learned to not be his eyes, not be extra cautious, and not keep him in a bubble. She lets him be a dog which means that sometimes Smiley bumps into things and uses his feet to feel where he is going.

To read more about Smiley, check out the article on MindBodyGreen.

Stolen Dogs Safe and Sound In Chicago

In February, a story about a van parked outside of a hair salon made news because inside the van were 7 dogs. The van, with the dogs in it, was carjacked at gunpoint. The driver worked for Urban Out Sitters, a pet daycare that picks up and drops off dogs at their homes.

The woman who owned the hair salon spotted the van at 8:30am and saw a dog in the front seat. She said the dog had an expression on its face as if to say, “help.” She called 911. Owners of the dogs began showing up too and taking home their chilly, hungry, and scared pups.

The police were still searching for the two men responsible for the car jacking. No one was hurt and all the dogs are home and safe.

For more information, check out the article here.

Owner Sues Beneful Dog Food

Earlier in 2015, a dog owner filed a class-action lawsuit against Purina’s Beneful dog food alleging that thousands of dogs have become ill from the dry food. The lawsuit, filed by Frank Lucido, states that after feeding his 3 dogs the dry food, two became ill and one died. The suit alleges Beneful dry dog foods contain an ingredient toxic to animals, propylene glycol, a chemical used in automobile antifreeze.

The lawsuit cites that there have been more than 3,000 complaints online about dogs becoming ill or dying after eating Beneful. With symptoms such as stomach and related internal bleeding, liver malfunction or failure, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, seizures and kidney failure.

To read more about the lawsuit, check out the article at CBS News here.

Image from RVoutdoors.com