Bird Care, Bad Breeding and Mobility Carts


Holistic Bird Care

Regarding Marie Speicher’s letter in the January 1999 issue concerning holistic bird care, you might refer her to “The Pet Bird Report: The Thinking Parrot Owner’s Information Source.” This journal is published six times a year and has outstanding information on pet bird care. Ms. Speicher will find natural and holistic methods discussed, behavioral issues, veterinarian columns, feeding guidelines, plus a wealth of other information to keep her birds healthy and happy. For instance, last year, Issue #33 contained a long detailed article on “What It Means to Be Organic” regarding organic feeding for our avian companions.

It is published by the Pet Bird Information Council, 2236 Mariner Square Drive #35, Alameda, CA 94501; email: I am not in any way connected with the above publication, but, like I share my home with different species and want the best for all of them.

-Dian Hunter
Pinehurst, North Carolina

Thanks for your help. I was surprised to hear that another quality pet care journal was published here in my own town!

Christmas Puppies

I was surprised when I read that you planned to provide information on care, etc. of Christmas puppies. While your attempt to get people off on the right foot with their new puppy (“Getting Off to the Best Start,” January 1999) is a commendable effort, I wished that, instead, you provided information on why not to get a puppy at Christmas. Please encourage prospective pet owners to wait until after the holidays before bringing puppies home. Planning for a new arrival should take center stage and not get lost in a holiday frenzy.

-L. Thompson
via email

‘Nuff said!

More on Mobility Carts?

In regard to Anita Vreeland’s quest to find a used mobility cart for her new (and paralyzed) Dachshund (Letters, February 1999): When I no longer needed my cart, (for a three-legged Basset Hound), I contacted K-9 Carts and they said they keep a list of people who are trying to find a new home for their used carts. I don’t know howmuch people want for the used carts, but I am quite willing to give mine to someone who can use it. K-9 carts said they can make the necessary changes if I find a 65 lb. Basset who has four legs. That would be quite a savings for that dog owner. Mine cost more than $300 when it was new.

I hope the Doxie owner finds an appropriate cart.

-Marge Thomas
via email

Marge wasn’t the only one who wished Vreeland’s Dachshund to get a new cart. Just a day or two after the February issue came out, we received a call from a woman who wanted to anonymously donate the money to buy Vreeland’s adopted Dachshund a cart! I immediately sent Vreeland an email message, saying, “Please call me; I have some good news for you,” and late that night I received this reply:

“It’s too late to call you tonight, but I had to write you right away. I was so surprised to read my own letter in the February issue! A LOT has happened since I last wrote you. Toby got his cart almost immediately. I just couldn’t wait, so I ordered one and just lived with being poor for a while. It was worth EVERY penny! In my opinion, just getting his spine in proper alignment gave him the edge he needed.

Now he kicks his back feet like crazy and he has a very spastic tail wag, but it’s DEFINITELY purposeful. His personality has just blossomed since I got him. He plays and plays with his new sisters and hogs ALL the toys for himself. His previous owner said he was never one to really play with toys, but he’s on his third Vermont Chewman . . . go figure! His coat looks better, the open wounds on his back feet (from dragging himself around) and his surgical scar have completely healed and have fur now, and he has ME wrapped around his little paw.

I belong to an email list for people owned by disabled dogs, many of whom are “wieners.” So if the message you have for me pertains to a used cart that is available, these people would LOVE to hear about it. If there is a cart without an owner, I bet we could fill it from someone on the list:

-Anita Vreeland
Tulsa, OK

Appalling Practice

I was absolutely appalled to read the article, “One Lucky Puppy” (WDJ February 1999). First, I would agree that “Karma, Dusty’s mother” had a bad start – but not necessarily for the reasons cited in the article. Why was a bitch that was under two years of age being bred in the first place? She clearly could not have an OFA number certifying that she had good hips, for example. A less-than- two-year-old Basset is still developing physically and mentally. Perhaps too young to be considered breeding stock?

I was even more horrified when I read at the end of the article about how Dusty had “begun a career at stud.” What about the other 10 dead littermates? What about the possibility of inherited kidney disease, immune problems, or other genetic weaknesses? This dog should have been kept as a cherished companion, but not added to the gene pool.

Neither traditional medicine nor alternative medicine can make up for genetic weaknesses. Traditional and alternative veterinary care, along with proper nutrition, can enhance the quality of life for such weak individuals. But it does not make them genetically strong and appropriate animals to consider in a breeding program.

-Mary Young, Ph.D.
Windfall Retrievers, Georgetown, TX

 Rabbit Meat

Congratulations on one of the finest dog magazines available! We keep all copies on hand and have used them over and over to educate our clients on a healthier choice for their dogs in pest control, diet, etc.

Regarding the article on your top 10 dry dog foods (February 1999): It was an excellent article, but you did not list all the available foods from IVD Limited Diet. They not only have lamb and venison, but offer duck and potato, and very recently, rabbit and potato. The duck and potato is the most popular with our clients but we feel that the rabbit will soon take first place!

Rabbit seems to be one of the most highly recommended meats for dogs and this, to my knowledge, is the only commercial food with this meat in it. I believe they are also adding rosemary and other beneficial herbs.

-Kylene Halliday
Cedarview Veterinary Hospital
Grants Pass, OR