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Otto’s Next Challenge: Kitten Camp

So, I’m fostering a cat and her five kittens. Poor Juno (I just named her, a teenaged mom) was abandoned by some former neighbors, who moved away about two months ago. I hadn’t known they didn’t take her with them when they moved out of the apartment building that’s two doors down from my home; I hadn’t seen her since they moved. But Otto found her -- and her five new kittens – in the ivy that grows on the fence between our house and the empty (foreclosed) house next door. Oh, the economy.

Single-Antigen Vaccines, Not Single-Dose

This is a follow-up to an issue we discussed, a subscriber had written us out of concern that his veterinarian no longer offered distemper-only vaccines. We looked into the matter and learned that in fact, Schering-Plough, the last veterinary vaccine company that still made a distemper-only vaccine, had recently ceased production of the vaccine. It’s just not available anymore.

Proud and Scared Both

Otto had just woken up and was yawning and stretching next to me on the porch, dragging his leash. I turned around to lock the front door behind us, and suddenly Otto roared and launched off the front steps at high speed, headed straight for the street. And in the same moment that my brain registered the fact that Otto was running toward the street, I also heard a car or truck approaching. I screamed, even as I was turning around, “OTTO OFF!”

Veterinary Visits Pet Peeves

Recently, I brought Otto to the vet for a routine visit. The postcard I received from the vet’s office suggested that Otto was due for some vaccinations and routine tests. Upon making the trip to her veterinarians, a plethora of my “pet peeves” were set intomotion. For example; “routine vaccines.” When I call to make the appointment, I let the receptionist know I won’t be vaccinating my dog unless a distemper/parvo titer test tells me he needs a “booster” shot. First, she claims that they don’t do these tests. Argh!

Why are so many abused dogs so forgiving?

I was in my local shelter one day last week when a couple brought in two intact male pit bull-type dogs. Both dogs were white, which made it easy to see how filthy dirty they were – and to see the wounds that each of them had. The larger, overweight dog had what may have started as a sunburn and developed into a dermatological condition. But the younger, smaller dog had truly ghastly wounds on his hind legs; it looked as if he had been tied up (or even hung) by ropes around his hind legs.

Planet Dog Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Orbee

When I learned that Planet Dog was releasing a “Special Edition 10th Anniversary Orbee,” my first thought was, “Wow, has it really been 10 years?” The ball still seems new and exciting around WDJ's editorial office.

Excited About a Book on Canine Thyroid Disorders

I just received an email announcing the publication of a book written by one of WDJ’s favorite veterinarians, W. Jean Dodds, founder of Hemopet canine blood bank. Dr. Dodds has long been interested in canine thyroid disorders; years ago, I heard her present a riveting seminar on the topic at one of the annual meetings of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA).

New Dog (not mine) – New Problems

So, two weeks ago I wrote about how I have two friends who are looking for dogs, and how I was worried because they are both impulsive and apt to bring home the wrong dog. One friend is actually being patient! Yay, friend!

Spring Allergy Season Can Spell Trouble for Our Dogs, Too

The most common symptom of any allergy in dogs is itching. An allergy to flea bites is the most common type of allergy in dogs, but an allergy to something in the dog’s environment, such as pollen, dust, or exposure to dust mites (actually, the feces of dust mites), is the second-most common allergy.

Please, Don’t Bring Home the Wrong Dog!

How do you convince people to be patient and selective and wait for a dog who meets their criteria, instead of rushing in and adopting the first cute face in the shelter they see? Despite the fact that you’ve promised to find them the perfect dog, one that meets their every wish in a dog, if they would only give you a bit of time, the next thing you hear is…

A Pet Owner’s Worst Nightmare: Fire

I’m dog-sitting Chaco, the last little foster dog I found a home for. I got a call from her new owner the other morning. “Of course!” I replied, “What’s up?” Her voice broke as she answered, “My house burned down yesterday!”

Rescue Hoarding

About a year ago, I became acutely aware of the fact that there are increasing numbers of animal “rescue” organizations that are doing anything but “rescuing” animals. I’m not talking about real rescue operations, where animals are well cared-for, the facility does not take on more animals than it can support in a healthy fashion, and the organization has a well-established and successful method of finding permanent homes for its charges.

Latest Blog

Guilt

We often read discussions of whether dogs experience guilt; we’ve published a few, too. But here is a twist I don’t think...