Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vacation with your dog in Saugatuck, Michigan

Fall is a wonderful time to take a vacation, enjoy the electric display of color, the cooler weather and the harvest season. One of my favorite spots is Saugatuck, Michigan, which in addition to spectacular beaches and gorgeous woodland and wetland areas, specializes in fine arts, culture and dining. Four years ago, I took my parents for a short trip. After doing some web research on Bed and Breakfast prices, I found a lovely dog friendly cottage located in a secluded area of the Kalamazoo river, only 7 miles from downtown Saugatuck. Indian Pointe sleeps up to five people, has a superb view of acres of unspoiled wetlands, features a screened in dining area, a full kitchen, a log stove, a hot tub and a dock with a canoe. There is a master bedroom with a king size bed (very comfortable) as well as a sofa bed and trundle beds (a little tough on older backs). There is also a small outdoor run for a dog. This cottage used to be managed by the Park House Inn, but appears to have changed hands since we stayed there. Macy had an absolute ball here. Morning and evening we would take the canoe out on the Kalamazoo. Macy showed little interest in riding in the canoe. Rather she preferred to run/swim alongside the boat, often grabbing the front tie rope for a game of tug. The wetland property is owned by a group of eight men, who used the property for hunting. There are hundreds of trails to explore with plenty of birds, deer and other wildlife. The downtown area is reasonably dog friendly as well, featuring an abundance of galleries, reataurants and quaint shops.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Breed Bans....Chicago vs. Denver

Two informative videos. One done last year on Chicago's proposed breed ban. Don't kid yourselves folks, we haven't heard the end of this. The second video features an analysis of the existing breed ban in Denver. Host Mike Fry compares statistics between Denver and his own home in Minneapolis.

Help Tom find Reba

Great story at 24/7 North of Howard Blog. It is so comforting to know that the communtity and the press have taken such proactive steps to help Tom recover Reba. It would be only too easy to shrug shoulders and say that a dog who belongs to a panhandler has no life at all. But these people know that Reba was Tom's life and they shared a very special bond. Cesar Milan remarks on the special bond between the homeless and their dogs in his book "Cesar's Way." He remarks that the life on the streets suits the nomadic needs of a dog. The pets of homeless people rarely need a leash, they walk quietly just behind or beside their master. They are well socialized with people and other pets. Most important they are constant companions, loyal and loving. Let's pray Tom finds Reba very soon.

Monday, September 10, 2007

September is Pit Bull month

O.K.! Enough cattle dog videos already. Time to feature another breed. Sooooo, in honor of Mister Vick, September is Pit Bull month. Time to honor a breed that get's so much bad press. Enjoy!!!!

Breed Specific Legislation

Well, to be frank, it's like racism or ethnocentrism or hell any ism. Let's start by looking at acts rather than skin color or breed or culture. Great Video!!!

Adopt a dog from Save a Pet in Grayslake

I’d like to share with you some very deserving dogs at the Save-A-Pet Adoption Center just waiting for the perfect home (Petraits attached). Top row, left to right: Maddy is an active and fun six-year-old Frisbee-loving dog. In fact, she’s not picky ... she’ll fetch anything you’ll throw for her. Found as a stray, Maddy was picked up by a family with a teenage girl and she enjoyed sharing her bed at night until she was brought to Save-A-Pet to find a permanent loving home. Rick Simon is a seven-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback who walks beautifully on leash and is already fully-trained; he knows sit, stay, down, paw and even poops on command (I LOVE that for winter walks!). He is a playful boy who is full of kisses for his favorite people. He loves to play tug of war, chase snowballs, go for car rides, long walks, or play ball. Rick is looking for an all adult home with no other pets. Talon is a big beautiful seven-year-old girl determined to make everyone adore her. She does everything with an unbeatable passion, playing with toys or showing her affection for her dog walkers at the shelter. A human that would offer the same unbridled happy passion for love and life would be just perfect for her. Promise is a one-year-old happy, strong, energetic and lively girl who just wants to have fun. Bottom row, left to right: Aurora is an eight-year-old Shar-Pei-mix waiting to charm you with her smile. She’s pretty calm until she knows she is going for a walk, she starts waltzing with her front paws, left, right, left, right. Once outside, she loves running, going for long walks. She’s got a very unique bark. Aurora would love an all adult home perhaps with a cat or two as companions. Brooks is a three-year-old lovebug of a dog. He is a house-trained, fun-loving, strong and active guy who can’t wait to enjoy the comforts of a home and family again. Turkey is an active, enthusiastic, affectionate and happy eight-year old-dog who is completely house-trained and looking forward to being a member of a family. Sonora is a stocky six-year-old who gives special kisses for all the people that take such great care of her while she was undergoing the long and painful heartworm treatment. Sonora can be independent, but loving to that special person who she bonds with. She holds some emotional scars and doesn’t like to have her butt or paws touched. She’s waiting for a patient and compassionate dog lover to give her a chance. To meet and possibly adopt any of these dogs, please visit the Save-A-Pet adoption center in Grayslake at 31664 N. Fairfield Road. They are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm; Thursday from 1:00 to 8:00 pm; and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 6:00 pm. To expedite the adoption, you can fill out an adoption application on-line at If you would like to ask more questions about any of the dogs, you can contact Save-A-Pet Volunteer Dominique at or phone 847-726-1257. They are all spayed/neutered, up-to-date on vaccines, micro-chipped, de-wormed, heartworm-tested and on preventative. Their adoption fee of $150 helps support the rescued cats and dogs of Save-A-Pet. Thanks for forwarding this e-mail until all these dogs have found the patient dog-loving homes they deserve. Sheri Petraits Pet Photography Blognotes: For those of you who are not aware of Sheri Berliner, she owns Petraits Pet Photography. She is also very active in working with area shelters to help pets find homes. Her talent in capturing the expressive nature and character of each animal she photographs, has resulted in countless adoptions in local shelters. Sheri is an asset to the pet loving community as well as an excellent photographer.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Thank You!!!!!!!

This blog started when Bailey made her way through a wrought iron fence this spring. I was able to find her in the same day, but the sadness, the panic and the loss really hit me in the hours she was missing. Since then, I had hoped this blog would be a facility that would enable owners and their lost pets to find each other as well as a location to search for good pets needing a home. I am happy to say that Harvey has found a good home, thanks to all of you who were a part of this process. I am confident his new owner will give him a wonderful home I am also happy to report that the missing chow/shepherd's owner contacted me on Sunday. He had called the Anti Cruelty society and was told that no pet fitting the description of his dog had been dropped off in the last three days. I was able to give him the email address of the woman who found his dog. Hopefully, he will be able to recover his pet. So thanks to all of you that read this blog and forward it to your friends!!! Thanks to all that take the time to post!!! Together we can make a difference!!! Blog Notes: Harvey has a great new owner. She recently sent this email. Hi Margot, Harvey's first night went exceptionally well. I am already in love with him. I knew it would be less than 12 hours to be completely head over heels. He slept in his own new bed. Did not fuss at all and already has fans in my building. Everyone thinks he is so beautiful. He is napping right now and we take lots of walks throughout the day. I am really enjoying all of this :) I enjoyed talking to you as well. I cannot thank you enough. I feel he had adjusted already. He is very laid back and just goes with the flow and so friendly, which is so nice. No accidents in the house, so that's great! Yes, I will send pictures periodically. If you still want to come over next weekend, just let me know. Take care and have a great week! Sherry & Harvey Once again, thanks to all of you. Cannot tell you how much your readership, efforts and love mean. Well, on second thought, yes I can!!! It means deserving dogs like Harvey find loving homes

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Heelers at work/ or is it play?

This is an amazing video of heelers, and lets's be honest the music is fun too. If you want to see my fascination with this breed, then watch on!!!!

I know it's urine, cause it ain't mine

Weird night out with the dogs today. We were biking along Ashland southbound and had just crossed Pratt. I had the dogs on the parkway, which I might remind is city property, when Macy slowed down to pee. There were several people outside of the building chatting and enjoying the evening. As I could not proceed until Macy finished, I turned and smiled and wished the people a good evening. Macy clearly needed to go and we stood there for a minute or two. A European lady said, "Excuse me!" I turned and smiled to hear what she had to say. "There are people here," she told me. Not really knowing whether the issue was my dog peeing in front of a group of people, my dog peeing on a public parkway or my presence in the midst of their conversation confused me. I turned to her, assuming the issue was my dog peeing on "their" parkway and told her that I was terribly sorry. I explained to her that dogs, like children, have got to go when they have got to go. Another older gentleman smiled and nodded approvingly at this comment. Now I can understand indignation towards those that will not pick up their dogs feces. But what exactly am I supposed to do about urine. If this woman is so upset about dog urine on the parkway, what is she doing about the homeless, the drunk and the wild animals that urinate every day on her parkway. "Let's get rid of the squirrels, the birds, the rabbits and the deer," I imagine her saying. "They ruin my grass on my parkway!!!" Now let me be clear about this. I do respect peoples efforts to beautify their bit of parkway. If someone has spent time and money to plant it attractively, I will not allow my dogs to tromp through the plantings in an attempt to pee or poop. But let's be realistic here. Dog's, despite the comic notions in "Bruce Almighty", cannot be potty trained. It is their natural behavior to traverse territory in a nomadic fashion marking their territory. Some humans do this as well. What do these people expect??? Which bring us to the stupid comment of the week award on Craig's blog. Dorothy (you're not in Kansas anymore) has this to say. Dorothy said... "wowo, this is pretty darn deep for some kid littering. want a solution? stop taping. so what a kid throws litter, maybe whats important to him is not whats important to you. betcha all you anti littering freaks let your dogs pisson anyones lawn. you know what your doing,your adults but yet your dog(s) can piss whereever their wee wees. i think dog piss is worst then some kid throwing litter on the ground, at least i can see it and pick trash up" Thanks to Dorothy for that grammatically correct, spell checked, commentary! Warning all dog owners. All dog owners will hence forth be expected to carry dixie cups to catch their dogs pee. This will be at your own expense as the city is too busy planning thousands of dollars of your tax money for the 2016 Olympic Games. Owners will also be expected to keep a supply of biological waste bags on hand, expense also deferred to the owner as we are using your tax money to build the Block 37 Super station, which will only be used by idiot tourists willing to pay the fare. What do we care, we want to present a strong Olympic presence. Todd Stroger has suggested an on line video, demonstrating how to collect urine in a dixie cup, transport it safely into the bio hazard bag and request disposal. Stroger is presently accepting bids for the infomercial, but says the best bids so far comes from a company named "Two rednecks and a camera" based out of Round Lake Beach, Illinois. They download their video's to You Tube, thereby reducing production costs. This is necessary as the city is currently unable to fund doctors, sheriffs or anyone else on Stroger's most unwanted list.

To insure or not to insure, that should be the question

Great Article on the snarls of pet insurance. Americans will spend near $41 billion on their pets this year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. Of that, about $10 billion is for veterinary care. Generally, consumer advocates aren't fond of pet health insurance, 84 percent of which is for dogs. Consumer Reports published a quick take in its July issue. In an article titled "Why Pet Insurance is Usually a Dog," the magazine cited the deductibles -- the portion you pay before insurance kicks in -- and the list of procedures that many pet insurance policies exclude. As a result, you could pay far more money for pet health insurance than it will save you. Some considerations: MATH. With a fixed monthly insurance premium of $30 and a 12-year lifespan for a dog, for example, you would pay $4,320 in insurance premiums from birth to death. And if you don't pay extra for a fixed rate your premiums could increase each year as your pet ages. That's a lot of money if you have a healthy pet and receive very little in reimbursements. But you will make out well with insurance if you are reimbursed for a big-ticket vet bill before you have paid much in premiums. Many people who buy pet insurance aren't upset if they don't file large claims to make the math work, said Loran Hickton, a spokesman for Pets Best Insurance. It's similar to not being upset about not using a child's health insurance. "The value is what-if. The value is not what you use," he said. SELF-INSURING. If you instead set aside $30 a month in an earmarked "Fido-gets-sick" account earning 5 percent interest you would accumulate almost $6,000 before he died, assuming you did not need to tap the fund. Stephens says self-insuring is an option, but he contends that most people won't do it. "It sounds good, but most of us aren't disciplined enough to maintain it," he said. And self-insuring doesn't work well if you have a large veterinary expense before you have saved much in Fido's fund. DEDUCTIBLES, CO-PAYS AND MAXIMUMS. A number of factors reduce the amount the insurer will reimburse you. Most plans feature $50 or $100 deductibles per ailment. Some pay 80 percent of the vet bill, while you pay 20 percent, after the deductible. Most have lifetime maximum payouts and per-ailment maximums. BENEFIT SCHEDULES. Most insurers have benefit schedules that dictate the maximum amount they will reimburse for each diagnostic test or treatment, regardless of what your vet charged you. For example, imagine your dog was attacked by another dog and needed treatment for bite marks. VPI, the nation's largest insurer, would pay at most $275, $131 and $95 for various portions of the diagnosis and treatment of multiple bite wounds, for a total of $501, according to its "Superior Plan" benefit schedule. It would not matter if you had to pay the vet more, you would not be reimbursed for any more than those limits. EXCLUSIONS. Insurers typically exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage. So to have an ailment's cost covered you have to buy pet insurance before a problem develops. That means buying coverage early in the pet's life. And basic pet insurance does not pay for general wellness exams and routine care, such as vaccinations and neutering. Pet insurance can be expensive and, like most insurance, complicated. A disciplined consumer might be best off self-insuring. But if you think pet insurance might be for you, ask your veterinarian which insurers other clients have had good experience with. And become familiar with the details of policies you are considering.

Breaking News!!!! Jury selected for Vick Tiral