No Pets Allowed in Shelters

No Pets Sign

No Pets Allowed

What? No Pets Allowed in Shelters?

I am not referring to animal shelters here. Rather, I am referring to women’s shelters. You see, I have learned about a dog who is staying in a safe haven while her pet parent transforms her life into one of hope and love again. Her human family is in turmoil right now. This dog is afraid of the abuser in the home and growls at him. The children are not aware of what has happened to their mother because the abuse happens when they are not at home.

Since her pet parent cannot find a women’s shelter that will allow her to take her loving companion with her, a family is providing foster care for this dog. If you would like your pet parent to help other pets in need, have them check out Ahimsahouse to learn more about providing a safe haven.

Why Do Victims of Abuse Stay in the Home?

Girl Loves Dog

This Child Finds Comfort With Her Dog

Up to 48% of domestic violence victims will delay or refuse leaving an abusive home out of fear of leaving their pets or livestock behind according to Sheltering Animals & Families Together (SAF-T).  This is the first and only national program to encourage domestic violence shelters to allow families to bring their pets with them.

It is no secret that domestic violence often starts with violence towards pets. More than 72 million homes in the U.S. in 2011 included companion animals. Women without children consider their animals as their children and are reluctant or totally unwilling to leave them behind. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 72% of homes have women as the primary caretaker of the pet. That’s true in my home. This dog that I know about does not like her male abuser but she does warm up to every other man that she meets.

Two cats together

Cats Are Often the Victims of Abuse


There are approximately 2500 women’s shelters. In early 2009, there were only 8 women’s shelters known to take in pets also.  Although the number has grown, less than 70 women’s shelters across 29 states are listed as being able to accommodate pets.


 How Can We Make a Difference?

We have Allie Phillips to thank for fighting for our rights to remain with our pet parents.  Besides founding Sheltering Animals and Families Together (SAF-T), Allie has worked on legislative issues and developed national initiatives on human-animal interactions.

This abused pet parent, who is still in her home with a protective order against her husband, has to be less stressed knowing that her companion is in a safe haven. The foster parents are trying to keep their guest very busy and very pampered so that she isn’t anxious while she is away from her pet parent.  She tried to snap my face off at first…more than once… but I reassure her that I am her new friend.  I share my food and treats with her too. As an only pet myself, I have not had to share before but I sense that she appreciates my generosity. However, not every pet has an option like my new friend.

What kind of accommodations do the pets have in women’s shelters?

Playground for small animals

Small Animals Have Luxury Accommodations in a Healthy Home

We viewed outdoor kennels or indoor rooms filled with cages. This certainly in not what my new friend is used to.  I can tell that she is a diva like myself and expects only the finest comforts of a human home.

Women’s shelters across the states house from 1-3 pets per month for up to 90 days.

Sick pets, elderly pets  or those used to the constant companionship of their pet parents would have a tough time adapting to this type of environment. This is where Red Rover comes in with available grant money. Their slogan is Bringing Animals from Crisis to Care.

What are the primary concerns about pets in women’s shelters?

  • Allergies
  • Funds to pay for the pets
  • Sustaining the pet program
  • Dog bites
  • Abandoned pets
  • Legal issues


Allie Phillips has thought it all through from how to garner support, how to establish SAF-T, and the future of SAF-T.

Your pet parent can do more to help pets like my friend. The goal of SAF-T is to have one SAF-T shelter in each state by 2014 through education and awareness. If you know of a pet and their family that is being abused, and they don’t have a place to go together in your area, have your pet parents team up with Allie Phillips. They can learn more about her work at

Help us assist Allie in multiplying the number of women’s shelters that welcome pets.

What are your feelings about pets being allowed in women’s shelters? Share your feelings with us…

Three rabbits

Help Multiply Pet-friendly Women’s Shelters






Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to Animal Lover Amelia Johnson

It looks like my pet parent is checking out the Canine Life and Social Skills Program to promote training using positive reinforcement. It has been been developed by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers to strengthen relationships between us dogs and our pet parents. I am all for that. Strong relationships are what keep us in our homes in spite of what we do…

Puppy with Pillow Stuffing

I Didn't Do It!

how we look (dirty & scraggly), or how much maintenance we require (annual vet visits).

This program is similar to the American Kennel Club’s S.T.A.R. Puppy Program

American Kennel Club Socialization Training Activity and Responsibility


and Canine Good Citizen Program in that life skills are taught and then tested by certified evaluators.

Recognition for a Canine Good Citizen

Are You Ready to Become a Canine Good Citizen?







The APDT C.L.A.S.S. program is based on input from both dog owners and non-dog owners, shelter workers and professional dog trainers. It is a 3-level evaluation for our pet parents to demonstrate our real-life skills and their basic knowledge of how to handle and care for us. The positive, reward-based training minimizes the chance that we will be punished and increases the chances of having fun with our pet parents.

We can earn a B.A., M.A., or Ph.D. certificate as we progress with our skills. An entire curriculum is available for use by shelters to either enhance their present programs or to create a new one. The dogs waiting for homes can be evaluated for no cost and then listed in the C.L.A.S.S. web site ins the “dogs for adoption” section…train ‘em up and match ‘em up! Fees for other dogs are only $5.00

The APDT designed C.L.A.S.S. with the needs of shelter dogs in mind. This makes the shelter dogs more adoptable.Knowing basic skills will increase the shelter pet’s chances of staying in their new home.  The marketing behind the C.L.A.S.S. program will attract people to these precious pets.

So ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you wait at the door?
  • Come when you are called?
  • Allow your leash to be attached?
  • Walk loosely on a leash and stare adoringly at  your pet parent?
  • Meet people nicely when you are out and about?
  • Leave the “untouchable” items untouched?
  • Wait for your food bowl to be placed in front of you?
  • Stay in one spot?
  • Settle down your wiggle butt?

If you can do these things, then you are ready to become a B.A. with C.L.A.S.S.

Have your pet parent study the rules and requirements in the Student Handbook. The components of Canine Life and Social Skills includes educating your pet parent in responsible dog ownership and positive reinforcement, assessing real-life skills, encouraging ongoing training, expanding the opportunities for those of us that are well-behaved and supporting shelters and rescues.

Scientific research has shown that we dogs do not behave “badly”; we just exhibit normal dog behaviors to get our needs met or to resolve conflict. We don’t feel guilty at all because we don’t know right from wrong. We just know what works and we figure out a way to get what we feel that we need.

Your pet parent will have to pass a multiple-choice test on dog information and ownership. They will learn how to relate to you by setting clear boundaries for you rather than confronting you with drama.

Positive, reward-based training works! How have your pet parents “trained” you?

Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia

February is National Pet Dental Awareness Month

February is National Dental Awareness Month and my local veterinarian just sent me a coupon for $30 off of my dental cleaning. I have a friend named Angel who will be taking advantage of this offer. She doesn’t know it yet but her pet parent thinks her kisses smell bad and she wants to freshen her breath by having her teeth cleaned.

According to the Healthy Pet report, dental disease affects 85% of dogs and cats over the age of 2. Even though there are many pet products out there like toothpaste, oral gels and rinses, pet parents today resist putting a toothbrush or finger brush inside our mouths. If you live in a  multiple pet household, be patient while you are waiting in line. You may be able to sneak off and hide if you really don’t like the process.

Here are 9 reasons why you should have your teeth cleaned by a veterinarian:

  1. Your teeth turn yellow
  2. Your gums can become swollen or inflamed from plaque and tartar buildup
  3. You may have gingivitis if your gums are red or bleeding
  4. You may have oral pain
  5. You may not be chewing your food very well
  6. You may not want to eat
  7. You may be drooling excessively
  8. You may have loose or broken teeth
  9. No one wants your kisses anymore

Your pet parent may think that by giving you raw bones, your teeth will stay clean. What they may not realize is that you have cracked or broken a tooth on a bone. Infection can set in and cause you a lot of pain.

Enzymatic chews, rawhides, porkhides, and dental toys may help you keep your teeth clean. Your pet parent may even scale your teeth periodically to clean the tartar. However, it is extremely difficult to get to our back teeth when we are awake, no matter how cooperative we are.

The truth is, studies show that as many as 80% of us dogs and 70% of those *x! cats develop signs of periodontal disease or gingivitis before we reach 3. Bacteria can get into our bloodstream and cause damage to our heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Oral disease is almost entirely preventable.

If I haven’t convinced you yet to have your pet parent schedule a dental appointment for you, then listen to my story. My pet parent scaled my teeth periodically. The vets were never concerned about the condition of my teeth whenever I went in for my exams.  Even when I was under anesthesia for repairs after being attacked by other dogs, no one picked up on anything wrong with my teeth.

It wasn’t until I was almost 8 that my vet insisted that it was time for a dental cleaning because I had a strange odor coming from my mouth that was not the smell of cat poo or some other disgusting tidbit that I scooped up on the way into the office.

Dog mouth showing inflammed gums

Plague buildup


Periodic dental scalings were not enough to keep the plague and tartar from building up on my teeth.






Yellow Teeth on a dog

Yellow Teeth Ruin a Pretty Smile


Tooth pulled during dental cleaning

A Cracked Tooth Was Removed


No one could see that I had a cracked tooth until I was “under” and they could open my mouth as my jaw relaxed.






Dental Cleaning Removes Plague and Tartar

Almost Pearly White Again After Dental Cleaning

After a dog's dental cleaning photo

I Have My Smile Back!


This is a big improvement!








People can see my pearly whites again!






All I can say is, find a caring veterinarian with an excellent staff and have your pet parent schedule a dental cleaning for you this February National Dental Awareness Month. Then you can celebrate having a beautiful smile once again once your cleaning is done!  Have your pet parent leave a comment on your normal dental routine…we’d like to know how you keep your teeth pearly white.

Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia Johnson

Why Do Pet Sitters Sit?

Black and white kitten

This Kitten Plays With His Pet Sitter

Has your pet parent ever hired a pet sitter? Was the pet sitter a family member or a professional pet sitter? If they were a family member, then they either love you to pieces or your pet parent exchanges pet sitting duties when your “family” pet sitter needs some time spent with their pets. Sometimes these arrangements work, sometimes they don’t…depends on how even the requests are for time with you or the pets in your family circle.

So Why do Professional Pet Sitters Sit?

Many pet sitters get the bug for sitting by taking care of family and neighborhood pets. They find that they can work their visits with the pets around their current job. My pet parent started as a teenager taking care of the neighborhood cats. This was long before pet sitting became a recognized pet business by Pet Sitters International and the National Association of Pet Sitters back in the 1990′s.

Today, you will find many college students pet sitting to help with expenses. Professionals such as groomers and veterinary technicians add pet sitting services to supplement their income. Pet sitting is one of only a few businesses that allows a person to work on a flexible schedule.

If a pet sitter sticks to their own neighborhood and friends, the cost of doing business can be quite low and they can keep their fees low. They can walk to your assignment and work from home scheduling appointments. Once their territory expands though and they become a professional, the expenses add up and so do their fees to your pet parent. Professional pet sitters have to add in the car expenses, insurance, bonding, supplies, marketing materials, pet sitting association memberships and more.

Pet sitters get paid to exercise! This does not necessarily mean that every pet sitter is lean. Busy pet sitters tend to grab fast food throughout the day to keep them going, especially during the holidays. Dog walkers have a better chance of keeping the pounds off and the muscles strong than the cat sitters do…at least that’s my observation.

Hobby pet sitters earn just enough to support their hobbies…which usually revolve around pets, of course. Pet sitters who are insured and well trained can earn a very lucrative income, mainly in large metropolitan areas. The recent downturn in the economy has slowed down the pet sitting industry in areas where big businesses are tightening their belts and as people travel less due to gas price increases.

The most compelling reason pet sitters sit is simply because they love animals. These people would pet sit for free if they could. Their reward is the unconditional love that they receive from the pets. We pets rarely complain unless we have to take medicine in a form we don’t like or we are expected to pee when it’s pouring down rain outside.

American Eskimo Taking a Nap

Schatzi Enjoys Taking a Nap

I have always loved my pet sitters. I have had fun playing ball and taking long walks while my pet parents have been out of town. I enjoy staying in my own home where I can nap when I want without having to listen to a dog in the next kennel carry on at a boarding facility because he misses his pet parents.

I am glad that pet sitters sit for the love of us pets!  Does your pet parent hire a pet sitter, call on family or take you to a kennel? Have your pet parent leave a comment…

Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia



Now You Can Have Fine Art and Support Dogs Too!

Take your pet parent to The Fine Art Sale in New York City just before the Westminster Dog Show. Yes, that’s right…you can go to the festivities with them. You may want to help them select a dog painting for your room. You can join the AKC and AKC Humane Fund for the Barkfest at Bonhams’ Charity Brunch.

You will be able to meet the reigning AKC/Eukanuba National Champion “London,”

Best in Show Standard Poodle


aka Standard Poodle GCH Jaset’s Satisfaction. He will be making an appearance before he appears at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show the next day. Follow London on Facebook and Twitter. The 2011 AKC Humane Fund ACE Therapy Dog honoree Miki the Pomeranian will share his experiences on AKC’s Facebook page.

A Celebration of the Dog in Art begins Sunday, February 12, from 10 am to 12 pm. There will be plenty of goodies for you and your pet parent in Bonhams’ spacious galleries located in the IBM building on Madison Avenue between 56th and 57th Street. Plan ahead and make reservations to get in the door for a $50 donation to the AKC Humane Fund…if you don’t plan, then you will have to pay $60 at the door. The AKC Humane Fund, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charity so your pet parents can get a tax deduction for their donation…and remember, you get to eat the “goodies.” Have them call the AKC RSVP line at 1-212-696-8225 or reserve your spot online.

You will have to be on your best behavior as you go through the gallery. These artists painted their masterpieces back in the 1800′s so they are very old and very valuable. You better hold onto your pet parent’s money source because these paintings are irresistible. Check out the painting by Wit of the Buffet Crasher…reminds me of some of my friends who steal food from the table when no one is watching.

The Fine Art Sale is all about Dogs in Show & Field. The Preview starts February 11-14. The Auction will be held Wednesday, February 15th at 10 am. This is Bonhams’ 30th annual sale. It will contain paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and other dog-related objects. American artists Percival Rosseau and Edmund Osthaus will have their works there. So will British painters John Emms, Maud Earl and the prolific painter Reuben Ward Binks.

So how does all of this artwork support dogs? The American Kennel Club Humane Fund, Inc. promotes the joy and value of responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and grant making. The AKC certainly helped us promote Responsible Dog Owner Day at the Frostburg Dog Park in Maryland so I’m all for other dogs having their parents donate for this cause.

Watch this pet video to see the true mastery of these painters. Tell me how you feel after you look into the eyes of those dogs…they come to life before your eyes!

Living in the moment,
Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia

The Secret of Cat Advertising

Cat secretly approaching his toys

Sneaking Up While Hanging On

The secret is out about CAT ADVERTISING. An ad agency in Toronto is using cats in videos as a business tool. I wonder how that works…The cat outside my sliding glass door not only torments me, but keeps me entertained throughout the day. Perhaps this agency is onto the magnetic attraction that we all have to cats…whether we want to have it or not.

Kittywood Studios started in 1994 and mass produces cat videos on the web. Somehow though I can’t imagine cats actually working at advertising in commercials. The producers have to be very creative with their storyboards. Cats have a way of showing up in odd places or not showing up at all. I’m sure you’ve heard that cats take messages and get back to you later. I wonder if these cats have agents?

I was disappointed to see that some of the cat videos that I have been watching on YouTube were actually created by Kittywood…here I thought these were videos put up randomly by owners that were owned by super funny cats like this one:

These cat videos can be very powerful in advertising. They certainly hold our attention. Some of them even brighten our days. We will leave you with a hug in this pet video:

So do you think cats or dogs are better in commercials?

Living in the moment,
Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia

Train a Pet Parent You Can Be Proud Of!

National Train Your Dog Month | APDT

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) wants your pet parent to have a dog that they can be proud of so it has designated January as National Train Your Dog Month. Regardless of whether you become a part of their family as a puppy or an older dog that has just rescued them from a life of boredom and loneliness, you should make training your pet parent a part of your everyday life.





Puppies Do What Puppies Do!


Puppy classes give your pet parents a routine to follow and support from other puppy owners for those moments when they are in overwhelm with normal puppy behaviors such as chewing and housetraining. The classes will help your pet parent develop skills to interact with other puppies, with children and adults and to experience new but safe environments. You will look like an angel compared to the other puppies so be eager to go to puppy class.


Training that occurs outside the classroom reinforces the basics learned for any sports activity, therapy behavior or other job that you want your pet parent to do.

There are FEW Books on Training Pet Parents!

 You can be proud of your pet parent when he has learned to greet your guests politely, to walk nicely on the leash and to come when called.  Well-trained pet parents can fully participate in your life rather than be left behind or confined to a separate room.

Although we are not allowed at many sporting events where children play, older children may play with us at a well-designed dog park such as the Frostburg Dog Park in Maryland.


Teach Your Child To Treat Us With Respect!



AKC kennel clubs and 4-H Clubs focus on teaching the proper care and training of dogs to children and emphasize building a lifetime relationship with their dog. If you do not have children in your family, consider adopting a neighbor’s child…who may not be able to have a dog of their own…to work with you under supervision.  Both the child and you will benefit from the time that you spend together.

Once the basics of training such as sit, stay, down, wait, and come are taught to your pet parent, then you both are ready to have fun!

Lead the Way!

If you have a high-energy pet parent or fearful or nervous pet parent, consider dog agility as a sport.If your pet parent displays aggression or serious intent to be aggressive, consider how your pet parent would benefit from tracking.  If your pet parent is aggressive towards you only, train your pet parent to do agility and herding to redirect that frustrated energy.

This is NO Dog Whisperer!

If your pet parent is easily frustrated and under exercised, add joring sports to the mix. If your pet parent loves to be dragged behind you, definitely consider joring sports, tracking and carting.  If you and your pet parent are all-around athletes that love to try everything, then follow your heart and include rally obedience, dancing, dock diving, tracking, search and rescue, skijoring, sledding, swimming, water rescue trials, carting, and field trails.

You may also want to try reading programs, therapy work, and whatever your imagination can lead you to do in the way of entertainment and philanthropy passions.

Use Your Imagination!

Training your pet parent will enable you to keep your pet parent with you through any life changes such as illnesses, travel, or moving into a new home and environment. Training your pet parent everyday as you go through your day is what builds a mutual bond, enhances your partnership and enriches the relationship that you share with your pet parent. Remember, we are the species that teaches them to love unconditionally, by loving them…no matter what they look like or how much money they spend on us.

Training a pet parent you can be proud of involves teaching your pet parent new behaviors to use in your “real life.” Some stores and restaurants allow your pet parent to take you shopping with them.  Pet stores are a great place to take your pet parent first since they will be reinforced with attention and you will be able to sniff pleasant smells. While you are shopping, your pet parent can practice greeting people and other dogs politely and walking on a loose leash.  Your pet parent can also practice waiting for people to pass without growling at them before going up and down the crowded aisles.

Take Time Out

You can train your pet parent to ride in a car and be a safe driver.  If your car is not suited for a dog kennel, then buckle your pet parent into a harness to keep him secure in case of sudden stops or impacts caused by your loud barking. Start with short trips and go to places where your pet parent may be reinforced with good things … and you can get treats…like at banks or the drive-through. Visit the veterinarian’s office just to say hello and ask the staff to greet your pet parent, then leave and have some more fun.

We Rule the Roads!

 If the mailman, garbage truck, paperboy or deliveryman overly excites your pet parent, have them sit politely while they reward you with treats. Sit and down stays can be reinforced while you are watching TV with them; while they are talking on the phone as you eye their favorite shoes; while they are cooking your favorite meal, and while they are eating dinner. Ask your pet parents for a chew toy to keep you quiet and relaxed while they are working at home on their computer or your children are doing their homework.

Are Pet Parents Driving You Crazy?

Take your pet parents to a place where children ride their bikes, run and skate so that you can watch from a distance.  Practice more loose-leash walking, sits, downs and stays.  Over time, your pet parent will learn to relax in these highly distracting atmospheres.

Play the “recall game” in your house. When you run to the front door or window to bark at something or someone outside, have your pet parent hide in another room and call you to them and give you a treat.  Be prepared to reinforce your pet parent with multiple sloppy kisses or a fun game to play so that you remain the main attraction!

Building Benevolent Relationships

Your pet parents are good at telling you what they want. Use these behaviors to teach them “what you want.” When you want to go out, teach them to call you and have you sit politely while they put your leash on rather than hurrying to you as you bark near the door and bounce off of the door.  Wait politely while they prepare your food and give it to you. When your pet parents want affection, have them ask you to sit or lay down first. You will both benefit. Whenever you ask your pet parent to do “something” in exchange for a valuable “life” reward, you are practicing “real life” training that is stress-free and rewarding to both of you. By training everyday, you will be living with a pet parent that you can be proud of!

Celebrate National Train Your Dog Month…Every Month!

Celebrate National Train Your Dog Month

Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia Johnson

Your Pets View of the LeashLocket Retractable Lead

My pet parent and I attended BlogPaws 2011 where we spotted the LeashLocket retractable leash on display…and I immediately wanted to sniff the display to see if these lockets carried dog treats. I am sure your pet would view anything that is attached to their collar in the same way.

Leash Locket at BlogPaws 2011

Let me report first that Amelia has her reservations about retractable leashes due to some people having received serious injuries from the retractable corded leads. The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship even bans them from their show grounds to prevent not only human accidents but also a repeat of dogs being scared by retracting handles chasing them that they have pulled from their handler’s grip…causing them to run off into a dangerous situation. Those concerns aside, Amelia does attach a retractable belted lead to me when we are going on nature walks where strict control is not required.

Upon closer examination, we found out that the LeashLocket is a revolutionary retractable belted leash in that it actually attaches to a magnet that is on an elastic strap that snaps around my collar. Wow…how convenient to use on the trail. Now, instead of both of my pet parents having to carry a separate leash for times when they are not in the same location and have to put a leash on me, I can just return to them carrying my one and only leash! This allows them to have instant control without having to fumble with snapping a leash onto my collar.

The LeashLocket is so lightweight that I don’t even notice it. Amelia feels this LeashLocket will also be ideal to use in the agility and obedience training rings. Many handlers use a short tab that is attached to their dog’s collar but with a big coat like mine, a tab can get lost in my mass of fur. The LeashLocket will be much easier to locate.

So what else makes the LeashLocket so appealing? Both of my pet parents like the way the locket fits comfortably in their hands. An optional wrist strap attaches to the locket for those times when their hands need to be free to grab my doggie bag and scoop the ‘you know what.’

Retractable leads normally extend from 10 to 26 feet which gives the pet the ability to lead the pet parent wherever the trail leads…or not. The LeashLocket extends less than 6 feet so I remain in a safe walking zone near my pet parent. Cool.

We had a puppy try out the LeashLocket during puppy socialization time in class. The other puppies quickly knocked the LeashLocket off of its magnet but the snap kept it attached to the collar and the locking mechanism on the lead kept it close to the puppy. The puppy was not at all bothered by the dangling locket and none of the other puppies tried to grab the locket. If someone planned to use the LeashLocket during play time at the dog park, they may want to make sure the locket magnet is attached somewhere on the dog where the locket will remain secured to the magnet. The optional wrist strap can be removed and attached to a belt loop for later use.

The LeashLocket comes complete with Precautions and Instructions for Use. The top three tips suggest that the locket is only to be worn when dogs are supervised, that they are to be used on well-trained dogs only and handled only by adults. For more information, visit

Take time to watch our short and fun pet video review of the LeashLocket.

We received a Leash Locket from the company for our review. We were not paid for our review and all opinions about the LeashLocket are entirely our own.

Living in the moment,
Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia Johnson

Be Grateful for the Best of Pets

Our pet parents are grateful when they see the best in us. We wag our tails as we listen to them tell the other pet parents on our walks just how smart, cute, agile and comforting we are.  Sometimes though, they laugh when they talk about the worst of our behavior rather than the best that they see in us pets.

With both parents in a household working, it is difficult to add a pet to the family.  Other pets may be easier to maintain than we dogs are because they don’t require the outside exercise. Children who love pets are discouraged from having a dog of their own for these reasons so I adopt children without pets. I want them to learn about the best side of pet companionship.

My Adopted Boy

I first locate grandparents in my neighborhood that have visiting grandkids.  Then I make myself look like a big stuffed animal and wear my brightest smile. This little boy has no fear of me so I cuddle up to him. He met me when he was just a baby. By then, his big sister had gotten over most of her fear of me. In fact, she introduced him to me.

His sister decided that she wanted to be in the picture with both of us. However, you can see that she is still a little bit reserved around me.  As she leans to the right, I stay near my adopted boy. I also lay my ears close to my head around her so I look more like a friendly puppy. These children keep me socialized and I keep them well-adjusted so that they learn how to behave around dogs.

My Adopted Children

My Adopted Children

Wise parents who are not able to welcome pets into their homes take their children to places where friendly dogs hang out…like dog shows and dog parks…or just around the neighborhood. The many “no dogs allowed” signs at public parks and playgrounds keep us off limits to the children playing there…something about doggie poo.

I was a Thanksgiving Day gift (you can read my story in The Gratitude Book Project:Best of Pets). Some shelters around the nation are promoting a program whereby families can take a pet home over the holidays and then return the pet to the shelter after the holidays.  This allows the pets to be in a family atmosphere and gives the shelter workers and volunteers a break.  It also allows families to see how well a pet will fit (or not) into their family. Although the pets may like the break, I doubt that they will appreciate being returned to the shelter atmosphere.

Responsible dog breeders do not advertise “Christmas puppies” for sale. They want their puppies to go to a forever home rather than be an impulse gift to please the momentary whims of children during the holidays. This can be a stressful time for everyone rather than the ideal time to bring a peeing, pooping, whining puppy into the house.  Of course, puppies only behave this way because their needs are not being met…too many other toys on hand to play with during the holidays. Households are unlikely to see the Best of Pets unless they have been brought up responsibly.

So my words of wisdom to parents of children that would like to be grateful for the best of pets this holiday season, are to buy a stuffed animal for your children with a gift card attached containing a promise for the future. For a present of the best of pets now, buy The Gratitude Book Project:Best of Pets for children of all ages. I highly recommend it. The profits from the book will benefit the ASPCA.

Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia Johnson

Pets Take Action After More Dog Treat Warnings

Does your pet parent react with fear when they hear about more dog treat warnings? A recent warning involves chicken jerky treats from China. These may also be sold as chicken tenders, chicken strips or chicken treats. FDA officials said that the number of illnesses reported has gone up from the 54 reports filed in 2010 to 70 so far this year.

Only 70 reports of illness, you say? What if you are one of the 70? Have you lost your appetite? Has your energy level decreased to the level of only rolling over? Are you recycling your food or gushing with urgency? Are you thirstier and watering the grass more often? Have you been diagnosed with diabetes when, in fact, you may have Fanconi syndrome? If you have been fed those questionable treats, stop and consider a trip to the vet if you don’t start feeling better within 24 hours.

My pet parent took action years ago, even before dog treat and dog food warnings were in the news. I am benefiting by eating food and treats that are carefully made with a purpose in mind…and it’s not all about the money!

I can recommend a healthy alternative to you with our Holiday Gift Basket for dogs.

Holiday Gift Basket

It comes complete with an assortment of our most popular treats. When I’m looking a bit fluffier than usual, I eat wholesome hearts. When my teeth need a light cleaning, I eat the gourmet dental treats and chew on the porkhide bones. The antioxidant health bars chase those pesky free radicals away. When I am really super good at performing, I earn some Tasty Rewards.


Holiday Gift Basket for Cats

If you have a cat or cats in the house, have your pet parents order the Cat gift basket. They might stop ambushing your tail while you are dreaming if they learned that your pet parents heeded the warnings because of your health concerns.




If your pet parent would like to report a potential pet-treat-related illness from tainted treats, have them take action by filing a complaint at the FDA website.

Ask your pet parent to change the kind of treats that they give to you or your family feline so that your family can enjoy a happy holiday season. Give us your feedback.

Living in the moment,


Pet Companion to animal lover Amelia

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