Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blended Families and Pets

First, I'd like to announce the winner of the DNA Test Kit contest, selected from among the comments left on that blog: Amber Jackson. Congratulations! Please send me your contact information and mailing address (peggyfrezon at gmail dot com) Now on to our guest post today!

Blended families--when two people marry, and blend together their existing families. This means children and also...pets.

Stacy Jensen of Colorado shares how she and her husband Andy, (affectionately known as Mr. Food Boy by the dogs) worked to make their new home happy for both her dog and his.

Q- How did you and Andy meet?

SJ: Andy and I were both new to North Carolina and met through eHarmony. On our fourth date, we introduced the dogs at my house. The dogs were one of many things we had in common.

Q- We'd love to meet your dogs!

SJ- Eddie is a Poodle-Pomeranian mix. He was 11 months old when we met. Eddie weighs about 9 pounds.

Mauly-Bones is a Vizsla. She was 5 months old when we met, and about 45 pounds (now she is about 55 pounds).

Mauly served as physical therapy for Andy following the discovery of blood clots that involved hospitalizations and rehabilitation. Eddie was a gift to me following my husband's death. He was a great companion for me, since I had decided to move to another state and begin a new job.

Q- How did you introduce the dogs?

SJ: They met at the front door of my house. They were allowed to sniff around and check each other out. We were there in case there was a problem. We pretty much let them get to know each another.

Q- Did one become dominant?

SJ: Neither really. It depends on what is going on whether they display dominance. Both are fixed, but Eddie will sometimes do the humping thing to Mauly. Mauly will sometimes show dominance due to her size. She can easily push Eddie out of the way. Eddie, of course, acts like he is much bigger than he is.

Q- How did you resolve any fights/disagreements?

SJ: We separate them. The only disagreements involve treats or food. Mauly is fairly mild mannered about even this. If Eddie abandons his food (because he gets distracted), Mauly will patiently sit next to his food bowl hoping for permission to eat it.

Eddie is overall more accepting of other dogs. Mauly had a dog try to steal her stick in the past, and ever since she will randomly be aggressive toward other dogs or 100 percent ignores them. This behavior is odd, because Mauly interacts well with other animals like calves, goats and horses we have encountered on walks.

Mauly is a bit jealous. If she hears Eddie's name or senses he is getting pets and affection, she runs into the room and will attempt to push Eddie away. Her size makes her triumphant in this endeavor. Eddie never seems to mind.

Both love people. Eddie sometimes is frightened by men with beards.

Each dog continues to have its own crate and bedding to lounge around the house. Eddie is a bit of a lap dog and Mauly aspires to be a lap dog, too.

Q- Any advice to others?

SJ: Our dogs have known each other since they were pups. They each lived a little more than two years alone, before we married and truly blended under the same roof.

Andy and I still note that each dog knows his or her person. I may be sleeping in, but Eddie will sit at the bedroom door waiting for me to get up and ignoring Andy. Mauly will listen to me while Andy is at work, but once he arrives home she looks to Andy for direction (unless I have a treat!).

When I am not at home, Eddie is happy to be with Andy and doesn't worry. Once I arrive, Eddie's following me.

This behavior is annoying sometimes, but I'm guessing it has to do with their idea of pack? As long as one of them listens to someone in the house, I'm good!

UPDATE: Eddie and Mauly are now adjusting to the addition of Stacy and Andy's new baby, Enzo.

Stact blogs at Writing my way through life. Look for Stacy's story "I'm not Crazy, I Just Have a Dog" in Chicken Soup for the Soul My Dog's Life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Coon Cat Gone Wild

You be the judge. Is this a case of Coon Cat gone wild?

Taz (pictured) is a healthy, loving 9-year old cat. When my friend Leslie adopted the Maine Coon Cat, she noticed that he was active and fun-loving. She calls him a goofball. He purrs loud and follows the family on walks.

But Taz has a habit that is not too endearing.

One day Leslie's son startled the cat, and it scratched him hard across the chest.

Recently, the cat has "attacked" Leslie in bed. When she's sound asleep. The first time he sunk his teeth into her eyebrow. The second time he bit her arm, but didn't break the skin.

What could be causing this bizarre (and dangerous) behavior? Taz has been checked at the vet's and is up to date with rabies and distemper shots, etc. Taz has been on Feliway at times, which does help calm him down a bit.

Also, what can Leslie do? Shut him out of the bedroom and he throws a fit, she says, very loudly. Her friends say that she shouldn't keep him, but she loves this beautiful guy.
Any ideas? Thanks smart pet people!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dog Food By Nature

I've made a commitment to give Kelly the best dog food that I can afford. I already see results, particularly in her bloodwork results. Labs that were elevated or borderline are now all normal. I definitely believe that her health is improved by quality food.

We haven't settled on one type of food, although we've found several that we like (and can afford.) Recently, Rob at by Nature® Natural and Organic Pet Foods contacted me and asked if Kelly might like to sample some of their food.

Here are some facts about by Nature®:

* small New England based company

* uses no fillers (such as corn, wheat, or soy)

* uses high quality, natural ingredients

* includes vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

* offers a natural, nutritionally complete organic line (organic meat, grains, fruits and vegetables, all USDA, Oregon Tilth or OCIA International Certified Organic.)

On their website, I visited "Share Your Story" where I learned about other pets who have benefited from by Nature® pet food.

When the big bag arrived, Kelly was ready to dig in. Kelly received the organic chicken formula for dogs. The number one ingredient is organic chicken. Among the other ingredients are brown rice, organic peas, and organic spinach. The food actually smelled good, and was in nice, little kibbles. Kelly loves this food, and gives it 4 paws up!
Thank you by Nature® for letting us sample this food, and for the neat canvas tote, too!

Note: by Nature® provided us with an 8 lb. bag of dog food to sample, but all the opinions in this review are my own (and Kelly's!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Homeward Bound Rescue

What if there was a way to combine filming a video trailer for my upcoming book and promote pet adoption at the same time...

What if...

Enter Homeward Bound Dog Rescue, of Albany NY.

Recently my husband/videographer and I visited Homeward Bound's adoption clinic, held in a vacant storefront in a local mall, and were graciously allowed to borrow a few adorable dogs to star in our movie.

The dogs (pudgy or not!) are posing with a scale to help promote my new book, Dieting with my Dog.

Here are some of the pals we met:

lab puppy


There are more dogs up for adoption, keep scrolling! And if you see one you like, why not contact Homeward Bound right away!

Brodee and Sammy


Thanks to all my models. Sorry we tired you out!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup. Here is a little friend I met named Otto.

* Fox news reports on pet rescue efforts in Japan.

*This aol news report focuses on the canine heroes in Japan.

*Also, the most comprehensive, sane, intelligent and compassionate report regarding the viral video of the dog best friends in Japan. via Neil Brogan of Life with Dogs. Thank you, Neil.

*Looking to help more pets in need? All it takes is a recipe. Pet Blogs United and Crossed Paws are gathering pet treat recipes, soup and casserole recipes. Visit Pet Blogs United for information on where to send your recipe. They may be included in a series of cookbooks on disc as an ongoing fundraiser to benefit pets in need.

*Will you be the next Purina Cat Chow Correspondent? Here's a great opportunity to travel the country, earn $50,000 and connect with fellow cat lovers! Deadline is March 28th. Apply at

*Finally, Forever Friends interviewed yours truly. Stop by and say hello!

*Now for your video, check out this dog and horse pals:

Monday, March 21, 2011

We got the results! now you can win free DNA test kit

What breeds make up Kelly? Well now I know, for sure. I tested Kelly's DNA, and I'm here to give you the results, and I want to give away a DNA kit to one of you, too!

Last month, during the Magical Mystery Mutt Tour, readers guessed what breeds composed our mixed up, I mean mixed breed, pooches. What fun! Then, Pet Safe, invited us to try out their new product, Pet Safe Breed Identification DNA Kit. The kit arrived, compact in a little folder with simple directions. All we had to do was swab the inside of Kelly's cheek and return the swabs in the postage-paid envelope. Despite her put-upon look, it doesn't hurt at all.

About two weeks later the results were in!

Magical Mystery Mutt participants guessed Kelly was:
cocker spaniel
golden retriever
king charles cavelier spaniel
tibetan spaniel
irish setter
clumber spaniel
afghan hound
springer spaniel
border collie

DNA tests revealed Kellys breed is:
keep scrolling
cocker spaniel!

Yup, that's it. I know, a little disappointing to have only one result. The test revealed that she is at least 75% cocker spaniel. "Most mixed breeds will not show any breeds listed under (this level) unless the dog has a purebred parent." So Kelly's mama or papa was likely pure cocker. The test was unable to account for the remaining 25 or so %. According to the packet information, this may be because:

1. there are breeds present that aren't included in their database.

2. she's really a purebred.

I'm guessing it's #1!
The database did not include 5 of the 15 dogs guessed in the Magical Mystery Mutt Tour. The database currently includes about 60 breeds of dogs.

Overall, the Breed Identification DNA Kit was a fun experience. Despite the limited number of breeds in the database, the kit would be helpful for anyone who is curious about their dog's breeds. The results include a fact sheet on the pertinent breed(s), with personality characteristics and health problems. I thought that was interesting. Check out the PetSafe DNA Kit.

**And, you could win a DNA Kit here! PetSafe has provided me with one kit to give away. Just leave a comment here, telling me why you would like to win a DNA Kit for your dog. I'll pick one winner by randomizer. Contest ends on Saturday 3/26 at 11:59pm. I'll announce the winner on next Wednesday Pet Roundup. Good Luck!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why Do We Care About Mark Zuckerberg's Dog?

Have you heard the news? Mark Zuckerberg got a new dog!
And why do we care?
Well for one reason, sometimes we are curious about celebs and their lives. And since we love dogs, we're curious about their pets too.
But another reason that we care is because, for pet bloggers, it gives us a chance to reflect upon the lessons we can share through the added awareness of the public name.

Zuckerberg's dog, a fluffy white Puli, already has his own PR: Beast's Facebook page, with more than 32,000 fans to date.

Christie Keith from Pet Connection discusses Zuckerberg's decision to purchase his pup from a breeder. While most of us are aware of pet overpopulation and advocate adopting pets from rescue homes and shelters, Keith cautions us on criticizing anyone's decision to buy their dog from a responsible breeder. Instead, Keith suggests it would be more effective to "congratulate Zuckerberg, and then promote all the white herding mixes in your shelter." Good strategy.

Jaime Van Wye, expert dog trainer, and founder of the Zoom Room, seized the opportunity to enlighten readers on the differences between a Komondor and a Puli. I thought you would find this interesting, so I'm including her points here, below. (Her own pet dog is a Komondor, Clyde Orange, the mascot of the Zoom Room.


  • Komondorok have been bred as livestock guard dogs originating from Hungary, and when threatened they reveal sheer athletic muscularity and a deep, ferocious bark that is sure to scare anyone. If someone is to approach your house, the Komondor will be sure to alert you by barking excessively. They have a protective instinct and will even sleep across thresholds within your house, taking position.
  • Keeping a Komondor clean as he grows up is a challenging task. Washing and shampooing a mature Komondor isn’t all that complicated, but if the task of drying is not carefully completed, the damp dog will develop mildew. You also must be sure to help the cords form evenly, separating them from one another as the matting begins around the age of nine months.
  • Due to the history of the breed, a Komondor can be a challenge to train. They have neither a prey drive, nor much of a food drive. They will rarely chase a ball and will take limited joy in toys. They’re not big eaters, making it difficult to bribe. This breed is hard to rattle, so any type of corrective training usually has little effect as they can put up with just about anything.
  • Komondorok grow to be an average of more than 30 inches tall and more than 100 pounds.


  • Pulis also hail from Hungary, and share the same corded appearance as Komodorok, however they are a lot smaller of a breed, and reach an average of 16 inches tall and 30 pounds.
  • Pulis originated as herding dogs, making them quick and agile, demanding plenty of daily exercise. As a result, the breed is fairly easier to train in agility and obedience.
  • Pulis share the exact same requirements for grooming as a Komondor, but of course, since a Puli is tiny compared to a Komondor, the entire process – especially the drying – is vastly easier.
  • This breed is incredibly loyal and penchant for protection. Despite their size, they can be strong watchmen, even without the sheer size and stature of a Komondor.

About Jaime Van Wye

Animal lover and entrepreneur Jaime Van Wye is CEO of Zoom Room, the only brick-and-mortar dog training franchise in America and the first dog agility training franchise in the world. Jaime is an expert trainer and the National Boarding Chair of the Pet Care Services Association. She has also authored the satirical self-help book, How to Have an Ill-Behaved Dog. To read Jaime’s full open letter to Zuckerberg (or anyone else contemplating these beautiful breeds) – click here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St Patricks Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day from my Irish gal, O'Kelly and me!

What's with the glittery bow?

I'm so embarrassed.

There, are you happy Mom?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day

Here's Kelly on the day we adopted her. She was so cute and little!

In honor of's 15th anniversary, March 15th is Adopt the Internet Day. We found Kelly on Petfinder, so I am always willing and eager to help spread the word.

What It's All About

In honor of their 15th birthday, Petfinder is asking people everywhere to pledge to spread the word online about adoptable pets on March 15, 2011.

What You Can Do

  • Add a badge (below) to your Web site to show your support.
  • Take our pledge that you will tell one person about pet adoption on March 15. By pledging, you'll enter for a chance to win one of 10 Pet Hair Eraser® Vacuums from BISSELL.
  • Caption a Petfinder adoptable-pet photo on ICanHasCheezburger! The photos with the best captions will be featured on the homepage on March 15.
  • On March 15, donate your Facebook status and photo to an adoptable Petfinder pet. Simply replace your photo with one from the Adopt-the-Internet All-Stars gallery and post one of these messages:
    • More than 320,000 pets are waiting for homes on Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet today and find forever homes for as many as possible!
    • I adopted my pet from Petfinder and now I want to help get this pet adopted! If you want to help pets in need of forever homes, please repost this!
  • On March 15, share an adoptable Petfinder pet on Twitter with the hashtag #adopttheinternet.
  • Add a link to your blog, Facebook or Twitter post to this page! (Go to on March 15 to find out how.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good news for BAD RAP

This is my friend Nikki's dog, Sonny. Don't you just love that smile? I think Sonny is the perfect spokesdog for this post about BAD RAP, the cause of the month for The Honest Kitchen.

Q: What is BAD RAP?
A: Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls. This group has been instrumental in the evaluation, rescue and rehabilitation of dogs in the Michael Vick case.

Q: What is The Honest Kitchen?
A: Makers of dehydrated, human grade whole foods for pets. The Honest Kitchen donates a percentage of online store profits to various causes.

Q: What can you do?
A: "Like" The Honest Kitchen's Facebook Page. They will double their donation to BAD RAP if they reach 40,000 Facebook fans this month.

Also, you could help share this link on FB or Twitter.

Q: Want to learn more about BAD RAP?
A: You can chat live with BAD RAP's Donna Reynolds and Tim Racer tonight March 14 at 9:15 pm EST on Bark Out Loud Weekly. Check out this important podcast "After Vick: What Have We Learned?"

In addition, Be the Change for Animals will kick off a $1000 Facebook ad campaign, drawing additional attention to this terrific cause.
Learn more on Kim Clune's blog, This One Wild Life!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dental Care for Dog Teeth

Q: How can needy pets get important dental care?

A: When we help spread the word about the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Several other dog bloggers have blogged about the American Animal Hospital Association's Helping Pets Fund, and their initiative to help fund oral care services for pets in need. This fund makes a wide range of veterinary services available for pets whose owners have either abandoned them or do not have the financial means to pay for treatment options. GREENIES’® donations will help to provide life-saving oral surgeries for dogs and cats in need.

There is still time to help and it involves no financial contribution from you.

Just help spread the word about the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). The VOHC is similar in nature to the American Dental Association (ADA) but is applied to pet products. Through stringent clinical research and review, the VOHC determines which products on the market are effective on the breakdown of plaque and tartar. The VOHC Seal of Acceptance indicates that the product has met or exceeded the pre-set VOHC standards of efficacy. This seal is an easy way for pet owners to discern how to shop for their pets and provide them with the best in at-home dental care products.

Here's how you can help spread the word:

* For every blog post written about VOHC, the GREENIES® Brand will donate $25 to the AAHA Helping Pet’s Fund.

* For every use of #VOHC on Twitter (either through an original post or a re-tweet), The GREENIES® Brand will donate $1 to the AAHA Helping Pet’s Fund.

* For every new “like” of the GREENIES® Facebook fan page from February 17—March 14, The GREENIES® Brand will donate $1 to the AAHA Helping Pet’s Fund.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup!
I wanted to start out with this. While not exactly pets, I just love this short video, especially the sound of the webbed feet on the pavement. Here's your smile for the day:

* Leash laws: For or Against? Should dogs be able to run off-leash in national parks? The New York Times reports on laws restricting unleashed dogs to fenced-in areas in certain national parks and recreation areas. Damage of habitat is cited as one problem. In the San Francisco area, for example, dogs are being blamed for contributing to the endangerment of the mission blue butterflies and western snowy plover.

* Cloning your beloved pet: For or Against? L.A. Times tells us that businessman Peter Onruang, has paid $310,000 to have his dogs Wolfie and Bubble cloned.

* New pet technology. The Daily Kibble reviews Pet Hub, a dog tag containing ID and other information in an online presence for your dog.

* From the Huffington Post: Whose mouth is cleaner, dogs or humans?

*OC Moms, the Moms Blog, ponders Why are people choosing pets over kids?

* Enter the Name that podcast contest, over at Fully Vetted.

*One more smile for the day. Slo Mo Bath Time. Enjoy!