Category Archives: Professor Scamp Ph.D (Pretty Happy Dog)

Vol. 10, No. 19 – June 21 – July 5, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  SPAN is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends. In the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main) Friday, July 14, Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

•  On Thursday, June 22, the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB) will accept Pet Sitters International’s challenge to “Make it your business to help pets in need” by joining companies around the globe in opening their doors to employees’ furry, four-legged best friends for the PSI’s 19th annual Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWDay®).

TYDTWDay was established by Pet Sitters International (PSI) in 1999. This annual event urges businesses around the globe to experience the joys of dogs in the workplace .

The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura anticipates 7 dogs to join them on June 22 and has a variety of activities planned to give everyone a fun “paws” at work. For more information on PSI’s Take Your Dog To Work Day, visit

•  Dogs and memory by Victoria Usher

The question for researchers in a recent study published in Current Biology is whether other animals besides humans share the ability for episodic-like memory. For their study, the research group in Budapest, Hungary, enlisted the help of 17 pet dogs. The dogs in this study were energetic participants who were all easily trained to imitate a simple action.

After watching their owners perform a series of actions the dogs were given the command “lie down”. Replacing the expectation to imitate with lying down had to be unexpected and the researchers tried to verify this new expectation in two ways. First, the dogs received training until they would reliably lie down after observing the actions. Second, verifying that the dogs acted surprised when they didn’t receive a “lie down” request.

Next, instead of the now expected “lie down”, one minute after the dogs saw the last action they received the command to “do it”. Nose to umbrella, paw on the chair, most of the dogs imitated their owner’s action.

To see if they remembered the action after a longer delay the dogs left the testing area for an hour before coming back for a second try. Many dogs successfully imitated the action again, though fewer then after the one-minute test. These results, one of a handful suggesting episodic-like memory in a non-human species, add to our growing knowledge of the richness of other animal’s mental lives. The dog cognition lab in Budapest is one of many around the world; pups in Connecticut can go participate at Yale University and dogs in North Carolina can help at Duke University. Dogs share our homes and our work, and now we know they might share some of the rich memories of our lives together.

•  RedRover, a national animal welfare organization dedicated to moving animals out of crisis and into care, has a list of summer safety tips for pets to help get families through the warm months.

Surfaces such as asphalt, sand and concrete can burn your pet’s paws. Try to walk your pet early in the morning or later in the evening as the temperature cools down or walk them on the grass. If that isn’t possible, check the ground temperature by placing the back of your hand on the ground for at least 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for your hand, it is too hot for your pet’s paws.

Leaving your pet in your car, even in 70 degree weather, can lead to deadly consequences. A Stanford study found that a car’s interior can heat up by an average of 40 degrees within an hour, regardless of ambient temperature, and 80 percent of the temperature rise occurs within the first half-hour.

Make sure to check your pet’s water dish several times a day, and refill it with fresh, cool water. Ice cubes or frozen broth cubes can be added to encourage them to drink more. Adding wet food to their diet can also keep them hydrated.

In addition to making sure your pet is hydrated, keep them in the shade as often as possible when outdoors. While dogs and cats like to bask in the sun, direct sunlight can overheat them and cause heat stroke.

While pools can be a great way to cool your dog down and prevent heat stroke, chlorine can upset a dog’s stomach and irritate their skin. Watch to make sure they don’t drink more than a mouthful of water, and don’t forget to rinse your dog with fresh water after their swim.

Loud noises can be very scary for animals. Try to keep your pet indoors when you know fireworks are planned. If you can’t, be sure to double-check your gate/fencing to ensure your pet won’t try to escape when startled.

Animals can sunburn too, especially those with short, thin or light-colored coats. Sunburns can be painful, and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer. Ask your veterinarian about animal-safe sunscreens and how to apply them properly.

Food that is stuck to a barbecue after cooking can be too tempting for your pet to resist – licking the barbecue grate can result in serious burns to an animal’s tongue or mouth. Make sure to clean the grill thoroughly and close the lid, if possible.

These are just a few tips to help make the summer months with your pets enjoyable and safe. For more information on RedRover and its programs and services, please visit www.RedRover.orgDogs & Wolves –

Vol. 10, No. 18 – June 7 – June 20, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  On June 10 there will be a wonderful event by the Herman Bennett Foundation to raise funds for our K9 officers in the Harbor. Please see the ad in this issue and plan to attend. The Breeze will be there so stop by to say hello and pick up a tennis ball for your pet.

•  by Victoria Usher

In a case study of one 10-year-old boy with cerebral palsy and his family’s dog, researchers found an intervention program led to a wide range of improvements for the child, including physical activity as well as motor skills, and quality of life. The researchers detailed the child’s experience in the adapted physical activity intervention program in a case study just published in the journal Animals.

Co-authors are Monique Udell of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences; Craig Ruaux of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine; Samantha Ross of the OSU College of Public Health and Human Sciences; Amanda Tepfer of Norwich University and Wendy Baltzer of Massey University in New Zealand.

Children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy spend less time participating in physical activity compared to their peers. Researchers designed an intervention where the family dog would help improve the child’s overall physical activity, motor skills and quality of life. After researchers and a veterinarian did separate assessments of the child and a year-old Pomeranian for participation, they began the eight-week intervention, which included a supervised physical activity program once a week for 60 minutes and participation such as brushing the dog with each hand; playing fetch and alternating hands; balancing on a wobble board; and marching on a balancing disc.

The child also wore an accelerometer to measure physical activity levels at home. Researchers re-assessed the child after the intervention and found that his quality of life had increased in several areas such as emotional, social, and physical health. Based on the initial positive results, researchers hope to pursue additional studies involving children with disabilities and their family dogs.

•  From

Pet owners searching for an apartment know it can sometimes be difficult finding a landlord willing to rent to you and your dog or cat. But once you find the perfect place, there are certain precautions you should take before signing your name to a lease and moving in.

Landlords are not necessarily skeptical of people with dogs or cats. Responsible pet owners are usually responsible tenants, and landlords who permit pets know they have a larger pool of prospective tenants to draw from — especially ones who are likely to stay longer if they feel their pets are welcomed.

But renters have their own burden. If a landlord is reluctant to rent for any reason, you may have to prove that you and your pet can live within set guidelines and be good tenants.

You should also read and understand the fine print regarding pets — size and weight restrictions, policies about barking, the number of dogs or cats you’re permitted to own — plus security and cleaning deposits you’ll have to pay. In recent years, some landlords have even begun charging pet rent; it’s possible you may be charged $30 a month for your pet, in addition to deposits.

Your ability to prove that you care for your dog may be what gets you through the front door — and it could be what keeps you there.

First, read the lease thoroughly, especially the parts that relate to your pet. Make sure your dog or cat (or parakeet or snake, for that matter) fits within the limits established in the lease. If the apartment only allows small dogs and you own a Golden Retriever or a larger mixed breed, ask for an allowance — and then make sure it’s written into the lease and initialed by you and the landlord. But negotiating might not always work. For instance, if a landlord does not allow a specific breed of dog because it can be known to be dangerous, don’t expect him to stretch the rules.

Be sure that you understand any required deposits. Before moving in, do a walk-through with the landlord to identify existing marks on carpeting or walls. Take photos and attach those to the lease. When you leave, they may help you get back your deposit if you have kept your apartment clean.

The best way to convince your prospective landlord that you and your dog will make good tenants is to bring your dog for a visit when you find the right apartment. Bring along vet records showing that your pet has been spayed or neutered, is in good health, and is up to date on all vaccinations. Show proof that you apply flea medication on a monthly basis. Be willing to put in writing that you’ll keep your dog on a leash when he’s on property and that you’ll pick up and dispose of his droppings; also, that you’ll prevent him from relieving himself in flower beds.

Some of these suggestions come from the San Francisco SPCA, which has had an Open Door Program in place for several years promoting policies and agreements between landlords and tenants. Prospective renters are shown how to write a pet resume and show their dog in the best light. Apartment owners are provided sample pet policies and checklists for screening and recognizing responsible pet people.

“It benefits people who have pets because it means they don’t have to give them up, which benefits shelters, too,” says Christine Rosenblat, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco SPCA.

Vol. 10, No. 17 – May 24 – June 6, 2017 – The Pet Page, Dedicated to Scamp

•  Welcome to our first “Pet Page.” We know that it will never be the same (or personal)without the Professor but we shall carry on in his name. He will be missed forever.

•  The Humane Society of Ventura County is celebrating its 85th anniversary by holding an open house on June 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at its Ojai shelter at 402 Bryant St.

Attendees will have the opportunity to get a behind-the scenes look at the shelter, interact with animals, tour the kennels and clinic, meet the staff and learn about different volunteer opportunities.

A variety of local artists and crafts people will have one-of-a kind items available for sale. Attendees also can enjoy refreshments, participate in an scavenger hunt and learn more about how they can make a difference in the lives of animals in need.

Humane Educator Dawn Reily will have her assortment of critters, and humane officers will be on hand to give attendees a look at the responsibilities and duties of protecting animals throughout the county.

Firefly Ceramics will have a booth, and for or a $25 donation to benefit the shelter’s new kennels, and attendees can design their tile to later become a permanent part of the structure.

Also, the shelter’s main attraction – the animals —will be available for adoption. “You never know when you are going to meet your new best friend,” said Franki Williams, the HSVC’s media and marketing director.

The Humane Society of Ventura County is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1932. It does not receive federal, state or local tax dollars to operate and relies solely on private donations.

•  Upgrade at the Simi Valley Animal Shelter requires kennels to be emptied! They are holding a “CLEAR THE SHELTER” adoption promotion until June 5th for all dogs. This promotion does not include the cost of a $20 license.

As always, adoption promotions do not guarantee the adoption of a pet. Application and Adoption Counseling from a trained VCAS Adoption Counselor are required as a prerequisite to adoption.

•  by Victoria Usher: A discovery was made recently at two elementary schools. Lead has been found in the water system at Emerson Bandini Elementary School and San Diego Co-Operative Charter School 2 who share a campus together. Testing of all the pipes in the San Diego Unified School District will happen soon because of this frightening discovery. This was all uncovered because one of the teachers at the charter school had been noticing that her therapy dog had not been drinking from a bowl filled with water from one of the classrooms. The teacher soon realized that something was wrong after looking and seeing that there was a sheen on the water. The district sampled a bunch of water outlets around campus after that and discovered that it was contaminated. I think we should all give a giant thank you to that teacher’s therapy dog!

•  Are these skydiving dogs poachers’ worst enemies? Meet Arrow and his handler, Henry Holtshyzen. Harnessed together, they take off across the vast wildlife preserve in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Arrow seems unperturbed, even as they hurl themselves out of the helicopter, falling more than 6,000 feet to earth — and landing in the middle of the poaching wars.

“Getting the dog to the frontlines as fast as possible is always a challenge and parachuting and rappelling is one of the ways of getting dog boots on the ground where they are needed,” Holtshyzen says.

These elite dogs are trained to immediately sniff out the poacher, rushing to attack, pinning the poacher to the ground until more help arrives.

The dogs are up against up against highly-trained, heavily-armed poachers who run a multimillion-dollar industry trading in elephant and rhino horn. In the past seven years, a third of Africa’s elephants have been wiped out.

Nearly 100 of these sky diving dogs have been placed in game reserves across Africa. In one region, they caught more than 100 poachers in 18 months. One dog, Killer nabbed more poachers than rangers equipped with the latest high tech weapons.

On May 9 Ventura Fire responded to a residential structure fire, the first arriving engine company reported heavy smoke showing from the first floor of a two-story single-family residence in the 600 block of Tarlow Ave. The occupants were out but the family dog was unaccounted for. The missing dog was located within the residence, having been overcome by smoke. It was successfully revived by fire personnel at the scene using pet-specific oxygen equipment.

Landon the Sheltie, a canine resident of Thousand Oaks, has had an amazing life of adventure and positive influence. After having a rough start as a young dog, Landon not only became a model and actor, but also had his own community education platform, led charity events, and became a certified therapy dog. Landon’s latest project though is particularly impressive, as he was recently appointed as the “Wellness Ambassador” for ISD Innovations—a Newbury Park-based nonprofit organization dedicated to projects that improve mental health and well-being.

National Police Dog Foundation’s The NPDF’s 2016 K-9 Hero of the Year, Edo, retired last month after 6 years of faithful service to the Los Angeles PD Metropolitan Division. The 8-year-old Belgian Malinois assisted with all armed suspect searches along with his handler, Officer Huynh. In March 2016, he was named the NPDF’s K-9 Hero of the Year for his courageous role in raiding a home involved in a hostage situation.

Vol. 10, No. 16 – May 10 – May 23, 2017 – Professor Scamp Ph.D

In Remembrance of Scamp 2002-2017

Hi Sheldon and Diane

I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am about your baby boy. I know how much you guys love him and what a great pet editor he was. Now that he’s crossed the rainbow bridge, I hope you can find comfort in his memories, adorable pictures and fame.

It’s never ever easy – I’m really sorry for your loss and I hope your hearts heal soon.

Breezy Gledhill

Never easy … big hugs to all of you.

Jennifer Young

I am so sorry to hear that Scamp isn’t doing well. I’ve seen him over the years as well as you at dog events around town. It’s so hard to know he could be gone soon, he will take a big piece of your heart with him.

Know he  loves you in only the way a dog can love: unconditionally.

Take care Scamp fan Fritz

If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.

Don’t you wish that you had voted for Scamp now?

You will be sad, I understand;
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.

We’ve had so many happy years –
What is to come can hold no fears.

You’d not want me to suffer so;
The time has come, so let me go.

Take me where my needs they’ll tend
And please stay with me until the end.

Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.

Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved
Please do not grieve – it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.

We’ve been so close, we two, these years
Don’t let your heart hold back its tears.

Sent by Patty Jenkins Poem is by an unknown author

Hi Scamp,

We’re sorry you’re not feeling well. We know how it feels to be special (mommie & daddy had to get special permission at The City Center for us to live there) and how sad your mommie & daddy must be right now.

We really hope you get well.

Bono, Lizzy & Emma

Dear Diane & Sheldon

Scamp was a wonderful dog and I know brought you lots of joy. He had a great full life. I could tell because he was so happy. All the best.

Beth, Ella & Clare

Dear Diane & Sheldon

Scamp was an amazing dog who touched all of our hearts. He will never be forgotten. Always here for all of you. Love the Bakers

You’re in our thoughts.  We know Professor Scamp was a very special part of your family and brought you many years of cherished memories.

Canine Adoption and Rescue League

I just wanted to give you my condolences on Scamp’s passing. Me and my girlfriend fell in love with Scamp and his column. It’s clear to me he was well loved by all, as all dogs should be, and he will be missed.

Manny Reynoso

I am so so sorry.   My love to you all … please kiss Scamp goodbye from me.   I am having something made in his honor

Cappi Patterson

Mr. Kitty helped Myrna Cambianica (and hubby) get over the grief of losing their cat.

Sheldon, I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your furry family member. …

Kat Merrick

So sorry Sheldon. I know how it feels.

Barbara Hinton

Oh I’m so sorry Sheldon and Diane I know how much you love him❤I know how hard it is.

Mindy Benezra

Sorry to hear about Scamp.  I know you two were close.

George Robertson


As a pet owner (have lost 2) I wanted to tell you I’ve shared your grief. There is nothing in the world to compare to unconditional love of a pet.

Miss Scamp but hope you will soon share love with another.

Jean Nussman.

Scamp by Cheryl Gooss

I’m sorry to hear that Sheldon.

Rebecca Wicks

Sheldon and Diane, So sorry … it is very sad, losing a beloved pet.

James Gray

I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. I feel your dismay.

Shirley Lorraine

Thank you for letting me know.  Please know my thoughts and good wishes are with you

Pam Baumgardner

Dear Sheldon,

I am sorry. I know what it is to say goodbye to a friend like Scamp. hugs and love to you and Diane.

Elizabeth Alvarez

Awwww! Sorry to hear such a sweet dog. We will all miss him. I know you are down now so anything I can do to help be glad to do it.

Richard Lieberman

The little guy had a great life with you folks. Letting him check out while it’s still great is the biggest favor you can do for him.

Alfred Lewis

So sorry Sheldon. It is so rough going thru that. Ugh. Thinking of you both and Scamp. End of an era!

Johanna Spinks

So sad to read of Scamp’s not-so-good health. Losing a pet has often been harder for me than losing a person. I’m sure you know the drill well – we try and do the best thing for our beloved pet when the time comes. The bottom line is quality of life. Never about us.

Best regards,
Kurt Triffet

Scamp by Ana Baker

I can’t quit crying!!! Wish I could say goodbye to Scampy but I’d probably drown him. My heart goes out to all of you!

Ana Baker

I’m so sorry…… Truly understand. Been there. Think about all the fun times (I guess that’s what makes it sad) and all the memories he left with you.

Aloha Champ……
Larry Dote

We went through this after the death of a cat and my husband said maybe not for a while. I missed the companionship so went to humane society and came home with Mr. Kitty.  He is much loved and by both of us. It is always a hard decision on how soon. Animals are so good for our well-being … and we are good in their lives – albeit shorter than ours.

Will be thinking of you and your wife.
Myrna Cambianica

James Mumsford, an American teacher and composer, perhaps described the Shih Tzu best: “Nobody knows how the ancient eunuchs managed to mix together: a dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man, a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear, and, for the rest, dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin.” The object of Mumsford’s colorful description, the Shih Tzu  is a small, regal dog with long, abundant locks; a distinctive face that melts many a heart; and a friendly attitude. The breed can boast a classy background: he was originally kept by royal Chinese families during the Ming Dynasty. With his flowing hair sweeping the ground and his topknot elegantly tied, the Shih Tzu does appear snobbish, suited only for lying about a palace on silk pillows. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Shih Tzus are beautiful, but they are also friendly, lively, devoted companions. The Shih Tzu personality is enormously appealing, and even grudging dog observers find it hard to resist this breed. The Shih Tzu simply doesn’t allow anyone to ignore him. He was bred to be a friendly companion — he doesn’t hunt, herd, or guard — and that’s what he is.

He loves nothing more than to meet and greet friends and strangers alike. Count on a Shih Tzu to make friends wherever he goes. Not only is this member of the Toy Group good-natured and friendly, he is highly adaptable. He is as well suited to apartments in the city as to life on a country farm. He loves children and gets along with other animals. Interestingly, the Shih Tzu is sometimes called the Chrysanthemum Dog, a nickname that describes the way the hair on his face grows out in all directions — he looks like a flower with a nose for the center.

Legends regarding the Shih Tzu abound. One says that Buddha traveled with a little dog fitting the description of a Shih Tzu. As the story goes, one day, several robbers came upon the Buddha with the intent of robbing and murdering him. The little dog changed into a ferocious lion and ran off the robbers, saving Buddha’s life. The lion then turned back into a fun-loving little dog, which the Buddha picked up and kissed. The white spot on the heads of many Shih Tzus supposedly marks the place where Buddha kissed his loyal friend.

Vol. 10, No. 15 – April 26 – May 9, 2017 – Professor Scamp Ph.D

•  Because my mom is spoon feeding me and I am still drinking water I have made it to another issue . I’m not in pain (just pooped) so I think that this is okay with me. In fact, 2 days ago I actually jumped out of bed (couldn’t get in by myself).

I have prepared a collage of my photos for you to remember me by. Maybe you can cut it out and put it on your refrigerator.

•  Oh my friend, I was so sorry to read that Scamp is having a tough time! I truly hope he is doing as well as can be and has 2 months at least! There is just nothing, nothing, that rips your heart out more, than having a dear friend and family member like Scamp take ill….they should just live forever in my book!
My heart hugs your heart!
Patty Jenkins

•  SPAN is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends.
In the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot
110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main)
May 12, Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

•  Canine Companions for Independence®, the national non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs free of charge, has established a new volunteer chapter to serve and support Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Founded in 1975, Canine Companions’ mission is to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Children and adults with a wide range of developmental and physical disabilities use Canine Companions assistance dogs for help with practical tasks, as well as for the social and emotional benefits these loving and devoted animals provide.

By establishing the new Valley to Sea Chapter, Canine Companions will better serve the needs of the local community through support of clients, volunteers, and donors.  Elizabeth Howell, the Chapter President and six-time volunteer puppy raiser said, “We are excited to bring together our existing constituents with new members through our volunteer chapter to raise awareness and funds for Canine Companions’ life-changing program. As a result, we hope more residents of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties will benefit from and contribute to Canine Companions.”

Canine Companions provides four types of assistance dogs. Service dogs assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks. Hearing dogs alert their partners, who are deaf or hard of hearing, to important sounds. Facility dogs work with clients with special needs in a visitation, education, criminal justice or health care setting. Skilled companions enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.

Canine Companions assistance dogs aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and best friends.

Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six training centers across the country. Canine Companions is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. For more information, visit or call 1-800-572-BARK.

Vol. 10, No. 14 – April 12 – April 25, 2017 – Professor Scamp PhD

•  I know that you want a health update. I’m still kicking but very tired and lethargic. No wonder because I stopped eating about a week ago (still drinking some water). I have been offered hot dogs, hamburger meat, chicken and even filet mignon (I deserve it) but nothing appeals to me. I would probably be better if I could eat but just not happening.

Thanks to those of you who have made suggestions about what to feed me and your concerns. Even though I am not a religious dog thanks for you who have offered your prayers. My vet always said that I should go on a diet but not this way.

I have also stopped barking so can’t tell the family when I need to go outside.

I’m still walking around the house with my head up and spending time in several different rooms so still very petable and lovable.

”I still want to look good so I am being groomed after a nice bath.”

Hopefully I will make it to another issue but just don’t know. I will be 15 in May so would be nice if that would happen.

I’ve had a real good life living with wonderful people and Savana for the last six years. They even let me sleep in bed with them but I haven’t been able to jump in bed for a while so I need to be picked up which doesn’t go over too big if I decide it’s time to get in bed at 3am.

I am told that my article will continue in the Breeze in my memory so I will still be with you in your hearts and minds.

I want to thank my editor for hiring me to write my article (he did get a good deal though just paying me in dog treats). And all of my readers and friends that I have made and especially  Scampclub members. To Victoria Usher for helping with some of my columns and to my sponsors who help make the Ventura Breeze possible.

SPAN has a new little mascot at their store. They named her Cielo (Heaven in Spanish) or blue since her fur is blue gray.

•  Dear Scamp:

I hope SPAN has time to tell you how much we enjoyed your part of the Breeze.  You have been an entertainment and teaching lesson to all who love animals.

Not too long ago SPAN said good bye to our mascot and best fur-ever friend.  It was a heart ache I am afraid we will repeat one day,  as our furry friends never live long enough.

SPAN had to say good bye to Gizmo, but with the help of the doctors at Ventura Vet is was less painful.

SPAN has adopted a new little girl kitty (see the photo of Cielo), not a kitten, not an adult, but a teen.

She is starting to help fill the hole left when we lost Gizmo.  It will take time.

We  wish you many more months of love.

•  A “howlingly funny canine comedy” SYLVIA opens at the Rubicon Theatre on April 19. Always fun to have a play about a dog but don’t be disappointed the dog is an actor.

•  In honor of National Police Week, the National Police Dog Foundation(NPDF) honors all K-9s that have fallen in the line of duty during 2016. In an effort to showcase their appreciation for these K-9s, the NPDF will send each of their department heads a letter of remembrance for their fallen K-9. They will also receive a copy of the iconic photograph of a K-9 in front of the Law Enforcement Memorial Wall. The photo is from the art photography book Solemn Vow, taken by well-known author/photographer Jim Corbett. Jim donates all proceeds of the book to the aid of active and retired K-9s. The department heads will make a presentation, on behalf of the NPDF, to the handler of each fallen K-9 as tokens of our gratitude for their service.

Ventura has four K-9 officers and handlers who do a great job protecting us from the bad guys.

•  We know that dogs have a guilty look, but can they actually be guilty? Well, according to this study, the answer is… kind of. Here, researchers show that dogs are capable of “deceptive-like behavior.” In a set of experiments, dogs tended to lead a human “competitor” away from food when that human would keep it for himself. However, the same dogs happily lead their “cooperative” owner to the noms, who would give the food to the dog. Bad dog!

“Deception, the use of false signals to modify the behavior of the receiver, occurs in low frequencies even in stable signaling systems. For example, it can be advantageous for subordinate individuals to deceive in competitive situations. We investigated in a three-way choice task whether dogs are able to mislead a human competitor, i.e. if they are capable of tactical deception. During training, dogs experienced the role of their owner, as always being cooperative, and two unfamiliar humans, one acting ‘cooperatively’ by giving food and the other being ‘competitive’ and keeping the food for themselves. During the test, the dog had the options to lead one of these partners to one of the three potential food locations: one contained a favored food item, the other a non-preferred food item and the third remained empty. After having led one of the partners, the dog always had the possibility of leading its cooperative owner to one of the food locations. Therefore, a dog would have a direct benefit from misleading the competitive partner since it would then get another chance to receive the preferred food from the owner. On the first test day, the dogs led the cooperative partner to the preferred food box more often than expected by chance and more often than the competitive partner. On the second day, they even led the competitive partner less often to the preferred food than expected by chance and more often to the empty box than the cooperative partner. These results show that dogs distinguished between the cooperative and the competitive partner, and indicate the flexibility of dogs to adjust their behavior and that they are able to use tactical deception.”

The Humane Society of Ventura County has hired Greg A. Cooper as its Community Liaison.

As community liaison, Cooper will coordinate speaking engagements, media briefings and requests. He also will oversee charitable giving programs and donor cultivation for the HSVC and its operations.

Cooper began his relationship with the HSVC in 1990 while working as a photographer for the Ojai Valley News. Since then, Cooper has worked as a volunteer photographer for the shelter documenting their animals, staff, facilities and fundraising events such as the annual Santa Paws.

Cooper, a native of Ojai, graduated in May 1996 from Western Kentucky University with a double major in photojournalism and anthropology.Prior to his experience with Western Kentucky, Cooper was hooked by photojournalism in 1988 while attending classes at Ventura College. He would spend the next eight years finishing up an associate’s degree, traveling abroad, working part-time in photo labs, shooting freelance and working as a staff photographer.

Chad passed on at 17. He received eight  flower arrangements, over 70 condolence cards and contributions to all the places he worked as a therapy dog including  Foster Library Paws for Reading where dogs and humans volunteer to have children read to them.  Chad’s buddy Livi is a little out of sorts, so her humans are keeping her busy working at the VA and the hospital and library as a service dog. This wonderful family  have three dog tags on the memorial at EP Foster from the Paws For Reading program, Magic, Nina, and now Chad.

Vol. 10, No. 13 – March 29 – April 11, 2017 – Professor Scamp PhD

•   I think that something bad is happening to me that I want to share. A few weeks ago, I started coughing, lost my appetite (I love eating) and became very lethargic. About a week ago I was in my backyard and collapsed. My family took me in the house and set me on the bed – they seemed very concerned.

They took me to this nice lady that I go to see sometimes. Usually she sits on the floor with me and we play a little bit. This time she set me right onto the table. She poked me all over and even smelled my ears and mouth and put a round metal thing all over me listening to my heart and lungs.

She then told mom and dad that I have a congestive heart failure (I have always has a heart murmur).

As she explained what this meant to them, they looked as if they were going to cry. She told them “no more walks or running, just keep him as comfortable as possible.”

She gave them three pills for me to take. The two little ones are no problem, but the bigger one that I could normally eat with my food is tough because I’m not eating much. So mom has to try to get it in my mouth and get it to go down.

I’ve enjoyed writing to you all these years, and hope I still can for a few more months at least.

By the way, the nice lady is Marianne Regnier, DVM at Ventura Veterinary Hospital.

•   A dog food product sold nationwide is being recalled due to a potential health risk.

Blue Buffalo Company voluntarily recalled some of its BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs. The company says the product could have elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones.

Ingesting high levels of beef thyroid hormones could cause weight loss, increase heart rate, restlessness and increased thirst and urination in dogs. Long-term effects include vomiting, diarrhea and rapid or difficult breathing.

The FDA says it has taken one report of a dog showing symptoms. That dog has now fully recovered.

The affected products have the UPC code 840243101153 and a best by date of June 7, 2019. If you have the product at home, the FDA says to stop feeding it to your pet, and contact your veterinarian.

For more information on the recall, visit the Blue Buffalo website.

•   Even though most everybody loves cute animals (especially dogs)some bosses still don’t understand why they should be in the work place.

Fearing  litigation from  allergy sufferers,  personal injury claims to those that just don’t like animals (hard to believe) are just some of the reasons  that company leaders might be skeptical of joining the dog-friendly office trend.

Is there a way to persuade him or her to allow pets to hang out with you at work?

Maybe this will help. New research from Central Michigan University offers a reason for dog-friendly offices.

The study had groups complete short tasks that involve creativity and cooperation, such as coming up with a fictional 15-second ad, and see how having a dog present for the experiment affects outcomes.

It seems that dogs are great for collaboration. Both the participants themselves and outside experts who rated the videotaped tasks said that adding a dog to the mix made people more trusting and more helpful. In short, just having a dog around seems to do wonders for teamwork.

“When people work in teams, the presence of a dog seems to act as a social lubricant,” said lead author Steve Colarelli . “Dogs seem to be beneficial to the social interactions of teams.”

Why do dogs have such wonderful impact on how we treat each other? The answer offered by the researchers will come as no surprise to most pet owners–it seems that having animals nearby just makes us happier, and people who feel better tend to be nicer.

So if your boss is not sold on opening your office to canine companions, you might want to show him this study. And if you need to apply a little more pressure, earlier research showing that dogs also reduce stress, or this useful post from my colleague Christine Lagorio-Chafkin on overcoming objections to dog-friendly offices might also be helpful. My boss even lets me sleep with him.

•   There are a few new state laws regarding animals that I would like to share with you:

“As long as you call authorities first you won’t be held legally liable for breaking into a car with an animal trapped in the car in heat or cold .”  Not sure what authorities need to be called so this may be more symbolic than anything else.  And how the authorities decide if breaking in is warranted?

“Dog kennels and pet hotels (I would like to stay in a hotel if they serve food) must check on animals once each day (is that enough?) and provide elevated platforms for cat and enclosures.” What? Why do cats get such special privileges? Savana never even wags her tail.

“Carbon monoxide gas chambers are banned in animal shelters for killing animals .” Shouldn’t all forms be banned? Why just this method?

“A dog involved in criminal fighting will no longer  automatically be labeled “vicious “which leads to it being killed .  These dogs will be evaluated to see whether it can be rehabilitated to safely reenter society or be placed in a facility.”  I think those who present criminal fighting should automatically be labeled “vicious “which leads to them being killed.

Vol. 10, No. 12 – March 15 – March 28, 2017 – Professor Scamp PhD

(Jaime) This is a wonderful drawing of my friend Gus by Jaime Baker. If you want a nice drawing  of a dog or person text Jaime at 805-794-1808 or email him at

•   The Canine Adoption and Rescue League(CARL) has announced an expanded Pooch Parade and is now accepting walker and vendor registrations for the 20th Annual Pooch Parade and Pet Expo.

The Pooch Parade is C.A.R.L.’s largest fundraiser of the year, and a major touchstone for the local rescue community. The day begins with a charity walk that leads into a large festival celebrating pets. Dozens of animal rescues, non-profits, and vendors are expected to exhibit at the beachside event.

The fundraiser is greatly expanded for its 20th consecutive year. C.A.R.L. has moved the Pet Expo to Shoreline Drive, adjacent to Surfer’s Point , the Expo has been restructured with a focus on broadening its appeal.

“The Pooch Parade is about raising funds, but it’s also about raising awareness for the plight of rescue animals,” commented C.A.R.L. President Mary Saputo.

Beer and wine will be served at the Expo for the first time, and contests, games, and activities are planned for kids.

The Pooch Parade is on May 7. To learn more about the event, register for the charity walk, or register as an exhibitor, visit

Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) is a 501c3 registered non-profit, no-kill, all-breed dog rescue and sanctuary. Since 1996, C.A.R.L. has rescued and placed thousands of unwanted, sick, abandoned, and homeless dogs. Dogs in the adoption program are placed in pre-screened, loving and secure homes.


Sheriff Geoff Dean, Senior Deputy Shawn Pewsey, Captain Randy Downard, Tara Diller, Director-VC Animal Services, Donna Gillesby, Deputy Director-VC Animal Services, Commander Ron Nelson and  Assistant Sheriff Eric Dowd at Todd Road Jail.

•   This brought a smile to my face for sure. February 28th was the greatest day ever for inmates and their new best friends. A day that had been in the works for nearly two years! The day Pivot brought their first dogs into Todd Road Jail. Rusty, Brando, Lipit, and Chance all arrived and were met by the Ventura County Sheriff Office officers and others. The team of employees at VCSO & Todd Road Jail Facility have embraced Pivot’s canine educational outreach program.

The day was amazing from the moment the dogs were removed from the transport van and escorted to the lush green grass of the newly installed play yard. They were introduced to the staff, posed for a few pictures and then were greeted by their inmate friends. The morning was filled with smiles and tears of joy.

It takes courage to believe in second chances. Pivot’s program is designed for second chances, a win-win for both humans and “last chance” dogs.

Pivot’s  mission is to encourage Individuals to find their voice through innovative animal literacy based programs that are designed to develop personal and vocational skills by becoming responsible, productive members of the community. Each individual student learns patience, compassion and responsibility by caring for, training, and finding forever homes for last chance shelter animals.

Check them out at or call 889-4800.

R.I.P. dear Ruckus

Ruckus, 3 years old, died tragically on Harbor Boulevard when he ran into the street.
Beloved by many, missed by many.

Vol. 10, No. 11 – March 1 – March 14, 2017 – Professor Scamp PhD

•   Haole, Ventura’s surfing dog, will ride with Grand Marshal Mary Osborne when the St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches up Main St. on Saturday, March 11. Haole, an 8-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, wowed hundreds of thousands attending the 2017 Rose Parade as well as millions more watching on TV with his surfing skills on a float equipped with a wave machine. Haole, whose name is pronounced “Howl-ie” lets John and Kim Murphy live with him.

I am practicing dry runs getting ready for my surfing debut except that I even hate taking baths so I may never make it into the water.

•   JFK Airport has debuted some of The Ark at JFK, the airport’s much-ballyhooed luxury pet terminal. The Equine & Livestock Export Center and Aviary In-Transit Quarantine, along with the “Pet Oasis.

While the first two have very specific purposes the Pet Oasis is intended as more of an all-purpose animal wellness center.

The center is amazing and offers veterinary care and basic services, provide information on travel requirements for pets, customs clearances and quarantines, making sure animals get on the right flights, along with things like micro-chipping, check-ups when animals arrive at JFK, and premium service individual animal reports available including photograph and information on activity.

•   I have fresh appreciation for us dogs sniffing behavior, after reading a new book(of course I can read if I can write) “Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell,” by Alexandra Horowitz, a professor of cognitive science who runs the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College.

In it, she explains the elegant engineering of the dog’s olfactory (I’ve never worked in a factory)system and how familiar canine behaviors like licking, sneezing and tail-wagging have associations with smell.

Her dog is Finn (short for Finnegan)an affable, glossy black 9-year-old mixed breed.

“There are many ways to sniff, and the human method is not the best,” Dr. Horowitz said. Sniff researchers (ya really) have found that people have about six million olfactory receptors and  dogs have 300 million(so we win that contest). Humans sniff once per 1.5 seconds and dogs, five to 10 times a second.”

“They even exhale better than we do(another win for us),” Dr. Horowitz continued, describing a sort of doggy yoga breath. Dogs exhale through the side slits of their nostrils, so they keep a continuous flow of inhaled air in their snout for smelling. “This gives them a continuous olfactory view of the world.”

“Dog sniffs are designed to send odor-carrying air along its length”, she said, “humidifying, warming and cleaning it along the way to the back of the nose (maybe to our tails also which is why mine is curved).”

•   by Victoria Usher

World-class dog breeders are planning on gathering together in Shanghai for The World Dog Show in 2019 where they will show off their greyhounds, Great Danes, cocker spaniels, etc. to a large audience.

The World Dog Show has been hosted in a different city every year since 1971. Activists (and me) are against having The World Dog Show in China because of the annual Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival that China has in the city of Yulin every year. Somewhere around 10,000 dogs are slaughtered at this dog meat festival for human consumption.

Activists are standing up and saying (and barking) that unless the Chinese government stops the Yulin festival completely The World Dog Show should be held somewhere else.

There are also some people who feel that having the dog show in Shanghai is a good idea because it could raise more attention and awareness to companion animals and hopefully help establish laws that will protect animals.

SPAN lost a beloved member of their family recently with the passing of Gizmo . They are all grieving. They have renamed their donation fund the Gizmo fund. He was the perfect mascot and is deeply missed.