Category Archives: The Pet Page

Vol. 10, No. 3 – Nov 8 – Nov 21, 2017 – The Pet Page

Thank you to Chuck Bowman for once again providing his services as maybe the best Santa in town!

The Humane Society of Ventura County’s annual Santa Paws holiday photo shoot is almost upon us. On Sunday, Nov. 19, the Ventura Beach Marriott will host the popular event, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two weeks later, on Sunday, Dec. 3, the HSVC Shelter will host a second Santa Paws pet photo shoot, also from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shelter event will additionally feature a marketplace, where you can get some holiday shopping done while you wait, from the many local vendors who’ll be on hand selling quality goods. Plus, the shelter event will once again include its popular bake sale, where delicious handmade goodies will be available to purchase for your enjoyment. All proceeds from these events benefit the animals of the HSVC.

Adults and children are welcome to pose in their pets’ photos – with or without Santa. The shelter will have many festive pet costumes to doll up your pets if you are in the mood. In addition to cats and dogs, pocket pets, reptiles, rabbits and birds are all welcome!

Holiday photo shoot packages start at $30 and include five to 10 images. For a larger donation, you also will have access to some wonderful HSVC keepsakes, including a 2018 HSVC calendar. All images will be provided on-site on USB flash drives.

For over 30 years, the Humane Society of Ventura County Santa Paws has been providing high-quality holiday family portraits for county residents and beyond. “Having helped with Santa Paws since 1990, I can tell you this is one very fun event – and it’s especially fun for us to see the families grow through the years,” said Greg Cooper, HSVC Director of Community Outreach and official photographer for the event.

• “Piglet,” a six-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog, is rigorously trained and certified to find human remains on land and in water. Each year Piglet and handler, Lori Wells spend hundreds of hours training, testing, and answering the call of duty for law enforcement agencies in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. At nearly 7 years old, Piglet has built a reputation as an unparalleled search resource. Read more about her in the next Ventura Breeze.

Four-footed “ghosts,” “spirits” and all manner of costumed canines paraded through Ventura Harbor Village on Saturday, October 21 as the 5th Annual Ventura Harbor Village HOWL-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest was held. Alyssa Clark and Tootsie, a 7 pound Chihuahua/Poodle/Yorkie mix were one of the winners. Tootsie is just over one year old and is dressed as a bundle of grapes with her own wine. Tootsie is too young to drink.


On October 28 the Pierpont Racquet Club held their 1st Annual Pooch Costume Parade. Dogs of all shapes and colors were entered as they paraded through the Club and were sure not to bark in order to not distract the players. Fun prizes and refreshments for pooches and their buddies were provided.

Vol. 10, No. 2 – Oct 25 – Nov 7, 2017 – The Pet Page

“Now that I have herded these wild animals at the Highland Games I can take a nap”

•  The Herman Bennett Foundation is having their 4th Annual “Haunted Dinner, Magic, and Dancing” at the Bard Mansion October 28, from 6:00 pm – 10:00pm.

This fundraiser is to support these dog programs:

Help Military Dogs with their medical needs when they return from service

Ventura Police K-9 Unit (not paid for by the City)

Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) Camarillo Shelter, a “No Kill” shelter

Vouchers for Low income families Spay/Neuter (cats & dogs) & Feral cats

Support of Animal Rescue Groups

This exclusive fundraising event has grown in both popularity and exposure over the past 3 years.

The event is held at the Historic Bard Mansion on the Port Hueneme Naval Base. It includes a formal sit down dinner, wine and beverages, Magician Bob Bolivar, Ghost Hunters Richard & Debbie Senate, live music by CosoLive, laughs provided by comedian Jason Love, a charity raffle and so much more!

“Walking of the dogs on the Promenade” by Murray Robertson.

Tickets are $140 each, 6 or more tickets are only $100 each.

Call 445-7171 to reserve or visit our website:

Sponsorship opportunities may still be available! See website for details.

•  Many humans aren’t aware of the Halloween dangers to their loving pets. All that candy might be lethal for pet dogs and cats. They can’t metabolize candy like humans.

Chocolates contain caffeine and a compound called theobromine, which can be toxic in certain doses to both dogs and cats. Cats (poor things)can’t taste sweet so aren’t necessarily as drawn to chocolate as dogs. Theobromine is more concentrated in darker chocolates so that type is particularly bad.

Symptoms of eating chocolate are vomiting, diarrhea, trembling and hyperactivity.

Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in some sugarless gums and candies can cause hypoglycemia, seizures and even liver failure in dogs. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning can include vomiting, weakness and lack of coordination.

It important to keep candy secured in a location above the animal’s reach and make sure they aren’t there when you spread it out all over the floor.

Wrappers can also be a problem for pets, especially for cats that love to play with them

Many pet stores stock up on safe seasonal and Halloween treats so check them out.

•  A tribute to Mom Cat by Cappi Patterson.

My precious little feral whom I fed for 10 years … she walked down the
block with me at night to her feeding place … meowing and holding her
tail straight up as she pranced along.
Mom Cat was killed by a hit and run driver.
Rest in Peace, Mom Cat. You were very loved.

•  There have now been a total of 7 SDF (National Disaster Search Dog Foundation) trained Search Teams deployed to Mexico City for the earthquake that struck the region and another 5 SDF Teams in Puerto Rico to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The two- and four-legged rescuers that have deployed to help them are well-trained and prepared for whatever they may face. We wish them luck in their rescue operations and know that these teams will do all that they can to help those in need.

•  Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer death in New Zealand largely because it is often detected late, but now Waikato University researchers believe dogs could be the key to saving lives (just another wonderful thing that dogs can do).

Dr Tim Edwards and his team are training pet dogs, including his own dog Tui, to sniff breath and saliva samples from the Waikato District Health board’s respiratory clinic.

“We will bring those breath and saliva samples into the lab and will have the dogs here evaluate those samples and see if they can tell us which ones are cancer positive and which ones are cancer negative,” stated Dr. Edwards.

Sensitive snouts are a well-known weapon in biosecurity, rescue operations and bomb detection.

And studies even suggest dogs may be able to sniff out even the lowest concentrations of aromatic compounds that come from tumors.

Here the focus will be on people with suspected lung cancer – one of New Zealand’s biggest killers.

“When the dogs sniff they are breaking an infrared beam and if they don’t like what’s in there, if it’s negative, they activate this switch which goes to the next sample, and if their nose stays in and breaks the beam for long enough it’s considered a positive sample and it’s treat time,” Dr Edwards said.

“The promise this technology brings is quick and cheap cancer detection solutions.”

Dr Edwards says one of the first things people ask him is what are the dogs smelling.

“They’re probably actually smelling a whole bouquet of compounds, and each dog’s definition is likely to be a bit different.”

He is using a range of pet dogs. “It’s not about the breed, as all dogs have ridiculously sensitive olfaction. It’s about their temperament and willingness to work,” he said.

Vol. 10, No.1 – Oct 11 – Oct 24, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  Scamp didn’t make it to this anniversary issue, but if he had we are sure this is what he would have said.

I wrote for the Ventura Breeze for over nine years and enjoyed every minute of it. I was just a puppy when I started (about 30 years old in doggy years).

I want to thank my remarkable publisher-editor for giving me the opportunity to write for the Breeze after graduating from Furry State University in journalism. My mom wanted me to be a K9, but I felt that I was too small for the job.

Thanks to my great readers, Scampclub members, and Savana for leaving me alone while I was working at the computer. And for those of you that voted for me as President. Don’t you wish that I had won? And especially the advertisers that supported my page and continue to do so.

I am proud to have presented so many animals for adoption and for the many that were adopted.

My Scampclub members included dogs, cats, birds, a pig and even an elephant.

Doggy heaven is real nice. They feed us whatever we want, take us on long walks, and there are a lot of cute female French poodles for me to sniff. Fire hydrants are all over the place but I don’t use them.

I hope that you still enjoy reading the Pet Page but probably miss my funny little comments.

I miss you all and hope that you are doing well and am glad that the Pet Page continues in my memory.

•  The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) opened the nation’s very first facility designed specifically for disaster search dogs and their handlers on September 23, 2017. Using 21 years of collective deployment experience gathered from canine disaster search teams and experts across the country, the National Training Center now gives former shelter dogs a place to call home while they transform into search dogs. It also provides search teams with experience in deployment simulations before they ever set foot at the site of a disaster.

Located in the foothills of Santa Paula (it seems like Ventura), the National Training Center provides unique training props, including: a large rubble pile that simulates debris similar to the World Trade Center; Search City, a mini urban “town” that allows teams to search inside and outside of damaged buildings; and even a train wreck consisting of three decommissioned train cars.

SDF recruits, trains and provides Search Dogs at no cost to Search and Rescue Task Forces. Ongoing Advanced Training support is also provided. SDF has a lifetime care commitment, assuring all SDF dogs, even those unable to complete training, will be provided a loving home throughout their lives.

Vol. 10, No. 26 – Sept 27 – Oct 10, 2017 – The Pet Page

•SPAN Thrift Store 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, October 13th.

Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

•Who Let the Dogs Out 5K on Sat. Oct. 7, 4-8 pm in the Ventura Harbor.

Calling all runners for the 1st annual Who Let The Dogs Out 5K. 100% of net proceeds goes towards the Ventura Police Department K9 Unit. Specifically, the money will be used to purchase medical insurance for all of the VPD K9’s. The VPD K9 Unit is not covered by taxpayer funding and relies exclusively on fundraisers and donations.

The 5K is more of an adventure race as it is run on the sand in Ventura Harbor at sunset! All participants will receive a free event shirt, post-race meal provided by the Harbor Cove Cafe, live music, and a beautiful oceanfront course on the sand. There will also be over 30 vendor booths, good food, and family fun! See the ad in this issue for more information.

•One of the most difficult tasks veterinarians must perform is telling people when their pets have a serious disease, especially when the owner has recently experienced the loss of a loved one, says veterinarian Sean Owens, a professor of clinical pathology at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Research published in the Veterinary Record found pet owners caring for a sick animal have elevated stress levels, general symptoms of depression and anxiety, and poor quality of life similar to people caring for sick human loved ones. It didn’t take research to discover this.

•A bill requiring pet stores to only sell certain rescue animals could make California the first state to do such a thing as the legislation headed to Gov. Brown’s desk Thursday.

California could be the first in the country to ban the sale of animals from puppy mills or mass breeding operations. Animal rights groups cheered the bill, which was written by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach).

Private breeders would still be allowed to sell dogs, cats and rabbits directly to people, but pet stores would be required to work with shelters and rescue operations to sell those same animals.

The bill would also require the stores to keep public records that show where each dog, cat or rabbit came from. A violation would mean a $500 fine.

Supporters of the legislation said it will encourage families and individuals to work with breeders or adopt pets in shelters as well as ensure the animals are healthy and sold humanely.

But not everyone supports the bill. Dustin Siggins, director of communications for Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, said businesses could lose money or even their livelihood if the law is enacted. He also said some consumers are worried they won’t have protections that pet stores can offer.

Thirty-six cities in California, including Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco already have similar bans in place, but no statewide bans exist.

•Meet the dogs of Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai.

“Taz, can you sit down? Do you want a treat?” said Ernie Rogers, an inmate at Wildwood, to his dog, Taz. “Can you sit? Can you give me a paw?”

He and staff said having Taz around for the past seven months has made Rogers more patient, calm, and responsible. He said he’s even kept his cool at the most trying times, like when the dog accidentally broke the TV he saved up for 6 months to buy.

It was frustrating, but he knew 114-pound Taz didn’t mean it, so he learned to forgive.

The new friendship is helping Rodgers counteract the effects of his negative childhood.

The Special Pet Obedience and Training program started at Wildwood in 2013.

The dogs are rescue animals, and inmates pay for the animal’s food and medical care themselves by selling things like food and personal items to other inmates through internal organizations.

Most research on dog training programs in prisons, including a large analysis published in the Prison Journal, shows that they have positive impacts on inmate behavior and help them increase their self-control.

That’s the effect dog training had on Jonathan Norton, who learned to work with the animals when he was an inmate at an Arizona prison years ago and is one of the main trainers at Wildwood.

“I come with a positive approach regardless of how the person is coming at me,” Norton said. “Then, it’s very less likely that anything negative will happen.”

Wildwood superintendent Shannon McCloud started the program because she wanted to keep people busy, and she loves dogs.

She said having them around makes everyone happy, including the staff. She’s seen how the dogs can completely transform inmates, which improves the overall environment in the prison.

“I mean they’re so respectful because they don’t want to lose the dog,” she said. “They’re very good with staff. Very tuned in with the dog. They know the life the dog has had probably wasn’t good, and they want to make their life better.”

Research supports McCloud’s observations, too. Though studies on the programs have limits because of the small sample sizes and few control groups, they found that dog training in prisons reduces recidivism and improves the behavior of long-term prisoners.

In recent weeks, a total of 26 SDF (Search Dog Foundation)trained Search Teams from across the country responded to hurricanes and the deadly earthquake near Mexico City.

•We don’t usually think of adorable puppies as disease carriers but they might actually be making people sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a Campylobacter outbreak in people and its link to puppies purchased from a chain of pet stores.

According to the CDC, at least 39 people across seven states have confirmed or suspected cases of Campylobacter bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. While the investigation is ongoing, federal officials have linked it to contact with puppies sold by Petland, a chain of pet stores based in Ohio.

Twelve of the confirmed cases are in Petland employees, and 27 other people who fell ill either visited a Petland, recently purchased a puppy there, or visited or live in a home with a Petland puppy. According to the CDC’s announcement, nine people have been hospitalized and there are no reported deaths.

Petland is cooperating with officials in the investigation. In a statement, the company writes, “The CDC has not identified any failures of Petland’s operating system that would lead to any Campylobacter infection.” The company says that accordance with the CDC’s advice, they will continue their efforts to encourage handwashing after contact with puppies.

While the exact cause of this outbreak is not known, there are a few possible reasons the puppies could be sick. Shelley Rankin, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, says that the biggest risk factor is that they’re puppies. Like small children, puppies don’t have a strong immune system and can more easily get sick. Rankin says that she’s seen many outbreak investigations, and it can be difficult to pin down the exact cause.

Vol. 10, No. 25 – Sept 13 – Sept 26, 2017 – The Pet Page

• A fund raiser for Ventura Police K9 officers’ medical insurance will be held on October 7, 4 to 8pm at the Harbor Cove Café and on the beach. (1867 Spinnaker way at the end). Vendors, raffles, live music ,food and fun for all including the Sunset Glow family fun run, walk, or crawl 5K on the beach. Be sure to visit the Ventura Breeze booth and get a free tennis ball for your dog (or cat).

• The SPAN Thrift Store 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, September 15th.

Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

Scamp gave herding a try but the sheep just laughed at him.

• New research attempts to answer the question whether sleeping with your furry friend(2) is a bad idea for a good night’s sleep.

While some argue that the doggy snoring will ruin their sleep, others love nothing more than a nighttime cuddle with their buddy. However, science may now have resolved the matter, with a new study suggesting that sleeping with your pet can actually help you get a good night’s sleep.

More than 40 million American households have dogs, with 63% of them considering man’s best friend to also be one of the family. However, no matter how much we love our dogs, that doesn’t allow automatic access into the bedroom.

With this in mind, researchers at the Mayo Clinic decided to look into the effect of dogs on sleep quality, recruiting 40 healthy adults without a sleep disorder to take part with their pets.

Both the participants and their dogs were asked (the dogs were asked?)to wear activity trackers to track their sleeping habits for seven nights when they slept in the same bedroom.

The team found that regardless of the size of the dog, sleeping with a furry friend “in the room” helped some people sleep better.

However, having a dog “on the bed” didn’t have the same effect, finding that those who let their canines get too cozy did it at the expense of a good night’s sleep.

“The relationship between people and their pets has changed over time, which is likely why many people in fact do sleep with their pets in the bedroom,” stated Dr. Krahn of the Mayo Clinic. “Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home. Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”

• Extracted from article by Cesar Millan:

Intelligent and energetic, Border collies are champion herders — but they aren’t for everyone when it comes to ideal dogs.

All modern Border collies originate from one dog, Old Hemp, who was born in 1893 and sired over 200 offspring. The name comes right from their origins: The border part comes from where they were initially bred in Northumberland, on the border of Scotland and England; the collie part comes from the Celtic word colley, meaning useful or faithful.

Herding dogs originated with the Romans, who brought them to the British Isles, but since the original dogs were from Northern Africa, they couldn’t handle the cold as well. Eventually, invading Vikings bred their dogs with the existing crosses between larger Roman and smaller British dogs. By the 16th century, these cross-breedings had led to various herding dogs, such as the rough collie, Shetland sheepdog, and bearded collie.

They are incredibly intelligent and are often listed among the smartest breeds of dog. They can learn to understand a large number of words, as well as hand gestures and whistles. The downside, of course, is that they can become easily bored or frustrated if they don’t receive proper mental stimulation. More than breed groups, herding dogs need jobs in order to feel fulfilled, which is why things like agility or herding training can be so useful for them.

Because of their skills at learning human words for objects quickly, Border collies have been studied by linguists, who have determined that they have communication skills that even our closest primate relatives don’t. The Border collie Chaser is said to have the largest vocabulary of any non-human animal, at a thousand words.

Border collies are famous for the “crouch” and the “stare” — their ability to move while staying low to the ground, and the intense look they will give to the animals they’re herding in order to control them. And if you have a Border collie, you may have found yourself the subject of the stare at some point, particularly if you were eating.

They’re not just for herding. Border collies can also excel at doing search and rescue work, as therapy dogs, and as… “goose masters,” trained to chase away geese, such as used at the University of Northern Florida.

The breed has been popular with royalty and celebrities over the years.

Vol. 10, No. 24 – Aug 30 – Sept 12, 2017 – The Pet Page

• Dog friendly downtown restaurants. Between Ventura Ave. and Fir and Poli and Thompson
Winchesters Grill & Saloon
Fluid State
Ventiki Tiki Lounge
SavoryThai Cuisine
Snapper Jacks Taco Shack
Rumfish Y Vino
Paradise Pantry- tables on sidewalk
Taqueria Vallarta
El Ray Cantina
Capriccio-on sidewalk
Coconut Crab
Grapes & Hops
Busy Bee- tables on sidewalk
Cafe Fiore
Pizza Man Dan
The Tavern
Tonys Pizzeria
Banzai Marina
Barrel House101
The Habit
Sandbox Coffee
Steak & Hoagie
Harvest Cafe
Amigos Cantina
Natures Grill- tables on sidewalk
TAJ- on sidewalk
Jimmy’s Slice- tables on sidewalk

• SPAN Thrift Store 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, September 15th. Please call to schedule an appointment 584-3823.

Also in the Albert Soliz Library parking lot on August 31.
2820 Jourdan St. Oxnard

The Bouvier des Flandres is a herding dog.

• Sept.25 until Oct.1-Bouvier des Flandres Dog Club show at the San Miguel Hall at Seaside Park. for more information.

• Well-trained guide dogs are important for visually impaired people who rely on them. But many puppies bred to be guide dogs flunk out of training programs.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests the way a puppy’s mother raises it may be the key to the dog’s success, or failure. A research team at the University of Pennsylvania found that puppies destined for guide dog training are more likely to fail if they’re coddled by their mothers.

“Surprisingly, there’s not a lot of research about mothering behavior in dogs,” says lead author Emily Bray.

Past studies on rodents and primates have found that, in general, active mothering is better than no mothering. “So, on one hand, we’d think ‘Yes, you need your mother. Mothering should be a good thing.’ But for guide dogs, the mothers are with their puppies in the pen 24/7. So then the question becomes ‘What exactly is beneficial?’ ”

The answer, at least for guide dogs, appears to be what Bray describes as a hands-off style. (Or, paws-off style?)

Showing a dog at a Seaside Park dog event by Murray Robertson.

They found that among the 98 puppies they studied, the actively-mothered ones were more likely to fail a guide dog training program later.

How mothers nurse their puppies also affected how puppies performed. The mothers will either lie down to nurse, or sit or stand up. If the mother dog is sitting or standing, “she’s further from the puppy.

The training for guide dogs teaches and selects for a very specific set of skills. “You’re looking for dogs that are very compliant, very, very relaxed, not at all thrown off by any kind of strange occurrences,” says Clive Wynne, a professor of psychology at Arizona State .

The dogs also need to be “sufficiently driven to learn and tackle tasks,” says Bray, and capable of limited disobedience in order to, for example, disobey a command that would put their handler in danger.

Bray thinks that one reason hands-off mothering is associated with more of these traits could be that the little challenges in puppyhood prepare them for the bigger challenges of being a guide dog.

Another possibility is that maternal stress could affect puppy development. Previous research has found higher levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol in dogs with more active parenting behaviors.

Still another possibility is that specific mothering behaviors may not be the primary cause of the observations. It may be more about genetics. The authors point out that high-performing guide dogs are chosen to breed.

Wynne, who was not involved with the research, thinks the findings shouldn’t be applied broadly, even to other working dogs. “I think what we have here is a special effect of working with guide dog populations, and not necessarily true of all dogs or all animals,” he says. Two previous studies on military working dogs and other dogs have found the opposite effect: that more anxious mothers produce more successful offspring in those contexts.

He thinks research like this might help increase the effectiveness and efficiency of training. “So, it’s very powerful and useful,” he says.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

• How can pet dogs exercise their sense of smell? “Take a smell walk with them.” Dr. Horowitz said. “Let them lead the way and smell and linger. Let them sniff each other. There’s a pleasure for owners in letting a dog be a dog, to acknowledge their dogness. They put up with a lot of our humanness.”

Vol. 10, No. 23 – Aug 16 – Aug 29, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  At the end of a road
By Mary-Jo Murphy

“Does anyone want a dog? Tim’s going to shoot that Border Collie.”

I was on a road trip, 40 miles off Highway 80 in Nevada, wandering around a historic site where Mark Twain had tried his hand at silver mining. The woman was delivering mail and an opportunity that changed my life.

Tim, in turn, promised not shoot her.

Tim lived in a run-down trailer. Tragically widowed months before when his wife died in an off-road vehicle accident, he already had two Border Collies when his stepdaughter abandoned another. Tim’s work took him away for days at a time. The one-year old pup was more than an inconvenience, and it was clear that arranging a rescue was beyond this grieving man.

Another dog was the last thing on my mind. Back home, I had only Karl, a Shepherd-Pitt Bull mix. I was in no hurry to fill the emptiness left by Pumpkin, a goofy, willful Labrador.

I can’t be responsible for every dog in trouble, I told myself as I reluctantly made my way across the dirt road, biscuit in hand. I was prepared to resist. After all, not all dogs are a match.

Approaching the chain-linked enclosure I noticed her nose was bloody. Tim explained, somewhat annoyed, that the doomed dog had just gotten into the garbage. I concluded she had found the trash preferable to the contents of her food bowl, a combination of unnatural shades.

Classically beautiful, her brown eyes made intense contact that I was later to learn was natural for the breed. I spoke quietly to her, offering the treat through the fence. She showed no interest.

Her gaze remained strong, but she offered no response to my overtures. Taken by her elegance but torn by reluctance, hers and mine, I reached my fingers between the metal fence. I wanted to touch her, to reassure her that though I might not be her liberator, I was at least friendly.

As I did, she moved close to my outstretched hand, resting her neck contentedly against my welcoming caress.
“I can’t take her now. I’ll come back for her. I promise.”
Tim, in turn, promised not shoot her.

All the way to Cheyenne, anxious thoughts filled my brain. At the first opportunity, I called Tim. “Is she still there? I am coming back for her.”
Tears of relief filled my eyes as I heard his monotone reply.
“She’s here.”

A week later, on the deserted road toward Unionville, I felt jumpy. What if Tim hadn’t kept his promise? What if…?

Ten years later the what-ifs still echo. What if I hadn’t decided to explore Samuel Clemens’ historical site? What if I had arrived a few hours later? What if the postal woman hadn’t been delivering her mail at that exact moment? What if Sam hadn’t been there at the end of the road, wagging her tail, joyfully greeting me on my return?
No need to ask. We forever dog owners know how this works.

• With National Homeless Animals Day approaching and the cost of owning a pet ranging from $227 to more than $2,000, depending on the type of animal, WalletHub (A website)took an in-depth look at 2017’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities.

In order to determine where Americans’ furry and slimy companions can enjoy the best quality of life without breaking the bank, WalletHub’s analysts compared the creature-friendliness of the 100 largest cities across 21 key metrics. The data set ranges from minimum pet-care provider rate per visit to pet businesses per capita to walkability.

Most Pet-Friendly Cities Least Pet-Friendly Cities
1 Scottsdale, AZ 91 Charlotte, NC
2 Phoenix, AZ 92 Anchorage, AK
3 Tampa, FL 93 Philadelphia, PA
4 San Diego, CA 94 Buffalo, NY
5 Orlando, FL 95 Santa Ana, CA
6 Birmingham, AL 96 Boston, MA
7 Austin, TX 97 New York, NY
8 Cincinnati, OH 98 Honolulu, HI
9 Atlanta, GA 99 Baltimore, MD
10 Las Vegas, NV 100 Newark, NJ
Key Stats
Columbus, Ohio, has the lowest average veterinary care costs (per visit), $33.25, which is 2.5 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $84.47.

Miami, Florida, has the most veterinarians (per square root of population), 88 times more than in Newark, New Jersey, the city with the fewest.

St. Paul, Minnesota, has the lowest monthly dog-insurance premium, $33.71, which is 2.4 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at $80.78.

San Francisco, California, has the most pet businesses (per square root of population), 23 times more than in Laredo, Texas the city with the fewest.
Of course Ventura would have been number one if we were a bigger city!

To view the full report and your city’s rank, please visit:

• Biggest Adoption Event of 2017! Clear The Shelters
Saturday, August 19, 2017 (10AM – 6PM)
Camarillo Animal Shelter & Simi Valley Animal Shelter
To find homes for every homeless dog and cat!
Each $20 dog and cat adoption comes with $998 worth of services, gifts and coupons. An additional $20 pet license fee may apply.

• Is wagging related to smell?

Yes. Many of a dog’s identifying smells are in the anal glands. Those sacs transmit how a dog is feeling — anxious? playful? — and the essence of who the dog is. To greet one another dogs wag, basically dispensing their personal odors from their rumps.”

Researchers have found that dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors, compared with about six million for humans. No wonder they can smell a hot dog several blocks away.

• On Sunday, September 24, from 9am-noon an Animal Career Fair will be held at Ventura Pet Wellness & Dog Training Center located at 3521 Arundell Circle #B in Ventura. This event is free to the public!

Are you interested in a career with animals but aren’t sure what is available or how to get into the field? Attend the Animal Career Fair where you can meet animal professionals from different fields and ask questions about their careers.

Vol. 10, No. 22 – Aug 2 – Aug 15, 2017 – The Pet Page

•  Estella had her successful surgery yesterday and is recovering nicely. She is still at VetSurg, but will go home with her foster mom tomorrow for full recuperation.

We raised the needed $6,000 … thanks in huge part to The Breeze. Money poured in from your readers ……. you are truly a Buddy Nation Angel! THANK YOU!

Estella sends you a big sloppy kiss … the rest of us send you hugs.

Cappi Patterson

•  VA Doberman Study

by Victoria Usher

Recently, The West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center decided to halt planning for tests on narcoleptic dogs. The experiment would have involved giving antidepressants or methamphetamine to eighteen narcoleptic Dobermans. The Dobermans would have been killed after they were given the drugs and then studied to see how the drugs had affected the production of histamines in their brains.

An animal rights group known as White Coat Waste Project heard about this appalling experiment and discussed it further with lawmakers. After much discussion about it being completely unnecessary and inhumane we should all be happy to hear that it looks like the experiment is no longer going to happen!

•  What makes dogs so friendly? Study finds genetic link to super-outgoing people

by Elizabeth PennisiJul

It’s one of the biggest perks of being a dog owner: Your pooch is thrilled when you come home, wagging its tail, wiggling its body, and licking you with its tongue. Now, scientists say they have pinned down the genetic basis of this affection. Using clues from humans with a genetic disorder that makes them unusually friendly, the team found variations in several genes that make dogs more affable than wolves and some dogs friendlier than others.

The study shows that the genetics of dog behavior “might be even more relevant for understanding genetics of human behavior than we once thought,” says Per Jensen, a behavioral geneticist from Linköping University in Sweden who was not involved with the research.

Over the past decade, geneticists have discovered the DNA involved in key dog traits, such as size and coat variation. Some DNA seems linked to personality, and one study showed that dogs and humans enforce their bonds by gazing at each other. But few studies have pinned particular behaviors to specific genes. “There’s been a remarkable explosion of studies, with the exception of behavioral studies,” says Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved with the work.

Seven years ago, Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and Princeton University geneticist Bridgett vonHoldt joined forces to link genes to a behavioral trait they think was pivotal to dog domestication: hypersociability. Researchers already know that dogs are hypersocial compared with wolves, and the team confirmed this by comparing the behavior of 18 dogs—some purebreds, others mixed breeds—with 10 captive, hand-raised wolves at a research and education institute in Indiana. As others had shown, the dogs were much friendlier than the wolves, even though the wolves had been raised by people. Both hand-raised wolves and dogs greet human visitors, but dogs continue to interact with people much longer than wolves do, even when visited by a stranger.

“The study is exciting because it provides such strong support for the ‘survival of the friendliest’” hypothesis of dog domestication, says Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “Fear was replaced by friendliness and a new social partner was created.”

“In a sense, this is the first paper discovering the genes related to the high sociability of dogs,” says Takefumi Kikusui, an animal behaviorist at Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan. Humans too have high sociability relative to other primates. “Probably, these two species, namely human and dogs, use the same genes for these social behaviors.”

However, some experts think the study needs to be expanded to more dogs and wolves to be sure of the conclusions. With so few individuals “the associations are at most suggestive at this point,” Jensen says. Kikusui suggests they look for this gene-behavior connection in other populations of dogs and more individuals.

•  From another study:

Being friendly is in dogs’ nature and could be key to how they came to share our lives, say US scientists.

Dogs evolved from wolves tens of thousands of years ago. Dogs were domesticated from wolves between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.

This process began when wolves that were tolerant of humans sneaked into hunter gatherer camps to feed on food scraps. Over the course of history, wolves were eventually tamed and became the dogs we know today, which come in all shapes and sizes. The finding of genetic changes linked to sociability in dogs shows how their friendly behavior might have evolved.

During this time, certain genes that make dogs particularly gregarious have been selected for, according to research. This may give dogs their distinctive personalities, including a craving for human company.

“Our finding of genetic variation in both dogs and wolves provides a possible insight into animal personality, and may even suggest similar genes may have roles in other domestic species .” said Dr Bridgett vonHoldt of Princeton University.

The researchers studied the behavior of domestic dogs, and grey wolves living in captivity. They carried out a number of tests of the animals’ skills at problem-solving and sociability.

These showed that wolves were as good as dogs at solving problems, such as retrieving pieces of sausage from a plastic lunchbox. But captive wolves gave humans only brief attention

Dogs, however, were much more friendly. They spent more time greeting human strangers and gazing at them, while wolves were somewhat aloof (sounds like cats evolved from wolves).

DNA tests found a link between certain genetic changes and behaviors such as attentiveness to strangers or picking up on social cues. Similar changes in humans are associated with a rare genetic syndrome, where people are highly sociable.

The research is published in the journal, Science Advances.

•  Many veterinarians and dog folks may not know about Border Collie collapse, a form of exercise intolerance in Border Collies, Australian Kelpies, and related breeds. Dogs with BCC are normal at rest, but after five to 15 minutes of strenuous exercise, they can develop incoordination and altered mentation.

Two issues of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association featured a study on exercise in dogs with BCC and a survey on observations of dogs with the condition.

“(BCC) is not rare and is a significant problem in the breed,” said lead researcher Dr. Sue Taylor, a professor of small animal medicine at the University of Saskatchewan Western College of Veterinary Medicine, in the newsletter AAHA NEWStat.

The only treatment for BCC is to avoid strenuous exercise, especially in hot weather, as a form of prevention. Exercise should be stopped as soon as a dog shows the first signs of a collapse, and dogs with signs should be cooled.

Vol. 10, No. 21 – July 19 – Aug 1, 2017 – The Pet Page

Search Dog Trapper lived life to the fullest, enjoying every moment, whether searching for survivors after Hurricane Katrina or playing in the backyard swimming pool. This handsome Yellow Lab crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 15 years old on June 22 with his Handler of nearly 13 years, Marshia Hall, by his side.

•The British Veterinary Association reported nearly 11,000 UK pet poisoning incidents last year, with e-cigarette materials high in nicotine as a threat on the rise. Vitamin D tablet poisonings were also up, with rat poison, chocolate and artificial sweeteners also on the list.

We want to thank Cappi Patterson and Mary-Joe Murphy for these wonderful commemorative cups dedicated to Scamp.

•David Krall nearly died after he was infected with Capnocytophaga canimorsus, a rare bacteria that can be transmitted to people from dog saliva, when he was bitten by a neighbor’s dog, and although he’s recovered, he was left with partially amputated toes, hearing loss and other deficits. Krall’s condition, which was plagued by a series of mistakes and misinformation and was complicated by the fact that his spleen had been removed two decades earlier, left him in a medically induced coma for over a week.

•By Victoria Usher

The sense of fair play is an important human trait, but new research suggests that it’s a key behavior for dogs and wolves as well. This new research with wolves suggests that this aversion to unfairness predates the domestication of dogs. Scientists tested similarly raised dogs and wolves that lived in packs. Two animals of each species were placed in adjacent cages, equipped with a buzzer apparatus.

When the dog or wolf pressed it with their paw, both animals got a reward on some occasions. Other times, the dog or wolf doing the task got nothing while the partner did. The key finding was that when the partner got a high value treat, the animal doing the task refused to continue with it. “When the inequity was greatest they stopped working,” said Jennifer Essler, from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. “The fact that the behavior was found in both wolves and dogs helps to overturn the idea that dogs learned this concept because they were domesticated. It makes much more sense to say that this would be something shared from a common ancestor than to say it evolved twice, or to say that it came from domestication.”

Pet dogs are less sensitive to being treated unfairly – probably because of their experience with humans. “I think it’s clear that this is affected by both domestication as well as their life experience with humans because you do see a difference between pet dogs and pack-living dogs,” said Essler.

•Dear Dr. Weldy’s: My fiancé and I have been shopping for a new puppy, but after speaking to some friends of ours, we are blown away at the cost of veterinary care. We don’t think that we’ll move ahead with getting a puppy because the necessary care and surgery costs aren’t in our budget. Why is it so expensive to visit the vet?!


Dear Bremen: I’m so glad you asked! You aren’t wrong, and we sympathize with you — veterinary care is not cheap, and unplanned veterinary care can be financially straining. A simple answer to your question would be to say that your veterinarian is part of a business and businesses need to generate income. But, there’s more that we in the veterinary field would like you to know.

This conversation should be prefaced by saying that everyone at your vet clinic cares about your pet. The hustle and chaos may distract from it, but those individuals are extremely hard working and they’ve dedicated their lives to ensuring the betterment of you and your pet’s lives.

The obvious holds true — veterinary clinics are commercial entities with large utility bills and lots of overhead. Additionally, medications, surgical instruments, x-rays, ultrasounds, etc., all cost a lot of money to purchase and maintain. Most importantly, though, vet clinics charge what they charge so that veterinarians, receptionists, nurses, and support staff can continue to keep pets healthy. What many people don’t understand is that the amount of money that a clinic generates rarely reflects the enormous amounts of work, education, sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears that go into a regular day on the job.

This is well-illustrated by comparing veterinary medicine to human medicine. Veterinarians have very similar training to physicians on the human side — four years of college followed by four years of veterinary school. And many veterinarians go on to specialize, just like medical doctors. That education comes at a price for everyone; vets and physicians graduate with a similar amount of debt (approaching $200,000 for recent graduates). However, veterinarians make anywhere from a quarter to half of what physicians make.

Meanwhile, veterinary nurses and assistants (arguably the hardest working and most caring members of the veterinary team) are also suffering from a large debt-to-income ratio. Though many people are aware of the education required for vets, very few realize that many of the nurses they see at the vet have two-year, and sometimes four-year degrees. Despite their education and on-the-job training, most veterinary nurses make half (at best) of what their human counterparts bring in. The same holds true for all support staff involved. They are all extremely qualified individuals who work very hard to bring you and your animals better lives.

I haven’t pointed all of this out to complain, however. All of us enjoy our work and we’re proud of what we do. We signed up for this. I’ve pointed this out to illustrate that the veterinary team, in many ways, makes a financial sacrifice, so that we can all continue to enjoy the love and fulfillment our animals bring.

Questions for Ask a Vet can be asked either by email to, by regular mail to Dr. Weldy’s Associates, 114 N. Elkhart, P.O. Box 527, Wakarusa, IN 46573, or by visiting the website at