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Beware of Dog Lovers

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Last week I was walking one of my charges, a Blue Nose Pitbull. She was found on the side of the road as a puppy, apparently thrown from a car. Her jaw was broken, an often fatal injury for animals. A good samaritan found her and took her directly to the animal shelter that was literally steps away. Medical care was arranged for and the samaritan who called to check on her each day wound up adopting her.

Just a year old, this little pit bull loves people, and people love her back. Truck drivers pull their horns as they pass, people on the street admire her, and more than one Blue Nose Pitbull owner has stopped to chat and extoll the virtues of this breed.

So last week as I was walking her we came upon a parked car. A woman inside waved me down. She needed directions. My thought process was pretty much non-existent as things happened so fast, but my instincts were going full speed. At first glance I hadn’t liked the looks of the parked car.  I felt less uneasy when I saw that it was a woman inside. She got out of the car when she saw the dog. She loved dogs, she explained. She wanted to say hi.  The dog wanted to greet the woman and wanting her to continue to be well socialized, I let her.  Something still nagged at me though. The woman seemed uninterested in the directions I was giving her. She then explained she was a vet tech. This made me feel a little better. She asked the dog’s name and how old she was. My mind started racing. Should I lie? In the end I told her. I told her because I wanted to just finish the conversation and leave.

The woman now said she was looking for a different destination. She wanted to admire the dog’s “fancy necklace”, meaning her collar and reached for it. She continued to stall for time as I pulled the dog away and we ran all the way down the street, looking back to be sure she did not follow in her car. I’ll not walk that way again.

Dog people love other dog people. We gravitate toward them. We trust them, as if our mutual love of dogs makes them just like us.  That day ends for me right here. I called the police. I filed a report.  Follow your instincts. If you don’t like the looks of another dog person, leave. Keep your dogs safe.

 

 

Posted in At home with dogs, Behavior, canine, common sense, wellness.


Healing music comes to animal shelters and you can help!

I’ve talked about the healing power of music a few times here  in the past and how animals respond positively to it. I’ve just heard from Dr. Pamela Fisher, DVM, a holistic vet (and Reiki practitioner!) from North Canton, Ohio who is founder of The Rescue Animal Mp3 Project. This non-profit group raises funds to purchase and supply equipment and music that has been donated by an international array of artists  who have composed and/or compiled music specifically for animals.

You can read about the healing effects of music, donate to the cause, (It costs only $50.00 to supply one shelter with equipment and music, though any donation is appreciated)  or let your favorite shelter know about this program so they can apply to receive free music to help calm the animals in their care.

Spread the word!

 

 

Posted in Action!, At home with dogs, Behavior, canine, common sense, Holistic Living, home experiments, Rescue, Science, spirituality, Training, wellness.


Fall Cleaning

I’ve been doing a little Fall Cleaning here at the website, and at home. While I’ve been on a month long seasonal detox cleanse, led by local nutritionist Judith Gisser, it’s been a great time to sort through the accumulations of the year, discard what I no longer need (both material goods and bad habits!) and get ready for the coming winter.

The ebb and flow of life has found me over the past several months saying both hello to new clients and goodbye to others as they have moved from the neighborhood or on from this life. I’m privileged to have taken on the second generation of many of my clients’ pets this year which include both older animals as well as new puppies. Thank you, all!

A couple of local safety items….

If you live or walk in the Lake Valley Road area be aware that a bear has been spotted on Patriot’s Path near the water processing center. If you’ve lived here for any length of time you probably already know that bears tend to run away so don’t be alarmed if you see one. Use common sense and remain calm. There has not been a recorded bear attack in NJ any time in recent history.

If you live or walk near Fosterfields, be aware that there are several coyotes in the vicinity. Do not leave pets of any size unattended outdoors and guard your chickens. Though rare, there have been reports of coyote attacks in NJ. One doesn’t normally alarm me, a pack may be a different story.

If you’re new here and have any questions you haven’t found an answer to, don’t hesitate to contact me. You can also find me on Facebook.

Thanks for checking in and Happy Fall!

Posted in At home with dogs, blogs, common sense, Dog Art, farm animals, Holistic Living, home experiments, Nature, wildlife.


Judge Reverses Bear Supporter Conviction in Horn Honking Incident

Hi readers, been awhile! my latest post follows one last year about the bear hunt protesters – please read the following great news from the NJ Animal Protection League. Sorta seems like a no-brainer to me…
Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters:We are excited to announce a
legal victory for bear hunt protesters! On Friday, July 27, Judge N. Peter
Conforti of the Sussex County Superior Court reversed the conviction of Laura
Pettinato, a passing motorist who honked her horn in support of the BEAR Group’s
December 10, 2011 protest against the bear hunt on Route 23 in Franklin.

Pettinato represented herself when she was convicted in Franklin
municipal court of violating N.J.S.A. 39:3-69, which prohibits horn honking
except to insure the safe operation of a motor vehicle. At her trial, Pettinato
argued that her horn honking was protected speech and that the statute had been
unconstitutionally enforced against her.

An Open Public Records Act
request filed by the BEAR Group’s Elaine Dunn revealed that in the entire year,
the only tickets issued for horn honking in Franklin were the four issued at the
bear hunt protest.

In her appeal, Pettinato was represented by Doris Lin, Esq., Director of
Legal Affairs for the Bear Group. On appeal, Judge Conforti agreed that in this
case, the enforcement of the statute was unconstitutional and he reversed
Pettinato’s conviction.The BEAR Group will continue speaking out
against cruel, unscientific bear hunts, and will continue fighting for the free
speech rights of the group and our individual supporters.

See our
press release
below. ————————————————-

July
31, 2012: For Immediate Release

Victory in Court – First Amendment
Protected
Superior Court
Judge Reverses Conviction of Protest Supporter
Newton – On Friday, July 27, 2012, Judge
N. Peter Conforti of the Sussex County Superior Court reversed the conviction of
a woman who had been convicted of violating the state’s horn honking statute
when she drove past the New Jersey bear hunt protest in December of 2011. Judge
Conforti found that the enforcement of N.J.S.A. 39:3-69 against Laura Pettinato,
who honked in support of protesters, was unconstitutional.Pettinato, of
Vernon, NJ, drove past the Bear Education And Resource Group’s protest against
the black bear hunt on December 10, 2011 on Route 23 in Franklin, NJ, and tooted
in support of the protest. Franklin Boro police officers ticketed Pettinato and
three other individuals for violating the state’s horn honking statute that day.
“When that officer pulled me over, I felt like I was living behind the Iron
Curtain. It wasn’t about the fine. It was the principle of preserving our first
amendment rights. I had to fight it,” said Pettinato. Pettinato was convicted in
Frankling Boro municipal court on April 23, 2012, when she represented herself
and argued that her ticket was unconstitutional.

A review of all traffic
violations issued in Franklin Boro for the year leading up to December 10, 2011
revealed that the only tickets issued for horn honking during the entire year
were the four issued at the bear hunt protest. The statute prohibits horn
honking except “when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation.”

In
her appeal to the Sussex County Superior Court, Pettinato was represented by
Doris Lin, Esq., Director of Legal Affairs for the Bear Education And Resource
Group. Lin argued that the statute was unconstitutionally enforced and infringed
on Pettinato’s First Amendment rights because the horn honking was protected
speech.

Lin states, “The Bear Education And Resource Group will continue
speaking out against New Jersey’s cruel and unscientific bear hunts, so the
First Amendment rights of our group and our individual supporters is essential.
The BEAR Group thanks Judge Conforti for recognizing and protecting the free
speech rights of bear hunt protesters.”

Posted in Action!, common sense, Holistic Living, home experiments, in the news, wildlife.


Animal Protection League of New Jersey brings lawsuit to stop the bear hunt

When I told an out of state friend that the New Jersey black bears got a lawyer, she asked if they were some kind of sports team.  I had to explain the long standing controversy over the bear hunt and the bear hunt policy, both of which were declared illegal in a unanimous decision by the NY Apellate Division in 2007. Lawyers will show that both integrity and science are missing from the basis of the bear hunting policy. The following is reproduced with the permission of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey.

Oral arguments in our lawsuit against the State’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy (CBBMP) is scheduled for November 29, at 9:30am, 5th floor, north wing of the Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street, Trenton.

Although last year’s motion to stop the hunt was denied, the lawsuit still challenges the CBBMP, which is a 5-year policy.

Our motion to accelerate the appeal was granted, which means that the court will have a decision before December 5. If the court rules in our favor, the hunt will be called off. If not, we will continue to press for permanent bear protection.

While this is not a forum to speak, we do encourage you to attend to hear our argument and see the process. If you’d like to attend, call the court at 609-633-7079 or 609-633-7078 and ask about Docket #A-001603-10T02 to confirm date and time, as the schedule could change.

To read our brief, click here.

The following is our media release for the case and our upcoming oral argument.

—————————–

For Immediate Release

 

November 21, 2011
Contact: Doris Lin, Esq.
COURT TO DECIDE WHETHER STATE
CAN HOLD 2011 BEAR HUNT
A lawsuit filed last year by the Animal Protection League of NJ (APLNJ) and The Bear Education and Resource Group (The BEAR Group) will finally be decided by the NJ Appellate Division before the scheduled start of the 2011 NJ bear hunt on December 5.
An order granting a motion by the animal protection groups means that In the Matter of the Adoption of the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Policy, docket number A-1603-T2, will have oral argument in Trenton on November 29 at 9:30 am at the Hughes Justice Complex. The court will decide the case by December 5. The groups challenge the adoption of the Policy based on both the science and the procedures used to adopt the policy. 

Doris Lin, Esq., Director of Legal Services for APLNJ and Vice President of Legal Affairs for The BEAR Group explains, “The black bear policy is full of scientific flaws, self-contradictions and outright fabrications. The lawsuit is not about philosophical objections to hunting; it’s about integrity and science, both of which are missing from the policy.”

“For example, Professor Edward Tavss of Rutgers University proved that bear complaints are actually going down. The Division’s claims that bear complaints have increased are based on increasing the number of police departments included in the data in recent years, not an actual increase in the number of complaints. Even the Fish and Game Council admits that the data should not be compared to previous years.”

The lawsuit was filed last year in response to the adoption of the Policy, and while the animal protection groups lost their motion to try to stop the 2010 bear hunt, the lawsuit continued on the merits.

The state’s 2005 comprehensive black bear policy and 2005 bear hunt were both declared illegal in a unanimous opinion from the NJ Appellate Division in 2007.

Posted in Action!, common sense, Nature, wildlife, writing.


The best way to prevent canine Lyme’s Disease

The best way to prevent Canine Lyme’s Disease is to remove ticks as soon as possible. Period. This holds true whether you use Frontline or not.

I got a newsletter from a vet that said that using products like Frontline was the only way to prevent Lyme’s Disease in pets. Unfortunately, it’s not true. There is no surefire way to prevent Lyme’s Disease in pets if they are exposed to ticks.

Using pesticides like Frontline is one way to handle the problem. The pesticide is absorbed into the animal’s bloodstream and when ticks consume the blood, they are poisoned, die and fall off. But not necessarily before spreading Lyme’s and other tick borne diseases.

I also heard that there’s a new product out that you can use to replace Frontline and similar products. This product does not produce the main side effect of Frontline (and similar products) … that is, it doesn’t sting.

But what about the other side effects, like seizures, and possible links to serious autoimmune conditions?

Healthy solutions for avoiding, repelling and treating fleas and ticks are:

  • Using spray repellents made from all natural therapuetic grade essential oils
  • Feeding your dog specially formulated Brewer’s Yeast
  • Topical application of Diatemaceous Earth

Your first line of defense is careful inspection of your dog after visiting areas where fleas and ticks live. If your cat is an indoor pet, there’s no need for treatment.

There’s plenty of useful information in past posts and articles about flea and tick prevention, recipes for all natural repellents, and more. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Feel free to email me and I’ll help you find it.

Thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Action!, aromatherapy, At home with dogs, Behavior, canine, common sense, Feline, Holistic Living, Science, wildlife.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – and would stop new strains of bacteria from developing

I heard on the radio this morning that a drug resistant form of candida is on the rise. While the normally prescribed drug is effective in wiping out yeast overgrowth, pharmaceutical companies are developing a new drug to wipe out the new strain, so people shouldn’t be worried.

I am worried though, but not about yeast. An overgrowth, often caused by use of too many antibiotics, can easily be managed by diet. By simply eliminating sugar and grains that convert to sugar, the food source for yeast bacteria, one can literally starve the organsims (along with other parasites common but which go unnoticed in most people) to death, thereby eliminating the physical symptoms they cause and returning the intestinal flora to balance.

What I’m worried about is the proliferation of unnecessarily prescribed (and developed) drugs and their side effects that can have long lasting and insidious effects on the body.  After all, if people eliminated yeast through diet, the need for a drug would be unnecessary, and a new drug resistant form of yeast would never have evolved.

I’m worried about the marketing that convinces people they need a drug when simple measures, like learning how food affects our bodies, could easily and less invasively (not to mention less expensively) cure a lot of common ailments.

What’s this got to do with the health of your pet? Well, most likely if you subscribe to the philosophy that drugs are always the answer, you probably don’t hesitate to administer them to your pet every time he or she experiences a medical problem. Our pets live shorter lives than we do and even long lived pets don’t seem to stay with us as long as we’d like. By exploring safe and natural options for control of simple conditions, people can both prolong their pets’ lives and give them better quality of life. It pays to learn about good health and what creates it rather than reaching for the pill bottle every time something unexpected crops up – for both yourself and your pet. Do the research!

If your dog sufferes from ear infections caused by yeast, look at the ingredients in his food and treats. Dogs don’t require grain in their diets. Eliminate the grain and most likely you’ll eliminate the ear issues as well.

Hope you’re finding everything you’re looking for here. If you have a question about how holistic solutuions can improve your pet’s life, don’t hesitate to call or email me. To your wellness!

 

 

Posted in Action!, At home with dogs, canine, common sense, Feline, Holistic Living, in the news, Science, wellness.


Absolutely…not!

Yesterday I was talking about generalizations. Often we are reminded that it’s not good to generalize, but when it comes to the finer points of rearing animals (we were talking about dogs yesterday) I think it’s really important to a) generalize when speaking about broad issues, and b) communicate clearly when you are generalizing. Otherwise, we fall into the trap of absolutes.

Recently I was talking to some neighbors. They’d had two dogs for years and decided to adopt a third. Callie, the new dog, was odd man out. The rescue woman told them that you can never have three dogs without two of them ganging up on or excluding the other. Really? Never? I’ve cared for many multi dog or cat households in which three of the same species pets reside. There was not always one “odd man out”.

I don’t tend to speak loudly and they didn’t seem to hear me when I asked why, if the rescue woman felt that way, would she ever have agreed to adopt Callie out to them, knowing that she’d be excluded from the pack.

Don’t listen to anyone who insists on “always” and “never” (generally speraking, that is) when they are talking about anything. We know what the two sure things in life are  – and also that indulging in absolutes perpetuates many a myth.

Posted in Action!, At home with dogs, Behavior, canine, common sense, Holistic Living, home experiments, Nature, Science, spirituality, Training.


Generally speaking….Do dogs generalize?

It’s often written that dogs don’t generalize well. If you teach your dog to sit and you practice only in the kitchen, as the story goes, you’ll have a kitchen trained dog – meaning your dog will think “sit” means that he should sit – only when he’s in the kitchen. However, if you observe your dog you might see signs of generalization on her part – for instance, many dogs are afraid of men or people in funny hats, or seem to love or hate another particular kind of dog. My dog loves small white dogs, generally speaking, and hates large ones.

In talking about dogs and dog behavior, it’s important to understand that most statements are generalizations. For instance, a raw diet may be healthiest – generally speaking. Some dogs with health conditions may do better with slightly warmed home made meals. All dogs are different and therefore no blanket statement can apply to all dogs.

Posted in Action!, At home with dogs, Behavior, canine, common sense, Holistic Living, home experiments, Nature, Rescue, Science, Training, wellness.


Is your dog friendly?

I hear this question among people out with their dogs all the time.  It’s a good question. It employs etiquette (unlike those who let their dogs approach others, ignoring warnings that their dog doesn’t really want to say hello) and who knows? A beautiful new relationship could be in the works.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. This can happen for a lot of reasons:

  • One or both owners are anxious, which their dogs pick up on
  • One or both owners can’t read canine body language, perhaps mistaking  one type of tail wag for another
  • The dogs are really very often friendly but they just don’t like each other.

Did you ever meet someone, perhaps a waiter, who reminds you of your old math teacher in high school, the one you couldn’t stand? Or maybe you meet someone at a party who seems nice but the minute they start talking you start to think they are pretentious and priggish? Or maybe there’s a particular type of person that subconsciously you’ve formed an opinion about, say, people who wear a certain kind of clothing or eat a certain way. You just don’t like them. Even if you consider yourself friendly.

It can go the same way with dogs. They can just not “like” the vibe another dog is putting out. Often a frightened dog (Dog A) may show few discernible signs (to the human eye), but another dog (Dog B) sure gets it – often this “fear vibe” signals to Dog B that something’s wrong. Sometimes Dog B will react by trying to “do something” about it – and often, unfathomable as it may seem to us, Dog B may actually show aggression toward Dog A.

If this happens, shouting and punishing only inflame the situation. Assuming the dogs are on leash, owners should say nothing, and move their dogs apart as calmly as possible.  Resume your walk as if nothing has happened. (This also assumes no blood has been shed – in that case, both parties should check their dogs for injuries and seek help if needed.)

If your dog has trouble meeting others, seek the help of a professional trainer who can help your dog meet a non-reactive dog to start confidence building. Many recommend that dogs should meet only off leash, but that’s not always feasible.

 

Posted in At home with dogs, Behavior, canine, common sense, home experiments, Nature, Science, spirituality, Training.