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Vacation Safely With Your Dog

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When Gerard Hanson of New York City planned a road trip to visit a friend in Maine, he was excited to bring his puppy, Charles, along. But the trip did not go smoothly. “Charles got carsick,” explains Hanson. “Then my friend didn’t want me leaving him at his house alone for more than an hour or two, so my plans for different activities were more or less ruined.” Dr. Louise Murray, DVM, director of medicine for the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City, has heard stories like Hanson’s before. “Deciding to travel with a dog is a commitment. If the idea of making sacrifices on vacation doesn’t appeal to you, leave your pet at home,” she cautions. Below, Dr. Murray offers advice for those who do decide that the company is worth the extra effort.

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Divine Canine

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cat and dog sittingLessons from the Universe are always present and finding the stillness within us can allow those lessons to be comprehended.  As we all have found, the lessons come quietly but at times the lessons are as loud as a rushing waterfall. My first lesson from the Universe came to me at the age of 6.  My Shetland pony, Trixie was enjoying her oats.  I decided to get on her back and enjoy that moment with her.  I had no bridle or halter but I easily stepped on the fence and sat on her back as I had done so many times.

I can still feel that stillness with Trixie and that sense of love and harmony, if only for a moment, it felt so familiar like I had been at that place before.  Then a thought rushed over my mind of her running with me to the end of the pasture and of me screaming for her to stop but she wouldn’t.  I could get hurt and I could not stop her.  At that moment, she took off at a full gallop.  The other horses were at the end of the 60 acre pasture and I felt her little legs running for them.  I held on to her mane, crying in fear.  We finally reached the horses and I slid off.  Why oh why had she done that to me?  Although I rode horses until I left for college and still ride horses when given the chance, I have never forgot that fear that I felt that day when my trust and innocence was lost.

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The Animal's Savior

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I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter...the cast-offs of human society.

I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal.

And I was angry.

"God," I said, "this is terrible! Why don't you do something?"

God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly.

"I have done something," He replied. "I created You..."

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Snake Aversion Therapy

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snake aversion therapy trainingSpring is in the air and with this beautiful season follows the arrival of rattlesnakes. If you live in the US, you’ve probably had at least one experience with snakes, and if you live in the Southwest, you’ve probably had a few.

Approximately 300,000 dogs and cats are bitten by venomous snakes each year in the United States. But, between leashes, Snake-Training Your Dogs, vaccinating for snake bites, and prompt medical care - we are helping dogs survive these bites.

Here's the low down on snakebites.

If you’re out hiking with your dog and stumble across a rattler, what is the best course of action? First off, you should have your dog on a leash at all times – even while on a trailhead. This will help, but oftentimes, it won’t be enough.

Snakes have a tendency to lie across the trail or out in the open where they can absorb the heat from the sun. They can be difficult to see if you’re not paying attention, so try to always pay attention to where you're walking and what your dog is sniffing.

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How to Handle a Stray Dog

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stray-dogIf you live in lighter residential areas and suburb areas of your community, chances are you have probably seen someone's lost dog wandering around the neighborhood.

Most of us want to be able to help get that dog back to its family, but may be hesitant to take responsibility of the situation. If you follow a few guidelines, handling these situations don't have to be overwhelming.

First off, you should never approach a stray dog if you have any concerns about your safety getting involved in the situation. If you are uncomfortable approaching the dog, call your local animal control and have them handle it.

Most of the time, the first place people check after they are unable to find their dog by searching locally is animal control. This includes Craigs List, groups on Facebook (like Straydar, or your local homeowners association group) and many others. Be creative - you may just save this dog's life! 

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