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  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
  • All About Birds

    If the avian life is for you, we've got a look at the best products, interesting species, and how to select and care for birds. Read More
  • All About Fish and Ponds

    If you're a novice fish and pond enthusiast, join us as we discover the newest aquariums, beautiful backyards, and plenty of informative information about fish. Read More
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  • 4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

    Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best four-legged friend as company. I don't know about you, but as I've matured, I've gained a stronger appreciation for the simple things in life. While we probably hiked when we were younger, we may not have noticed the rich hues of wildflowers or the tenacity of a wild mushroom growing under the cover of a 200-year-old pine tree... 

    But before you head into the wilds with your dog, it's important to choose your trail carefully, carry a GPS tracker, know your pets (and your own) limitations, and let others know exactly where you’re going and when you plan to return.

    Hiking with dogs requires only slightly more planning. Rules and regulations vary according to trail-head and park areas, so be sure to contact your local forest service before taking your pets along. Start slowly and work into more intense trail heads or you may find yourself carrying an exhausted dog out in your backpack.

    There’s a hike for whatever part of the country you’re in and whatever skill level you’re working around, but these are a few of our favorite day hikes around the country.

    Read More
  • Guide to Hiking Etiquette with Dogs

    Cooler weather is on the way, and as the leaves change their colors to red and gold hues, it means many of us will be once again hitting the trails with our best four-legged friends.

    Let's face it - nothing cleanses the soul like a relaxing hike through the wilderness. Whether you want to enjoy the rich colors of wildflowers in that remote desert valley, or just want to run a few miles through the pines, it’s important to make sure everyone out there has the same level of enjoyment as you do. So dust off the walking stick and renew your wild spirit, but make sure you follow trail etiquette when you take your pets along.

    Dogs are usually naturals on the trailhead. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch them carefully - there are plenty of dangers in the wild - from poisonous mushrooms to cacti, and coyotes to rattlesnakes (not to mention hunters of the two-legged variety).

    This is why it’s so important to understand the basics of hiking etiquette. Here's a primer to get you started...

    Read More
  • Keeping You and Your Pets Safe Without Power in Winter

    The weather is moody as a wild cat and these days, no one really knows what to expect. When a cold front moves in, it can easily cause road delays making you late for dinner or freeze power lines and take out heaters.

    That means dangerous conditions for our pets, as well ourselves.

    You already know the basics: Keep your pets indoors, make sure any outdoor animals (horses, cattle, even feral cats) have access to extra calories and warm blankets, as well as covered shelter. I"m sure you also remember that you cold-weather and aquatic pets are going to require extra care until power is restored.

    But, once you get past the basics, there are a few other things to consider, particularly when it comes to birds, aquariums, reptiles and stray animals or livestock. You'll also want to look at some alternative ways to keep you and your pets entertained - and we've got plenty of suggestions for you.

    Read More
  • 5 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Ferret

    Ferrets are amazing animals. We love watching them hop around, curl up into a tight little ball to doze the day away, and the way they steal anything they find interesting - laughing as they run away with the item. They are the most entertaining pet you can have and make great pets.

    That said, there are a few things you should know before you run out to the store and buy one. We have them listed below and hope you'll take time to read before adopting.

    Here are five things you should know before bringing home a ferret.

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

    Read More
  • 10 Weird Things We Have to Explain to Visitors

    We love our animals. We mostly tolerate humans. Out of about 7+ billion people on the planet (which, let’s face it, is WAY too many) - I enjoy the company of maybe, I don’t know, maybe 26 of them.

    Eventually, though, we all have to interact with our own species. The holidays are coming up and we’ll have to socialize and attend parties and do human stuff. And let’s face it - humans aren’t so bad when they love animals as much as you do.

    When we are feeling sociable enough to allow visitors, there are invariably things that we have to explain.

    If you have animals, you probably already know about these things. But if you don't, here's what we will probably need to help you understand...

    Read More
  • Choosing a Ferret as a Pet

    Ferrets are intelligent, mischievous members of the"mustilidae" family, which means they are cousins with mink, weasels, skunks and even the European polecat. These little guys capture our hearts with their antics and are a great addition to any home (as long as you don't live in New York, California, Hawaii or Washington D.C. where ferrets are outlawed). Before you think about purchasing or adopting a ferret, be sure you check your local laws as well as the laws and regulations at local levels (including your home owners association).

    If you've done your homework and you think you're ready to add one of these charismatic creatures to your home, we have a host of articles to help you integrate them into your family and keep them healthy. Remember that a ferret's normal lifespan is 7-9 years, so you need to be sure you're ready to commit that time to this entertaining and affectionate pet.

    Read More
  • Animals and Their Souls

    I was talking with a co-worker the other day and he informed me that animals do not have emotions. This occurred just after he told me (the day that I put my dog of 17 yrs down) that animals do not have souls and therefore will never enjoy the concept of heaven.

    Now, this co-worker has the disadvantage of being, what I refer to, as a "bible-thumper." He is, in fact, a born-again Christian. Please bear in mind that I have nothing against Christians, nor do I have anything against religion in general. I do, however, have a problem with this co-worker passing along faulty information. Animals do have emotions and they also have souls, and I'll tell you how I know that... In over twenty years of working with animals, I have never seen a kitten duct-tape a live human baby to a freeway. I also have never seen a cat find enjoyment from setting a human on fire.

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
  • The FeedSafe Feeding Station for Feeding Individual Diets

    In multi-pet homes, keeping pets out of the others food is of critical importance. If you have a chow-hound who loves to invade your cat's food bowls (or any other situation that requires feeding individual diets in multi-pet homes), we have a solution for you.

    The name of this innovative product is the Feed-Safe Feeding Station.

    Feed Safe is a durable enclosure that easily stops larger pets from raiding your smaller pet's food bowl. Not only does this stop other your dog from raiding your cat's food, it can give critters like ferrets a safe place to eat while they're roaming around in their free time. It can also be easily adjusted to help separate kitten or puppy food from the mama-cat or mama-dog.

    This is also a very useful solution for animals who tend to be slow eaters, or those who are on a prescription diet.

    Another unexpected benefit was being able to keep the cats off the counters! We admit - we have some bad habits and the cats will usually eat their canned food on the counter. This is not the cleanest way to handle the situation, but placing the food on the floor became impossible with our quick acting dogs. This is a great way to let your cats eat their canned foods at their own pace without being on the counter top and without being harassed by larger pets.

    Read More
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Tipping Guide for Pet Professionals

Gratuities can be a bone of contention among many pet parents. They shouldn't be, though. We entrust others with the Read More

Swiffer and BarkBox Remind New Pet Parents that #ShedHappens

Everyone remembers their first pet. Whether it was a guinea pig, hamster, dog or a cat - nothing beats that feeling Read More

Police Dog Killed in Anti-Terrorist Raids #RIPDiesel

Photo Credit: CNNPhoto Credit: CNNThe Paris attacks have had a profound effect on everyone in the world. The animal world Read More

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears with #BayerExpertCare

This week we were asked to try out a few new products from the Bayer® ExpertCare™ lineup. For those who Read More

Make Holidays Fun with #BLUESantaSnacks for Dogs

The holidays are rapidly approaching and we’re looking for clever ways to share the holiday joy with our canine friends. Read More

Wild DIY Treat Containers for Dog Parks with #NaturalBalance

We’re always hunting for new ways to give away treats. This is a fun way to stretch a bag of Read More
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Elicia and Tobie, reunited after searchElicia and Tobie, reunited after searchSometimes even the strongest individual needs help. This week it was Elicia Calhoun, a top agility trainer, competitor, handler and speaker, who needed help after she and her carload of dogs were involved in a multiple rollover accident in the middle of the Arizona desert around 8:30 am on June 11, 2012. She remembers vividly each sound, sight and bump and bang of the event - from the cacophony of noise that culminated in a single yelp, to the deafening silence that followed. The car had landed upright and as she shoved the dashboard and airbag away so she could exit the car over the hood, all she could think about were her dogs and their safety. Her 13-week-old Kelpi puppy Tsunami, who had been in a crate that was secured in the front seat, 12 ½-year-old Iceman, 9-year-old Breesea (both Border Collies), 12 month old Destiny, 9 ½ year old Nika (Aussies) and 3-year-old Tobie (Breesea's daughter, a Border Collie) who had been riding loose in the back seat were thrown from the vehicle on impact and she didn’t know where they were.

Many people stopped to help her and Elicia immediately enlisted help to find her dogs. She did find three of them, BreeSea, Destiny and Iceman but three were still missing. Elicia herself was injured and when the medics and ambulance came they insisted she leave the site – she refused until one of the bystanders and a border patrol agent promised to keep looking for her dogs.

The vehicle remains in the desertThe vehicle remains in the desertA Community Unites

When word got out of the accident through a posting on Facebook, animal lovers shared the posts and reached out to agility friends in that area who hit the ground running. Several of them got together via chat or phone and one of them set up a group on Facebook so that all the information would be in once place. Word spread like wildfire and the agility community mobilized. Within hours, there were over 3,000 members of the community sharing the plea for help and soon help of all types was being offered.

Tsunami is Found

As Elicia was signing herself out of the hospital with a punctured lung (against doctors wishes) she was notified that Tsunami's body had been found. Though consumed with grief, she knew there were still two dogs missing that needed her and needed her NOW. The desert temps range from low 50's to 103 degrees and threats of dehydration, hypothermia and death by wildlife or by passing vehicles were a very real threat.

The Search Mobilizes

By day's end, the online community swelled and the members became emotionally invested in finding the two remaining dogs and committed themselves to action. Animal communicators were consulted and were in touch with the dogs. An online contribution site was created, as were lost signs and posters. Inquiries and arrangements were made for planes, billboards and even a military heat-seeking device was employed. The word spread via facebook, the dog community, television news stations, truckers, HAM and CB operators, the equine community, and to ranchers in the surrounding area. elicia-nikaelicia-nikaDuring the search, most of which was done on foot or by truck out in the desert terrain, word came that Nika’s body had been spotted in the median of the freeway. It was around 7 pm and Elicia went to her body, held her and cried. She knew that her spirit was no longer with her body and drew upon the strength inside her to move forward to find the remaining dog. It would be dark soon and Tobie needed her mommy.

As the air chilled and the sunlight faded the volunteers who had been searching late into the night finally set up camp roadside – some sleeping in their cars with their hazards on while Elicia slept outside in case Tobie came to look for her. Several volunteers could swear they heard yips of a dog in the night, but no one could tell which way they came from.

Sighting of Tobie

In the very early hours of the next day, the search began again. Sightings of Tobie near cattle renewed the frantic search. During this time, a volunteer coming from Tuscon was approaching the crash site and around 8 am on the side of the road she spotted Tobie. Elicia rushed to the location, but no Tobie. They looked again and she had changed directions and was on the opposite side of the freeway. Elicia and a volunteer pulled into median where the dog was and honked the horn the dog looked at Elicia – recognized her but went running in the opposite direction IN FRONT OF A BIG RIG!

"NOT AFTER ALL OF THIS," said the volunteer. Elicia hit the ground running. She crossed behind the big rig and got to the opposite side. Tobie knew it was her, but wasn’t cooperating at all, she was running away! Finally Elicia and a friend were able to herd the herding dog and as soon as she got Tobie safely in her arms a photo was taken. News was quickly sent, all volunteers were notified, pending actions cancelled and by now the over 6,000 members of the newly formed Facebook community rejoiced.

The Aftermath

Elicia and the volunteers took care of the medical needs of the dogs, while Elicia checked into the ER for followup. The end result? Her punctured lung was almost healed and the cuts, contusions and hematoma would heal in time. Iceman, Destiny, Breesea and Tobie have some minor injuries – some have sliced or worn pads, bruises, mobility issues and though at some point Tobie had also been hit by a car, she should be fully recovered in a few months. This accident bonded a community together. People from all over the world were involved and watching the updates from their home computers. People drove from miles to help with the search or did what they could from where ever they lived. The strength and dedication of a dog mom was tested. Her reminder to enjoy every minute you have with your dogs, you never know when it might be your last was heard loud and clear. While many find online communities a dangerous or unsafe atmosphere, in this case it was a loving, giving and sharing place and through that positive energy a miracle happened.


About Elicia Calhoun
Elicia Calhoun is a top National and International Trainer, National Champion and World Champion, Lecturer, Professional Agility Instructor, and Author. As a World Champion Team member in 2001 and Bronze Medal Team member in 2003, Elicia has represented the United States for an unprecedented five consecutive years with the same dog, Suni. She and her Aussie, Suni, MACH 5 Slydrock's Solar Power ADCH, also have the top individual Maxi dog placement at the World Championships, and are nationally recognized icons, having been featured competing at large televised events on Animal Planet (AKC and USDAA National Championship) and ESPN (Great Outdoor Games) numerous times since 1998.Learn more about Elicia Calhoun by visiting Waltzing Paws.

About the Author
Deborah Davidson Harpur considers herself a dog mom first, an agility trainer/ handler second and a writer third. She is a doggie stage mom to her own rat terriers, border collie and shepherd mix in addition to the 10 other dogs she handles for their owners. You can learn more about her on pm2dogagility.com or on her Facebook page.

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Learn more about posting as a guest on PetsWeekly.com by reviewing our writer submission guide. We offer a very limited number of guest posts each year.

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