Do You Ever Feel Your Dog’s Not Living Up to His Full Potential?

I get both really inspired and really down on myself after I interview people like Beth Terrell or Joani Ascher. Inspired because they’re doing neat things with their dogs, like teaching them how to dance or grooming puppies to be Seeing Eye dogs. Down because Murph’s one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever had. I often wonder if I’m holding him back from living up to his full potential. At the beginning of this year I resolved to change that. I was determined to look into enrolling Murph and myself in a pet therapy program. Then my mom got sick … Continue reading

Types of Jobs for Dogs

I’m forever praising Murph for all the help he gives me with chores, but some dogs truly do work for a living. I got to pondering all the many types of jobs for dogs there are when I was coming up with ideas for animal holidays and observances there should be if there aren’t already. For that article I stumbled across Aimee’s article about working group dogs as part of my research and it dawned on me: “Wow. I never realized just how many dogs work.” Yes, times are getting tough, but, no, this won’t be an article of ways … Continue reading

The End of the Personal Pet Therapy Project

It’s with a heavy heart that my first blog back after a lengthy absence is to report that the Personal Pet Therapy Project came to an end on Thursday, July 3 when my mom (a.k.a. Grandma Dorothy to Murphy, Mr. Meow, and Tabby) passed away. The Gift That Proved Significant Since the last month has been pretty chaotic and filled with emotional upheaval, I wasn’t able to chronicle some stuff. Such as, that the little stuffed heart Tabby kept bringing my mom was a most significant gift indeed. My mom’s last oncologist appointment on June 11 proved to be The … Continue reading

The Personal Pet Therapy Project: The Pets Pick Their Parts

As it’s become clear that Grandma Dorothy is here for an extended visit, the only ones not fretting about how it affects their lives are Murphy, Mr. Meow, and Tabby. They have enthusiastically embraced the mission of the personal pet therapy project and have eagerly selected their own assignments for my mom’s rehabilitation. Murphy As he does with all the other chores he helps me with, Murph is glad to lend a hand with my new added chores. Like yesterday. I hadn’t realized I needed to call Apria to have the oxygen tanks delivered each week. I thought they’d bring … Continue reading

The Pets Blog Week in Review for March 31 – April 6

I had to take a couple week hiatus from Week in Review duties while I tended to family affairs. However, I’m happy to be back to bring you this recap of what Aimee and I wrote about last week on: Monday, March 31 A client with awesome cats sparked Aimee musing about the awesome one in her life. (An “awesome one” being any pet that just has that everything about them. That soul connection.) Aimee discussed who the awesome one was in her life. (You have to read the blog to find out who.) Tuesday, April 1 I had made … Continue reading

The Personal Pet Therapy Project

One of my resolutions for 2008 was seeing about getting me and Murph involved in a pet therapy program. Well, recent developments have certainly seen to it that this resolution will be kept this year. A Family Affair Not only is Murphy going to be involved with the pet therapy project, but so are Mr. Meow and Tabby. And the person we’re going to concentrate our therapeutic energies on is my mom, who in addition to her dementia was also recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Grandma Dorothy Moves In On Wednesday March 19 I flew to Denver. My mom had … Continue reading

A Cat Can Lower Your Heart Attack Risk

As if we didn’t love our pets enough — here’s another reason to cuddle your kitty! A ten year study from the University of Minnesota suggests that having a cat for a pet can cut your heart attack risk by nearly a third! More than four thousand Americans between the ages of thirty and seventy-five were tracked between 1976 and 1980 for a National Health and Nutrition Examination Study. The University of Minnesota team looked at the data, then spent a decade following up with the participants to look at health issues and death rates. More than half the people … Continue reading

Being a Responsible Dog Owner

Today is Responsible Dog Ownership Day, which I believe was started by the American Kennel Club. If you live in or near New York City or Raleigh, North Carolina you might already be aware of the AKC events schedule there today. But those won’t be the only ones. According to the AKC website, last year over 350 clubs and organizations held Responsible Dog Ownership Day events. The AKC has a link on their website where you can select your state to find events near you. The purpose is to educate pet parents on all manner of thing with events like: … Continue reading

Sleuths and Guide Dogs: The Many “Eyes” of Joani Ascher, Part II

Author and Seeing Eye puppy raiser, Joani Ascher In Part I, I introduced you to mystery writer and Seeing Eye puppy raiser, Joani Ascher. In this section we hear more from Ms. Ascher about her personal pets and those who have, and someday might, grace her fiction. CM: You had mentioned that there’s a black Lab in your series and that you wrote the first book before you started raising puppies. You also mentioned you put the dog in to make the character different from you. Can you explain that? Was there a point in time dogs weren’t a part … Continue reading

Sleuths and Guide Dogs: The Many “Eyes” of Joani Ascher, Part I

Author and Seeing Eye puppy raiser, Joani Ascher “Eyes” seem to be a theme when it comes to Joani Ascher, author of the Wally Morris Mystery series from Avalon Books. For one, she spends many a day crafting intrigue for her character, Wally (who, don’t let the name fool you, is a woman), to become entangled with. Wally’s not a private eye exactly, but she’s definitely a crime-solving sleuth of sorts. For another, Ms. Ascher raises Seeing Eye puppies. I asked her if she’d have time to spare from her writing and puppy duties to answer a few questions. To … Continue reading