Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Not Just For The Dogs Anymore

I get letters -

Dear Rudy:

We moved into a new home about eight months ago. The people who used to live in our house "collected" cats and dogs and were apparently unable to find a few of the cats when they left. Recently, one of those cats, "Princess" has reappeared. She shows up almost every morning and evening and we leave her food and water. I am guessing she was a feral cat that the old owners adopted. I can get pretty close to her, but she is rather jumpy. We have been trying to get her into our house so that her old owners can come and get her (they would never be able to catch her otherwise). I think we may eventually be able to get her in our door by progressively moving the food we leave her outside to just inside our door. Do you think this is advisable? I am worried that (1) she may bite or scratch once we trap her inside and try to corral her into a bathroom, and (2) it will be too traumatic for my own cat, a male who is indoor/outdoor and who, as of now, has not really reacted territorily to this cat like he does to others.

Cat Lady in Long Beach

Dear Cat Lady:

First off, who the heck named her "Princess?" Princess is not the name for a feral cat. Princess is for sissies. You should name her something tough like Mitzi. Second, people moving without "finding" all their animals? What is with these people? I say, let her in the house but not so the old owners can catch her. They don't deserve her. She is your Mitzi now.

Monday, May 02, 2005

It's A Dog's Life

One of my many, many fans wrote in wanting to know what is meant by the phrase "it's a dog's life." I can only go by my own experience and I don't think you'll be surprised to hear that is it very, very stressful being a dog. I get no rest. Every day this mailman guy tries to invade our perimeter and I have to send him away. And he keeps coming back. Every day. Stupid...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Pet News: A Weekly Feature

We got masks, people! A report from the Associated Press says that the firefighters have created a special mask to fit over our very own snouts (which they refer to as "mangy." What's up with that?) to use when saving us from burning buildings. There are three sizes: cat, small dog, big dog. About time, too, because what's the most important thing to save in a fire? Well, read the quote in this article from Tom Krueger. We like him:
Fire Departments deploy special masks to save furry victims

When a firefighter carries a pet from a burning home, the rescued animal often isn't out of the woods. Many times the jubilant moment turns to anguish when the dog or cat later dies from smoke inhalation. One problem: Long, mangy snouts make it difficult to fit oxygen masks made for people over dogs' noses.

Now, a growing number of fire departments in Illinois and around the country are using masks specially made for pets. The plastic, cone-shaped masks, long used by veterinarians for anesthesia, have a rubber ring that provides a tight seal, forcing pure oxygen into canine and feline snouts. Many firefighters say once humans are out of harm's way, they'll do everything they can to save a family's beloved pet.

"Pets are an important part of people's families," said Tom Krueger, medical officer for the Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District, 35 miles north of Chicago, which recently got the masks. "Some people consider them like their kids." Unless a home is engulfed in flames, "we're going in to get 'em," he said. Fire departments in Antioch, Buffalo Grove and Wauconda also acquired the special masks in recent months.

The general manager of the Waukesha, Wis.-based company that makes the devices said sales have exploded this year. The company sells the masks in sets of three: one for cats, one for small dogs and one for big dogs. "It has just kind of snowballed," said Jeff Baker, vice president and general manager of Smiths Medical Veterinary Division. He said the company has sold 1,500 sets over the last year - more than the company has sold in the last 15 years.

Humane societies and businesses often raise money for departments to buy the masks. Norwalk, Conn.-based Best Friends Pet Care, a pet boarding and grooming company, has helped 60 fire departments in 10 states buy the masks through its Cause for Paws campaign, spokeswoman Deb Bennetts said. Bennetts said firefighters without the devices have gone to extreme measures to save pets from smoke inhalation - everything from sticking the oxygen hose straight into the animal's nose to "mouth-to-snout" resuscitation.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Dog Quiz #1

Which President said, "if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog?"

Send answers to askrudy@sbcglobal.net or post in the comment section here. There will be a prize as soon as my many, many, many, lovely and pretty sponsors start kicking in.

Military Pets

Those who know me, know I've gotten beat up at the dog park for wearing a peace sign around my neck. What can I say? I am the child of a hippy. And loud noises like firecrackers and guns and bombs scare me and cause me to bark and bark and bark. Which doesn't seem to make anyone happy. But my friend, Lisa J, sent me this and I think if there's anyone out there that can help, they should:
NetPets.Org's, MilitaryPetsFOSTER Project has been created to be the liaison between those of you who have to place your dog or bird and the foster homes all over this country. This is a free service, as is the actual fostering. Any veterinary expenses, pharmacy, special foods and other extraordinary expense of this type will, of course, be your responsibility. If you wish to offer any sort of gratuity, that is between you and the people who will be fostering. Be confident that these foster homes will NOT be caging or crating the dogs, unless they are expressly told to, in writing.

Many military members' pets are being euthanized as entire military towns are called up to go to war. Some soldiers are dropping their pets off at pounds, knowing that they will be put to sleep soon, because the owners have no friends or family nearby to care for their animals. You can help by offering a home to these pets until the owners come home. Please help these members of the military by providing a home for their pets (all kinds, even exotics) until they come home. You can also donate money if you can't provide a foster home. There is a link on the page.

Hey, the last I read there were no weapons of mass destructions. Does Barney, the White House dog, know that pets are now being killed because his owner lied? Do something, Barney, do something.

The Rudy Confessional

See, you can ask me anything because I'm almost seven, have lived a long time, seen and done it all. really. Here's a list of some of my transgressions:

- As a puppy, ate my poo. Horrified looks on Esme and Don Dokken's faces. Don't know what their problem is but they're ashamed, I'm ashamed.

- Pretended I was sleeping and then jumped out of the slightly cracked window of my sitter's van because I saw a lady and her dog and I wanted to play. But they brought me in their house so the sitter couldn't find me. All points bulletin, red alert. Hey, I was right there all the time. And I'm home now. Only thing that matters, right?

- Got stitches between my toes. Who likes that feeling? And they made me wear that Victrola whoops, I mean Elizabethean collar. So I took off the collar and then I took out the stitches. Whoo-who, I am a genius. Three trips to the emergency vet until they got it right.

- Took agility training and liked the treats that lady with the dog in front of me was holding. When I walked up to her to sniff, her dog got all protective and peed all over her. Not my fault. Also not my fault that I did not enjoy waiting in line for my turn. You see, when I did the weave pole, exactly perfectly, on the very first try, the instructor just shook her head and said "one in a million." Superstars should not be made to wait in line. I am a superstar.

- And here's where Esme talks about how I let her down. And Don Dokken comes to my defense. Love me that Don Dokken.

Hey, I've revealed enough. Send me your confessions (askrudy@sbcglobal.net).....

Friday, April 29, 2005

Slobber Mouth

Dear Rudy:
There is so much liquid dripping from my dog’s mouth, I should have named him Pavlov. It’s massive! Is there any way to stop a dog from drooling when he sees food, human or otherwise?
Sick of the slobbering,
“Pavlov’s Mom”

Dear “Pavlov’s Mom”:
Well, first off, I hope you’re not following “Pavlov” around with a mop. Mops are scary. And is he a St. Bernard or Newfoundland? Because those guys drool a lot and you gotta love them anyway. Drooling is really something we all do when we’re happy to see you, excited that you’re FINALLY feeding us, or nervous because we don’t always understand what’s going on. You can try giving “Pavlov” more chew toys which might make him swallow more.

And, if this is something new or if you are really, really worried, I say take him to the vet. But only if you’re really, really worried because vets? Scarier than mops.