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Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital Blog

Stand By You II

Quick update about the Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant disaster. We started thinking about the animals when we saw the story of the little dog who stood by her/his friend until humans arrived on the scene and s/he summoned them to help. We thought, "what loyalty and honor from this little animal!" You might remember, we blogged about it.

This inspired us to start looking into what could be done. So, we set about extensively researching organizations that already existed to see what they were doing about the specific situation. What we learned, instead of providing hope, made us pretty depressed. There's a stunning amount of high-overhead efforts, and frankly we didn't feel like funding executive luxury. 
We also learned that, unfortunately, in Japan, the people shelters don't allow animals. Hey, we can't judge; the shelters there are very much like they were right here in the good ole USA before Katrina -- animals weren't allowed in ours either. But there was one piece of good news. The Japanese government suspended regulations to provide far more latitude in keeping victim pets from meeting an untimely end before they could be reunited with their families. 
This development has provided an opportunity. We've been on the phone and exchanging emails with some of our veterinary medicine industry colleagues in Japan. We've learned that on site there was no time for high-overhead; they were digging in with direct help on the ground, and mud on their boots. Actually, mud everywhere -- it's really quite nasty over there, people are having to go into the contaminated areas wearing hazmat suits. There is even some uncertainty in the law having to do with whether or not removing animals from the contaminated areas constitutes theft. That's definitely something they're having to work out. 
In any case, while it took us a while to understand the issues and to get our head around the problem, we think we have pretty good slice of the solution. For more on what we've come up with -- stay tuned. 

Getting Your Copy of Naughty No More

Yesterday we posted a book review of and recommendation for the Marilyn Krieger's new book, titled Naughty No More, which offers tremendous insight on correcting problem behaviors. 

Today we're pleased to let you know we have copies of her wonderful book available here for $12.95 at the Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital office.  If you would like a copy, please come on in, or give us a call.

What to do with misbehaving cats?

Some of the most common and most frustrating cases that I see are cats with behavior problems. Why is that? Often it's because I lack quality resources to share with clients on the topic. Happily, there's some news to report in this area. Feline behaviorist, Marilyn Krieger, has written a new book, titled Naughty No More, which offers insight on correcting problem behaviors. 

In my opinion, Marilyn's book is well-organized, well-written, and very easy-to-read. It offers practical suggestions to solve big problems including aggression, inappropriate elimination, furniture scratching, and counter surfing (just to name a few).
The author begins by familiarizing the reader with clicker training techniques. These methods are essential for setting the foundation on which she builds her behavioral solutions. I found her descriptions of how to teach cats the basics using this technique very informative and easy-to-follow. I had to make myself stay on the couch and keep reading, resisting the urge to jump up and start training my cat. 
After she has provided a solid background that will enable you to master the clicker basics with your cat, Marilyn moves forward building on those principles in the chapters that follow. She also includes great case examples from her experiences as a feline behaviorist. While this may sound potentially tedious, I can tell you that I found this to be very helpful, and entertaining!
In my veterinary practice, the most common feline behavior complaint that I deal with is inappropriate elimination. As you might expect, I made a beeline for this chapter and feel that it provides the best example of the effectiveness of Marilyn’s techniques. 
She starts by recommending a visit to the vet to rule out medical issues that could be contributing to the problem. Then she provides a list of factors in the cat's environment that should be addressed to ensure optimal litter box habits. Marilyn then describes the use of clicker training to build confidence, and refocus the cat away from the problem areas. I really appreciate her emphasis on a positive approach, and feel that we all need to remember this when dealing with such frustrating problems.
I highly recommend Marilyn Krieger’s Naughty No More. Whether you and your cat have a specific problem, or you just want to enrich both of your lives with fun, interactive techniques, this book provides great information. 

Firsts, lasts, and CONGRATS to "old" Hickory!

This year's Westminster Kennel Club Show at Madison Square Garden was number 135. The second oldest sporting event is bested only by the Kentucky Derby which first ran in 1875 - just two years before the first WKC show. 

The pooch that captured "first," or the Best In Show trophy, this year is a 5yr old, who goes by "Hickory." She's a doll of a Scottish Deerhound. Scottish Deerhounds have competed in every single year of the show, but this year is the first ever in which a representative of the breed has won top honors ... a very sweet victory and honor for a lovely lady whose "people" had decided that this show would be her last. She is reported to be retiring to her home on a Virginia farm, replete with enough squirrels and deer to meet her hounding requirements. 
We salute you Hickory ... for the win, and the stamina to handle that press tour!
More firsts for Westminster in 2011... 
Six new breeds were recognized by the WKC this year, making them eligible to compete in #135. This was the first year at the show for:
- Boykin Spaniels (Sporting Group)
- Bluetick Coonhounds (Hound Group)
- Redbone Coonhounds (Hound Group)
- Cane Corsos (Working Group)
- Leonbergers (Working Group)
- Icelandic Sheepdogs (Herding Group)
The freshmen didn't limit their first WKC Show trip in Manhattan to just "the Garden." The new breeds, and a few of their fellow competitors, dropped by the NASDAQ trading floor to kick things off right! 


I'll Stand By You

A touching story of loyalty is coming out of Japan's earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged region, as one dog stood by his/her injured dog friend for several days until a camera crew ran across them and facilitated their rescue.

The video doesn't require translation; loyalty is recognizable no matter what dialect is barked. 


Originally, it was thought the loyal dog was trying to keep the reporters at bay, according to a transcript posted on the Time magazine web site. One reporter called a friend - a dog food importer - who, with two pals on dirt bikes, rescued them on Tuesday. One dog is with a vet and the other a shelter. It's been a busy news week and took a couple days for the story to go viral.
A lovely followup story on CNN explains what happened and credits Kenn Sakurai, the Butch brand dog food importer, who doesn't want to be glorified as a hero, but does want to remind people to be careful with donations (apparently not all SPCAs are created equal).
So, in honor of a very loyal dog friend, please stand by as we go through the process of researching some effective, local animal rescue outfits close to the earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged region. As soon as we're confident, we'll post the results here.