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Archive for March, 2010

What four-footers can teach us


I read about this book in a magazine, and did some exploring online to give you information on what seems to be a really neat book. The cover shot kind of says it all, but info from the publisher follows.

From the writer and photographer who brought us the bestselling “Cattitude” series comes a uniquely canine perspective on living the good life. Through chraming photographs and clever aphorisms, Dogplay: The Canine Guide to Being Happy takes a light-hearted look at how our four-legged friends embrace the everyday and maintain their eternal optimism.
Whether it’s advice about enjoying food (“Tap into the mind/body/snack connection”), appreciating the simple things (“Don’t microanalyze every nice breeze that comes your way”), or de-stressing (“Never miss an appointment with a couch”), these words of canine wisdom are sure to ring true for human readers as well. Kim Levin’s signature black-and-white photography and Christine Montaquila’s insightful humor make this adorable book a must-have for any dog lover, or anyone who needs a reason to smile.

Posted by Laurel Babcock on Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
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Help save this puppy


A while ago, a very good Samaritan reached out to help find a home for an abandoned and abused dog she found is south Yonkers, NY. Now she has a 2-month-old golden retriever pup who is about to be put in the street because the girl who took the dog now realizes her apartment is too small for a dog because she is now having another baby, and her mom wants the dog out. (ARGH!!!!) The Samaritan can’t keep another dog so is desperately trying to find home for this pup before it is put in any danger.
If you, or anyone you know can help, please call 914-774-9070 and ask for Hoyt Rogers. Thanks.

Posted by Laurel Babcock on Friday, March 19th, 2010 at 11:54 am |

EPA to Increase Restrictions on Flea and Tick Products


A colleague was kind enough to send me this alert. Take a read.
WASHINGTON – Due to a significant increase in adverse incidents, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a series of actions to increase the safety of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for cats and dogs. Immediately, EPA will begin reviewing labels to determine which ones need stronger and clearer labeling statements. Next, EPA will develop more stringent testing and evaluation requirements for both existing and new products. EPA expects these steps will help prevent adverse reactions. In dogs and cats that can include skin effects, such as irritation, redness, or gastrointestinal problems that include vomiting or diarrhea, or effects to the nervous system, such as trembling, appearing depressed or seizures—from pet spot-on products.

“EPA is committed to better protecting the health and safety of pets and families in all communities across our nation,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “New restrictions will be placed on these products, and pet owners need to carefully read and follow all labeling before exposing your pet to a pesticide.”

Following the 2008 increase in incident reports, EPA received additional information from the pet spot-on pesticide registrants and others and began an intensive evaluation of these products. Today, EPA is reporting the results of this evaluation, and taking steps to address the spike in reported incidents. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Laurel Babcock on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
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Check out the mug on this pup!


What a face! Alf is a 10-month-old chocolate brown Shar Pei mix. Alf is definitely a one-of-a-kind dog. Not only does he have unique looks, he has a personality all his own. Alf is very much a puppy, but due to the work of the New Rochelle Humane Society’s Train to Adopt volunteers, he is well-trained, especially for a pup his age. His adoption fee of $152.50 includes neutering, vaccines, heartworm test, micro-chip and registration, state license and training classes. Meet Alf at the shelter, 70 Portman Road. Call 914-632-2925 or visit www.NewRochelleHumaneSociety.org.


Posted by Laurel Babcock on Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 12:25 pm |

Spike update! She’s 6 months old!


Happy half-year birthday little girl! Although she’s not so little anymore. Yet she’s still as adorable as ever. It’s been since February since Spike got her new home and things are going great, so I’m told. She and Mandy are even wrestling like old buddies. And she’s not as scardey anymore, but is making herself quite as home. The only issue is, she seems to like feet (that’s a new one!), which, as her Dad says, can be a bit problematic when she’s waiting to swipe as you come down the stairs 🙂

Oh Spikey, I miss you! But thanks to Diane for sending these photos. Spike’s birthday was Sunday, but lucky Diane got to give her a kiss today. It’s been too long…..

What? Can’t you seem I’m busy playing ball?


Now I am jungle kitty


I know, I know, I’m as cute as they come!


Posted by Laurel Babcock on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 7:01 pm |

When the gator’s way, the otters will play


I’ve posted several photos before of the north Florida wildlife that congregates outside my Dad and Teri’s southern outpost. Sadly, the gator no longer exists, so we think this why, for the first time ever, these three guys decided to show up.
I love this pic (thanks Teri!). The guy on the left is eating a fish he caught, the guy on the right has a good scratch going, and the one in the middle is like, “We’ve been caught!”


Posted by Laurel Babcock on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
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Spot the donation dog, win a prize


This just in from Guiding Eyes for the Blind: To kick-off of their new Donation Dog initiative, Guiding Eyes for the Blind is hosting a “Where’s Waldo” Facebook photo contest for residents of Westchester, Putnam, and Fairfield Counties. The nonprofit guide dog school has placed fourteen Donation Dogs in locations throughout the region and invites those interested to sniff out and snap a photo with the life-sized guide dog piggybanks.

Guiding Eyes’ “Spot the Donation Dog” contest will run through June 30. In addition to a gift basket valued at $250, the winner will also receive a private tour of Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Headquarters and Training Center in Yorktown Heights to meet the future guide dogs who reside there. Second and third place winners will also receive Guiding Eyes merchandise.

To enter, participants must have a Facebook account and become a Fan of Guiding Eyes for the Blind at www.facebook.com/guidingeyes. Participants may submit one photo per location by posting it on Guiding Eye’s Facebook Wall. Entries should include “Donation Dog Photo Contest” along with the location of the photo. The winner will be notified on the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Fan page by July 30. Locations after the jump…. Read more of this entry »

Posted by Laurel Babcock on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 10:48 am |
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After the storm


My Dad and Teri’s house up north pretty much escaped storm damage except for a downed fence. Inside, though, I can only imagine what poor nervous Bentley was like as the wind was whipping and howling. Afterward, though, all was calm as peaceful, as Teri shows us in this photo (that’s Bentley, left, Beryl on the right). Awww, cuddle buddies!


Posted by Laurel Babcock on Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
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And the Dog of Valor winner is…


…Kenai, a Bernese mountain dog mix from Erie, Colo., is the Valor Dog of the Year. The awards by The Humane Society of the United States celebrate the human-animal bond by honoring dogs who have exhibited an extraordinary sense of courage or resolve by heroically helping a person in need. Here’s their release:
Kenai earned the third annual Valor Dog of the Year for awakening her owner to alert him to a carbon monoxide leak in the vacation home where he, six other adults, two children, and three dogs were sleeping. (And here’s Kenai, quite the beautiful girl)

“The HSUS’s Dogs of Valor awards celebrate the human-animal bond by honoring dogs who have engaged in remarkable acts of altruism, courage, and intelligence,” said HSUS president and CEO Wayne Pacelle. “Dogs are our friends, but they can also be our saviors, and the list of 100 nominees provides plenty of support for that proposition.”
The Valor Dog of the Year was chosen by a panel of celebrities including: film and television actor Kristin Bell, who played a mysterious character with special powers on the hit show “Heroes;” Sally Pressman, whose character on Lifetime’s “Army Wives” adopted a stray dog who saved a soldier’s life in Iraq; and Jay Kopelman, a retired Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel who brought a puppy back from Iraq and wrote “From Bagdad With Love” recalling the experience.
Calamity Jane, a golden retriever mix from Aledo, Texas was named both First Runner Up by the panel of celebrity judges and People’s Hero by online voters for scaring away intruders by ferociously barking and growling outside a home where a family and their guests had been held at gunpoint for nearly an hour.
The People’s Hero was chosen by the public through online voting at humanesociety.org.
Benson, a golden retriever from Binghamton, N.Y. was named Second Runner Up for barking and alerting his owners to a fire across the street, giving them time to run to their neighbor’s and awaken the family before the house was consumed by flames.
The winners will receive prizes from Bella Tocca Tags, Custom Glass Etching, and The HSUS’ online store, Humane Domain.
Click here to read the complete stories of this year’s Dogs of Valor. 

Posted by Laurel Babcock on Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
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Brothers reunited


If you missed this story over the weekend in The Journal News or here at LoHud.com, I suggest you check it out. It’s an amazing tale of a dog reunion between two brothers, the excellent family who allowed them to be brought back together, and one dog’s apparent strong desire to be back with family.

Here are Timber, the determined doggy, and Apollo.


Posted by Laurel Babcock on Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 11:20 am |

About this blog
For most animal lovers, pets are members of the family. They carry around pictures in their wallets and schedule vacations with pets in mind. This blog takes a look into the world of a pet owner: the good, the bad and the just plain obsessive.

About the author
Laurel Babcock is the Community Life editor for The Journal News, Express Publications and LoHud.com. She grew up with a beloved mutt and was surrounded by dogs into young adulthood. She liked cats enough, but didn't really think of them as true pets. That changed when her brother brought an abandoned 4-week-old kitty into the family, dooming us all. Laurel currently serves as staff for two completely adored cats, Stanley and Cup, both girls.


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