OHS Makes it Easier for Cat Lovers to Adopt

Duke of Sampsononiah, an eight-year old male cat, became available for adoption at OHS earlier this week

Duke of Sampsononiah, an eight-year old male cat, became available for adoption at OHS earlier this week

Facedwith a major influx of cats from the public, the Oregon Humane Society is cutting adoption fees by half for all cats six years and older through April 30.

“If the rainy days and overcast skies are getting you down, it may be time to bring a furry ray of sunshine into your life,” said Sharon Harmon, chief executive officer of OHS. “Mature cats are too often overlooked because of the demand for kittens. But these older felines can make the best of companions.”

In the last week, an unusually high number of cats have been surrendered to OHS from people no longer able to care for them. OHS currently has 64 cats available for adoption (about half are six years or older). Another 62 cats are receiving care at the shelter and should be available in the near future.

The special discount offer will reduce the usual $15 fee for a six-year-old cat to $7.50. The adoption special runs from Wednesday, April 26, through the end of the day on Sunday, April 30.

The public can view photos and descriptions of all cats available for adoption here. Every cat adopted from OHS is spayed or neutered and comes with a microchip ID, collar and  tag, initial vaccines, courtesy veterinarian exam, 30 days of free PetPlan health insurance for Oregon residents and plenty of post-adoption support.

OHS is located at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd. in Portland. Shelter hours are 10 am – 7 pm Sunday through Wednesday, and 10 am – 9 pmThursday through Saturday. For more information, contact OHS at www.oregonhumane.org or call 503/285-7722.

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The Oregon Humane Society is the Northwest's oldest and largest humane society. OHS relies entirely on donations to support its adoption, education, and animal cruelty investigation programs. Visit oregonhumane.org for more information. OHS is located at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, Oregon.

Share the love of reading

Parker gives a tongue's up for the community library at Salty's

Parker gives a tongue's up for the community library at Salty's

Love reading?  Love animal books and tales? Love sharing a good book? 

Pop in to Salty’s Pet Supply (4039 N Mississippi Ave, Ste 104, Portland) and check out the latest (and cutest!) little neighborhood lending library. 

In partnership with Spot, Salty’s library features everything pet!  All sorts of animal-related books including fiction and non-fiction, training manuals, educational volumes, and humorous reads, picture books and just for fun.

Enjoy a great read and return it for others to enjoy. If you have books you’ve taken delight in – spread the joy to someone else!  Drop them off at Salty’s during business hours.   

Do you love telling others about a great read? 

Spot is accepting book reviews to publish in future issues for any of the books from the library. 

It’s easy!

Send 400 words (or so) to publisher@spotmagazine.net.

Include your name (and a photo if you like!), the book title, book publisher, and year published.

If you would like a copy of the magazine in which your book review appears, please include your mailing address!

Book reviews are published as space is available. Sending your book review and/or photo to publisher@spotmagazine.net indicates your consent to have one or both published in Spot Magazine.

Ready, Set, Go!

Pet season has begun! 

No matter the weather, it’s time to get out and about with your furry friends and support the animals in the community. 

Several great organizations helping animals have their biggest fundraisers in the months ahead.

Check out this roster of paw-some walk/run events to get started:

Walk/Run for the Animals

Sat., May 6, 7:30am-Noon at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA * Party in the park with over 2,000 people and more than 1,000 dogs to support the Humane Society for SW Washington. Choose a timed 5K run or 3-mile walk along the beautiful Columbia River. Dozens of pet-friendly vendors, dog agility demos, awards and fun for you and your dog. Plus, Mosho, the cat rapper performs live!  Details/register SouthwestHumane.org.

Doggie Dash 2017

Sat., May 13, 7:30am-1pm at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, OR * Portland’s biggest party for pets and their peeps celebrates 30 years!  That’s totally tubular!  Fun run or walk from two different routes and support the animals at Oregon Humane Society.  There is also a virtual walk and dashers are encouraged to wear their finest 1987 attire!  Vendors, contests, live music and more round out this incredible morning of fun. Details/register OregonHumane.org.

Bark in the Park

Sun., May 21, 7am-Noon at Alton Baker Park in Eugene, OR * On your marks, get set, GO!  Leash up for a 5K run or 2K walk at the 24th annual event for the animals at Greenhill Humane Society. Enter as an individual or a team and get a sweet doggie bandana with registration. The line-up of fun also includes canine activities, contests, vendor booths, demos and more. Details/register Green-Hill.org.

WillaMutt Strut 2017

Sun., June 4, 9am-Noon at Riverfront Park in Salem, OR * Grab some friends and leash up the pups for the pets at Willamette Humane Society. Choose from the ambitious 5K (run or walk) or the more casual 1K strut. Afterwards, join other passionate pet people in the park for food, brews, music, games, demos and more fun. Family-friendly, group-friendly and of course, dog-friendly event!  Details/register WHS4Pets.org.

Dog Gone Run

Sat., June 17, 7am-1pm at Friends of Sam Jackson Park in Redmond, OR * Dog-friendly 5K or 10K run/walk supports the Brightside Animal Center and encourages participants to get out with their buddies although it’s not a requirement. This year, a 1-mile fun walk will be introduced for families and their pets. Awards given for fastest finishers overall in each age division.  Details/register BrightsideAnimals.org.

Lace up your walking shoes and let’s go!

Fetch all the pet-related fun by visiting the Good Neighbor Vet Furry FunPlanner and tune in to KPSU radio every Thursday at 6:05pm.


Bailey is a young girl with lots of energy. She loves to play and, at just 9 months old, is enthusiastic about sniffing around and learning about new smells. Bailey is a great mix of Rhodesian Ridgeback/Labrador Retriever and has a good history with cats and kids, as well as other dogs that can tolerate her energetic play style. Bailey is looking for an active family that can get her the daily exercise she needs and can help her grow into a beautiful and loving adult.  For more information on adopting this great girl, call (541) 689-1503 or visit green-hill.org



How to know when it’s time to see the Vet

Have you experienced that anxious moment when you know something is wrong with your pet and you have to decide what to do? Maybe your dog is vomiting? Or your cat has diarrhea? Or perhaps your pet is limping, has collapsed, or is crying out?

None of us want our pets to suffer, and when such things occur, one of the most stressful aspects can be knowing what to do.

Is it an Emergency?

First, it’s important to recognize the signs of a true emergency so you can seek immediate veterinary care, if needed. It’s important to know if your veterinarian treats emergency cases, and to have a list of nearby emergency veterinary clinics before you need one. Many clinics will discuss a situation by phone to help determine whether it may be an emergency, and some will even provide home care recommendations if your pet has been seen at there in the past year.  You can also increase the chances of your pet surviving an emergency by taking a pet CPR or first aid class.

Some situations that call for immediate veterinary care include when your pet:

●       has collapsed or is unresponsive

●       has ingested toxins or an object that could cause blockage

●       has severe bleeding

●       is choking or cannot breathe

●       has injured an eye

●       has severe vomiting or diarrhea or occurrences more than twice in 24 hours

●       has broken bones or a leg at a strange angle

●       is having seizures or other neurological symptoms

●       is a cat who is straining to urinate or not eating for over 24 hours

If symptoms don’t appear severe, it can be difficult to know when to go to the vet. In these cases, remember animals — especially cats — are masters at hiding illness. This is because showing signs of sickness in the wild makes them vulnerable to predators.

Check Vital Signs

A basic assessment of the following vitals is an important step in determining whether immediate vet care is needed. If any of the following vitals are abnormal, s/he should be seen right away.

●       Hydration Your pet’s gums are a good indicator of hydration. Dr. Heather Dillon of At Home Veterinary Services — a Spot Top Dog winning veterinary practice that treats pets in their homes — says, “A healthy animal should have moist, coral-pink gums. When you gently press on the gums the color should turn from white back to the normal pink color in about two seconds. If the gums look pale, blue, are tacky (dry), or if it takes a prolonged time for color to return after pressing on the tissue, then you should have your pet seen.” With a well-hydrated pet, the skin on the scruff of the neck should move easily back into place if you pull on it gently. Here too, if it takes more than two seconds to move back into place, your pet is likely dehydrated.

●       Temperature Gently insert a lubricated digital thermometer into your pet’s rectum, and follow the instructions on the thermometer to get a reading. The thermometer should be inserted around one to three inches, depending on the size of the animal, and should never be forced in. A normal temperature for a cat or dog generally ranges between 100 and 102.5 F.

●       Respiration Rate. To measure respiration, simply count your pet’s breaths for one minute. A respiration rate of a healthy, comfortable cat is usually 20 to 30 breaths per minute; a dog’s is a broader range of 15 to 30.

●       Heart Rate. For cats, heart rate is usually measured by resting the hand on the cat’s side, behind its left front leg. For dogs, the femoral artery on the inside of the back leg is usually easiest for measuring heart rate. The normal range for a pet’s heart rate is quite wide, and can vary depending on the stress level and size of the animal. A dog’s heart rate is usually between 100-150 beats per minute; a cat’s is generally 140-220. Both heart and respiration rates are best measured when your pet is relaxed, if possible.

Other Factors 

●       Age. When a very young or older pet shows signs of a medical concern, s/he should be seen by a vet.

●       The number of symptoms. If multiple symptoms are apparent, the situation is more serious. For example, a vomiting, lethargic dog is more likely to have a serious condition than one who is only vomiting.

●       Environmental exposure. Consider what your pet may have been exposed to. Is it possible that s/he ingested a bottle of pills or something toxic in the yard? Dogs will often eat clothing or toys, and cats often eat string or yarn; both necessitate an immediate veterinary visit. For a full list of substances that are toxic to pets, visit the ASPCA Poison Control website.

Common Concerns

Symptoms are not the disease, but rather clues you can use — in conjunction with diagnostics like an exam, lab work, radiographs, ultrasound, and sometimes even surgery — to determine the underlying condition.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Most pets occasionally vomit or get diarrhea. If either is occurring and is intense, or lasts longer than 24 hours, veterinary care is needed. When vomiting or diarrhea start, withhold food to give the stomach a rest. Dr. Dillon advises offering small amounts of water, but if your pet vomits the water, consult your vet.

If vomiting or diarrhea stops for 6-8 hours, offer your pet small amounts of bland food, like boiled chicken, turkey or rice. If your pet continues to do well, gradually transition back to a normal diet over several days. If vomiting and diarrhea resume after reintroducing food, it is time to see the vet. Chronic (repeatedly occurring) vomiting or diarrhea calls for a visit to the veterinarian.

Dr. Dillon warns that cats should not fast as long as dogs. “Any time food is withheld from a cat it should be done under the advice of a veterinarian because of the potential for hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver syndrome).” It is important not to give your pet any medication without consulting your veterinarian.

Possible causes of vomiting and diarrhea include: recent change in diet, dietary indiscretion (eating unusual or unnatural items), parasites, viruses, gastritis and gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or bloat.


Limping can be caused by a wide variety of conditions — some easily resolved, while others are more serious. According to Dr. Lillian Su at Sunstone Veterinary Specialists, most pets who limp are experiencing pain, and the most common causes of limping are musculoskeletal or neurological pain.

If your pet is able to put weight on the leg and is not experiencing other symptoms, the limping may be caused by a strain that could heal by applying a cold pack, and limiting his or her activity to short bathroom walks for several days.

With limping, a veterinary appointment is urgent if any of these is true:

●       there is a broken bone or wound

●       the pet cannot put weight on the leg

●       the leg is at a strange angle, is swollen, or has obvious instability

●       the limping appears to originate from the back instead of the leg

●       For cats, paralysis of one or both rear legs can indicate a dislodged blood clot. If your cat has limited use of ANY leg, the foot feels cold, or the cat is vocalizing loudly, it is a medical emergency.

Do not give your pet pain medication unless prescribed by your veterinarian. “While it is natural to want to give your pet something to help with their pain, many over the counter anti-inflammatories and pain medications are harmful to pets,” Dr. Su says.

Possible causes of limping include: broken or fractured bone, ligament injury, developmental orthopedic disease, stroke, arthritis, infection, or foreign body in the leg.


Although lethargy is a common symptom, it can be difficult to find its cause. Dr. Stephanie Scott of Pearl Animal Hospital explains, “Lethargy is a difficult symptom to interpret. It can run the gamut of something not concerning, like being tired from a busy, active day, to a very concerning symptom of a serious potentially life-threatening problem.” Because lethargy is such a general symptom, your veterinarian will likely want to supplement a physical exam with detailed lab work and radiographs. If a pet parent is worried, Scott advises that they have their pet seen by a veterinarian — especially if there are any other symptoms.

Possible causes of lethargy include: gastrointestinal upset, cardiac disease, infection, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, muscle or joint pain, bloat, cancer, urinary issues, or kennel cough.

In appetence/Anorexia

Like lethargy, loss of appetite is a common but vague symptom that can be caused by a variety of conditions. When accompanied by other symptoms, or the pet has a major systemic disease, it should be seen by a veterinarian. For instance, if your pet has diabetes, you should contact your vet if even one meal is skipped.

It is especially important for a cat who is not eating to see a vet within 24 hours, as s/he is vulnerable to hepatic lipidosis, or liver failure, a life-threatening disease. If your pet seems hungry but does not eat, you can try to make the food more enticing by heating it to room temperature or adding tasty, aromatic treats, such as water from canned tuna. According to Dr. Dillon, “Sometimes offering small amounts for food at a time can be a little less overwhelming.”

Possible causes of in appetence include: gastrointestinal upset, foreign body blockage, cancer, kidney or other organ disease, pain, pancreatitis, or thyroid disease.

When in Doubt

Only a veterinarian has the training and tools needed to fully diagnose and treat your pet. Dr. Scott encourages, “I am here to help your pet feel better. Your pet, my patient, can't speak, so I rely on you, the pet owner, to help me figure out what is going on. Lab work and/or radiographs [x-rays] can really help me determine what is or what is not going on.” There are many options for low-stress, patient-focused veterinary care — from clinics with separate entrances for cats and dogs to veterinarians who provide in-home care — and your veterinarian is there to help.  As Dr. Su says, “If you’re on the fence or at all uncertain, call your vet!”

Daniela Iancu, founder of Animal Community Talks, has worked and volunteered with veterinary practices and animal welfare organizations in the Portland area for the last decade. Her happy home includes a wonderfully supportive husband and sweet senior cat, Maya.

Salty’s welcomes new addition

Nancy Fedelem is at it again. The local businesswoman, animal advocate and friend of many opened South Paw Neighborhood Pet Supply on Portland’s South Waterfront in late January. Her flagship store, Salty’s Pet Supply, opened 12 years ago; sister store Fang & Feather is 4.

While South Paw opened “at the worst possible time” given this winter’s ice and snow, Nancy happily reports that, “We had customers before we even opened,” including some they see every day. Located in a mixed-use building with residents up top, Nancy and her staff are already busy doing something they do best: building community.

“It’s such a great area,” says Nancy, “and so different from our other locations. You can be out walking and take the footbridge, be on either the east or west side of the river, and there’s great parks and shops. It’s pretty exciting — the South Waterfront is the new happenin’ place!”

Store Manager Bonnie and Receiving Specialist Alex run the store, says Nancy, and they’re getting great reviews. “I get awesome feedback about them. They have incredible knowledge and are doing an excellent job.” So good, in fact, that the building manager said, “They’re so great, I wish I could steal them!” A pet parent with a puppy and an older dog herself, the manager told Nancy that Bonnie and Alex always help with her pet issues, offering great suggestions.

The community has been equally enthusiastic in embracing South Paw. Nancy and her team love it when the building management buys residents goodie bags to say thank you for being great neighbors. “They’ll pop in and say, ‘We need to do a bag for Janice' (a beloved 12-year-old Malinois) — it’s so fun,” Nancy smiles.

Nancy Fedelum (right) loves spending time with her human and animal customers

Nancy Fedelum (right) loves spending time with her human and animal customers

The success of the Salty’s family of stores is no surprise given Nancy’s dedication to community, excellent service, high-quality products, and having fun. Her community spirit was recognized in 2015 with the Small Business Spirit Award from the Small Business Administration, in part for “her business prowess and commitment to the business community, pets, and their owners.”

Nancy and her team’s love of fun shows up in many ways, including their pleasure in selling ‘body parts.’ “Knee caps, chicken feet, trachea, ears, and scapula,” Nancy laughs. “We love body parts — they’re fun to sell.”

In keeping with her tradition of supporting community events, South Paw is a sponsor of the Portland Farmers Market — where the shop will offer products, including the famed body parts.

Nancy also finds fun in having shops in three unique neighborhoods. “I was at South Paw with Parker (her 10-year-old pup and longtime mascot of all her stores) when three gentlemen from out of town came in.  We chatted, and as they readied to leave, one said: ‘You don’t know how much I needed that’ [petting Parker]. Then, days later I was at Salty’s, and those same three men came in. That’s what I love about having multiple stores — it’s really rewarding.” Nancy also really loves that “Parker, who’s often with me, brings so much joy to people.”

The Salty’s family of stores does that, too. See for yourself — with better weather on the horizon, a Grand Opening celebration is in the works, planned for late April. Get details and keep pace with all the fun on Facebook at SouthPawNeighborhoodPetSupply, and on the store’s website, coming soon: SouthPawPDX.com.

Photos by Phido Photography

Kristin Dael is a freelance writer and the alter ego of Jennifer McCammon. She lives in Portland with her pups, and strives to produce articles that inform, edify, engage and entertain.

Anesthesiologists - The OTHER surgical MVP

Dr. Shafford cradles a patient with asthma, kidney and heart disease.  The kitty is recovering well from anesthesia.

Dr. Shafford cradles a patient with asthma, kidney and heart disease.  The kitty is recovering well from anesthesia.

It’s a loving pet parent’s “perfect storm” — being caught between a pet’s need for a medical procedure and his or her risk of complications with anesthesia.

“One thing that always surprises me is that people don’t know specialist-level anesthesia is an available option,” says Dr. Heidi Shafford, DVM, board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist. It’s Shafford’s business to provide anesthesia care for medically-fragile patients.

A veterinarian may consider a pet high-risk with anesthesia for various reasons, including age, breed sensitivities, liver, heart, or kidney disease, previous anesthesia reaction, or a littermate who died under anesthesia.

“It’s not necessarily that their pet can’t undergo anesthesia, and it isn’t necessarily that their vet is wrong, but that it isn’t within their vet’s comfort level,” Shafford explains. “I’m not contradicting what that vet is saying, but here’s an analogy for what I do. Some people have compared me to a river 'bar pilot' — like those who help captains cross the difficult Columbia River Bar between the river and the ocean. Instead I help medically fragile pets navigate anesthesia.”

Shafford’s expertise helps enable high-risk pets to have procedures that can increase quality of life. A toothache is no longer life-threatening.

Veterinary anesthesiologists are sticklers for detail, crafting special anesthesia plans for each pet. For example, older pets require lower drug doses, benefit from extra support and monitoring during and after anesthesia, and need to quickly resume eating. Pets with liver disease are safer with an anesthetic that doesn’t involve liver metabolism. For kidney patients, extra pre-anesthetic fluid support and special attention to preventing and treating low blood pressure can help support fragile kidneys during anesthesia.

“Most of my patients have heart disease, kidney disease or both!”  Whatever the challenge, Shafford faces each with specialized training and thorough preparation, along with a formidable team.

“I want owners to know that I take what I do — improving anesthesia safety for pets — very seriously.  I gather detailed information about each pet ahead of time, both the focused medical picture and overall background. I get a grasp of the main concerns from the primary vet, and also talk with owners about their pet’s energy level, appetite, any coughing, sneezing, and other various details.”

Dr. Shafford also explains the upcoming procedure to pet parents. “For example, with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, there is a risk of low blood pressure and irregular heartbeats, and my anesthetic plan would include steps to minimize stress and prevent low blood pressure. I would be monitoring from before the anesthesia begins and intensively throughout, to immediately pick up on any changes, if any, to support the patient early and well.”

According to Shafford, recovery is too often an overlooked danger zone.

“During a procedure, the pet is getting extra oxygen, is often being warmed, and someone is close at hand. They are often getting IV fluids. When many clinics finish anesthesia, there is a misperception that the anesthesia is 'finished,' that the pet is out of harms’ way, and people move on to something else.”

But, says Shafford, the majority of pets lost to anesthesia-related deaths actually pass away during recovery.

Anesthesia was stopped early for this sweet dog by her primary care veterinarian because of complications related to heart disease.  She was referred to Dr. Shafford for specialist-level anesthesia care.  Here the pup looks happy after a successful anesthesia and dental procedure!

Anesthesia was stopped early for this sweet dog by her primary care veterinarian because of complications related to heart disease.  She was referred to Dr. Shafford for specialist-level anesthesia care.  Here the pup looks happy after a successful anesthesia and dental procedure!

“In recovery I monitor closely,” she says. “They are recovering from medications, may be a little cold, and not fully in control of their systems. It’s that first one to three hours after surgery that's so critical.”

That extra assurance is one reason Shafford’s schedule is full of return clients.

“A big piece of what I do is assure you that your pet is looked after, that they are warm, that their heart is beating strong, and that they are comfortable and well.”

On site two to three days a week at the Animal Dental Clinic in Tigard, Shafford says, “The dental specialists and technicians are very skilled, fast and efficient, and it truly minimizes anesthesia time. We team up for patients that are the most at-risk. I know if I ask them for help during an anesthesia emergency, they are there for me. We’ve worked together through some very challenging cases.”

Also working alongside other veterinarians, the doctor says, “The majority of vets in the Portland Metro area are familiar with me, and there are times when I’m available to come to their location. Some procedures are best performed at certain clinics.”

Neutering a dog may be a routine surgery, but for a high-risk patient with serious heart disease, anesthetizing demands her skills. “And I’ll be doing that next week for a kitty cat. There’s just this wide range of things I do for so many pets — I anesthetized a cat for cataract surgery last week — never a dull moment! I absolutely love what I do.”

Christy Caballero writes from the heart about all things pet-related, from a couple deer trails off the beaten path, typically juggling a cat (or two) on her lap as black kitty AsTar teeters on her shoulder and Mojo the retired Greyhound quietly calls for einforcements!!

30th annual Doggie Dash is May 13th

The largest and oldest humane society in the Pacific Northwest, the Oregon Humane Society boasts a fantastic 97% save rate.  Established in 1868, the organization is admired and respected in the community, evidenced by another strong showing in the Top Dog Awards this year.

Rescuing, healing and adopting more than 11,600 pets annually is made possible by the hard work and compassion of 180 animal-loving full-time staff and over 2,000 volunteers. The organization also offers ongoing workshops on training, TTouch, pet massage, managing multi-pet households, managing behaviorally-challenged pets and more. Other OHS services include animal rescue, emergency response, treating abused animals, spay/neuter, and medical care.

Supported 100% by private donations and fundraisers, OHS’s Doggie Dash is perhaps the largest, most popular annual pet event in Portland.

“We are thrilled to be celebrating our 30th year on May 13th,” says Barbara Baugnon, OHS Vice President of Marketing and Communications. This is our largest fundraiser and biggest event — more than 8,000 people come out with over 3,000 dogs of all breeds and sizes. It really is a citywide celebration, and the largest dog walk on the west coast! Our goal this year is to raise $675,000.” In addition to the walk, Doggie Dash includes a large Vendor Village, contests, treats, and even human chair massages. “Because it’s our 30th anniversary this year, we are doing a throw-back to 1987 [the first year], with a neon color theme,” says Baugnon.

Among its many accolades, OHS — and specifically, Doggie Dash — have been Top Dog winners most years. “We are absolutely honored to win in so many Top Dog categories, as it means we are relevant and right on track. Oregonians have always loved, cared for, and respected their pets. I love that we have been here in the same spot for 148 years, and that there are pets buried here in our cemetery dating back to 1920. We have grown to a 46,000 square-foot animal shelter, and another 22,000 square-foot animal medical center, with three surgery suites, radiology, recovery rooms, and even a pharmacy.”

Details and to register at OregonHumane.org.

Melinda Thompson is a freelance writer with a degree in Speech Communications and a coveted "Ducktorate" from the Walt Disney World Company. She has been featured in many local magazines and newspapers.  She lives in Vancouver USA with her husband, son and daughter.

Looking for your perfect match?

Considering adding a new pup to your family?  The best first step is exploring what will make the best match for your family's personality and way of life. That, alongside a canine's demeanor, can play a critical role in what breed will be a great fit, whether small or large, active or passive.

Once you know which breed(s) might best fit, you can then move on to assessing an individual dog’s or puppy’s disposition. Following are some of the more popular breeds and how their common traits work well with certain types of owners. Use this as a guide while seeking the perfect new furry companion for your family.


Need to have your hairy companion excitedly anticipate your arrival, eager for cuddling and tummy rubs? In this case you will probably like a pet that desires your love and affection.

Best Breed | Labrador Retriever

Labs love and cherish their owners. Known for sweet, warm natures, these pups will celebrate you home every time.


If you are active, of good humor, and enjoy being the life of the party, you may want a companion who’s in step with your social habits and who appreciates the company of your loved ones.

Best Breed | Norwich Terrier

An energetic, active pooch who’s eager to make friends, Norwich Terriers are ecstatic allies who love to buddy around and keep you laughing. Terriers are valiant, solid, cheeky, adoring and free-spirited. They make for fabulous family dogs, as they view their family as their "pack" and seek to be part of all goings on. This breed has get-up-and-go, and makes an incredible family pet; however, it is not recommended to raise with toddler-aged children. Easily trained and possessed with an even demeanor, these dogs are ideal for first-time owners, but owners who have plenty of time to share with their best friend.


If your exercise routine is a crucial part of your day, you'll want a pet that is similarly dynamic and vivacious.

Best Breed | German Shepherd or Jack Russell Terrier

German Shepherds are exceedingly wise canines that flourish with tons of exercise. Their ideal person loves long strolls or runs. In case you're searching for a smaller but similarly athletic pooch, consider the Jack Russell Terrier. JRTs are filled with vitality and excess energy, and need 30-45 minutes of exercise every day.


Continuously seeking to get your way? You'll see eye-to-eye with a stubborn and persistent canine who does not take 'no' for an answer (even from you).

Best Breed | English Bulldog

The common expression "stubborn as a bulldog" exists for a reason. In the event you are seeking a pooch to lounge around with and not a running mate, English Bulldogs are for you. What's more, in the event you do choose to go for a run, there’s a good chance this headstrong canine just will not move!


For jet-setters who would love a pet co-pilot along for their adventures, some of the mighty 'littles' are highly qualified for the job.

Best Breed | Pomeranian or Yorkshire Terrier

Size is frequently an issue for pet parents when it comes to travel, so it helps to pick a pooch that doesn’t require much space on the road or in the air. Pomeranian and Yorkshire Terriers are extraordinary for travelers, thanks to being ‘totes’ totable, very social, and require little exercise. You'll love touring for an entire day without feeling like you're ignoring Sparky.


Super busy but longing for a pet? Your match is a pooch that deals very well with your comings and goings. 

Best Breed | Pug

For dog owners constantly on the go, it's imperative to pick a breed that doesn't require huge amounts of daily exercise or grooming. Pugs are ideal, as they require very little exercise and minimal grooming.


If your idea of a perfect evening is lounging with a book and your cherished companion, your match is calm, laid-back, and quiet.

Best Breed | Basset Hound or Bullmastiff

Basset Hounds are smooth, calm dogs that will cheerfully lounge around with you. But don’t let them laze all the time — like everyone, they need the occasional exercise, as they're prone to weight gain. Bullmastiffs are enormous, yet they make shockingly great apartment or condo pooches: they are calm and require little exercise.

With so many breeds possessing such varied, distinctive qualities, finding a great match is really quite simple.  Just a matter of giving it some thought, and then taking a look at what’s out there. A great source for that is Petfinder.com.  You can specify the traits you seek, then plug in the geographic range you’re willing to travel, be it your own neighborhood or across the country. Petfinder will then show you the pets meeting your description, where they are and who to contact to meet them.

Happy Matchmaking!

Travel junkie Amber Kingsley is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her love of dogs and art history background informs her topics. A favorite pastime is being with her Pomeranian, Agatha.

Out of Nowhere

It was never meant to be about a stray dog.  It was tobe a long weekend, all about a prestigious Arabian horse show.

And I NEVER set out to camp!  In fact, when my friend Cheryll told me that was the plan, I remember saying something like, “Oh, no no no no no…. There are perfectly good hotels nearby… with amenities.”

But there I was, helping her unpack stuff — including a little dome tent — onto the only patch of ground under a shade tree adjacent to the gate into fairground parking near the horse show grounds.

As we threaded flexible ribs into the tent so it could spring to life, ‘million-dollar’ motor homes pulled in around us. One exquisite model was just parking when the tent was finally ready to load with supplies . . . when a wind gust sent it skittering — in full view of the whole ritzy lineup — us in hot pursuit. It would haunt us later.

We hauled the wayward tent back and quickly filled it with coolers, sleeping bags, and whatever we had to weigh it down. We then struck out to watch high-powered trainers working horses in the arena, one of them my futurity colt. 

We had just settled in the grandstands when we heard a stuffy little giggle from the left.

“Ohhhh… ha ha ha — you’re the ladies with the little snow tent!!!”

No escaping the scrutiny from a tall motor home.

After seeing a trainer get dumped, we felt better about our station and returned to our home away from home — only to find a chain gang.

Yes, a chain gang.

They were working on the other side of the chain-link fence bordering the parking lot. No gate. A particularly vile-looking fellow threw us a nasty smile and said, “SO, are you ladies camping ALONE?”

Cheryll quickly replied that our husbands would be arriving any time (lying). He smiled and nodded as if he could tell.

I mentally retraced my steps back to the last hotel we’d passed coming in.

Then I heard panting — the good kind — big black Lab, lolling tongue, congenial tail-wagging-type panting. He trotted up to us as if on assignment, and we greeted him like an old friend. The gentle boy didn’t have any tags — just an old weathered collar.

We brought “Buddy” into the tent, where he lounged happily, sharing snacks and a nap.

Readying to head out for evening classes, we talked about how nice it would be to have Buddy be there when we got back. A horse lead became a makeshift tether to the small shade tree. A security guard ambled by and we asked about the earlier chain gang, and also if the dog looked familiar. He said he’d ask around to see if anyone was missing the amiable black dog.

Over the weekend the show unfolded, the “snow tent” was openly mocked, and thanks to Buddy nobody bothered our tent, whether we were there or not. We'd gone to town for dog food and chews and whatever he might need, and he seemed to be in his glory. The security guard kept stopping by to check in, always giving Buddy a good ear scratch.

Truth be told, there weren’t a lot of “unspecified breed” dogs at the show. I can’t recall if that was the year of Rotties, or Salukis, or the year of Chow Chow puppies (like baby bear cubs) in most of the trainers’ greeting areas. At any rate, it seemed somehow fitting that our “snow tent” was squired by a bona fide mutt.

Suddenly the weekend was over, the big motor homes pulling out, leaving us with a decision — because nobody appeared to be missing this sweet, gentle dog.

The answer was already in the works. Stopping by on his way off shift, the security guard asked what we planned to do with the kindly mutt. He said he wouldn’t mind taking him home one bit.

So we thanked Buddy for taking care of us along his way “home.”

You’ve got to love rescue, especially when it writes its own happy ending.

Christy Caballero writes from the heart about all things pet-related, from a couple deer trails off the beaten path, typically juggling a cat (or two) on her lap as black kitty AsTar teeters on her shoulder and Mojo the retired Greyhound quietly calls for einforcements!!