December Cover Model

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Name:  Armani

Breed:  Chihuahua

Age:  He will be 1 year Dec. 10th and will be having a big pawty!

Family:  Melissa & Josh Williams, Coco Chanel, Bubba, Bruno, Dolce and Lily

Stomping grounds:  He likes to play at Happy Valley Park.

Turn-ons:  He loves hanging with Melissa at Paws for a Cause, the beautiful little boutique she manages in Troutdale, OR. He also likes picking on siblings.  

Turn-offs: He hates when his siblings take his toys from him when he is playing with them!

H1N1: What you need to know about your pets and the swine flu

Oregon saw the first cat in the nation to die of H1N1 (aka “swine flu”). Oregon also had the first confirmed case of a ferret with H1N1, and to have a ferret die of the illness. In addition to the pigs for which this strain of flu is named, flocks of domestic turkeys have contracted the illness too. So far no affected dogs have been reported, and it is not yet known if they are susceptible.

Buddy Lou, a 10-year-old Tabby from Lebanon, OR, came down with a respiratory illness shortly after a child in his house was sick with flu-like symptoms, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The cat died four days after being taken to the Lebanon Animal Clinic. Fluid had accumulated in the cat’s lungs, and he did not respond to routine antibiotics or oxygen treatment. Tests confirmed that he had H1N1.

Fire at Eugene’s Zany Zoo — losses less than feared, recovery in progress

Zany Zoo Pets in Eugene was a smoke-filled scene of devastation in the early hours of Nov. 6th after a fire broke out in the reptile room of the store — which was filled with creatures ranging from exotic snakes to puppies. In the aftermath of the flames, it appeared nearly 100 animals had perished. Zany Zoo co-owner Nate McClain was devastated to see “the culmination of five years of 24-hour hard work” in shambles. The cause of the fire is not yet known, he says. Despite early reports that the reptiles’ heaters had overloaded a circuit, McClain said the heaters were drawing less current than a refrigerator would.

Multnomah County Bark Control to the Rescue!

‘Tis the season to be a good DOGGY neighbor! As we pet lovers know, dogs and barking just go hand in hand. A dog barking at the occasional squirrel in their yard or cat in a window isn’t something that usually causes friction among neighbors. Problems can arise, however, when a dog’s barking becomes so constant that it changes the neighborhood from relaxed and friendly to tense and exhausting.

Dogs living in urban and suburban settings have very different roles than those of farm or sled dogs. Neighborhood or apartment dwellers need to be sufficiently calm and controlled in order to live in peace with human housemates and neighbors. The experts at Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) know that some pet guardians need a little reminder that being a respectful neighborly family includes respectful behavior from the dog as well.

Miracle on C Street (A true miracle that actually happened)

TonyMy 81-year-old “young” aunt Maggie lives in a small tourist town — an old silver mining town high on a hill. Since my uncle passed away 11 years ago, she has lived alone with her two best friends, Kapu and Tony, small Lhaso mix dogs. In her Christmas photo card to me a few years ago she wrote: “These are the reasons I get up in the morning.”

True heart-shaped tale not to be missed

Just in time for the holidays, a wrenching true story with a beautiful ending — born out of the ugliness of a war zone. In Nubs, The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle we get to know (and come to love) a U.S. Marine and the dog he bonded with while serving in Iraq. The book contains everything dog lovers look for: love, loyalty, hope, compassion, bravery and the perseverance of a scrappy little dog that would not give up.

Birds NEED Toys, Birds LOVE to destroy toys

The sun peeked out briefly this afternoon, so I decided to take my two furry friends on a much-deserved excursion to the river. I grabbed my keys and loaded the thrilled mutts into the car. In my haste I forgot “the ball” — the toy we always take along. Turns out I needn’t have worried. My big guy immediately glommed onto a knotty stick that sent him into a frenzy of digging to the center of something. My little girl discovered a semi-deflated balloon snagged on a branch just out of reach. She jumped and lunged in crazed excitement to get at it.

The thing about dogs is it doesn’t take much to entertain them. In fact, as long as I’m there engaging in their play, they enjoy themselves. An added bonus is the enlightenment I get watching them revel in the moment of a found prize. I rarely buy expensive toys. I learned long ago that for my dogs, a stick, a tennis ball or a balled up sock is just as prized.

Holiday Helpers - Be Mindful of Seasonal Hazards

In the magic and chaos of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget important safety precautions for our animals. Here is the bark on things to keep in mind to prevent festivities from taking a tragic turn. 

The Tree

Whether live or artificial, for pets, the tree can be one huge toy rack. Low hanging baubles, glittery strings and shiny lights captivate can be irresistible. Place only unbreakable, non-toxic decorations on lower limbs. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, so be extra mindful of loose ribbons. Experts suggest avoiding tinsel or angel hair of any sort altogether. Tinsel, made from metal, and angel hair, made from glass, can cause life-threatening digestive obstructions and serious internal damage.

Disaster Preparedness: Home Safe

Skip panicked scramble in emergency; BE PREPARED

When planning for an emergency our imaginations can get carried away. Sometimes that's a good thing. If Hurricane Katrina taught us one thing it’s that we can never really imagine the horrific realities wrought by natural disasters of such magnitude.

Learning from mistakes made during events like Katrina is important, especially in the Northwest, where an earthquake or tsunami could actually occur. All the more important considering how easy it is to dismiss the possibility of such events, given their rarity. It’s likely that if or when such an event did occur here, our guard would be down.