Tuesday, April 26, 2011

• Block New Dog Fighting App

Dog fighting is illegal, and I thought that society no glorified that particular blood sport. I was wrong.

“Dog Wars,” an app for Android smart phones, makes a game out of dog fighting. You can feed, water, train, and fight your virtual dog. (I wonder—can you fight your dog to its death?) Android is a subsidiary of Google.

Kage Games, which created the app, says the game will educate people about animal cruelty, and that proceeds will benefit animal rescue organizations and the Japanese tsunami relief effort.

Many individuals and groups have condemned the app, including the ASPCA and Michael Vick.

In Unleash the Dogs of War? Tell Android/Google No!, Edie Jarolim offers background on this issue, and why the app is not only bad—but racist.

Take action. Tell Android/Google to block "Dog Wars" and stop condoning animal cruelty.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

• Saturday Blog Hop

I am diving out of my comfort zone and into social media.

I've been pet sitting for seven years, and more recently started creating journals and blogs of my four-legged clients. My first toe-in-the-online-water—Coco's journal—took forever. The Emmy the Pet Sitter web site followed the same tortuous route of revision, revision, revision.

That's not how social media works.

I just joined the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop. According to hop rules, three other bloggers will check out this blog and befriend me. I want to post before they get here. A quicky post: killing me! But I'm doing it. So I'd better hop to it and sign off.

P.S. Have a pet-safe Easter.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

• Pet First Aid

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) one-out-of-four more pets could be saved if one basic pet first aid skill or technique was applied prior to receiving veterinary care.

So if your pet is injured, you are the paramedic until it gets to the vet. But don't panic—just prepare.

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Below I list some key steps to care for your pet in an emergency.

1) Buy a pet first aid book. I use the Red Cross books "Dog First Aid” and “Cat First Aid," which include demonstration DVDs.

2) Many web sites address pet first aid. Peruse sites; bookmark one or two you like.

• PetEducation.com: First Aid and Emergency Care for dogs and for cats. Covers in detail situations including CPR, choking, electric shock, allergic reactions, poisoning

Red Cross: First Aid for Animals Vital statistics, basic first aid, handling injured animals

HealthyPet.com Basic information for common emergencies

3) Assemble a pet first aid kit or buy a kit, such as the American Red Cross Deluxe First Aid Kit for Pets or the Red Cross fanny pack.

4) Take a pet first aid course. To find a class, ask your veterinarian or local chapter of the Red Cross. ("Pet First Aid" photo taken during Red Cross class I took)

5) Program emergency phone numbers into your cell phone and print a list next to your home phone: your vet, emergency vet, ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435), and Regular Poison Control (800-222-1222).

In case of emergency, know when to call your veterinarian for your dog or your cat. Print these instructions and keep them next to your emergency numbers.
If your kids are old enough, involve them. Everyone in the family should know where the first aid kit and book are kept. Be prepared: One day, you may make the difference between life and death for your pet.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

• Hamster Ball Derby

For a minute they were neck and furry neck, but in three out of five races Pinkie-the-Syrian-hamster bested my Maggie, winning first place in the 2011 Petco Hamster Ball Derby.

Who took third? Well . . . no one. A fellow with a gray-and-white rat wanted to race, but hadn't followed the Petco Training Tips and Schedule, which clearly states that ball work should have begun on February 28. In a ball for the first time, the rat promptly emptied her bladder in fear. Her owner bowed out.

Pinkie—with deliciously velvet, grayish-pink fur—won decisively. Maggie backpedaled a couple of times and, although he likes his ball, simply was not as fast. (Apropos of nothing, I would have had children if I were guaranteed they'd be as cute and sweet as Pinkie's owners, two little red-headed boys.)

Tonight I'll rip open the bag of treats and give Maggie extra corn, her favorite. And I imagine the two little red-headed boys will have put together Pinkie's new cage by the time she wakes up.

Victory is sweet—and crunchy.