Time Magazine and Designer Dogs

My last blog post included a bit of ranting about puppy mills and the importance of purchasing puppies responsibly. While it’s unusual for me to rant two weeks in a row I simply can’t resist given what I just viewed in the September 8-15 edition of Time magazine. The Time cover states, “The Answers Issue: Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know.” When I initially glanced at the centerfold’s jazzy appearing infographic titled, “Where Do Designer Dogs Come From?”… Read More

Hybrid Vigor: Real or Assumed?

Many of us talk about “hybrid vigor”- the notion that mixed-breed dogs avoid the inherited medical maladies passed along to their purebred counterparts. Does proof exist that mixed-breed dogs are indeed healthier? An article  within the most recent edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association helps answer this question. Titled “Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27,254 cases (1995-2010)”, this study determines the proportion of mixed-breed and purebred dogs with 24 common genetic disorders… Read More

The Science Behind Saying, “No” to a Pet Store Puppy

Approximately one year ago I told you about animal welfare advocate, Dr. Frank McMillan’s study documenting the increased incidence of behavioral abnormalities in adult dogs rescued from puppy mills. This important research provided scientific documentation that these animals come part and parcel with a plethora of negative behaviors. Dr. McMillan has done it again. This time, his research focuses on puppies purchased from pet stores, the vast majority of which are born in commercial breeding facilities (aka, puppy mills). The… Read More

Back at the Keyboard

Following a brief medical leave of absence I’m thankfully back at the keyboard.  I’d like to draw your attention to a PetConnection blog post I wrote in which I discuss a study that examined the causes of death in more than 70,000 purebred dogs (82 breeds represented).  While some of the data presented was rather predictable (at least for those of us who have worked with the particular breeds studied), some of the findings were surprising and fascinating.  I invite you… Read More

Adopt the Internet

   Please, will you join the “Help Petfinder Adopt the Internet Day” effort on March 15th?  Email your dog loving friends and relatives.  Feel free to share this blog post with them.  Heck, write a blog post of your own! Together we will increase awareness about adopting homeless pets and hopefully create the kinds of happy endings that Quinn and my family have enjoyed.   Do you have your own story about adopting a homeless pet?  We’d love to hear it.   Know of… Read More

March 15, 2011: Adopt the Internet Day

  When I first met Quinn, he was a two to three month old pup with a soft orange and white coat and an even softer disposition.  That was two years ago and I often find myself reflecting on the fact that the life of this adorable dog I love so dearly came disastrously close to being purposefully ended.    Quinn was one of many orphans in an overcrowded shelter in Bakersfield, California.  The notion of “no kill” is nonexistent there,… Read More

A Rottweiler Reunion

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you may remember a series of stories I posted about two pregnant Rottweilers that were abandoned at my veterinary hospital (www.speakingforspot.com/blog 2/20/09, 3/8/09, 3/17/09).  In fact, these girls were so darned pregnant that, within 24 hours, one of them, now named Mia, delivered ten healthy, happy puppies.  Mia and her little sausages were fostered by Jill, a member of the amazing team of receptionists at my hospital.   Jill ended up keeping… Read More

Nellie (Toto) is a Superstar!

My little Nellie has become a star of stage! For those of you who may have missed it (http://speakingforspot.com/blog/?p=537), I blogged about volunteering to train my little, bitty ragamuffin of a mutt to become a believable Toto in the Santa Rosa Junior College production of the Wizard of Oz.  Nellie and I trained tirelessly for two solid months during which time no one was allowed to call her Nellie.  We helped her “get into character” by referring to her only… Read More

Tipper’s Trials and Tribulations

Tipper came to live with us just over a month ago.  We don’t know what he was called during his former life in Louisiana.  Like so many other dogs, Hurricane Katrina forced Tipper to adapt to a new name, unfamiliar humans, and an unknown environment (while undergoing treatment for heartworm disease).  Tipper is the definition of adaptable, and he came through all this change with flying colors and a big ‘ole smile on his face.  He’s a big beefy mutt- likely… Read More

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

It began as a simple request from my incredibly talented friend, Leira.  She is directing a production of The Wizard of Oz at our local junior college, set to run around Thanksgiving.  Knowing that I am well connected in the dog world, she asked for my assistance in finding a suitable Toto.  She told me that any breed or look would do as long as the dog was small enough to fit in a basket and was well trained.