New Equipment for the Pet Food Pantry

Today was a day to spend money! It's the end of the fiscal year at a non-profit agency and we were the recipients of a grant to buy some much needed equipment for the PPOM program. Our pet food pantry holds both canned and dry food, cat litter and treats that are donated by other agencies and our wonderful PPOM supporters. Right now, it takes up a corner of another room used by our volunteers. We took old bookcases and plastic shelves and made it into a makeshift pantry, but it definitely needs some work. Thanks to a local foundation, we were awarded enough money to buy new wire shelves, a storage cabinet and a utility cart! I am the most excited about the utility cart because it will make moving multiple bags of food around much easier. Several of our patients have more than one large dog and it will help out a lot when we take those big bags of food out to our cars for delivery. Our volunteer Steve will also appreciate the cart when he unloads donated food to bring up the second floor pantry.

Cute or not? Baby sparrowhawks

Photo by Tanja Askani

Good Thoughts of the Day

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

-Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing
on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

-Josh Billings

If you think dogs can't count,
try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.

-Phil Pastoret

Kelly says Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

We had very Merry Christmas here at the Frezon household. My father in law recovered from his pneumonia just in time for the holidays, our son Andy's ruptured eardrum healed nicely, and the only other holiday health issue was our daughter Kate's badly burned eyelid resulting from a holiday fondue mishap. Fortunately, all is well...merry and bright, even.

So we're now looking ahead to the new year. I'll be blogging a lot about goals and resolutions. I love setting goals, but my follow through needs work. I'll be interested to hear what you all have to say about New Years Resolutions.

Also, I'm excited to announce this blog will soon be featured as one of several bloggers on the Guideposts website (New bloggers will be added after January 1st). Visit Guideposts online for many inspiring stories throughout the year, and be sure to check out the blogs on many topics, including living green, Texas flora, and many others. And of course Kelly looks forward to meeting you all there.

Happy New Year!
Peggy and Kelly

Paws for Reflection: Keep your New Year's Resolutions simple. It's good to set a goal, but sometimes it is counterproductive to pressure yourself to attain unrealistic accomplishments. One goal, with gentle steps toward achieving that goal, is a great start!

Better late than never ...

Shocking Christmas

(via I have seen the whole of the internet)

Also ...

Cute Animal Christmas Song

(via Ursi's blog)

These are some "relatives" of ours. They are both Pekingese, with the white one being a relatively unique color.

Got time to kill?

Animals have inspired countless people to study biology. Their unique behavior and amazing abilities are the impetus for fascinating research. And who doesn't love a good animal video?

Here's the Top 10 Amazing Animal Videos compiled by Wired Science

Video: Dog Having a Blast in the Snow

Watch video

New Year's Pet Safety Tip

It's almost time to celebrate the start of a new year. Hopefully things will be better in the new year then they were around the world in this one. With celebrations also come tips on how to make sure your pets are safe this coming new year's eve.

Balloons and confetti are fun party decorations, but they can cause your pets to choke or obstruct their intestines if ingested. Keep an eye on your pets when they're around these items or move them to an area that is not decorated.

New Year's is typically a noisy holiday. Unfortunately, loud noises frighten some pets and can cause them to react in ways that are uncharacteristic for your furry friend. They might run off, bark more often, and act defensive by biting or attacking people and other pets. Even the friendliest pet can show signs of aggression and violence when they are spooked by loud noises. Keep your pets in a separate room, away from noisemakers, music, and other loud sounds that may startle them.

Also, watch out for other common holiday decorations such at plants, Christmas tree water, decoration hooks, Styrofoam, ornaments, and tinsel. All can cause problems if chewed on or swallowed by your pets.

Happy and safe new year to you and your pets!!

Christmas with Jack Black

Christmas Day was very peaceful at my house. My husband and I spent most of it relaxing with the critters. Jack, a two year old Weimeraner/Lab mix, wore his Christmas bandana, his soft eyes following me everywhere I went. This was our first Christmas with Jack. He belonged to one of my patients, a gruff, but tender-hearted man who passed away earlier this year. I first met Jack when he was only 10 months old. He was part of a litter of six puppies living with four full grown large breed dogs. Our patient really had his hands full with 10 large dogs! The pet program was just starting to take shape and our resources were limited. Right away, we helped the patient find homes for the adults. We delivered dog food and were on our way out to vaccinate the pups when disaster struck. When we arrived at the home, we discovered the pups were already in the midst of a distemper outbreak. When it was over, Jack was the only survivor. It seemed as if he was left here for a reason. Now, Jack and I attend obedience classes in hopes of him becoming a certified therapy dog. He has a wonderful, calming personality and is a bit of a clown. Just what we need in hospice! Until then, he brightens up our office from time to time.

Today's awwww

Two weeks old hippopotamus Paula is pictured on the first day of her presentation to the public at the Berlin Zoo December 16, 2008.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

Happy Holidays from all of us at The Pet Haven Blog.

Pets and Christmas at Hospice

Today I spoke with a hospice patient who is going to dialysis three times a week. She is exhausted by the four hour sessions and the trips back and forth in a small bus. Renal failure by itself is a challenge for anyone, but she has several other serious health problems that keep her from experiencing the long term benefits of dialysis. All of her health problems combined easily qualify her for hospice. She has improved enough with dialysis to go out once in a while, however, and her daughter is taking her to the store today for some last minute Christmas shopping. One of the items on her list is a box of Scooby Snacks for her black and tan miniature Dachshund, Tuffy. Tuffy is her defender and her best friend. Even though this will be a difficult Christmas for our patient, she wants to make sure that Tuffy gets a present---a symbol of appreciation for his faithfulness and devotion to her despite her ongoing health problems.

I wouldn't challenge this -

Thailand's self-proclaimed "Scorpion Queen" created a new world record Monday by holding a live seven-inch scorpion in her mouth for more than two minutes.

She held the poisonous arachnid in her mouth for two minutes and three seconds before spitting it out -- all the time wearing a white dress and gloves covered in the stinging creatures.

Source: AFP

Art by Laurie Hogin

Song of Retail #1 (Pink Skull Monkey), 2004
oil on panel, 19” x 19”

More at Littlejohn Contemporary Gallery

(via BoingBoing)

Can you give me a ride?

Photo credit: Holly Klasinski
Source: NBC

Playing in the Snow

Snow bunny Kelly loves playing outside in the winter. But I have to take care that she doesn't get too cold. I keep her outside for shorter periods of time, and make sure it's not too windy. I think the biggest problem is that the pads on her feet and between her toes get covered with little ice balls if she's out in the snow for too long. I try to dry them off with a towel when she comes in.
Here are some cold-weather tips from blog reader friends:
1. One reader advises to keep the hair between the pads well trimmed so the snow and ice won't stick to it.
2. A friend told me that you can rub baby oil on the dog's pads to help protect them from the winter weather. It seems to me that this would make it slippery to walk. But maybe you should do this after they come inside. Some dogs pads get cracked and dry, so this would help.
3. Only use rock salt on your steps that is safe for pets. Other rock salt can burn and irritate your dog's sensitive feet.
4. I've never used them, but there are dog coats, sweaters and even booties available if your dog will wear them. Better than a shivering pup. One reader's chihuahuas wouldn't dream of going outside without their coats.
5. You've probably all heard this already, but keep your dog away from antifreeze that may be puddled in the driveway or on the street where you walk. It smells good to dogs, but it's poisonous.
6. Although it doesn't relate specifically to dogs, here's a great point from the Humane Society of the United States. Cats and small animals are attracted to warm engines of parked cars. In case a small animal has climbed up under your hood, bang on the hood to scare them away before getting in your car and driving off.
7. Here's a great article from eHow on "How to Protect your Pet from Winter Cold."
8. Most dogs still enjoy playing outside in the snow, just like kids! Have fun!

Paws for Reflection: The changing seasons are beautiful. While I respect the power of frigid weather and icy conditions, I give thanks for this winter with the beautiful white snow formaking snow angels, snowball fights, and playing outside with Kelly.

Taking a break

A rare photo of a hummingbird - sitting still.

(via L.A.Unleashed)

Photo credit: Steve/Your Scene

Canines Battle Bed Bugs

Canines Battle Bed Bugs in New Business Venture

Bed Bug Finders, LLC announces the launch of a new business serving Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. It's a business that was created to help homeowners and businesses deal with the ever-growing bed bug population in North America.

The detects bed bugs by using highly-trained dogs. They are quickly
able to seek out these difficult to find pests.

Bed Bug Finders, LLC is only a bed-bug detection company; it is not an extermination company. The company will work with any extermination company to remediate bed bugs by identifying their exact location.

The dogs find the exact site of the specific infestation within minutes.

This saves customers a significant amount of time and money. For instance, dogs can search the average hotel room in less than two minutes. Many times the solution is fast and easy and may simply call for throwing out an old clock radio or book to resolve the problem.

The company's approach is to perform a "search and destroy" process and not a "spray and pray" approach when it comes to the detection and remediation of bed bugs.

The members of the canine team are more than 96 percent accurate when it comes to locating bed bug infestations. Often, the company will use two canine members to verify the infestation making its accuracy nearly 100 percent.

Cute or not? Baby Manatee

In 2008, SeaWorld, Orlando, has rehabilitated and released six manatees back into the wild.

Poll - Pet Owners Not Cutting Back

According to results published in a recent Petside Poll, a majority of those surveyed say they are not cutting back on expenses when it comes to their pets.

Of those surveyed, 85% say they are not cutting back due to economic pressures, even as most surveys are showing that consumers are cutting their expenses overall.

Predictably, lower-income pet owners are twice as likely to have had to make cuts as higher-income owners (11% vs. 20%).

Among the 15 percent reducing pet-related expenditures, cutbacks can be drastic. Half (54%) stated that they are deferring routine visits to the veterinarian, while one in five (21%) are also putting off vet visits for serious problems. One in four (27%) are even considering giving up their pet due to financial difficulties.

The most common cutback is buying fewer toys and clothes for their pets, followed by switching to a cheaper type of food. This can be a tough thing to do for many, as cheaper pet foods mean cheaper quality, and could lead to an unhealthy pet in the long run.

Nevertheless, in spite of the economy a good number of pet owners plan to include their pet in holiday festivities this year. 43 percent of animal owners plan on purchasing a gift for their pet this season. Canines also have an edge over the felines when it comes to owners expecting to buy a holiday present for their pet (48% vs. 28%).

What NOT to give for Christmas

Pictured at left is a swan pin cushion shoe, one of the horrible gifts featured in the The Daily Mail's roundup of "The ghastliest gifts ever."

Tis the Season

If ever I was dreaming of a white Christmas, my dreams would be coming true this year. Last week we had a major ice storm in the northeast, dusting the ground with a little snow, and covering the roads, trees and power lines with thick ice. 240,000 homes (just in our area of the state) lost power (and heat!) It made me feel good to hear about neighbors checking on other neighbors, taking care of the seniors, offering their homes to anyone in need. My in-laws lost power for 5 days, so they stayed with us. But not before my father-in-law ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Fortunately, he's home and feeling better now.

Today we received our second major storm, with more than 14 inches of snow falling today and guess what--another 8 to 10 inches expected tomorrow. Okay, enough already!
Good thing it's beautiful. The photos today are of the ice storm, courtesy of Merry Kraft of Averill Park, NY.

Paws for Reflection: Love Your Neighbor by checking in on them in times of severe weather.

Video: Talking cats & dogs

This video drives my cat Grace crazy. She has to meow along with it. I wonder what that cat is really saying in the video.

watch video

(via Slobber Space)

Video: This dog loves his burritos

Poor dog - this can't be healthy!

Watch video

Poll - Pet Owners "Talk" To Pets

The Associated Press and just released a poll taking a look at the relationship between pets and their owners. Topics range from lighter matters -- like whether or not people think they fully understand what their pet says -- to a serious investigation into the impact of the economy on pet care.

According to the Poll, 67% of those asked say they can comprehend their pet's own language. 62% say their pets understand what they are being told.

Dog owners were most likely to say that their pet understands them as compared to cat owners (though cats are sneaky!).

Endangered Turtles Arrive in CT Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., is now home to four sea turtles – Charlotte, a juvenile green sea turtle, and three loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings. Their arrival marks the first time in more than three years that the Aquarium has had sea turtles on exhibit.

“All seven species of sea turtles are either endangered or threatened,” said Don Harrington, interim director of Fish & Invertebrates at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. “The turtles’ arrival here has given us the invaluable opportunity to educate our visitors about the plight of sea turtles and how they can help these wonderful creatures.”

Charlotte came from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island , Ga. , on November 23. She was found stranded on Cumberland Island , Ga. , and taken to the center last January. Her shell and hind flippers were covered with barnacles, and she had been struck by a boat’s propeller. A CT scan and MRI revealed a fracture or break in her vertebrae and a compressed spinal cord, which partially paralyzed her intestinal tract and hind flippers. The paralysis prevents normal movement of her gastrointestinal tract, causing gas to accumulate, which makes it difficult for her to dive. As a result, she floats with her rear end up.

Though Charlotte has been deemed non-releasable, there is a chance that, with long-term rehabilitation, she could recover and possibly be released back into the ocean in future years. Until then, she is serving as an ambassador for her species while staying in “ Stingray Bay ” on the main exhibit floor. Charlotte is the first sea turtle the Georgia Sea Turtle Center has placed in an aquarium.

“It could take years for Charlotte to regain specific biological functions needed for release back into the wild. We needed to find her a home, so that we can continue to take in more injured turtles,” said Dr. Terry Norton, D.V.M., veterinarian and director of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. “Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration was a good fit for Charlotte . We knew the aquarium would provide her with a good quality of life and would use her story to spread awareness of how common boat strikes are.”

The three loggerhead hatchlings arrived on October 28 from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores . One was rescued from its nest three days after hatching after showing signs of sluggishness. Another was found on a beach with a flipper injury, and the third was rescued from its nest before Tropical Storm Hanna arrived. The abnormally high tides created by the storm would have flooded the nest.

The loggerheads will be raised here until they are ready for release into North Carolina ’s waters in one to three years. In the meantime, visitors can see them in a new exhibit on the Aquarium’s main exhibit floor, opening tomorrow.

About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Presents are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in the State of Connecticut .

Green Sea Turtles
Green sea turtles get their name from the color of their body fat, which is green from the algae and sea grass they eat. Their shells are usually dark brown in color and heart-shaped.
Males and females look the same until they mature, when males’ tails grow longer and thicker.
The green sea turtle is the slowest growing sea turtle, taking up to 40 years to mature.
The largest hard-shelled sea turtles, they can weigh up to 500 pounds and have shell lengths of up to four feet.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Loggerheads get their name from their large head size. Humans’ heads would have a diameter of three feet if it were the same proportion as a loggerhead’s.
They are primarily reddish-brown in color. Males have narrower shells and longer and thicker tails than females.
Full-grown loggerheads are between two and a half and four feet and weigh 170 to 350 pounds on average.

Oh, you sexy beast!

Many more Animal Pin-ups at

Gothic kittens?

Three kittens with ear, neck and tail piercings were removed from a home by humane officers on Wednesday.

One of the officers from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Luzerne County said the pierced kittens were being sold as “gothic kittens” on an Internet auction site.

The investigation began about a week ago when a man from another state noticed “gothic kittens” being sold on eBay. The kittens were also being sold on a pet classified Web site with an attached picture of a pierced kitten.


What's that in your pants?

from Flickr, by PlanetJamey

Kelly's Holiday Classic Look-Alike

(illustration courtesy of TV

While watching the classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas, I noticed a resemblance between the Grinch's dog, Max, and a certain spaniel-mix I happen to know! What do you think? Kelly is certainly no grinch when it comes to Christmas. She sports her reindeer antlers proudly. Does your pet have a holiday celebrity look-alike?

And, this is Max from the cover of the Jim Carey movie:

Paws for Reflection: Celebrate the season with a classic holiday movie. It really puts you in the spirit. In addition to Grinch, I recommend "A Christmas Carol."

One nice thing about winter

Photo credit: Gary Woodward /

S.F. Zoo seeks surrogate mom for baby gorilla

Keepers handling the newborn gorilla at the San Francisco Zoo are hoping to find a surrogate gorilla mother for a baby whose own mom is showing little interest in him.

Mom, an endangered western lowland gorilla named Monifa, bedded down in the gorilla enclosure about as far away as she could from her infant.

The baby gorilla, part of the critically endangered lowland western species, was the first born at the zoo in 10 years.

Source: SF Gate

Cat burglar steals toys from his neighbors

A real-life cat burglar has left his owner feeling less than purr-fect - by swiping dozens of cuddly toys from nearby homes.

Frankie the tom cat has got his claws into 35 teddies and soft toys in the last year.

Owner Julie Bishop believes the two-year-old feline is sneaking into her neighbors' homes.

He drags each one of his finds through the catflap before depositing them on the same spot in the living room.

Source: Daily Mail

Tongue Twister

from Flickr, by ~Kenny

Outdoor Pet Hazards

When your pets are outside, remember that there are plenty of outdoors objects and chemicals that are harmful to your pets. Here is a list of the most common ones from the ASPCA.

*Algae (can be found in ponds or other bodies of water. Certain forms may be hazardous).
*Fences or gates. Pets can run away if fences are old and they find an opening. Pets can also get stuck in those openings and possibly get wounded or even strangled.
*Deck Lattice - Same as for fences
*De-icing salts. Some formulas may contain chemicals that are hazardous to pets if ingested. Wipe your pets paws after going for walks in areas where there might be salts. Also, look for pet-friendly brands for your home.
*Compost, particularly if moldy.
*Swimming pools and hot tubs. Never leave your pet unattended near uncovered pools, even if they can swim.

This wouldn't happen on CSI

Investigators are trying to determine the origin of a heart that was found Monday on the floor of a car wash in Paw Paw, Mich.

"The heart was transported by the officer to a local animal clinic, and the officer was advised the doctor could not determine if the heart was an animal's heart nor rule out it possibly being a human heart," WOOD-TV reports. "The cardiologist can not rule out at this time the possibility that the heart may be a human heart."

Scientists are now said to be studying the organ.

Source: USA Today

Facts about you and your pet

Some interesting percentages from a new poll released by the Associated Press and

67 percent of pet owners claim they can comprehend their pet’s own language
62 percent think their pet understands what they say as well

But not all species are equal:
69 percent of surveyed dog owners insist their pets understand when they speak to them
50 percent of cat owners say the same

The economy might be awful, but
85 percent of pet owners are not cutting back on pet care expenses due to economic pressures, even though other polls show a majority of people having to make cutbacks in other areas.

43 percent of animal owners plan on purchasing a gift for their pet this Holiday season.

The cat with contact lenses

Ernest - a 15-year-old black and white cat - suffers from entropion - an inward rolling of the eyelids, which causes inflammation and hinders sight.

Surgery might correct the condition, but veterinarians were concerned about how such an old cat would react to an anesthetic. The solution? Contact lenses!

Source: Daily Mail

(via Neatorama)

Dress like a Monarch


from Flickr, by cloud_nine

Christmas Hazards for Pets

Christmas is almost here, but be sure to take precautions with your pets. And if you are taking your pets with you to visit relatives, make sure to look for potential hazards at their homes as well. Here are some of the common things to watch out for during the holidays.

- Holiday plants. Christmas rose, holly, lilies and mistletoe are all toxic
- Ribbons. Placing one around your pets neck for "decoration" could cause them to choke
- Fire salts. Contain chemicals that are harmful to pets
- Spun glass (angel hair). Can be irritating to eyes and skin, and could cause intestinal obstruction if eaten in large amounts
- Christmas tree water. Stagnant tree water or water containing tree preservatives could result in stomach upset if ingested.
- Decoration Hooks. Can cause blockage and/or trauma to gastrointestinal tract if swallowed.
- Styrofoam. Can cause your pet to choke if swallowed.
- Ornaments. They may look like little toys to cats and dogs. Unfortunately, they can cause serious injury, especially if your pets break or swallow them.
- Tinsel. Can cause choking or internal trauma if swallowed.

Enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!

Christmas Cats in Santa Hats

from Flickr, by taelcat

from Flickr, by petoskeygirl

Image source forgotten

from JabberJuls

from Flickr, by jessi_bruton

Image source forgotten

Photography by Paul Mutton

from Flickr, by Fuzzy Gerdes

from Odd Todd

from Flickr, by JeffSFO

from Parade

from Flickr, by Hockey.Lover

from Random Mumblings

from Flickr, by Pixel Packing Mama

from my cat wears clothes

from Flickr, by carol_kong

Image source forgotten

from Flickr, by Faythe