Meet and Greet Party Blog Hop and Kelly and me

I love a party, especially one where dogs are invited! I'm happy to participate in Dogtipper and Cattipper's blog hop this week.
The instructions are to introduce yourself as if you are meeting friends at a party. So here goes:

My name is Peggy Frezon and I'm an author and freelance writer. This furry friend by my side is Kelly, my cocker spaniel-long haired dachshund rescue pooch, and my office-mate.

My first book, Dieting with my Dog, is being released this October. Yup, Kelly and I had packed on a few too many pounds, and this book shares our journey in getting fit and healthy together.

I also am a regular contributor to Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines, pet columnist at Pawsitively Pets, and staff writer at Be the Change for Animals, a great site where you can find easy ways to help animals in need. You can also find my stories in books such as The Ultimate Dog Lovers, Animals and Miracles, Animals and the Kids who Love Them, and in more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Let's connect here on this blog, at my website, or on Twitter.
Okay, I'm going to go meet you at your site now!

Video: Duck vs. Pup


Here's a page I made using a new kit that's available at Angel Baby Scraps...

This is Jackie, my boss's dog and the only dog that's allowed into her cat-only veterinary practice!  After a long day of being stalked, swatted, hissed at, and otherwise harassed by Tinkerbelle, Jackie decided to sack out on the reception-area floor.  I wonder if she's dreaming of revenge??

Oh, and the kit?  Very sweet!  It's called April Showers (okay, so I didn't use any of the "shower-y" parts of the kit, but it'd been pouring rain all day and Jackie DID have to endure going out in it, so there's a weak connection there, LOL!) and the designer is Scrap Happens To Me.  I like her stuff!

I did this page for a design challenge over at ScrapbookFlair that happens to have been put together by another of the designers at Angel Baby Scraps, Kelly-Jo's Scraps.  Like her stuff, too - heck, I like everyone's stuff at Angel Baby Scraps, LOL!

Bridget is adopted!

One of our babies, Bridget, has been adopted!  Her new name will be Creamsicle (like it or not, LOL!  The client had her name all picked out, sight unseen...I've always waited to actually meet my potential adoptee before coming up with a name but then, that's me!).

Here she is, peeking out from behind a cat tree.  Toooooo cute!

I did this page for a challenge at ScrapbookFlair called "White Space - A Design Technique" which is being run by Kelly-Jo's Scraps.

I used Serif's Craft Artist Platinum to put this together.  The kit I used was Soft Color by Schnucki, which is available at


Photo: M And Y / Caters News / Zuma Press

Henry the “Spirit Healer” Cat Helps People AND Pets

By Julia Williams

Last December I introduced you to a wonderful three-legged feline named Henry. This extraordinary kitty is a different kind of “Therapy Cat” than those who visit nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities, but his healing work is just as important, and has profoundly changed the lives of many.

I’m writing about Henry again today because his messages of hope, tolerance, resilience and love are too important to forget. Henry shares his story so that others can learn new things and overcome their traumas and tragedies; I want to share Henry’s story to help his healing work gain momentum and reach an even larger audience than it already has. (There’s one more exciting reason for this post, but you’ll have to read to the end to find out what it is!!).

Henry reaches out to help people of all ages through his website,, through personal correspondence and through his critically acclaimed books. “Henry’s World: a Three-Legged Cat’s View of Human Absurdity” is a heartwarming compilation of short tales by Henry about his life, along with hundreds of emails Henry has received and responded to. “What’s the Matter with Henry? The True Tale of a Three-Legged Cat,” was written for children but inspires young and old alike. A third book “What About Me? I'm Here Too!” addresses the emotional issues experienced by healthy siblings of chronically ill children.

Cathy Conheim, Henry’s Mom and self-described Cat Scribe, says “People speak to animals differently and more openly. Animals are our safe havens, an unending source of unconditional love and acceptance. Whether the animals are real, stuffed, or virtual, they become trusted confidants and helpers.” It’s largely for this reason that Henry has touched so many lives. Over the past six years, Henry has received over 50,000 letters from children – and from adults and critters too!

Henry was named the 2010 ASPCA Cat of the Year and more recently, created the “Ouch! Emotional Bandage” app for the iPhone and iPad. This app lets you personalize a blank bandage with a photo and message, or select one of the pre-made bandages. Then you simply e-mail it to people who care about you, as a way to let them know you are hurting and need some TLC. (Brilliant idea, Henry!).

Henry’s words of wisdom include: You aren’t defined by what happens to you; we don't get to choose what happens to us in life, but we do get to choose how we respond; play the paw you are dealt and be the best “You” that you can be; remember to connect with those you care about. And the one that might be the most important lesson of all: just because you can't do everything doesn't mean you can't do something.

The healing messages are for people, but all profits from the sales of Henry’s books and other fun stuff on his site goes to help animals, as well as human children. Says Henry, “I try very hard to teach humans better ways to be and raise lots of dollars for animals. Any group anywhere in the world can buy my books at our printing cost for $8, sell them for $20 and keep the money locally for the animals in their area.” Henry’s books are not sold in a bookstore, because then there would be no profit for the animals or the children.

Says Cathy, “If we could inspire enough people to buy just ONE charming book about a rescued cat, this would create a lot of money for the animals! I think it would be a great story of the power of the internet, the power of healing…of animals helping animals. Henry and I don't care how the money made is used as long as animals or kids benefit. Let's say someone had a $1000 vet bill; if they sold 83 books they could pay the bill. People sell Girl Scout cookies by the zillion, fat and sugar, the drug of choice for kids. Why not sell something pawsitive and do good things with the money?” 

Here are three simple ways you can help spread the word about Henry and his healing messages: 1) buy a book or two for someone you love; 2) tell others to check out Henry’s books and other cool stuff at; 3) if you know of a group who might want to buy Henry’s books as a fund-raising tool, please encourage them to get in touch with Henry.

Now for the exciting news – we’re giving away some of Henry’s books and other neat things to three lucky readers!! To participate, simply leave a comment stating that you want to be entered in the giveaway, and include either your email address or a link to your “contact me” info. Sorry, only residents of the U.S. and Canada are eligible to win, and entries must be received by May 6, 2011.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

Cats and Books

Yes, they CAN read!

Photo sources: Meow, fycats, JanaDillo, BellaCupcake3218, Stina-Nuka-Sai, Na-Na-Naaa, Cats and Stuff

The cutest thing you'll see today

(via holdYourHeadUp)

Found on the Web

The Mighty Tiger: 15 Facts and 25 Stunning Photos
Beautiful, deadly and endangered. The tiger is all of these.

Putty in their paws: Why we do what cats want
A pair of studies shows cats cleverly manipulate us to get what they need.

Kids and Furkids
If parents teach their children how to deal correctly with a dog while the children are young and curious, their relationships with dogs will be richer.

“Bark in the Park” Chicago!

The 17th annual “Bark in the Park” event to raise funds for The Anti-Cruelty Society is on Saturday, May 7, at Montrose Harbor in Chicago.

A Guide Dog…for a Guide Dog?

By Suzanne Alicie

Mr. Graham Waspe and his guide dog Edward moved through the world side by side for six wonderful years before the dog developed a rare form of glaucoma and lost his sight. Edward received the best veterinary care available, but due to the pressure of his condition and the pain caused, it was decided that the best course of action was to remove Edward’s eyes. Waspe and his wife Sandra were devastated by the loss of Edward as a guide dog, but made sure to help him adjust to his loss.

Waspe said “If it was a person or a child, you could at least explain to them what was going to happen. In the case of an animal, of course, you can’t, so we found that side of it very traumatic.” In November 2010, Waspe got another guide dog, a yellow lab named Opal. Amazingly, the new dog is also a “guide dog” of sorts for Edward, and they all visit schools and community groups in their area to teach people about guide dogs, their training and the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity. Edward was well known throughout the area, but it seems as if Opal is also establishing herself as a remarkable dog that completes this picture.

Waspe said he is sure that Edward is happier having another dog around, and he copes better with Opal by his side. Due to his training as a guide dog, Edward knows by listening to the commands given to Opal what to do. Just to get an idea of how well-trained guide dogs are and the relationships they develop with their humans, consider how Sandra Waspe describes Edward these days. “He’s just the same old Edward, except I have to say sometimes, ‘Mind your head Edward’.”

Between his loving and devoted owners and his new best friend Opal, Edward is doing quite well after his traumatic change of status. To adjust to the loss of his sight when that was what made him such an excellent guide dog must have been difficult, but Edward takes his cues from the Waspe’s and Opal, and he must know he is loved and cared for all the same. 

The headline of a vision-impaired man keeping his sightless guide dog may cause some to scoff, but reading further and finding out that not only did Waspe keep Edward, he also got a guide for both of them is a touching and tender reminder that some parts of our lives aren’t disposable. Sure Opal would have made a fine guide dog for Waspe, but after six years of service from Edward why wouldn’t Waspe do everything he could to make sure Edward could live out the rest of his years being loved and comforted, even if he was no longer of use as a guide dog? The Waspes plan to care for Edward “until the day that either we go or he goes.”

The special relationship and deep devotion between a service dog and his human is deep and meaningful. When you consider everything that Waspe counted on Edward for, and that Edward never failed to keep him safe and guide him, the loss of Edward’s sight and ability to guide was devastating to Waspe on many different levels. He had to face the suffering of a good friend, the loss of a guide dog, and he knew when Edward lost his sight that he would have to adjust to another guide dog. Rather than putting Edward “out to pasture,” Waspe and his wife have honored the years of devotion and service by continuing to be Edward’s companions.

When it comes to special dogs and special people, when it comes to being responsible pet owners and loyal working dogs, the Waspes, Edward and Opal take the prize. Guide dogs have long been known for their ability to help their humans, some of them in extraordinary ways. But for those who need service dogs, just their presence everyday is a heroic act worthy of love and devotion.
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie

Peeping Tom

Photo: Csaba_Bajko
(via Worldly Cats)

Let's go visit Sancho

Aniela, who is only 13, is the author of a new blog about her adorable rabbit, Sancho.

Sancho loves Nutella, skateboard riding, and playing in the garden.

Sancho is also lonely because no one knows about his blog.

Please visit Sancho today!


Friday, April 29, is National Hair ball Awareness Day!

What better way to spread the word than by coughing up a virtual hairball on all your Facebook friends?

If you’re a cat owner, you’ve surely fallen victim to a hairball attack. There’s nothing worse than discovering that little present from your pet in the middle of the night in your bare feet. National Hairball Awareness Day provides a platform for highlighting this issue and educating cat owners of the solutions Science Diet offers.

You can help spread the word for Hill's Hairball Control products by playing and passing on Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s very first Facebook game—Hairball Battle!

Playing the game is simple. Choose one of the hilarious hairballs and cough them up on your friends! But watch out, they’ll be able to retaliate! Silly, sloppy and a bit disgusting—it’s the most fun friends of felines can have without leaving Facebook!

Play the game by clicking the Battle link below. Then fight to the yucky finish. Watch your step!

P.S. Dog lovers, don’t be shy—you can play, too!

Seriously, if you would like more information about hairballs and hairball control, please visit Hill's® Science Diet® Hairball Control Formulas.

Little Bird

I also found this image at Acid Cow and I loved the little flower "cap" the birdie is wearing - too cute!

I ran this image through to add a light ink effect first.  This looks better enlarged, so click the image to do that!

For this scrap, I used Scrapbook Paper Orange by MiMiConcept again; as you can see, the kit offers lots of versatility!

Last post for the day...gotta go to work.  :-(

Real angry bird

Photograph by GERARD GIRLING
(via Twisted Sifter)

Hairball Awareness Day + RPO “Free Pet Food” Winner

Illustration by Deborah Leigh
By Julia Williams

First off, let me be clear. I’m combining two topics into one post, but they’re not even remotely related. I just checked my calendar and noticed that today is “National Hairball Awareness Day.” So I wanted to mention it, but mostly because I found it funny that someone dedicated an entire day to the almighty hairball. My good buddy “Mr. Google” refused to tell me who that person was, but never mind. I’ll just give you some hairball facts and then move on to the really important stuff.

What are Hairballs?

Every cat owner is familiar with that dreadful gagging sound indicating that a hairball is about to be hacked up on their carpet. Cats seem to have some unwritten rule that they never cough up hairballs on easy to clean surfaces like the kitchen floor. But I digress. The formation of hairballs is a common feline condition caused by the ingestion of hair when a cat grooms itself. Sometimes the ingested hair collects into a tight ball in your cat's stomach, which they will then vomit up.

All breeds can get hairballs, and up to 80% of cats get them as frequently as once a month. In most cases, they’re a normal part of cat ownership and nothing to worry about (other than the carpet cleanup). However, sometimes hairballs can be a symptom of a more serious issue in the cat's digestive system, so if you suspect this to be the case with your cat, please consult your vet. Brushing your cat every day, particularly in the springtime when shedding is more severe, can help to minimize hairballs.

Now that you are fully aware of hairballs, let’s get to the announcement.

RPO Blog Announces Latest Winner of Free Food!

The sponsor of this blog, CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods, selects one reader every three months to receive a free six month supply of their premium quality pet food. The winner is chosen at random from every new reader who subscribed to the Responsible Pet Ownership blog via email during the past quarter, and they get to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.

The lucky winner for January-March is Dana G. from North Carolina. Dana chose the CANIDAE Platinum® formula for “Dixie Dog,” a 12 year old black Labrador Retriever. Dana rescued Dixie when she was just a year old, after a hunter moved away and abandoned the dog in a tiny pen with no food and a bucket of green water. Dana said that even though Dixie's age is really starting to show and she’s developed vision problems, “she is the most loving and loyal dog, and we are happy to call her a part of our family.” Dixie loves to go out in the boat when it's warm and during the summer, the family takes her out as much as possible.

Dana has several cats in addition to Dixie Dog, and she also fosters cats and kittens from her local shelter. She nurtures them for a few weeks until they can be transported to rescues up north. “Since June of last year, I have fostered 23 cats and kittens. Dixie loves the kitties and they love to cuddle with her when it's cold,” said Dana. She chronicles the adventures of her foster kitties in a blog called The Creek Cats.

Dana said she also volunteers for a local trap-neuter-return organization in her community. This all-volunteer organization advocates non-lethal methods to reduce the free-roaming cat population and since 2006, they have sterilized 586 feral cats in their community.

Congratulations Dana and Dixie on winning a six month supply of premium quality CANIDAE dog food! Readers – if you haven’t subscribed to the Responsible Pet Ownership blog yet – do it before the end of June to be entered in our next drawing for free pet food. Even if you don’t win, I promise that we’ll do our best to entertain and educate you about “all things pet.” 

Read more articles by Julia Williams


does this look done to you?

Found this pic on the internet (from one of the picdumps at Acid Cow) and I HAD to scrap it!

The kit I used is MiMiConcept's Scrapbook Paper Orange, available at  Love the kit - lots of bright colors!

Bertrum Thumbcat

What would happen if cats had opposable thumbs?  We'd all be in trouble, that's what!  Check out this commercial from Cravendale Milk:

Tooooooo funny!! And very clever - check out Bertrum's Facebook page to see some hysterical wall posts and pics.

Wednesday Pet Roundup

Hi and welcome to Wednesday Pet Roundup!

* Life with Dog brings us another happy story of a lost dog reunited with its family. After her terrier Charlie went missing, discover Annika's creative strategy to find him.

* This mall pet store is one you would want to patronize: reports on Adopt-an-Shop in LA cooperates with local shelters by featuring adoptable pets in a convenient mall location.

* Employees at Amazon, Zynga, Ben & Jerry's, and many other companies, every day is take your dog to work day. From Bnet, find out why is this idea is working.

* Here's a sweet video. This is a deer guarding a goose's nest. Brought to you by in
Buffalo NY.

*contest: Does your dog dig up the back yard? Does your kitty shred your favorite recliner? If so, your pet may be in contention for America's Naughtiest Pet. You may win a weekly prize, or the grand prize of $100 gift basket of pet products plus $250 worth of training products to a shelter of your choice. Check out The Company of Animals' Facebook page for contest entry rules.

Lunch time

(via miezekatzen)

Musings of an Animal Shelter Volunteer

By Kevin Hattori

My wife Tracey and I are often told that volunteering regularly at our local, no-kill animal shelter is “nice” and “selfless,” but we'd venture to say we get just as much – if not more – out of our experiences there than the cats with which we work.

I've been volunteering at the Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for more than 13 years, and Tracey’s been doing so for about seven. We both feel the lessons and rewards that come from working with these incredible animals are exponentially greater than the time we've given.

People often ask what motivates us to spend every Saturday and Sunday afternoon socializing the cats of PAWS. Well, first of all, we’re huge proponents of adopting from shelters (something instilled in us from an early age). Growing up, all of our respective families' pets were rescues, or from shelters. Our current cats Sammy and Moosey were both adopted from PAWS, and our Angel cats – Bitsy, Graphite, Lady Madonna, and Maggie – were all rescues, too.

Just as our relationships with our pets past and present have helped shape the very essence of who we are, so too do the animals at the shelter. Perhaps that’s because the time we spend at the shelter is outward-focused, and we’re able to put life’s worries on hold for a few hours. This is such a great blessing after a long week of work. And what wonders we get to see and experience during our time there!

One of our favorite things is watching as cats overcome the fear and uncertainty of ending up at a shelter. New sights, smells and sounds, and unfamiliar people… we can only imagine how scary it must be for them. But we’ve seen time and again how love, patience and persistence can help shy or even extremely frightened animals learn to trust (and actually like!) people. And when those newly confident cats find their forever homes … euphoria!

The cats in the photos are two that are currently up for adoption at PAWS. The black and white beauty is Betsy, and the cutie on the chair is Jasmine, who happens to be a prime example of a cat that came to the shelter terrified, but has decided that people are pretty cool. I can even pet her belly now!

Because we spend so much time with the PAWS cats, our bonds with them are strong.  As you’d imagine, this means that whenever one of our feline pals finds its forever home, there is some sadness because we know that we will probably never see him or her again. But any sadness about having to say goodbye is eclipsed by the incredible knowledge that together we – the volunteers, shelter staff and the cats themselves – have helped that cat find its very own forever home. It’s a great feeling to know you’ve helped change an animal’s life, the lives of its new people, and the life of the cat for which the shelter now has space. 

Kevin Hattori is one of the bloggers at Animal Shelter Volunteer Life, and a volunteer at Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a no-kill shelter in Norwalk, CT. Since its founding in 1962, PAWS has rescued and re-homed thousands of stray, neglected and abused cats and dogs. The shelter’s ultimate goal is to help these animals find their forever homes, but they can live at PAWS as long as it takes for them to do so. 

Welcome to Scraps By Oreo's Meow!

Yep, I have a new look and name for my blog.  I decided to do this in order to make it easier for people to find me for purposes of my Angel PAWS fundraisers.  In addition, I've added the blog to Networked Blogs, so add my blog to your list on Facebook!

I'm also going to begin doin some custom scrapping - a portion of the profit will go to Angel PAWS, which is a 501(c)3 animal rescue organization located in Colonia, NJ.

Thanks for stopping by!

How Trust and Love Can Change a Dog

By Linda Cole

I have to admit, I'm an advocate for any stray dog or cat – even the ones with aggression issues. I believe pets deserve a second chance when they've been lost or cast aside by their owners. Unfortunately, many aggressive shelter pets will never be adopted. But sometimes the right person comes along who makes a difference in an aggressive dog's life. With trust, patience, respect and love, one person can create small miracles and move mountains. We can change the plight of stray pets, one animal at a time, as long as we don't give up on them. It's worth the time to unravel a troubled mind in order to save a soul. I have worked with both an aggressive dog and cat, and that's one reason why I was drawn to the story I'm about to share with you.

When a stray dog shows up in a neighborhood or at a local shelter, we don't know what they went through living on the streets. Their history is unknown and we have no idea if they were mistreated, abused or became aggressive while on the streets in order to survive. When a dog shows aggression, his behavior is often viewed as a lost cause and he's put down. Most people won't deal with an aggressive dog because they don't know how to help him, or simply don't want to deal with trying to change the dog's behavior. A woman named Heike Munday saw something special in an aggressive dog and rescued her from certain death.

Heike first saw Josie on a snowy day in 2008. She was lost, afraid and hiding in a vacant yard near Heike's home. Josie was not looking for a friend and didn't want anyone's help. She growled to keep strangers at bay and Heike was heartbroken as she sat on a cement slab in an alley, trying and failing to make friends with an angry and fearful dog. Finally, Josie was caught by animal control officers and taken to a local shelter. But Heike had accomplished one small victory, even though she didn't know it at the time. Josie was beginning to trust her.

Josie's aggression didn't improve at the shelter and after failing a test evaluating her temperament, she was deemed too aggressive for adoption. With no hope or plans to try to rehabilitate her and only hours left to live, Heike decided Josie had been through enough. She was Josie's only hope for survival, so she decided to adopt the aggressive dog, even though she knew the road ahead would be long and difficult.

Dealing with an aggressive dog isn't easy. It requires patience and giving the dog space until she feels comfortable around you. Heike had the experience to help Josie work through her aggression issues. She knew the first step was to build trust and all of her interactions with Josie were to work towards building a bond and earning Josie's trust. Heike understood how dogs interact with each other and the importance of non-confrontational touching. Instead of petting Josie, Heike used her knees to rub up against her in the same way dogs bump against each other when they're interacting with each other. Finally, after months of patience, understanding and love, Josie learned to trust and a strong bond began to grow.

It's been three and a half years since Heike rescued Josie from the shelter. She spent hours socializing Josie with other people, dogs and situations. On March 3, 2011, Josie proved that a dog could go from an aggressive and misunderstood dog with only hours to live, to a dog who just earned her Canine Good Citizen Award from the American Kennel Club.

Even a friendly pet can become aggressive in order to survive on the street. Between people driving them away from their homes, kids throwing rocks and other dogs or wild animals chasing them, it's no wonder a dog or cat becomes fearful and/or aggressive. Aggression is one way some animals deal with the cards that have been dealt to them.

Aggressive dogs deserve a second chance. They are worth our time and effort to try and help them heal. Changing a dog's aggressive behavior isn't easy and most likely it was a person who made him aggressive in the first place. Treating aggression means changing a dog's behavior. Sometimes a dog just needs someone with the courage to help him learn how to deal with his fears. Dogs act in the way they were taught and sometimes their aggression is what helps them survive, but they have to learn to let go of it to live in our world. An aggressive dog can be healed, and nothing is impossible when you take the time to understand and earn their trust.

Photo by Christian Murdock, The Gazette

Read more articles by Linda Cole

Shop cats

in a sweater store in Zermatt, Switzerland, by Julie Corsi

in a restaurant in Farfa, Lazio, IT, by MakeNmakE

in Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo, by elsa11

in a diamond shop in Amsterdam, by kaylovesvintage

The Bay Window

Dunbar Gardens

Flutot's Camera Repair

(via KGRC)

Fandangle Beads


Old Scrolls Book Shop

West Seattle Blog has a series profiling “shop cats” who are fixtures at local businesses.

Monday? Monday!

(via words.names.faces)

Doggy Makeover-- Before and After

Kelly: "Do I hafta?"

Yup! It had to happen: bath day. Kelly does not take too kindly to getting glammed up. We usually bathe Kelly ourselves, because Kelly doesn't like the sound and feel of the blow dryer. So we give her time to air dry (and rub her with lots of towels) before her appointment.

Then comes a visit from the mobile groomer, Melissa from TransFURmations Mobile Pet Spa. Melissa is so accommodating, working around whatever works best for the dog.Here's the van.

Melissa gets right to work. There is lots of hair coming off! Kelly's just a bit stressed!

Done! "I woof you, Melissa!"

Kelly's paws before

Kelly's paws after

Kelly before

Kelly after. Doesn't she look pretty?! (and about 10 lbs lighter!)