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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Seasons Greetings from the Dogs
Sending cards from the pets is increasing in popularity
This past weekend, I finally got my Christmas cards out and, as always, they were complete with my dogs’ signatures and the annual holiday photo of the pups. Seasons greetings aren’t the only cards “sent” by my dogs. I routinely mail birthday cards and get well soon cards to friends’ pets from my furry crew.    Years ago, when I first started writing cards from my pets, I rarely received any in...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Caring for Pets Through Tough Times
Seer Farms temporarily takes in pets from families in crisis
In tough economic times, we’ve seen an increase in surrendered dogs, a myriad of shelter budget cuts, and the creation of the pet soup kitchen. According to the ASPCA, the recession has added an estimated one to two million animals to shelters.  And that's on top of the six to eight million pets surrendered each year. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I was financially unable to keep my...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Dog Bites on the Rise
Hospitalization for dog bites doubled in 15 years
  According to a new government study, the number of Americans hospitalized for dog bites almost doubled between 1993 and 2008. The researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the department responsible for the survey, are at a loss to explain the increase. The popularity of pets in recent years doesn’t account for the spike, as their numbers have only increased slightly.  At...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Holiday Gifting for Pets
56 percent of dog lovers buy their pups a present
According to a recent Associated Press-Petside.com poll, 56 percent of dog lovers will be buying their pets a Christmas gift this year. The percentage stayed consistent even among people who have lost their job in the past six months. One of my favorite parts of the holidays is buying gifts for my friends and family—and that of course includes my pets.  This year’s goodies include a Ram Tuff...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Calming Music for Rescue
Through a Dog’s Ear offers free music and a chance to help shelters
It probably comes as no surprise that classical music has a calming effect on animals, as well as humans. Many animal shelters and boarding facilities play soothing music to create a less stressful environment for pets. A few years ago, concert pianist and Julliard graduate, Lisa Spector, and sound researcher, Joshua Leeds, teamed up to figure out what exactly about classical music had a soothing...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Social Animals Have Bigger Brains
New study suggests social animals developed larger noggins
Ask a cat lover and a dog lover which species is smarter and you'll get two different answers.  As a dog lover myself, you can guess my opinion, though what do I know, apparently a study in the United Kingdom found that the average cat lover holds a higher education than the canine persuasion! But, smarts aside, the truth is that dogs have larger brains, and not because they’re generally bigger...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
The Danger of Microchips
Can implanted identification cause cancer?
Last week, the tragic story of Target the war dog hero sparked a discussion among our readers about microchips and the possible risks. A couple of people asked about the research behind the risk claims, so I decided to explore the topic. This discussion is particularly timely because Merck was recently served with a lawsuit over claims that its HomeAgain microchip caused cancer in a Massachusetts...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Adopt a Senior Pet Month
November brings attention to homeless canine elders
This season, there are many things that I’m thankful for, one being the wonderful relationship I have with my dog, Nemo.  Someone once told me that cute puppy eyes are no match for the deep, loyal eyes of an older dog. Nemo is my first dog and, for the longest time, I didn’t understand. How could anyone resist a puppy? But now that Nemo is almost six years old, I finally know what they meant. ...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Accidental Euthanasia
A canine war hero is PTS by mistake
Last week I was heartbroken to find out that the story of an amazing canine war hero ended in tragedy.  In February, Target, a Shepherd mix, and two other stray dogs captured the hearts of animal lovers all over the world when they confronted a suicide bomber and saved the lives of dozens of soldiers in Afghanistan. After much media attention, the Puppy Rescue Mission raised thousands of dollars...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
The Danger of E-Fences
Texas dog picked up by animal control despite e-fence
I’m not a big fan of electronic or underground fences, though I realize some people may not have a good alternative. Besides the potential for being shocked, these containment systems come with several other risks.  Some dogs learn that putting up with a brief electronic shock can result in freedom if they run through. And even if the fence keeps your dog contained, it doesn’t do anything to...

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