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June 2012
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How to care for senior companion animals

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A LEADING Australian vet is warning pet owners to be aware of the requirements elderly pets may need as they grow into their golden years.

Mark Perissinotto, head vet at, said knowledge and research had ensured advancements in veterinary care over recent years and our beloved pets were now living longer than ever before, although not all owners actually knew when their pet was to be considered "senior".

"Most owners are unaware of what is to be considered an animal's senior years," Dr Perissinotto said.

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Go Gremlin! Pit bulls head to summer camp to help children with autism

I loved several Dobermans growing up in the 1970's. We fought against the misplaced fear they caused strangers. We knew how smart, loving and wonderful each dog was. Fast forward a few decades, and now it is the Pit Bull who strikes fear. Dogs don't hate, people train them to do hateful acts.

Challenging the darker side are wonderful people like Chris, teaching his dog to share her warmth and affection with children. Gremlin is Pit Bull and was on the cover of Issue 12 of Life+Dog Magazine and her story appeared inside.


Registered therapy dogs refute breed's sterotypes

WESTLAKE, Ohio - "The plight of the pit bull is what I call it."

Chris Hughes calls his therapy dogs loving, loyal and great with kids. But when people see them, they're often afraid.

"I tell them she works with children at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, works with children with autism, and it blows their minds what these dogs can do."

Hughes started Thera-Pits when his pit bull, Gremlin, became a registered therapy dog.

"We started working with schools, reading programs and then Gremlin became the first pit bull accepted into University Hospital's Pet Pals program." Since then, many more dogs have been accepted into Thera-Pits, and the organization has supporters from as far away as Australia and South Africa. 

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New Procedure Saves Bay Area Dog Poisoned By Mushrooms


BERKELEY (KCBS) — Veterinarians in Berkeley teamed up with a Santa Cruz doctor to save a dog who was poisoned by mushrooms. Their procedure may also be used to help save human lives.

Kasey, a two-year-old Mini Australian shepherd, ate death cap mushrooms at an oak grove in Healdsburg two weeks ago. Owner Helen Abel of Richmond was told her dog would die like so many mushroom eating dogs before him.

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Flying Colors: From California Stray to Search Dog Trainee

Cleo's First Few MonthsYou may not know this but my dog Cleo was surrendered to a shelter in Northern California. We never would have met if the shelter hadn't contacted the San Francisco SPCA, and told them how great she was.

We never could have had these past seven years together, showing off her talent and cuteness on this website, her if she hadn't passed with flying colors all of the tests the SF-SPCA gave her.

They were her advocate, and gave her a chance at performing the role she was made for -- that of Grouchy Puppy muse.

Meet Lilah, another former shelter dog

In January 2011, the National Search Dog Foundation (SDF) received a call from volunteer Andrea Bergquist (whose husband Chris is a handler with Sacramento Task Force 7), letting them know that she had discovered an excellent Search Dog candidate at the Sacramento SPCA.

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Lilah and Marshia Hall

Lilah, a one year-old Black Lab, had been picked up as a stray by the shelter. Suffering from kennel cough and described as “friendly but skinny,” She was evaluated by Andrea for search and rescue work. Lilah passed with flying colors and was transported down south to begin her training.

Continue reading "Flying Colors: From California Stray to Search Dog Trainee" »

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Time to Vote for the Finalists in The GREENIES Awards

They did it!! Out of all those cute pet videos submitted, the finalists are finally here and ready for your votes!  In June we announced The GREENIES® Awards online video contest. Now it's time to choose a winner in each category. Who will win Best Vocal Performance? How do you pick Best Trick, or Best Smile for a GREENIES® treat? 

Click on the Awards tab on The GREENIES® Brand page on Facebook to view the videos, and to vote for your favorites. You can vote once in each category every day until July 28. The winner in each category will win a lifetime supply of treats. 


This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member and sponsored by the Nutro Company.

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1 Year Later: Rescued Pit Bull Piper is Working as Certified Therapy Dog


MUNCIE — Michael Barrett can hardly believe that one year ago, he held Piper in his hands at Muncie’s Animal Rescue Fund (ARF). Barrett has not let the negative news or stigmas surrounding the pit bull breed stop him from training his year-old English Staffordshire bull terrier to be a therapy dog.

“She loves life. She loves people.” Barrett said. “I knew the day I saw her at ARF she had the temperament to please.”

He also believes she is grateful for a second chance at life. If her litter had not been rescued at ARF, they could have been euthanized at the Muncie Animal Shelter.

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The Human Animal Bond | How pets play a larger role

Guest Post Friday is our series which shares funny pet bloggers, and smart dog lovers, pet industry influencers and animal advocates. With lots of fascinating people involved in making a difference in the lives of animals this is our way of sharing them across the Grouchy Puppy community.

Our latest installment is from a passionate pet advocate we met two years ago.

The Human Animal Bond

I am head of a multi-pet household. I share my home with two cats and three birds. I am never alone. I maintain connections with my parents, siblings, friends, and extended family, but I consider the moments I spend with my pets some of the most important in my day. In times of stress or turmoil, they are there for me. I can’t imagine my life without them.

From the early days of human history, animals have had an impact on our lives, but in the 19th century, when we started bringing them into our homes as companions, the relationship began to deepen. Now, the majority of homes in the United States have at least one pet.
Cleo throws down the cute when you come home

Those of us who share our lives with animals believe we are the better for it. Modern society is impersonal. We once relied on our neighbors and family connections, but now technology gives us the illusion of greater independence, and fewer meaningful connections as a result. The connections we have are closer to home, centered on family, but families are changing too, becoming geographically scattered. Our families are smaller, family units more fluid. As a result, pets have taken on a larger role in our lives. For many of us, pets are family.

Continue reading "The Human Animal Bond | How pets play a larger role" »

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Dogs + books = fun at your public library

Reading Education Assistance Dogs make reading fun for kids, and this Saturday Ottawa Therapy Dogs will be story buddies for kids at the Amprior Library.


EMC lifestyle - It may look like math, but it's really all about learning to read, as the Arnprior Public Library is going to the dogs this Saturday, July 7 from 10 to 11 a.m.

"What could be better than cuddling up with a dog and a good book?" says Carolyn Swayze of Children's and Teen Services at the Arnprior Library.

Golden Retrievers, Lia and Chara, were a huge hit with kids during March Break's Petsapalooza at the Library, so when Swayze realized they were dogs with a career in helping kids learn to read, she was quick to request the program for a summer visit.

"Anything that sparks an interest in reading and inspires children to want to visit the library is a welcome addition to our children's programs."

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Old dogs have a giant in their corner

As everyone who reads Grouchy Puppy knows, our muse Cleo is an old dog now. You probably have also noticed that we kind of love her a lot, and would do anything for her. Being a San Franciscan, we are huge Giants fans, and in 2010 stood in the streets for hours cheering each of them after they won the World Series. Today, it makes us really proud to learn that a Giant has swooped down to lend support to old dogs in San Francisco.

Tim Timmy Sherri Muttville
Sherri cheers as Giant's Pitcher Tim Lincecum swoops up Timmy before the first pitch.

Old dogs now have a giant in their corner

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National Disaster Search Dog Foundation Receives Nutro Sponsorship

As someone who grew up with earthquakes as normal, and "the big one" inevitable, I'm very sensitive to the importance of being prepared for a natural disaster. [To learn what to do in response to a specific disaster check out]

Being prepared is important, and having professionally trained responders is critical. Wherever disasters strike, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is there, offering professionally trained dogs to help firefighters and other first responders find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. There are currently 72 SDF-trained Search Teams located in California, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

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To build its team of search dogs, SDF rescues unwanted dogs from shelters across the country who undergo six months of training to help advance obedience skills, disaster search skills and gain the confidence and trust they need by forming a special bond with their handler. 

Continue reading "National Disaster Search Dog Foundation Receives Nutro Sponsorship" »

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