Friday, August 31, 2007

Dementia In Old Dogs

With better nutrition, top medical care and comfortable living, pampered pets are living up to 10 per cent longer than they would have a few decades ago, a study has found. That means they are experiencing the same kind of cognitive failures as the human population which pays their vet bills. Telltale signs include pets having restless nights, forgetting their owners, inappropriate toileting and banal barking in dogs. Unusual behaviours do start creeping in with advanced age, he said... Like bewildered dogs getting "stuck" in a corner of the house, not knowing how to free themselves from the two walls. "Animals getting unsettled and wandering is probably the most common symptom"

It is worth investigating the ingredients in the so-called "B/D" (brain diet) veterinary food formula for dogs. The main ingredients are two powerful anti-oxidants: alpha lipoic acid and acetyl l-carnitine. Studies indicate that these supplements can sometimes reverse the signs of dementia in older dogs. Might be worth supplementing these with all older pets before the signs of dementia appear. And you don't need to buy expensive prescription dog foods to obtain these supplements. You can get them at your local health food store. Talk to your vet about whether this might be worth trying on your dog.

And here's one of the studies that show that these supplements help older dogs: "Acetyl-L-carnitine and {alpha}-lipoic acid supplementation of aged beagle dogs improves learning in two landmark discrimination tests."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


A lot is being made of Micheal Vick's statement to the press yesterday...

"Dogfighting is a terrible thing, and I did reject it. I'm upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation, I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that's the right thing to do as of right now."

I think that he's going to get what the law says he deserves. His apology should be accepted, and he should do his time. What more can we ask of him now? All the cynics out there should remember the parable about casting the first stone...

Book of John

8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

What he did was horrible. We all know that. But, all of us have made mistakes in life, including myself. I have made mistakes in the handling and training of my dogs over the years (though nothing comparable to what Vick did). It is now up to Vick to show that he means what he said, and for the rest of us to examine exactly what we do in life that makes us feel we can lay into this guy and not think that someday we could be in exactly the same spot. All it would take is a misjudgment in, say, driving your vehicle... running some kid over... vehicular manslaughter... and you'd be the one going to prison. Forgive the guy. He's going to pay with hard time. The law worked. The guilty are being punished. He'll have the right to try and make a comeback at some point, and he should be allowed to. Time to move on.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Political Grandstanding

NFL star Michael Vick's dogfighting scandal has inspired a City Council push for dramatically tougher penalties for owning or harboring a fighting dog or other dangerous dog. Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens) yesterday introduced a bill raising the penalty to between $10,000 and $25,000. It's now $500 to $5,000. "We don't want this heinous activity to gain any foothold here," Vallone said. "If you go to any pet shelter, over half the animals that are abandoned are pit bulls, so clearly there's abuse out there," he said.

These fine increases won't do a thing to stop dog fighting.

What does "other dangerous dog" mean? That is a pretty vague description, and I wouldn't want to be defending myself in court over that kind of wording in the law.

And just because there are a lot of abandoned pit bulls in shelters DOESN'T mean "clearly there's abuse out there". There are a lot of abandoned Labrador Retrievers, too. And there were a lot of abandoned Dalmatians a few years back.

Look, the laws already on the books are sufficient punishment for engaging in dog fighting. Raising the fines is just a way for this politician to grandstand and get some press. These fines will NEVER BE COLLECTED once the person is convicted, and is bankrupt after paying their attorneys.

You can bet this story made it to the press because the staff of this politician sent a press release to this newspaper to generate attention to this politician. No one was asking for a change in the laws. If writing new laws stopped crime, then we'd all be saints by now. The law books are full of intrusive regulations and rules, yet crime still goes on.

For those of you who still don't get the point of what I'm saying, this was all explained about 2000 years ago. Laws don't make men into good people:

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

The more laws you pass, the more liberty you give up. But, evil will still persist, and will even get worse. Countries with the most restrictive laws end up being the oppressors. We can either tolerate the fact that we are going to have crime, and we should have a set of basic laws we enforce to deal with those violations. Or, we head down the slippery slope and end up like North Korea, where everything is regulated and punished, and then life is even worse. More and more laws are passed every day, and at some point, the government becomes the criminal. THAT IS WHAT THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE SAYS. In fact, it also says that at some point, it is time to break free and start over again.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

The only way to prevent this kind of overthrow is to fight for limited government. It is a shame that isn't taught in our public schools.

We have enough dog laws on the books. Those laws work as they should. The guilty are found out and punished. But, to keep adding laws, in the hopes that you will stop evil will cause even greater evil in the end.

8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. quietly stopped selling two brands of dog treats in July, after customers voiced concerns that the Chinese products may have caused their pets to fall ill, but no recall has been announced, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

I am a big fan of Wal-Mart... but not for this kind of thing. I believe in the vision of Sam Walton for Wal-Mart, but I have a hard time believing he would have OK'd this kind of tactic. It is better to be transparent about your business practices. A friend of mine had her dog on Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance dog food. Their food was implicated in this summer's massive pet food recall (the food was contaminated by one of the Chinese made ingredients). However, unlike some dog food companies, NB came out immediately with an apology to its customers and took responsibility. That one action kept my friend as one of their customers, and convinced me to try out their dog food.

If only Wal-Mart had done this kind of thing... now I have to ask what else they might hide just to save themselves. They should be looking out for their customers... the rest will take care of itself. Now that Sam Walton is dead, are we seeing the decline of Wal-Mart as a company?

Whatever happened to Sam Walton's Rule Number 8?

"EXCEED your customer's expectations. If you do, they'll come back over and over. Give them what they want -- and a little more. Let them know you appreciate them. Make good on all your mistakes, and don't make excuses-- apologize. Stand behind everything you do. The two most important words I ever wrote on that first Wal-Mart sign: "Satisfaction Guaranteed". They're still up there, and they have made all the difference."

I'm expecting a full explanation. I'm expecting them to take responsibility. I'm expecting them to apologize for not telling consumers that their dogs might have been poisoned or sickened by food they sold. And I'm expecting that if they did sell defective merchandise, that they make good on their mistakes, including paying for vet bills. That kind of thing makes me a loyal customer, and will make me want to fight for Wal-Mart since they stood behind their customers. Let's see what they do...

Now, regarding China. Well, they never have gained my confidence. They never practiced Rule Number 8, and they have a long way to go to prove that their country takes seriously transparency, free enterprise and private property, product liability, law and order, public safety, and the public welfare. So long as they want to be a third rate country, they will be a third rate country, saddled with the image of Mao, communism, corruption and hostility toward the individual, and no respect for dogs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Are Your Thoughts?

Animal-rights activists campaigning to end horse slaughter in America have run up against an unexpected friend of the horse-meat industry: the nation's zoos. That leaves tough decisions for America's zoos, such as Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, which have long fed horse meat to carnivorous animals. While several zoos have dropped horse meat in favor of beef in recent years, zoos continue to be the largest consumers of horse meat in the United States. "It's definitely up for debate," said Kathleen Larson, Point Defiance's interim veterinarian. "Unfortunately, all people won't be happy until our carnivores are eating salad."

Though I love horses, I don't see the problem with feeding horse meat to zoo animals. To me, the issue would only be whether the horse meat was being obtained through humane, legitimate means.

The Humane Society of the United States has led the charge on the federal ban, arguing that the American horse-slaughter industry relies on purchasing people's healthy pets for inhumane slaughter, often without their knowledge. Facilities and transportation used in the slaughter of horses are meant for cattle, they say, so horses are abused by long trips and ineffective killing measures.

Is this true? I am very skeptical of the HSUS because, to me, they are run or influenced by a bunch of animal rights wackos, and therefore can't be trusted.

The real issues is as follows: horses are viewed as pets. That's why we have trouble killing and eating them. Same reason we have trouble killing and eating dogs or cats. The weird thing is that animal rights wackos would ban people from owning pets, too. So, if they got their way... once people stop seeing horses, cats and dogs as pets, would they then decide it was ok to eat them? I am guessing that is so. In some Asian countries, it is perfectly normal to eat dogs because they aren't seen as loved pets / family members.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dogs Indicate Responsible Renters

For all the horror stories about landlords who gouge their tenants, there are people such as Wylie, who keeps rents low in his nine apartments in Ballard and Fremont. "I try not to raise rents unless I absolutely have to," said Wylie, a performing artist who said he loves animals and encourages his tenants to have them. "I've never met a dog who damaged anything. When people go on vacation, I walk the tenant's dogs. People who are pet owners tend to be incredibly responsible."

I truly believe it is a myth that owners with pets cause more damage to units than renters without pets. And even though I don't have a problem with a landlord asking for a pet deposit, you will find that pet owners are very careful about what happens to their pets. Dogs are the new "kid" in the family, and consumers are spending billions of dollars to ensure their welfare. It is the irresponsible few who make it bad for the rest of us.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


A Colorado dog owner accuses another man of killing his pit bull after their dogs scuffled at a park

First, there is no justification for taking the law into your own hands. Second, this isn't how you break up a dog fight. Third, we don't know which dog started the fight, and just because a pit bull was involved doesn't mean that was the dog at fault.

At off leash areas, you need to watch your dog closely, know your dog's tendencies and the other dogs that come there regularly, and have a plan on how to break up a fight if one should occur. I do believe dogs should be allowed off leash areas in cities and in the country, but you have to be wise about when to let your dog off leash.