Comfort dogs visit children in Newtown, Conn.A team of 10 Golden Retrievers who are trained to provide comfort to those in need, and their handlers, traveled from the Chicago area this weekend to Newtown, Conn., where a gunman tragically killed 20 children and seven adults on Friday. The dogs are bred and trained by Lutheran Church Charities. They're placed in schools and churches and visit hospitals and nursing homes - and are often deployed to disaster scenes. "Dogs are nonjudgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone," said Tim Hetzner, the organization's president. "It creates the atmosphere for people to share." CNN's Don Lemon interviewed Hetzner on Sunday night at a makeshift memorial in Newtown. "I haven't really seen anyone smiling out here and these dogs showed up and the kids started smiling," Lemon said. - Read it at AP via the Boston Herald and watch it on CNN via YouTube
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Comfort dogs visit children in Newtown, Conn.A team of 10 Golden Retrievers who are trained to provide comfort to those in need, and their handlers, traveled from the Chicago area this weekend to Newtown, Conn., where a gunman tragically killed 20 children and seven adults on Friday. The dogs are bred and trained by Lutheran Church Charities. They're placed in schools and churches and visit hospitals and nursing homes - and are often deployed to disaster scenes. "Dogs are nonjudgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone," said Tim Hetzner, the organization's president. "It creates the atmosphere for people to share." CNN's Don Lemon interviewed Hetzner on Sunday night at a makeshift memorial in Newtown. "I haven't really seen anyone smiling out here and these dogs showed up and the kids started smiling," Lemon said. - Read it at AP via the Boston Herald and watch it on CNN via YouTubeRead More »from K-9 Team Travels to Newtown to Bring Comfort
By Dr. Marty Becker
A rescue kitty named Thriller helps her owner decorate for the holidays.Q. Help! My cat won't leave the Christmas tree alone. How do I keep him out of the tree?
A. It's generally best to set up the tree so your cat can't get to it at all. With dogs, you can usually block off a tree with a fold-up children's play yard or a canine exercise pen, but a normal cat will laugh at so feeble an attempt to contain him. Instead, set up the tree in a room with doors you can close, choosing, say, a formal living room over a more open family room, so it's easy to deny access to the tree when you're not around. You could also try making a "moat" of foil around the tree - cats hate walking on the stuff - but that may understandably not appeal to you as part of your holiday decor.
See Also: How to Keep Cats Off Kitchen Counters
Work to burn off your cat's excess energy away from the tree, such as in interactive play with a cat "fishing" toy or a laser pointer. Even young cats spend most of their lives asleep, and if you can occupy some ofRead More »from How Do I Keep My Cat Out of the Christmas Tree?
- vetstreet.com | Pets – Fri, Dec 14, 2012 11:09 AM EST
By Gina Spadafori | December 14, 2012
To give or not to give a flu shot to your dog?It's flu season, and with that come the nonstop reminders to get your flu shot and the nonstop warnings about what could happen if you don't. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that up to a fifth of all Americans get the flu every year; more than 200,000 people will wind up hospitalized with complications, and approximately 50,000 will die.
Public-health authorities have done a good job of building awareness of the risks associated with the flu virus, and most at-risk people - as well as a significant number of those not at risk - get a flu shot every year. There is no doubt that this effort has saved many lives.
But what about your dog? Does he need a flu shot? In 2004, a new disease, quickly dubbed "canine influenza," was discovered among Florida's racing Greyhounds, and it soon spread to the larger population of pet dogs. While there is a vaccine for this respiratoryRead More »from Should Your Dog Get a Flu Shot? the Real Facts About Canine Influenza
'Tis the season to send out holiday greeting cards to all your friends and family. But, as our friends at Awkward Family Pet Photos know, not all holiday snapshots are the same. Some are just plain kooky - especially when pets are included. Here are 10 wacky holiday animal portraits that are sure to make you laugh out loud and get you in the holiday spirit.5 Once-Popular Dog Breeds That Are Sadly Losing Popularity
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Read More »from 10 Best Holiday Awkward Family Pet Photos
By Amy Sinatra Ayres
A painting of Bo running through the snow is featured on the White House holiday card.
He inspects the tree, inspires the decorations, and now, Bo Obama is front and center on this year's White House holiday card, which features a photo-like painting of the Portuguese Water Dog dashing through the snow in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The card, illustrated by Iowa artist Larassa Kabel, was released on Thursday. Kabel says that while she made the painting, her own dog, Beans, a Boston Terrier-Pug mix, sat by her side in the studio, as he does each day. Her illustration is based on a photo taken of Bo in 2010 - and Kabel says she gave Bo a scarf in her interpretation to add dimension. We'll be watching to see where this famous pooch turns up next. Read it at ABC NewsMore on Vetstreet.com:
* What Is the Secret of the White House Decorations? Bo Obama Knows
* Do Dogs Need Sweaters or Cats? Only 3 Types Do
* Most Popular Puppy Names of 2012Read More »from Bo Obama Stars in White House Holiday Card
Using Vetstreet's records, we've looked over the names of more than 643,000 cats born in 2012 to determine the year's top pet names.More on Vetstreet.com
* Top 10 Puppy Names of 2012
* 9 Cat Breeds That Love to Chat
* 10 Least-Trendy Kitten Names See Also: 10 Cats and Dog Breeds With Magical Origins
- vetstreet.com | Pets – Mon, Dec 10, 2012 9:21 AM EST
By Susan Segrest
Every year the White House holiday decorations are a destination event as the 85 volunteers transform the president's home into a seasonal celebration. Vetstreet attended the media preview, and while there are many impressive elements - such as the decorations that were created to honor the Armed Forces - we are most entertained by the manifestations of first dog Bo's presence throughout.
This life-size replicate of Bo was made out of 18,000 one-inch black pompoms and 2,000 white pompoms.
Decorating With the First Dog
In the East Garden Room there is a life-size replica of the Portuguese Water Dog. A food sculpture of Bo is also featured outside the 300-pound gingerbread house located in the State Dining Hall. Though as first lady Michelle Obama noted at the event, the confectionery version of the first dog wasn't exactly created to scale. "Bo is kind of big," she said. "That basically represents Bo's standing in the house. He is almost as big as the house. He is such a huge personality."Kids Can Look for Bo
Mrs. Obama also explained Bo's importance for youngRead More »from What is the Secret of the White House Holiday Decorations? Bo Obama Knows
Some critters have all the luck and get nice, respectable names, such as horse and tiger and bear.
But other less fortunate species - like these 10 animals - are just lucky that they don't understand English, considering the odd (and even insulting) ways in which we refer to them.
See More on vetstreet.com:5 Once-Popular Dog Breeds That Are Missed
Read More »from 10 Most Bizarre Animal Names
By Linda Fiorella
If you photograph your pet at eye level, chances are that you'll have some sweet results.A lot of us are addicted (OK, maybe even borderline obsessed) to taking pictures of our pets - and then sharing those snapshots with the whole wide pet world.
At some point, we've all likely had this internal dialogue: "This shot really shows off her blue eyes, but I need to find one that doesn't cut off her cute ears and really showcases the color of her fur."
We reached out to photographer Kate Lacey, who spent five years shooting purebred pups for Show Dogs: A Photographic Breed Guide, to get her five best tips for taking a stellar (read: nonblurry, frameworthy and personality-capturing) portrait of your fluffy muse.
See Also: 10 Cutest Awkward Holiday Pet Photos
1. Don't Just Wing It
Whether you want a formal look or a more candid vibe, it helps to be prepared. For a posed picture, "figure out your background, as well as the best lighting and camera settings, before bringing in your pet," says Lacey. Her advice for active shots: "CarryRead More »from 5 Tips for Capturing a Memorable Pet Portrait
After examining the names of more than 1.25 million puppies born in 2012 from Vetstreet's database, we came up with the year's top pet names.
More on Vetstreet.com
Read More »from Top 10 Puppy Names of 2012