Victorian Christmas stockings by Lady Jane Gray now on Etsy

Lady Jane Gray is a group of ladies who long for simpler, more gracious times. They are nostalgic for a time when people sat in their parlors or on their verandas sipping tea, doing needlework, and discussing the trivial issues of the day. They look wistfully at the Victorian age. Except for: The corsets, the…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Senior Picture

Some cool Senior images:

Senior Picture

Image by Ezalis
Senior Picture

Senior Picture

Image by Ezalis
Senior Picture

Senior Picture

Image by Ezalis
Senior Picture

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We’re Not Making This Up: A Trained Beagle Tests for Pregnancy by Sniffing Bear Poop

Announcement: Elvis is in the house. Or in the zoo, anyway. And he’s sniffing bear poop.

No, I’m not writing about some new tell-all book exposing strange things that happened in the back rooms of Graceland. In this case, Elvis is a trained Beagle, and he’s becoming a star in his own right thanks to his skills at sniffing bear poop. Specifically, polar bear poop. Elvis has been trained to detect the scent of certain proteins in fecal matter that can show whether or not a female polar bear is pregnant, reports the Huffington Post.

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Elvis, from the Cincinnati Zoo

It can be tricky to confirm whether a given bear is pregnant, especially early in the cycle, and Elvis' nose has the potential to simplify things a great deal. Right now, 14 zoos have sent fecal samples from 22 bears to see if they pass the sniff test.

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Elvis about to go to work in the lab.

At first glance, that might sound a little extreme; if a bear is pregnant, it'll become obvious soon enough, right? But polar bears are an endangered species, and it's a big deal to breed one in captivity. Only three cubs were born in U.S. zoos last year, and having an early warning system could be the key to making sure there's more. Right now, there isn't a reliable way to test a polar bear for pregnancy, and false positives are extremely common.

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Polar bear with cub, by Shutterstock.

When a female bear is known to be pregnant, the zoo takes steps as soon as possible to make her comfortable and safe. The pregnant bear gets her own den with extra bedding, is kept separate from males, and the staff can be scheduled for extra shifts keeping an eye on her and getting ready for the delivery. All that gets a lot easier if you can get a head start. It also makes it easier to study when and why polar bear pregnancies fail, and what can be done to avoid that.

Elvis' new career is the result of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (or CREW, for those who want to avoid developing a nasty RSI) and Matt Skogen, owner of Iron Heart High Performance Working Dogs. Skogen's company has trained dogs to find explosives, bedbugs, peanut allergens, and termites, but Elvis works on the only project detecting pregnancy.

Erin Curry from CREW says "This is the first time sniffer dogs have been used in biomedical research as it relates to any wildlife species, making this project truly one-of-a-kind."

Elvis was trained using more than 200 samples from bears whose pregnancy status was already known; at this point, CREW says that Elvis' accuracy rate is at 97 percent, which is as good as one of the pregnancy tests that you can buy at the grocery store.

Curry has high hopes that if Elvis' skills pan out, and more dogs like him can be trained, it might mean a brighter future for a species that is now teetering on the edge of extinction, thanks in part to global warming.

"Polar bears are a high profile, flagship species for conservation ...," said Curry. "It is not unlikely that working with Elvis will be a critical factor in unlocking the mysteries of polar bear reproduction, contributing towards saving one of the world's most beloved animals."

Via Huffington Post and The Cincinnati Zoo

The Scoop | The Scoop

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DrDonnaSpector-Morgan2011_250wQuestion: Do you have any feedback on cases of cats with IBD who have improved using Halo’s menu? I’m not even sure I can get it in Australia, but when I went to the “Cat Recipe” link it was blank (“recipes will return soon”). I am particularly interested in the Spot’s Shredded Chicken Stew for Cats (I may have that wrong!).

Answer: Thanks for your inquiry. Halo diets, like the Spot’s Choice Grain-Free Shredded Chicken Recipe, have been used successfully in many cases of intestinal disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is not a specific diagnosis—there are many types of IBD and many different treatment approaches. See my article for more information: Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats.

If a cat seems to truly have a food allergy, often a much more restrictive diet and sometimes a prescription diet may be necessary. If a cat has general intestinal inflammation, often a diet with very high quality natural whole ingredients which is highly digestible (like Halo) can work well. I would suggest you ask your veterinarian about using Halo foods.

Hope this helps.
Dr. Donna Spector

Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency.

Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via


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Midtown Patients Can Now Receive Dentures Supported by Dental Implants in New York, NY from Dr. Neda Azadivatan of Precision Periodontics & Dental Implants

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 02, 2013

Dr. Neda Azadivatan of Precision Periodontics & Dental Implants now offers New York patients in midtown NYC a whole new option for replacing missing teeth that leverages the best of dental implants and denture technology to deliver outstanding comfort, stability and functionality. Implant-supported dentures last longer than traditional dentures, reducing the long-term impact of multiple visits for new prosthesis. The implant post stimulates the jaw bone as a natural tooth would to help prevent bone degeneration over time.

Patients who have lost only one or two teeth may be candidates for traditional dental implants but in the case of multiple tooth loss, additional options need to be considered. Adults missing teeth historically have had to rely upon dentures that essentially sit on top of the gums. Such prosthesis are prone to sliding. Patients experience some loss of natural chewing and other functions, as well as occasional discomfort. Implant-supported dentures offer incredible stability as the denture is directly connected to implants positioned directly into the jaw bone.

Dr. Azadivatan utilizes two different types of implant-supported dentures that patients in midtown NYC may take advantage of. The first features three or four implant posts in the jaw bone connected to a metal bar on top of the gum line, made to fit the exact curvature of a patient?s gum and mouth. The denture then snaps onto the metal bar and is held in place by the dental implants. Another option features a ball-style top on each of the three or four implants placed into the bone. The interior of the dentures then include a corresponding socket to match up to each ball when put into place. Both the bar-retained and the ball-retained denture provide protection against jaw bone loss and will last longer than the five- to seven-year average of traditional dentures.

Adults missing teeth who are interested in learning more about improved denture placement and performance are invited to contact Dr. Azadivatan?s office.

About The Doctor

Precision Periodontics & Dental Implants is a periodontal practice offering personalized dental care for patients in New York, NY. Dr. Neda Azadivatan is a graduate of New York University and completed her periodontal training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. Dr. Azadivatan provides dental implants in Manhattan, NY and belongs to the one percent of dental professionals providing the LANAP FDA cleared laser procedure for gum disease and periodontal treatment. As a quality-minded periodontist, Dr. Neda directs and works closely with the technicians who provide assistance and construct the materials used in periodontal treatments. To learn more about Precision Periodontics & Dental Implants and their dental services, visit their website at and call (646) 863-8086.

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Shelter Sunday: Madison Animal Rescue Foundation / Madison, AL

Meet Bunny! This Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler/Great Pyrenees mix is about a year old and is being fostered in Madison, Alabama by the Madison Animal Rescue Foundation. Here’s what their website has to say about this cutie. Bunny is an energetic girl who would love to have a family to run around with and play. […] Dog Blog

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Playstation 4 #Giveaway ~ Ends 11/30

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It's November and that means it's time for Playstation 4 Giveaway. This event is Hosted by A Little Bit of Everything So make sure to stop over there and say Thanks.

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Tyra and her Feline Greenies

Tyra goes silly when I feed her these Feline Greenies… They help with her cat breath.
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May 19, Bloat in Dogs | Best Dog Food Guide

Bloat in dogs or gastric dilatation is a serious condition that might kill your dog. Find about the early symptoms so you now when end how to react should you ever see them in your canine companion.
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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Fan or Follower of Christ By Michaelle Bragassa-Holman {Guest Article}

Fan or Follower of Christ By Michaelle Bragassa-Holman What is a Christian? Does it simply mean that you believe in God? Do you make it a point to go to church on a Sunday morning? Do you take the time to pray at some point during the day? The word Christian in our modern society…

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Sunflower Faith

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