Decorating the Tree Safely with Pets in Your Home… By Lori Genstein – I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC

Chapman went home for the holidays and will learn about the hazards! He has a Mommy, Daddy, even a Christmas Tree!!! 

chap tree 2

As the holidays approach, and the decorating begins… please remember to do so responsibly, and may your holiday be joyful and safe!!!

A few recommendations I strongly suggest when decorating your tree with pets in the home:

1.  Avoid hanging any glass or breakable ornaments on your tree.

2.  All decorations should be hung at least a foot above your pet’s eye level… if one was dangling in front of my face, I’d want to play with it, too!

3.  Use bread or trash bag ties, as opposed to metal hooks, to hang decorations.

4.  Secure your tree with a tether from the ceiling, wall, or both, depending on the size, to avoid it falling if a pet jumps up or knocks into it when    playing.  Try to restrict playing in the area of the tree… good luck! hahah

5.  Do not leave any cords hanging or in sight of your pets.    (See photo above – kitty immediately went for the hanging lights!)

6.  Turn off all lights and decorations when leaving the room.

7.  Avoid using any tinsel, icicles, or curly ribbon due to risk of choking, obstruction, and strangulation.


sneakers xmas

This last suggestion is not tree-related, rather, shopping/gift bag-related…

Snip the handles of all bags, or cut them off completely.

Animals are very curious, and most will stick their heads right in the bags…
My kitty usually goes right through the handles; hence, my extreme caution.
In my home, there are no bags allowed!!! Also, discard any plastic bags… again,
to keep your pets safe from being strangled, ingesting plastic, and suffocation.

Please add any tips I missed in the comments below.  Considering I’ve never had a Christmas tree, and this post is based solely on my observations and experience in pet-proofing others’ homes, I’m sure I’ve overlooked some. : )

See my previous blog post on Hanukkah Safety with Pets While Lighting the Menorah

Wishing everyone and their pets a very Happy Holiday…

Helping to keep beloved furry babies healthy and safe, and pet parents informed!

I’ve Got the ‘Scoop’!, LLC


david tree

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I have never thought Chris Rock or Jay Leno had an…

I have never thought Chris Rock or Jay Leno had any talent, so have never watched anything Rock has been in and never watch Leno show. Just wondering if Leno and Rock realize that on some scale they have committed career suicide? Immediately for Rock, losing a big movie deal which lets face it, you are not as popular as you might have been at one time. Leno, lets see how your ratings do now and how your friends start looking at you as if you have leprosy. You both deserve whatever Karma dishes out for your comments and ignorance about a loyal loving breed the pit bull, and even mentioning the name Mike the Dick.

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Cool Healthy Pet images

A few nice healthy pet images I found:

PET scan of an healthy brain compared to a brain at an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
healthy pet

Image by Institut Douglas
The figure shows MRI, and typical [18F]FDG images from a healthy volunteer and a Alzheimer Disease (AD) patient. The color scale express the rate of glucose utilization (from minimum to maximum). In these PET (Positron Emission Tomography) images (column 2 and 3), the white and red colors represent the regions of the brain with the highest glucose utilization rates while the green and blue represent the hypometabolic brain areas.
The arrows show the posterior temporo-parietal junction (lower row) and the posterior cingulate gyrus (top row).

PET SCAN d’un cerveau en santé en comparaison à un cerveau atteint d’Alzheimer à un stade précoce.

Pet Remembrance Day – Rebel
healthy pet

Image by LexMonkey
This pic was taken at my grandparents’ house on my one-year birthday. That’s a tiny little LexMonkey petting a gigantic German Shepherd named Rebel.

Rebel is the first dog I have any memory of. In fact, I can vividly recall visiting my grandparents and being greeted with a healthy slobbering from Rebel’s tongue. I asked my mother why Rebel was licking me and she said those are doggie kisses. So I asked why he was kissing me and was told "Because he loves you." I’ve been an animal lover ever since.

As Rebel got older he fell victim to Hip Displaysia, as most German Shepherds do. He used to come back from the vet with bandages on his tail and backside. One day when I was about five or six, Rebel was gone. I was told someone had taken him from the backyard. I believed this lie for much longer than I should have, and kept my eye open for black German Shepherds to see if I could one day find him again.

Pet of the Week: Harmony, 5649475
healthy pet

Image by LollypopFarm
Harmony is a 1-year-old female cat who was found in Henrietta as a stray.

This young kitty was pregnant when she was found, and now her kittens are healthy and she is ready to go to a new home.

Harmony is a very sweet and pretty cat, and she is certainly just as cute as any of her kittens! She took good care of them, so now she would love to be taken care of herself! Come meet her today!

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers ~ #Recipe Tested & #Reviewed

I decided that for NFL Gameday on Sunday I would make some of these delicious looking Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. They only had a few ingredients so I figured how difficult could it be right? And what could be better than cream cheese, jalapenos and bacon?

     photo 17_zpsea0ebda6.jpg
  • 1 pound jalapeno peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheese Cheddar or Mexican blend
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chipotle powder
  • 1 to 2 pounds bacon

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A Viral Photo Helps the Internet’s 2 Cutest Pit Bulls Find a Home

Two dogs who became viral stars of the Internet have found themselves a new forever home.

Last week, a picture of siblings Jeffrey and Jermaine snuggling made them the Internet’s favorite Pit Bulls. It wasn’t just that they look adorable snuggling. After the two were taken in by Philadelphia’s Operation Ava, the staff began to notice how close they were. They never went anywhere without each other.

“They cuddled and wouldn’t leave each others’ sides,” Ray Little, Ava’s director of life saving said in an interview with Today.

It was even more than that; Little noticed that whenever they walked, Jeffrey walked behind Jermaine, his head resting on the other dog’s back. They realized that Jeffrey was blind, and Jermaine was helping his brother by acting as a seeing-eye dog.

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Jeffrey and Jermaine were very lucky to find a new home, thanks to their celebrity. Remember that there are still lots of other dogs hoping for forever homes, especially senior dogs. Old dog by Shutterstock.

When the picture and the story of the young dogs started spreading out over the web and through the media, Operation Ava was besieged with offers to adopt the pups. It wasn't just locals who wanted to adopt; the shelter got offers from throughout the United States and as far away Australia and South Africa. More than 10,000 people wanted to give Jeffrey and Jermaine their new forever home. After two months at the shelter, it was no longer a question of whether the dogs would find a home; it was only a question of which one.

Now the choice has been made: Jonathan Hochman and Veronica McKee, of Springfield, Pennsylvania. Claudia Gutierrez, the CEO of Operation Ava, told Yahoo Shine that it was a tough choice, but in the end it came down to instinct.

"We went through thousands of inquiries and hundreds of applications searching for the perfect match, and it really came down to gut instinct." Gutierrez says. "Jonathan and Veronica have a wonderful relationship, and I knew they had a unique understanding of the bond between Jeffrey and Jermaine."

Oddly, the two weren't aware of just what big stars their new dogs were, at first. They went to Operation Ava not because of the viral photo, but because a friend of theirs had adopted a Chihuahua there and had a good experience.

"Jeffrey and Jermaine came bursting into the room, and they were the cutest dogs ever," Hochman says.

They filled out an application and went through an interview, and they went home to await the results.

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The cuddle heard 'round the world.

Jeffrey and Jermaine are apparently adapting well to their new home, even though the shelter initially warned potential adopters that they would need a lot of patience for these particular dogs.

"The dogs are so adaptable. They are happy and really loving, and they are always together. They are usually touching and even eat out of the same bowl," says Hochman. "Jermaine will put his nose in the bowl, but he won't start eating until Jeffrey gets there, too."

Hopefully, those 10,000 people won't evaporate into the ether; there are certainly enough dogs who need to be rescued, even in the United States alone, to make them all happy. Jeffrey and Jermaine were very adoptable dogs because of their celebrity and the fact that they're only eight months old. Young dogs are often cuter and more desirable to people and much less likely to wind up living their lives in a shelter.

This is a good time for readers to remember that these next few days are the close of Adopt a Senior Dog Month, and they still have plenty of opportunities to give a dog -- of any age -- something to be thankful for. Check out our dog adoption section for dogs in your area who need a forever home, and if you want to help out a senior dog, Muttville has rescued more than 2,000 senior dogs and is always ready to help with more.

Via Operation Ava, Yahoo Shine, and Today

The Scoop | The Scoop

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Book Review ~ Christmas in Apple Ridge by Cindy Woodsmall


Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Publish Date: October 9, 2012

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Cool Dog Smile images

Check out these dog smile images:

dog smiles 2
dog smile

Image by Dreemreeper

Smiling Dog
dog smile

Image by rhinodog8
What can I say? It’s a happy dog.

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Feeding Healthy Oils like Coconut Oil May Help With Pet’s Medical Problems

Healthy oils and fats added to your pets’ diet often make them look and feel better. One oil that is gaining popularity in human and veterinary medicine is coconut oil. I just bought a 14 oz jar of Organic Coconut oil for myself and my pets from Trader Joes.  I started with one teaspoon for myself, and one half teaspoon to my four footed ten pounders and a whole teaspoon for my sixty pound lab several times per week. Remember to start with a small amount of any fat to make sure pets can tolerate it. (Especially pets with sensitive guts or pancreatitis!!)

Coconut oil may help the body fight off viruses, bacteria, and yeast (great for animals with skin issues). It may also help the thyroid gland and pancreas work better That would be helpful for many dogs with low thyroid problems or diabetes. Daily coconut oil may also encourage weight loss by improving thyroid function and helping burn fat. The type of fat in coconut oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, cause the more efficient burning of fat. Both of these qualities may help with weight loss! Of course reducing the amount you feed, decreasing treats, and increasing exercise are all important! I have had 2-3 clients try coconut oil and report positive results with their pets’ chronic skin problems. The oil helps fight infection and make the coat softer and skin healthier! The research studies and feedback convinced me to try it on myself and my pets!

Why would you have to add healthy oils to dog food anyway? If all commercial pet foods are “complete and balanced”, why do we have to add anything? Some dogs need different ingredients for better health and lots of dogs need more oils to help their skin and hair coat! All you have to do is look at all the dogs with a dull hair coat or flaky skin to realize there’s something missing in the diet. Some dogs have a great coat, even eating the cheapest commercial food, but others have a dull, dry coat even when eating an expensive food!   Experience has taught me that all animals are unique individuals with different needs.  Some may feel and look better eating a hypoallergenic diet. (One free of common allergens in the diet like wheat, barley, beef, or chicken). Others may need fewer carbohydrates because they gain weight easily. Dogs sporting a dry flaky coat and frequent skin problems may need different foods (hypoallergenic, raw, home cooked) and healthier oils added to the diet.

I’ve seen clients change their pet’s diet only to ruin it all by feeding grain filled biscuits, treats, chews, or other foods that are extremely allergenic. The wheat, barley, chemicals, or other meat proteins in the toxic treats may negate all the good effects of the rest of the diet. It would seem that the better ingredients did not help, when in reality, the treats lovingly given, caused continued medical problems! You would not believe how many skin problems, ear problems, and bowel problems are caused by toxic treats. There are healthy treats, but unhealthy ones are far more common!

Greg Martinez DVM is the author of two books on feeding pets better ingredients to help with chronic medical issues , “Dog Dish Diet” and “Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet”

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Greenies have left the grid

Some cool greenies images:

Greenies have left the grid

Image by RightAsRain
the Greenies declare independence from the Second Life grid and take their toys and blast out into the metaverse. 04 July the SL region will be deleted. Take on last ride on the rocket secondlife://Greenies%20Home%20Rezzable/155/129/34

Greenies have left the grid

Image by RightAsRain
the Greenies declare independence from the Second Life grid and take their toys and blast out into the metaverse. 04 July the SL region will be deleted. Take on last ride on the rocket secondlife://Greenies%20Home%20Rezzable/155/129/34

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Is Your Toolbox Balanced?

"But I like to keep a balanced toolbox!"

I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard or read that one. It’s undoubtedly a big number. It’s usually the end or near the end of a trainer discussion on tools or techniques, and is intended to indicate that while a trainer (at least claims) to be primarily using tools and techniques that employ positive reinforcement, they also still like to use tools and techniques that rely on positive punishment/negative reinforcement. And they make this claim to open-mindedness with a brilliant rhetorical flourish! Or at least it probably seemed brilliant the first time it was used. I’m guessing around 1986.

But hey, what’s more open than reserving the right to use a leash pop or some electrical current when the going gets tough?

But really, we shouldn’t find this shocking (heh) when we still treat each other like this:

If pointless and gratuitous physical coercion to a kid is routine family TV (he really needed to sit in that chair NOW!) than how much sympathy do you think we can get for any non-human animal?

The fact is that human society is chock full of coercion and retribution. Last week I didn’t want to veer too far off into politics and I don’t want to go off on a philosophical tangent here, but consider how we treat each other. Coercion, whether it’s physical (most often with children) or not, is a big part of our society. Rewards are for frequent customers, credit cards, and bounty hunters. So it’s quite natural that our handling of non-human animals is even worse.

I’m currently enrolled in Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals course and just two weeks in I can see how this course is going to have a tremendous impact on how I work with both humans and dogs, and with how I solve problems. From the course description:

The philosophy of behavior underlying this course is that captive and companion animals, like all learners, must have power to operate effectively on their environment, in order to live behaviorally healthy lives.

Having the science of Applied Behavior Analysis carefully explained and also seeing it applied to a variety of different species has made it clear: it works.

But let’s look at more visceral example of how much someone can get done with a "closed toolbox:"

The elephant in this video is hanging out at the edge of the pen, happily responding to cues to move into different positions. (The electronic "beep" seems to be an event marker similar to a clicker.) If you watch the whole video you’ll see him lift his leg, allow the trainer to examine his ears, and respond to a variety of different cues. These are behaviors they use to care for the elephant with some fun stuff mixed in. Let’s review the zoo’s options for handling elephants.

  1. Restrain the elephant and force him to submit to handling. This is often where we end up with our children and our pets. Of course it’s easier to physically restrain a child or a dog than it is an elephant. (In Asia people do restrain elephants and treat them quite badly. They generally start out when the elephant is very small.)
  2. Sedate the elephant. This is risky, for both the elephant and the vet staff. It’s also of limited usefulness, since moving a sedated elephant is still a, pun intended, big problem. An awake cooperative elephant is a lot easier to work with.
  3. Don’t provide care for the elephant that requires cooperation. There are undoubtedly zoos that still choose this option.
  4. Do what we see here – convince the elephant that working with the trainer is a good thing.

Some would say that comparing this activity to working with a dog isn’t fair. The elephant is in a pen with steel columns protecting the trainer! I would tend to agree. Many people restrain their dogs so they can’t flee. This elephant has a choice the entire time – he could walk away from the bars any time he wants. But he stays. The trainer gave him a reason to.

This dog doesn’t have that choice:

I see two collars and some kind of head harness. And in case you missed the irony: one of the first steps in "teaching" a dog named a "Retriever" to "retrieve" is by forcing his mouth open by pinching the ear. Poke around Youtube some more and you’ll see video of a "well-respected" trainer needing to use a shock collar for the same procedure.

Yes, we need to shock dogs to get them to hold things in their mouth. I’m sure they’d say it’s complicated and we wouldn’t understand since we’re not professionals.

How did we get here? Where does the idea that when a dog (or child, or employee, etc.) doesn’t behave the way we want that meeting it with coercion and punishment (in the colloquial sense) isn’t just correct but virtuous?

Dr. Friedman refers to this phenomenon as "cultural fog.", based on a oft-cited quote from Gunnar Myrdal. The idea that rewards are "bribes" and the dogs and people should already be motivated to do the "right thing" as we define it is embedded in our culture. Dogs should work for praise. An employee’s reward for good work is more responsibility — which is corporate-speak for more work. And of course any popular artist seen taking money is a "sell-out."

So it’s not surprising that a "balanced toolbox" is seen not just as a necessity but as a badge of honor.

But I don’t accept that. If someone can convince a 15,000 pound elephant to cooperate with a physical examination without restraint or sedation, than there really is no excuse for needing coercion to get a dog to walk nicely on leash….let alone retrieve a bird.

I’ll take the smaller toolbox. Every time.

Is Your Toolbox Balanced? is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey

Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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