Saturday, February 27, 2010

Student Invents Website To Feed Shelter Animals

Cesar Milan Says Goodbye to His Beloved Pit Bull, Daddy

Cesar Milan dispelled the myth that pit bulls are violent, dangerous, and uncontrollable creatures by featuring Daddy as his costar and loyal friend. Daddy truly was an ambassador for pit bulls around the world. Our thoughts are with Cesar Milan, his staff and volunteers, and with the rest of Cesar's dog pack during this difficult time. For further information about Daddy, please visit and if you would like to honor Daddy's memory please consider making a donation to Daddy's Emergency Animal Rescue Fund at

Friday, February 26, 2010

Buster Joins the Family

While shopping at the Animal Hospital of Pensacola in 2002, I intended to buy a bag of cat food for Henry and go home directly afterwards but as I stood at the counter to make a payment I noticed a cage full of adoptable kittens and I just had to take a closer look. I have no idea how long I gazed at those tiny creatures but it was long enough for Buster to start the interview process. He instinctively knew that he only had a few seconds to impress me and he certainly did his best by marching up to the front of the cage to offer his head for scratching, his paw for a “handshake”, and a desperate meow for me to get him out of there permanently.

I didn’t take Buster home immediately because I had a lot of thinking to do because at the time I was living in a tiny, doll-house sized studio apartment and I wondered how he would enjoy living in such cramped conditions. I needed to consider Henry's feelings since he would be the one who would be stuck with while I was at work. After Henry admitted he needed a kitty companion in his life, I decided to go back to the animal hospital to bring home where he belonged!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Daisy, Our Glamour Girl

Photo Fun
Dumpr - Photo Fun

This is Daisy, our glamorous treeing walker coonhound, a North Carolina native who was so startled by gun shots while out coon hunting with her sister that she failed to get back into her owner's truck and was left to fend for herself in the woods. Soon after that, Daisy lived at a puppy mill until she was saved from being gassed by New England rescue organization who adopted her out to a seemingly perfect couple in Boston, but they did not have enough time to train her so they gave her back to the rescue organization in the hopes she would find a home through them. Luckily, a young couple in Vermont took pity on her and fostered Daisy for 3 months until she found her permanent home with us on May 30, 2009. We loved her from the moment we saw those beautiful almond eyes staring at us from our computer screen and we cannot imagine our lives without her!

Henry, My First Furry Child

I think fate brought Henry and I together because if I hadn't graduated with my master's in elementary education at Pensacola Christian College in July 1998 I'm quite sure I wouldn't have been hired as a reading and writing adjunct at Pensacola Junior College,, in August where I became friendly with a cat-loving secretary who just so happened to have a litter of kittens needing new homes. Of course, as soon as I laid eyes on little Henry, I was in love. What can I say? He had me at meow!

Since his adoptive life started out on a college campus, I am convinced that Henry's favorite hobby is reading because he loves to be right beside me when I read a book, magazine, or newspaper. 

Another favorite of Henry's is exploring the outdoors; he steps into his harness, trots down the stairs to a grassy spot while I tie the leash to my lawn chair, and off he goes to observe his surroundings. 

There are so many other things to say about Henry but I will save them for future posts so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What is Carnism?

While listening to National Public Radio one morning I listened to Dr. Melanie Joy, a professor, author, and psychologist discuss "carnism" in her newest book, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows,

The author defined carnism as a belief that it is ethical to eat certain animals such as cows and pigs while it is considered inappropriate to eat other animals such as our own cats or dogs. She examines how and why individuals can love their pets and value kindness to all animals but continue to purchase meat from corporations where cows and chickens endure enormous suffering and violence for our benefit. 

While listening to the interview, I began to think about eliminating meat from my diet but I know it will be a slow process to switch from carnm I have a stack of books on my bedside table but that won’t stop me from ordering this groundbreaking book by the end of this month and I will be sure to blog about it soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shadow Visits Manchester's Secret Dog "Park"

When I am asked to take care of Shadow while her parents are on vacation I am thrilled because she is a happy, well-behaved dalmatian mix who knows how to make her pet sitter feel welcome during every visit. 

Her enthusiasm is contagious from the very moment that we step outside her door; she starts the walk with a few crazy bounces and then she trots along at a pace that I thought was reserved for a puppy. It's hard to believe that she is 10 years old especially when she's tugging me along to get a whiff of some unsavory scent beneath her feet.

Shadow definitely loves her walks which is why I often reward her with a car ride down the hill from her house to her favorite trail that begins at the corner of Wellington Hill Road and Edward J. Roy Drive or from the parking lot directly behind Dartmouth Hitchcock at 100 Hitchcock Way

If you are looking for an alternative from the heavily populated parks in the area, you and your dog(s) will enjoy spending time here. Dog bag dispensers are conveniently located on the trail and further up you will find a huge field for dogs who love running and playing off-leash.

If you haven't visited this "park" already, please take your dog(s) there and have fun!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And They Called It Kitty Love

Hello Readers,

I forgot to tell you that when I accompany my pet sitters to Molly and Cooper’s house I get terribly excited because my best friend, an orange and white kitty, Papi, lives there too, and as soon as I walk into their house, I ignore the dogs and head straight to Papi. My pet sitters think it's funny that I can't keep my eyes off of Papi, but what can I say, he's just too darn cute! We get along really well because, as my parents and pet sitters say, I am part-cat and Papi is part-dog; for example, I love Fancy Feast cat food and Papi loves eating milk bones, cheese, and peanut butter.

When I walk with Molly and Cooper I daydream about the fun I will have with Papi when we get back to the house; I could care less about walking with two dogs who find pleasure in the silliest things when all we're supposed to do is walk. I don't understand why they choose to waste time playing in the snow, drinking from puddles, or staring at squirrels who don't care one bit about them. It's ridiculous!

When we finally get back to the retriever's house, I have a big smile on my face because Papi is waiting for his chance to give me a big soft hug.

Your cat loving friend,

Kenny, the Wonder Dog/Cat

You would think that cat sitting is a terribly boring job especially if the cat does not want to socialize with strangers, but when I met twelve year old Kenny, our newest client, I knew he turned out to be one of the most entertaining cats I've ever met. 

Kenny loves to run after toys, catch them in mid-air, and then drop them at my feet so that we can continue the game again and again. Because of his athletic abilities, I have to wonder if Kenny is a dog trapped inside a cat's body!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pit Bull Dies at the Hand of Owner

As soon as I noticed the picture of a dead pit bull lying on the front page of the Union Leader I was so outraged. As I continued to read the story, I learned that someone tied Buster to a tree and shot him multiple times and then left him to die alone in the Auburn woods.

What a horrific act of betrayal it was for Adam Lamotte to take Buster to his favorite Auburn trail on Wednesday night, allow him to run off-leash for awhile without realizing that his freedom would soon end with a gunshot to his head. The gunshot stunned Buster so much that he did not make a sound as he stared into the eyes of his master probably wondering what he had done to deserve such cruelty. To make matters worse, Buster did not die immediately so Lamotte fired the gun two more times until he thought Buster was dead and then left the scene in a panic.

At some point on Saturday, Lamotte, of Manchester, turned himself in at the Auburn Police Department stating that he shot his dog because Buster had been showing signs of separation anxiety and became a menace when family members needed to leave the house. Buster's attacks weren't serious until he bit Lamotte's wrist so severely that he had to rush to the emergency room for stitches. After that incident, Buster was put on Clomicalm, an anti-anxiety medication but the behavior issues continued and as a result 5 year old Buster was murdered.

Apparently, Lamotte did not know how to alleviate Buster’s separation anxiety and needed professional help and if the owner had done some research Buster would still be alive today! 

I shudder to think of the many dogs who have been euthanized, abused, given up for adoption (which isn’t always the worst option), or neglected all because of the owner’s ignorance. Buster suffered in silence, cold and alone in the woods, but his story will live on to remind us that owning a dog is not just a privilege; it’s a responsibility.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hooksett Dog Park, A Place To Howl About

If you live in Manchester, NH, the closest fenced-in dog park is on 45 Fordway Street in Derry, but since we like variety, we checked out Hooksett Dog Park,located at 101 Merrimack Street by Hooksett District Court

This park has been open since November 2009, and has two adjoining fenced-in areas filled with agility obstacles and tunnels, poop stations with bags and disposal bins, and an open shed with benches for owners and/or dogs who need to take a break or get away from inclement weather. 

If you visit Hooksett Dog Park (or any other dog park) please keep these park rules in mind:

1. Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, has all her shots, and is in good health. Under no circumstances should you take a sick dog to a dog park!

2. Do not use the dog park as a substitute for a walk!

3. Be aware of your dog at all times, and take responsibility for her behavior.

4. A calm-submissive dog will not attract another dogs aggression, but an excited dog, a weak, timid dog, or an aggressive dog can become a fight-magnet.

5. Know your dog! If your dog has poor social skills, is overly fearful, or is dog-aggressive, or if you have not yet established your calm-assertive leadership with your dog, find a more controlled way to introduce her to the company of other dogs, such as play dates with one or two other dog owners.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Working Dog is a Happy Dog


My name is Jesse, a 5 year old female foxhound mix, and I was so thrilled that April asked me to be a guest writer for her blog because it gives me the opportunity to tell you how busy I’ve been for the last 3 years! At first I was just going on walks, but once she noticed how well-behaved I was, she thought I was ready to work for her so she hired me to be a co-pilot, a doggy therapist, and a cheerer-upper at Villa Crest Nursing Home. It’s so much fun that I have to tell you a little bit about each job! 
First of all, I love all of my jobs but I think the best job is being a co-pilot; I’m a natural at it because I am very good with directions and know exactly when we are getting close to our destination and as we get closer, I alert April by whining, barking, and whistling. It seems to do the job because she’ll park at the right house and then she’ll have a friend for me to walk with! I have so many friends, it’s ridiculous! The next job is a tough one because as a doggy therapist, I have to figure out how to help a shy dogs feel more comfortable and I do that by trusting my instincts and pretty soon they are walking beside me, happy and relaxed! Another fun job is visiting the elderly at Villa Crest. Upon my arrival, I announce my presence by singing my special, “Woo-Woo-Woo!” song which is always a big hit with everyone that I just have to sing it again and again until April tells me to stop! After that I walk down the halls until I find someone who wants to pet me and I stay very still and quiet because I don’t want to frighten anyone, especially since some of the residents are so frail. I especially love to go downstairs to visit the Alzheimer patients because they say the funniest things like, “Is that a cat or a dog?” or “Is that a beagle?”, and I always make sure I visit during their lunch time because they give me pieces of their roast beef or chicken. I must say that I am so thankful to have not one, but three jobs, especially since so many humans have been complaining about the economy, right?
Well, it sure has been such an honor to be the very first guest writer for The Teacher’s Pets and I hope you enjoyed reading about me! Please tell me what you thought about my story…I love mail and I promise I will write back!


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Riley the Black Lab's Bedside Manners Praised at the NH Veterans Home

While eating the BEST grilled chicken salad in the whole world (really!) at Cafe324 located at 324 North Commercial Street, Manchester, I grabbed the newspaper and found an article about the death of a kind-hearted 14 year old female black lab named Riley who was a faithful visitor at the NH Veterans Home in Tilton for many years. 

She started her relationship with the veterans home simply by chance when she met Bill Mertens, a resident of the home, who frequently visited her as he went out for his daily walks and soon the two became friends, partly because Bill always had treats in his pockets. In 2007, Bill was bedridden and because of that, Bill requested to have Riley visit him at the veterans home and after that first visit, Riley was a regular, letting herself in through the home's automatic doors, coming and going as she pleased. If she wasn't visiting the veterans, she would spend time with staff members who enjoyed petting and feeding her. I am sure the New Hampshire Veterans Home is going to feel Riley's loss for a long time to come.

I was struck by Riley's story because she made such an impact on the lives of others that she was honored with a tribute that appeared on the front page of the Greater Manchester section! It also reminded me about the healing power of animals and it is amazing how well they understand the needs of humans and all they want from us in return is food, shelter, a few walks, and lots of love.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In Praise of Funky Lawn Ornaments

Can you believe that someone thought to roll out a statue of me and three of my doggie clients to be viewed by everyone in Manchester? I wish the creators of this masterpiece had contacted me but I assume they wish to remain anonymous because, after all, if word got around, their privacy would be at stake. Who knows? Maybe they were crouching beneath their windows, watching me aim my camera at their unique snow menagerie, hoping I will blog about it.

On a more serious note, the “statues” reminded me of the playful wooden sculptures of a young man and his dogs just outside of Stephen Huneck’s Dog Chapel. The Dog Chapel is located in St. Johnsbury, VT, a chapel adorned with stained glass windows, wooden pews, Stephen Huneck’s paintings, and walls covered with tributes to deceased dogs. The tributes are so touching that it’s little wonder why there are tissues thoughtfully placed at each pew. For further information about the artist and author please visit

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meet My Tiny Pug Dancers, Fenway and Isabella

If you were to ask my pet sitting client, Fenway, what she wants to be when she grows up you may be surprised to learn that she wants to be a Prima ballerina. 

If you haven't noticed your pug's hidden talents, take a closer look at her performance each time you hold a treat above her nose and you will see how well she balances on her tip toes as she twirls. Watch her animated smile while you sing her praises!

You may have been thinking that your pug is just a clown; a girl who is wild about her treats, but think again! I've watched my other pug client,Isabella,as she twirled for her treats and I'm quite sure she was thinking about stardom and the roses that will be tossed at her feet at her upcoming performance. She dreams of becoming a star, a celebrity who is photographed every time she walks down the street and with a little practice I believe it will all come true for her one day! 

For those who are skeptical of a pug's dream to be a Prima ballerina, watch this video, and then watch your tiny pug dancer very carefully!