Monthly Archives: February 2011

Finances vs. love for my pet

I have always prided myself on doing the very best for my and our clients pets. I studied veterinary technology to have the knowledge to practice the highest quality of veterinary care and am so lucky to work with exceptional veterinarians and technicians that match my high standards of care here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital.

Recently, becoming a full time Mom and a part time technician, I have been able to relate to our clients with financial restraints more than ever. I too have had to make some tough decision of finances vs. the love for my pets. It hasn’t been easy saying no to diagnostics and referral specialists or even treatments that I once could do without a question. Now I think about the financial impact on my family and wonder what other options do I have. This is where being honest with myself and the veterinarians I work with has helped me make decisions for a better quality of life for my pets that does not break my family’s finances.

So, if you can at all relate, please don’t feel bad about being honest with us. If you can’t do what is recommended and need other options please know that we are sensitive to you and your pets needs. We will try our best to offer options that are both doable for you and help maintain a good quality of life for your pet.

Stacey Levitt, RVT

Smart Dog

They say every dog has its day — and Wednesday was that day for Chaser, a 7-year-old border collie whose owner purports that the dog can recognize 1,022 nouns. On TODAY, Chaser demonstrated that dogs may have some of the same capability to learn as human children.

On bended knee next to the alert-looking canine, anchor Matt Lauer ordered: “Chaser, fetch tennis.” And after just a few seconds of nosing around the 25 items that her owner, Dr. John Pilley, had brought to the set, the dog located a tennis ball and promptly dropped it into a tub on Lauer’s command. Chaser also fetched a peppermint chew toy in response to Lauer’s command — but it was when he instructed her to “fetch SpongeBob” that she really showed her mettle.

“SpongeBob is not out there,” Pilley told Lauer. But in seconds, Chaser wagged her tail while eagerly shaking a SpongeBob flying disc in her mouth.

“No, it’s right there!” Lauer said. Pilley laughed and commented: “She sees better than I do.”

More on pets

Practice makes perfect

If it all sounds like fun and games, that’s just what it is for Chaser. Border collies are reputedly one of the smartest and most motivated breeds in dogdom. They like challenges and stimulation, and since Chaser is a house pet and not out herding sheep, the dog needs other tasks to complete.

Pilley, a retired psychology professor from Wofford College in South Carolina, adopted Chaser as a puppy, hoping to use her to test some teaching methods he’d devised for dogs. Practicing four or five hours a day for years, Pilley found Chaser could recognize a remarkable array of items, and pick each one out of a group.

Appearing on TODAY with Pilley and Chaser, Pilley’s research associate, Dr. Alliston Reid, told Lauer that Chaser’s impressive achievements may help the world better understand how much a dog can actually learn, and that those findings may be applicable to learning how human vocabulary grows as well.

Pilley told The New York Times that even after the thousands of hours of training Chaser has received, she still begs for more. “She still demands four to five hours a day,” he said. “I’m 82, and I have to go to bed to get away from her.”

Pilley told Lauer that he believes he’s done more than teach an older dog some new tricks. “We think it’s science,” he said. “Our primary goal is to try to teach her ‘dog language’ — you don’t call it human, she’ll never get that close — but we’re trying to teach her words and learn how to teach her words.”

Chaser was so impressive that comic actor Russell Brand — who followed the dog on TODAY to promote a new movie in which he provides the voice of an animated Easter Bunny — seemed a bit jealous. When Meredith Vieira noted how hard it is to follow a dog act, Brand remarked: “It’s pretty easy, actually. I could put all those things in that tub. I was watching Chaser and thought, ‘That’s easy!’ ”

Lessons I Learned From My Dog

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout…run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Always turn around three times before lying down.

If you’re tired, take a nap.

Always share a favorite toy.

Don’t pass up a chance to snuggle.

NEVER take attention for granted.

Always kiss the ones who are mad at you to make it better.


Cartoon Dogs

If you love cartoons or animated movies, cartoon dog names might be a great option when choosing a name for your newest family member.
Here’s a list of famous cartoon dogs- see if you can picture them all!
Astro: A generic dog from the Jetson’s cartoon, probably a Great Dane
Auggie: The doggie from Hanna Barbera’s the Quick Draw McGraw Show
Barfly: The Labrador Retriever from the Family Circus comic
Barkley: An icon on the Sesame Street show, a generic shaggy dog
Beethoven: An unmistakable Saint Bernard from the Beethoven movies
Benji: A Terrier mix from several recent movies
Bitsy: The dog in the Marvin comic strip for over 90 years
Blue: A floppy eared, blue dog from the children’s cartoon Blue’s Clues
Brian: The intelligent and witty dog from the Family Guy
Bullet: The sidekick from longtime comic Barney Google and Snuffy Smith
Chief: The sweet pup in the Fox and the Hound
Clifford: The big red dog who is harmless but always getting into trouble from the children’s book series, which has turned cartoon show
Droopy: A droopy eyed mutt from the movie cartoons produced by MGM
Farley: An English sheepdog from the cartoon For Better or Worse
Fifi: The perfectly paired name for the Poodle from the Rugrats cartoon
Goofy: The silly, but loveable humanlike dog from Walt Disney movies
Grimm: The trouble making, but loveable Bull Terrier from the comic strip Mother Goose and Grimm, Bull terrier
Gromit: The main character from the movie Wallace and Gromit
Huckleberry Hound: The fun and interesting hound from the Huckleberry Hound Show by Hanna Barbera
Ladybird: A Bloodhound from the television show King of the Hill.
Marley: The lovable Labrador Retriever from the book and hit movie Marley and Me.
Martha: A generic pooch from the children’s PBS cartoon Martha
Marmaduke: A harmless Great Dane always getting in trouble, featured in his own Marmaduke comic strip.
McGruff: The crime fighting Bloodhound created by the National Crime Prevention Council
Odie: The quick witted pooch from the Garfield cartoon
Otto: The military sidekick in the comic strip Beetle Bailey
Perdie: The gentle natured mother Dalmatian from the 101 Dalmatians movie
Pluto: From Walt Disney movies, Mickey’s best pal pooch.
Pongo: The confident, but loving, Dalmatian father from the 101 Dalmatians Disney movie
Ren: The mouthy and silly Chihuahua from the Ren and Stimpy show
Rowlf: The shaggy, large dog from the Muppet Show by Jim Henson
Scooby-Doo: The fearful Great Dane from the tv series Scooby Doo
Slinky: A dog slinky toy in the movie the Toy Story
Snoopy: A Beagle that has become famous in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schlutz
Spuds Mackenzie: The Bull Terrier that was the longtime mascot for Budweiser beer products.
Tramp: The Schnauzer mix from the Lady and the Tramp Disney movie.