Monthly Archives: May 2012

Early Bond

The remains of three Paleolithic dogs have been unearthed recently at Předmostí in the Czech Republic. One of the dogs was found with a mammoth bone in it’s mouth. It was not just mammoth in size, but came from actual mammoths. Scientists believe a human placed the bone in the animal’s mouth after it had died. The animals found show signs of domestication, something that may have began thousands of years earlier than once previously thought. Scientist believe dogs during this time period were just over 77 pounds with a shoulder height of 24 inches. The head would have been similar to that of a husky, but heavier. They would have had a lifespan somewhere between 4 and 8 years. The dog’s were also found with their brains removed after death, something that indicates some form of ritualism occured. People of that time period believed that the head contained the spirit or soul. It is belived that these people made a hole in the skull of the animal so that the spirit may be released. These findings indicate a special connection between man and dog thousands of years ago.

The entire article can be viewed at

Diamond adds cat food to the growing list of recalled pet foods because of ‘potiental’ salmonella infantis contamination

Adding to the list of pet food recalls voluntarily posted recently by Diamond Pet Foods, the company has issued yet another recall in their product lines — cat food, specifically — because of salmonella. Salmonella, also referred to as salmonellosis, causes digestive problems, and cats will typically present with fever, diarrhea, vomiting and weakness. Other symptoms can occur. Salmonella is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be passed to humans as well, so care needs to be taken. Hand washing is a must — even when handling dry pet food that may be contaminated with the bacteria. Diamond added the products to the list to alert pet owners to the potential cat food contamination with a general edit to the information on its recall website regarding the Kirkland brand. The company’s website said the recall involves its Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula and Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula dry cat food. No illnesses with pets have been reported. Distribution reaches to customers in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia, as well as in Canada and Puerto Rico. Despite Michigan not being on the distribution list, the product could have made its way here via other pet food channels, the company indicates. To determine if your pet food is recalled, please check the production code on the bag. If the code has both a “3” in the ninth position AND an “X” in the 11th position, the product is affected by the recall. The best-before dates for the recalled products are Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013. Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (EST). Visit for more information. You can count on to have up-to-date information on pet product related recalls available. Search our archives of previous recalls here. Lorrie Shaw leads the pets section for

Outdoor Cat Enclosures

Outdoor cats face many dangers including traffic, poisons, disease, and run-ins with other animals. They are also many times a major threat to wildlife. Allowing cats outdoors in a safe, controlled enviroment is rewarding for both cat and owner. If outdoor access is a possibility for your cat there are a variety of safe options.

A hidden fence will allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors, without allowing them to roam off the owner’s property. The fencing system is in-ground and can be adjusted to the area that you choose. The cat wears a collar that will alert and correct them when they approach the area they are not to go.

Pet Safe
Invisible Fence

An enclousure is another idea to allow your cat to safely enjoy the outdoors. It can be tailored to your yard or porch. There are several companies that sell equiptment to build your own enclousure or the blueprint on how to do it. They range from very simple to very complex. They can be furnished with old tree stumps and perches for climbing and scratching opportunities; tarps to provide shade and protection from the elements; even enclosed ladders for safe access to and from the house.

Polydactyl cats

A Polydactyl Cat is one with a genetic mutation that causes cats to have multiple toes! They can have as many as 7 extra toes on one or all four feet. However,”Bandit” a black and white domestic short hair has beat those odds and has a total of 29 toes! Bandit is the unofficial title holder in the Guinness Book of World Records as the cat with the most toes. Now, you may wonder if a cat with this condition is debilitated at all, or has any problems with that many toes. And the answer is no; polydactyl cats get around just as well has non-polydactyl cats. Some kittens do take a bit longer learning how to walk and balance, but once they figure it out, they can walk, run, jump and play just as well as the next guy! In fact, some polydactyl cats have improved dexterity, using their extra digits as thumbs and opening latches, catching balls with one paw, etc… Cats with this condition are usually found on the East Coast of the United states and overseas in Southwest New England and Wales. They have been widely popular as ship cats and some would consider them good luck! Other names for these little guys are “boxing cats”, “mitten cat”, “Hemingway cat”, “snowshoe cat”, “cardi-cat”, “thumb cat”, “six-fingered cat” and “double-pawed cat”. Aren’t they cool? 🙂



Until September 11, 2001 I was content painting the dogs and cats I met at shelters from around the country as well as commissioned works for collectors. However, on that morning, after going on a morning run I returned to the tragic news that we are now all so familiar with.

As I watched the events unfold I saw the story of Sirius, the explosive-detection dog that lost his life in Tower II. I had this overwhelming feeling to reach out to David Lim and do something to try and ease his pain. I searched the internet for a contact and actually found an email address for him and thought I would give it a try. It worked. We connected and David was kind enough to share stories and pictures of Sirius with me. I could tell they truly loved and watched out for each other. And that is how I came to paint Sirius.

As I began to better understand the role Sirius played at the World Trade Center, my curiosity got the best of me wanting to know more about the dogs that were committing their lives towards the devastation and so dedicated to us humans. So I went to the people I knew, at the ASPCA and The HSUS, asking for any information they might have. The next thing I knew I was flying to the ASPCA in NYC to meet with a group of pet therapy dogs and their handlers, taking photos and getting to know their stories. On the following pages you will be able to read their stories and even hear in the words of Rachel McPherson, Founder of The Good Dog Foundation, how her dog Fidel made the emotional trips to Ground Zero and to the Pier 94 Family Assistance Center. You will also get to see their photos and the paintings I later created. They all worked tirelessly giving of themselves to the families, firefighters, rescue workers and support groups. It was a moving and humbling experience to be in a room, surrounded by such great dogs.

Shortly thereafter, thanks to contacts provided by The HSUS, I flew to Virginia to meet with a group of Search and Rescue dogs and their handlers. It was there that I met Sky, Nero and other dogs that were the first to enter the Pentagon after the terrorist attack. These dedicated dogs are called upon at some of the most tragic times. They go into tornado and earthquake stricken sites, search for lost or kidnapped children, basically doing whatever is asked of them to find lost and missing humans.

The experience touched another part of me giving me a deeper respect and understanding of the human/animal bond. I began to paint these wonderful creatures in addition to shelter dogs – from assistance dogs, hero dogs, miracle dogs, guide dogs, and the many dogs that through their unconditional love and devotion, touch the hearts of people every day.

It is with a heavy heart that I must note that many of the dogs painted in this tribute have since crossed over the rainbow bridge. However, their unwavering dedication, loyalty and love lives on forever.

-Ron Burns

Diamond Further Expands Dog Food Recall

Diamond Pet Foods expanded its recall of pet food produced at its Gaston, S.C., manufacturing facility to include six additional brands and resumed production at the facility. Diamond recalled three brands of dry dog food: Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice Formula for Adult Dogs, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula and Diamond Puppy Formula. The company ceased production at the Gaston facility in April after samples from each of the brands tested positive for a rare strain of salmonella, S. Infantis. Public health officials linked the strain to an outbreak of human salmonella infections, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched an investigation to determine if other brands of food produced in Gaston may be linked to the illnesses. As a precautionary measure, Diamond expanded the recall to include: • Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul • Country Value • Diamond • Diamond Naturals • Premium Edge • Professional • 4Health • Taste of the Wild The recalled products are those that have a production code with the number “2” or “3” in the 9th or 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit and “Best-Before” dates of Dec. 9, 2012, through Apr. 7, 2013. The products were distributed in the following states and Canada, but may have been distributed further through other pet food channels: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The recall also includes the following Kirkland Signature products: • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Formula • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Mature Dog Chicken, Rice & Egg Formula • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Dog Formulated with Chicken & Vegetables • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula • Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs The recalled Kirkland products are those with production codes with a number “3” in the 10th digit and an “X” in the 11th digit and “Best-Before” dates between Dec. 9, 2012 and Jan. 31, 2013. The food was distributed in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Canada and Puerto Rico. Pets with salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain, the company said. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. Owners of pets that have consumed the product should contact a veterinarian, the company says. Owners handling the food can also become infected, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to the affected product. Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever, the company said. Salmonella can also result in more serious ailments, such as arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these symptoms after having contact with the recalled product should contact a healthcare provider. Diamond has set up a website devoted to providing information about the recalls. Diamond states on the site that production and delivery out of its Gaston plant has resumed.


How It Works
With its patent-pending design, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt.Thundershirt is already helping tens of thousands of dogs around the world, and is recommended by thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers.

As for WHY Thundershirt’s gentle pressure works to calm a dog, experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system. Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years. For example:

TTouch dog trainers use pressure to address a wide variety of anxieties. Veterinarians use pressure to relax cattle when they are administering vaccinations. People with autism use pressure to relieve their persistent anxiety. Children with certain behavioral problems use pressure shirts and weighted vests to relax and focus. Parents use swaddling to calm an inconsolable newborn infant.Until now, there just hasn’t been a well-designed, inexpensive pressure wrap commonly used for dog anxiety. Thundershirt is changing that! Thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers now recommend Thundershirts for their anxiety cases.

Off-leash Etiquette

Dog parks are becoming more common in large and small cities alike, and for good reason-they offer an excellent opportunity for dogs and their owners to socialize among their own. To make your trip to the dog park safe and successful for all, follow a few simple guidelines:

1. Follow all posted rules
for the specific park you and your dog are visiting.

2. Visit a new park at off-peak hours
to allow your dog to explore without distraction.

3. Bring only fully vaccinated dogs
Failure to do so can expose your dog to potentially life-threatening diseases.

4. Bring only healthy dogs
If your dog is under the weather, stay home to rest and avoid exposing other dogs to illness.

5. Never leave your dog unattended
at the dog park.

6. Clean up after your dog
Bringing extra bags is always helpful, in case another pet parent forgets or runs out!

7. Always keep an eye on your dog,
and watch how he interacts with other dogs. Look for body language that could be signaling tense relations.

8. Try to let your dog off his leash as soon as you get to the park.
Getting rushed by several dogs at once while on leash may make your dog feel threatened.

9. Bring only the dogs that you can attend to easily.
If you have several “best friends” you may want to make more than one trip.

10. If your best friend gets involved in a showdown
with a canine compadre, avoid the park for a week and walk a different route. This detour in routine can help reduce any heightened sensitivity carried home from the dust-up, and a new routine can be a welcome distraction (reducing the chances of your best friend acting out).

Fetch 2011 No.3 Issue 9