Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine: July/August 2024

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We know what a difference good nutrition can make in your pet’s life! We carry only top quality foods that are free of chemicals and artificial preservatives. None of the products we carry contain corn, wheat or soy because these are common allergens to many dogs and cats. We specialize in finding the right food for your four-legged friends, so when you want the best, shop at Healthy Tails!

Now! Fresh, Go! Solutions • Annamaet • Orijen & Acana • Ziwi Peak • Primal • Vital Essentials • Sojo’s • Fussie Cat • Smack • FirstMate • Stella & Chewy • Zignature • Honest Kitchen • Savage Cat • Weruva • PetKind • Taste of the Wild • Open Farm • Tiki • Dr. Marty • Canidae • Koha • Small Batch • Wisdom • Answers Raw • Lotus and many more top quality foods.


Anneli Adolfsson

RockStar Dogs Photography


– Aleza Freeman

– Sheryl Green

– Gail Mayhugh

– Bobby Morrow

– Elizabeth Parker

– Geri Rombach

– Kris, Lynn & Ellie Sainsbury

– Arianna Shaprow

– Alli Straus

– Shannon Turpin

Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine is published bi-monthly by Shasta Media Connection, LLC. All rights reserved. Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine assumes no responsibility or endorsement of the products or services advertised or featured. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement we believe is incompatible with our mission. No portion of the Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the Publisher.

Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine is distributed throughout the Las Vegas area at grocery stores, local pet stores, animal shelters and rescues, pet hotels, grooming salons, veterinarian hospitals, libraries and pet events with no cover price. We welcome reader correspondence. Please send all letters, inquiries, photos and correspondence:

Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine P.O. Box 31852 Las Vegas, NV 89173

Summer, a season of vacations, water fun and longer days to enjoy fun activities. Summer encourages lightness; we eat lighter, wear lighter clothing, and have lighter schedules. It grants us permission to laugh, play and have fun.

However, for pet parents it is challenging to find fun activities and yet keep pets cool and safe from the summer heat. This issue has a number of helpful articles about safe summer fun. Also included are informative articles about what to do if your pet gets lost and tips about how to keep your pets safe.

Even though there are very few pet events happening in the next two months, the work of shelters and rescues continues year-round! Summer is an important time to offer your support. Do you have extra time or are you looking for a family activity? Local rescues and shelters still hold regular pet adoptions and always appreciate visitors. Contact your favorite shelter or rescue to find out if they need help to cover vacations or to do other work. Check out the Adoption section – Save A Life – Adopt A Pet. Their bios and photos are also posted on Facebook –sharing their photos helps give these pets an increased chance of getting adopted. The byline is Everyone can do something, large or small, to help save a life. Your continued support of our local rescues is appreciated.

Balance your responsibilities with fun and joy. Adding “mini vacations” to our daily lives reduces the stress of everyday living. Spend extra fun time with your pet(s) this summer. Sit with them and watch how they enjoy life and laugh with them. Enter our Wet Pet Photo Contest and share your pet’s water fun photo with the pet community.

Wishing you a safe and cool summer filled with fun & laughter.

Your friends at the Las Vegas Pet Scene Magazine

Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness. ~ May Sarton


STAYING HYDRATED is as important for pets as it is for people. The percentage of water weight in dogs and cats is actually higher than for us; 80% of their body weight is water compared to 55% to 60% for us. Helping them maintain their fluid balance is essential for their overall health. Generally, pets need from 1/2 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight to stay properly. Pets fed a diet of kibbles need more water to stay hydrated.


Always have clean fresh water available. Provide water in a variety of locations to encourage frequent drinking. Pet water fountains provide circulating water continuously for pets that prefer moving water. Cats like drinking from fountains though their favorite source of water seems to be the faucet. Adding chipped ice or ice cubes to their bowl helps keep their water cool. It’s also important to keep their bowls clean by wiping them out daily and washing them every few days with hot soapy water to prevent the growth of bacteria

Giving your pet wet or canned food helps to maintain hydration Adding water or bone broth to dry food is another way to increase the moisture in their diet. Cats are challenging. Domesticated cats descended from desert felines who were designed to live on very little water. Their diet of moisture-rich food kept them hydrated. Wet food or dry food enhanced with bone broth or water can help keep them hydrated.

Water is essential for the body to function properly. It helps lubricate joints, aids digestion and regulates body temperature. It is important to be aware of the signs of dehydration including loss of appetite, dry nose and gums, sunken eyes, lethargy, depression, reduced energy levels, and excessive panting.


We offer: Obedience Training Puppy through Advanced Levels

The fun of you learning how to train your dog and the close bond this will create!



Three sessions per year – 6 week classes January – April – September

REGISTRATION: September 12th at 7:00 pm

PROOF OF SHOTS REQUIRED! Please do not bring dogs to registration. NO LATE REGISTRATION!

WHERE: Cynthia Cunningham Elementary School – 4145 Jimmy Durante Blvd.

CLASS PRICE: $100 per dog (cash, check or PayPal) (subject to change) H Ask about Senior & Military Price

CLASS DATES/TIME: September 19th to October 24th

First Class at 7:00 to 8:30 pm All following classes are from 7:30 to 8:30 pm

If your pet is showing signs of dehydration it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately.


CLASS LOCATION: Dog Fancier’s Park - Area 2 (Behind Horseman’s Park) 5800 E. Flamingo Rd. Monthly Meetings:

The first Tuesday of the month 7 PM. (Please do not bring dogs to meeting) 1600 E Desert Inn Rd. Room

Let’ s Go S w i m ming!

In the heat of summer, it can be difficult to find outdoor activities to share with our pets. It may be too hot for walking or hiking, but summer is the PERFECT time to enjoy a cool and refreshing swim with your dog. A cool dip in a pool, lake or stream is the ideal remedy for a hot summer day.

If your dog has never been swimming before, it is important to remember that not all dogs know how to swim. It is not an intuitive skill that all dogs possess. While some dogs pick it up quite quickly, others may need a fair amount of help in the beginning. With your assistance and a few helpful tips, you and your dog can be enjoying the cool, invigorating fun of swimming together.

For dogs that have never tried swimming, it is important that you introduce them to the water slowly and gently. They will remember their first attempt as either being great fun or very scary. With that in mind, you should never throw or force your dog into the water. Instead, try coaxing him in with praise or even a doggie treat. Let him feel the water on his feet and experience the cool, wet sensation.

For swimming pools, the steps are the place to start. It is important that your dog learns that the steps are ALWAYS the place to enter or exit the pool. Placing a vertical marker (like a flag or a potted plant) next to the steps will help him find them when he’s in the water. Each time you enter or exit the pool, say “steps” and have him touch the marker you have set up. He will soon associate the marker with the place to get in and out of the pool.

Coaxing your dog onto the first step of the pool can be a major accomplishment for

some dogs. Once you have achieved that, it’s time for swimming! To help your dog swim, place your hands on his sides, holding him in the water so his rear end is up and his body is parallel with the top of the water. As you move through the water together, he should look like he’s running in the water. Some dogs will try to swim using only their front legs instead of using all four. You may need to help move his rear legs for him while he’s first learning. As his skills improve, take him a very short distance from the steps and help him swim to them. Gradually increase the distance he needs to swim to the steps, keeping your lesson times to about 10 minutes. After each successful swim, remember to give him LOTS of hugs and praise.

If your dog seems to be having a lot of difficulty staying afloat on his own, the aid of a canine life vest can be very helpful. The extra buoyancy that it provides may be just enough to keep him afloat and build his confidence.

As your dog’s swimming skills improve, it is still important to limit your swim time to about an hour and a half. No matter how MUCH fun you’re having, don’t overdo it. Taking frequent breaks for a drink of fresh water and a rest in the shade will be beneficial to you both.

Before and after swimming, your dog will require many of the same precautions

we take for fun in the sun. Dogs can get sunburned too. The skin around their nose, eyes, and ears are the most susceptible to sunburn. You may want to ask your veterinarian to recommend a sunscreen for those sensitive areas. After swimming, it is always a good idea to give him a thorough rinse off or even a quick bath with shampoo. After a good rinse, be sure to dry the inside and outside of his ears.

With a little practice and patience, you and your dog will be swimming together and enjoying all the fun that swimming provides.

Have fun, be safe, and stay COOL!


Email your photo to with the following information. All entries must contain all of the information below to qualify (one photo per pet or pets/ one entry per person): • Pet’s name

Your name • Your email address

Your phone #

Our kitties are such unique and magical little creatures. As a species, they possess the perfect anatomical design for hunting, climbing, and self-defense. Their ability to survive in dangerous and adverse situations is a natural marvel. From their whiskers to their paws, cats are prepared for any obstacle that gets in their way!


As most cat owners already know, cat whiskers assist them in navigating their world. Unlike the normal fur on their body, their long thick whiskers send signals directly to their brain and sensory system. Whiskers are thick and coarse and have roots that are 3 times deeper than regular hair. When an object or air flow brushes against a whisker, it vibrates and stimulates the nerves in the hair follicle. From the signals sent to their brain, your cat can detect changes in air currents, as well as information about the size, shape, and speed of nearby objects. Their whiskers are strategically located around their cheeks, eyebrows, and even on the backside of their front legs. They help them navigate their surroundings and let them know if they can squeeze into tight spaces. Like the sensitivity of our human fingertips, a cat touches his world with his face AND his legs.

Because whiskers are vitally important to a cat’s ability to navigate the world, we kitty-parents need to help protect them. Always touch your cat’s whiskers very gently and only stroke them with the grain. Plucking, pulling, or cutting their whiskers can be extremely painful to your cat. They will occasionally shed a whisker on their own as part of their normal shedding process. To alleviate unnecessary stress on your cat, choose feeding and water bowls that are wide and flat. Contact with bowls that continually rub against your cat’s face will send multiple irrelevant messages to their brain that can be overwhelming and stressful.

& Whiskers, Paws Claws


Cats use their paws and claws in much the same way we use our hands and fingers. As cats evolved, this adaptation was essential to ensure their survival. They needed to depend on their claws for climbing, hunting, and self-defense. Their claws are curved to help them hold onto prey and climb trees or other objects. They can retract their claws when not in use and can extend their claws in either paw or both at the same time. Indoor cats still need to scratch and flex their paws to exercise their leg and back muscles. Scratching is also an emotional outlet that helps them relieve stress and communicate to other cats that this area is MINE. Unfortunately, this necessary activity for your cat can play havoc on your couch and other furniture. For this reason, some cat owners have resorted to the unfortunate decision of declawing surgery.

The term “declawing” may sound painless and unintrusive, but it involves much more than just removing the claws. Since cats’ claws are directly attached to the last bone of their toes, declawing is actually the surgical amputation of all or part of a cat’s toe bones and the attached claws. In humans, it would be like amputating your fingertips. It is a painful and risk-filled surgery that is done for the convenience of cat owners who may not understand how devastating and detrimental it can be for their cat. Cats often have trouble balancing after declawing surgery and may suffer lingering pain, joint stiffness, and arthritis in later years. After this invasive surgery, your cat may not be able to scratch in their litter boxes or lovingly knead your lap during a special moment. Many veterinary professionals in the U.S. oppose declawing and it has been banned in New York and Maryland. Nevada has been attempting to ban it as well. Please contact your state legislators if you support a ban on declawing cats.

If you have chosen to bring a cat into your life, enjoy them and love them just the way they are. An occasional shed whisker on the floor and a few tattered couch cushions is a small price to pay for all the love and companionship they provide.






and while no pet parents want to think about their fur baby getting lost, it’s a reality that many will face at some point.

Before we get into what to do if your pet is lost, let’s start with what you can do right now to increase the odds that you are reunited quickly and easily: Keep up-to-date tags on your pets, keep pets leashed when they leave the house, make sure all gates and doors are secured, and for the love of all that is fluffy… Microchip your fur babies! If you haven’t already, visit your vet or find a community clinic offering microchips. It’s quick, relatively painless, and the best chance you have of finding your pet if the unthinkable happens. Like, go now. You can finish reading the article when you get home.

Now that your pet is microchipped make sure to register their chip with Home-Again or 24PetWatch. You’ll want to update this whenever your address or contact info changes.

If your pet has gone missing, breathe. You are useless to your fur baby if you freak out and can’t function. Are you breathing? Good. Now, take the following steps:

CANVAS THE NEIGHBORHOOD with treats and a leash in hand. Call your pet’s name repeatedly. Now is not the time to be shy. Ask your neighbors for help, and call your friends and family to join the search party.

POST YOUR PET ON SOCIAL MEDIA . Make sure to post in local Facebook groups. Las Vegas residents should include “Lost Dogs of Las Vegas,” “Lost and found dogs in Las Vegas,” and “Lost and found animals of Las Vegas.” Include photos, details, and the cross streets where they were last seen.

Animal control officers report a 30% - 60% increase in lost pets between July 4th and July 6th.

No one looks good when ugly-crying because their pet has gone missing. Seriously. No one.

IF YOUR PET IS MICROCHIPPED , notify your pet’s microchip company immediately.

CREATE MISSING PET POSTERS (you can grab a free template at Include details like breed, color, weight, sex, age, special markings, and what names they respond to. If they take medication or need to be approached carefully, include this as well. You can offer a reward, but don’t put the amount on the poster. Hang these on mailboxes, street signs, local stores, etc.

FILE A LOST PET REPORT with local animal shelters ( and check with them (don’t just call, visit) daily. Check for found animals in Henderson.

3 4 5 6 7


Good Samaritans often bring found pets to a vet to get scanned for a microchip.

PLACE WORN CLOTHING (that smells like you) outside your home. If your pet is still in the neighborhood, they may be able to pick up on the smell and find their way home.

Hang in there.

Keep a clear head and follow these steps. There’s a good chance you’ll be snuggling for fur kid in no time.

Sheryl Green is the “How to Say No Expert.” A mental health speaker, author, and passionate animal advocate, her latest book, “You Had Me At No: How Setting Healthy Boundaries Helps Banish Burnout, Repair Relationships, and Save Your Sanity,” is now available (with a portion of the proceeds donated to Vegas Pet Rescue Project). Learn more at 1 2



Nevada law requires all pets to be spayed/neutered. Non spayed or neutered citations can be costly. Make sure your pet is a law abiding citizen and get them sterilized!


Studies have shown that spaying & neutering cats and dogs can lower their risk of certain cancers as well as increase their life span 3-5 years.


Spaying and neutering also helps improve pet behavior by reducing common issues like urine spraying, marking, and excessive vocalization.


Be a part of the overcrowding solution and please spay/neuter your pets!


A woman told me of her pet dog, a female Labrador, who is very gentle and loving. This woman inadvertently discovered that when she had to leave her dog alone sometimes during the day it would lie next to the large pendulum on the grandfather’s clock. This lonely dog obviously did this for comfort and “company,” most probably the ticking of the pendulum reminded the dog of her mother’s heartbeat when she was a puppy.

Likewise, how often in life do people seek out comfort and reassurance, merely because they’re lonely? I look forward to saying hello to that person behind the coffee counter in the morning---- I start conversations with strangers in the supermarket-and when the shadows lengthen in late afternoon and the sun sets over the purple mountain range, I turn the radio dial late at night.... And on it goes.

This woman’s dog lies next to the “heartbeat” of the clock’s pendulum, and I seek the eternal Divine heartbeat of God. The soul is weary until it finds its rest in Thee. •

Help Rescues

Have you ever wondered what your cat does when you’re gone? Apparently, they accomplish some VERY important tasks. Can you find the names of these favorite cat activities in the puzzle? The words may be in any direction: horizontal, vertical, diagonal, forwards or backwards.

(Activities are listed in order of importance… according to the cat.)



We all like spending time outdoors during our cooler months, but in the summer, Las Vegas can be a challenge with our blistering heat. Even though our furry family members live primarily indoors, they still want to have fun, but we need to be extra attentive in keeping them safe and cool. So what can you do this summer?

MOUNT CHARLESTON is a great place to get out of the heat. If you and your pup are hiking companions, you can have a fun day exploring the trails it offers. Make sure to bring plenty of water for both of you. When my husband and I hiked, he always told me that by the time you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated. Collapsible water bowls and travel bottles where the lid flips out into a bowl are easy to pack when you’re on the go. I also recommend always having one in the car because you never know when you might have car trouble or traffic delays.

Anytime you’re outside with your dog make sure to keep them cool as they don’t sweat like we do. Dogs regulate body temperature primarily through their paws and panting. Get a bandanna for both of you and wet it down and keep an extra iced one in a freezer bag.

We don’t have an ocean, but you’ll find lakes with beaches you can enjoy. Lake Las Vegas and Lake Mojave offer boating for you and your pets. Make sure to have a life vest for both of you.

Want to take a swim? Head over to Lake Mead or Lake Mojave. You’ll find sandy beaches for a day in the sand and water play. There are also trails where you can enjoy taking in the spectacular scenery.

If you don’t mind a short ride, Valley of Fire Park is beautiful. It’s amazing how many Vegas people I meet who have never been there.

You wouldn’t think of going out without sun protection and neither should your dog. Yes, they make UV-blocking clothes for dogs and sunscreen specifically for their delicate noses. Never use human sunscreen as many contain zinc oxide which is toxic to dogs, and salicylate which is toxic to cats. Make sure to do a little research before applying.

Park rules can always change so check before heading out to make sure your pups are still allowed. Also, no matter where you go make sure they have booties to protect their sensitive paws. I say it every year: if it’s hot for you it’s hot for them.

If hikes and lakes are not your thing, create your own water park at home. Sprinklers can be fun for your pet to run through especially if joined by you and your kiddos. A pond less fountain or planter fountain water feature is also something to consider. They’ll have fun trying to catch the water while you enjoy watching them. Las Vegas is a water crisis area so don’t run it all day and only when you’re home.

Photo by Andrew Pons on Unsplash

Keep ‘Em Safe & Cool

If your dog loves to play and sit in water, get them a doggie pool. Whether it’s a play pool or an in- ground pool always make sure they’re supervised. Be careful especially if your dog is a puppy or a senior dog because they could be unsteady on their paws and unsure of the water.

One last thing I want to share is safety when they’re outside alone. If you have a doggie door, make sure they have plenty of sun coverage and water, especially if you leave it open when you’re not home. Trees and patio covers are great, but not every yard has them. Portable sun shades, shaded pet beds, and pop-up canopies are great for creating shade in yards. Cots are also a good option as they provide extra cooling and air circulation since they are elevated off of the ground. There are even some products that combine the shade of a pop-up canopy with the cooling effect of a misting system. Place it on a timer to come on during the hottest time of the day. You may need to take some time to train them to take cover, but worth it to ensure their safety.

Photo by Murilo Viviani on Unsplash

Fresh Water

On a hot summer day, what could be more relaxing than sitting in a cool room, gazing into a sparkling fish-filled aquarium? Having an aquarium is a great way to enjoy nature in the comfort of your own home when it’s too hot to enjoy it outside. Watching your fish interact and observing what life is like under the sea is both relaxing and educational.

If you have ever considered setting up an aquarium, you may have been overwhelmed with all of the different types of aquariums there are. For fresh water fish, there are cold water tanks and warm water tanks. Another option is a salt water tank, which is a little more expensive to set up. Salt water fish generally cost a little more to purchase, but tend to be more colorful and larger than most fresh water fish. It really comes down to your own personal preference, given your budget and what you find desirable in an aquarium. For this article let’s look at two types of fresh water aquariums: the cold water aquarium, and the warm water “tropical” aquarium.

Although they are the most commonly recognized species of coldwater fish, there are also several species of Barbs, Tetras and Danios that can tolerate aquarium temperatures in the low 60’s. Guppies, Loaches, and White Clouds can also be considered for a cold water tank. Although some of the cold water fish may not be as brightly colored as tropical fish, it does eliminate the need for a heater. It is important to remember that cold water fish require more space than tropical fish and can get quite large. A Goldfish, for example, can actually reach 12 inches in length if properly cared for. While you may not have as many fish in a cold water tank, you will ultimately have large ones. To be fair to them, you may need to move them to a larger tank in the future.

If you want a broader spectrum of fish to choose from and don’t mind the expense of an aquarium heater (about $25 - $40), then you might consider a tropical aquarium. In a warm water tank, you will be able to keep more fish per gallon than a cold water aquarium and will have many more species of fish to choose from. While some of the most popular fish found in tropical tanks include Angelfish, Gouramies, Tetras and Hatchetfish, you will have over a hundred different species to consider! You are sure to find a selection of fish that are intriguing to watch and pleasing to the eye. When deciding on which species to buy, make sure that they will be compatible with each other. It is also a good idea to choose fish that will occupy different levels in your aquarium. Some fish species will naturally gravitate to the surface area, while

other species will prefer the middle section. Having a few bottom feeders, like a Corydoras catfish, is always an interesting entertainment feature and can be very helpful in tidying up the leftovers that sink to the bottom.

Both types of fresh water aquariums require basically the same equipment (except for the heater) and they each have their pros and cons. If you are considering setting up your own aquarium, take time to do some research. Visit a local aquarium dealer or talk with an experienced aquarium hobbyist and ask questions. Look at the variety of fish available for each type of tank and decide which one you find preferable.

good care, your new aquarium will provide you with years of enjoyment.

The Role of Exercise in a Dog’s Life for Body and Mind

We’ve all been told throughout the years that exercise is a critical ingredient in the recipe for optimal health. As dog owners, we’ve heard the same advice concerning our pups!

This seems like an easy enough challenge for dogs who love to exercise. Just attach the leash to their collar and take a walk outside. For our older pets, the task becomes a little trickier.

We can do many things for both our active and non-active pets that will keep their hearts healthy and stimulate their minds.

Sometimes, we forget that, like humans, dogs are prone to anxiety and even depression. And, just like humans, getting their minds to focus on positive activities will help to calm them quite a bit!

If you’ve ever been in the company of a bored but active dog, you may know it can be quite an unpleasant experience. You may find that a bored dog will not only display their anxiety by pacing, jumping, barking, whining, or other means of vocalization, but they may also become destructive. That new couch might no longer look so new, and your cabinets might undergo significant reconstruction. To prevent these mishaps from occurring, it’s essential to observe your dog’s behavior and discern what they need.

A short walk to the park might not cut it for an active dog. With the warmer months approaching, waking up a little earlier and stretching that walk just a bit may satisfy your dog’s emotional and physical happiness.

For those working from home, taking several walks throughout the day is beneficial, perhaps on a lunch break or a short fifteen-minute break. Even a few rounds of fetch can give your dog the necessary exercise. If your dogs are anything like mine, they’ll remind you when you’ve been sitting at the computer for too long, nudging you every few minutes or barking at nothing to get your attention!

If you work outside the home, a short walk before and after work might be just what your pup needs! It’s fun for them and good for you as well.

Less active pups may not want to walk as far, but you can play many mind-enrichment games with them. Many dogs love to learn, so teaching them a new trick will give their minds the activity they crave. Rolling a ball back and forth with them provides interaction with you, their favorite person! Puzzle toys are a great way to keep them entertained, and you don’t need to fill them to the top with food—just a few morsels can go a long way!

If you have a pool, swimming is a great way to bond with your pup and satisfy their body and mind.

A few laps and they’ll be happy! That is, if they enjoy swimming, of course.

Another great way is to buy an agility course. There are affordable ones online; if it’s too hot outside, you can set them up in a long hallway or large room. Every little bit counts!

While exercise is essential, ensuring you don’t over-exercise them is equally crucial, especially in the heat. If they seem to be panting too much, it’s time to take a break and resume activities after they’ve hydrated and rested.

Overall, have fun with them. After all, seeing them happy makes us humans happy as well!

Elizabeth Parker – Author of Finally Home, Final Journey, My Dog Does That!, Bark Out Loud!, Paw Prints in the Sand, Paw Prints in the Sand: Mission Accomplished, Unwanted Dreams, Phobia, Evil’s Door and Faces of Deception.

Dog Is My Co-PIlot

Great Writers on the World’s Oldest Friendship

It you like to read, love books and words this is a book for you. It’s a compilation of short stories written by an interesting variety of writers. It was compiled in 2003 from the Editors of Bark, a publication which was discontinued in 2021. It is an older book; however, it is available on Kindle plus online bookstores – it’s worth the search!

It’s not light or easy reading which is what we often think of as summer reading. The short stories, however, are great for quick afternoon or nighttime reading. Often profound, deep and yet covering a wide variety of subjects. The stories, written by professional writers using their unique writing skills, talents and gifts to share their experiences, their deep love and commitment for their dogs and sometimes the loss and pain felt at their passing.

A brief sampling of a story by Erica Jong, called A Woman’s Best Friend

Her story begins: A strong woman can accomplish anything with a loyal dog at her side. Many of her experiences deeply resonated within me. The following excerpts from her story provide a small glimpse into the gems that this book contains:

By living with dogs, we reclaim the feral in ourselves. We may seek to civilize them, but in truth they help us to reclaim the wildness in ourselves. They remind us that in ancient days we had much wisdom that we have since sadly abandoned: the wisdom of touch, the wisdom of smell, the wisdom of the senses.

She is the wild side of me, expressing it without words. Somehow, she makes my playing with words more possible and more fulfilling. She and I have a perfect understanding about life. Language is good but language is not all there is. By sharing her domain of smells and sounds, I become more aware of the secret life that leads us. Listening to the animals, we hear the secrets of the universe.

She ends with a quote by the German mystical theologian, Meister Eckehart: Every creature is a word of God.


Where Every Cat Is Special To Us!

Murray & Dani


Local Performers & Pet Lovers!

u Murray SawChuck, AKA Magic Murray and Dani Elizabeth SawChuck, partner and wife are local performers well known to the people of Las Vegas. Murray regularly performed at the Laugh Factory in the former Tropicana Casino.

Murray and Dani are pet parents and pet lovers. They also support local charities especially no-kill shelters and rescues. We appreciated his willingness to share about their pets and some thoughts adopting a rescue pet. The following is a short summary of his responses to our questions:

Did you and Dani have pets as children?

My wife, Dani, had three pets as a child, her dog, Sadie, her cats, Muffin and Penny. When Dani and I met she was a cat person and I was a dog person. She brought her rescue cat, Kitten-Little, into our relationship and I brought my three-rescue long-haired chihuahua pups, Kahlua, Bailey and Smudge into our relationship. As a child I had two super independent cats. When I turned 13 my parents got me a rescue Mincher Pinscher pup named Frisky; that was the beginning of my love of pups. I also have goldfish, a budgie bird and a hamster.

Dani fell in love with my chihuahuas and I think my white furry girl ‘Smudge’ is in love with her, they are inseparable, I am a little jealous but I’ll get over it.

What would you tell a person who is getting a new dog but isn’t sure about adopting a rescue dog?

Getting a dog from a breeder doesn’t mean it’s going to be a great dog. It’s you, the pet owner/parent, who makes the difference. You’re the one who will provide training and give the love and the attention your dog needs and deserves! Every dog NEEDS a HOME... but to


rescue a dog that someone didn’t want, or abused or neglected is a gift. You can give them a life they never dreamed possible. You’ll be surprised if you give your new rescue, no matter how crazy or uncontrollable, the gift of time and training it will become a great dog. The biggest problem I see with new rescue parents is that they don’t take the time to train their dogs. If you do, I PROMISE the pup will be amazing because they want to please you and to be with you.

You recently wrote a book; At Nighttime We Are All the Same Size. Will you share with our readers the story that sparked the idea for the book? This is my first book which I wrote during the pandemic. The idea came from my rescue pup ‘Bailey’. My wife and I have all rescue animals, 3 Chihuahuas and 1 cat. When Dani and I first started dating, Bailey, the most scared puppy of all three, would only come up to her when she was lying on the couch, floor or bed. I realized that Bailey was scared of her when she standing up, she was so tall and scary! However, when she was lying down, Bailey would jump on the bed and sit right by her head and kiss her on the nose. Soon I starting saying, “At Night Time We Are All the Same Size”. In this position Bailey was now equal if not a bit taller than her; now they could see ‘eye to eye’. Bailey could now see her face to face, eye to eye. The book is a metaphor of the way we all look at others and judge each other when we DON’T’ see ‘eye to eye’. Using animals helps illustrate the importance of seeing ‘eye to eye’ and indirectly is about the world, people and personalities.

Anneli Adolfsson
Photos by Anneli Adolfsson

What Your Cat Would Like You To Know!

No, I’m not a cat and so not really qualified to speak on their behalf. However, I am a “cat person” and read lots about cats. A recent email had a major impact on me and I think it is something my cat wanted me to know.

My cat, Rowdy, turned ten in April. I was feeling very nostalgic remembering him at ten months when I adopted him. How quickly the time flew – ten months to ten years! He was an adorable adolescent cat who lived up to his name. I was still in this emotional space when a weekly email from Zazie Todd, PhD, author, animal behavior expert, came into my inbox. The subject line: The average cat lives 11.74 years, according to new research in the UK.

Have you ever had a reality jolting moment or experience? The possibility of only a few more years with him really jolted me. Studies in the US suggest that the average lifespan for a cat is around 13 to 14 years. A cat that has been well-cared for may live to15 plus years.

Two areas that I think our cats would like us to know more about are Aging and the importance of seeing a veterinarian.

Aging in Cats

Though a cat may appear youthful and ageless they are fragile and subject to a multitude of serious health issues. Aging in cats is more internal than external. The signs and symptoms illness and aging are subtle and difficult to detect. It’s a survival tactic; as prey animals they can’t show signs of weakness or vulnerability. Often by the time cats show serious signs or symptoms of a problem it is advanced and more difficult and expensive to treat.

The following comparison of cat years to human years:

❖ Kitten (Birth to 1 year) 15 human Years

❖ Young Adult (1-6 years) 16 to 42 human years

❖ Mature Adult (7-10 years) 47 – 60 human years

❖ Senior (10+ years) 61 & up in human years

A ten-year-old cat is a senior cat and signs of cognitive change and decline are often noticed in cats that age.

Some of the changes caused by aging and cognitive decline show up in the following ways:

➠ Wandering, getting lost even at home, blank staring, stops using litter box, appears anxious or restless, loss of appetite and doesn’t groom as often.

Outwardly our cats might not be showing their age but do we really know how they’re feeling?

That leads us to the second thing they want us to know. They’re relying on us to provide them with routine veterinarian care. Our cats don’t know how to tell us when they are not feeling well.

Cognitive decline or aging problems can be difficult to diagnose even for a vet. Initially they do a physical exam, blood work, urinalysis and other lab work to determine any underlying causes for the behavior issues such as hyperthyroidism, hypertensions, chronic kidney disease and arthritis. Regular exams are preventive and often detect conditions before they become major and more difficult and expensive to treat.

Since cats like daily routine any changes to their regular activities are worth noting and mentioning to the vet. A few activities to look for possible signs or changes are:

➠ Changes in appetite, sleeping in different spots, hiding, changes in litter box habits. You know your cat better than anyone so any change might be significant and worth mentioning.

TIMELESS LOVE: Senior pets need forever homes too

When Las Vegas resident Stefania Holly brags about her beloved pets, she calls them “the babies.” She has two dogs and two cats, all in their golden years, and she treats them like her kids.

“I have a soft spot for the senior dogs,” admits Holly, a foster for Las Vegas-based Forgotten Dogs Animal Rescue. “Of course I love puppies, but it’s their faces; to see the face of an old dog with gray hair, it’s one of the sweetest things.”

Sophia (14) and Obi (18)

The newest member of her fur family, a 14-year-old pomeranian named Sophia (for Sophia Loren), was dumped at the Animal Foundation by a previous owner in January. One of Holly’s pups of the same age, Uno, passed away in late December, so fostering Sofia–and eventually adopting her—felt like fate.

“She’s a fancy lady,” says Holly. “She’s very cute, but people who applied to adopt her were seeing all the problems. I decided to keep her.”

In the United States, more than 6 million dogs and cats enter animal shelters every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). At the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) in Las Vegas, 15-20 percent of those pets are over the age of 8.

“Many are surrendered to us once they develop age-related diseases like arthritis or need expensive dental care because the owner has not provided earlier care to prevent it,” explains NSPCA Executive Director Lori Heeren. She notes that the NSPCA offers services to keep senior pets in their homes for those with financial issues thanks to a special grant from the Grey Muzzle Foundation.

Animal shelters try not to judge those who end up surrendering pets since they don’t always know the personal circumstances behind it. Still, shelters are particularly stressful and scary for senior animals, especially those who are sick or shy.

“There are so many new faces, noises and smells, it can be overwhelming,” says Kelsey Pizzi, communications coordinator for the Animal Foundation. “We would much rather see our shelter animals in loving, stable homes where they can truly thrive.”

The Animal Foundation’s Keeping Every Person and Pet Together (KEPPT) program aims to help people keep their pets at home and out of the shelter. The organization also has a Pet Support Hotline, (702) 955-5932, available seven days a week from 9 am to 9 pm.

Unfortunately, when a senior animal ends up in a shelter, getting adopted is not so simple. The older an animal, she says, the less likely it is to be adopted.

“While puppies and kittens are typically adopted on the day they become available at the shelter, older dogs and cats can wait weeks or even months to find a home,” says Pizzi.

Even if an older dog or cat is healthy and doesn’t require additional vet costs, Heeren believes many people opt to adopt a pet with a longer lifespan. “Many people want to have the animal longer than a few years so they don’t get attached and then have to go through the pain of loss,” she says.

Holly understands that some people have a harder time dealing with grief than others, but she stresses that the reward of helping an aging animal far outweighs the pain. “We need to concentrate on the time they have with us,” she says. “Even if it’s just a few months, I like to think, ‘At least she had a great few months.’”

Heeren claims senior animals make great pets because they are usually calmer and don’t require as much activity as younger animals; you already know their behavior and personality; plus, they are already potty trained. “I believe that senior pets are the most grateful pets … when they are adopted,” she adds. “It’s almost as if they know how valuable their second chance at a home is.”

Heeren expresses thanks to those in the community who are interested in giving a home to a senior pet.

Precious, for example, is a 12-year-old pit bull terrier mix who was adopted from the NSPCA last September but returned on March 30. A happy girl and a good dog, she kept getting overlooked because of her breed and age. It took two months, but Precious was finally adopted in May. “I think half of our staff cried, especially when we saw her smile in her adoption photo,” says Heeren. “Stories like Precious [are] why I work here.”

Aleza Freeman is a freelance travel and entertainment writer, born and based in Las Vegas. She loves her pets more than coffee.

Soothing for the S oul

I have four King Charles Cavelier Spaniels, and all of them have cuddling powers that can make you melt. One would assume that having four dogs is extremely stressful; however, it’s actually the opposite. It has relieved stress and made me a much happier person. I was not surprised to discover that there’s actually a lot of research illustrating the powerful calming effect of dogs.


Currently, over 20 percent of kids in the United States are struggling with one or more mental health conditions. One study surveyed 643 kids between the ages of 4 and 11, and found that the children with dogs exhibited lower anxiety scores. Therefore, it is important to look at dog ownership as a possible way to mitigate the symptoms of mental illnesses, such as anxiety.

Personally, I feel extremely relaxed when I pet and groom my dogs. In the past, I have tried meditation and deep breathing, but nothing has calmed me down like my dogs. Owning a dog also encourages me to go outside often and get fresh air and sun. Whenever I’m outdoors, it inspires relaxation. It’s amazing to get guaranteed time outside each day, no matter how busy I am with school.


Studies show that interacting with dogs increases Serotonin and Dopamine, which leads to an overall feeling of calm. The release of dopamine is associated with a temporary sense of pleasure; while serotonin creates a long-lasting feeling of happiness.

When I’m at home, I take my dogs out every three hours. This allows me to get exercise. Research illustrates that physical activity triggers the release of dopamine. As a result of getting exercise in each day, I feel much better.


69 percent of pet owners surveyed reported that their pet gives them unconditional love. Additionally, research from the Mayo Clinic indicates that pets combat feelings of loneliness because they serve as a loving companion to their owners.

At times I feel lonely, but my dogs are always there right by my side. Their company reassures me that everything will be alright. It’s rare and special to have the constant companionship that dogs offer. Whenever I am feeling down, they intuitively know to comfort me. I am so grateful for their calming presence in my life.

Overall, the research confirms my personal experience that having dogs around is a great way to relieve anxiety. My four dogs enhance my mood and relieve anxiety. They have brought so much joy to my life.

Arianna Shaprow has four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. She is an animal lover, poet, and activist. Her poetry has been featured at the Natural History Museum in Las Vegas, Discovery Museum, Miami Hip Hop Museum, Children’s Museum in Phoenix, and the San Antonio African American Museum.

My Dog Can TALK

If your dog could talk, would he tell you he’s hungry? Or your cats confess they’re sad? I wanted to hear my dog tell me if and when he was in pain. Using Augmentative Interspecies

Communication (AIC), I got my answer, and now I have a dog who shares observations, asks questions, argues, advocates, and demands treats.

In 2019, we discovered Oski, my 8-monthold white pug, was born with a crooked spine. Simply walking, jumping, or playing seemed difficult for him. Our veterinarian advised surgery to stabilize Oski’s spine or risk losing mobility in his backside and need a wheelchair. As a new dog owner, I felt awful for Oski and I wished he could’ve told me he was in pain.

At about the same time I discovered how a speech therapist, Christina Hunger, developed the concept of AIC by successfully teaching her Blue Heeler/Catahoula mix, Stella, to communicate with the same assistive language tools she used with her young human clients.

Using tips from Ms. Hunger and a manufacturer of recordable AIC buttons made exclusively for pets (Fluent Pet), I recorded the word OUTSIDE into a small plastic button. Oski pressed down with his paw to hear my recorded word. I taught the meaning of OUTSIDE by modeling (verbally repeating the word and taking Oski to the backyard for reinforcement). We did this multiple times until it appeared Oski understood. More buttons were added including PLAY, UP, and TREAT. Suddenly, we had more than 80 buttons on the floor! Oski pressed these buttons one at a time and then in combination to communicate.

Oski appeared to tell me when it was time to nap (BLANKET) and argued for treats in a timely manner (NO, NOW). I think we had a lengthy conversation about CHEESE and why there was none in the refrigerator (WHERE). He informed me when the cat was out of water (ALL DONE), when he wanted company to leave (BYE), and when he was hungry (EAT).

As Oski learns AIC, presses aren’t always contextually correct. But I am a hopeful skeptic as are thousands of others who participate in a global pet communication study through UC San Diego. Scientists collect button-pressing data from households of curious pets owners to determine if our pets are really communicating, and if so, to what extent.

In January, Oski’s mobility issues appeared again. Oski went to his buttons, tilted his head, and pressed: OUCH, VETERINARIAN. A trip to the vet confirmed intervertebral disc disease, a condition causing weakness, nerve damage, and pain. Thanks to his buttons, I was able to get medication early. Today, Oski continues to thrive despite his diagnosis.


Alli Straus is a picture book author, a Fluent Pet Guide, and mom to four kids, two cats and one talking dog. You may contact Oski’s mom, Alli, on Oski’s Instagram @oski_the_pug

• How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog by Christina Hunger, MA CCC-SLP, William Morrow May 4, 2021

• Comparative Cognition Lab at UC San Diego • Fluent Pet

• Slate Magazine:

• Newsweek:


~ Submitted by Kris, Lynn and Ellie Sainsbury ~ We got Rocky from the Tortoise Group back in 2014 and he’s been with us since then, at least part time. What I mean is he sleeps/hibernates for about 5-6 months so during winter he’s in deep sleep! When he does wake up, at the end of spring/ beginning of summer, he spends his time searching the backyard for food and sunning himself.

Rocky has definitely grown in size over the years. I’ve had to expand the entrance and exit to his burrow to accommodate his bigger size. Being a tortoise he’s a natural vegan so we feed him desert tortoise food which we rehydrate and mix it with vegetables and fruit. We also try to spray him down with water every now and then to rehydrate him through his skin. Rocky is a fun, though a bit slow-moving family member. Anyone who visits during summer enjoys seeing a desert tortoise in a home habitat as opposed to an animal enclosure.


For more information about tortoises and tortoise adoption visit the Tortoise Group website: The Tortoise Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educating and advocating for the protection and well-being of the desert tortoise since 1982.


Animal Assistance, Rescues, Shelters


Adopt Foster Sponsor Volunteer Donate Educate

Leo, is a handsome man who is approx. 8 months old. He is looking for a new Mom or Dad that is experienced with neglected pets. He is a good boy, likes to be brushed and loves chin rubs. He has been with multiple cats so does well with others. He is ready to make a new home with someone special, is that you? Y

Paws 4 Love Cat Rescue 702-622-3092 |

Shari’s Shepherd Rescue


Twizzler is a 13-year-old, 10-pound, male Yorkie. He was found as a stray and never claimed. He gets along with other dogs, but we don’t know about cats.

Sweet old man who needs a place to live out his final years. Adoption fee $200. Y

Foreclosed Upon Pets Inc (FUPI) 702-272-0010 |

Need a running partner or a right wing player on your family team? This high energy, 1-year-old, boy will rival your favorite NHL player in endurance! He loves to play and most definitely needs another dog (or a team) to play with and work out his energy. A yard is a must for Marchy, also knowledge of the breeds (Collie, Border/Cattle Dog, Australian), as these energetic breeds together create one heck of a power play! He has had some training. Y


Las Vegas Valley Humane Society If interested, fill out an interest form today!

Hi, I’m Seymour, a stunning, 9-year-old purebred Persian. I’m somewhat of a grumpy ole’ man but spend some time with me and you’ll see my charm! I’m sweet, attentive, curious, and love to be around you. I need regular grooming yet I’m lowmaintenance and gentle. And, just as THE Grumpy Cat went viral... maybe I’m the next big thing! Y


Homeward Bound Cat Adoptions 702-463-9996

Meet Georgie, a 10 lb 5-1/2 year-old adorable dog. Georgie is a loving, playful, and affectionate young dog. He loves making new doggy friends and is always up for a game of fetch or tug with his toy. He is very intelligent and curious and loves to be the center of attention. He is great with other dogs, too!


Patchy is a 2 year Border Collie, 35 lbs with a great personality. Playful, affectionate & eager to learn. He would do best with an active household that is willing to walk, run and/or hike. He is very smart. He would love another active dog in the home. He is crate trained & knows basic commands! Y

A Path 4 Paws

Artemis was found a year ago digging through trash trying to find food. This sweet boy is about 4 years old and is a Pawtastic Friends training scholar! His foster mom says he has a gentle and loving soul. He is in a home with other dogs but still learning how to be one. Y

Who can resist the one floppy ear? At 2 years old, she is initially shy but once she warms up, it’s game on. She can be pushy with other dogs and would do best with a submissive male or as an only dog. She is also not a fan of young children or cats so a feline free home with older kids would be best for our princess. Lola is super smart and wants to please and she bonds hard with her favorite humans. Fill out application to meet her! Y Nevada

Animal Network 702-582-7534 |

Email us:

Beaver is an affectionate 10-yearold gentleman who is hoping to find his new family. He is sweet, loving, and playful. He craves all of your attention and would prefer to be your one and only cat. Adopt Beaver at Nevada SPCA. Y 5375 S. Procyon St. Suite 108

Hours: Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm | Sat: 10am-6pm

PET Events upcoming





7pm–8pm. Vegas Valley Dog Obedience Club invites the public to attend their monthly meeting. Upcoming guest speakers and topics to be announced. For more info, visit:

VVDOC Meeting Location • 1600 E. Desert Inn Road, 2nd Floor #240



12pm–2pm. Have you ever thought about fostering a homeless animal in your community but you don’t know where to start?

The Foster Initiative Project is a way to connect potential fosters with local rescues and shelters, providing them with supplies & training to set both the foster & the animal up for success.

Pawtastic Friends • 2200 E. Pama Lane



6pm–9pm. Great for all ages! Enjoy an evening of bowling fun while supporting animal rescues! Participants can look forward to bowling contests, goody bags, silent auction, great prizes, and more. Purchase tickets at:

Gold Coast Hotel & Casino • 4000 W. Flamingo Road



12pm–2pm. Have you ever thought about fostering a homeless animal in your community but you don’t know where to start?

The Foster Initiative Project is a way to connect potential fosters with local rescues and shelters, providing them with supplies & training to set both the foster & the animal up for success.

Pawtastic Friends • 2200 E. Pama Lane

7pm–8pm. Vegas Valley Dog Obedience Club invites the public to attend their monthly meeting. Upcoming guest speakers and topics to be announced. For more info, visit:

VVDOC Meeting Location • 1600 E. Desert Inn Road, 2nd Floor #240



6pm–9pm. Great for all ages! Enjoy an evening of bowling fun while supporting animal rescues! Participants can look forward to bowling contests, goody bags, silent auction, great prizes, and more. Purchase tickets at:

Gold Coast Hotel & Casino • 4000 W. Flamingo Road



5:30pm–8pm. SWEET 16! Join Foreclosed Upon Pets for buffet dinner, entertainment, raffle, auction, beer and wine bar. Mistress of Ceremonies – Sherry Swensk. $50 per ticket. To RSVP and prepay, go to:

The Meadows School • 8601 Scholar Lane

Never Leave Pets in Cars

Even a 5 to 10 minute trip means that temperatures could exceed 120 degrees in a car with closed windows.



» National Lost Pet Prevention Month

» National Pet Hydration Awareness Month

» July 1 National ID Your Pet Day

» July 10 National Kitten Day

» July 15 National Pet Fire Safety Day

» July 21 National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day

» July 31 National Mutt Day


» August 1 DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

» August 4-10 International Assistance Dog Week

» August 8 International Cat Day

» August 15 Check the Chip Day

» August 22 National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

» August 28 Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

Rainbow BridgeRemembrance Day

August 28

Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day – a day set aside to remember the pets who are no longer with us; to celebrate and honor their lives. A time to reflect on the good memories of our beloved pet or pets. to look through photos and other memorabilia we’ve collected. Perhaps a time to hold a memorial service for family and friends to grieve together the loss of a beloved pet and to share special memories. For many it is an opportunity to create a something to express those feelings, reflections and memories. It can be a painting, drawing, poem or a written story.

One poem written as an expression of grief, The Rainbow Bridge published author unknown, in the advice column, Dear Abby, in February 1994 has brought comfort and hope to so many people. Just recently the author of the poem was discovered. Edna Clyne-Rekhy, an 82-year-old Scottish artist and animal lover, wrote the poem to honor her dog, Major. She was nineteen years old and grieving Major’s loss. Her mother encouraged to write about her feelings. She wrote out the first line, “Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge” and the rest just flowed.

DOGust the 1st Happy Birthday!

DOGust the 1st, celebrated on the first day of August, is the universal birthday for all shelter and rescued dogs.

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