Pet Lifestyles Magazine - June/July 2018

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Vol. 1 #2 | June/July 2018



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PET SPOTLIGHT 6 10 11 12 14 16 17

Bernadette Peters Lin Manuel Miranda Bebe Neuwirth Gloria Estefan Victoria Clark Bill Berloni Angel Bocker


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PET TRAVEL 34 Southampton, A Pet’s Best Friend 36 Planes, Trains & Automobiles 38 Hogs 4 Paws

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50 Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer 51 Fuzzy Family Fun 52 Dogtology



ISSN 2474-770X

Lori Zelenko with her favorite contributing editors, Bikini and Annabelle. ©Geoff Tischman

Vol. 1 #2 | June/July 2018 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor in Chief Lori Simmons Zelenko

Photographer Geoff Tischman

Editor at Large Beth Stern

Features Angelique Caffrey Adrianne Frost Crystal C. Long Mary Malloy Todd Neikirk Maryam ZiaSheikholeslami Jaclyn Waller

Art Director Eric Duncan Marketing Coordinator Judith Moskowitz

CURTAIN’S UP! WE’RE BROADWAY BOUND THIS SUMMER Give us a round of applause! The curtain’s up on our second issue of PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE. Holding center stage on our cover is Bernadette Peters celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Broadway Barks, a shining star among New York City animal rescue organizations. Rallying behind her are luminaries including self-proclaimed “cat lady” Bebe Neuwirth, HAMILTON’s Lin Manuel Miranda with his “muse,” his dog Tobi, plus the beautifully-voiced Victoria Clark, proud parent to her rescued-from-China Golden Retriever, Ollie (named for Laurence Olivier). If you’re straying from home this Summer we’ve got the scoop on where to go and what to do with your pet whether traveling by plane, train, or automobile. From the inside track on the most pet-friendly places in the Hamptons to helpful hints on how to make your dog the perfect house guest, we’re out to make your Summer vacation a memorable sojourn with your four-legged best friend. Whether you’re leaving on a jet plane or strolling city streets, PET LIFESTYLES is right here with you sharing stories of love and trust with the animals we love the most. Stay cool!

Contributing Writers Laura Benko Ruth Katz Marie Shelto Dean Eleanor Jeff Lazarus Casandra Sultanik Peter Elston Vanessa Malzahn Jodi Ziskin Megan O’Brien Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Brett Caldwell - Director of Integrated Sales and Marketing Gary Albanese - Senior Sales Director of NYC Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim Internet Presence Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651

Editorial/Sales Fax (212) 202-4888

For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651 Facebook: /petlifestylesmag Twitter: @petlifestylesny Instagram: @petlifestylesmag All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Printed in the USA. Pet Lifestyles Magazine is published 4 times annually. © 2018 Pet Lifestyles Magazine

Signing off with a woof and a purr…

-Lori Zelenko



Cover Photo by Timothy White

broadway barks 2018 Saturday, July 14th @ 3:00pm - 6:30pm

Shubert Alley W. 44th and 45th

(between Broadway and 8th Avenue)

New York, NY 10036

@BroadwayBarks @BroadwayBarks @BroadwayBarks


©Geoff Tischman



wo decades have passed since Bernadette Peters with her good friend, the late Mary Tyler Moore, set out to help save our furry friends by founding Broadway Barks. Come this July, the star-studded festivities will be something special as Broadway’s brightest, boldest stars are unleashed to celebrate this adopt-a-thon’s 20th Anniversary. Save July 14th to join in the fun! Broadway Barks celebrates 20 years in Shubert Alley this summer, and Bernadette Peters will, once again, hold center stage. Singer, dancer, actor, author, animal advocate… it seems the only thing that the extraordinary Bernadette Peters hasn’t done is visit the moon (don’t count it out, though!). Pet Lifestyles was lucky enough to speak to Ms. Peters about the history of Broadway Barks, her love of all animals, and what’s coming up in the year ahead for her and her remarkable charity work. Bernadette Peters grew up in Queens, NY. She began acting at an early age, earning her Equity card before she was ten. At the same time, she was begging her parents for a pet. “When I turned nine, they thought I was responsible enough, so we rescued a dog from Bideawee in Manhattan. My first pet was a puppy and we named her Suzy. She was a ‘family’ dog that everyone, including my aunts and uncles loved. I remember when my siblings and I would argue or when we would raise our voices, Suzy would get very upset and start barking. We would always have to calm her down”. Flash forward to the late 90’s, and the moment she realized how many shelters needed help promoting themselves and the amazing pets they save. She remembers, “I was inspired to start Broadway 6 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Barks some 20 years ago when I went to a shelter to look for a pet. It was during that visit I first realized how much help the shelter needed. Immediately, I called my friend, Mary Tyler Moore and recruited her. Mary was always a big animal advocate, so it wasn’t difficult. She said “absolutely!” Since that time, the city shelters have been doing a terrific job with limited means, but back then - 20 years ago - they needed even more help and although the grass root rescue groups were doing their share, we decided to get involved. Mary and I started a pet adoption event and with the help of Tom Viola, the executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and his staff, my stage manager, (I was in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ at the time), my assistant, Mary’s assistant, and our respective publicists, we created our first ever animal adoption event supported by many in the Broadway community. It was the first time that so many NYC animal rescue groups had ever worked together side by side to support homeless animals. We started out with six shelters. Today, we have 28 participating shelters. If only we had more space in Shubert Alley to accommodate our long request list.”

Space notwithstanding, Ms. Peters and the late Mary Tyler Moore grew Broadway Barks into the mega-event that it is today. Sadly, Moore passed away in 2017. But she is remembered every year in a moving and unforgettable way. “Mary Tyler Moore was my dear, dear friend. I miss her every day. When we lost Mary a year and a half ago, I wanted to keep her legacy alive, so we created the Mary Tyler Moore Award - which is given to an individual or group who has changed the lives of homeless animals in a way that encourages others to do the same.” Come to Broadway Barks to witness this year’s recipient. Ms. Peters has her own rescue dogs, Charlie, and Rosalie. They are best friends and love playing together on her fenced terrace, especially when the sun is out then they enjoy some doggy relaxation sessions. “When I can,” she says, “I join in and adore spending time out there with them…they both are loving, cuddly dogs so we do a lot of that too! When I’m not working, we go for walks in Riverside Park and around the neighborhood. In the summertime, we sometimes stop at Sephora where they offer water bowls for dogs and they take a rest on their cool floor. The store is so dog friendly.” True, she is an icon of Broadway, television, and film unmatched in her talents but her knowledge of animals and her dedication to them is where this star shines brightest. She is simply luminous when describing how the love of animals influences her on a personal level. “For me, animals are inspiring in so many ways. How they communicate with us without words is particularly beautiful to me. How sensitive they are to us and the elements around us,” she adds. “Animals can feel natural disasters before we ever have a hint anything is happening. In addition, dogs can sniff out cancer before there is any detection medically. They are so healing to be around on top of being such great company.”

Bernadette Peters and Gloria Estefan at Broadway Barks

This summer, Bernadette Peters will be sharing center stage with dogs once more. Adding to the festivities this year, Broadway Barks’ 20th celebration is during The Year of The Dog. Ms. Peters says, “Our Broadway Barks team members are so excited that our 20th Anniversary falls on the Year of The Dog. Famed artist, Hilary Knight who draws ‘Eloise’ is designing our poster this year... with the Year of the Dog in mind. “This year our Mary Tyler Moore Award recipient/special honoree will be given to one of our original participating shelters, BARC (Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition) Shelter of Williamsburg,” Ms. Peters tells us. “This year, we lost one of their founders, Tony Spoto so we will be honoring Tony and BARC for their exemplary rescue work over the past 20 years.” Broadway Barks may be an annual celebration but the good the funds raised at this event lasts all year long. Just look at Braille Barks. Ms. Peters explains, “We are very proud of Braille Barks, a program Broadway Barks developed that translates children’s books about animals into Braille. We learned that 90% of blind children cannot read. There are not enough teachers or books to help visually challenged young people, so this has become a very important program in the development of the young brain.” Broadway Barks has blossomed into one of the most important animal rescue initiatives in New York City. The event has grown rapidly over the years. “We now have 28 participating shelters under the Broadway Barks umbrella. We started out with six,” then she adds, “In the past 20 years over 2,000 animals have participated and 85% have successfully found forever homes.” Ms. Peters won’t stop until all the animals in need find a home. She pronounces: “My continued hopes and dreams for Broadway Barks are to make a difference in the world of shelter animals and bring about awareness on how wonderful a pet can enrich one’s life. Many of these shelter animals became homeless because of human condition. They suffered without a loving home. When these special animals are rescued, they know it and are SO grateful.” She reiterates, “I’d like to stress how important these companions are in our lives. There are so many older people whose only reason to get up every day is to take care of their pet. Think of the shy child who reads to his dog to help overcome social inhibitions and to help get comfortable with connecting with others.” In the years to come, Ms. Peters knows exactly what she wants to do with this amazing charity. She lays it out, stating, “A. We want to continue to find ways to help animals and people because we feel animals heal people. B. To encourage people to HAVE animals because they are calming and reassuring to us. C. Help animals that need us to bring out their best as companions.” A beautiful talent, a beautiful person, Bernadette Peters has changed the face of New York theatre is so many ways, including the bringing the blessing of Broadway Barks.

Bernadette Peters boosts the energy level at Broadway Barks

She wants us to know, from the bottom of her heart, to never forget, “Animals play such an important role in our lives that I don’t think we even understand just yet. Hopefully someday we will.” Read more about Broadway Barks at • JUNE/JULY 2018


July 14, 2018 Dear Friends: By drawing upon the generosity and talent of the theatre community, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS raises funds for AIDS and family services in all 50 states. In appreciation of the theatre community’s unprecedented commitment to more than 28 years of fundraising, Broadway Cares is happy to support other causes particularly dear to those in our community who make our support for HIV/AIDS and other health-related services possible. Today, Broadway Cares proudly joins Bernadette Peters, the company of Hello, Dolly! and many of Broadway’s best at Broadway Barks. We are happy to welcome more than two dozen animal shelters and rescue organizations to Shubert Alley and thrilled that, since the first Barks in 1999, more than 1,700 previously abandoned but terrific dogs and cats have found forever, loving homes. We are glad to help those two-legged colleagues in our community whose compassionate concern for others includes many sweet, four-legged pals with a tail and the animal-loving organizations gathered today in Shubert Alley. So if you’re thinking about adopting a dog or cat … do it. You’ll have a sweet new best friend for life. Just know that from today forward a pair of wide eyes will prompt you to share both bed and breakfast bacon. Just ask Gracie and Sophie! But perhaps George Bernard Shaw said it best: “I like a bit of mongrel myself, whether it’s a man or a dog; they’re the best for everyday.” Absolutely.


Tom Viola Executive Director Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS






Lin-Manuel Miranda with his sister Luz Miranda-Crespo Photo by Luis Crespo


LIN MANUEL MIRANDA AND TOBILLO By Adrianne Frost and Lori Zelenko

f you don’t know who Lin Manuel Miranda is, you must have been living in a cave for the last few years. Or, as in the case of his rescue dog, Tobillo (Tobi for short), living on the beaches of the Dominican Republic. Miranda and his wife were on the beach, relaxing on vacation, when a special little sato came barking. Lin Manuel’s family wasn’t looking for a new family member. “Tobillo found us.” He says. “She was a beach dog, an abused, half starved four-pound puppy. We were on the beach, she jumped into my wife’s beach chair, nibbled her ankle and we’ve been with her ever since. The whole week we were there was extraordinary, we never anticipated we’d come back with something so special. My wife was a cat person. I was always a dog person. But from the moment Tobillo (Spanish for ankle) came into our lives she has made a contribution that we treasure. In fact, you could say she is my closest confidante. She is seven now and the most popular member of my family – neck and neck with my wife.” Lin Manuel admits Tobillo isn’t necessarily impressed with his numerous Tonys and immeasurable talent. We should all be so lucky to have him compose for us. “Although it’s true there is not a bone of music in her body, I confess I think she is indifferent to my music, it just doesn’t phase her - except when it comes to her own private melody – I whistle and she comes, but I’d never do this where anyone could learn her tune and kidnap her.” From sun and sand to city streets. Lin Manuel raves, “It’s great to be a dog person in New York. It’s a secret world. It becomes a whole other life, long walks, trips to the dog park... I have lifelong friends I have met through my dog.” But the extended family isn’t just human. “Tobi has friends too. We go for hours in the Heights (Washington Heights where we live now). It gets my mind going when I am out with Tobi, I sing, work on lyrics, her ears perk up with certain notes but overall my words, music, nothing phases 10 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


her.” The city brings out her guarding instincts. He recalls “We had a narrow escape at Easter. Tobi thought she was doing us a favor protecting us from a strange green bird. But the bird was unharmed and Tobi chastened.” “In the mornings now, it’s different.” He says, talking about how as family grows, so does your pet. “I am the one up early at 6 or 7 am, making breakfast for everyone. It used to be me and Tobi out the door for a walk now Tobi sleeps in, snuggled in bed with my wife and our newborn.” And, like most people, “Tobi has mellowed with age. She covers my son and the baby in kisses, she is so understanding with my toddler who doesn’t know the difference between a soft pet and a hard pet.” This lucky dog has also rubbed tails with Hollywood royalty. “Tobi is the unofficial mascot of Mary Poppins Returns,” he says, referring to the film coming out Christmas day, “she came on set with me, she met Meryl Streep.” While on set, Miranda put Tobi in front of a green screen and invited fans to play with the picture. “That’s the beauty of the Internet, you can have fun with it.” Even though she’s travelled the world and lives in the big city, this blessed pup hasn’t forgotten her roots. Her proud daddy says, “Tobi’s favorite thing is chasing waves, she will spend hours doing this. She will spend hours dodging the tide and never get swept in, after all she is a beach dog. The beach is her default happy place.” We’re pretty sure anywhere she’s with Lin Manuel Miranda is her happy place, too. •




roadway’s “cat lady” purrs, no claws come out here as Bebe Neuwirth reveals her loving journey through life with rescue cats – and actually, dogs too as she loves all animals and those in dire need most especially. Tony and Emmy winner Bebe Neuwirth is a cat lady at heart. “I was born this way”, she said when asked how long this has been the case. The first cat she got was when she was in a Chorus Line, at 19. “I went to the Milwaukee Zoo they had kittens, ducklings and puppies. I picked a kitten and that was that”, she says. In fact, her “real cat” toured with her and they travelled together for one year. This made up for a childhood without pets. “I could not have a pet as a kid - my big brother had allergies - but as soon as I was out on my own I started adopting. I could not wait to adopt my first cat.” “The animals in your life find you”, she believes. Bebe has three cats, because, even with the pain of the loss of a pet, she says, you “Cannot get a replacement immediately but when there is a surviving cat it is out of balance, lost without a partner. So we got Tallulah for Bobby but sadly we lost him two years later.” Her fuzzy feline family now consists of Tallulah, a small long hair calico from Philly paws, Siamese mix Billy, and Bengal striped cat Ruby. Her love of animals isn’t limited to cats. This triple-threat has participated in the ASPCA Storytelling Program, an initiative designed specifically to socialize victimized, shy, unsocialized dogs. She “read to dogs who were damaged... some of these were

too damaged to heal,” and who had “never heard a human voice except in anger.” As part of the program, she sat with the dogs in the process of healing and read to them. “New arrivals do not look you in the eye,” she recalls, and she had to “read softly, they are nervous at first.” Through reading to them (she read a passage from War and Peace), Bebe says, “they hear the human voice then in a different way, filled with kindness and compassion.” The result of this therapy? “Dogs develop trust.” When talking about dog and cats, she thinks, “Dogs are more willing to be responsive but cats do develop a willingness to come along. It’s hard to make generalizations however; each one is different from the next.” She continues her analysis by adding, “Each cat is a unique individual. Some have a brilliant sense of humor, some are more reticent”. Ms. Neuwirth is a staunch supporter of animal rescue, believing they all need a home. “I believe in encouraging adoption of older cats - it is the saddest thing, heartbreaking to see senior cats in a shelter often their original humans (owners) died.” then she adds, “Adopting as kitten, it can be a surprise the way the cat looks when it becomes an adult”. Her motto for h ​ erself ​and her cats? “Love me the way I love my animals”. Which, obviously, is a whole, whole lot. • JUNE/JULY 2018




Estefan Puppy Gang


ince the 1985 release of the hit song, Conga, Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan has been a constant presence in the world of pop music. From her time with The Miami Sound Machine, to solo stardom, to the hit Broadway show, On Your Feet, Gloria has had an incredible run of success. Anyone who follows her Instagram account also knows that she is a passionate lover of dogs. She’s even written a series of children’s books inspired by her beloved Bulldog, Noelle. Her love for dogs started at an early age when her father, who was in the Army, got her a dog. Below, Gloria tells us about the life-long love affair with her four-legged friends. A TRAGIC LOSS

Pet owners are all too familiar with the shattering loss of a pet. This feeling can be exacerbated when you lose a pet before it reaches old age. In 2012, Estefan experienced this threefold as her three beloved English Bulldogs, Isaac, Biggie and Noelle tragically passed away due to in-breeding problems. She explained, “Dogs offer unconditional love. They are such a wonderful gift, but also a responsibility that demands purposeful consideration. It is brutal to lose them, I love them so much that I feel every moment of pain when they go.” With so much pain in her heart, Gloria swore she would never get another dog. Then Bernadette Peters called to ask if she could help with her Broadway Barks the annual adopt-a-thon in NYC.


While Peters was able to convince Estefan to participate she did so reluctantly, “I told her I would do it if she blindfolded me. The thought of looking at beautiful dogs who needed love and a home would be so tough. I knew I would want to rescue 5,000 of them.” While she did not go home with 5,000 dogs, she did go home with a litter of pups. And when she came home, everyone she loves adopted a dog from that litter. Since all the dogs were able to stay within her family, they get to see each other often, “We have a big backyard, so six dogs is not a problem. They are the center of the family and genuinely need to be in the family unit.”


This is the 20th Anniversary of Broadway Barks and it presents a great opportunity to bring a new pet into your home. While the Charity has a 24 hour wait to avoid adoptions that are made on impulse. It does give animal lovers the ability to experience the joy of adopting a rescue dog. According to Estefan, “Rescue dogs are so grateful, so appreciative of the love and protection they receive. They are so sadly thrown away.” You can help rescue one of these amazing animals by participating in Broadway Barks, taking place on July 14th in New York City’s Shubert Alley. • 12 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Gloria Estefan





amed for the great Laurence Olivier, Victoria Clark’s Ollie, a Golden Retriever rescued from China, is playfully majestic. Appearing in his owners’ lives as if by magic, they say Bernadette Peters cast a spell, Ollie is an ode to joy they cannot sing enough. Tony winner (and multi-nominee) Victoria Clark has the voice of an angel. The Texas native has been sparkling on the Broadway stage since the early 1990’s. But next to the song in her heart is her love for Golden Retrievers.

His name is Ollie short for Olivier, as in Laurence.” Ollie keeps up with his Mom’s talent. “For sure he had a prior life as a member of the Ballet Russes. He is always in first position, continually in turn out.”

Last June, Victoria and her family lost their dear Golden Retriever and didn’t know if they were ready to adopt right away. “So, broken hearted”, she said, “(we were) trying to recover; thought it was too soon for another dog.” Like an animal rescue gypsy, Bernadette Peters, creator of Broadway Barks and star of stage and screen, appeared and, according to Clark, “cast a spell. She has natural powers. The next thing you know, Yankee Golden (a Golden Retriever rescue) was in touch”.

Ollie’s life wasn’t all tutus and pointe, though. Before he came to the states, he was rescued in China off a food truck on the way to the slaughterhouse. Apparently, she says, “Goldens are such sweet tempered dogs they are easy to dog nap. In China not every dog is on a leash; they may run free on a farm, so they are not difficult to capture. Remarkably there are activists who are quite intrepid; they stop these trucks – literally by lying down in the road - and save the dogs. We are forever grateful for their work. After all, it brought us Ollie.”

Chances seemed slim, though, that an adoption would happen. “They do not take applications outside of New England, so we were sure we’d be ruled out...but we got lucky thanks to Bernadette.” Living in New York City didn’t prove to be an issue, “They did a video vetting process with us”, she says, “and shared pictures of a young Golden rescued from China.” Those pictures did the trick, because they soon had a new rescued Golden Retriever in their home. She beams, “We adopted him. 14 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Now, though, lucky Olivier lives with warmth, song, and tons of love. “Our home is very musical, which Ollie enjoys.” She adds, “The longer he is with us the more social he becomes. Though people are always coming and going and there is always music he knows when to stay quiet and just watch and listen”. If music be the fruit of love, happy Oliver now has the opportunity to say, “Play on.” •









10 E 9-UNLEASHED JUN Greatness


























with Spokesperson




















t’s the summer of 1976, and William Berloni has been offered a new opportunity: transform a rescue mutt into Broadway’s newest star, Annie’s Sandy. After all, “You can’t do Annie without Sandy.” The training process was clearly a success, as Sandy became “the longest running dog on Broadway”. What many don’t know is that the beloved musical, Annie debuted at The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut. As an aspiring actor, twenty-year-old Bill was eager to involve himself in the theatre’s productions. In exchange for his equity card, he would spend the summer of 1976 training a rescue mutt to star in August’s debut of Annie. Bill worked with optimism to prepare the dog for live performances, leash free. “I had grown up with dogs and they were never on leashes. So if I could make the dog think the little girl (Annie) was a part of his family and his theatre was his home, why couldn’t he do the same thing?” Through dedicated and patient training, Sandy would be transformed into something new to the industry, a canine actor. Sandy’s performances were a crowd favorite, and a profound accomplishment for the young trainer. Bill recalls the sudden notoriety, “That’s how innocently it all started, and a year later the show opened on Broadway, and at the age of twenty, I became a world famous animal trainer.” Since establishing himself, Bill faced the task of innovating animal actor training. On stage, animals are often utilized as live props. Bill strived beyond this practice, and prepared the animal to follow cues, free from distractions. “Once I proved to the world that yes, you can train an animal to do the same thing eight times a week in front of a live audience, that became my career.” Rescue mutts are Bill’s ideal Broadway candidates. “Mutts are more jacks of all trades. They’re just a little more amiable to doing different things.” Like our dogs at home, these groomed pooches respond best to their favorite treats or toys. Bill notes, “Training is not about subservience and doing what I tell you… In a live theatre performance, we work for eight weeks to create patterns that the animals will do and create a relationship with the actors in which 16 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


they are working with.” The trainer must strive to instill trust and work with a high degree of patience for the process. Dedicated to animal rescue, Bill has been remarkably involved in Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore’s annual adoption event, Broadway Barks. Meeting at the showcase’s premiere in 1999, Bill and Bernadette formed “a professional friendship around the welfare of animals.” The annual effort surrounds the search for forever homes for the countless cats and dogs residing in New York City shelters. Broadway Barks has become a staple platform for rescue efforts as described by Bill, “The original mission was to give every animal shelter in New York City, regardless of financial status, equal publicity time so they can showcase their animals.” Amidst the hype, each shelter shines to promote the adoption of their pets. Armed with a cast of Broadway’s best, the annual showcase has gone above and beyond to publicize rescue adoptions and animal welfare. For Bill, one of the most rewarding aspects of his career is interacting with rescue animals full time, “Animal lovers can appreciate the benefit we get from our pets.” Outside New York City, Bill finds recluse alongside his wife, daughter, and his extended family of retired dog actors. The Berlonis’ Connecticut farm is currently home to over thirty pups and can be described as an isolated metropolis of “crazy wonderful creatures”. Amid the chaos, Bill and his wife find time to orchestrate new theatrical projects. Together, they will notably deliver the first musical to star a dog, Because of Winn-Dixie. It is his innovatively humane training process for the canine stars, which has allowed Broadway to further explore animal roles. It is clear with the success of preceding productions, that dog actors leave audiences smitten. •


Angel Bocker ©Geoffrey Tischman



n 2003, a very special being came into my life. A pensive little pup with the most human eyes that we named Bocker. I grew up a New York Knicks fan; we had already rescued a cat and named her Knicki. So Bocker rounded out our Knickerbockers. Bocker was pensive, as if he was thinking about his next move, always calm he looked as if he was listening and trying to understand every word you were saying. Bocker Marie ©Geoffrey Tischman


His calm demeanor made him a natural for therapy work. I was always amazed at his effect on children. Maybe it was because he was so tall that they could look right into his eyes. After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, friends knew that Bocker could help. Bocker became part of Sandy Hook’s extended family, present at all their events. The big furry, always calm, guy, just brought smiles wherever he went.


December 2014, I heard words that sent shock waves through my whole being: “Bocker has Lymphoma.” I had no idea where to turn. The executive director of Animal Cancer Foundation, one of his followers, gave me words of support and the name of an outstanding oncologist. To me, Bocker’s quality of life was most important. Bocker let his social media friends follow along on his journey, the good days and not so good days. As he called it, his bump in the road. He always told his followers that “No One Fights Alone.” He received thousands of messages of love and support, but what was most touching to us, were the messages from people, not only those with their pets being ill, but from humans battling cancer. Bocker gave them strength and the will to go on.


We partnered with the Animal Cancer Foundation to help find a cure for Canine Cancer. Roughly 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs and a similar number made in cats each year. 1 in 3 domestic dogs it’s estimated will develop cancer; the same incidence of cancer among men. But cancer is not a death sentence. It was Bocker’s time to leave me at the age of 13. One of the hardest days in my life, one I dreaded; but he did not die from cancer. Bocker definitely made a huge difference in my life. I know he touched and affected the lives of so many.


A few months after Bocker passed, a little being wound up in my life. Totally unexpected, but I knew it was part of Angel Bocker’s plan. I needed to carry on his good work. It was up to me but I could not do it alone. Now Bocker II (he’s called Bocker Jr., Baby Bocker) is by my side. The comments have started already. His EYES! Yes, totally different from Angel Bocker, but eyes that are piercing and look right through you. Different eyes but filled with the same love and same sense of wonder. Eyes that have plans and speak volumes. Angel Bocker is in there too, guiding us both. To learn more about Bocker’s legacy, go to or email: • JUNE/JULY 2018




et Lifestyles asked the pros to share the do’s and don’ts of beautifying your beast on your own. Here are our tips for DIY grooming. If you’ve ever bathed your dog, you know that, in the end, you can end up as soaked as your pup. And if you’ve ever had your dog professionally groomed, you know that the gorgeous fluffiness and shine can disappear with a little dirt or rain. Frequent trips to the groomer can get expensive and frequent baths can get, well, exhausting. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you DIY your doggy’s do at home. Before bathing, make sure to give your dog a good brushing. For shorthaired dogs, a Furminator is a great choice. It gently gets rid of extra fur, alleviating shedding while also giving your dog a nice massage. For a dog with longer fur, a slicker or pin brush works well to gently detangle. Elly Wong at Towne House Dog Grooming in Chelsea says, “A slicker is a good all-purpose brush for long hair. Use the angled side to brush out tangles, then go over your dog with a comb.”

A tried and true remedy for chapped nose and paws. Find it on

If you find a few mats, you may want to cut them out. Brushing out mats can be painful for the dog. If your dog is very matted, have the groomer shave the mats off (it’s far less painful). Nancy of Downtown Doghouse says, “It is SO IMPORTANT to brush and comb your dog between groomings. People come to us all the time and tell us that their dog shouldn’t be matted because they wash him all the time. Washing causes mats to tighten, actually! The only way to that prevent mats is consistent brushing and combing.” Bathing your curly, drop-coated, or other long-haired breed WITHOUT being able to first get a comb from the skin through the hair - especially on the legs and chest - is ill-advised. Now, let’s talk about the actual bath! Dogs tend to slip around, so use a textured tub mat to give them something to hang onto. Pop some cotton balls into the ears to stop water from accumulating. Have a wet washcloth on hand to wipe the face (try not to pour water on the snout or near eyes and ears). After bathing, use an ear drying solution, vets recommend Virbac Epi-Otic (on

Bark Logic offers natural grooming care for dogs. Find a selection on



A spray attachment can be very helpful to wet down your pet; try the new Aquapaw Bathing Tool (on Looking to lather up and remove excess fur at the same time? HandsOn gloves are super-effective even on long-haired dogs like a Pekingese. Choose a shampoo that is gentle on your dog and won’t leave a residue, so the coat is soft and shiny. Don’t forget conditioner, Lillian Ruff makes an excellent one with lavender and coconut oils to naturally help repel fleas and ticks.

Many dogs have sensitive skin so it’s a good idea to make sure their shampoo is hypo-allergenic. Elly from Towne House observes, “As a dog gets older, his/her coat and skin may require a more gentle shampoo. Oatmeal-based shampoo is soothing and it’s a natural de-greaser. If your pet has allergies, a mild shampoo with an antiseptic is best. Stay away from human shampoos! As pets have different pH balances than humans, our shampoo can irritate their skin. Be sure to use a soothing, dog-specific shampoo like ECOS, the first-ever U.S. EPA Safer Choicecertified pet shampoo (we love the Peppermint scent!). Can you brush a wet dog? Absolutely, says Nancy! “You can brush your wet Lab or Frenchie - and I encourage you to! Suds them up and run a rubber curry brush all over them in a circular pattern. You’ll be amazed at how much hair shows up on the brush! (And then not on your couch later!)” Not every dog is going to let you scrub in the tub. What to do? Wipes can be useful. Baby wipes, or wipes made specifically for dogs (like Bark Logic – we’re huge fans of their lavender scent), can help keep your dog clean (good for paws and coat).

Elly at Towne House Grooming in New York City merges professional styling with DIY trims for her customers.

Dry shampoos work well too. Fresh Dog Dry Shampoo Powder helps get rid of odor and freshens your pet in between baths. Elly from Towne House agrees, “Dry shampoo is great in between regular shampoos. Shampoo and water wash out dirt; powders absorb grease temporarily. No rinse shampoos are good when a bath is not an option.” After they have a good shake from snout to tail, you can dry your dog with a microfiber drying mitt or regular bath towel. Downtown Doghouse’s Nancy notes, “If you have a curly coated breed, never dry him off by scrubbing him with a towel - that’s sure to cause tangles. Instead, squeeze the water out of the coat. If you are using a human dryer on your dog, please switch it to a cool setting.” Or you can let your dog air dry. But be aware, a wet dog can become chilled quickly so keep an eye on their body temperature.

Aquapaw the one handed pet washer. Find it on

Should you cut your own dog’s fur? What about a grooming kit? Nancy says, “Almost everyone I know who tried this abandoned it after one use! Get a good quality brush and comb and use them often!” Household scissors are not grooming shears. Be careful. Elly reveals that she is often called upon to blend her professional work with a DIY trim. A snip here or there can be a good interim solution, but on many breeds, it really is helpful to have the pros step in. Uniformly, groomers say, “it’s one thing to cut out gum or a knot, but overall, just remember, safety first!” If your four-legged family member seems to still have itching or discomfort after a bath, try a soothing balm or spray, like Real Time Pain Relief Pet Formula, with soothing aloe vera. Bag Balm for pets is great for chapped noses and paws. You can also use a home service in between spa visits. For example, Groomit comes to you to take care of your pet in the comfort of your own home. But the safest bet in between professional grooming trips is to make sure your pup is brushed thoroughly, clean, comfortable, and happy. After all, looks aren’t everything! Thanks so much to Downtown Doghouse and Towne House Grooming for their advice and expertise! •

Looking like Sandy from Broadway’s ANNIE, this freshly groomed dog is ready for the good life. Grooming by Downtown Doghouse

Adrianne Frost is a writer and actor from New York City. Her book, I Hate Other People’s Kids was published by Simon & Schuster, and she is featured in the anthologies The Signet Book of American Humor (Signet), and Rejected: Tales of The Failed, Dumped and Cancelled (Villard). She has written for XOJane, Funny Not Slutty, Ask Ejean, McSweeney’s, and many others. She has appeared on many television programs and in films, dying in several! She has performed stand up and improv all over the world. Reach her at Find her dog @buddy_one_eye on Instagram. JUNE/JULY 2018





ummer is knocking on our door and the season of cookouts and Rosé cocktails is upon us. And while we are all swapping recipes and enjoying some cool treats outdoors, your dog does not have to be left out of all the summer fun. Today, it’s all about the frozen treats made with fruits your dog is going to go nuts for. There are plenty of fun snacks to enjoy summer, but nothing beats seasonal fruits. From blueberries to watermelon, these gorgeous fruits are full of vitamins and ripe with all their natural goodness making them the perfect vehicle to make a healthy and easy treat your dog can enjoy. In the following recipes I’m using blueberries and watermelon. The benefits make them a no-brainer: • Blueberries are full of vitamins, including Vitamin C, K and antioxidants. • Watermelons are low in calories and packed with potassium and Vitamin A. Let’s get started and make your dog a treat that will keep them hydrated, cool and healthy this summer.

Blueberry FroYo Ingredients • Plain yogurt (I’m using a coconut yogurt here) • A handful of blueberries Instructions • Mix the yogurt with the blueberries, making sure to smash the berries (you can also use a blender) • Add the mixture to the silicon mold or ice cube tray • Freeze for 1-2 hours, depending on how deep your tray is

Watermelon Sorbet Ingredient • Watermelon chunks Instructions • Slice the watermelon (make sure to remove the seeds and the rind) • Add to a blender (no need to add extra water) • Place the mixture in the silicon mold or ice cube tray • Freeze for 1-2 hours, depending on how deep your tray is

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vanessa Malzahan is the founder of Leela Ryan plant-based vegan dog biscuits created originally for her Pekeapoo (Leela Ryan herself!), they are made in NYC with oats and fresh fruits. 20 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



Properly poised thanks to training this Bernedoodle is an asset to any party.


ad enough of your dog catapulting into guests as soon as they arrive? Feeling embarrassed at group functions that your dog is barking like a maniac for attention? Let’s talk about ways to turn your dog into the perfect house guest, whether you’re going to someone else’s party or throwing your own. MANAGING YOUR PUP

Taking the time to train your dog in basic commands for manners, such as sit, down, stay, and come is a great way of bridging the communication gap between dogs and humans. But, training is a process that takes time and commitment. Even if your dog can sit and stay, that doesn’t mean that level of control will be demonstrated when dealing with novel distractions and situations. In order to achieve consistent and reliable behaviors from your dog, you have to practice and rehearse similar setups dozens of times before you will be able to achieve this effortlessly. This is especially difficult for owners who have newly adopted a dog or gotten a puppy.


We’ve all heard the saying “a tired dog is a good dog” and there’s definitely truth to that. When heading to or hosting a function where you’re worried your dog’s exuberant energy will be a focal point, make sure to expend some of that energy before all the action begins. You can take your dog for a brisk walk or run, play fetch in the backyard, work on some training games or, ideally, a mix of everything. That way your dog has exercised a variety of muscle groups and can now settle more easily during the hustle and bustle of the party.


Another crucial management tool will be a food stuffed chew toy. Food stuffed chew toys are a great way to enrich your dogs life, as well as help to burn extra mental and physical energy. The majority of dogs find these toys extremely engaging as long as the right food motivator has been chosen. So make sure to pack an extra yummy Kong filled with your dog’s favorite treats (wet dog food, plain yogurt with no additives, peanut butter, boiled chicken, steak, etc).

Attentive and responsive thanks to good training. ©Casandra’s Canines

Listening carefully to good behavior lessons. ©Casandra’s Canines


Bringing your dog to a party is a great way to enjoy your furry companion and socialize your dog. However, if you feel like you can’t or don’t want to devote the time necessary to supervising him, then opt to leave your pet at home and hire a dog walker if you’re worried about how long you’ll be gone for. That way the situation can be enjoyable for everyone. There is no sense in bringing your dog along if you’ll be frustrated and worried the entire time. Neither you or your dog will have fun that way. Hopefully these helpful tips will allow for an enjoyable and fun filled summer with you and your dog. Remember, don’t roll the dice and hope it all goes well. Assess the situation, prepare/pack accordingly, and give your dog the best chance to succeed. • Casandra Sultanik is a positive reinforcement trainer who approaches all dogs with patience and affection. Although she works with dogs of all ages and issues, her specialty is preventive puppy care. JUNE/JULY 2018




ooking to make the most of playtime with your pet? We here are our suggestions for the latest and greatest toys for pups of any size. My dog, Buddy, loves to play. He has more toys than you can shake a (bully) stick at. Buddy will play with any toy, from tug-a-rope to fetch a frisbee. However, other dogs can be more discerning. Not every toy is suited to every dog. Balls, hide-a-toy, plush squeaker animals; even puzzles for enrichment and training... how to choose?


Let’s start with puppies. Adriana Carmona, manager at Love Thy Beast in the East Village, recognizes how much puppies love to chew (including your furniture and shoes!). She recommends the Jax & Bones giraffe to start, which can also be wet and frozen to soothe teething and sore gums. It’s also small, but not too small, for the littlest guys! Introduce your puppy to toys as soon as possible and let them (hopefully) leave that puppy chewing behind. Toys for puppies can also work as training tools, with their favorite toy as their reward. Invicibles are indeed just about invincible making them a popular choice for big dogs or chewers.

Odin Puzzle Toy provides mental stimulation for your dog.


Not all active dogs like fetch, but how to expel all of that energy? Carmona suggests interactive toys, like this Odin Puzzle Toy. Fill the toy with treats or kibble and your dog chases it around. For the dog that prefers a challenge try the Snoop Treat Toy, it dispenses treats as it provides mental stimulation. Try a hide-and-seek toy, like this one from Outward Hound. Squeak the little furry animals, then challenge your dog to get them out of the hidey holes.

Outward Hound’s Hide a Squirrel Toy is sure to entertain your dog for hours.


Some pups enjoy squeaky toys, but others prefer something more textural and less noisy. Love Thy Beast has 100% wool toys that dogs love. “The smell of the natural wool keeps pups wanting more!” A Watermelon Wool Toy is a perfect example. It will keep the noise to a minimum, and what pet owner doesn’t appreciate a little quiet? KONG Classic is ultra-durable with an erratic bounce. Ideal for dogs that like to chew - and play!


Whether they’re a Great Dane or Maltese, there is a toy for your pup. Even teeny, tiny dogs have choices. Adriana from Love Thy Beast says that crochet toys are perfect for small pups. “They are small enough for them to carry around and have a squeaker inside!” And, for dog on the larger side, try a “tuff it, toss it, chew it!” toy, like a stick toy. Big guys are hard to shop for, often, because they tend to destroy their toys. Outward Hound makes the Invincibles line, which are supposed to keep going like the Energizer Bunny! A good, solid colored round toy is good for aggressive chewers. And any thick rubber, non-plush toy (Kongs are good). If your dog likes to chew, substitute a durable chew or bone during down time (which also helps the teeth!). Decisions, decisions... no worries here there are toys for dogs of every size and temperament. It may take some trial and error (and cleaning up stuffing), but you’ve got plenty of choices. Be sure to monitor your dog and their new toy for safety and, if they’re having fun, try not to steal it for yourself! Check out Love Thy Beast in the East Village and online for toys, apparel and more! •






Debbie Guardian founder of Opie and Dixie natural skincare for pets with Opal and Dixie

By Todd Neikirk and Dean Eleanor

he devoted, loving and naturally-minded founder and owner of USDA Certified Organic skincare line Opie & Dixie, Debbie Guardian believes deeply in animal rescue and providing the healthiest and safest options for our pets. She has had all kinds of pets, from parakeets to mice to the dogs that inspired her allnatural pet line, Opie & Dixie.

When Opal (Opie) came down with a skin lesion, Debbie chafed at the idea of using a corticosteroid on her and developed her own remedy—a nutritional supplement. The supplement featured flaxseed, which not only helped to heal her wound, but also promotes healthy skin and coat in dogs. This remedy was the genesis for the topical skin remedy, Spotstik. In 2008, while preparing to undergo treatment for breast cancer, Debbie became interested in nutritional and holistic therapies to improve her health. The dogs Debbie has branched out into other products as well. came along for the ride. “Needless to say, when I went natural, so did the girls. Snoutstik is a favorite among pet parents with dogs The healthier I became, the more intent I became on keeping Opal and Dixie who have calloused noses, such as bulldogs. Paw Balm, thriving and healthy as well.” in either a tin, or in a tube known as Pawstik works well for dogs with dry and cracked paws. Since the products are all-natural, Debbie even finds that the Snoutstik and Paw Balm work on her own body. Debbie speaks from the heart when she says, “We love our pets and organic treatments are a great way to keep them happy and healthy. If you are looking to treat your pets to safe and soothing treatments, check out Opie & Dixie USDA Certified Organic Balms soothing for our Opie & Dixie.” No question about it, we’re right there furry friends with her. All natural, all the time for our fur babies. •


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he weather is getting warmer, summer’s getting closer and that means Father’s Day is upon us. Shopping for a pet loving Dad? We’re sharing a trove of great gift ideas that will make his day - whether he’s a parent to a dog or a cat.


With so many cookie cutter khaki shorts out there, why not give Dad something with a little style. Rock Atoll shorts feature cool animal themed prints that will stand out in a crowd. They are available in both a casual as well as a slim fit, so they fit Fathers of all shapes and sizes.


With endless configurations based on your cat’s scratching preferences and what your home accommodates both aesthetically and functionally, Katris creates an ever-changing playground for our feline friends with their modular scratching posts. Eco-friendly and durable, the units double as a bookshelf, a coffee table or even a cat tree. 24 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



Working pet owners often worry about their pet’s well being while they’re away from home. Petcube’s devices go way beyond the typical home pet camera, allowing you to have a video call, dispense treats or even use a light for interactive play. What a way to give Dad peace of mind.

Do you know an active Dad that loves to exercise with his best friend? If so, the Ruffwear Front Range harness is a great gift. The harness features a full range of motion, multiple points of adjustment and a padded belly allowing you and your dog to run together comfortably.


For the dog dad who loves a stylin’ dog, Rhode Island-based Up Country has 120 looks to chose from. So pet moms make up your minds, is the man in your life sporty? Go for a regatta theme. Maybe he’s an intrepid adventurer? Go natural with a pheasant or fly fishing theme. A true classic? Opt for stars and stripes. Collars, leashes and more (loving those indoor/outdoor futons!) for every dog dad’s personality. •

Dread that last walk of the night with your dog? Find the darkness makes it hard to spot Fido much less find where he pooped? Panther vision has a solution pet Dads will appreciate: the hands-free LED light that emanates from the brim of POWERCAP (a cool baseball hat) illuminates up to 42 feet ahead making those late night strolls with Fido something to look forward to.



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hrough her work with North Shore Animal League America, Beth Stern has fostered more than 600 cats and kittens during the past five years. She and husband Howard Stern (famous television and radio personality) will never forget a special little one named Olive. When Olive’s story popped up on Howard’s news feed in February, he immediately called me. “We have to get her,” he said. And as I read about the awful abuse inflicted on this beautiful Tortico kitten, I knew he was right. In fact, I felt physically ill. Only a monster could do this. I knew I had to help her. Olive was only three months old when she wandered into the wrong apartment in Fontana, California. She was probably just looking for food and attention. What she found instead was a nightmare. The man who lived in that apartment picked her up and stuffed her into a freezer. After a while, he pulled her out, squeezed her until she screamed in pain, and threw her off a second-story balcony, like garbage. He was “upset” that this helpless kitten had walked into his apartment. He wanted to “punish” her — and he did all of this in front of his own children. He was later arrested and charged with animal cruelty. I contacted my colleagues at North Shore Animal League America who learned where Olive — as her wonderful West Coast rescuers had named her — was being cared for. Before I knew it, I was on a plane heading west to scoop her up and bring her to New York. When I met her, Olive was recovering from a fractured leg and surgery for major injuries to her chest. But she was alive, thank goodness, totally sweet, and ready for a miracle. Although her story is dramatic, she shares one important trait with all of my feline fosters: resilience. Olive and I spent our first night together at the beautiful, pet-friendly Four Seasons Hotel, in Beverly Hills, where she immediately made herself at home. I was so touched by her sweetness and willingness to give us humans another chance. I realized that she’d survived because she possesses a powerful, forgiving spirit — and also because of the swift actions of several local heroes, including the Fontana California Police Department, Fontana’s mayor, and a compassionate veterinary team. I’m so grateful to all of them. Olive traveled to New York like a champ, and during the next six weeks she continued to heal, make friends with our other fosters, play like a little fiend — she is such a jokester! — and endear herself to all my Instagram followers. I can’t even estimate how many hours I spent gazing into her 26 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


magical eyes and marveling at her love of life. At one point I decided she was the most interesting kitten in the world. As I reviewed Olive’s adoption applications with my colleagues at Animal League America, I reminded myself of all this feisty little girl had endured and how valuable her life truly is. I was thrilled to deliver this perfect kitten to her perfect home on April 21. It’s truly inspiring to work with Animal League America and others across the country to rescue and nurture these plucky little beings and, when they’re ready to fly, to find them responsible, loving homes. As a foster parent, you quickly learn that there is always another cat or kitten who needs you. But you also learn that you need them, too. Each one has something unique to add to your life. As I wrote on Instagram, Olive is a true survivor. We should all learn from her. I know I did. Thank you, Olive, for allowing me to be a part of your journey. I’ll love you forever. Xo Beth


Beth, Olive & her adopters

• To read more about Beth Stern and her foster “nuggets,” go to Instagram @bethostern. • To follow Olive’s fairy tale future, go to Instagram @ olive_bythesea. • To learn more about North Shore Animal League America, visit

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o you Bow to the Meow? Is your cat the ruler of your household? Introducing a new, whisker-tickling perspective on our obsession with cats. As whiskers are a cat’s guide in life, The Book of Whiskers is the guide to the belief system known as Catakism. The Belief in Cat Human beings have a powerful need to believe, to throw themselves at the feet of something greater than they are. To worship. To adore. To make offerings and sacrifices to. To blame for not being happier, prettier, or more successful. Throughout history, that “something greater than they are” has taken the form of volcanoes, trees, cows, stars, planets, elephants with eight arms, pharaohs, kings, totem poles, airplanes, giant phalluses, sci-fi novelists named Ron, money, and pretty much anything else not found stuck to the bottom of a shoe. Let’s just say there’s been a lot of trial and error on humanity’s part. But, over time, man’s need to express devotion has crystallized into some deep and lasting belief systems. These belief systems have become the great isms and ologies of the world: Buddhism, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism; Astrology, Numerology, Dogtology, Scientology, mixology. Okay, the term “great” might not apply equally across the board here, but you get the point. There are well-known and named belief systems that are practiced by millions, even billions, of humans across the globe. There are also unofficial beliefs that are practiced with uniform dedication by all of humankind, but they do not rise to the level of a formal religion. These include: If You Yell at Inanimate Objects Loudly Enough They Will Hear You and Obey; When You Check Your Teeth for Spinach in a Window Reflection, the Person on the Other Side of the Glass Can’t See You; and Googling Yourself on a Daily Basis Is the Secret to Eternal Happiness. Finally, there are deep belief systems that are practiced worldwide with the rabid devotion of a true religion, but they have not yet received an official name ... until now. Catakism is the greatest of such belief systems. Over the millennia, mankind’s love of cats has risen from the simple human-to-pet relationship we enjoy with goldfish, hamsters, and parakeets to something much, much more. Kitties live in our hearts in a way we typically reserve for objects of true religious devotion. What Is Catakism? Catakism, in short, is mankind’s unending and near-fanatical devotion to Cat. A Catakist does not consider a cat a pet, but rather a minor deity. Scratch that (pun intended): major deity. Catakism is more than the mere love or “ownership” (Seriously? Ownership?) of cats. Catakism is the belief that felines are elevated beings worthy of mankind’s near-religious reverence and devotion. Is worship too strong a word for what Catakists do toward cats? Is “brisk” too strong a word for the temperature on Pluto? Humanity has slowly been converting to Catakism for millennia, but now the conversion rate has reached fever 28 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


pitch. Don’t believe Catakism is among the major belief systems on Earth? Go on the Internet. Turn on your TV. Open a magazine. What do you see? Any questions? The prevalence of Catakism is further evidenced by the fact that cats have become the number one domestic creature on Earth, despite the fact that not one single feline in all of recorded history has ever been observed doing one thing of practical value for one single human being (unless you consider lying in the sun and licking their own fur to be of benefit to humans). Whereas dogs doggedly insist on protecting us, providing us exercise, tracking down our criminals, rescuing us from fires and avalanches, sniffing out diseases and illegal drugs, guarding our homes and businesses, and going to battle with us, cats insist on sleeping, slow-blinking, and staring at things that don’t exist. It is the very fact that Cat steadfastly refuses to serve Man in any way, shape, or form that demonstrates how one-sided humanity’s relationship with cats really is. Humans do the revering. Cats are content to be the object of that reverence. Catakism is the perfect marriage of a creature with an endless need to kneel at the feet of something greater than itself (Man; see above) and a creature with an endless need to be knelt before (Cat; see the rest of this book). Humanity’s over-the-top obsession with cats—in our homes, in the media, on our computers and smartphones, in our bookstores and boutiques—has escalated into a full-blown belief system that belongs in the same cat-egory as the great philosophies and religions of the world. That belief system is Catakism. •



NOT ALL CATS RESPOND, BUT THOSE THAT DO, EXHIBIT JOY! or several decades, nepeta cataria (also known as catnip) consistently scores well as an allnatural high for the most finicky of felines anywhere. Introducing Meowijuana, a catnip company that brings a creatively innovative brand of popular pet products that are designed to stimulate healthy, non-addictive activity for cats—with no CBDs or hemp, which makes for an enjoyable experience for cats and cat lovers. Meowijuana products are grown and manufactured in the U.S. and harvested at the peak of the plant’s essential oil production to give cats the best natural high you can buy. Most of the company’s products are offered and distributed in the United States and Canada with additional marketing and sales in over 30 countries. The rapidly-growing Kansas City, Missouri company is recognized and has received several honors in the past twelve months. “There is nothing short of gratitude that can be expressed in how we feel every day for the work we do at Meowijuana, and people just love the creative approach of both our products and the brand.”, says Marc Adams, the company’s Chief of Business Development, who says that the three greatest things about Meowijuana are its people, its products and its passion for doing good business and having fun with friends.

GPE17 Expo Meowijuana team


Meowijuana currently carries over 30 different catnip products. From parody-themed product names (like Meowi-Waui, Kalico Kush or Siamese Twinge), to their award-winning Dispensary Display Box which houses some of their most favored products, Meowijuana has been coined as a clever yet refreshing approach to a common (and sometimes boring) cat product for the growing cat industry. The four-year old catnip company continues to raise the bar in their segment, with the recent addition of multiple blends which consist of both Valerian Root and the all-popular Silvervine as a “purrfect” compliment to the company’s premium kitty weed. Meowijuana has received many ‘high-paw’ praises from both retail pet stores and consumers with the anticipated launch of its Meowijuana Munchies cat treat line; a protein rich, candy bar-like snack with no additives or preservatives and only three ingredients. “We are totally stoked about what Meowijuana will do for the pet industry as a whole, and we’re just getting started with a broader vision to establish greater relationships between cats and cat lovers.”, says Chris Glissman, the company’s Co-founder & CEO. Meowijuana is currently sold through independent retail pet stores, regional and nationally based distributor companies and nationwide online retailers Amazon and Chewy. Consumer customers can find a local retailer in their city via Meowijuana’s website. If your cat is a true catnip aficionado then they will love Meowijuana... catnip so good, it should be illegal. For more information on Meowijuana, visit • JUNE/JULY 2018



Meow Mall Shopping: Hundreds of “purr-fect” gifts for all cat-lovers.



he 82nd year of The Garden State Cat Club brings together everything to entertain and excite cat lovers from hundreds of cats ready for adoption to health and wellness demonstrations not to mention accessories and gifts all with a fun feline theme. Calling all cat lovers... come see over 300 CFA (Cat Fancy Association) Pedigree and Household cats be judged for beauty and personality... adopt one of the hundreds of shelter cats looking for a forever home... get a photo with a Cornish Rex wearing a thousand dollar evening gown... watch cats race around an agility obstacle course for time... or come learn the secrets to a healthy pet. Located at the NJ Convention and Expedition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave, Edison, on July 21-22, the show offers fun for all ages and interests. This year, the Garden State Cat Club, celebrates its 82nd year of giving back. Shelters, rescues and other feline organizations all over the tri state area benefit from proceeds and donations from our guests and sponsors. Our proud lead sponsor is 1TDC™.com, a company dedicated to creating products that solve both feline and canine oral health and joint/hip/mobility concerns. The club shares the passion with this wellness company to ensure a healthy and fun ownership of every cat. 1TDC Co-founders Olivier Morin and Mark Sever are committed to providing a serious solution for overall health that has been tested and documented to actually yield amazing results. Come meet them and see how they have put a unique “twist” on providing pet health and wellbeing.

their specialty products and giveaways. In addition to cat products, these vendors also offer art, jewelry, clothing, furniture, pottery and edibles for people. The GSCC is thrilled to have Steve Nyman back by popular demand!! A world-renowned caricaturist, Steve sketches memorable portraits from a phone image, a subject in his chair or a photo of a favorite pet.

And in case your healthy pet is in trouble, there’s Steve Ross, a certified pet CPR instructor, who will demonstrate, how to save your pet in emergency situations.

Our outstanding raffle table is jam packed with great items. Thanks to generous donors like Litter Robot, who has donated one of their fully automated self-cleaning litter boxes, and On2Pets who bring the joy of climbing trees to your indoor cat.

1TDC™.com, along with more than 50 specialty vendors, will be at the show both days to educate, entertain and excite guests with

For more information about the show – please visit www. •




KITTENS! KITTENS! KITTENS! By Kathleen O’Malley, Director of Education, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals

itten Season is upon us! For animal rescuers who do foster/adoption, that means dealing with kittens hands-on. For rescuers who do Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), it means racing against Nature to head off new litters while realizing that they may end up dealing with kittens anyway. The NYC Feral Cat Initiative (NYCFCI), a program of the nonprofit Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, has advice for anyone who wants to help kittens. Rescuers may come across young orphaned kittens who need to be taken in to be cared for and bottle-fed. Many TNR caretakers also trap and tame older feral kittens for adoption placement in indoor homes rather than release them back into their colonies after spay/ neuter. Removing kittens in this way as the adults in a colony are spayed/neutered and released can support the ultimate success of a TNR project and improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents, caretakers, and cats alike. While our first instinct is to want to help, taking in nursing kittens born outside to hand-rear is not a decision to be made lightly. It’s crucial to know whether they’re truly orphans, or if their mother simply is away for a few hours to feed herself. Mother’s milk provides kittens with immune system protection that can’t be replaced by formula. Taking unweaned kittens away from their mother may mean the difference between life and death for an individual kitten. In cases where very young kittens do need human care, bottle-feeding to the weaning stage takes a lot of time, dedication, and energy, and it can be devastating to the caretaker if kittens don’t make it. Rescuers can prepare themselves and avoid tragic mistakes by reading the NYCFCI’s guidelines on how to tell whether kittens found outside are truly orphans in need of your help, and how to give orphaned kittens the best chance to thrive. To read our full kitten care guidelines, and to sign up for a free in-person or live TNR Certification Workshop, visit the NYCFCI website at • 32 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Hundreds of dogs, cats & rabbits for adoption

All animals are spayed/neutered & vaccinated

Exciting events in 2018! SATURDAY, AUG. 4

Prospect Park, Brooklyn


Union Square Park, NYC

12PM-5PM - Rain or Shine! Learn emergency preparation tips for people with pets



Com e meet your match! For more information, visit

License Your Dog!



very Summer, jetsetters, tourists, & vacationers descend on the East End of Long Island with Southampton being a perennial hotspot. These days, people love to travel with their furry best friends instead of leaving pets with a sitter or boarding service. Luckily, Southampton has some of the best places for visitors and pets alike to enjoy themselves.

Southampton Inn A mere two-hour drive from New York City, the idyllic Southampton Inn is the perfect starting point for a food and wine staycation with friends, an engaging cultural retreat with your significant other, a fitness weekend with your sports club, or an invigorating nature escape with the whole family including your family pet. Pets are welcome (for an additional fee) in one of the Inn’s specially designated petfriendly guest rooms. With several acres of manicured lawns and gardens, the Southampton Inn gives pets the freedom to roam around enjoy the outdoors. Southampton Inn’s restaurant, Claude’s, is open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This popular dining spot offers outdoor seating, so your pooch or kitty may join you while enjoying one of Claude’s delectable dishes. For more information, visit

Union Cantina Union Cantina, the popular eatery and the Hamptons only authentic modern Mexican restaurant, designed by Southampton Social Club owners Ian Duke and David Hilty, sits in the iconic Bowden Square and is open all year-round for festive dining, live music, and A-list celebrations! Diners accompanied by their pet can enjoy Union Cantina’s spacious front lawn as well as the outdoor bar and café space open from Spring through the last warm days of Fall. Whether enjoying one of the many new dishes and cocktails for lunch and dinner, or indulging in the weekend brunch, Union Cantina has plenty of room for you and your extended family. For more information, visit 34 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


75 Main Under the management of Restaurateur Zach Erdem, 75 Main has been transformed into the Hamptons summer dining staple and a yearround hotspot. Erdem reinvented the Southampton eatery, combining the classic style of the Hamptons with the enticing elements of New York City nightlife. Located in the middle of Main Street in Southampton, diners can bring their pets to this fine dining establishment and enjoy a meal on 75 Main’s outside terrace without the worries of leaving furry friends behind. For more information, visit


Sotto Sopra Take a cultural journey to Sotto Sopra in Amagansett, NY where guests can find the traditional flavors of Northern Italy and succulent steaks and chops. The restaurant’s wood-burning oven freshly bakes breads, crispy Italian style pizza and whole roasted fish. Sotto Sopra has quickly become one of the most coveted restaurants on the East End, known for its frequent celebrity guests, relaxing atmosphere, exceptional service, and fresh, flavorful fare. Sotto Sopra’s open-space design creates an elegant and modern ambiance appealing to the East End social scene. Dine on the outside patio surrounded by a beautiful scenic garden where your pet can join you for an exceptional meal. For more information, visit • JUNE/JULY 2018





scaping the blistering heat of Summer with your four-legged friend in tow? We asked the experts to share their tips for the best ways to enjoy a road trip, a plane ride or train travel while keeping your pet’s wellbeing top of mind. When Summer arrives bringing blistering heat and a desperate need to chill, escape is on the agenda. Whether it’s on a short road trip to the beach, or jetting off to a coastal destination, or taking a long scenic train ride to a breezy beachfront property, we New Yorkers love to get out of the city and travel near and far during the summer months. But don’t feel like you have to leave your four-legged friend at home − taking your furry buddy on your trip with you can increase bonding and love between you and your pet, and make some fantastic memories along the way. One product we can’t leave the house without is the Walkie Bag from DOOG, a versatile and convenient (and also fun!) crossbody bag that you will want to take on any excursion with your beloved pet, long or short. Developed by Jamie and Jessica Knight, the Walkie Bag was created as a stylish yet practical way to manage the active lifestyle of their dogs. Large enough to hold all essentials but small enough to carry effortlessly, the bag features a water bottle holder, a purposely designed waste bags holder, and an inner waterproof sleeve to protect your precious valuables. Be sure to pick up yours at for a functional and fashionable way to carry all your essentials while traveling with your pet. The range of colors allows you to coordinate with whatever your fashion choice might be for a stroll, a hike or a ride. This Summer, take your pet when you travel, you’ll be glad you did when you have endless selfies of the two to look back on. As with every trip, it is important to travel safely and smoothly – and it is no different with your pet in tow, read on to learn what the pros say are essential precautions when traveling with your pet.


For all you road-trippers out there, one of the most important things to remember is to give enough ventilation for your dog in the car. Nicole Ellis, a certified dog trainer and pet expert from, reminds us that “in the summer, it’s critical that you’re conscious about your dog overheating. Cars can get hot in a hurry, so keep the windows down, the air conditioning on, or both. Never leave a dog unattended in a car, especially in the sun. And, make sure they have access to cold water, so they can remain hydrated.” She also suggests taking frequent breaks with your fur baby and letting everyone stretch their legs, and/or take a water/potty break. This is also a great time to run and play with your dog, that way, they’ll be more likely to sleep on the road. Safety is always a top priority when taking your pet in a car. That’s why we love the Deluxe Dog Car Seat from Improvements (www. This nice-looking dog booster seat (for dogs up to 18 pounds) will give your little guy an unobstructed view of the road, offering more sights to take in on your road trip. It comes in a rich faux suede with a removable plaid liner which allows for easy washing, and a safety leash to secure your pet comfortably. 36 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



The number one thing to do while taking your pet on a plane ride is plan, plan, plan! Do your homework and find out what the requirements are for bringing your fur baby with you on your flight. World leader in pet insurance Healthy Paws Pet Insurance ( advises, “Most airlines have guidelines for travelling safely with pets. These guidelines include vaccination requirements, health certificates, kennel requirements, date restrictions to fly to certain destinations (usually due to extreme temperatures), breed restrictions (short-nosed dogs cannot ride cargo), and special requirements for different countries, as well as for Hawaii, a rabies-free state, which can take up to 6 months to clear quarantine.” They also advise to do thorough research on which airlines to travel with, as not all airlines have the same track-record for safely transporting pets in the cargo department or even on rare occasion, in the cabin. Preparing by doing this will guarantee peace of mind on your flight. If your pet is feeling uneasy flying, put a shirt that you’ve been wearing for a day or two with your four-legged friend for comfort; they will feel immediately at ease. Avoid using calming pills or tranquilizers if possible, they tend to increase the chances of your pet getting off the plane being dehydrated and overheated, a risky situation if not remedied fast. Make sure to bring a water bottle and a portable bowl for your dog – this will make your traveling buddy a happy camper (um, flyer). We especially love the 3-in-1 water bottle from DOOG. Available in blue or red, this innovative water bottle features an ingeniously designed water bottle and dog bowl in one. A wrap with water-proof lining around the bottle keeps the contents cool. Unwrap the insulated neoprene wrap and it can be quickly converted into a bowl by simply snapping the corners together.


For those traveling by train, NYC rescue dogs Boogie and Marcelo and their mom, Candy Pilar Godoy, reminds us, “Be aware of pet rules before booking your tickets, and print out a copy or have a screenshot on your phone. Different companies have different rules, so never assume train regulations.” The two furry adventurers and their explorer mom have a pet travel blog ( where they share their countless travel adventures. Traveling with your four-legged friend is a lot of fun but finding dog-friendly places suitable for them can often be a challenge, especially when you are not local. That’s why we love the BarkHappy phone app (, available for both IOS and Android, this intuitive app is your best friend when it comes to finding dog-friendly places. Creator and founder Ninis Samuel tells us, “Our dog friendly map is full of information you can’t find anywhere else. We tell you for example if a restaurant has water bowls, treats, covered seating. For hotels we tell you the pet policy (which for many is very hard to find) or where the closest vet or dog park is. It really makes it easy to plan your travel with your dog in mind. But it also uniquely combines this with ways to make friends (for you and Fido or Fifi to share) and find activities like events you can go to together.” So whether traveling by plane, train or automobile this Summer, remember the most enjoyable journey with your four-legged friend will be the one that keeps them cool, comfortable and most of all, safe. • JUNE/JULY 2018





ogs 4 Paws® rides again this time Raising Some Hell-p for shelters and rescues across the country as Biker-Pet Parents raise money for local animal welfare organizations chosen by the World Dog Expo Rescue Honors Recipients. HOW IT ALL BEGAN


Ken rides a beautiful white Harley Street Glide®, and Tank is his Road Name. Tank is also president of the Dallas chapter of the Latin American Motorcycle Association (L.A.M.A.). L.A.M.A. was founded in 1977 in Chicago. In 1996, L.A.M.A. became a National Association, and in 1999 they became an International Association when chapters were formed in Puerto Rico, Mexico & Cuba. Today there are over 160 worldwide spanning the Americas, Asia, Europe and Australia. L.A.M.A. has evolved into an “International Humanist Association”, accepting working people from all walks of life, regardless of nationality, race, color, religion, social class, gender, age, brand of motorcycle, etc.

Having cut their teeth in Texas, Tank and Chris are Raising Some Hell-p for shelters and rescues across the country in 2018. Powered by great brands including KONG®, CedarCide®, Tito’s® Vodka and American Flat Track® Racing, Hogs 4 Paws® is producing and participating in six events in the first half of the year, most notably: • The Cinco de Mayo Texas Rescue Ride in May • The World Dog Expo New Jersey Rescue Ride in June

Ken (Tank) Morgan and Chris Ruben first met back in 1996 working on a pet behavior modification product line called Sticky Paws®. Chris sold the products, and Tank’s company still makes them to this day. Over the years Chris and Tank have collaborated on a number of business and charity projects, and have become close friends in the process.

In 2016, Tank decided to ride his Street Glide® to Orlando to attend the Global Pet Expo and to visit with the Orlando chapter of L.A.M.A. Upon arriving at the L.A.M.A. club house, Tank was greeted like Norm on Cheers by dozens of members. When they found out why he was in town, they all pulled out their phones to show off pictures of their beloved animals. After hearing Tank’s story, Chris suggested that L.A.M.A. Dallas do a benefit ride to help local animal shelters. Tank, his members, and American Eagle Harley-Davidson® loved the idea, and so Hogs 4 Paws® was born. 38 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Three months later the 1st Annual Hogs 4 Paws® Rescue Ride, with 50+ bikes, raised over $1,000 for R-PAL Low Cost Pet Food Bank. The riders had so much fun that they asked us to do it again the following year. Motivated by the positive feedback, Chris and Tank produced 2 rides in 2017: a Rescue Ride in May and a Vets & Pets Ride in October. Together these rides generated over $4,000.

In partnership with the Newark chapter of L.A.M.A. and Hannum’s Harley-Davidson® Rahway, the 1st Annual Hogs 4 Paws® World Dog Expo Rescue Ride promises to be a fantastic event for BikerPet-Parents within a 200 mile radius. Monies raised will go to local shelters and rescues chosen by the World Dog Expo Rescue Honors Recipients. So, whether you ride a BMW®, a Ducati®, a Honda®, an Indian® or a Slingshot®, please join Hogs 4 Paws® on June 9th for a ton of FUNd-rai$ing. To register to ride, go to or check Facebook events ( for details on this Hogs 4 Paws® ride starting at 9:00 a.m. on June 9 at Hannum’s Harley-Davidson of Rahway. •


HEDZ UP PETS By Todd Neikirk

ummer is here and it’s time to hit the pool, the lake, and the beach. What better partner to have with you in the water than your four-legged best friend? If your buddy accompanies you on your adventures, fun can’t be the only priority; safety is critical. SAFE SWIMMING FOR EVERY DOG

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes with all different levels of swimming skill. No matter how strong a swimmer your dog may be, don’t overestimate the length of time in the water that is right for them; be proactive with safety measures: Hedz Up Pets WatercollarTM makes a critical difference. More than 5,000 pets die of drowning each year. Avoid an accident and be sure your dog wears a flotation device. Although there are many different dog flotation devices on the market, the Watercollar’s smart design makes it the safest and most effective. Why? Because the Watercollar not only acts as a swim aid but also keeps the pet’s head above water even if they are not conscious.


Pets that have a pool at home or come along for a boat ride may jump in the water unexpectedly. Even though summertime is funtime, take precautions and keep your peace of mind. Make sure if you are anywhere near water, your pet is wearing Hedz Up Pets Watercollar. They perfectly fit dogs from 3 LBS to 200 LBS. Some Things in Life Are Far Too PRECIOUS To Leave To Chance - Your Dog’s Life is One Of Them. •



our dog loves their walks, we love to make them happy but fall a little short on LOVING the long stroll. Get over it! Walking your dog can change your life, let’s add to that-walking your dog can SAVE your life. Whether Central Park or a gorgeous Hampton’s Long Pond Greenbelt hike, the social and health benefits are wonderful (it’s also good for the dog.) Let’s Get Zen Walking your dog lowers your stress hormone cortisol (the stuff that causes anxiety) which is why you see so many people that have PTSD assigned dogs. Not only that but The American Heart Association has stated, “Pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with decreased [cardiovascular disease] risk. That includes a lower risk for stroke, a leading cause of disabling brain injury.”








You And Fido Want “Summer Bodies” People who walk their dogs get more exercise than those with a gym membership. On average, someone walking their dog spends 24 minutes average twice a day-a total of 5 hours and 38 minutes a week. That’s more than you’re spending pumping iron at Equinox and it’s free! Hiking three times a week can help the average person lose a pound every seven days. The weather is gorgeous now! Get out there and enjoy nature. If nothing else you and Fido (or Fifi) will get in shape while you bond together outdoors.

Let’s Make A Love Match! Are you having trouble meeting “that special someone?” Well, that’s probably because you’re not walking your dog. If you’re single and looking for a mate the there is no better app then getting off your app and walking your dog.

Make it easy. Imagine the bliss of a walk where there is no more struggling for poop bags stuffed in random pockets. No more missed puppypetting opportunities because your hands are full with water bottles or treats or whatever else you need to bring on a walk. There’s a new invention that solves all these issues, Dogipack ( the must-have accessory for dog parents, it’s a hands-free belt with everything you need to make outdoor-time with your dog easy. Put your cellphone on flashlight mode and slip it into the Dogipack for safe evening strolls! There’s no end to the enjoyment of having necessities and luxuries close at hand while you’re out and about having fun with your four-legged best friend.

Here’s some science, according to a study published by Psychology Today, dog lovers are more outgoing and lively. An easy group

You can find Dogipack easily in a range of fun, fashion colors at •



to strike up a friendly conversation with 82% of people would feel more comfortable introducing themselves to someone while walking their dog. Are you putting on your sneakers yet?



1:46 PM


Yoga with your dog equals Doga ©Doga By Fizkes



ake the dog out of the park and get into the swim of things with a surfing session or indoors or out. Try a meditative stretch with your furry friend aka Doga (Dog + Yoga). Sharing your favorite sports with your dog makes for a great bonding experience and a good time for all. After a long winter, dogs and owners alike just need to stretch their paws. Exercise does wonders for the body and soul, and dog owners know more than anyone the importance of an active lifestyle. Looking for fresh summer fun? Try a cool new workout with your pet. Doga and dog surfing take the dog out of the park and into unique, bonding experiences. Whether it takes place inside a Zen studio or upon crashing waves, these canine athletics up the ante on playtime. Tone your body and balance your spirit, with your pup! Doga is the contemporary solution to Eastern inspired dog workouts, bringing owners together with their dogs for a routine of meditation, massaging, and posing. Transitioning through the poses together increases flexibility, improves posture, and even promotes healthy sleep habits. Completing a Doga routine with your precious pooch is a connecting experience. All breeds can do Doga, as each pose is modifiable for weight and size. Check out You Tube for some helpful videos to get started. For coastal dogs, surfing may be the perfect fit for those exploring an active lifestyle. Perched upon a surfboard, dogs promote their balance while engaging their muscles; water sports thrill and delight canines. Dog surfing successfully takes the beach trip to a whole new level by immersing your pup in an oceanic experience. Surfing requires some training and practice, but this process will only bring you two together with a common goal. First, owners should introduce their dog to the waves through attempted body surfing before graduating to a board. Once comfortable with the nature of a wave and with their own balance, it is likely your pup will take the initiative and conquer a current. With repeated exposure to this thrill, your dog will be jumping with anticipation at the question, “Wanna go surfing?”

Dog Surfing By Epicstock

Competition finds its way into the world of dog surfing; annually, dogs and owners will gather on the beach for an animated day of nautical displays. With an enthusiastic crowd and passionate participants, seaside districts have been hosting these playful and ambitious events since the early 1900s. And the judging criteria? It’s all smiles! High energy and an expression of joy will likely land your pooch in the winners’ circle. In celebration of the Summer Solstice, try something new with those closest to you. Doga and dog surfing inspire a bond based on a shared fitness experience. The dog park isn’t going anywhere, but these unique athletics offer a necessary change of scenery for all. Winter makes an appearance every year so it is important to enjoy your time in the sun, with your pup in tow it’s all the more motivating and fulfilling. • JUNE/JULY 2018



Whitnye Kurlan and her dog Kousa helped by

A PIONEERING REMEDY TO HELP PETS IN NEED By Ruth J. Katz | Photos courtesy of

ales (tail, actually) of tribulation: Medically compromised companion animals avoid “economic euthanasia” thanks to a pioneering new crowdfunding site dedicated to helping pet parents who cannot afford the medical help their pet needs. Miss Muffett, a young, fluffy Persian cat, was born with a genetic flaw—ultra-narrow nostrils that make breathing laborious. Earlystage kidney failure is plaguing Guizmo, another kitty. Storm, a rescued pit bull needed a C-section, while Kousa, a coonhound, has numerous wounds that need to be dressed and treated. These are some of the tales (dare we say tails?) of tribulation that have befallen four companion animals who are featured on the Web site. “Waggle, you ask?” Waggle is a much-needed, pioneering crowdfunding source, dedicated to helping medically compromised pets regain good health. Launched in March, Waggle is arguably the first of its kind on the Internet. Its ultimate goal is to prevent what veterinarians refer to as “economic euthanasia”—a tragic outcome for many patients of veterinary practices. Waggle provides a hopeful and trusted solution for pet parents who cannot afford medical expenses for their companion animals. “Heartbreaking economic euthanasia is an unacceptable outcome for both the pet guardian and a pet in need,” notes founder and CEO, Steven Mornelli, a passionate animal lover and business executive who felt that there had to be a way to address this tragedy. “A half-million pets in the US are put down annually* for lack of financial resources,” he observes. So just how does Waggle wiggle, er, work? Referring veterinary practices (it doesn’t cost anything to become a member of the Waggle family) submit the pet to Waggle, along with necessary paperwork, describing the pet, the needed care, and the projected cost; owners verify that they are in need and also provide pictures—or even video (think of tugging heartstrings). Once submitted, Waggle posts the case on its Web site and public does the rest. Payments do not go to the individuals, but rather directly to the veterinary hospital, providing total transparency. Currently, the cap on care is $2,000, the “sweet spot” that Waggle’s board (mostly 42 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


vets) feels is appropriate as the site launches. Donors are assessed 8% of their contribution, a standard processing fee on crowdfunding Web sites, providing minimal operating expenses. Waggle was recently awarded a grant from Maddie’s Fund (, a not-for-profit dedicated to solving issues relating to animals’ well-being, and that grant will be used to match contributions. The first veterinary practice to sign on in Manhattan is City Veterinary Care, a very popular practice on the Upper West Side. “As veterinarians, we have long witnessed the sad reality that financial restraints can result in pain and suffering, and even the unnecessary euthanasia of the pets we treat,” observes Dr. Andrew Kaplan, the owner and a board-certified veterinary internal medicine specialist. “Waggle offers an innovative solution by connecting animals and pet parents in need with life-saving resources.” Mornelli explains that most crowdfunding platforms are for-profit, and well-known ones like Kickstarter and Pozible help incubate creative ideas; Crowdrise and JustGiving promote social causes; GoFundMe and Indiegogo underwrite just about anything. Waggle is structured as two legal entities: a for-profit B Corp (Waggle Care, Inc.), a new breed of business and a 501(c)3 (Waggle Foundation, Inc.), a not-for-profit organization. B Corps are dedicated to solving social and environmental issues; some examples of B Corps are Warby Parker, Ben & Jerry’s, and Patagonia. And like these three corporations, Waggle is aiming to do good in this world, giving needy animals that second chance— and as of this writing, Miss Muffett’s and Kousa’s cases have reached their goals…and with luck, these animals will have happily-everafter endings. • **According to an American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals study published in 2015 in the peer-reviewed Open Journal of Animal Sciences © 2018 Ruth J. Katz All Rights Reserved



n 1988 the trend of alternative pet care products was barely born. That’s when Whiskers Holistic Petcare opened their East Village location which has become, over the decades, a destination beloved by a community of pet owners who call, order online or text questions and requests for homeopathic medicine and healthy, natural food not only from the heart of New York City but from all corners of the world. With the wellness trend becoming progressively more mainstream, Whiskers may not stand alone but it does lead the pack. We sat down with owner, Randy Klein who with her husband Phil, started Whiskers out of a need for alternative treatment for their own dog to ask her how the pet world has evolved since she pioneered this holistic wellness destination for our four-legged friends. Here are a few of her observations…




To pet lovers, pets have always been “children” and part of the “family.” Pet lovers are not obsessed with their furry family any more than a new mother or father would be with the addition of a child. Do pets “replace” children in a home... definitely sometimes — kids who have grown up and out of the house can easily be replaced with a pet for parents. When a pet dies, the feeling of loss can be helped and eased with the addition of a new pet. We feel the heartbreak the owners go through.

Just ask the thousands of pets Whiskers has helped over the years.

It is a destination for pet owners from all corners of the world.

Yes, our business was the direct result of medical needs our own dog had at the time. We found alternative therapies as well as healthier choices and offered what we learned to our customers. We’ve helped thousands and thousands of pets in our 30 years here. Our adoption efforts evolved as the need for finding homeless cats became clear to us. We’ve found 100s of cats fur-ever homes.

The NYC store is our flagship store. NYC has a personality of its’ own. We opened our store in Astoria ten years ago and find it has a quieter, calmer feeling. However, our customers come from Ireland, Asia, Turkey and everywhere. We offer online shopping at and also have a new TEXT ORDER LINE (646-374-1907) where you can just text us. We offer consultations with our holistic advisors to help pet parents make the right choices. Our expertise comes from years of study and hands on experience. Just give us a call at 1-800-Whiskers, we’re here to help you with our humane, natural approach to pet care. •






et anxiety comes in many forms - general, separation, situational, and noise phobia, to name a few. Summer travel, celebrations and especially July 4th festivities and fireworks can be frightening to our animal companions and trigger anxiety even in cats and dogs that are normally chill. SIGNS OF ANXIETY

There are obvious signs to look for when a pet is suffering from anxiety, which include panting, whining, trembling, and hiding. Other signs may be less obvious and can be confused with other types of behavioral problems, such as excessive barking, repeated destructive behavior and showing aggression. Proactively working to prevent anxiety can help your pet and you from feeling stressed. Non-psychoactive phytocannabinoids have emerged as a very effective tool to help restore calm and balance in pets suffering from anxiety without them feeling sedated or altering their personalities. Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds present in all animals (except for insects) and in the plant genus cannabis, which includes hemp. When found in plants, cannabinoids are known as phytocannabinoids (phyto meaning plant). When found in animals, cannabinoids are referred to as endocannabinoids.


The endocannabinoid system assists in maintaining the physiological, neurological and immunological systems of the body. If there is a deficiency of endocannabinoid production, the system’s multiple receptors utilize the addition of phytocannabinoids to help create balance and provide support for relaxing, repairing or restoring. Naturally occurring phytocannabinoids are important for the overall health of dogs, cats, humans, rabbits, and all animals. Dogs are especially responsive to phytocannabinoids as they have the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies (even in their hair follicles) compared to other animals, including humans.


Treatibles, recognized as a leader in phytocannabinoid nutraceutical products for pets, offers a line of products that interact with a pet’s cannabinoid receptors to bring calm to an overactive nervous system. For those suffering from noise and situational onset, such as fireworks, providing an appropriate serving size 30 - 60 minutes before the stimulus can help cats and dogs (and all animals) avoid feeling anxious. This is an ideal approach to the Independence Day festivities. Born from a passion to help pets thrive, Treatibles was founded in 2013 on the values of compassionate care, superior ingredients sourced in the USA, consistent, reliable information and integrity. All Treatibles products are Compassion Certified™ and proudly made in the USA. The product line features phytocannabinoid rich (PCR) grain-free dog chews (available in a variety of sizes and flavors), PCR oil dropper bottles with MCT coconut oil (great internally and as a topical) and PCR oil gel caps. In addition to helping ease anxiety, phytocannabinoids can be very effective in promoting healthy joints and digestion, maintaining the body’s natural inflammatory response addressing discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea, seizures, end of life comfort, and more. To learn more about Treatibles, visit • Connect Socially: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: 44 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE




t was a ‘Wiz’ of a day! Doggy tails were wagging playfully, and human hands were clapping enthusiastically this Spring when dozens of pallets of WizSmart Super Absorbent Dog and Puppy Pads were delivered to animal shelters and rescue groups around the tri-state area. WHO GOT LUCKY?

Some of the lucky recipients of WizSmart’s generous donation included the Humane Society of New York, Anarchy Rescue & Rehabilitation, Animal Haven, North Shore Animal League America, Posh Pets Rescue, Zani’s Furry Friends, Paw it Forward Pet Pantry, and Rescue Dogs Rock.


“They delivered so many! “exclaimed Michael Ripinsky, who, along with Gisella McSweeny, runs the non-profit rescue group and animal shelter Zani’s Furry Friends, located in Central New Jersey. “It’s a great product, the dogs took to them right away. McSweeny added that they are lining their nursing moms and kittens’ cages with the pads. Rescue Dogs Rock NYC founders Jackie O’Sullivan and Stacey Silverstein. are planning to share the donated pads with not only their fosters, but with a few other organizations that they know could use them. “We are still ironing out how we want to do that. We believe in paying it forward, and sharing is caring. It takes a village in the rescue world.” RDRNYC is in Brooklyn. “Animal Haven is thrilled to receive doggy pads from WizSmart!” said Animal Haven’s Downtown Manhattan Shelter’s Executive Director Tiffany Lacey. “They are always in high demand because of the number of small dogs and puppies at the shelter. This donation is a huge help and allows us to put funds that would have been used for purchasing pads to other areas of our overall operation.”

A new convert to the luxury of WizSmart Pee Pads


WizSmart Super Absorbent Dog and Puppy Pads can absorb up to eight cups of liquid! The pads dry quickly, won’t leak, and they stay put — and thanks to a one-of-kind attractant formula, your dog will always know where to find them. WizSmart has found a way to transform more than 80 million unused baby diapers each year into a superabsorbent blend for its eco-friendly pads. Also, WizSmart uses a sustainable Eucapet fiber made from eucalyptus in their exclusive blend. Less waste for the landfills!


WizSmart is a part of Petix, a family-owned company that began a decade ago in Brazil. The pads were created by pet parents who were frustrated by dog pads that did a poor job of absorbing liquids, or that leaked and smelled. So they built a better pad that works for everyone — city dwellers, busy families, breeders, parents who are puppy training, dogs confined to indoor spaces, older dogs with incontinence, and more. They may be new to the U.S.A., but they’re the top pad in Brazil. “Creating a better pee pad, and saving the planet one pee pad per day is our mission,” said Krister Holm, General Manager of the Petix Co., North America. “We believe in giving back to the animals in need and are dedicated to supporting our community. WizSmart is a better choice for the pet parent, the pet and the planet... after all, no one likes wet paws!” Posh Pets jubiliantly accepting delivery of WizSmart Pee Pads.

For more information about WizSmart dog pads, visit • JUNE/JULY 2018




o you eat organic produce? Shop locally for pasture raised eggs and antibiotic free, grassfed meats? For most people, the answer is yes. Humans care now more than ever about what we put into our bodies, but what about our pets? Our four-legged friends can benefit from a consciously sourced, well-balanced meal just as much as we can. According to Certified Pet Nutrition Consultant Jodi Ziskin, M.S., who specializes in Holistic Nutrition, it’s also important to rotate meats and other ingredients. “Not only does variety help to cover a full spectrum of nutrients, it can help a pet avoid developing food intolerances,” she said. “Plus, who wants to eat the same thing day after day, month after month, year after year? Many of the companies creating home cooked food for pets have done an outstanding job meeting these needs.”


Luckily, with the rising popularity of human grade dog food, getting healthy meals for your pet is easier than ever. It’s a diet free from byproducts, rendered ingredients, fillers, artificial additives, and flavorings. Proper nutrition is a major factor in helping cats and dogs thrive, not just survive.


Co-founders Jonathan Regev and Brett Podolsky created The Farmer’s Dog after Podolsky’s Rottweiler, Jada, kept getting sick from store brands. Hoping to provide healthy, safe meals for other pet owners, they use only USDA human grade ingredients and vet-developed recipes. Have a picky dog? Not to worry! Each meal is customized for your furry friend based on individual profiles factoring in size, breed, activity level and eating habits of your dog. Select from three options: chicken, pork and beef to start serving your dog smarter, healthier meals.


Alison Blumberg and Hanna Mandelbaum started Evermore after realizing the difference a gently cooked, high quality meal can make in a dog’s life. Offering options of chicken, beef, lamb or turkey, Evermore cooks with the highest quality grass-fed and grain-free meats. Trust that your pups gets all of the nutrients they need to stay in tip top shape.



NomNomNow was founded in 2015 after co-founder Alex Jarrell’s dog began experiencing health problems. Unable to find high quality dog food in pet stores, Alex, along with Zach and Nate Phillips, decided to take matters into their own hands and with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist created recipes for highly nutritious human grade dog food with five fresh choices: beef, chicken, turkey, pork and egg & veggie. 46 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Alex Douzet, Gabby Slome and Randy Jimenez founded Ollie when Alex and Gabby realized their rescue dogs were gaining weight and there wasn’t a healthy alternative to processed kibble or canned food. Made with 98% natural, human-grade ingredients, you can choose between turkey, beef, chicken, or lamb-based meals. Ollie also offers custom meals based on your dog’s profile.


These companies get a thumbs up from Ziskin. “The foods from these companies are biologically appropriate. The body will naturally digest and assimilate the nutrients. The foods are pure.” •



on’t be surprised when your finicky canine friend starts begging for the Lord Jameson Dog Patisserie brand! Named the “Laduree of Dog Food” by Forbes Magazine, the makers of Lord Jameson Dog Patisserie are on a mission to elevate the bond between dogs and humans by creating a collection of premium treats that are not only beautiful in form but arouse the canine senses including sight, scent and taste. The company is committed to providing the best culinary experience for your beloved dog, and their products are free of gluten, corn, soy, dairy, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and GMO ingredients. “We are excited to debut our organic dog treat collection and new package design, are excited about finding retail partners to advance our mission,“ said Sarah Schleider Goldberger, founder of Lord Jameson Dog Patisserie. “By treating dogs to a fancy yet healthy experience, and by donating proceeds to support service and therapy dog organizations, we seek to serve the unspoken loyalty that dogs devote to humans throughout the world.”

perfect balance of flavor to treat your dog! The Lord Jameson Dog Patisserie core collection consists of five unique flavors: Blue Bliss, Coco Crush, Savory Sweet, and Berry Best, along with the newest flavor Birthday Bash.

Lord Jameson treats are made in the U.S.A. and use the highest quality organic ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, glutenfree grains, and nuts. Each treat is packed with nutrients, vitamins and super foods and hand-rolled in organic coconut shreds – the

Lord Jameson was named in honor of the company’s Brand Ambassador, Jameson, a certified therapy dog in New York City. For more information visit or call 985-805-6735. •



fter the endless winter we had here in New York, the city is more than ready for summer to show up! The warm weather invites more outdoor activities with your dog, so we asked Oksana Vintonyak the owner of The Bonehouse, the holistic lifestyle destination for pets on Sutton Place, for some helpful tips to keep your pup cool and collected—and secure as the temperature heats up. STAY COOL

Some like it hot: But most dogs don’t. Your pet’s paws are sensitive, especially on paved walkways. Test surfaces to see if they are tolerable. Place the back of your hand onto the sidewalk or street. If you can’t hold it there for five seconds or less, it’s too hot for a walk. Make sure to have a collapsible water bowl with you and be near shady spots for a break. Bring along a frozen treat or chilled toy; it will help them cool down. Oksana reminds us that just like people, dogs can get sunburned too. She recommends protecting them with Epi-Pet sunscreen.

For water safety, try Ruffwear’s Float Coat for dogs


Are we there yet? (plane and car travel): Until you arrive at your destination, it’s best to keep your pet in their carrier. In the car, a good car seat is key. PupSaver makes the only crash test approved car seat, a favorite of the clientele who frequent The Bonehouse, New York’s holistic pet lifestyle destination. Oksana reminds us that strapping your dog in is essential to guarantee a safe ride. Talk to your pet while you drive to soothe nerves and create a positive vibe. NEVER Don’t overlook Summer sun leave your pet unattended for any amount protection for your pet. of time in the car. Cars heat up very quickly.

Oksana, owner of The Bonehouse, NYC’s holistic pet lifestyle destination with the best toys, treats and more for Summertime fun. Free delivery to the Hamptons. ©Geoff Tischman



Vacation, all I ever wanted: Once you arrive, it is important to make sure there are no toxic items within reach. Bring or pick up your own natural cleaning supplies, Skouts Honor is a must for Bonehouse clients heading away for Summer homes out East.


Surprisingly, not all dogs can swim, so if you’re planning on boating, chilling poolside, or breaking out your surfboard, try a solid flotation vest, Ruffwear makes a good one. Do not assume your dog can swim or that your dog is smart enough to stay out of the pool much less the ocean (you can be proactive and use the Hedz UP Pets Watercollar even if you’re just walking near the waves.) Motion detectors work IF you are home but if not, beware. To keep your dog fresh after a swim, use a deodorizing shampoo, Oksana suggests Burt’s Bees with Apple and Rosemary. No one wants a stinky dog in a fresh vacation space. If washing your dog is just not an option, try Opie and Dixie’s Organic Rosehips Dry Shampoo it detangles and conditions without water.


Pets like summer as much as their parents do, and it’s the perfect season to get outside and bond. If you travel, no matter how you get there, bringing your four-legged family member can make your vacation one to remember. With thorough preparation and planning, you can turn June to September this year into a summer of love! • JUNE/JULY 2018



Reprinted courtesy of The Holistic Dog: Inside The Canine Mind, Body, Spirit, Space by permission from Skyhorse/Helios

et Lifestyles asked Laura Benko, author of The Holistic Dog, to help us understand what to consider before bringing home a rescue dog. Founder of The Holistic Home Company, her progressive lifestyle approach invites us to consider every aspect of living naturally with our pets. ADOPTION TIPS A few relevant considerations to keep in mind before adopting a dog from author of The Holistic Dog Laura Benko: · Always ask how the dog ended up in the shelter. · Does he or she have any special needs? · Does the dog get along with other dogs? · Does the dog get along with other pets? · Is the dog housebroken? · Does the dog get along with children? · Ask to take the dog for a walk. It’s a good way of getting to know their demeanor and if they need more training.

AN INVITATION FROM PET LIFESTYLES We’re sharing some of the cutest pups available from shelters in the New York area. Take a look and think about bringing one home to love and cherish. Remember rescue don’t buy! And don’t forget to join us on July 14th for Broadway Barks in Shubert Alley. For more about this annual star-studded dog and cat adoption event, ABOUT THE AUTHOR The Holistic Dog: Inside The Canine Mind, Body, Spirit, Space by Laura Benko delves into into dogs’ worlds holistically through their mind, body, spirit, and space, delivering a thorough understanding of our canine friends. From pug to greyhound, purebred to winning mix, these dogs jump off the pages of The Holistic Dog and into our laps, warming our hearts with their charming stories by Benko and photographs by Susan Fisher Plotner, inviting us into their spaces, and introducing us to the trajectory of holistic pet care.


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The death-defying tale of the world’s first female tiger trainer, Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer premiered in New York earlier this season at a private screening at The Museum of Modern Art after a star-studded opening in Los Angeles. The empowering story of Mabel Stark, an outcast who was rejected by her family, escaped poverty and abuse in rural Kentucky, and ultimately found her true passion in the eyes of a tiger is vibrantly told in Leslie Zemeckis’ feature length documentary narrated by Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo. Susan Rockefeller hosted the New York premiere of this exceptional film, a poignant, powerful story brought to life authentically, passionately, painfully, and truthfully. On DVD and streaming platforms (Amazon and Vimeo) in time for Summer viewing; pair with popcorn for a memorable night under the big top. For more insights,


From performing dangerous feats as a stunt double for Mae West during Hollywood’s Golden Age, to working in the circus as a sexy blonde cooch dancer, it wasn’t until Stark locked eyes with a 400lb tiger that she found her true calling. In that instant she knew that she wanted to train the big cats, a skill reserved exclusively for men, and something she was told no woman could ever do. Circumventing the chauvinism of her time, Stark clawed her way up the circus hierarchy. Before long she was a superstar in the steel arena, one of the most famous and highly regarded tiger trainers in the world.

Leslie Zemeckis AwardWinning Creator of Mabel, Mabel Tiger Trainer the extraordinary new film about this superstar of the steel arena


“When I first started researching Mabel Stark I thought it was going to be a story about courage,” explains the film’s passionate creator, Leslie Zemeckis. “I discovered however, that her story was really a love story. She loved her tigers so much she would give her life for them.” Stark’s rise to stardom was not without sacrifices, and after multiple failed marriages she increasingly took solace in the company of her cats. Using only positive reinforcement, she continued training the exotic “stripes,” and during her thirtyyear career at Jungleland in Thousand Oaks, she transformed the suburban theme park into a world-famous Southern California attraction. Although her body was broken and scarred from numerous attacks by her beloved tigers, it was the scars from her childhood that never healed.


As a historian of American pop culture, Zemeckis continues bringing to life the stories of marginalized women. She wrote, produced, and directed the critically acclaimed documentary “Behind the Burly Q,” a Showtime documentary revealing neverbefore told stories of women from the golden age of burlesque, and her most recent hit, the award-winning documentary “Bound by Flesh” about Siamese superstars Daisy and Violet Hilton, chronicles an important part of American entertainment from a bygone era, delving into the world of circus and carnival life in the early part of the 20th Century. Authentic, compelling, powerful, entertaining, and even heartbreaking Mabel, Mabel, Tiger Trainer is not to be missed. •

Mabel Stark & Mae West




SHOW DOGS the new movie with Will Arnett


ith all the superhero movies thundering into cineplexes these days, it seems difficult to find family-friendly films that forego fire, fury and fighting for laughs and fun. Summer blockbusters are generally geared towards tweens and Millennials; it can be hard to find something for the kids. Luckily, director Raja Gosnell’s “Show Dogs” has thrown its collar into the ring and wins Best In Show for kids and parents alike. A riotous script and slick comic performances puts it at the top of the must-see list for families this summer. WAG THE DOG

Frothy and hilarious, “Show Dogs” follows Rottweiler and police dog Max (voiced by rapper Ludacris) and his human cop partner Frank (played by Will Arnett). They team up to try to rescue a baby panda named Ling-Li, who, based on insider info provided by Max’s dog informants, is being held in Las Vegas. Traveling to Las Vegas they end up in quite the waggish predicament: Pretending to be in a dog show is the only way to find Ling-Li. Max, not exactly a precious pooch, finds himself learning to master the disguise of a pedigreed entry in the elite competition and Frank becomes his “trainer.” They immerse themselves in the world of the Canini Invitational dog show. And it’s a crazy world, too, full of posing, primping, prancing and judging, where Max has to conquer his dog-out-of-water situation and solve the case!


Along the way to solving Ling-Li’s kidnapping, they encounter lots of doggy friends, including a pampered Papillion (the amazing Stanley Tucci), a beautiful Australian Shepherd (a smooth-voiced Jordin Sparks), and other funny actors like Gabriel Iglasias. Iglasias provides laughs as Sprinkles, a pug who has a problem with… well, you can guess the joke there. A trio of pigeons even joins in on the shenanigans. Add RuPaul as a four-legged fashion expert and Shaquille O’Neal (as a Zen-filled Komondor) to the pack, and it’s simply sidesplitting. Human actors

include Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black) as Mattie, Mexican actor Omar Chaparro (How To Be A Latin Lover), and Andy Beckwith (Game of Thrones). For young viewers, “Show Dogs” is sure to become a canine classic, and parents will glad to be along for the ride, watching their kids crack up at the silliness. It combines lots of sight gags, physical comedy, and lessons about friendship, and isn’t afraid to laugh at itself. Plus, who can resist talking dogs?!!? The special effects to move their mouths and their excellent training are amazing to see.


Visiting “Show Dogs” at the Cineplex this weekend will give your family a nice break from panthers, hulks, and dead pools. It is highly enjoyable, especially for the little ones. And, let’s be honest, it’s pretty pawesome to spend your day with your kids, a streetwise Rottweiler, a sprinkling pug and an adorable (albeit haughty) Yorkie. “Show Dogs” is in theatres now. It is directed by Raja Gosnell and written by Max Botkin and Marc Hyman. It is distributed by Global Road Entertainment. Dean Eleanor is a freelance writer who hails from the Chicago area and now lives in New York City. She loves animals of all shapes and sizes. She can be reached at • JUNE/JULY 2018





ntroducing a humorous exploration of Man’s Fur-ocious Devotion to Dogs: The “bones” of Dogtology: Its definition, its roots, and—OK, I’ll just say it—its dog-ma. The Belief in Dog Every human believes in something. Some believe in a “supreme being.” Others believe in the supremacy of science. Some believe in creationism, others in evolution. Still others believe in nothing whatsoever. (These tend to be the most ardent believers of all.) Many of humankind’s deepest beliefs have evolved into systems of thought and national institutions. For example, hockey is the unofficial religion of Canada. Some beliefs are held only temporarily, such as belief in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or jobs with pension plans. Other beliefs can last a lifetime, such as the belief that bacteria observe a five-second grace period before jumping onto a nacho chip dropped on the floor. Some belief systems—be they political, social, or spiritual—have popular names and are openly embraced by billions of human beings around the world. Then there are beliefs that are practiced with unwavering devotion, even though their followers may be completely unaware they are practicing an official faith. Dogtology is one such faith. In fact, it’s one of the most practiced beliefs on the planet and has been gathering momentum ever since the first canines came sniffing around the first human caves looking for fresh scraps and bones. And now, at last, Man’s longstanding, fanatical devotion to Dog has an official name: Dogtology.

So what, exactly, is Dogtology? Although a love of dogs is a base requirement of all card-carrying Dogtologists, the system of belief is more than just that. Dogtology is a belief that recognizes Dog as a genuinely elevated being. Dogtologists aren’t just fond of dogs, they exalt them (“worship” is too strong a word... but not by much!). If you are a Dogtologist, here are just a few symptoms of your belief system: you relentlessly email dog photos, dog-toons, dog videos, and dog PowerPoint slideshows to everyone on your contacts list, regardless of the thundering silence you receive in response. You give birthday and holiday gifts to and from your dog— and you wrap them. You send only greeting cards with pictures of dogs on them with phrases like “Muzzle Tov!” or “Happy Barktism!” or “Happy Bark Mitzvah!” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In short, if future archaeologists were to dig up your home and catalog its contents, they would conclude, without hesitation, that Dog was your central object of religious devotion. The veritable shrines humans build to their dogs—in their homes, around their communities, and in the media—are proof positive that Dogtology is indeed a bone-a-fide belief system that stands proudly alongside all the other great isms and ologies of the world. Dogtology, as understood by practicing Dogtologists, can be defined as: The unconditional, loving belief in Dog as a superior being and, in many ways, Man’s savior. Chew on that for a while. • 52 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



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