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Vol. 1 #3 | September 2018









P L U S : S TA R S & T H E I R P E T S - S A M I G AY L E … W I L L E S T E S … O R F E H


Pet Identification Myth #2 “My Pet Has A Chip”

Yes, Microchips are a great way to identify your pet, but require a trip to a vet or shelter. They should NEVER be the only identification your pet has. PET TRAKR ID tags are readable by the people that matter most when your pet is found. The people who find them.

Quick Response Geotracking Tags For Your Pet Many Styles Available

6 10 11 12 14

Donnie Wahlberg Will Estes Sami Gayle Orfeh The Chews

PET FASHION 15 Double Dutch Dog Harnesses

PET FUN 16 18 19 20 22 24 26

Dog Pawties Reme’s Oggi Pets Doggie Daycare Cats At Play Tailgating With Your Pet Kitten Showers Algonquin Cat Show Strut Your Mutt

PET LIFESTYLES 28 The Dogs of Camelot 29 ViaGen The Leader in Pet Cloning 30 Furrever Pet Furniture

PET TECH 32 Best New Pet Apps

PET RESCUE 34 Adopting Skittish Kittens 36 Global Strays

PET WELLNESS (877) 780-5371

38 40 42 44

Home Alone: Your Dog Without You Fegnion Feline Rare Nutrition Lonely Felines The Animal Communicator

Want an easy and fun way to save the lives of homeless pets right here in New York City? Join us for Strut Your Mutt, the annual dog walk and fun festival for people of all ages and their canine companions. When you register, just select a participating local animal welfare group and we’ll help you raise money to support their efforts, or you can choose to raise money for the animals of Best Friends. Ready to start saving lives? Step up today!

October 6 Hudson River Park, Pier 84, New York City

Register today at Thanks to our national sponsors:



ISSN 2474-770X

Editor in Chief Lori Zelenko with her dogs Bikini and Annabelle. ©Geoff Tischman

Vol. 1 #3 | September 2018 President / Publisher BILL MASON Photographer Editor in Chief Geoff Tischman Lori Simmons Zelenko Videographer David Katzive Editor at Large Beth Stern Features Adrianne Frost Art Director Alyssa Huckleberry Eric Duncan Crystal C. Long Todd Neikirk Marketing Coordinator Maggie Finney Judith Moskowitz Jaclyn Waller


Contributing Writers Arielle Bennett Joan Lownds Eric Dougherty, DVM Margaret Reed Arnold Plotnick, DVM Tom Shelby

“I believe in love... something even non-believers can believe in…”* With that thought the theme of this issue crystallized. Fall, a time of contemplation and change, is arriving as the happy, lazy days of Summer fade away. It’s a good time to reflect on how much we cherish the pets who brighten our lives every day. Donnie Wahlberg may be a tough cop on his hit CBS-TV show, Blue Bloods, but he’s a kind, loving dog owner. He considers his French Bulldog Lumpy his “right hand man.” He speaks of his constant companion like a proud parent appreciating, admiring his good buddy’s devotion. His fellow Blue Bloods cast members, Sami Gayle and Will Estes, tell their stories too, revealing how deep their affection is for their dogs, truly members of the family. Orfeh from the Broadway hit, Pretty Woman (the new musical based on the film) may only have dogs now but once a cat lady always a cat lady. Since we’re talking movies, remember the famous line from Love Story, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”? When we head out and leave our pets at home, it’s not an apology they’re looking for. They feel the loss of our presence so keenly they get separation anxiety... and destruction results. How to avoid this? We asked a top dog trainer and one of New York’s favorite cat veterinarians for their advice.

Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Brett Caldwell - Director of Integrated Sales and Marketing Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim Internet Presence Scott Cuollo, Richard Austin Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group New York Sales Office Editorial/Sales Fax (646) 259-2651 (212) 202-4888 For subscriptions, address changes or back issues, call: (646) 259-2651

It’s my pawty and I’ll play if I want to... Get inspired to DIY Dog Pawties and Kitten Showers. But for the animals in desperate need in impoverished countries, celebration comes with fresh water, shelter, and food, thanks to the work Elizabeth Shafiroff does with Global Strays. Facebook: /petlifestylesmag Twitter: @petlifestylesny Instagram: @petlifestylesmag

Read on then for stories about lucky dogs and fabulous felines and even if you’re a non-believer, believe that the love they give sustains us all.

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 then with a woof and a purr...

-Lori Zelenko

Editor in Chief (* from Alfie’s theme by Burt Bachrach and Hal David, the 1966 movie with Michael Caine)



Cover Photo by Jenny McCarthy

©2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc.



verybody loves Donnie. And I mean everybody. From the over 40s who loved him in his, as Shakespeare puts it, “salad days,” as a teen-aged member of New Kids On The Block, the 80s boy band that’s stood the test of time (80 Million+ records sold are testimony to that claim) to newer recruits who’ve just discovered the NKOTB tunes. Add to the list, those who’ve grown to love him as salt-of-the-earth detective Danny Reagan on CBS-TV’s Blue Bloods over the past eight years. There’s probably not a guy who didn’t groove on his badass attitude then in NKOTB or who doesn’t see something of this edge in Danny Reagan today. And there’s probably not too many girls who didn’t crave a kiss from this lovable bad boy back in the day. These days kindness and understanding rule his world, he speaks of the loves of his life with joy and advocates listening, communicating with all creatures great and small, meaning people and animals too. Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the eighth of nine kids he grew up with a band of brothers and what do boys want? Dogs. So his family was always taking in strays. These days, since Blue Bloods started in the Summer of 2010, his constant companion is Lumpy, a French bulldog he calls his right-hand man.

SO HAPPY TOGETHER Donnie and Lumpy travel through life together, accompanied by Jenny McCarthy, Donnie’s wife since 2014 whom he calls “the perfect mate” and their two teacup Shih-Tzus, Gunner and DJ. Busy defines Donnie, between shooting Blue Bloods in Brooklyn, touring and making music with NKOTB, his schedule is packed. As if it weren’t full enough, add to that the family business and accompanying reality show, A&E’s Wahlburgers which tapes on his only days off. Throw in walking the dog too, and you’ve got a schedule that would overload the average guy. But even though he radiates everyman approachability, he’s intensely focused, passionately dedicated to family and madly in love with his wife, comedian, actress, host (formerly of The View), best-selling author and influential activist. He’s known too for helping out those who are on his team in life, rewarding loyalty with generosity. 6 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


His perfect teammate, Lumpy however is with him just about everywhere. They have been just about inseparable for the past eight years since his son Elijah insisted Donnie get a dog. “Elijah had been with me for the Summer and he was heading back to school soon. He knew I’d be lonely when he left, so he said ‘Dad, you need a dog.’ He literally did Dogs 101 on You Tube until he found the right dog for me. He did the research and came up with what he felt was the right match: A French Bulldog.” Finding one to rescue wasn’t easy. They looked high and low, calling breeders for retired Frenchies or scouting rescue groups in hopes of finding an owner surrender, but disappointed after a thorough search they were nearly ready to give up when friends in Boston realized they could not keep their puppy. And so Donnie and Elijah went to Boston to take a look at the dog. Donnie’s first response, “He just looks like a lump!” And Elijah’s answer, “That’s it Dad, we’ll call him Lumpy.” And so the little creature, the baby lump of six months came into Donnie’s life eight years ago. The name stuck and the two are stuck on each other.

PROUD PAPA Holding Lumpy for the first time, Donnie was awed. With three boys between them, Donnie and Jenny felt the time for a human baby had passed. But that didn’t rule out fur babies. Lumpy soon had siblings, Gunner and DJ (for Donnie and Jenny) tea cup ShihTzus. DJ, Donnie says is like his daughter, precious, tiny and with Gunner, requiring great mindfulness. But together they are entertaining, climbing all over Donnie and Jennie in the mornings, protecting their treasures from their big brother, Lumpy, just generally being adorably funny. But a watchful eye on these two is critical as Donnie says, “a hawk could eat them in a heartbeat.” Lumpy was a bit dubious at first but now they all get along, napping together curled up in a ball on a beanbag chair while Donnie and Jenny work out. One sweet vision, Donnie says like a proud papa. For DJ and Gunner life at home is bliss, except when Lumpy comes hunting for the Greenies they’ve buried on the bed - their favorite place to be. Lumpy’s generally well-mannered, he won’t just jump on the bed. He quietly waits for an offer to come on up. DJ loves Lumpy and Lumpy, well, he’s getting used to the affection. She licks the folds on his face, caring for him. Donnie speaking of his fur children, says Lumpy secretly loves it though he seems to say “Oh, come on!” maybe just a little impatiently. Mark and Donnie celebrate Lumpy’s Birthday

Bringing down the law on hardened criminals not an easy job but Danny Reagan there to do it on CBS-TV’s Blue Bloods.

ONE DOG THAT’S A COOL CAT Lumpy however is no homebody, although he does love to chill on the porch and sunbathe. Donnie’s given up on getting his stubborn buddy to come inside on his human timeline, there’s no coercing Lumpy to move if he has another agenda. Sunbathing, Donnie says, is a newly discovered way for Lumpy to relax so taking a cue from his BFF, Donnie settles in for a siesta on the porch until Lumpy decides it is time to retreat from the sun’s warming rays. This dog is so cool, says Donnie, he just gets it. When he comes on the set of Blue Bloods, i.e. “work,” he knows who to hustle for treats and who will play with him endlessly. One quick scan and he’s got it nailed. Just like when he is in the recording studio, Lumpy heads for the console and settles in for a nap right under the focal point of the room. Lumpy’s not musical but like another member of the band, he makes the rounds: Checking in with the drum tech, posing for fans. Arenas are his special place to be, he loves being on stage. A natural born star? Yes agrees Donnie but cautions, he’s humble. According to Donnie, Lumpy flies private, he flies commercial too (like Donnie says he’s humble.) He travels everywhere with Donnie just as Gunner and DJ travel everywhere with Jenny. Lumpy’s surprisingly not jaded even though he’s got the layout of the Red Sox locker room down pat, and of course, he’s a regular at the Celtics games too so he knows his favorite team’s locker room inside and out. “Me and Lumpy, we’re all Boston all the way!” But anyone who loves Donnie and it seems like a large percentage of the world does, knows how crazy he is for Boston’s teams. SEPTEMBER 2018


STRAY MEMORIES Lumpy is far from Donnie’s first dog. “Growing up we always took in strays,” he recalls warming up to the topic as favorite companions come to mind. “I had a German Shepherd growing up called Lightning. But the dog that was the best was Scooter - a golden retriever mix - he looked like Old Yeller - in fact, he was my Old Yeller. He was the first pet who went everywhere with me. When I was in 7th Grade, my mom and dad split up. So I’d take the subway to my Dad’s house and every Friday at 3:30 pm the dog would go crazy. So my dad would open the door and the dog would run a ¼ mile to greet me. He was such a good buddy. Have some great memories of Scooter. I was lying in the street with a compound fracture in my ankle and all I could think about was get Scooter home safe, don’t let him get hit by a car too.” Memories are important to Donnie and he has great ones of Lumpy too. The moment he first held the puppy just a few months old, “he was this little life in my hands. Little but a big responsibility. It took me a minute and I felt the responsibility keenly but I took him on, I cared for him carrying him when he was too little to go down the stairs, training him, nurturing him, I felt well, like a parent.” So many great times shared together; in reminiscing, Donnie faces the realization that eight years have flown by. What were the milestones? “The way the kids love how he greets them. The first time I took him home to meet my wife. Sharing the first snowstorm.” Dogs never do last long enough but there’s no need for sadness or disappointment now. Says Donnie, “I can’t look at him like an old man.” There is room though for the best times ever with this perfect pup at their vacation home in Massachusetts that is Lumpy and his family’s favorite place to be. Lumpy has a ball, playing in the surf, running, chasing, wearing himself out, finding joy and peace in total exhaustion. Lumpy on the loose answers to Lumpy mostly, though since arriving he has acquired about ten other names. One in particular came from Donnie’s uncle, a formal gentleman of few words who spent a week with Lumpy quietly at his feet while he read The New York Times. On departing, he grandly proclaimed “that dog should be called Frances.” So Donnie humorously has dubbed the dog Frances Von Lumpy.

A somber moment for Danny Reagan on Blue Bloods. New season starts this Fall on CBS-TV.

WAHLBURGERS FOR ALL….EXCEPT LUMPY No Wahlburgers for Lumpy. Apparently, we hear he’s not a ground beef kind of guy. Donnie lets us know that Lumpy eats organic food and he and Jenny do cook for him. Chicken and rice with carrots Lumpy loves, especially soothing for this gallivanting Frenchie. Talking about the A&E reality show with his brother’s Mark and Paul, Donnie admits there are challenges, “Wahlburgers shoots on my only time off from NKOTB and Blue Bloods so I am often a little tired, maybe not so patient. But it’s easy and it is real. This year we let the viewers behind the curtain and shared more of our business dynamic, it’s more personal in some ways to show the business side of our lives. It’s family stuff, we all work together so it’s intense.” You could say it’s a parallel to Blue Bloods, the characters argue as families do, they have fundamental differences and opposing points of view but there is still the bond of love to hold them together. 8 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Donnie and Lumpy

NO SHARK TO JUMP So the question everyone who loves Donnie has to ask will the Reagans get a dog? So what’s the answer? “Some of the producers were thinking yes early on,” he says. “But then there was the point of view that getting a dog was like saying the show needed a boost. Jumping the shark. On The Brady Bunch they got a dog during the final stages of the show so that’s just something that at the end of the day, the producers opted not to do.”

Donnie with his New Kids on the Block bandmates, on their annual cruise. ©Brian Babineau

So why does Blue Bloods continue to captivate? Donnie Wahlberg explains it all, “back in the 70s and 80s the family element was big on TV. So many shows were about families, remember The Brady Bunch, Full House, The Waltons…But in the 90s this theme became uncool. Blue Bloods is a throwback you could say, it reinvents a category that was seen as boring on TV.” Blue Bloods is a look at a traditional family, one Donnie says reminds him of his own life. If you come from a big family you will recognize the dynamic. If not, you’ll live vicariously through the Reagans and be part of that big family you never had.” Maybe you’d never guess it, but for Donnie, family is a sweet spot. Ripped dad bod or not (watch the NKOTB Thankful video for a closer look at the abs and the loving families that ground the band), he is all about connecting and communicating with the people and the pets that make a difference in his life. “Listening,” he says, “is communicating.” And as for Danny Reagan, well, he’s healing after losing Linda, his wife on the show. He’s grown a lot in the eight years on Blue Bloods and he’ll grow in different ways this season. His son will head off to college. And it seems that without the support systems he’s depended on, he’ll have to adjust, or as Donnie puts it, “just be more diplomatic.” Detective Danny Reagan ready for action on Blue Bloods. This Fall on CBS-TV.

NKOTB STANDING THE TEST OF TIME Thirty years is a lifetime. Imagine starting out as a boy band, manufactured, micro-managed, over-merchandised, packaged so completely that controlling your own destiny was nearly unimaginable. Then after breaking up, getting the band back together fifteen years later (2008), self-financing a rebirth that’s still leading to hit videos and chart-climbing pop tunes, if that’s not a one in a million success story I don’t know what is. NKOTB defies the odds to be true to their fans, to themselves, to their music. The bond with those who love them is unbreakable. Like their hit song, #3 on the charts from their second album in 1988 but still rockin’ today, NKOTB and naturally Donnie has “You Got It (The Right Stuff).” For Donnie, performing in NKOTB is not about “putting across an expression of our art. Rather it’s about reaching the community the fans represent, showing them how NKOTB listens to them and respects them and is there to give them what they want.” Massive success in the music biz for Donnie is “not waking up every day and saying hey, I’ve made it, I’m #1 on the Billboard charts. The music biz evolves constantly, nothing stays the same. That’s why you can’t fight to stay in control of everything. Control what you can control and let the rest take care of itself.” No wonder everybody loves Donnie. •




Will Estes in Blue Bloods CBS TV


confess, I think maybe I have a secret crush on Jamie on Blue Bloods. How can anyone resist his integrity, his compassion and his dedication to his family and the career that comes with being one of the Reagans, in his case choosing to be a beat cop. Jamie seems like a good guy, the kind of guy who’d be kind to animals and any vulnerable living creature. A MAN AND HIS DOG Will Estes’ beloved Lola Will Estes aka Jamie on Blue Bloods may not have forgone law school to patrol our city’s streets but this LA-born actor (who has even been in a Jon Bon Jovi music video) is no less passionate than Jamie about doing the right thing. In Will’s case, it’s not enforcing law and order but saving the planet (Mars is just a dream away so why trash planet earth?) and the living creatures on it. And dogs are a top priority, just look at his tweets for Best Friends. He admits to “a kinship” with all animals.

with all her toys.

Will loved his dog Lola, a mini-pit he called her, 39 pounds of non-stop energy, a dog who was ready to fight or play at one sniff of another fourlegged compatriot. He found her at a time when he had room in his life for a dog. And where did he find her? In sick bay at the roughest shelter in NYC, ACC in Harlem maybe an hour before she would have been put down. “Rescuing Lola was an emotional moment for me. Profound,” he shares from his grieving heart. Going on to add, “They find us you know. It’s not the other way around.” Can’t help but agree; dogs somehow pick their owners, especially rescue dogs whose lives are ones of desperation, they sense who will have compassion and who they want to go home with.


It’s a funny thing then that of all shows, Will got his start on the New Lassie series. How did he beat out 700 other kids? He got the part he says because “most of the other boys auditioning were afraid of dogs and since I knew dogs so well and been around them so long, it was a natural for me.” Lola and Will had nine great years together, he brought her to work - there are lots of dogs on the Blue Bloods set from Lumpy (Donnie Wahlberg’s Frenchie) to Sami Gayle’s four-pound Yorkie, Lic (short for Licorice). He went skateboarding with her, traveling on jet planes, wherever they could go together they went. No one ever wants to leave their BFF behind, especially Will. Lola wasn’t Will’s first dog “relationship,” He wants us to remember that “everyone who loves dogs knows they are your best friends.” Dogs have been a lifelong commitment for him. Why? “They have your back. They live in the moment. They have a lot to teach us.” And looking at the next season of Blue Bloods, Jamie will surely have a lot to teach us too, Will says Jamie’s going to hit some new plateaus, so watch for a change coming. And who knows, Will may find space in his life again soon for another four-legged friend. • 10 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Will and Lola


Sami Gayle with Licorice her four pound world-traveling Yorkie. ©Geoff Tischman


ou could call Sami Gayle a Broadway Baby, after all she started out as Baby June in GYPSY starring Patti Lupone. But that was just a launching pad for this poised, accomplished young actress who is Nicky, one of the youngest of the Reagan clan, in CBS-TV’s Blue Bloods. She’s so young and of course, lovely, smart, and kind, that having a dog as old as her time on the show seems improbable but it’s true. In fact, she says she got Lics (short for Licorice) when she decided to stay in New York and not return home to Florida. Why Licorice for this Yorkie who corners the market on adorableness? “My grandmother actually came up with it. Lics’ fur was shiny, almost blue-black, a gorgeous contrast to the strawberry blonde; it looked like licorice. Her nose too was so cute, like a licorice button.” Lics is a world-traveler, in fact, Lics holds a British passport. Sami loves to travel, not simply out of necessity, but for pleasure as well. A Columbia University graduate with political science and art history degrees, she enjoys immersing herself in the cultural framework she discovers abroad. Lics is not home alone while Sami is on the Blue Bloods set. She visits, joining Sami in her dressing room and high-fiving everyone in the makeup trailer. Since it’s a veritable dog park there, Lics enjoys seeing her buddies on the job. This tiny Yorkie does not walk the city streets much less romp on well-trimmed lawns, she prefers to relax in Sami’s lap or play indoors. She is in great shape as Sami and family, including her brother who just graduated law school

but, is also a writer (they collaborated on Candy Jar for Netflix) are disciplined about never feeding her treats or table snacks. As Sami says, “Lics may be little but she has a BIG presence.” Naturally we all want to know where Sami’s going next, not just where she will travel. Jerusalem by the way is the place she’s most enjoyed visiting but Tokyo and London are also destinations she loves. But career-wise being in front of the camera is where she wants to be right now although she’s thinking if there’s time in the future she’d like to gain the business know-how to become a producer. If we’re curious about Sami, then naturally we’d like to know about Nicky, the voice of dissent in the Reagan clan. “You could say that the Reagan family or even the success of Blue Bloods is somewhat predicated upon conflict. They all love each other even though they don’t play by the same rules. It’s the differences that make for a great story.” Sami has only just begun to tell her story. Stay tuned to Blue Bloods to see how Nicky will shape the Reagan family legacy with a vision that’s all her own. • SEPTEMBER 2018




ho didn’t laugh at Kit De Luca’s wisecracking, irreverent attitude in the film Pretty Woman? Sassy and brash, she was memorable. Now Orfeh has created her own bold interpretation of this character on Broadway in the new hit show that’s got audiences dancing in their seats thanks to the terrific tunes of Bryan Adams. DOGS, CATS, AND SHARKS She’s rocked the Broadway stage before entertaining us all, earning Tony nominations and praise from the toughest critics. We’ve enjoyed Orfeh in the stage versions of hit films, Footloose and Saturday Night Fever (where she met her husband and now Pretty Woman co-star, Andy Karl). She rocked in Love Janis (Janis Joplin tribute) and charmed as Paulette (the manicurist who finds love with the UPS guy coincidentally Orfeh’ s husband) in Legally Blonde. But off-stage, what warms her heart? Her love for all animals as she says with the unexpected wit you’d expect from Kit De Luca, “dogs, cats and sharks.” Though dogs may rule her life now, “cats have been there all along as well... our Marshmallow just went to heaven last year.” Andy and Orfeh, co-starring in Pretty Woman on Broadway right now, divide their time between New York and Los Angeles, sharing their lives with two rescued Chihuahuas, Samson (8) and Loosh (4). “Samson was from a Miami shelter,” Orfeh recalls. “The pet store did not feel he met the requirements of teacup Chihuahua (6 pounds was too big). Their loss was our gain.” How did they find this fur baby? “The glorious and extremely gifted fashion photographer Richard Phibbs has an Instagram page where he posts extraordinary portraits of homeless animals (mostly of the Humane Society of New York). I saw Loosh on his Instagram page and immediately contacted my dear friends Bill Berloni (the Broadway animal trainer profiled in June/July Pet Lifestyles) and Sandra DeFeo, Executive Director, The Humane Society of New York. Thankfully with their help it wasn’t a long wait at all before we were able to adopt little Loosh.” 12 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE

SAILING AWAY The pampered pups love hanging out with their pet parents. Trotting up and down the streets of New York is as almost as much fun for them as their favorite thing, “eating.... anything involving food...but seriously,” Orfeh says with a laugh, “They’re constantly begging to go outside with us whether it’s one time a day or 50 times a day. They think they’re going everywhere (and obviously that’s not always possible) but if we have to go anywhere on the Eastside ferry... that’s non-negotiable they love that darn boat.”

LOVING LIFE ON STAGE AND OFF When she’s not with her pups, Orfeh is “having the best time playing Kit. She’s a really cool character, she has a great wardrobe, she’s warm and big-hearted. I love this cast and my costars a whole lot and…one in particular.” Her husband, obviously. “There’s nothing better than getting the opportunity to work together. We love it and it makes the entire experience so much better. #seewhatididthere.” Now if only Orfeh’ s Chihuahuas could have a walk-on! • SEPTEMBER 2018


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Music Biz icons The Chews at Carnegie Hall


s a trailblazing unit, Ray Chew and Vivian Scott Chew rule the global entertainment industry. The acclaimed couple presents live productions notably A Night of Inspiration, at Carnegie Hall, an uplifting evening of music from diverse traditions performed by outstanding soloists and a 64-piece orchestra, along with a 200-voice choir. And while Vivian sets the worldwide stage as the founder and visionary of TimeZone International an international music marketing company, which is, she explains, focused on “helping American artists take their products worldwide.” As a Music Director, Ray can be credited with delivering some of the world’s most popular productions to our television screens. Through his association with hits such as Dancing With The Stars, American Idol ShowTime at the Apollo, Miss Universe and Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Ray plays a major role in shaping the world’s consumption of quality programming. Together, Ray and Vivian make up Chew Entertainment, never ceasing to dazzle and delight their global audience. And at home, the couple has a support system to propel their inspirations and motivations. For Ray and Vivian, their family is a manifestation of God’s love. This pure love extends to the smallest member of the crew, a Poodle named Jake Chew. The curly critter is described as Vivian’s best friend and a loyal mascot to Chew Entertainment. Charming his way into their hearts and home, he never ceases to bring joy and comfort for a couple masterminding an entertainment empire.

The Chew’s poodle Jake

Success is enjoyed best when shared. For Vivian and Ray, success was never completely fulfilling until a certain curly Poodle caught Vivian’s attention, “I spotted him in the pen in the corner away from all the other dogs who weren’t paying attention to him, so my heart naturally gravitated to him. I asked if I could hold him, as he looked lonely. That led to a FaceTime with my husband, Ray who was working on Dancing With The Stars in LA to ask if we could get him. He immediately knew there was no convincing me not to….” Since then, Jake has become a source of affection and companionship for the industrious couple. Jake, Vivian believes, continuously emits authentic love, “Since we both work from home, he is always with us in both our office/studio space and our home. Jake is a cuddler and his favorite spot to be while we are working is behind our backs, while we are sitting in our work chairs. He is such a comfort.” With a natural devotion to the Chews and a set of light brown puppy eyes, Jake is rightfully deserving of the pampered pooch lifestyle. • 14 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



Amanda O’Connell founder and creator of Double Dutch with her Westie Dutch.


here’s nothing more terrifying than your dog getting off leash while out for a walk. So, when Dutch the Westie wore out his leash clip on several occasions, Amanda O’Connell took matters into her own hands and created a double clip leash/harness combo to provide a safety net and give all dog owners peace of mind. “We live on a main street in a very busy city and I used to have nightmares about what would happen if he were to get off his leash and into the street,” says Double Dutch creator Amanda O’Connell. “I scoured the Internet for leashes with two clips but was unable to find anything that met our needs.” And so out of this need to protect her fur baby, the Double Dutch dual clip leash was created. Being a devoted pet parent to her own two dogs, Dutch and Columbo, Amanda O’Connell understands the concerns of pet parents of dogs large and small. “We appreciate that all dogs are different sizes and shapes and aim to create products with a wide range of adjustment,” Amanda explains. Double Dutch leashes provide extra security, utilizing a thick nylon material, welded stainless steel rings, and locking lobster claw clips. This allows two clips to handle the job equally, so they are less likely to break. She has seen the leash in action, saying, “Our products have prevented my dogs from getting away from me more than 10 times!” Double Dutch Harness on Dutch himself.

Chic and comfortable doing double duty in protecting your pet, Harness and Leash from Double Dutch.

Double Dutch also has a harness and collar collection. “When we added harnesses to our collection we wanted a design that could accommodate our double clip leash but would also be safe and comfortable for the dog as well,” explains Amanda. The harness is adjustable along the collarbone so there is no pulling on the throat. “And,” she describes “(it) has just one piece of nylon that connects the chest and belly straps so it reduces underarm irritation.” Their pieces are designed with the dog’s comfort in mind. Amanda loves animals of all kinds. Her favorite times with her pups, she says, are “probably a tie between snuggling on the sofa and taking our pups for long walks in some of our local parks.” As for the namesake of the company, Dutch, he is appreciative of his owner’s ingenuity. “When I get excited, I don’t always look before crossing the street so my family created this leash to keep me safe on our walks,” he told Pet Lifestyles. Truer words were never barked. You can find out more about Double Dutch at • SEPTEMBER 2018



Dog day afternoon. Pups play at a Pawtie. ©Puppy Parties NYC



he balloons are bright and colorful, the cupcakes are glittering with rainbow-hued frosting, and the birthday guests are… barking? Yup! Put the candles in the pup cake, because dog “pawties” are high on the to-do list for devoted pet parents. “Our pets are part of the family and they deserve to be spoiled and have a special celebration too!” says Haley Mehalco, owner of Puppy Parties NYC, a doggy party planning service. Not surprisingly, puppy party planners are popping up left and right. Make sure you give the pawty planning some time, though. Mehalco estimates planning the right party it takes “a good month”. There’s always a reason to celebrate your pup. DIY is easy but there are pawty planners too. ©Puppy Parties NYC


You can arrange your own celebration, too, if you want to be more hands-on. Here are some practical pawty tips: Here are some ideas for a DIY shindig for your pup and their pals: Invitations and Locations: Your dog’s play date, daycare and dog run buddies should be at the top of the invite list (don’t forget to invite the owners, too!). Make sure you have enough humans to oversee the fuzzy guests and ask that owners stay to supervise their charges. A local dog run or favorite park are great locations to look into for a fun get together. Outdoors is probably a good idea for a pup pawty but make sure you have a place for the pups to relax comfortably (and if the day is sunny, let them chill in the shade - direct sun for a prolonged period is not a healthy option.) If your dog attends daycare, ask if renting space there is an option. Outdoors may be great fun but indoors can work just as well with no weather restrictions.



Décor: Just because it’s a dog party doesn’t mean the motif has to be paw prints, paw prints, and more paw prints. If you’ve seen it done at a human birthday party, it can translate to canine. There’s no shame in turning things up a notch for your best four-legged friend. You can DIY your own decorations (banners, balloons, streamers), just check out Party City. Options are endless. Get bandanas and tiny hats for a Western theme, go couture with a dress-up event, or put an inflatable pool in your yard and have a nude beach-party! After all, as the adage goes it’s not just blondes who have more fun - dogs corner the market on good times! Food and Drink: Since dog parties have increased in popularity, so, too, has the demand for cookies and cakes. There’s even doggy ice cream! Places like Chewy and Bark Box have food and fun ideas for treats. You can make your dog’s desserts from scratch or buy a doggy cake mix. In fact, if you are looking for expert advice on DIY parties for the furbaby (dog that is), call Sue at The Scottish Dog Pet Shoppe in Metuchen, NJ - Sue has everything you can imagine for a pup pawty, just call her at 848-260-0212 and she’ll set you up with every DIY option imaginable - and she’ll make sure it gets to you fast wherever you are. Remember to check your guest list for any pups with allergies. And don’t forget to clearly separate dog food from human food (they can look and taste alike - I’ve seen humans munching happily on Leela Ryan’s banana pudding dog biscuits). Offer natural choices like apple, carrots, and watermelon. Make sure you have plenty of water, of course.

Fun for all at this dog’s B-Day Bash. ©Puppy Parties NYC

One precious pooch celebrates in style. ©Puppy Parties NYC Show your fur baby how much you love her - Pawty On Mama! ©Puppy Parties NYC


Your party can be as subdued or as wild as you want it to be. You can also find ideas and inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram. Trying using #dogparty. Mehalco adds, “Honestly nothing seems crazy to me anymore!” There is no limit to what you can celebrate…birthdays, of course, but also obedience school graduation, welcoming a new adoptee, or just a gathering of furry friends! Even if it’s just an “I Love My Dog Pawty”, the point is to have fun with friends - both two and four-legged. So party on pups! And pet parents, don’t forget to have fun too - it’s not always a dog’s life! Share your dog pawties on our Instagram. We’d love to learn your tips and tricks for a great time with your four-legged BFF. • SEPTEMBER 2018



Reme’s Oggi Pets Daycare ©Geoff Tischman


he boulevards of Sutton Place are long and wide, tree-lined, townhouse filled, white-gloved doormen at every canopy heading down toward the East River, perfect for strolling slowly with pampered pooches. Ahh, but where to? As pet parents head off to work or even on a short trip, their fur babies are not left home alone, rather they are dropped off where everybody knows their name, at Reme’s Oggi Pets Daycare just a block from this posh neighborhood enclave. CLIMATE CONTROL FOR COOLER PETS

Reme’s Oggi Pets offers a unqiuely personal approach to doggy daycare.


From frisky Shih-Tzus to laid back Cavaliers with a dachshund or pug in the mix, the crowd at Reme’s is like the denizens of Cheers (the 80s TV show voted the best comedy of all time), they all know each other and indeed, the select few who watch over them are genuinely on a first name basis. In a world now where doggie daycare is dominated by chains and conglomerates, the personal touch is often missing. But not at Reme’s. There’s no membership fee but attendance is limited. On any given weekday attendance tops out at about 30 guests over a full day, averaging 15 per session. Some rotate for a half a day of play with their pals and half a day at home, others stay all day joyfully romping with their best buddies or even in the case of one elderly fellow, napping in a comfy bed in his own private space. 18 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Each area of Reme’s Oggi Pets is individually climate controlled and has an air filtration system to remove fur and dander from the environment, the system cools and cleans the air all year round, it’s not just a Summer time thing. No closed-circuit TVs need to monitor the playful pups; people do, quite a few keep an eye on the dogs. Indeed Reme reveals she is a tough sergeant when it comes to making sure the daycare visitors are well looked after. While one hears rumors of tragic incidents at some of the doggie day care chains, there’s never been the slightest skirmish at Reme’s. Nice neighborhood, nice dogs, nice behavior. Boarding is offered too, on a limited basis of course. Reme is known for her grooming services; daycare is a newer addition in their 3,000 square foot space.


Even for the pooch who has everything, there’s always a need for something new especially for a Yorkie or a Miniature Poodle or any other small dogs that fit in the chic madein-Spain larger-than a-tote-bag c two-tone carrier with coordinated leash and collar sets. And to complete the ensemble, soft and cozy fleece lined coats, well-tailored to flatter a fuller frame with a back belt and silver buttons. Can’t wait for the weather to change to see Annabelle and Bikini strut down Sutton Place in these polished ensembles, sadly my two are too substantial for the totes but with enough exercise in daycare and a stringent diet... maybe, just maybe they’d fit. Reme’s Oggi Pets is located at 1001 First Avenue, the corner of 55th Street. For daycare inquiries, call 212-838-2250. www. •


FETCH - IT’S NOT JUST A GAME FOR DOGS By Arielle Bennett and Dr. Eric Dougherty, DVM

etch isn’t just a game for dogs. As a kitten, our cat Boney ‘NIP IT UP: THE JOYS OF CATNIP started bringing us his toy rats. We soon got the hint However unique each kitty is – they all need to to throw these toys for him until he told us it was time play with their family! One day our older cat, for treats. As parents of four kitties and owners of a feline- Terrance, suddenly ran across the kitchen full with a loofah in his mouth! Apparently, he specialty vet practice in Manhattan (www.thecatpractice. speed unpacked our shopping bags and decided, “This com), we’ve learned every cat has different needs, different toy is mine!” He’s a mellow, snuggly cat and is one ways of communicating, and certainly different tastes in toys! of the few that doesn’t react strongly to catnip (other than spooning catnip toys to sleep). Our GAME ON: FUN, FUN, FUN other three love catnip. Boney, being very hyper, Our newest addition, a street cat from Brooklyn named Mint, took 2 years to figure out how she wanted to play with us. She loved the occasional laser pointer, but she’s timid and easily spooked (or she really does see ghosts in our apartment!) so it was a challenge to reach her full-play zone. One day we picked up a foam ball popper “gun”, thinking that might be a fun cat toy. This literally revolutionized Mint’s life! We had to buy refills of these little orange balls because she demanded dozens of throws a night! At age 4, Mint found her own distinctive way of playing! She used to be shy with her dad, and now she smothers him with this game. Success!

really needs to expend his energy daily (unless we don’t want to sleep that night) – a great way to do this is to sprinkle fresh catnip on a large cat scratcher. He fiercely scratches and hoards the entire scratcher... and occasionally the other cats get their turn. Ultimately, whether it’s being hugged, bit, chased, scratched, or kicked, catnip’s many forms can make quite the versatile toy!

Who doesn’t want to gift their cat with fun toys and yummy goodies especially without leaving home? Meowbox delivers.

DO THE LOCOMOTION: PLAY DAYS, NOT NIGHTS Cats should express their energy in constructive ways, and it’s probably better to “work out” with them while you’re awake, unless you’d prefer them to start their games at 4:00 a.m. with a toy rat on your pillow. When you learn to give your cat the playtime they truly need, geared toward them as an individual, it will open up avenues in your relationship that you never knew could exist. Remember, cats are tiny predators living in your home. They’re attuned to fast motion and chase, so try and incorporate this into their play (along with some perches for them to hunt from). In the wild they’d be hunting for a living, so playtime and stimulation are crucial to their wellbeing. Not only will they bond with you more, but finding a way to bring a bit of the wild back for them will bring you laughter and certainly keep them from lounging on the couch all night and binge-watching TV! Arielle Bennett and Dr. Eric Dougherty, DVM are The Cat Practice, veterinarians just for cats. For more information, go to www. •

Oksana shows us the latest in cat toys at The Bonehouse with one of her best feline friends Mr. Lex. Call The Bonehouse at 212-872-1300 for the fun new cat spin-off of favorite dog brand, Puppia. ©Geoff Tischman.





eptember marks the official end of summer. The air slowly starts to cool down, sunny days grow shorter and the anticipation of Autumn brings on excitement for tailgating season. Football, baseball, concerts, and maybe even Fall sample sales bring people together to carry on their barbecues post Labor Day. These friends and family fun parties hold no excuse to leave your dogs at home. Pet Lifestyles asked about tips for bringing your pets tailgating, learning that with the best products, treats, and safety measures your companions can be happy participants in all your tailgating festivities.

Dachshund Django (@djangothegent) in the Classic Hoodie - Navy and White Stripe $29

RULE #1 SCORE A SAFETY In an ideal world no pet would ever get lost, but unfortunately it happens frequently. One loud horn honk or the sight of a flying football toss could send your dog sprinting off. Make certain your pet has proper identification tags on their collars and good quality, secure leash. If you want to go the “overbearing parent” route, there are several GPS tracking collars such as Whistle GPS that attach to collars and directly link to an app on your smartphone. Most importantly, consider having your pet microchipped. It’s the easiest and most effective way to assure your pet’s location if they are to ever get lost. “Double check that your pet’s microchip is registered and contains the correct name and your current phone number and address, otherwise there’s no easy way to reach you if they’re found!” Sydney Hannum expressed on behalf of the Michelson Found Animals Foundation.

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RULE #2 COOL ‘EM DOWN September is cooler, but it can still be very hot for our fur friends. It is essential is to make sure they have plenty of fresh water. Have a good quality water bottle that provides easy on the go hydration. T he bübi bottle is a perfect collapsible BPA-free silicone water bottle that is microwave and dishwasher safe, and puncture resistant against canine teeth. Bübi is easy to wash and can be used by any member of the family (hairy or not) for all future tailgates. Most tailgating events take place in the venue parking lot and we must keep in mind if our bare feet can’t take hot concrete than neither can our dog’s paws. By now Musher’s Secret is no longer a secret. This topical protection wax has become a common pet supply essential and is key to preventing hot and burnt paws. Aquapaw Slow Treater™

Bubi Bowl For Pets and Friends $11.99

RULE #3: DISTRACTION. ATTENTION. READY, BREAK! In the chaos of tailgating, it’s important to keep your pet’s attention from all their distractions. A tailgate is already filled with hyped fans and noise pollution, so the last thing you want to worry about is a hyper pup who has more energy to outlast you in the rally. Make sure your pet has had a lot of exercise before bringing them to your tailgate. In case they bounce back with the energy of a crowd, bring classics like a frisbee or tennis ball to get them running. Avoid your dogs from sneaking a lick or running off with any of the food from the grill by supplying tasty and healthy treats like PupPeroni®’s Jerky Bites. These pork and beef flavored real meat treats are inspired by jerky, containing no fillers, meat by-products, or artificial flavors. Omaha Steaks has also introduced pet treats with the same high-quality ingredients that they use throughout their products so everyone can “eat from the grill.” However, if you do feed your pets human food try to avoid bones, hotdogs, and fatty burgers as they are bad for the dog’s digestive system. Lean-meat hamburgers, chicken breast, and small portions of cheese are all safe bets. Help yourself out with a food and treat dispenser such as Aquapaw’s Slow Treater to keep your pooch occupied for hours. Their eye will remain on the prize as the rubber nubs of this tool are meant to keep them nibbling.

RULE #4: GIVE THEM SOME SWAG ATTIRE You dress for the weather and dress for who you’re rooting for. As tailgating drifts into October provide your dog with the proper attire. Django brand provides well-made products to stylishly carry dogs from season to season. One of their reversible dog coats or classic dog hoodies are fun accessories to keep your dog comfortable as the temperature begins to drop. In regard to sports, Chewy and Doggie Nation have an abundant supply of pet jerseys for nearly every sport and team. If you’re wearing your teams colors why shouldn’t they? As important as it is to grab a YETI of your favorite beer, also remember the necessities that your dog needs in order to equally be part of your tailgating fun! •

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emember the days when pets were family animals who largely fended for themselves, making themselves useful by working the fields and catching unwanted rodents? Yeah, me neither. I’m sure most of you would instead identify with the lot who adore, love, and CHERISH their animal to the point that the title “pet” seems slightly blasphemous— are you calling my precious fur baby a mere animal? This member of the family? How dare you! For those of you who recognize yourselves in that latter descriptor, you might consider following my silly example and throw a shower to welcome your new pet. Or, you can just amuse yourself reading this article written by a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady. You may be wondering how (and why) I decided to throw a kitten shower. As I settled into my third decade of life, I’d been to (or hosted) my fair share of bridal and baby showers. All happy; meant to celebrate a life-changing occasion. And while I cheered my friends’ momentous events, it was hard not to feel a little forgotten at times. I wanted to be married, and I wanted babies, too! But it just hadn’t happened yet. 22 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


One day in February, when I was mourning the unexpected loss of our beloved family dog, I was struck by the idea of getting a kitten. I knew it wouldn’t be fair to adopt a dog (the pet of choice in my family growing up) as I didn’t have the time or space to invest. But I could get a kitten. I latched onto the idea immediately and spent the next 72 hours obsessively researching cat breeds. After settling on what I believed would be the perfect kitty for me, a Devon Rex, I began “nesting” as I waited for a kitten to become available. And that’s when it hit me: why not throw a kitten shower? I was finally preparing for my very own life-changing, exciting event… couldn’t I celebrate that with my community? As it turned out, I had a bevy of friends jump at the chance to celebrate the sweet addition of my kitty to my life. If you find yourself so inclined to throw just such a party, consider these tips:

DO: • Include puns: the good, the bad, the ugly (when else can you get away with this??) • Start a registry! ( allows you to pull from all sorts of different websites. Make sure to include an item or two just for you—things that celebrate the addition of your new pet! • Be creative—this isn’t a typical event, so you don’t have the pressure of living up to Pinterest expectations (phew!!). It also means you get to make the rules and set the standard…so have fun! Food presentation and signage are one way you can be particularly imaginative. • Consider the safety of your pet (and whether they will be overwhelmed). Make accommodations accordingly. • Include a special “treat” for your pet, too! (specialty pet bakeries are happy to create something specific; or you can celebrate with your pet’s favorite treat). Felix LOVES beef baby food…the equivalent of kitty ice cream! • Include customizable treats for your guests to take with them at the conclusion of the party: this NY-based artist can create a cookie cutter specifically of your pet’s face—the perfect parting treat! ( • Dress for the occasion (themed prints or gender-specific coloring is festive and fun! Affordable headbands, scarves, pins, etc. can be found on Amazon.) • Go all-out with your theme: it’s an unusual—and super fun!— way to celebrate with your friends. Check bargain bins at Target or K-Mart and even scour your local Dollar Store for themed décor. • Appoint someone to take pictures (you’ll have your hands full— literally!) • Customize your games: “Guess the Famous Cat,” “Pin the Tail on Felix,” and “Guess Felix’s Weight” were all hits! Make sure you have festive, themed prizes: cat-picture face masks, kitten pencils, wine named after cats…you’ll be surprised what you can find!). • Ask your local bakery if they can customize your cake to look like your pet. Most will accommodate. Mine was not only affordable and delicious, but they nailed his coloring perfectly with the chocolate shavings!

DON’T: • Assume your pet will respond favorably to a large crowd of strangers—make sure you are the one holding your pet. • Include party food that is poisonous or dangerous to your pet…you never know what they might get their paws on! • Put your pet in an elaborate costume that he/she hates. This party may be for humans, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your pet! •




The Algonquin Hotel’s resident cat Hamlet hams it up.


urr-fect Party Celebrates the Official Debut of Algonquin Hotel’s Resident Cat Hamlet VIII. New York City Cats Rally To Raise Funds For Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals**. A group of feline fashion “mewdels” took to the runway (held safely in the arms of their owners) in one-of-a-kind outfits designed by certified animal fashion designer Ada Nieves, in celebration of Hamlet VIII, The Algonquin Cat, the hotel’s famous feline resident. The Annual Celebration & Cat Fashion Show celebrated “The Purring 20’s”, the time of the great authors and celebrities who frequented the hotel’s famous Round Table. Pet Lifestyle Expert and author, Sandy Robins co-chaired the official party debut of Hamlet, a young American Shorthair ginger cat who reigns over the Front Desk and observes from his own private treehouse, endearing himself to hotel guests and visitors alike. 100% of the proceeds for the cat-tastic event benefitted the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. Guests viewed advance copies of the new illustrated book, Hamlet – The Algonquin Cat, by Lesley Martini, with illustrations by Massimo Mongiardo. Cat owners wore their best feline-inspired outfit from The Purring 20’s and shared photos socially, search for the hashtag #AlgonquinCat.

A glamour puss at the 2018 Algonquin cat fashion show.


For many years the history of The Algonquin Cat was believed to have its origins in the 1930’s, when a hungry stray cat came wandering into the hotel for food and water. After the hotel acquired an out-of-print book written by the hotel’s first general manager, Frank Case, a chapter was discovered about a cat named Billy. Based on the timeline of the book, the hotel is now proud to say the lineage of The Algonquin Cat dates back to the early 1920’s. Each cat that has reigned at The Algonquin has been a rescue.

HAMLET HAMS IT UP Cat couture at the Algonquin cat fashion show and fundraiser.



Hamlet has become so personable and engaging with guests that he has earned the nickname, “Hammy”. He loves a good nuzzle behind the ears and is curious about everything and everyone. Hamlet can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He can also be reached via email: hamletalgonquincat@ •

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est Friends Animal Society has a mission: To bring about a time when there are No More Homeless Pets. By helping to end the killing of abandoned dogs and cats in America’s animal shelters through building community programs and partnerships all across the nation, we believe that by working together we can Save Them All. Our vision is to create a better world through kindness to animals. How are we doing this? By helping all to live by these guiding principles: Golden Rule: To treat all living things as we ourselves would wish to be treated. Kindness: To demonstrate compassion and respect for all living creatures. Positive influence: To judge our effectiveness by the extent to which animal lives are saved and improved, and by the positive experience of the people we touch. Leadership: To lead by example, developing, promoting, and sharing great new ideas and programs to help animals. Authenticity: To do what we say we do. Transparency: To be open and honest in our relationships.


At the core of Best Friends’ work is the dream that one day animals will no longer be killed in America’s shelters. By implementing spay/neuter and trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs to reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, and increasing the number of people who adopt pets, we know we can end the killing. We know we can Save Them All. For more about Best Friends Animal Society, go to 26 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE




Hudson River Park, Pier 84, New York , New York 9 a.m., October 6, 2018 A walk on the pier to save lives: Strut Your Mutt in New York City

ello, New York! Are you ready for this year’s Strut Your Mutt? Please join Best Friends Animal Society, and our partner rescue groups, shelters, and animal welfare organizations in New York City, as we strut to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs. You can register to fundraise and walk individually or join a team. Then on October 6, we invite you to join fellow animal lovers to at Pier 84 in Hudson River Park. The event starts with a celebratory walk (dog not required) and includes a family friendly festival with food trucks, vendors, and tons of fun activities. Last year was a huge success, thanks to people like you. Almost 2,500 walkers raised over $500,000 for lifesaving programs, such as spay and neuter services, adoption events and more. Join us this year and let’s make this year’s event even better!

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Why we strut More than 4,100 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. We are determined to get that number to zero by the year 2025. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations, and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All. Fundraising/Network Partners Strut Your Mutt is a fun and easy way to raise money and help save the lives of homeless pets in your community. For many network partners, the money raised during Strut Your Mutt makes up their funding for the entire year. In 2017, 300 Best Friends Network partners raised nearly $2 million. Interested in participating in an event? Apply to start a Network Partner team today. How to Register When you register for Strut Your Mutt, you can choose to register as an individual, start your own team to support the animals of Best Friends, or you can join a participating Best Friends Network partner team. The money you raise will go directly to that organization!

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Go to our website to see a list of participating network partners. (www. Then, if you like, join the network partner team of your choice to help support their lifesaving efforts. Best Friends Network partners are the heart of our event. The following network partners will be participating in this year’s Strut Your Mutt: • A Pathway to Hope • Animal Lighthouse Rescue • Animals-R-Family • Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue • Brick City Rescue • City Critters, Inc. • Foster Dogs Incorporated • Get A Bull • Hug-a-Bunny Rabbit Rescue, Inc. • Infinite Hope • Joey’s Elder Paws Rescue, Inc. • Looking Glass Animal Rescue • Long Island Bulldog Rescue • Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue, Inc. • Meow Parlour Cats

• Muddy Paws Rescue • Nassau County SPCA • OPIN Inc. • PAWS NY • Posh Pets Rescue • Pound Hounds Res-Q • PupStarz Rescue • Ramapo-Bergen Animal Refuge • Rebound Hounds • Rescue Haven Foundation • Rescuzilla • Ruff House Rescue • Stray from the Heart • Waggytail Rescue

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n the private residence at the Kennedy White House, family life bustled with a collection of pets that included as many as nine dogs at one time, a cat, parakeets, hamsters, rabbits, deer, and seven horses. This unparalleled multitude of animals at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue came as no surprise to those who knew the president and Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy. Ever since they were children, their love of animals had been one of the singular themes of their lives. The American public only saw glimpses of the many Kennedy pets, however, most likely because of the way Mrs. Kennedy zealously guarded her family’s privacy. The beloved pets of Camelot played key roles in the Kennedy presidency. For example, in his book, Dog Days at the White House, the White House kennel keeper, Traphes Bryant, described a remarkable event that took place at the height of the Cuban missile crisis: “I was there in Jack Kennedy’s office that day. Everything was in an uproar... There was talk about the Russian fleet coming in and our fleet blocking them off. It looked like war. Out of the blue, Kennedy suddenly called for Charlie to be brought to his office.” According to Bryant, “After petting his Welsh Terrier for a while, President Kennedy relaxed, returned Charlie to the kennel keeper, and calmly said, ‘I suppose that it’s time to make some decisions.’” Charlie was the president’s most beloved dog. He adorned magazine covers and appeared in countless news stories. He was born on November 30, 1959, at the Port Fortune Kennels in Osterville, Massachusetts, with a pedigree that was stellar among his breed and had descended from the famous Strathglass line of Welsh Terriers—among the best America had to offer. His registered name was Port Fortune’s Sarah’s Ben, but to all who knew him, he was simply Charlie.

JFK, Jackie, kids and most of the dogs. Photo courtesy Dogs of Camelot

AUTHOR’S NOTE FROM MARGARET REED: “I’ve remembered meeting President Kennedy and his dogs my entire life and in fact, my career has been somewhat influenced by that meeting. Several years ago, I wanted to find out what had happened to the Kennedy dogs following the family’s departure from the White House in 1963 so I set upon a quest to find out and ended up in the research room at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. My intent was not to write a book but to satisfy a personal interest. The Dogs of Camelot is the result.” Available on 28 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE





t seems like something out of a Sci-Fi movie: animals being cloned. But it’s happening. What started with Dolly The Sheep over twenty years ago, has now found its way to the pet industry, and people are taking advantage of the technology. It is terrible to lose a pet. They are members of our family and we feel like we would do anything to get them back. Well, that’s exactly what stars like Barbra Streisand are doing, to the tune of about $50,000. Regular folks like us are doing it too, however. It’s not just for Hollywood. ViaGen Pets is the leader in the cloning of family pets. However, they are recognized for producing thousands of happy, healthy cloned cows and hundreds of cloned horses. Their company scientists have been developing successful animal cloning and reproductive technology for over 15 years. The initial step of preserving the DNA through Genetic Preservation can take place when the pet is still living or up to five days after passing away (as long as it is kept cool enough). The best chance of a successful Genetic Preservation is if the pet is alive when the DNA sample is taken. The resulting cells can be cryopreserved and stored indefinitely. Once the cloning process is initiated, the little tiny embryo begins to grow, it is placed into the womb of a mother dog (or cat) and then nature takes its course. When the pup or kitten is born, it should have similar traits as its predecessor. It is basically a genetic twin. Asia used to be the only country that did pet cloning, until ViaGen Pets began in Texas in 2002. They began with livestock and graduated to dogs and cats. They work closely with veterinarians to ensure a safe and dignified replication of the pet. In the meantime, people like Barbra Streisand are content to have a new (and old) versions of their dogs. Ms. Streisand happily cloned Samantha, her Coton du Tulear, last year. Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett are cavorting around the Streisand compound, not a care in the world. Cloned or not cloned, they are undoubtedly enjoying their home by the ocean. • SEPTEMBER 2018




e all love our pets dearly and treat them like a member of the family - but let’s face it, whether you have a dog or cat, very often, the worst part of being a pet-parent is having to deal with all the shedding (like that dog shedding all over your new couch) and dealing with their waste. This of course includes all the smelly odors, especially from your cat’s litterbox. Enter Furever Pet Furniture, an ingenious and oh-so-pretty way to store your cat’s litterbox. With a unique odor-blocking technology, all Furever Pet Furniture products will guarantee your home smelling fresh and not like your best felinefriend’s bathroom. This is because all their products are finished with an advanced surface coating spray which breaks down odor, bacteria, and also prevents microbial growth. And that means, yes, no smelly odors lingering around your home! It all started when a Floridian couple had nowhere to hide their cat’s litter box, Furever Pet Furniture tells Pet Lifestyles Magazine, “Furever Pet Furniture was started as a solution to a husband and wife’s lack of space for a litter box. Instead of having the litter box out in the open, hiding it in a beautiful cabinet seemed like a much better idea. From there, the introduction of odor blocking spray, various stains, designs and custom options arose, culminating in thousands of happy customers and the company as it is today!” And what a great solution it is, other than eliminating your cat’s bathroom odors from floating around your home, with so many gorgeous colors and design options to choose from, your Furever Pet Furniture will turn the litterbox from being an eyesore into a beautiful and functional piece of furniture in your home. We especially like the standard and double cabinets, as the standard is perfect for tight spaces and bathrooms yet the double is great for fitting two litter boxes. Be sure to pick up your favorite piece of Furever Pet Furniture at their website: o r for all you social media buffs out there, check out their Instagram page @fureverpetfurniture. Both you and your cat will thank you! • 30 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE

What an elegant disguise for a cat’s litter box, from Furever Pets.

Wood trim makes a dog crate easy to integrate into an interior. From Furever Pets.


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pps have changed the way that we live and as technology moves forward faster than ever, they can also help the way our pets live better, healthier, fuller lives. Reach for your phone and with one tap, you can access a myriad of different services for your pet. Veterinarians virtual or real, dog walkers, nutrition counseling even pet-pet parent matchmaking, there is something for everyone today. Pet Lifestyles takes a look at some of the coolest new pet apps sure to improve life with your furry friend:

HOW I MET MY DOG Thinking of adopting a dog? What’s important to consider? Looks? Temperament? Size? Shedding? Friendliness? Or is protective instinct at the top of the list? For some getting a pet may be based on personal needs, well thought out and planned with family input. Others may opt to adopt on a whim. How I Met My Dog is here to help prospective dog parents find the perfect dog for them. The site works by having you fill out an in-depth questionnaire about your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a pet. The site then matches you up with a dog ready to be adopted, basically functioning like a dating site.

SPOT ON Ride sharing is incredibly popular in New York City. Unfortunately, pets are not often welcome to come along for the ride. While smaller dogs can ride on the subway, this isn’t an option for owners with larger dogs. The Spot-On app has all dog owners covered. The dog friendly service works like an Uber or Lyft and accommodates pets from Yorkies to Great Danes. So, the next time you are looking to take in all the joys the city has to offer, you can rest assured that your best friend can come along for the ride.



WELL INFORMED PET Traveling or dealing with an emergency much less taking the dog to day care or verifying the vaccination records at the groomer are the times you need vet records at your fingertips. What if you could save yourself the hassle of searching for all the paperwork? What if you could have it all in your phone in an easy access app? The Well-Informed Pet is here to help. Not only does the app store all the information on a smart phone, but you are also able to send that information to whomever needs it with just the push of a button, saving time and avoiding any additional stress.

PAWSCOUT Terrified of losing Fido? Or Fifi? Pawscout is a new app that helps to give pet parents peace of mind. The app works by providing you with a tech-enabled pet tag that can be used to track your four-legged friend. Pawscout also provides what they call a virtual outdoor pet leash. You designate an area and if the dog goes outside of that area, you get a notification on your phone. Finally, in the event that your dog does go missing, the app will notify all other users within the surrounding area.

FUZZY A trip to the vet can be a difficult and anxious time for your pet. Fuzzy wants to save you the hassle of crates, waiting rooms and paperwork by allowing you to consult with a vet via your smart phone. Not every pet issue is serious enough to necessitate a vet visit, but until now, that has been the only option. Fuzzy also offers the convenience of 24-hour access as problems don’t always occur during office hours. Telemedicine can bring peace of mind if the issue is manageable and if not, it lets you know how to handle an emergency quickly and intelligently.

PETRICS Obesity is not only a growing problem in the human community but in the animal community as well. Over 53% of cats and dogs are considered overweight, a health issue that can have a profound effect on their life expectancy. Petrics wants to help pet owners keep their animals healthy and happy by analyzing their health and nutrition needs. The app considers the pet’s health history and breed-based risks to tailor a customized diet. Petrics also shares ingredient lists of major pet food brands and notifies you of any food recalls.

PETZBE Social networks have changed the way that humans interact with each other and Petzbe wants to see if they can do the same for pets. The app has a strict rule: No humans allowed. You essentially become your pet as you create an online presence for your furry BFF. You talk for your pet, share their pictures, and tell their stories. The app not only creates a platform for you to store and catalog your favorite pictures of your fur baby, but also a way to connect with like-minded pet owners.

DOG VACAY While all humans need to take a vacation from time to time, our dogs aren’t always allowed to come with us. Dog Vacay wants you to feel comfortable on vacation or a business trip knowing that your pet is happy and well taken care of. The app works by connecting pet parents with the highest rated pet sitters in the local area. The sitters will then either come and take of the animal in your house or being them to theirs. With time frames ranging from daily to multiple weeks, you can rest assured that there is a qualified sitter to stay with your pooch. No matter what your pet lifestyle concern, there’s an app for it. So, check out the app store or Google Play or just do a quick search, there’s no doubt you’re likely to turn up a new way to be a better pet parent. • SEPTEMBER 2018




HOW TO GET SKITTISH KITTENS ON THE ADOPTION TRACK By Kathleen O’Malley, Director of Education, NYC Feral Cat Initiative of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals

at rescuers who practice Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) are sometimes tempted to forget the “R” in TNR and decide to foster a skittish outdoor kitten in hopes that he or she will “come around” and become an adoption candidate. Taking kittens in for adoption during a TNR project often promotes goodwill in the neighborhood. Or, as winter approaches, rescuers may feel even more tempted to keep feral kittens off the street for good, fearing for their lives. But what to do when a few weeks have gone by and the kitten is still hiding under the bed? All kittens need to be socialized by humans in order to be suitable for adoption. As animals who are both predators and prey, cats instinctively must decide at an early age – about eight weeks – whether or not to trust humans to touch them. Kittens under eight weeks are easily tamed, but always trap them if they run away. Grabbing feral kittens will sabotage their socialization. For kittens who haven’t been gently handled by eight weeks of age, it takes increasingly longer to convince them that human hands aren’t potentially deadly weapons. The NYC Feral Cat Initiative teaches tried-and-true taming methods to help rescuers successfully socialize kittens. With older kittens and adults, though, there is no guarantee of success, so always have a contingency plan in place. We recommend starting them with a two-week trial period; if there’s no progress by then, we recommend neutering, eartipping, and returning them to their colony before it becomes unfamiliar to them. Here are our basic tips to ensure successful socialization. Applying them consistently will ensure the best outcome: 1. Freedom of choice. The best way to get any cat to do anything is to let them think it’s their idea. Never try to coerce the kitten into contact. Cats have to choose socialization over fear – it’s our job to make it easy for them. 2. Location, location, location. Work with the kitten in a place where you can get on the same level and comfortably interact without having the kitten feel towered over, “backed into a corner,” or being about to hide out of reach. Block off that space under the guest room bed! 34 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


3. Food, glorious food. Growing kittens have an insatiable appetite, which will give them the courage to approach you and be touched when they might normally never allow you anywhere near them. Food gives kittens a compelling incentive to welcome you into their world. 4. Tough love. Never put food down and walk away. Feed the kitten in your presence, progressively pulling the dish as close to you as possible with each meal. Stay with the kitten until they have finished eating and then take any remaining food away when you leave. Always leave water, but no food if you’re not there. No free rides! 5. Eating out of your hand. When the kitten is eating from a dish right beside you with your hand touching the dish, offer something tasty off your finger. A favorite is commercial baby food made of pure turkey, chicken, or beef. Let them learn to lick from a plastic spoon if at first they want to chew your finger instead of licking it. Your hand reaching close to them, without them retreating in fear, is the goal. 6. We have contact! Use food on your finger or a bowl in your lap to lead the kitten up into contact with your body by their choice. Once they’re comfortable with that, you can gradually initiate contact with petting in the head and shoulder area, then around the body, and eventually picking the kitten up. If the kitten regresses at any stage, go back to a stage that they’ve mastered and patiently work forward again. Eventually, you should be able to “take off the training wheels” and handle the kitten between meals. For more in-depth kitten socialization techniques, visit www. or take the NYC Feral Cat Initiative’s free workshop, Taming Feral Kittens for Adoption ( •

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Even in the worst of circumstances, there is love for an abandoned animal. Global Strays is there to help sustain the rescue effort.

GLOBAL STRAYS: SAVING ANIMALS ONE PAW AT A TIME By Crystal C. Long and Lori Zelenko | Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Shafiroff

e’ve all seen it – a dog in the middle of the sidewalk with no apparent pet-parent present or hearing Sarah McLachlan’s T.V. commercial for a well-known animal rights organization. Stray dogs (and cats) represent one of the biggest animal-related crises in the world, and not just in the United States alone. According to the World Health Organization, just last year in 2017, there were more than 200 million stray/homeless dogs worldwide, while the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates about in the U.S. three million dogs enter animal shelters each year. With this heart-breaking statistic, many animal lovers (ourselves included) want to jump into action immediately to help their local animal shelters any way they can. And for this young New Yorker – she took action and set out to make a difference. THE FORCE BEHIND THE MISSION Elizabeth Shafiroff powers Global Strays, the non-profit organization founded to help save the lives of homeless animals in developing countries. Shafiroff sat down with Pet Lifestyles Magazine to talk about her passion for the mission, “The aim of Global Strays is to come to the aid of suffering animals mainly, stray dogs around the world, and protect them from neglect and abuse. Global Strays gives grants to help shelters in dire need of support.” At the moment, they are providing aid for dogs in Central and South America, Columbia, and Nicaragua (the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti), as well as the Caribbean, specifically the Dominican Republic. 36 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Cats are helped too by Global Strays with funding to spay-neuter as well as feed and shelter.

Global Strays’ process is handson: a visit to the designated country occurs and animal rescue organizations are met with personally so their needs are witnessed first-hand. After analyzing where help is needed the most, grants are allocated to the designated shelters contributing not only the basics - food, spay/neuter clinics, medicine/vet care, running water, and electricity - but also funding for elements that make a critical difference - literally the funds to rebuild a shelter after a storm or purchase a dog ambulance much less salaries for the shelter workers many of whom may find themselves unemployed due to political upheaval, circumstances that make feeding stray dogs a different priority when they have no money for food for themselves.

Dogs at a shelter in Nicaragua, a rescue intiaitive helped by Global Strays.

COMPASSION FUELS THE FUTURE FOR CHILDREN AND ANIMALS But Global Strays’ charity work isn’t only limited to financial contributions; they also create education programs to teach communities, especially children, the importance of being mindful to animals. Through these learning initiatives, the effort is made to change behavior at an early stage, teaching kids that kicking a dog is not okay nor is throwing rocks at a stray acceptable. Offering a free meal to the children who attend the program encourages participation and through ongoing exposure to lessons in kindness, an understanding of the value in caring about the well-being of animals is developed. Global Strays is not just dedicated to improving the lives of animals in the present, they are committed to the future, to spreading a message of compassion and understanding that will reach the next generation and beyond. For more information about Global Strays, •

Elizabeth Shafiroff founder of Global Strays tends to an injured animal as she visits the shelters her charity funds in Central America. Luxury in places like Nicaragua can be simply a roof over their heads for both people and pets.





Does your dog hate it when you leave? Can you hear them saying “No don’t go”


he dog with a severe separation problem that lives with a traveling salesman starts to get nervous when the suitcase is pulled out and is a basket case by the time it’s packed. Your dog is totally aware of all the things you regularly do before you leave. From putting on shoes or jewelry and brushing your hair, to grabbing your cell phone or house keys, your dog knows all the things you do before you leave the house better than you do and gets more and more nervous as you get closer to walking out the door. Separation anxiety can take lots of different forms, from crying and barking, to scratching doors and screens, chewing on your shoes or table legs, and even pooping in the house. There are several things you can do to help your four-legged significant other cope better with your absence. The very first thing I recommend is that you de-emotionalize leaving and coming. No dropping to your knees with hugs and kisses, bemoaning the time apart. Just give a pat on the head, say “See ya later, Bella,” and book out. Same when you return. Pat on the head, “How ya doin, Bella,” and go about your day. 38 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



You can also desensitize your dog to the nerve-racking cues that you’re “splitting” on her. Go through all your cues once or twice a day, and don’t leave. Remember, dogs are very clever, so be sure to observe yourself carefully to ensure that you perform your own personal routine. When you are actually leaving, observe the minutia of all you do before you walk out and note it in great detail, so that you don’t leave anything whatsoever out when you pretend to be leaving. The ultimate goal is to teach your dog that good things happen when you are not around. Instead of chewing on the leg of your chair, give her a more desirable alternative. The only time on planet Earth when she gets people food is when you leave her alone. As you head out, give her three or four hollow marrow bones that have people food wedged in the middle so that she really has to work at getting some of it. It’s very important that all the bones are removed and put out of her reach or purview as soon as you get home, otherwise they will lose their specialness. “Special toys” can also be employed to keep your dog from performing unwanted behavior during short absences. If you’re going to separate for twenty minutes to take a shower or shovel the snow from the driveway, put up a gate and give your dog a couple of the special toys. There’s a good chance she’ll prefer them over your socks and table legs. For longer absences, interactive toys can be effective too—the type where, by knocking the toy around, it occasionally releases a treat or two. Like the hollow bones, only give your dog the special treat or toys when she’s left alone, to keep the interest level high.

If destruction greets you when you return home, it’s not playfulness, it’s separation anxiety.


Dogs who don’t like to be home alone don’t hestitate to make a mess. Good training helps avoid surprises.

Another good strategy is making your departure fun. Toss five or six small regular dog treats into the room as you leave. When my five-pound dog MacDuff went blind at age eleven, he loved it when we left. A dog owner once told me she plays NPR for her dog so that the dog could hear human voices and intelligent programming to keep him comfortable and relaxed when home alone. NPR, with people talking, is definitely better than stone silence, but better than your dog listening to conversation is the sound of classical music, especially when played on a harpsichord. Believe it or not, countrywestern music works really well, too. Your dog’s hearing is probably about sixteen times better than yours, so not too loud.


The only sure way to keep your dog from destroying anything in the house or exhibiting other unwanted behavior due to separation anxiety is for a dog to be properly crate trained. That’s why it’s so important to have your dog see her crate as her den and love it. The crate is her sanctuary. A dog who sees her time there as a punishment might self-mutilate or hurt herself trying to chew her way out. You want to create a very positive association with the crate and make sure it’s the most physically comfortable place for her to hang out. Put her bed and her favorite cushions in the crate. Toss in treats and give her special toys. Whenever she is in there, praise her lavishly and boisterously. Regardless of how comfortable your dog is in the crate, if you are going to be gone for a full work day (around twelve hours,) you will need to hire a dog walker to take your dog out to relieve herself and get some exercise. No question about it. •

Separation anxiety can take many forms such as varying from normal good behavior.




Dr. Alma Dervisevic and Dr. Joseph Scoleri, the clinical team behind Fegnion, breeder’s choice when it comes to the best in raw cat food.


hat if you could feed your cat that perfect balance of macronutrients-protein and fat found in the prey your cat would hunt in the wild? What if your cat could consume the healthiest selection of ground meats ready to be served as fresh as if they were discovered in nature? And what if this biologically appropriate raw cat food was formulated by an exceptional team of clinical pharmacists and veterinarians? Well, look no further than Fegnion, the ultimate in feline raw nutrition. Where to find this secret of the feline elite? Right now, it’s available primarily online at CRAFTING THE MOST BIO-APPROPRIATE FELINE CUISINE

Cats, lions, tigers, housecats too, are strict carnivores; Fegnion’s evidence-based approach recognizes this. Their clinical team, based on vast knowledge and experience, researched and developed three unique single species meat recipes - chicken, turkey and rabbit - each flash frozen to lock in all essential enzymes, vitamins, minerals, moisture and flavor. USDA certified Grade A meat and poultry, fit for human consumption, free of hormones* and antibiotics. Simulating the natural Ancestral Prey Diet, Fegnion is bio-appropriate, enhancing your cat’s physiology, metabolism and behavior. *Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in poultry Contemplating switching to raw and wondering what the result might be? In a word, with Fegnion, exceptional. Meticulously made in small batches in Brooklyn, Fegnion comprehensively fulfills your cats nutritional needs at every life stage but more than that this food, haute cuisine actually when it comes to cats, will give your cat a glossy coat, improved digestion, healthy gums and teeth, greater endurance and vitality. Litter box odor will be reduced as your cat adapts to this diet which does result in increased longevity (especially as it helps keep your cat trim and slim); no wonder it’s a favorite of top cat breeders who stock up on it to feed their champions. 40 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE


Fegnion is steadily accumulating a coterie of fans among the most influential in the cat world. Notable among their converts is Anthony Hutcherson, a Director on the Board of The International Cat Association (TICA for whom he chairs the Bengal Cat Breed) and on the Board of Directors of WINN Feline Foundation. His lifelong passion for highly patterned wild cats has led him to create the most extraordinary Bengals, these domestic felines that mimic the look of an ocelot are his specialty. With such stellar credentials his expertise is unequivocal so his endorsement of Fegnion is indeed impressive. Jungletrax Marquee Attraction, Hutcherson’s star show cat, takes home top honors thanks to his diet of Fegnion. Though not every feline may be this famous, all deserve to feel (and look) just as fabulous. •




The Pittie Project is a donation based 501(c)3 program that provides free spay/neuter, microchipping, vaccinations and other services to anyone that owns a Pitbull type dog in NJ, parts of PA and NY The single most important thing that we can do, to save Pitbull type dogs from the suffering and the death that their overpopulation causes, is to spay and neuter. The Pittie Project has been able to provide free spaying and neutering which will prevent thousands of unwanted dogs being born, only to suffer or struggle in the streets, be abused by cruel or neglectful people, or to be euthanized in shelters due to lack of space or loving homes. Why does the routine surgery of spaying and neutering make a difference? Just one unaltered female dog, and her offspring, can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years.




Lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice? Try telling that to New York flight attendant Steve Boyington. “About five years ago”, recalls Steve, “I found a dog wandering around a pier in the meat-packing district of Manhattan. It looked exactly like a Dogo Argentino, the so-called Argentinian Mastiff. After spending some quality time on the pier with him, I took the plunge and brought him home.” For the next five days, Steve and his pal “Alex” were inseparable. On Day 6, Steve was due to fly to California as part of his work schedule. Steve shudders as he recalls the events of that week. “I arrived in San Francisco late, and decided to call home the next morning to check on how Alex was doing. Five minutes after I left, Alex started barking and scratching and digging at the door.” Steve adds, “By that evening, Alex had literally eaten the entire lower half of the door frame, and had nearly chewed his way out of the apartment, through the door and wall.” Flustered by the amount of destruction that Alex had caused, Steve searched for and found a more appropriate home for Alex: his parents’ farm in upstate New York. And he says, “I decided that a cat might be a more appropriate companion for a Manhattanite who travels as much as I do.” 42 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



While separation anxiety is fairly common in dogs, it is rarely diagnosed in cats who are typically loners, and are not as likely to get distressed when their owner is away. However, some cats are truly social creatures, and they develop strong bonds with people and other animals. When these relationships get disrupted in any way, cats may exhibit signs of separation anxiety. “Housesoiling is a very common complaint for a cat with separation anxiety”, says Dr. Amy Marder a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, and is the owner of New England Behavior Associates in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Cats demonstrate separation anxiety primarily when their owners are away for a few days,” says Marder. “Unlike dogs, they hardly ever show signs when their owners are gone on a regular workday.” Existing behavior problems seem to become exacerbated in cats that have separation anxiety, according to Dr. Marder. “Spraying cats seem to spray after their owners get back from a trip, and aggressive cats (i.e. cats with play aggression, and those cats that like to bite when petted) seem to bite more after owners get back from trips”, she warns. “In fact, I’ve seen an occasional cat attack their owners when they leave the apartment!”, says Marder. Trying to resolve the issues with Millie, Steve followed his behaviorist’s advice, and didn’t make a big deal about his departures and arrivals, “Ignoring her wasn’t easy,” he confesses as he listened to her plaintive meows. Steve also staged a few “fake” departures. Finally, Steve went through the departure ritual, and actually did leave the apartment, but came right back in after a minute and gave Millie more attention. Some cats are the neediest creatures. Love for their owner can turn devastating when they are separated.

Cats with separation anxiety can be remarkably destructive.


Steve went to his local shelter to look for the perfect cat. Steve and Millie, a black and white female cat, bonded at the shelter, and an hour later, the happy couple were on their way back to Steve’s apartment. Millie adored Steve, rubbing against him, sitting on his lap, and prancing in front of him when he would get up and walk around the apartment. The attention was worse at night. “She would literally sit and wait for me to get into bed. Then she would jump up on the bed and snuggle next to me, shifting her body a hundred times a night, as she looked for her most comfortable position. Sometimes, that was right on top of my head!” Millie’s affection didn’t extend to Steve’s houseguests, however. “She was very standoffish around my friends. Sometimes, she was downright grouchy, growling at them if they petted her for more than a few seconds, and even swatting at a friend when he tried to pick her up!” Millie’s possessive behavior got worse. “She became very vocal, meowing incessantly unless I petted her. I began to realize that her constant shifting positions while I slept were actually her attempts to wake me so I could pay attention to her. She would get agitated when I would get ready to leave the apartment. Once, when I went away on a flight, I came home to find that she had licked all the hair off of her belly, and had defecated and urinated behind the couch. I noticed that she would really get agitated whenever I took out my luggage. I finally took her to my vet, who assured me she was healthy. He referred me to a behaviorist. I couldn’t believe it when the behaviorist told me that Millie was exhibiting signs of separation anxiety! What are the odds of this happening to me twice, with two different species?!!”


Over the course of a few weeks, Steve did this at least once a day, varying the time he spent out of the house. Millie soon learned that the departure cues didn’t always mean that Steve would be gone for a long time. While some behaviorists suggest getting a companion cat, Dr. Marder cautions that this may or may not work. “There are cats who live with other cats that show signs of separation anxiety”, she says. Anxiety is the underlying feature of separation anxiety syndrome, and although there are medications that control this anxiety luckily in Steve’s case, “the behavior modification worked well,” he says. “Millie’s still very affectionate, but she’s definitely not as clingy. Arrivals and departures are fairly routine, which only seems right” he laughs. “After all, I am a flight attendant”. For more information on cats and their behavior, contact the vets at • SEPTEMBER 2018



Intuitvely connecting with our furry friends, Libby Brittain hears their voices.


eet Libby Brittain! The expert behind Pet Lifestyle Magazine’s newest feature, “Ask the Animal Communicator.” Libby has been sharing her gifts of speaking with pets, both living and passed, with countless pet parents since she was a child. She went on to study at the School for Animal Communication and is known for her calming, caring demeanor and spot-on readings. Her work has been touted as “divinely transformational,” helping mend pet and human relationships and resolve issues from “why doesn’t my beloved dog like my husband?” to how does my pet feel about flying, being boarded, celebrating its birthday, being alone while I’m at work and everything in between! Libby is ready to share ways you can better communicate with your animal and take on any of the challenges or curiosities you have about your pet. Ask your questions of Libby on our Instagram: We’ll be sharing your questions and Libby’s answers in the next issue. PLM: I travel for work. How does my dog feel about me not being home all the time? Libby: Our animals are here to ensure we discover our purpose and live our life to the fullest. Your dog understands you need to travel in order to accomplish your goals. As long as your traveling for work is in alignment with your higher self then he’s okay with it. On the chance that he begins to exhibit some sort of behavior that would make you think otherwise, then take a moment to reflect on your own feelings about traveling for work. Be honest, are these your dreams that you’re chasing or is there something else you’d rather pursue? Your dog will never lie to you; his behavior will either be a portrayal of something you aspire to be or an element of your shadow you are trying to hide. In either case he’s always in full support of you. PLM: I get really into celebrating my pet’s birthday but do you think they care as much? Do they even know its their birthday? Libby: They do know it’s their birthday and just like people some pets care about it being fussed over while others don’t. Life is one big off-the-leash dog park, so why do we humans always seem to limit ourselves to having unapologetic fun on certain days? Your animal is quite proud of you for geeking out over their birthday. Ideally everyday should be celebrated with as much zeal because those are the times when you’re reconnecting with your inner child! So, break out the catnip or pop open a bottle of fresh tennis balls, and then do something to celebrate life with gusto! PLM: My dog suddenly does not like other dogs. What is that about? Libby: Dogs often show aggression because they are either fearful or in pain. Interestingly, the same can be said about humans. Perhaps your dog is trying to teach you how to remain calm within the storm. Are there people in your life who have been lashing out? How are you holding yourself when you’re around them? The beauty of soul level animal communication is when you start to track where your dog’s behavior is being exhibited elsewhere in your life, you can then make the necessary changes within yourself, which in turn will shift your dog’s aggression too. • 44 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE



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