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Spring Issue #28 SEPTEMBER 2012

Puppies feeding training buying & shopping


Sophia Harris Meet

2012 Gold Coast Show Girl

Kitty Litter

Create a

dog proof

garden Cavy Caveat

Keeping Gorgeous Guinea Pigs

Get Fit

For Summer

exercise with your dog!



PLUS – sidekick, forever friends, veterinary advice, on location, who are you, grooming and lots more!

Adoption Centre & World For Pets The Coast’s only pet superstore, Op shop & adoption centre all-in-one!

Guilt free shopping at the RSPCA Adoption Centre & World For Pets! Whether you are looking for pet supplies, in need of

the RSPCA Adoption Centre & World For Pets Miami. Whilst you are here, you can also meet our special animals currently in foster care, available for adoption! Animals available for adoption include cats, kittens, dogs & puppies that are behaviour tested, fully vaccinated and microchipped.

2172 Gold Coast Highway, Miami Ph: 5575 6146 OPEN: Mon to Fri 9 - 5 & Sat 9 - 3








08 44

32 36


Sophia Harris Gold coast Miss Show Girl & her pets


Feeding Puppy


Puppy Purchase Pickle






Who are you


Cavy Caveat




Spring Feature




Spring Featue




Spring Feature






Spring Feature






Forever Friends

Spring Issue #28 SEPTEMBER 2012

contents Giving your puppy the best start in life Navigate the issues surrounding buying a puppy Cesaerean – when mothers need a helping hand Preventing dog bites Di Leventhal, K9 Photography what’s involved in keeping guinea pigs. Happy car travel with dogs – tips to enjoy the journey Get fit for summer – exercising with your dog Claire Fleming – Practice Manager, Gold Coast Vet Surgery

Create a dog resilient garden – tips to breach the dog vs garden divide Cat litter – a feline review of five popular brands Holiday pet care

Dreamworld – baby bilbies and koalas Spring grooming tips Moving house with pets Dogs in cafes Ablution solutions Readers’ tribute to beloved pets


Andrea & Ski pper t t he w hi ppe

welcome to our spring issue Thank you for picking up Paws & Claws magazine! It looks different doesn’t it? If you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re a pet owner or perhaps an about-to-be pet owner. Or maybe you’re a business owner in the pet industry—or maybe you just picked it up in a café because you’re lunch date is late and it’s better than sitting alone staring at your fellow diners!

Diana Leventhal,

K9 Photography.

Whatever the reason, I hope you enjoy browsing, or devouring, the first ‘new look’ edition of Paws & Claws with yours truly at the editorial and publishing helm.

Publisher Paws & Claws Media ABN 2825 0400 980 12 Kupiano Drive Bli Bli Queensland 4560 Postal: PO Box 367 Bli Bli Queensland 4560 Cover Image Sophia Harris and Derek the greyhound. See story page 8

Diana Leventhal, K9 Photography photography Publisher/Editor Andrea Ferris 1800 882 082 0407 449 270 Advertising Chelsie Brett 0458 015 265 Like us on Facebook


Graphic Designer Erica Anderson Fidget Media Contributors Annaleece Arnold Brad Griggs Brooke Whitney Carrol Baker Carol Wregg Dr Cam Day, BVSc BSc. MACVS Dr Helen Harvey, BVSc Dr Julia Webster Graeme Dixon, BVSc Jodie Alderton Kirsty-Lee Workman Kara Billsborough Lisa Furlonger Monique Davenport Natasha McNamara Trevor Rose Jane Thornton All material appearing in Paws & Claws magazine is subject to copyright laws. Reproduction of articles in part or thereof is not permitted without prior permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those held by the publishers, their staff or contributors. Printed by Dynamic Print Communications 40 Export Drive Molendinar QLD 4214.

We proudly support

Briefly, a little about me: I’ve been in public relations and corporate communications for more than 15 years and a freelance magazine feature writer and editor for a number of magazines for nearly seven years. I share my life with a whippet, a tabby cat and a palomino paint horse. What I enjoy most about publishing is meeting the people that own, train, treat, save, adopt, groom, advocate, show, photograph and generally embrace with a wholehearted passion the animals in their lives. These are people with stories to tell; anecdotes that make us laugh; knowledge to impart; and wisdom to share. People in our midst who I can’t wait to introduce you to: not only through these pages, but online via our new magazine website and as part of the Paws & Claws social media community. However, all this entertainment is only made possible by the support of our advertisers, so shop local and often and tell them you heard about their business here! Happy reading!

Andrea Ferris

Paws and Claws Media

Dog activity game Nina Ottosson

Established in 1990, Nina Ottosson’s range of durable interactive games are designed to stimulate your dog’s brain whilst reinforcing his relationship with people. Each design has a unique mechanism that requires mental as well as physical dexterity to work through the challenges and reveal hidden food rewards. They can be set to differing levels of complexity, to satisfy all ages and breeds of dog. Available online from

stimu dog’slabtreaiynour





browsing fabulous gifts, gear and gadgets for pets and pet owners.

Simply Fido Organic Pet Toys

Simply Fido make organic dog toys for the eco-conscious pet lover. This cute owl with a squeaker is from the ‘Basics’ collection and is made from natural cotton canvas, sturdy cotton rope, and low impact dyes. More information at or Google to buy online from selected Australian stockists such as

hamb it up Hamb t-shirts

These funky dog and cat t-shirts are made by Melbourne-based clothing and accessories designer, Hamb. I’m a personal fan of Hamb because the t-shirts fit really well and are made from quality fabric that retains its shape after washing and wearing. They also pride themselves on manufacturing everything locally; use recycled packaging and employ local people. Order online at

good gear


Leashpod is the practical way to carry everything you need while walking the dog. It has two secure, water-resistant pouches for mobile phone, keys, money or dog treats, an integrated pull ‘n’ tear bag dispenser to pick up dog waste and scented storage compartment to keep used bags out of sight and smell until a bin is found. A lightweight yet durable design, Leashpod is manufactured from sturdy, recyclable ABS plastic with rust-free hinges and it is strength tested and tough enough to withstand the roughest treatment. Available in two sizes and a variety of colours, each pod includes one plain coordinating pocket wrap, steel snap hook, biodegradable bag roll and scented freshener. Priced at $29.95 including free delivery. Order online at

scent ed st orage

squeak y and destr o

Kyjen sheep squeaker mat

steopst yle int

Bubble wrap for dogs! A cute and durable dog mat with lots of squeakers inside provides endless amusement for your dog. Even when the dog hunts down one squeaker and destroys it, there are plenty more to go. And, when all the squeaks are finally silent, it’s still a cute doggy security blanket! Buy online or find Australian stockists at

boredom buster

Home Alone

Harness your dog’s style

Step out in style with the colourful, trendy and robust Pawstars ribbon dog harness. Coordinate the harness with a matching dog collar and lead to complete the look. The dog harness is a ‘step in’ style that’s easy to fit and adjust to your dog. Perfect for safe car travel or a Sunday walk along the beach. Find Gold Coast stockists at or telephone 0403 817 299.

A boredom buster for dogs! If your pooch destroys the washing, chews the plants, barks and is anxious when home alone, hang this in the yard and relax. Dogs get hours of fun pulling on the toy, releasing it and then trying to catch it again. A small amount of food can be placed in the ball to add to the game and spare parts are available if Rex gets a bit too rough! Buy online at


Diana Leventhal, K9 Photography.

Recently crowned Miss Gold Coast Show Girl 2012, 18-year old Sophia Harris has shared her Tallebudgera family home with a colourful menagerie of pets over the years including chooks, cats, dogs, horses and guinea pigs. Sophia is passionate about animals and saving the lives of unwanted pets. Three of Sophia’s current brood, two cats (Archie and Louey) and a dog (Derek), were dumped by the side of the road. ‘I love the idea of giving animals a second chance at life,’ she says. ‘When you can give an orphan a loving home, why wouldn’t you?’

Sophia Harris


Juggling the demands of studying teaching at university, a part-time job, and show girl commitments makes for a busy lifestyle, but this big-hearted Gold Coast teen takes it all in her stride.

Sophia Harris

Words: Carrol Baker Images: Diana Leventhal, K9 Photography

What was it like being crowned Miss Gold Coast Show Girl 2012? It was amazing and unexpected. The first round of judging was the hardest: it required a lot of general knowledge. When they announced the winner, it was wonderful, although I was in shock. I was speechless; all I could say was thank you!

What does your role involve?

To represent the Gold Coast Show Society, so lots of public relations work promoting the show.

What were the special pets in your life when you were growing up?

Palma, my cat, was older than me. He passed away in my arms when he was 18—I still get tears in my eyes when I think about him. My first dog, Maggie, was a German shepherd—she taught me how to walk. I’d hold onto her back and she’d walk me around the house, taking it slowly until I got the hang of it. Maggie was very patient. She was gorgeous and kind; a big gentle giant.

How did you choose your cats Archie and Louey or did they choose you?

They won me over from the second I walked into the cage at the Animal Welfare League. They were the only two that weren’t right on the fence. They were sitting quietly at the back, and when I opened the door they were friendly and came on over.

What would you tell someone who might be thinking about a rescue pet?

To definitely do it; it’s such a joy to see the difference you can make to an animal’s life.

What about Derek?

Derek’s ten and we’ve had him for two and a half years. He was a racing greyhound but, when he stopped winning, his owners abandoned him by the road.

own so ‘Abba bows d etween b you can rub her wings’

The Animal Welfare League asked if we would foster him for a few weeks and we fell in love with him and couldn’t let him go.

What sort of condition was he in?

He could barely walk, couldn’t make it up the stairs and, because of a thyroid problem, he was very underweight. He’d never been around people or treated as a pet. He didn’t know what a TV was; he had no clue what a pool was—he fell in the pool the first day! Derek had never been inside a house before. When he came to us, he’d lay outside curled up in a corner. It’s such a joy to see him now, happily sprawled out inside, lying between us or with the cats lying on top of him.

What ongoing care does he need?

He gets vet checks every few months and a daily thyroid tablet. We walk him twice a day. Basically, he just needed a bit of affection and socialisation and to get used to being a family pet, but it was a long journey to recovery for him.

Derek is very playful now isn’t he?

He’s playful with us and he’s made lots of doggy friends at the park. He’s very cheeky with the other dogs. He lets them chase him but, of course with his speed, none of them can catch him. He slows down to let them catch up and then takes off again.

Where did you get Rani your Welsh pony?

He belonged to my best friend’s sister and I rode him when I visited her. One day they told me they’d sold him and I was devastated. I bathed him and got

him ready to go and was in tears packing up all his stuff. The next day they invited me over for lunch and there he was, in the shed with big bunches of balloons tied to him—he was my twelfth birthday present!

What character trait in Rani do you love the most?

My big, fat pony will be 30 this year! He loves his food, especially watermelon. If you have any food, he’ll grab it and run off.

Why do you think Welsh ponies make good pets?

They’re very calm and cuddly and they basically do anything for food. They make a great pet as they’re very people orientated.

How do you feel when you ride him?

It’s a way to escape. It’s really enjoyable being with him out in the fresh air. He enjoys trail rides—I think it’s because he loves to eat. He also loves a play in the water; he’s definitely a water boy.

Describe Archie and Louey’s personalities?

They aren’t siblings, but they’re both 18 months of age. Archie is super confident, very cheeky and has an obsession with the fly swat. Louey is very timid; he’s a bit of a scaredy cat and doesn’t like loud noises.

Are two cats better than one?

Yes, they keep each other company, but they definitely get up to more mischief.


Diana Leventhal, K9 Photography.

special feature personality

Do Archie and Louey have any unusual habits?

Archie attacks the vacuum cleaner and then sits and waits for you to run it over his back, he’s deaf and can’t hear it, but he loves the vibration. As for Louey, well he jumps up on the basin and drinks water running from the tap when I brush my teeth.

Why did you call your chook Abba?

My mum, dad and I are fond of the band and it suited her. She likes to make noise to get attention and she spreads her wings and bows down so you can rub between her wings. I originally bought two chicks for my mum’s birthday, Sunshine and Turkey, and it turned into a bit of an obsession; I just kept buying more. We originally had six and, after seven years, Abba is our only surviving chook.

What do you like most about the greyhound breed?

They’re big couch potatoes. They’re patient, loving, and easy going and don’t need as much exercise as you might think, short walks are okay if you have a yard.

What has Derek taught you?

With patience and lots of love you can teach an old dog new tricks.


What’s the naughtiest thing Derek’s ever done?

He’s the perfect height for the kitchen table and if you leave just the tiniest bit of food on the table he can rest his head on it and his big tongue swoops out and the food’s gone.

How did you come up with the name Derek?

I was watching Grey’s Anatomy on TV and the main doctor character’s called Derek. I shouted out to mum, ‘He [the dog] looks like a Derek to me,’ and she agreed and the name just kind of stuck.

Does Derek do any special commands or tricks?

Well, we tried to teach him to sit, but gave that up when we found out greyhounds don’t sit! But he’s given a whole new meaning to the yoga position ‘downward dog’. Every morning when he gets up he stretches right out, head down between his legs and stretches his back right the way through.

Who is your favourite feline character?

Marie, the little white kitten in Aristocrats.

Who is your favourite canine character? Lady, from Lady and the Tramp.

How do your furry felines get on with Derek? I was a bit worried because greyhounds are trained to chase small fluffy things. We had another white deaf cat, Oliver, when we first brought Derek home. Derek barked, but of course the cat couldn’t hear, so he just stared at the dog. After the first day they were best friends and Oliver would sleep on top of Derek. Oliver has since passed away and now Archie’s his best buddy.

Do the pets get jealous of each other?

They don’t ever show aggression towards each other. If you’re giving one of them attention, sometimes the others will find a way to muscle in. Derek will push his nose under your arm and lay his head on your lap. Archie will climb all over you.

What are your pet’s favourite treats?

Rani—watermelon. Archie and Louey— they just love food, nothing special. Abba likes potato skins and Derek’s crazy about pasta—he gobbles a whole bowl in seconds.

If you were to be reincarnated as a pet, what would it be?

A horse: when you see a horse running free through a paddock they look like they haven’t a care in the world.

the experts



myths n o m trition

nu m y p coof pup

Growing puppies need extra calcium.

Quality commercial pet foods designed for puppies contain plenty of calcium to support proper growth. Adding calcium to these foods does nothing to help and may actually cause harm to your puppy.

Dogs are carnivores and should be fed meat. Dogs are omnivores and can live on both vegetable and meat-based diets. However, meat and other animal ingredients provide an excellent source of protein. The meat we typically feed is muscle tissue and is not the same as the whole prey a wild dog would consume. Muscle meat must be complemented with other ingredients to provide a complete and balanced diet.

Puppies should not be fed dry food alone. Very young puppies can find dry food difficult to eat unless it is softened with water. Canned food is preferred because it’s easier to use with young pups. After puppies are weaned it makes little difference if pups are fed dry or canned foods providing that highly digestible, quality products are chosen as the nutritional difference between canned and dry formulas is insignificant. Dry foods typically provide greater economy, especially if raising a whole litter or with large breeds.

feeding puppy


An overview of the major issues faced in feeding puppies, highlighting some of the problems, and dispelling a few of the myths of puppy nutrition.

Give your puppy the best start in life Words: Graeme Dixon BVSc It’s essential to provide the right food for your new puppy to ensure its long-term health and vitality. Puppies need to consume more energy, protein and minerals than adult dogs to support the growth of healthy bone, muscle and other vital body tissues. In a new puppy owner’s enthusiasm to ‘do the right thing’ it can be easy to inadvertently over-supplement him. In fact, there is rarely a need to give supplements to growing pups, providing they are on a nutritionally complete, quality pet food.

What nutrients must my puppy have? protein

The ten different essential amino acids—the basic building blocks of animal tissue—are supplied by highly digestible plant and animal sources such as poultry, beef, lamb or pork, as well as eggs and soybean and cereal ingredients. Because different ingredients provide different levels of specific amino acids, a mix of protein sources is preferable and is why commercial foods often contain a combination of meat and vegetable proteins.


Carbohydrates, while not essential for dogs, are a valuable, cost-effective means of supplying energy and dietary fibre to a growing puppy. Commercial foods contain cereal starch which, if adequately processed and cooked, can be readily digested by puppies.


Fats and oils are a concentrated source of energy for growth and provide essential fatty acids to support body function and promote healthy skin and coat. Research suggests that DHA, a particular type of Omega-3 fatty acid, supports the healthy brain development of puppies and enhances their learning capability,

which is why it has been added to some premium puppy foods. Dietary fat comes from refined animal fats, like lard, and a variety of vegetable oils. However, professional advice is needed to choose the right form if you’re making a home-made diet.


While the demands of a growing puppy’s bones increase the need for calcium and other minerals, it doesn’t mean we should provide a calcium supplement. Too much calcium can interfere with normal bone development and may exacerbate common developmental problems, such as hip dysplasia and osteochondrosis (a painful joint problem) particularly in large breeds. The current recommendation for feeding large-breed puppies is to give less calcium per gram than would be fed to a smaller breed. All quality, complete, commercial foods contain more than the minimum calcium level recommended by experts and should not be supplemented. Well designed home-made food will also meet the puppy’s needs, but a supplement may be necessary if the diet is predominantly meat.


Puppies need good quality food to give them lots of energy to grow and play, but that doesn’t mean they can eat as much as they want! Gluttony is a common cause of diarrhoea in young pups and chronic over-eating leads to obesity and the risk of bone and joint problems in large breeds if they grow too fast or are overweight. Monitor your puppy’s body condition, or amount of body fat, by how thick the fat is under the skin. A puppy in ideal condition will have a moderate cover of fat over the ribs—you will easily feel the ribs, but they won’t feel too ‘bony’. In short-coated breeds, you should just be able to see the ribs under the skin. If they are difficult to see, or feel, the puppy is probably overweight. Conversely, if your puppy is underweight he will look lean, the ribs will be very prominent and the base of the tail will look bony.

! P I T

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What puppy food will I choose?

Puppies can be successfully raised on commercial foods or a home-made ration. Which one you choose depends on your own philosophy, your budget and your lifestyle. A commercial food can provide an expertly formulated diet for a busy, budget conscious pet owner. Premium pet foods provide nutritional consistency and are often specially designed to meet the needs of large-breed puppies or the preferences of toy breeds with small mouths. Traditional home-made diets appeal to people with time on their side that want a more ‘hands on’ approach to their puppy’s care. Quality home-prepared meals are ones made from a variety of ingredients— not just meat. Find a recipe created by a qualified animal nutritionist—not just ‘made up’. Avoid giving fatty, indigestible dinner plate scraps to a puppy. While appropriate dental care is essential for dogs, this author does not recommend the routine feeding of bones, especially to puppies, due to the risks of bowel perforation or obstruction.

How will I feed my puppy?

Feed small meals, three to four times per day for puppies under three months old to maximise the digestibility of the food and ensure the puppy eats enough to meet his needs. Older puppies can be fed twice a day. To limit the chance of a puppy over-eating, avoid ‘free-choice’ or all day feeding. Allow small and medium-breed puppies to eat what they can in 5-10 minutes at each meal time and then remove what they leave. Give large-breed pups a set amount of food based on their age and condition. Adjust the amount accordingly to maintain steady growth and ideal body condition. Dr Graeme Dixon is an Australian veterinarian with 20 years experience in the field of canine and feline nutrition.


buying a

puppy How to navigate through the issues surrounding the responsible and ethical purchase of a new puppy.

! P I T

t rce t ou bou ave n ve s a h y an sk nd r ow . th se, a cy a you ase i w a li ch As urch s po d by pur f e n p of etur heck urs o r c o e th ppy 48 h u r p ithin u yo w


Just when you’ve finally qualified yourself or your family to become dog owners and figured the biggest decision has been made, you have to face a greater conundrum-where to buy the puppy from and how will you know if you’re getting a healthy puppy from a reputable source?

It’s the puppy purchase pickle Words: Andrea Ferris These days the popular and social media is saturated with messages that produce much angst in prospective puppy buyers. Do animal shelters recycle dogs with problems and uncertain parentage? Do pet shops buy from the dreaded puppy farms? Will you get ripped off if you buy a puppy from a newspaper ad? Do dog breeders produce puppies with genetic defects? It’s certainly not over-complicating what should be a straightforward process to contemplate these questions and educate yourself about the issues. Get online and Google, talk to people with opinions at animal shelters, council, Dogs Queensland and your local veterinarian, and make up your own mind as to what the issues are and what’s important to you. However, it’s helpful to recognise that activists, breeders, shelters and pet shops all have marketing agendas—they all want you to buy from them or believe their way is the ‘best’ way. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you buy your puppy from as long as it’s been cared for and bred responsibly. That is: in good conditions, without health or genetic defects that cause it suffering and in a manner that does not contribute to an excess of homeless animals. In reality, the ultimate ethical thing to do is to give all existing abandoned healthy and treatable dogs a good home before breeding more dogs. To help get the research started here’s a brief overview of the puppy buying issues.

puppy farms

A puppy ‘farm’ or ‘mill’ is a term developed by animal welfare activists to graphically describe substandard dog breeding operations. Many of these establishments have poor facilities management; bad hygiene practice; mistreat their breeding

rney ‘enjoy the jou ew to find your n best friend’

stock; and produce badly socialised, sick or sickly puppies—just to make money. Generally these people have lots of breeding dogs and have been known to use unscrupulous methods to sell puppies to unsuspecting buyers. If you answer an ad from a newspaper or website and discover or suspect something isn’t quite right and the seller could be ‘farming’ puppies report them immediately to the RSPCA. Buying the puppy might save one dog, but it will only add to the shonky operator’s profit—avoiding it will deliver a clearer message.

backyard breeders

The term ‘backyard breeder’ is used to describe people that produce a small number of litters from their own dogs for a variety of reasons that aren’t necessarily sinister or illegal. If you want to buy a puppy from a ‘backyard’ or hobby breeder on the Gold Coast, make sure their ad displays their Gold Coast City Council breeder permit number or request to see their permit when you arrive. If they’re outside the Coast, visit council’s website, download a copy of their Breeder Code of Practice and, when you inspect the puppy, ask the breeder to demonstrate how they comply with the requirements. If you aren’t satisfied—don’t buy the puppy and report them to the RSPCA.

‘accidental’ litters

Nobody is perfect and things don’t always go to plan! Accidents happen and a litter of puppies may become available due to a ‘one off’ careless encounter. By rights, any Gold Coast resident that finds their bitch is pregnant should apply for a breeders permit—even for an ‘accident’ litter or, if they don’t want the puppies, have her desexed. Apart from conducting a DNA test (see page 55) you won’t be able to determine the full parentage of your accidental puppy, but you should be able to view its mother and fully inspect how it was reared and treated.

Make sure it’s at least eight weeks old, there are veterinary records of vaccinations and worming treatments and seek as much history about the temperament of the mother before you make the decision to buy the puppy.

pet shops

‘How much is that doggy in the window’ is gradually becoming a thing of the past as animal welfare advocates discourage pet store owners from displaying puppies in their stores and some pet shops choose to sell only pet products and promote or re-home animals from the local animal welfare organisation. Unfortunately, too many people make an ‘impulse’ decision to buy a cute puppy without due consideration of the long-term consequences—so it’s better to remove the temptation! Reputable stores will only sell puppies on behalf of registered breeders or breeder permit holders; will offer a cooling off period with a full refund; and fully guarantee the puppy’s health. Plus, buying from a business gives you consumer protection under state government legislation. If they won’t or can’t supply the paper work, ask for the contact details of the breeder so you can visit them and inspect how the puppy was bred and reared and discuss its parents. Again, if you suspect anything odd, report the shop to the council or the RSPCA.

buying from a registered purebred dog breeder

People that breed purebred dogs (or specialty breeds like the labradoodle) run a business that, again, offers some consumer protection. They should have an Australian Business Number (ABN) or Australian Company Number (ACN) and be prepared to show it to you when asked. Breed societies are a good place to find a reputable breeder and can be easily searched online.


special feature puppies

Responsible breeders will show you written records, pedigrees, microchip identification, and interview you about your knowledge and the circumstances under which you will keep your dog. Many refuse to sell puppies to people that can’t demonstrate they’ll provide the dog with the care, companionship and exercise routine that the breed requires. Ask a breeder about genetic problems, which you should be aware of from your research, and have them tell you how they deal with it. Some dogs are bred with physical characteristics that result in a poor quality of life and this should not be supported. Request a tour of their facilities and walk away from any breeder that refuses to show you. Those clean, sweet puppies strategically arranged with their mother in a box in the garage may hide a substandard breeding operation out the back.

buying from a pound or shelter Buying a dog of any age from a shelter or pound is a great and noble choice! Many dogs are handed in because the owners, not the dogs, have problems or life circumstances dictate that they can no longer keep their pet.

If pups or dogs are rescued from a hoarding or cruelty situation, special, caring owners are needed to restore their confidence and good health, which can be very rewarding. Shelters sell puppies for a fee to help cover the costs of desexing, preventative health care, and staff to provide loving care, training and socialisation until they find the dogs a new home. The fees also fund their ongoing good work in advocating against animal cruelty and educating people about responsible pet ownership. Puppies and dogs are vet-checked, desexed, microchipped and potential owners scrutinised for suitability—they don’t want the puppy returning when the novelty wears off! As with any source of purchase, ask about the returns policy and have your puppy checked by your own vet within 48 hours of purchase.

buying from the newspapers or internet

While I touched on this before there are a few more things to be aware of. Good and bad breeders advertise online and in newspapers so you need to be a bit savvy about how to respond and what to ask.


Breeders living in the Gold Coast area are required by council to hold a current breeder permit that stipulates they must state their permit number when advertising. Check with other councils that may also have breeder permit requirements if buying outside the Coast. If there is no requirement for an inspection and breeder permit, insist on a landline phone number and street address and investigate the seller online, with a phone number search, through council records or any other way you can think of. Only view the puppy at the place it was bred—never at a park, ‘friends’ house or anywhere else—no matter how much ‘trouble’ they want to save you—this is a known trick that unscrupulous breeders use. Demand a written guarantee of health, freedom from genetic defect, and place of

breeding, but remember that this counts for little if they don’t have an ABN or ACN. Make sure the puppy is healthy-looking, bright and active and not sickly, pot bellied or has a discharge from its eyes or nose. Interstate purchases should be avoided unless you have a trusted person to carry out the inspection for you or you can ask a veterinarian to check the puppy before it’s shipped. Despite the depressing and dire warnings, there’s actually only a small percentage of people that have any significant puppy purchase dramas. Your new best friend is out there waiting to wag its tail right into your life—just do some research, be sensible, keenly aware and enjoy the journey.


Breeder permits and code of practice explained. Joy Verrinder, Strategic Development Officer with the Animal Welfare League of Queensland, has spent the past nine years developing legislation and policy to reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs. I asked her to explain the Gold Coast City Council’s breeder code of practice and permit initiative. The breeder code of practice came about from discussions with the state government when we wanted it to introduce compulsory desexing, particularly for kittens prior to sale or transfer, and compulsory microchipping.

of ‘use the code sess the practice to as lity ’ breeding faci

We got the compulsory microchipping in 2008, but the government wasn’t brave enough to introduce desexing legislation so they encouraged councils to submit pilot projects designed to curb the number of unwanted animals.

cover the cost. Responsible breeders are recognised; consumers can identify who to buy from; and, most importantly, animals are protected.

The Gold Coast City Council put forward, and later introduced, breeder permits with a code of practice to solve the problem of animals without enough homes and to tackle the issue of animals not being bred carefully or well. Now it’s something we’d love to see go national. The breeder permit system was developed by a stakeholder coalition that included representatives of council, Dogs Queensland, Queensland cat breeding organisations, state government, RSPCA, and the Queensland branch of the Australian Veterinary Association. They looked at the few codes of practice already available in Australia and the codes of ethics that breeders already have. Our code of practice specifically related to the local law on the Gold Coast, but it was developed with a view that it is best practice for cat and dog breeding and should be incorporated into state or national legislation. At present there is no national legislation for dogs and cats, but consistent state legislation is necessary because animals are traded across borders.

When someone applies for a breeder permit at a cost of $396 for three years, an animal management team member from council inspects their property using the code of practice as a checklist. The applicant should already have the code and be using best practice methods before they are visited. It is tricky to discover people breeding without a permit. If someone on the Gold Coast publishes an ad for a puppy or kitten, they have to include their breeder permit number so consumers can recognise which breeders to buy from. Many breeders outside the Gold Coast don’t have to display a breeder permit number, so it’s difficult for consumers to identify which should have the number. This is why breeder permit inspections and numbers displayed in advertisements should be made a requirement in every state as soon as possible.

My advice to anyone buying a puppy is to protect yourself from inadvertently supporting the breeding of puppies in poor conditions by doing all the research you can and, where possible, buy from a pound or shelter or somebody that has a breeder permit and has had their property inspected.

more information: Gold Coast City Council Dogs Queensland Oscars Law RSPCA

The breeder permit system became Gold Coast City Council local law in 2010 and we’re still lobbying state government for it to become part of Queensland legislation. It should be mandatory for everyone that breeds: local government can administer the permits; responsible breeding improves animal management and welfare; and the permit applications fees

However, anyone purchasing a puppy outside the Gold Coast area can do what an inspector would do: visit with a copy of our code of practice and discuss it with the breeder to make them aware that such a system does exist and would benefit them. Anyone that believes in the system should take the opportunity to speak with their state government representative and promote its state-wide adoption.

! P I T

s tie ce e i c a so pl ble sily ed ood puta e ea e Br a g re n b e. a n are nd d ca onli fi an d o t er he d rc ee sea br

Getting to Zero



shopping spree! Here’s a checklist of some of the must-haves and would-like-to-have items to buy to take care of your puppy.

! P I T

m ro s f keep e o sh to d. ld hop use o s y m Bu op py a e th pup

treats food

Follow any guidelines for feeding your puppy given by the breeder or shelter. Or ask your vet or pet store. (Read our article on puppy nutrition on page 12) bowls – one for food and one for water. Ceramic ones help stop bouncy puppies knocking them over. treats – have some moist treats in the pantry or fridge for puppy training rewards.

clothing coat – even in Queensland very

short-haired breeds need a dog coat in winter. collar and ID – in addition to microchipping, register puppy with the local council and attach the tag to a collar along with a disk with your phone number on it. lead – a lead and a halter, harness, or collar (depending on your training preference and the size of your puppy) is needed for walking and training.

out and about harness – for safe and secure car travel. car blanket –invest in a blanket, sheet or

dog pad for the seat so cleaning hair isn’t a chore. water bottle – keep a bowl in the car for dogs on the move. poo bags – tie them to the lead; put them in the car, your hand-bag and back pocket so you’ll never be caught short. Scented nappy bags make terrific dog poo bags. dog-walk bag – A small bag that leaves your hands free for dog walking and to store treats, poo bags, water bottle, keys, wallet and phone. cage or crate – for trips to the vet, boarding kennels or flying interstate. Or hire as needed.


travel crat

inside barriers – keep puppy off the good

furniture or out of the baby’s room with a baby-gate or two. Or look for a second-hand baby’s play pen or travel cot. toys – so many to choose from! Essential to keep puppy stimulated and away from expensive non-chewable items. Buy several pairs of old shoes from the opportunity shop just for puppy! Visit your local pet shop for a huge variety of dog toys or, if you don’t’ have a big budget, pups are just as happy with a plastic bottle filled with rice, or a knotted rope and other creations. Just make sure they can’t swallow small or sharp pieces. bed or mat – puppy should have its own bed or mat for indoors. cleaning products – and paper towels to mop up little ‘accidents’ while toilet training.


veterinary and health worming tablets and flea treatment – consult your vet. insurance

Pet insurance gives peace of mind and is a wise investment.


Visit the local council’s website for details.

outside fencing – make it secure so when puppy

grows he can’t jump over or dig under it. kennel – large enough for when puppy is grown. Invest in one that’s easy to clean, stays dry and is insulated. Introduce a kennel or crate when they are young for the best results. kennel bedding – Non-chewable is good for puppies! Old blankets, sacks and sheets or dog-specific pads are okay. pooper-scooper – an implement to pick up dog poo from the backyard. A shovel and stick work well as does a child’s beach bucket and spade. outside toys – boredom busting toys for when puppy is home alone.

grooming brush, grooming mitt and comb

– depending on the breed and length of hair. dog shampoo – human and baby shampoo is not for dogs. dog conditioner – for long-haired dogs.

old towels for drying off wet dog—try the op shop.

Microfibre cloths are great to pick up loose hair off their coat after a brush.

pet nail clippers.

basic first aid kit

• Board or blanket to use as a stretcher • Rope or soft cloth for a muzzle • Cage or transport box • Non-stick bandages • 3% hydrogen peroxide diluted in water to clean wounds • Towels or cloth to control bleeding • Bandages and adhesive tape to secure bandages • Saline eye wash • Syringe or eyedropper for medicating • Emergency phone number for local vet and 24-hour veterinary clinic in your area.

dog coat


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book review

The dog stars

By Peter Heller

‘this is a book u unlike any yo ’ ad re r have eve

The Dog Stars is a beautiful and gripping story set in Colorado after flu wipes out most of humanity. Hig, bereaved and traumatised after a global disaster, has three things to live for—his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He’s just about surviving, so long as he only takes his beloved plane for short journeys and saves his remaining fuel. But, just once, he picks up a message from another pilot, and eventually the temptation to find out who else is still alive becomes irresistible. So he takes his plane over the horizon, knowing that he won’t have enough fuel to get back. What follows is scarier and more life-affirming than he could have imagined. And this is a book unlike any you have ever read. Published by Headline

RRP $29.99. ISBN 9780755392605. Available as an eBook

The dog with the old soul By Jennifer Bayse Sander

True stories of the love, hope and joy that animals bring to our lives.

uching ‘ filled with to ill appeal stories that w vers’ to all animal lo

Humans and animals may not share the same language, but animals have that rare ability to speak directly to one’s soul. And few relationships are as simple — and rewarding — as those between man and animal. From ‘man’s best friend,’ to feline friends, to many other ‘old souls’ of the animal kingdom, this heart-warming collection shares remarkable true stories that highlight the hope, healing, happiness and—perhaps most of all—unconditional love that animals bring to one’s life. The Dog with the Old Soul has the same undeniable charm of successful books like The Dog Who Healed a Family and Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul. From horses to dogs and cats, this collection is filled with touching stories that will appeal to all animal lovers. Published by Harlequin

RRP $12.95. ISBN-9780373892624. Also available as an eBook



The Animal Emergency Service team of vets and nurses who delivered Lilly the beagle’s eight puppies are from left: Dr Dana Reynolds, nurses Brooke and Amanda, Dr Patrice Callaghan and nurse Angela.


Just like humans sometimes need help delivering their babies, so do dogs and cats. py

When mothers need a helping hand Words: Dr Julia Webster, Gold Coast Animal Emergency Service There are a few reasons why puppies may require help being delivered. Sometimes the puppies are too big to be born naturally. This can occur in any breed, but particularly in breeds such as the bulldog and Staffordshire bull terrier that have large heads, and in small dog breeds, like the Chihuahua.

Sometimes the mother may deliver one or two puppies then be too exhausted to keep going. Whatever the reason, they will require veterinary assistance. A hormonal injection is given to stimulate birthing contractions and help the puppies be delivered, but this doesn’t work in all patients and in many cases a caesarean is necessary. A caesarean is an operation that removes the puppies through an incision in the abdomen. Although many caesareans on humans are carried out under epidural anaesthetic with the mother awake, this is not possible with dogs and they require a general anaesthetic so they are fully asleep. The procedure must be carried out quickly because the unborn puppies are very sensitive to the anaesthetic that the mother dog is breathing and it can be harmful if they absorb too much.

Lilly ’s eight hap and healthy puppies

A mother dog usually revives her puppies after an exhausting birth by licking them and she chews off the umbilical cords. Because the mother dog is asleep having her caesarean, it’s up to the people to do this important job. Warm towels are used to transfer each puppy with its placenta clamped, but still attached, from the theatre to a treatment bench. Here they are rubbed and dried thoroughly and have their mouths suctioned with a small, soft tube to remove any mucous. All of this rubbing and massaging helps to stimulate their breathing. If required, oxygen can also be given to them to help with their first

few breaths. Their umbilical cords are tied off with suture material and then cut to detach them from the puppy. All this is done on a heat mat to keep the puppies warm. Once they are breathing okay on their own they are placed into a basket bed with hot water bottles and a heating blanket over them. They are monitored until their mother is awake enough to feed them.

As soon as they have drunk some of the vitally important colostrum, the new family goes home to bond and grow strong and healthy.


EMERGENCY SERVICE “The Springwood Centre”

Corner Lexington & Logan Rd (07) 3423 1888 104 Eastlake St, Carrara (Exit 75 off the M1)

(07) 5559 1599

The mother dog is often placed on intravenous fluids and her abdomen is clipped and prepared for surgery before she is anesthetised to reduce the operative time. Once anaesthetised and attached to an anaesthetic machine, the mother-to-be is taken into a surgical theatre for the operation. In surgery, her blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation and carbon dioxide levels are all monitored by the emergency vet nurse while the veterinarian carries out the caesarean.

State of the art facilities. Highly trained professional and friendly staff. Opening Hours: Weeknights 6pm - 8am Weekends 6pm Fri - 8am Mon Public Holidays - All Day & Night

A team of nurses and vets are on stand-by waiting to receive the newborn puppies!


special feature veterinary

how to all get

along a guide to preventing dog bites ‘any breed of dog can be agressive’ Here’s what I recommend:

Avoid tragedy this holiday season by teaching children safety around animals. Words: Dr Helen Harvey, BVSc As a veterinarian I find it astonishing to think that more than a thousand children a year are presented to hospital emergency departments in Queensland alone as a result of dog bites. As a parent of a two-year old boy, it’s upsetting to realise that boys under the age of five are most at risk and seventyeight percent of reported bites were family members or friends of the dog’s owner—this means that more than three-quarters of those children bitten knew the dog. So, how do these scary statistics occur? What research shows is that dog bites tend to occur when the child is interacting with the pet, such as playing, feeding or patting it. We also know that no particular breed of dog is more likely to be aggressive than another breed; any breed or crossbreed of dog may become aggressive if it thinks it’s being threatened. Ultimately, dog bite prevention comes back to one thing: as adults, we have a duty of care to keep our children safe and to teach them safe practices, including recognising hazards and how to behave around dogs.


how to approach a dog

Ask the owner if you can approach the animal and ask your parent or adult supervisor if it’s okay. Allow the dog to sniff the back of your hand with your fingers curled under onto your palm. Stroke the dog on the chest or shoulder area: never on the top of the head. Never disturb an animal that is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies. Never stare a dog in the eyes: look at its feet.

what to do when approached by a dog

Stand like a tree. Stand still, hands by your sides and act quietly. Never squeal or yell. Never run: walk away slowly facing the dog, but not staring at it. If there’s no owner around, leave the area walking away slowly. If a dog starts to circle you, circle with it, but don’t stare at its eyes. If the dog attacks, ‘feed’ it something— your bag, jacket, bicycle—anything to get between you and it. If a dog attacks you, curl up like an echidna and cover your head with your arms and hands.

be safe around your dog

Never shriek or yell around a dog because the noise can excite it and make it more likely to jump up or snap. Never chase dogs; tease them; pat them roughly; poke them; or pull their hair or ears.

Never approach a dog that is confined behind a fence; within a car; or on a chain. Always let a dog, even your own, see and smell you before patting it.

child safety for dog owners

Never allow a child to feed a pet—this is a job for an adult. Keep small children and animals separate when you can’t see them. Supervise all pets in the presence of young children. Have control over your dog so that it will obey you no matter what its excitement level. Basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘leave’ and ‘come’ are the best for control. Match your pet to your family’s needs and buy a breed that will cope with your lifestyle. It’s better to get a dog when you’re expecting a baby; that way you’ll have around eighteen months to get into a routine and have it under control before the child starts to move around. See your veterinarian if aggressive behaviour is noticed so that the problem can be rectified early. Dog bites and attacks scar mentally and physically; not just the person bitten, but all of those that are involved—parents, pet owners, medical practitioners and veterinarians. We need all these people to educate, inform, train and guide pet owners and children how to prevent dog bites because blaming the dog isn’t the solution.


Diana Leventhal, K9 Photography.

‘I imagine my y ... epitaph will sa ‘dog woman ’ - end of story

Diana Leventhal Photographer – K9 Photography, Gold Coast

who are you

Diana Leventhal is a talented photographer with a gift for creating images that capture the special bond between a dog and its owner. Her constant companion r and creative inspiration is Max, ‘believe in you ake m o a 17-year old kelpie. dreams and g ’

About me...

The book I’m reading right now is …

I don’t have time to scratch myself let alone read a book. However, Who moved the Cheeze is on my bedside table.

It’s a bit odd, but I like to …

them happen

My worst habit is … leaving lights

on. After the last electricity bill, I’ve been turning everything off at the power point. Sheesh!

My ultimate goal as a photographer is to … have a huge

kiss Maxy’s little paw pads. Only after a bath of course, and not when he’s been outside—that would be gross.

studio. I love location shoots, but I have some fabulous plans and ideas for a studio!

If Max could talk he’d tell me …

The strangest photography request I’ve had was … a dog

not to kiss his paw pads! It’s seriously embarrassing. He would also tell me how much he loves me.

My favourite dog movie is …

one that doesn’t make me cry so I never watch them. I am such a blubberer. Some advertisements make me cry.

People tell me I look like …

Tina Arena. Well, I did when I was younger. I met her in a Bali leather shop about seven years ago and we got chatting. I put my arm around her shoulder, we looked into the mirror, then looked at each other and said, ‘Nah’ at the same time and giggled.

If I bought a car to match my personality it would be … a convertible. Something fun, flirty and quick!

wedding in Sydney hosted by 2Day FM [radio station]. Some things should strictly be for humans.

If I could say one thing to my dog subjects that they could understand it would be... ‘Hold that pose and give me some attitude!’ My dream photographic gig is … being a pet photographer to the

famous! Their dogs wouldn’t care less who they were and that would definitely come across in my images! Yes, I could have a lot of fun with that.

The one thing I’d tell my 15-year old self is … follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you what you should be doing. (My mother told me to be a legal secretary.)

I’m happiest when I’m... at my computer editing [images] and listening to Maxy breathing on his bed next to me... at 17 every breath is a miracle. The last time I cried … I was peeling onions.

My favourite Sunday pastime is … going to Byron Bay and walking or running up to the lighthouse and then having something naughty to eat.

I imagine my epitaph will say … ‘Dog Woman—end of story’.

The piece of technology I just can’t live without is … my iPhone: I panic if I can’t find it.

If I won big in Lotto the first thing I would do is …

check the ticket—I never win anything.

I never leave home without my … iPhone.

ADVERT K9 Photography, Gold Coast




Guinea pigs are quite popular as a family pet, but what’s really involved in owning one - or two?

All too often guinea pigs are purchased on impulse without proper preparation and planning and people find themselves with this cute, but much higher maintenance, animal than what they expected.

What’s really involved in keeping guinea pigs? Words: Monique Davenport Guinea pigs are one of the most popular kids’ pets, but they make great companions for people of all ages, not just children. These cute and cuddly animals can be very affectionate and have their own individual personalities. So, the first rule is: guinea pigs should not be purchased as the kids’ pets, but family pets! It’s very common for children to lose interest in their new pets, so it’s important that the whole family be happy to be involved in the animal’s care. Guinea pigs are well-known as cheap and easy pets, but these days many people are finding this to be a bit of an urban myth.



The average cost to care for a pair of guinea pigs is $10.00–$15.00 per week, and allowance should be made in the budget for veterinary care if necessary, which can become expensive. To get yourself fully set up and ready to adopt a pair of guinea pigs you would be looking at spending around $150–$300 depending on where you shop and the kind of cage or hutch you wish to get.

e ‘guinea pigs ar d affectionate an cuddly ’ other equipment you will need: • two food dishes • a water bottle • a hay rack • one or two objects they can hide in • absorbent dust-free bedding • fruit and vegetables safe to feed guinea pigs


Choosing a home for your guinea pig can be an exciting and difficult decision. Preferably, guinea pigs should be housed indoors or under the patio in a hutch raised off the ground at night to protect them from predators and the elements. You can house them in a secure grass hutch during the day or just have them in their indoor/undercover hutch. The recommended minimum cage size for two adult guinea pigs is 60 cm x 120 cm. It’s always recommended to have at least two guinea pigs of the same sex as they are herd animals and will get lonely without a companion. Say no to wire floor! Guinea pigs should not be housed on anything rough or harsh because guinea pigs have soft foot pads and have been known to suffer from a condition known as ‘bumblefoot’, which is a very painful infection of the footpad and if left untreated can lead to death.

‘bathing and required grooming are ce’ for maintenan daily maintenance

Once you are all set up the daily maintenance is fairly straight forward. Ideally guinea pigs should be fed twice a day: once in the morning and once in the afternoon and fresh water should also be provided daily. The special guinea pig mix/pellets and hay are generally given in the morning and vegetables in the afternoon. Hay can be topped up in the afternoon if needed.

Spot cleaning should also be done every day to remove food that hasn’t been eaten and to prevent fruit and vegetables from rotting in the cage.

weekly maintenance

How often the cage needs cleaning will depend on many aspects such as what bedding is used; how large the cage is; and how many guinea pigs are in the cage. Usually, guinea pig owners find that, with a good, absorbent bedding and a suitable sized cage, cleaning once a week is ideal. Food bowls, water bottles and any other accessories should also be cleaned weekly.


A little understood fact about guinea pigs is that they need grooming! The coat maintenance schedule depends on the breed of guinea pig. Short-haired guinea pigs should be brushed weekly and bathed every three months and long-haired breeds should be brushed every 2–3 days, have regular hair trims and be bathed every month. You also need to trim their nails every few weeks.


Guinea pigs are quite clean animals and don’t smell, but they do toilet often so cleaning out their cage regularly is necessary to prevent their bedding and cage from becoming smelly.

keep two

Guinea pigs are herd animals and need a companion of their own kind and sex. Guinea pigs housed on their own become very lonely and depressed.

life expectancy

Guinea pigs have quite a long life and you can expect to have them for between 4–9 years.


Guinea pigs, like dogs and cats, get sick and injured and may require veterinary attention so it’s important to keep this in mind when making the decision to purchase. They may seem cheap and easily replaced to adults, but try telling that

guinea pigs

to a child when their pet is sick! Most vets will treat general problems with guinea pigs, but sometimes you will need to consult a specialist in exotic animal medicine. Guinea pigs aren’t all that robust and it’s important to take immediate action at the first sign of illness.

opt to adopt!

Now that you’re all set up and ready to add some guinea pigs to your family, why not opt to adopt from your local guinea pig shelter and give a pair of homeless guinea pigs a caring home. There are literally thousands of homeless guinea pigs waiting for adoption so why not make adoption your first option!

Guinea lPeigs Fact Fi

g, e metres lon e nearly thre er w s ig e. p rs ea o n an a h years ago gui hed more th Eight million tall and weig re et m a an th stood more igs (swine). t related to p o n d an ts en are rod to Guinea pigs ly translates which loose , s’ lu lural). el (p rc o es p vi ular) or ca g ame is ‘Cavia in n (s tin vy La ca r ei Th own as ey are also kn ‘little pig’. Th as ‘boars’, but ws’ and males ‘so as n ow males are kn Like swine, fe lled ‘pups’. babies are ca inated. here they orig w a, ic er m A uth ill eaten in So when Cavies are st 16th century r back as the fa as s et p e domestic ack home. They becam ught them b ro b s er ad tr er European —unlike oth eir eyes open th d an r fu are born with Guinea pigs rodents. because they ‘guinea’ pigs em me th ed glish nam elieve they ca but others b ought the En , th ea is n It ui g a r merica. t and sold fo a’ in South A were bough ‘Dutch Guian d lle ca y tr lled from a coun n, which is ca t up and dow h ig ra st p m ju nea pig will A happy gui s. ile n ve ju in ‘popcoming’ in their vitamin C with re tu ac uf an m are unable to ted. Guinea pigs e supplemen b t us m t ie d r ei th so s, ie bod naw on d things to g ee n ey th so wing, ever stop gro th. Their teeth n ageable leng an m a at h et te r ei th to keep

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9. 10. 11.

Monique Davenport is the founder and manager of Cavy Angel’s Guinea Pig Rescue a non-profit and non-funded organisation dedicated to the rescue and re-homing of neglected, ill, found, pregnant and unwanted guinea pigs.

‘Monique Davenport a cavy angel’

Contact: Monique Davenport Website: Facebook:!/cavyangels Email: Ph. 0423 238 449



car travel with

dogs If your dog is your best mate and much-loved companion, you’ll want to take him everywhere with you—including on holidays. However, some dogs hate the car; some are over-exuberant; and some are car sick—making every trip a disaster.

! P I T

is r int t fo a r an . st re port iver e r f Sa ly im nd d l a a vit dog


Here are a few tips to ensure the driver, passengers and furry friend enjoy every journey.

Happy travelling with your dogs Words: Brad Griggs, Canine Behavourist, Canine Services International Exercise your dog before you leave. Get up early and take him for a long walk or jog. This has two benefits: he’ll have had ample time to toilet and he’ll be calmer.

e ‘your best mat on should come u’ holiday with yo

Tip: Avoid exercise that’s too vigorous because your dog will drink a lot and have a full bladder during the trip. Feed your dog at least an hour before you leave so the food has a chance to settle; he can have a good drink; and he takes care of post-dinner toileting.

Tip: Some dogs travel better on an empty stomach and some travel medications or supplements are best given without food. Car sickness is a common problem in dogs. Ginger, when given about thirty minutes before a car trip, helps lots of dogs avoid vomiting. Try a couple of ginger nut biscuits or crystallised ginger, ginger capsules or fresh ginger root finely crushed. Other herbs that have been reported to help include fenugreek, peppermint and chamomile. Chronic car sickness sometimes requires medication, which should be prescribed by a veterinarian.

Tip: Experiment with medication and supplements well before you leave to see what the dog will eat and to practice stress-free dosing. Safe restraint for your dog is vitally important in the car—no matter how long the journey—not only in the event of an accident, but to reduce distraction to the driver. A crate promotes a cool, calm, relaxed and self-assured attitude in dogs because they associate it with their natural instinct for a den.

Tip: Crate training should be done in the home for several weeks before using it in the car. Travel harnesses clip to the seatbelt buckle and stop the dog moving around the car. They also double as a walking harness for toilet or exercise breaks during long trips—just unclip and attach a leash. Cargo barriers for station wagons are a very safe way to keep the dog confined to the back of the car and generally can be fitted after-market.

Tip: Whether using a crate, harness or a barrier, offer your dog its familiar bedding as a cue to keep him relaxed. Car manners will keep your dog safe wherever you are. It’s very important to teach it to enter and exit a car on command—especially if you’re travelling with kids or have to stop beside a busy road or car park to exercise or toilet your dog. It’s all too common for a dog with poor car manners to push its way out of a slightly opened car door, taking the owner by surprise and bolting into a dangerous situation such as oncoming traffic, a cyclist or a busy intersection.

Tip: Teach your dog to sit or drop before he gets in the car and to wait calmly for his leash to be fitted and a command given to get out of the car—even when the door or tailgate is open. Hot cars kill dogs. We sweat to regulate our temperature, but dogs pant to cool down and they have fur—little wonder they suffer greatly if left unattended in a car in even mild temperatures. Never leave your dog in a car, even with the windows cracked open. Utes are a popular dog carrier, but it’s required by law to tether your dog at a length that doesn’t enable him to fall or jump over the side.

Tip: As a responsible guardian you must provide water and sufficient weather protection to your dog on the back of the ute. Consider a purpose-built crate or kennel and remember the tray gets very hot under paws in the sun. A little pre-trip planning and some training and safety consideration will make sure everyone travels happily and safely.


get fit for summer perfect ‘spring is the time to start an ram’ exercise prog

Exercising with your best mate Words: Kara Billsborough It’s a beautiful Gold Coast morning. The surf is up, the sun is out, and the air is crisp. Although there is still a slight winter chill in the air, now is the most comfortable time to exercise. With the warmer seasons on the way, why not take advantage of the last of the cooler weather and start getting fit for summer—with your dog? Sounds crazy right? Although you wouldn’t be the first to think so, the concept of owners getting active with their dogs by more than just walking seems to be quickly catching on around the world. And, with research showing around forty percent of dogs are overweight, now, more than ever, owners need to realise the importance of health and wellbeing not only for themselves, but also for their pets. There are various programs around the Gold Coast region that promote exercise programs for owners and their dogs to work out together. It can be a fun alternative to exercising by yourself and a great way to improve your own and your dog’s fitness levels. Wild About Agility is a unique Gold Coast based training program that encourages owners to get out and active with their dog to improve cardiovascular fitness and agility. Lead trainer, Kellie Jeffries, believes the Wild About Agility program is a fun, alternative way to increase activity for handler and dog. ‘The main purpose of Wild About Agility is teaching dog and handler how to work together to perform on different pieces of agility equipment. ‘It’s quite a physical sport as it requires the owner to run a full obstacle course with the dog,’ she said. Since the beginning of the program in 2002, the Wild About Agility team have seen great improvements to the health and wellbeing of the dogs and their owners.

springpuppies feature

Just like us, dogs that are overweight are at greater risk of health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure and joint pain. ‘The benefits are huge. This kind of dedication will extend your knowledge of health, nutrition and the fitness of your dog, and your own fitness will grow the more you train and compete,’ Jeffries said. The club only promotes positive methods of dog agility training and includes additional features such as responsible dog care and advice on healthcare and diet for your dog. Jeffries and the team at Wild About Agility welcome all breeds of dogs and owners at any level of fitness to trial their agility program or their other canine frisbee activities. ‘Come along and give it a try,’ she said. ‘The sport is all about having fun with your dog and meeting new people.’ If you’re not up to being that agile, ‘Pooch to 5k’ is a program based on the Sunshine Coast and offered online that aims to get both owner and dog running five kilometres comfortably. The program works on the basis of combining walking and running to begin with then, as the 12-week program is carried out, less walking and more running is incorporated until eventually runner and dog should be able to comfortably run five kilometres. Veterinarian and Pooch to 5k founder, Audrey Harvey, said she and her husband have seen remarkable results from the program for both runners and dogs. ‘Being a vet, I see a lot of dogs come into work that are overweight and with resulting diseases—and diseases like that are optional. ‘Pooch to 5k is a really positive program - we’ve seen owners lose up to 12 kg and dogs get fitter. And, even from a behavioural perspective, research shows that dogs get the same endorphins from running that people do, so running really is the bee’s knees for dogs and people,’ she said. Their website provides a free training program to get people and pooches running five kilometres in just 12 weeks. In addition, Pooch to 5k provides group and one-on-one training sessions.

‘swimming t and improves hear ’ lung capacity

‘My husband and I are both accredited athletics coaches, so we modified an existing program to make it a bit easier for the dogs because they can’t tell us when they’re absolutely stuffed and don’t want to go for a run. ‘We find that people go to group training sessions for the company and motivation, so that’s why we offer both the group and one-on-one personal training sessions. ‘In my experience, people are much more likely to get out and do something and they’re much more likely to succeed if they’ve got someone they’re accountable to,’ Harvey says. To avoid first-time runners being at risk of injury, Harvey stresses the importance of getting clearance from medical professionals before starting any new exercise program. ‘The first thing to do is to check with your vet and doctor before starting the program and don’t be in any hurry because, when you start this sort of program, you’re looking at results for the long-term. It’s not a race to get to 5k,’ she said. You don’t have to spend too much money to get out and active with your dog. Research shows you both will benefit from any kind of medium to high intensity exercise, so don’t throw out that lead just yet. Here’s a few suggestions for fun and free activities you can try with your dog. Provided your dog is a breed built for jogging longer distances (such as a cattle dog or Labrador) rather than a breed built for shorter, higher intensity sprints (such as a greyhound) gradually building in a jogging routine with your dog can be a simple, enjoyable and fun way to get fit. Playing frisbee with your dog in a park (off-leash area) or even in the backyard can improve the cardiovascular fitness of you and your dog and help improve your dog’s behavioural training.

If you, or your dog, have had trouble with joint pain or arthritis, a lower impact activity such as swimming might be more suitable. But remember, just because it’s low impact doesn’t mean it has to be low intensity. Swimming can be an ideal way to increase cardiovascular fitness and improve the strength of the heart and lungs. If your dog is a hesitant swimmer, try encouraging it into the water with treats and toys. For an alternative activity you can do at home, or in the park with a group of friends, why not try Dances with Dogs? Also referred to as ‘musical freestyle’ there are groups that get together and choreograph dance routines to music, encouraging their dogs to run between their legs and perform other movements, giving both owner and pet a high intensity workout. So whether it’s increasing your brisk walking or running with your dog, dancing with your dog, or enjoying a full exercise program to keep you motivated, be sure to get out and active with your dog this summer—the physical and psychological benefits will speak for themselves.

more information: Wild About Agility Services Pooch to 5K training program Dances with Dogs

Teaching your dog to be obedient with the frisbee game keeps them on their toes and their mind active.




[noun Colloquial 1. an assistant. 2. a close friend.]

‘the most g is important thin the to g making comin vets a positive experience’

Claire Fleming started in March 2012 as practice manager and head nurse at the Gold CoastVet Surgery and was nominated as a great ‘sidekick’ by her boss, practice owner, Dr Kevin Cruickshank.

Being a great sidekick Words: Claire Fleming as told to Andrea Ferris. Images: Andrea Ferris My husband, Tim, and I came from the United Kingdom four-and-a-half years ago and have just applied for citizenship.


Claire Fleming Practice Manager, Gold Coast Vet Surgery

I was born in Surrey—supposedly a posh area of the UK. My husband comes from Essex, which has the reputation of being the rough side of town! I actually fell into veterinary nursing! My family always had pets: ducks, rabbits, cats and hamsters. I actually wanted to do speech therapy at university, but you can’t do a lot with a speech therapy degree if you don’t want to do speech therapy! I took a year out [after school] to decide what I wanted to do and found a job as a trainee veterinary nurse in the local paper, so I gave it a go and haven’t looked back. I remember in the first couple of weeks [of my first job] I thought, ‘Oh my God I’m never going to know all this and remember all this stuff!’

I worked in a few practices around the UK, starting as a trainee and working my way up to head nurse. In the UK, no matter where you work or where you are, every vet nurse receives the same level of training. We got foxes, badgers and hedgehogs in [to the clinic] all the time. Hedgehogs are great as they roll up in a ball and you can’t get to them to find out what’s wrong. I worked with dogs and cats mostly, but also lots of farm animals. I went home once with a lamb in a box that needed hand-rearing. I used to travel with it in the back of my little hatch-back and when it popped its head up anyone behind me was astonished to see a sheep in the car! Bless mum and dad, they were happy for me to bring home lots of transient animals.

ray ‘Claire with a st g to n ti Chihuahua wai s be found by it plan; like when clients owner’ aren’t happy or we have to euthanase animals.

When I was 28, one of the nurses I worked with asked me to go travelling with her and we spent three months in south-east Asia and then came to Australia. We had more travel plans, but she found a job and I met Tim in a Brisbane backpacker’s hostel and went home with him. Tim and I wanted to come back to Australia to live, but it took us 10 years to get back here because we didn’t have the right qualifications to get in. Eventually I got sponsorship through friends with a vet clinic at Ipswich. At first it was very hard living off just my wage in a new area. We’ve settled in well and feel comfortable here, but there are times, like Christmas, birthdays and family events, when we feel homesick. We have two ‘furry’ children: Harry [cat] came in [to the surgery] about seven days old and needed hand rearing and Basil [cat] was about five weeks old and had a damaged pelvis having been hit by a car. I was a head nurse in Ipswich, but I wanted more of a challenge. I saw the ad for this Gold Coast position and Tim and I talked about it for a while because it was a massive change and would involve moving. I was very excited about the role because I got a good feeling about the place at the interview. I was a bit nervous starting a new job. It’s like going to school for the first time—a little bit scary. It wasn’t just a change of job; it involved a move for us too. If it didn’t work out, I couldn’t rethink it—our whole lifestyle was going to change. I felt absolutely useless for the first couple of weeks. It’s a horrible feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing. You have to ask, learn and listen and accept that they’re not expecting you to do everything. It took a month before I really felt confident and comfortable, however I’m still learning how things are done and new things, but that’s a part of this job—you learn every day. There’s always stress and strain in a job and I have days when things don’t go to

We euthanase because the animal is suffering and we’re lucky we’ve got that option. It’s hard though and I tell new nurses that they need to get on well with the team to share the stress and you need to be able to talk to someone at home about it. You never get used to that part of the job: I still cry with some clients and get upset. The day I don’t is the day I should get out of the business. My job is a huge part of my life. Tim says I never switch off and I think about work all the time! My way of winding down is to go home and talk about my day to my understanding husband who listens and takes it all in. He’s quite good at diagnosing now as he’s heard so much about it for so long! When we’re not working we like to get out and about. We go and see places and go for walks. We do a lot of outside stuff and we go to the cinema a lot as Tim is a film buff. We just moved to Upper Coomera so we’ve got a whole new area to explore. By stepping up to be practice manager I’ve taken on all the little administration jobs so they [the vets] can concentrate on being vets and building the practice.

I’m the person behind the scenes implementing ideas and making sure we develop the best patient care and have the best client service. To do this job you need to be organised and flexible. I can plan my day and something unusual walks through the door and the plan goes to pot! You also have to be practical and realise you can’t do everything for everybody and every animal. And, it helps to be passionate and love what you do. If I was giving advice to someone thinking about being a vet nurse I’d tell them they have to be prepared to work hard and be on their feet all day. You sometimes work unsociable hours and there’s not a huge financial reward. It’s not glamorous: about seventy percent of the job is cleaning and it’s stressful when animals are put to sleep. But sending them home well after nursing them is pretty special—it’s why you do the job.

side kick In the next 12 months I want to develop my role and help develop the clinic. There are always new treatments, drugs and equipment to consider and Kevin and Fiona [practice owners] are keen to progress. The most important thing for all of us is to make coming to the vets the most positive experience that it can possibly be for clients by offering the best service and treatments and preventative care. If I had a magic wand and three wishes I’d make animals able to talk so they could tell us what is wrong and we could explain what we are going to do to them; I’d make dog poo smell flowery; and I’d have all pet owners give their animals the same level of health care as they would people.

I love making sure pets are happy and healthy and, when we send them home well, that’s the best feeling in the world.

what the boss says

Up until now I haven’t had the luxury of a practice manager and so I wore many hats: vet, marketing manager, public relations, human resources, health and safety, pharmacist, stock controller, complaints desk and business manager. Taking on a practice manager has been a very exciting step in the growth of our practice, but it’s meant that I’ve had to learn to delegate; something that I’m not very good at! Claire is learning how to be ‘me’ so we can continue with the same ethos and customer service that’s built the practice to where it is today. She’s making it easy for me though by absorbing all that I’m dumping on her and doing a great job of covering the middle ground between management and the rest of the team, as well as helping us to improve our customer service. She really is a good ‘sidekick’—supervising the medical work in the clinic; stepping in as an experienced nurse when required; as well as taking many administration tasks off my desk. It’s testament to her abilities that, as I write this, I’m at an interstate vet conference for a week not stressing about how the practice is coping without me. I’m sure they’re all having a party, led by Claire!

Its early days and I haven’t discovered anything annoying about my bosses! It’s a positive place to work, but I knew from the start they were people I’d get on with.


! P I T

to g th ds t do r wi e e s b en bu rd t. rd e ro t bo fron a r n e e g o la nc a m a p in th e F ide ate es ov re ci pr or c spe y er rri hard ba

create a dog resilient

garden With a bit of Aussie know-how; a modicum of elbow grease; and some planning, dogs and gardens can exist in harmony. The optimum solution is to create designated areas in the garden for plants, dogs, and people.

springpuppies feature

Practical tips to breach the dog vs garden divide. Words: Andrea Ferris and Paul Mundwell

create a basic dog-only area

The size of your dog yard will be determined by the size of your yard and your dog! If there’s enough room for them to move around freely then it’s large enough. However, it’s worth stressing again—all dogs must have plenty of regular exercise and it’s even more important if they can’t self exercise. Fencing can be constructed of any material provided the dog can’t jump or climb over it, dig under it or escape through it. They do prefer to watch what’s going on around them, so solid fencing isn’t appropriate. Some dogs may scrabble at wire fencing and hurt their feet and some have been known to get their heads stuck in gaps in fences.

nd pit ‘A children’s sa s that g is great for do like to dig’

and garden chemicals in a shed on a shelf away from dogs. Keep dogs away from areas of the garden where you’ve used chemicals for at least 24 hours. Small stones or pebbles can pose a hazard for dogs that like to eat them! Yes, there are some that do and it can cause serious problems. Ensure compost bins have a secure lid or are out of reach of dogs. Tremorgenic mycotoxins, a type of mould, cause tremors and seizures in dogs and grow on practically any food.

Avoid light-coloured concrete or pavers in the yard or kennel area as they are difficult to clean.

pool safety for dogs

Once the yard is built, make sure they have a suitable weatherproof kennel or shelter, somewhere shady to sit outside and access to water. Include some equipment in the run to keep the dog from being bored.

Supervise dogs around pools as if they were children. Swimming is strenuous exercise for dogs, so if they look like they’ve had enough, remove them from the pool area.

A children’s sand pit is great for dogs that like to dig and for burying objects they have to find and dig up. What about a raised platform for them to sleep on? A tyre on a rope to knock about and chew? A tub of water and a few dog toys? If a dog-only area is out of the question as perhaps you are renting, here are a few tips to create a dog-resilient garden.

dangers to dogs toxic plants

Many plants are toxic to dogs and it’s a good idea to obtain a list (search the internet or ask at the local nursery) and find what’s already in the garden that might need removing or what to avoid planting.

fertilisers and pesticides

Dogs are often attracted to chook poo-based fertilisers and blood and bone, although some will eat any type of fertiliser. This generally won’t kill them, but it may cause vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Fertilisers that contain additives, like insecticides, may cause more serious illness. Keep all fertilisers

Swimming pools are a risk to dogs so a few safety considerations should be taken.

Teach your dog to swim. Not all dogs are natural swimmers and you will have to spend some time with your dog in the pool to assess its capability or help it learn how to swim. Dogs should not be forced into the water if they are reluctant as it can be very traumatic. Seek advice from a qualified dog trainer if you are unsure.

keeping plants safe from dogs We’ve talked about keeping dogs safe in the garden, but what about keeping plants safe from dogs!

Raised garden beds will go some way to deter dog foot traffic and, if tall enough, will discourage small dogs from digging and eating plants. Fence garden beds to provide a more robust dog barrier or create a plant border with hardy species in the front. If your dog chews plants, use a section of PVC pipe tall enough to cover the chewing area. Cut it lengthwise and place it around the plant. You can also spray citronella oil on the plant and plant dog-deterring species around them to keep dogs away.

dog-deterring plants

If you want to deter dogs from certain areas plant Dog-Off (plectranthus caninus), pennyroyal mint, citronella geranium, marigolds or lemongrass. There are others, ask at your local nursery.


Fencing is probably the most important consideration when designing a dog-resilient garden. Secure fencing will keep dogs in and unwelcome visitors out.

Let the whole family know about the pool rules for dogs. It’s fun for the kids to play with the dog in the pool, but they should know what activity is allowed and when to stop.

If you are undertaking a major fencing installation between properties, check with the local council regarding the procedure and how to seek consent from your neighbors.

Slippery pool decks are hazardous to running dogs and some pool decks get very hot and can harm dog’s feet.

The type of fence suitable for your garden will depend on your location, the amount of passing foot and vehicle traffic, and the nature of your dog.

Gaps in pool fencing should be appropriate for the size of your dog. Never leave dog toys in the pool—they’ll be tempted to jump in and retrieve them. Dog’s nails can damage some pool liners. Consider installing a ramp in the pool so your dog can get out if it accidently falls in.

Some dogs are easily stirred up by what’s happening outside the garden. Therefore, a solid fence that restricts visibility may help to divert your dog’s attention and provide added security for your home. However, some dogs may be calmer because they can see what’s happening and don’t feel isolated behind a solid wall.

Keep pool chemicals and equipment securely stored.


spring feature

Never underestimate your dog’s ability to climb or jump over a fence. Whether you have a chronic escapee is difficult to determine when they’re a puppy however, some additions, such as internal overhangs, can be retrofitted to fences if required. Generally speaking, if a dog is well-exercised, mentally stimulated, has company and is desexed, escaping should not be a problem.


Avoid gaps under fences; sink the fence well into the ground on installation; or lay pavers under the fence to discourage digging to escape.

Consider more exercise, stimulation and companionship. Build a doggy sand pit. Create designated dig areas.

Dogs can be hard on grass. Choose a pet-friendly, traffic-proof, self-repairing turf such as Sir Walter or buffalo grass. Consider turning high-traffic areas into pathways with pavers, rocks or timber slats (like what is used over sand dunes at the beach). Fertilise grass with organic liquid feed to promote growth and keep it watered. If you have the time and patience, dogs can be trained to use one part of the yard to toilet.

dog toileting

Dog poo won’t hurt the lawn or garden, it’s just unsightly, smelly and messy under feet—or toys or tyres! Pick up dog poo regularly: it can go into the compost, but you’ll need to add sand and straw to reduce the odour and keep the consistency correct. Feed your dog a proper natural diet, which results in less poo with a firmer consistency and faster breakdown. Ensure your dog has plenty of water and is well hydrated to lower the urea level in its urine and prevent, or lessen, grass burn patches. Install a ‘marking post’ in a place you’d like your male dog to urinate. Take him there and when he does the deed reward him with praise or a food treat. Tall pots are a magnet for ‘leg lifting’ and the urine will kill the potted plant. Raise the pot higher or plant in smaller pots.

protecting garden furniture

Expensive or much-loved patio furniture and pets just don’t match.

Keep ‘good’ cushions in storage and provide pets with their own cushions. Tip chairs upside down when not in use.

garden vs dog problems and solutions

Keep in mind that dogs may use other objects and structures to help them climb out. Garden furniture and outbuildings can provide a ‘step up’ for dogs with a taste for adventure!

lawn and grass


Cover furniture legs with PVC pipe and/or spray consistently with citronella oil. Cover patio furniture or pack it up and store when not in use.

They’re bored and it’s fun!


dead lawn patches

Caused by concentration of urea in dog urine.


Keep dog well hydrated. Train to go in only one area. Research Dog Rocks®


Some dogs are born escape-artists no matter how much they’re loved, exercised or stimulated. Others because they are not desexed and just can’t resist the urge to find a mate.


Assess the dog’s exercise regime. Provide more stimulation. Consider doggy daycare or other companionship options when you’re not home. Desex the dog. For chronic escapees, research electrified fence options. Retrofit internal overhangs.

burying bones

plant destruction



Dogs bury bones from a deep-seated, ancient instinct to hoard food in the good times for later when food might be scarce. Don’t stop feeding your dog bones as they are extremely beneficial to their health and teeth. Feed bones in an area that can’t be dug up, like the garage or paved patio. Feed smaller, meatier bones. Encourage the dog to use a designated bone-hoarding spot.

walking tracks

Generally caused by a bored, under-exercised dog self-exercising or annoying the dog or kids next door. Often well-worn paths are found next to the side gate or along the front fence where the dog hangs-out watching the world go by.


Assess how much exercise the dog is getting and increase as necessary. Provide more mental stimulation. Create, build or plant obstacles along fences. Ask your local nursery for suitable plant species. Construct paths.

Dogs don’t have any idea that plants are expensive and precious—they just clod-hop around wreaking havoc willy-nilly. Fence garden plots. Plant in pots. Place temporary barriers around young and vulnerable plants. Plant dog-deterrent plants. Section off an area for potted plants and raise the pots. Thank you to Paul Mundwell, the owner of Green Millenium Landscapes, a Gold Coast landscaping and gardening company, for his valuable input into this article. A qualified horticulturist with a strong horticultural family heritage and more than 20 years in the business, Paul has a vast knowledge of garden care and landscape solutions. Visit: or phone Paul on 0422 193 262.

the experts

media 12 years industry experience! Call now to arrange a consultation & for added convenience we’ll come to you!

Phone 0431 114 977 ‘It’s a job for a Fidget’

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kitty litter we test five popular brands

Rating system: the more paw marks, the better the product rated in each test. Paper Crystals Breeder’s Litta-Beads Choice

Bentonite Generic Brands

Cost Odour Control Absorbency Tracking Lasting Power Our trial assumed that solids are scooped as soon as possible and wet litter portions are removed at least daily.


Clumping Lavender Litter

Wood-based Oz-Pet

Perhaps the one drawback to owning a cat is dealing with kitty litter. It is a tiresome chore, but it is a fact of life that we have to put up with if we want to share our lives with these delightful, fastidiouslyclean creatures. The main objective when you have kitty litter trays inside is for visitors not to be aware of them. The last thing you want is for a guest to walk through the front door and say, ‘Oh, you have cats’, because the smell alerted them! To avoid the dreaded, unmistakable cat pee pong, it is essential that litter trays are kept as clean as possible, which will also ensure

we test that the household felines do patronise them. It is also extremely important to choose the right litter for your cat and for your nose! There is a confusingly extensive range of kitty litters available at pet shops and supermarkets—many of them variations of one another. Therefore, to simplify the job of choosing the right litter to suit both you and your kitty, we have tested a variety of litters on some discerning felines. We have used the same type of tray for each litter and consulted a variety of purebred, crossbred and domestic pusses to find how different litter materials performed in terms of odour reduction, tracking, absorbency and lasting power.

All litters chosen are the top sellers in their categories according to our survey of major pet stores. Tracking outside the tray by cat paws was tested with the trays sitting on white tiles so that any litter tracked was easily seen. Be aware that the larger the paws the more litter will be tracked! Our team of feline volunteers featured a range of paw sizes from tiny to very large. It should be noted that Oz-Pet litter is ideally used with its purpose-built double tray, which sifts wet litter into the base, leaving dry litter in the top section, virtually eliminating any tracking.

best al l-r ounder

The Coles-brand variety is relatively heavy, not great on odour control or overly absorbent, but it is a great choice for people on a strict budget because it is so cheap. For people who like a fresh start to each morning with a completely clean litter tray, Breeder’s Choice is wonderful, especially as only a light scattering over the tray base is needed, improving its affordability. If you don’t like to bother scooping anything but solids, Litta-Beads will be ideal, whereas, if you want a litter that lasts almost as long, but you don’t mind scooping, Lavender Litter is perfect. Oz-Pet is an all-rounder: regular scooping sees it lasting very well and remaining odour-free.


the experts


the experts



xury ‘I’ll take the lu suite thanks!’

pet care

Planning is the key to happy holidays for your pets

So you’re going on holiday? Words: Kirsty-Lee Workman Holidays are meant to be a time of fun and togetherness for the whole family, but what happens to the family pet when you all go out of town? You might think that spring is a little too early to start thinking about the Christmas holidays, but the reality is that, if you’re a pet owner and you’re planning a trip away this Christmas holiday season, now is the time you need to begin planning. Many businesses are already taking bookings and, with places filling up fast, responsible pet owners should begin researching pet care options well in advance of their holidays to have as many options as possible. While being away from your beloved pet can be stressful for both of you, luckily, there are more choices than ever for quality holiday pet care and with a little planning and preparation you’ll be able to find an option that is perfect for your pet. There are traditional kennels and catteries as well the more recent option of private pet sitters. Pet sitters offer a more individualised pet care service, either in their own home or in the home of the pet. This can be a great option for pets that don’t adapt well to being away from their family or to being around other pets.


Many pet sitters are veterinary qualified and some even offer additional household services that can give you that extra peace of mind while you are away. Why not consider taking your pet with you on holidays? Many camping facilities now cater for pets, but be sure to check any specific requirements before booking into a camping ground. If having your pet stay with you is not an option, it may be that you can board it in a facility nearby and take it out for day trips. This increasingly popular option allows pet owners to enjoy their holiday with the added benefit of not having to worry about whether their pet is receiving adequate care far away from the family. When considering your options for holiday pet care, be sure to consider what’s best for your pet. This will depend on a number of factors, such as whether they’re used to mixing with other pets or if they need any particular medical attention. It’s a good idea to list the pros and cons of a variety of options, remembering to factor in the cost of each. Online research provides a handy overview of the pet care options available in your area, or in the area you are planning to holiday, and the cost. Many websites also provide some customer comments and online forums, which can be a great place to gather information and realistic feedback from customers that have used the facilities. Local vets are also a great source of information. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices you should contact any boarding facility or pet sitter you are

considering to check their credentials. (Be sure to also check with them how far in advance you would need to book). If you’re contacting kennels or catteries, make sure they allow inspections of their facilities—a facility that has nothing to hide should be open and welcoming. Also, ask what the boarding facility requires from you and your pet; all quality facilities will require your pet to be up-to-date with vaccinations; many will also require them to be treated for flea and tick prevention (although some will offer this service, especially if you are boarding your pet for an extended period); and some may even require that your dog have a particular level of training or socialisation. If you opt for a private pet sitter the research process is similar: first contact them to check credentials and experience. If your pet will be staying in the home of the sitter, be sure to visit the home before booking to make sure the property is adequately prepared for pets. Ask the sitter about their care routine, particularly in regards to feeding, exercising, and any medications that may be required. Most importantly, especially if you will be giving the sitter access to your own house, be sure to ask for references that you can actually check—a trustworthy pet sitter should have no problem providing references from satisfied clients. Regardless of whether you choose a boarding facility or pet sitter, be sure to prepare for any emergencies by leaving care instructions with the facility or sitter, including contact details (for yourself,

spring feature

family members that could help, and, most importantly, for your vet); specific ailments your pet may suffer from and medications they may require; leave a spare house key; and, if you can, let your neighbours know what your plans are. It’s also important to remember to contact your regular vet to inform them of your holiday plans. Dr Kevin Cruickshank of the Gold Coast Vet Surgery says many of his clients leave him their credit card details and instructions in case their pet needs veterinary care in their absence. He also advises holidaying pet owners to go and visit a facility before making a booking. ‘A good kennel or cattery should be welcoming with an open door policy,’ he says.

To prepare your pet for boarding, get it used to a varied routine well in advance of your trip. ‘Some experience more stress than others leaving the home environment. Don’t keep your pet to a strict routine; get them used to different feeding times, different walking times and so forth. If your dog or cat is very stressed leaving the home, a pet minder can be a good option— particularly for cats, as they can sometimes be left alone for longer than dogs.’ A person who knows only too well just how many cats are left alone during the holidays is Carol Wregg, owner of Simply Purrfect, a specialist cat boarding facility at Gaven on the Gold Coast that caters for inside and outside cats with large pens that resemble walk-in rooms, each with a ‘backyard’ area. An animal lover and cat owner from way back, she is well aware that many pet owners only think about care for their cats at the last minute. ‘We get a lot of last minute bookings. We’ve even had one on Christmas Eve and the lady got quite upset and ended up in tears because she couldn’t get her cat in anywhere. ‘There are very few feline-only catteries throughout south-east Queensland and we can only take between 20–30 cats, which leaves a lot of pussy cats left out for the neighbours to feed! ‘Pet owners need to start organising a place in a boarding facility by mid-year or at least as soon as they start planning a holiday and make sure the cat is vaccinated at least two weeks before they come. ‘When cats first arrive some are a little stressed; cats are attached to territory as

well as to owners and for the first day or two it’s all a bit strange for them. ‘However, I think our guests enjoy their holidays. They come and “talk” to us and seem quite happy and we brush and play with them; they get attention every day.’ Besides caring for other people’s cats, Simply Purrfect has two resident felines: the 22-year old Lilly, who is in surprisingly good health for her age, and Sloth who apparently used to be a supervisor, but has now turned into a bit of a dictator and sits on the appointment book in the office holding up the work!

So remember, research your options; visit your chosen facility or business personally; check references; and never leave your precious pet for the last minute list of holiday tasks—this way the whole family can ... enjoy a happy holiday season!

handy holiday tips Always visit a boarding facility or pet sitter before making a final booking. Choose a kennel or cattery that checks vaccinations—because if they don’t ask you they may not have asked others.

Carol Wregg is keen to get one message across above all: ‘If you can’t get your cats into a boarding facility, don’t go off and leave them to fend for themselves, find someone to look after them.’

Maximise your pet’s immunity by updating their vaccinations as early as possible (a minimum of two weeks).

Barbara and Sean Kirkpatrick have run a pet boarding facility as part of The Links Pet Centre, just outside of Brisbane, since 2011 and agree that booking as early as possible is paramount.

Before to reduce the stress of suffering whilst in care and after to catch anything they might have picked up, including cats.

‘We’ll be booked out by mid-November and at full capacity over the Christmas– New Year period. It’s terrible when you have to turn people away. It’s definitely the time of year to be booking ahead.

Be aware of ticks — the Gold Coast region is prone to ticks, so be sure to check the boarding facility’s procedure, particularly if you plan to be away for an extended time (tick collars are also handy for boarding).

‘It’s been a traumatic couple of years for us since the floods, but our boarding kennels are newly renovated and we’re about to open a new cattery with extra-large-sized pens,’ they explained.

Check how much exercise your pet will get and what kind (supervised on lead or free range in a run).

Like any quality boarding facility, The Links Pet Centre require evidence that all vaccinations are up-to-date and that flea and tick treatment is on all animals, but people can provide their own. The centre’s fees include exercise twice a day and pet owners can get training for their dogs while they’re boarding for just a bit extra cost. Boarder training also comes with free follow-up lessons. The Kirkpatricks welcome inspections at any time, asking only that pet owners call ahead to ensure a staff member is available to show them around the facility. With such a range of superior pet care options available, families can rest assured that while they enjoy a well-earned holiday break their pets will be enjoying their own special holiday experience. The decision to go with the more traditional holiday care option of a kennel or cattery, or to choose the more personalised service provided by a pet minder or in-home pet sitter, should be made according to your pet’s individual needs.

Worm your pet before and after boarding.

Make sure your pet is microchipped and that your contact details are up-to-date.

Choose a cattery that has separate pens to avoid cat fights as cats are solitary creatures and don’t like to mix with strange cats. If all else fails and you are relying on a family member or friend to look after your pet, it’s a good idea to have a back-up person and to inform your vet of the situation. Most importantly, start researching your options as soon as you start planning your holiday, and book your pet into a facility as early as you can! Dr Kevin Cruickshank is a veterinary surgeon at the Gold Coast Vet Surgery, Surfers Paradise. Telephone 5538 5909 or visit Simply Purrfect Boarding Cattery is at Gaven, Gold Coast. Contact Carol Wregg on 5502 8803 or visit The Links Pet Centre is at Goodna. To book an inspection contact Barbara Kirkpatrick on 3397 2000 or visit


special feature event

vet celebrity

‘Dr Katrina Warren’

comes to the gold coast pet & animal expo! Pet lovers on the Gold Coast are fortunate to welcome a very special guest to the 10th birthday party for the Gold Coast Pet & Animal Expo.

Dr KatrinaWarren Dr Katrina Warren is a veterinarian who first appeared on our television screens in 1994 as a presenter on the Ten Network children’s show, Totally Wild. She went on to co-host the Seven Network’s hit television show, Harry’s Practice and became a household name for promoting responsible pet ownership and animal welfare. She is currently a co-host on 2GB’s weekly radio show, Talking Pets, the resident veterinarian on the Nine Network’s Today Show, and the host of Talk to The Animals.


Katrina has presented Beverly Hills Vet and fronted her own show, Housecat Housecall for Animal Planet, in the US. Not content with television and radio, she is a regular columnist for Prevention and PETS magazines, has written four books, and is currently putting the finishing touches on her new book, Wonderdogs, Tricks & Training.

Katrina’s passion is helping people enhance the special bond they share with their pets, whether it is choosing the right pet for their lifestyle, solving behavioral issues or providing basic health advice. Along with the ‘Wonderdogs’, Katrina regularly holds dog training talks and demonstrations at corporate and private events.

As Ambassador for Assistance Dogs Australia, Animal Welfare League NSW, Animals Asia Foundation, National Breast Cancer Foundation and Lifeline Australia, she strongly supports animal and social advocacy. Katrina shares her home with her four-year old daughter Charlotte, a Maine Coon cat called Mr Fox and an adopted golden retriever called Riley. But, she says Mr Fox is definitely the boss!

more information Twitter:!/drkatrinawarren

Working for our future – today

a Warr Meet Dr Katrinnderdogsen and The Wo

Talk to your pet through Pet Medium and Communicator Amanda De Warren

Join the party!

29-30 September 2012 (the Queen’s Birthday long weekend)

ALL PETS WELCOME Entry is free

9am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday

CentraL P ark OvaL and varSity LakeS SPO rtS and artS Cen tre Central Park Drive, Varsity Lake s

There’s something for every person and animal. The biggest pet party, dog games, the Pet Parade and show only specials! PLUS Olivia and Jake from All About Animals are coming with their film crew too!


Proudly presented by the Gold Coast City Council


from little things


things grow

at Dreamworld Beyond some of the world’s tallest and fastest thrill rides at Dreamworld is one of the biggest wildlife sanctuaries in south-east Queensland. Words: Natasha McNamara The Dreamworld, Australia Wildlife Experience, which is home to more than 500 native Australian birds and animal species, just got bigger with the arrival of five bilbies and four koala joeys.

The birth of five bilby joeys has boosted the Gold Coast theme park’s bilby population to 13, making Dreamworld the biggest captive population of Queensland bilbies in the world. The boom began in October 2011 with the birth of a male named Lukie followed by the birth of three other males, two of which are twins, and another joey, whose sex has not yet been determined, and there may be more joeys on the way. Dreamworld Life Sciences Manager Al Mucci says the wildlife staff have welcomed the five joeys and are anxiously awaiting the next pouch check to see if the Australian Wildlife Experience will be welcoming more babies during spring. ‘After the 12–14 day pregnancy, the baby


joey is born as a tiny jelly bean and spends another 75–80 days in the mother’s pouch before we take a peek. We don’t know if the mother is carrying young until then so it’s always exciting when we do these checks,’ he said. ‘While bilbies are a relation to the bandicoot family and are often referred to as the rabbit-eared bandicoot, bilbies don’t usually breed as easily as rabbits, which is why we’re so surprised with the number of joeys born this year.’ Dreamworld is one of only a small number of wildlife parks in the state with bilbies on display and the only non-government institution with approval to breed the marsupials for release back into the wild. Captive breeding programs play a vital role in the survival of endangered species like the bilby of which there is estimated to be only 600 remaining in the wild. As well as having the largest population of bilbies, Dreamworld also has one of the largest koala colonies in the world with more than 60 koalas and is among one of the only places in the world where guests can have their photo taken holding a koala. Guests visiting over the past six months may have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a head or arm hanging out of a mother’s pouch, but only now are the little balls of fluff starting to fully emerge from their pouches and can be spotted on their mother’s backs. Four babies are proving to be a handful, but last year the Australian Wildlife Experience

has ‘Dreamworld est rg one of the la s in koala colonie’ the world team was kept even busier with the arrival of 11 koala joeys. The balanced number of five males and six females guarantees that when they reach sexual maturity in another year or two Dreamworld can expect more successful breeding to take place. Also romping around Dreamworld are six-month old Bengal tiger cubs, Ravi and Baru. Since arriving at Dreamworld in April the playful pair has enjoyed meeting guests during Tiger Cub Experiences, strolling with the big cats and lots of playtime. Even at such a young age, these mini big cats are ambassadors for tigers in the wild. You can help support the cubs in their efforts by becoming a proud member of Dreamworld’s wildlife family and adopting one of them through the Adopt an Animal program. There is a range of other animals to adopt and packages to choose from ranging from a bronze sponsorship at just $50.00 per year right up to the platinum package at $1000. All sponsors receive pictures of the adopted animal, an official certificate, animal fact sheets and quarterly newsletters to keep them up-to-date with all AWE and Tiger Island news. Larger sponsors also receive tickets to attend a Sunset Safari Tour, Dreamworld passes to see their adopted animal and Dreamworld merchandise. Come face-to-face with Australia’s most iconic animal as part of the Koala Cuddle Experience, you never know, you may


even see Logan, the world’s only known captive bred blue-eyed koala or meet Ravi and Baru as part of the very special Tiger Cub Experience. Koala Cuddles are available daily from $25.95 per person and the Tiger Cub Experience is available for $99.00 for a limited time only and a percentage from all animal encounters goes to the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation, which works with local and international conservation organisations to help to save animals in the wild. Dreamworld supports a number of organisations, including the Save the Bilby Fund, Flora and Fauna International 21st Century Tiger, Phoenix Fund and the Australian Koala Foundation. The Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation is currently the world’s number-one zoological contributor to 21st Century Tiger, a fund that supports projects across the globe committed to anti-poaching, education and environmental restoration for endangered tigers.

To make your next visit even more special, visit Dreamworld during September for Koala Awareness Month.

s ‘only 600 Bilbie ’ ild w e remain in th

more information: about Dreamworld or the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation visit or phone 5588 1111.


spring grooming



Spring is a busy time for dog groomers.

Is there something you, as a dog owner, can do to ease their pain? Yes there is and here’s how. Words: Lisa Furlonger, TopKnotch Dogs, Nerang Please excuse your dog groomer/stylist if he or she is a bit grumpy at the moment! Spring is the busiest, and most difficult, period in the dog groomers’ calendar. Hundreds of dogs bound through their doors full of spring happiness … and knots!

No matter what breed of dog you have it will shed its coat. Contrary to popular belief, short-haired dogs shed hair more often than long-haired breeds. Why? Because the shorter the length of hair the quicker it reaches the end of its growth cycle and falls out, allowing the new hair to grow in its place. This is known as ‘moulting’. Even though in some dogs it’s barely noticeable (like greyhounds), every dog gets a winter coat, which grows and thickens as the daylight hours shorten in autumn and falls out in spring as the daylight hours lengthen. In fact, coat growth has more to do with light than it has to do with cold. Winter coats are more noticeable in breeds like border collies, German shepherds, Siberian huskies, Pomeranians and golden retrievers, which are often referred to as having ‘double’, ‘heavy’ or ‘under’ coats. All dogs need regular grooming for a healthy coat and skin, but some need a fair bit of extra work when September rolls around to help them ‘drop’ or ‘blow’ their coats. Professional groomers and pet stylists use a range of quality brushes, rakes, combs, sprays, shampoos, conditioners and dryers combined with brushing, combing and some rather unusually named techniques like plucking, stripping, raking, and carding to tame your dogs’ winter woollies and prepare them for the summer ahead.

‘find a good ep your groomer to ke ylish’ dog looking st If you’ve allocated a fur-proof room in the house, have a mountain of towels at the ready and think you have the stamina to tackle the job yourself, you’ll need the right equipment. The type of dog you own will determine what brush to use, but the most common tool of choice by owners is a firm slicker brush and an undercoat rake, like the Mars Coat King. Most groomers and stylists also sell grooming equipment and will be happy to supply the right tools and give you advice on how to use them. The double-coated breeds should have a thorough grooming at the end of each season—about 2–3 times a year—to maintain a healthy coat and skin. If they aren’t ‘groomed out’ or given a ‘de-shed’ between moulting, their undercoats compact like a thick blanket, leaving no option but to ‘shave-down’ the coat to grow it back.

You need the right tools to groom your dog A blanketed coat also creates skin issues because the skin can’t breathe. If the dog gets wet and can’t dry itself right down to the skin it can become smelly, which is a common cause of doggy odour.

Normally, groomers trim them down by half to a fluffy length; however, if your dog has a lot of knots near the skin or all over the body, your groomer should discuss whether de-matting or clipping is the most humane option—which should always be the main objective. Terrier breeds, such as wire-haired foxies, Airedales and cairns should be stripped (plucked) which, when done professionally, doesn’t hurt or damage the dogs’ coat. But we often find that owners prefer them to be clipped.

Long-haired dogs are a bit more hard work! Those that are ‘furnished’—have furry faces and legs, like schnauzers, westies and scotties—need brushing a bit more regularly. Certainly, owners of long-haired or thick-coated dogs do have a bit more work to keep their dogs happy and healthy or, just as we find a great hairdresser to do our own hair, find a good groomer to keep your dog looking stylish and fresh all year round—just book well in advance in the spring!

If you own a dog with a thick coat and aren’t sure how to look after it or are concerned about its condition, request a consultation with a groomer who will explain the options and the best treatment. Breeds such as the poodle, shih tzu, Maltese and many ‘designer’ dogs, like labradoodles, really need some regular coat maintenance throughout winter. A thorough brush, comb, bath, coat condition and a trim of their faces, feet and sanitary areas is sufficient. As spring approaches, these breeds usually need a hair cut to shorten their long coats. How long or short to trim depends on how well you’ve looked after their coat through the winter growth cycle.


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spring feature

A little planning and consideration will make the move as stress free as possible.

So, you’re moving house? Words: Annaleece Arnold, RSPCA Queensland Stressful right? Well, if you think it’s stressful for you, spare a thought for those other family members, your pets.

‘make the new ing for house welcom your pet’

chance to create positive associations. You can play games, give treats and let them explore under supervision. Always check the fencing and containment areas of the new property to ensure they’re safe and secure.

They don’t understand the whys and wherefores, just realise they’re being uprooted from their comfort zone. On top of that, their sixth sense immediately picks up on your stress, which makes them even more nervous.

You can also try scent marking for cats. If your cat likes being touched, rub a damp towel over its face and then rub the towel over prominent surfaces in the new home. This can transfer pheromones that will help the cat to feel more familiar with the new area.

However, there are a few tips we can give to make certain things go as smoothly as possible. Some of them may appear obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people simply forget to do them.

If you’re driving a long distance to the new home, have a checklist of things you’ll need, such as water, harnesses, leashes and treats. Read our article on car travelling with pets on page 30.

First of all ensure your pet’s identification is current (collars and tags). This may mean contacting the council where you are moving to and registering your pets or just updating the current council information. Don’t forget to contact your pet’s micro chipping database company to give them your new address and phone numbers and, if your pet isn’t microchipped, consider doing this before you move. Initiate crate and mat training if you haven’t done so before. If your pet has a safe place to rest and relax in the old home, it will make it easier for them to settle in the new one. A mat or crate can be perfect for this as it is somewhere familiar to go. Crate training is also important if you need to fly your pets to the destination. In this case, getting your pet used to the travel crate is vital as it can drastically reduce the stress of the journey. You may also like to see your vet for travel medication or consider alternative therapies such as bush flower essences. But, this advice doesn’t just apply to dogs. Cats also need to familiarise themselves with the travel crate. RSPCA Queensland has mat and crate training information sheets for advice on how to teach your pet to happily settle in crates and on mats. If possible, visit your new home with your pets before the move. This will give you a

contact details if they feel they should report any ‘pet trouble’ if you’re not home.

A little planning and consideration will make the move as smooth and stress free as possible. Some pets settle in to a new place quicker than others, but then the same applies to humans too!

r pets ‘introduce you ours’ to the neighb

Supervise pets closely the first few weeks after a move. Once you all arrive in your new home, supervise your pet as closely as possible during the first few weeks and pay them lots of attention. It’s important to try and make them understand that the new home is a welcoming place and somewhere they can feel comfortable and safe. Cats should be kept locked in one room with kitty litter for a day or two, especially if there is a lot of coming and going, until they settle. Some people find boarding their animals until the move is over works, but some pets might find this more stressful than a move!

Moving house can be stressful on pets. The cat will need time to explore. Walk your dog around the new neighbourhood and introduce it to the neighbours so they recognise it and know where it belongs if, for some unfortunate reason, it escapes your yard. Talk to your immediate neighbours straight away to explain if there are any ‘settling in’ barking or howling issues expected. Assure them it will only be temporary and give them your


new beginning


For four months Hugo the greyhound sat in the sunshine on his cosy bed at the Animal Welfare League of Qld watching the world go by. He saw lots of dogs come and go. When anyone stopped by to say hello, he’d push himself up against the pen wall hoping to get a scratch and a little bit of affection.


Although not his ideal environment, Hugo was content; he was safe and his racing career was a distant memory.

‘his eyes are to die for and I immediately fell in love’

One greyhound gets a new beginning

Hugo’s Story Words: Brooke Whitney, Animal Welfare League of Queensland Image: Diana Leventhal, K9 Photography Most Australians know about greyhound racing—a national sport where long and lean dogs race around a track after a stuffed bunny to win money for their owners. What you might not know is that around 20,000 greyhounds are bred in Australia for the ‘sport’ of racing every year and less than half of these make it to the track. Thousands of healthy young greyhounds are destroyed each year for no reason other than they are surplus to racing industry requirements. There is a phenomenally high mortality rate for these dogs and a huge misconception about the temperament of the breed as a direct result of the racing industry. Due to the lack of knowledge about this majestic and elegant breed, greyhounds lucky enough to be surrendered to a shelter after their racing career finishes will often stay for months watching potential families pass them by. Hugo’s new beginning came in early August when a lovely girl named Megan


saw his photo on the AWLQ website and knew she had to meet him. ‘A picture tells 1000 words and his photo was just beautiful. His eyes are to die for and I immediately fell in love,’ she said. Megan had never owned a dog but says she can’t imagine a dog more perfect then Hugo. ‘He gets on so well with our whole family and is perfect with my three-year old niece and four-year old nephew.

‘He has the most amazing personality and is so well behaved. He doesn’t smell or shed hair, he’s just perfect!’ The day Hugo found a home the entire AWLQ shelter stopped to wave goodbye and held back tears of happiness. Hugo holds a special place in all of our hearts and we can’t wait for the days to come when all of our greyhounds start their new beginnings in homes that will truly love them and treat them the way they deserve. The AWLQ has six ex-racing greyhounds currently calling the Gold Coast re-homing centre home. Every one of them has a unique personality, but they all have two things in common: they are ex-racers and they want to be loved. Hugo loves human companionship. Any chance he got to lean on his dog walkers he would, he craves affection and is a real smoocher. This type of behaviour is typical of the breed, which makes them an ideal family pet. Greyhounds are faithful and loyal and adore their human families.

Our recent creative re-homing campaign ‘Adopt Cuteness, Adopt a Greyhound’ had social media sites buzzing. It is great branding for greyhounds with the aim to promote their positive attributes. Our greyhounds have a thriving online ‘support network’ who share their photos, stories and ask after them every day! They were so thrilled to see Hugo find a home after so many months of waiting. We will continue to find homes for greyhounds and support ‘Friends of the Hound’ and other rescue organisations working hard to give these beautiful animals a second chance at a new beginning. If you want to extend your furry family, then come and visit our greyhounds. There are dogs just like Hugo waiting patiently for their new beginning.

more information: Animal Welfare League of Qld AWLQLD Facebook Friends of the hound Greyhound Adoption Program Qld

fido’s family


what ‘Aww he’s just you wanted ... or is he?’


Science gives mixed-breed dog owners answers about ancestory.

the ADVANCE Mixed Breed Identification DNA Test for dogs.

Words: Andrea Ferris

The test is one of the most complete and comprehensive products on the market. It detects more than 200 breeds, types and varieties with ninety-seven percent sensitivity accuracy and ninety percent positive predictive value.

My first dog was big, hairy, grey and stray. Clearly there was Old English Sheepdog in there somewhere and, while he could pass as a bearded collie, it’s doubtful anybody would have abandoned a posh and expensive purebred dog like that out in the wild west of rural New South Wales.

The test is available from vets for $119 and involves a simple blood test. Within three weeks the dog owner receives a complete genetic analysis of their dog, including a comprehensive breed detection family tree tracing all the way back to its great grandparents.

For 13 years there was speculation—with the general consensus that the unknown parent was a border collie. Sadly, if there had been a marker on his grave, it would have read, here lies Duke—‘breed unknown’ or ‘bitzer’ or ‘mutt’ or, even more unkindly, ‘Heinz variety’.

Apart from those of us just curious to know the origins of our dog, the test could revolutionise the dog adoption process.

DNA testing

Half of the 3.8 million dogs that are owned in Australia are mixed breed. Fast forward to 2012 and our beloved ‘mutt’ doesn’t have to be part of a secret society anymore! Thanks to science and technology advancement a small drop of blood can unlock his ancestry and explain a lot of things about him such as any predisposition to health problems; appearance, such as expected weight and height; and behavioural characteristics. After nearly a decade of extensive research, Mars Petcare has designed state-of-the art technology and released

Dog and puppy adoption is a noble and ethical choice when it comes to including a dog into your household. But, anyone that decides to own a dog must be responsible and match their dog to their lifestyle. The adoption process of the future could play out like this. Off to the animal shelter you go and there’s a dog that tugs at your heartstrings with sad eyes and a sleek brown coat. It’s just what you wanted—or is it? You’ve got dicky knees and aren’t able to run or walk long distances and you live in the inner suburbs, so it’s imperative your new dog will be happy self-exercising and going on quiet ambles around town.

and examined for the 321 markers used in the test. The results are evaluated using a computer program designed to consider all of the pedigree trees that are possible in the last three generations. The trees include a simple pedigree with a single breed (a likely purebred dog), two different breeds at the parental level (a first-generation cross) all the way up to a complex tree with eight different great-grandparent breeds allowed. Data from more than 200 breeds, varieties, and types from the breed database is used to fill these potential pedigrees. For each of the millions of combinations of ancestry trees built and considered, the computer gives each a score representing how well that selected combination of breeds matches to your potential dog’s data. The pedigree with the overall best score is the one that is shown on the ancestry chart. The result? The DNA test showed the dog of your dreams is part kelpie—requiring lots of stimulation and many kilometres of exercise daily to stay sane—definitely not suitable for your situation. While it’s disappointing, thanks to science, a potential disastrous match was averted and the brown dog found a loving home on acreage and you’re now happily sharing your life with a much-loved spaniel.

more information Just to be sure, you pay extra for a DNA test. A blood sample is sent to the laboratory, where the DNA is extracted from the cells


dogs at cafés

What’s the issue about dogs in outdoor dining areas? Words: Trevor Rose and Jane Thornton, Dog Friendly Society Australia

As it stands now

In many parts of the world you can go to a café with your canine friend and even take it inside shops and restaurants. Up until recent times, some Queensland cafés have allowed dogs in outdoor dining areas, even against law (as it is not always enforced). Right now, if you own a café on the Gold Coast, you are allowed to invite your patrons to bring their pets to sit with them in outdoor dining areas on terms you think are acceptable.

What is the law?

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) is a bi-national government agency that develops and administers the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which, among other things, sets standards for food safety and hygiene. The responsibility and discretion to enforce and interpret that part of the Food Standards Code relating to companion pets in outdoor dining areas rests with local councils. Previously, the Food Standards Code had not allowed animals, other than assistance animals, in areas where food is handled. There is an inconsistent approach to this matter throughout Australia because most state and local governments had regulated


locally to allow pet dogs in outdoor dining areas, or at least to not enforce any ban. Earlier this year, FSANZ conducted a risk assessment and found that the risk of food-borne disease from pet dogs in outdoor settings was ‘very low to negligible’. So they approved a proposal to amend the Food Standards Code to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas operated by food businesses (including outdoor drinking areas operated by food businesses) whose owners are happy to do so. A notification of the amendment proposal was sent to food regulation ministers in early August and, subject to any request for review, the decision to allow dogs in outdoor dining areas will become part of food law in Australian states and territories by the end of 2012. The Gold Coast City Council supported the FSANZ proposal and therefore taking dogs to outdoor dining areas in the Gold Coast City Council region is allowed if the business owner consents.

However, some councils, such as the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, did not support the proposal for reasons other than food safety and hygiene. It remains unlawful to take a dog into an outdoor dining area in those regions under their local laws—even after the amendments to the Code are made law—based on other public concerns, such as safety.

What are the issues?

Many cafés will allow pets within their outdoor dining areas, whilst some cafés won’t if some of their patrons object— that’s their choice, as it should be. Nevertheless, this issue has caused tremendous debate throughout south-east Queensland and beyond. There are a number of concerns and differing beliefs about such matters as the place of dogs in society; dog training standards; lack of owner responsibility; hygiene; and public safety.

spring feature

Dogs guard our homes and property; they guide the blind, search for drugs and bombs, help the police catch criminals, and provide invaluable companionship— we feel they should receive some kind of recognition and pride of place at our sides.

Dogs and safety in outdoor dining areas

Safety is a genuine concern as nobody wants to sit at a café where dogs are aggressive to other dogs or people, however, a small amount of territorial signalling can be mistaken for full aggression. Dog-friendly café owners should remind staff to look out for dogs and not rush around them—the same goes for instructing children in the presence of dogs. A child may approach a dog suddenly, but a responsible owner (or parent) will be aware and intercede. Some dogs are better than others, but some children have not been taught dog etiquette. (read our article on preventing dog attacks on page 24) In most cases, the worst that will happen is that the dog will snap a warning at a child with no intention to bite—a reminder to the child that not all dogs are kid-tolerant.

What dog owners can do?

If a Gold Coast café owner does not allow dogs or is not aware of the changes in the law, let them know that it’s now their choice to set their own conditions for dogs in outdoor dining areas. If you live outside the Gold Coast and are unsure whether dogs are allowed in cafés, contact the local council and ask if there is a local law that bans dogs in outdoor dining areas and why. If there is, ask who the appropriate person is to petition (generally the mayor). The Dog Friendly Society is happy to assist you with advocacy. If there’s not a DFS Facebook group for your area, given enough interest, we can start one. It’s a great online meeting/discussion place— our Sunshine Coast Facebook group is collaborating to get an enclosed dog park in the Noosa area.

mythbuster Dogs present a risk to the hygiene of food preparation and service—false! Human beings and animals comprise a huge number of bacteria and without it we would die. We live in a symbiotic relationship; it helps us digest food and protects us from disease. That bacteria are universally harmful is a misconception propagated by the cleaning products industry. Any bacteria and viruses from dogs that may have harmful effects have long since crossed the species barrier, are carried by us all, and are either harmless or relatively so. It is far more likely harmful bacteria would be found on money—frequently transferred by people who work with food. Bacteria present in a dog at a cafe are also present in its owner. It’s far more important that the café maintains hygienic conditions in the kitchen. If there were risks of disease transference from companion pets we would surely be aware of outbreaks, considering doggy dining is allowed worldwide.

The DFS is a new group founded by Gold Coast dog-lovers Trevor Rose and Jane Thornton initially in response to the dog ban in outdoor dining areas, but has since widened its advocacy to support a number of ‘dogs in society’ issues. This enthusiastic and resourceful couple, (aided by their beautiful border collie, Meg) are firm believers in the place dogs should be in society—right by their owner’s sides! By forming DFS and assisting communities to start their own DFS ‘branches’, Rose and Thornton hope to promote and encourage, not only responsible dog ownership, but a more tolerant, encompassing and respectful existence between dog owners, non-dog owners and regulatory authorities. To date the couple have generously used their own resources to launch the group, but are now in the process of incorporating DFS as a registered charity. They need to raise $2000 to achieve this and are calling for sponsorship donations via a link on their Facebook page at www.facebook. com/DogFriendlySociety.Australia. Apart from developing a new DFS website, this artistic and talented pair is also working on an exciting range of products and services for dog owners and dog supporters to promote dog-friendly education, training and fun activities. They have developed a game about dogs, which is soon to seek crowd funding via

So, is there really anything to worry about in terms of hygiene from companion pets? We doubted it and FSANZ does too—now it’s up to people to support alfresco doggy dining.

more information Dog Friendly Society Jane Thornton on 0408 592 522 or Trevor Rose on 0478 800 709.

more information Food safety in Queensland Dog-friendly parks and open space Local laws and animal management FSANZ

drea Ferris

Risk can be reduced by educating pet owners about animal psychology, training and control.

If you’re required to leave your dog outside a dining area, consider whether they are distressed or at risk if they can’t see you; blocking any access ways; and have water and shade?

Image: An

If an unruly, but restrained, dog causes a moment of chaos in one cafe, should it warrant a ban on dogs’ presence in all cafes? The answer to this is no, because dog owners are already responsible for their dog’s behaviour under two legal principles: ‘tort law’ (or ‘tort of negligence’) and ‘reckless endangerment’, which covers pets causing injury and damage to persons and property.

Tort law in Australia Tort_law_in_Australia

About the Dog Friendly Society

Society ‘Dog Friendly Thornton founders Jane ’ & Trevor Rose


on ‘is there a reas et puppy can’t g outside?’

A dog that messes in the house is really soiling its reputation.

When a pet just can’t wait ... Words: Dr Cam Day, BVSc BSc. MACVS (Animal Behaviour) Nevertheless, if your mind is muddling over the puddling or lamenting over the incrementing excrementing there are solutions to these ablutions!

Is your dog Ill?

House soiling can be a sign of illness. Diarrhoea, diabetes and bladder or kidney infection can cause an urgent need to void when there may not be time for your pet to get outside. Aged pets with arthritis will often soil because their creaky bones make it too difficult to get outside and the canine or feline equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease can cause house-soiling. Urinary incontinence can occur from hormonal imbalance in neutered female dogs, which is easily fixed, but it can be from other medical reasons. A visit to your veterinarian will sort out these problems.

Is it house soiling or another form of urination?

It’s important to determine if wrongful urination is deliberate or involuntary. For instance, submissive urination is most commonly seen in younger dogs that are anxious around people, especially tall, deep-voiced men.



This normally improves with age. Rewardbased training, especially in the presence of men, speeds the cure—dogs should never be punished for this problem.

Are there barriers to getting outside?

House-soiling often occurs when a dog cannot get outside to void. Being able to get outside easily is particularly important when young puppies are learning toilet training.


Small puppies find that tall stairs are a difficult obstacle and many will choose to soil indoors instead. If the door to the outside is always closed, a dog may eventually succumb to the easier option of soiling inside. While dogs are usually quite good at signalling they need to go out, if you miss their signal, house-soiling is common. This is why many dogs soil inside overnight. A dog door will help. Another barrier to developing proper toilet manners is that small dogs hate getting their feet and, derriere wet. Moist, cold grass, especially if it’s a bit too long, is a most unpleasant sensation for little dogs and while they may have every intention of using the lawn as a toilet, wet grass poking private places makes it too unpleasant.

Are you making the problem worse?

Be careful how you handle your dog’s misdemeanours. Any normal person will growl when they discover a foul deposit, but it’s better to eliminate punishment. Punishment will make the dog soil evasively. This makes you angrier and the dog even more confused and the little vegemite then ends up becoming paranoid about its soiling—not knowing what to do. So, avoid punishment and especially the senseless and cruel technique of ‘rubbing the dog’s nose’ in its deposits.

Have you prepared a toilet spot?

Remove the smell of the dog’s mistakes from the house in the correct way. If you clean a dog’s mess with an agent that doesn’t remove the smell, the soiled area remains scent-marked as the dog’s toilet and the dog will return.

t spot ‘is there a toile ?’ in the garden

This product contains natural enzymes to break down the waste residue and also contains specific bacteria that will then consume the broken down particles.

Have you toilet trained your pooch?

Having attended to all of the above, the last step is to re-toilet train your dog. Unlike teaching a dog to sit or come, where you can create the behaviour you want and reward it, you can’t ‘manufacture’ soiling behaviour to occur on cue. Therefore, training a dog to soil on command is more difficult. If your dog regularly soils when being walked, when it shows it’s about to soil, simultaneously issue a suitable command (such as ‘do wee’) at the dog. If it completes the action, praise it liberally. (Be sure to scoop up any mess if it soils in a public place). In this manner, the dog will quickly learn what the words mean. Predict the need. Your dog is more likely to need to soil after eating, drinking, sleeping or exercising and, of course, when it hasn’t ‘done one’ for a while.

However, if you clean the mess with an agent, such as a strong disinfectant that leaves its own smell behind, that will cause a different problem.

At these times, take your dog to the prepared toilet pit and issue the ‘do wee’ command. Gently squeezing the dog’s abdomen just in front of its knees will increase abdominal pressure and make the dog more likely to want to go to the toilet. Use only light pressure when doing this— about the same you would use to test a ripe peach.

Dogs, especially male dogs, have a strong tendency to over-mark any scent left by another dog. In some cases, dogs perceive cleaning agents as being equivalent to another dog’s urine and they will mark over the scent of the agents.

Remind yourself to take your pooch out to the garden by setting an alarm, like your microwave timer, to ring every hour during the day. This way, you’ll be almost certain to move the soiling to the correct spot and will then be able to reward it.

To solve this problem, mop up any soiling with paper towel. Then clean the area with an enzymatic, low-perfume laundry detergent, such as Bio Zet, or a product specifically designed for this purpose, such as Bac to Nature Animal Odour Eliminator.

Lastly, don’t forget to install a toilet post for any male dog you have. Marking this post with ammonia, or better still the urine of another male dog, may stimulate the needed behaviour.

Dr Cam Day is a veterinary surgeon, a veterinary behaviour consultant and media presenter based in Brisbane. He claims to have three professions: the first as a pet owner managing the mayhem of his mutts, moggies and other various creatures; the second is as a husband to his wife Kathryn and as a parent of three children; and the third is veterinary behaviour consultancy. He is one of the few veterinarians in Australia working full-time as a veterinary behaviour consultant.

more information: visit phone 07 3255 0022


on location

on location

Where: Benowa Primary School grounds, Benowa What: Dog obedience training class Who: International Dog Obedience Training School When: Saturday morning

Catherine Haney, Mermaid Beach


16 months Old English Sheepdog. We called her Holly because we got her just before Christmas when she was six months old. We got her from an older lady in Toowoomba who couldn’t cope with her. We’re at dog training for socialisation and to make her obedient and safe because she’s a large dog. The special thing about Holly is her lovely personality— and she sits on people’s feet!

Narelle Brown, Ashmore


2 years, 10 months Australian Bulldog We called him Winston because of Winston Churchill. He came from Helensvale. We’re at dog training because he really needs it! He’s very boisterous and needs to be under control because of his weight. He thinks he’s two kilos! The special thing about Winston is he’s a cuddler!

Julia Herbert, Broadbeach Waters


4 years Maltese X We have another dog called Tofu, because she looks like a block of tofu and, to be funny, we called this dog Beanie—but I’m not a vegetarian! We’re at dog training because there have been some behavioural problems with the two dogs. We thought it was Beanie, but after four training sessions we’ve now realised the problem is Tofu, so next week I’m bringing both of them to correct the problem—and its training me too. The special thing about Beanie is that he has an amazing character; he’s so funny. He talks a lot and it’s hysterical.


Hiro Nishitani, Southport

Koyuki, (‘little snow’)

White Shepherd Koyuki came from a breeder in Adelaide. My wife particularly wanted a white shepherd. We looked for one everywhere and the cost of travel was more than the dog! I have been in Australia for 31 years. Koyuki needs obedience training because she is not too friendly. The special thing about her is that she protects our granddaughter if anyone comes near her.

Laureen Scott, Southport


9 months Hungarian Vizsla. We called her Hazel because it means, ‘rich, brown nut’ and that she is! This is the third Vizsla I’ve had; I just love them; they’re a great dog. We go to training because they’re [Vizslas] a big dog and need training. It’s good for them; keeps them mentally alert and under control. We got her from a breeder on the far-south coast of NSW. Everything is special about Hazel. She’s a mixture of my other two dogs rolled into one.

on location



Judi Noel, Surfers Paradise


12 months Bedlington Terrier I called her Precious because of a very old cartoon that I’d seen with an old lady and a dog called Precious. I got her from a breeder in Sydney. I’m here at training because she is very strong willed—a real terrier. The thing I love about her is her personality. She’s just got a lovely nature. Bedlington terriers were used originally for ratters in England and I was told by a lady who stopped me in the street once that they were also used for keeping children warm—she’s like a hot water bottle.

The International Dog Obedience Training School conducts weekly training sessions for all types of dogs and people. They specialise in teaching ‘life skills’ to dogs and owners using gentle, positive training techniques.

more information: or telephone Evelyn Williams on 5592 9132.

Adam Cooper, Mermaid Waters

Minnie Bonnie Rotolo, Ashmore


10 months Labrador We called her Marlee because she acts exactly like Marley from the movie Marley and Me. She’s very naughty, but very lovable. We got Marlee from a farm in New South Wales. We’re at dog training because she loves to cause mischief and get into things she’s not supposed to. The special thing about Marlee is she’s very lovable; she’s always enthusiastic and she’s a beautiful dog.

12 months Jug—Jack Russell x Pug (unfortunate face, curly tail and full of beans) We called her Minnie because our last name’s Cooper—so she’s a little Mini Cooper! (We couldn’t call our child that!) We got Minnie from a pet shop in Surfers Paradise. We’re at dog training because she’s full of beans and we need her to behave better. We’ve got an eight-week old daughter so Minnie needs to be more house-friendly. The special thing about Minnie is that she’s the happiest puppy we’ve ever seen; she’s great fun.


Seminar with

Peter Bainbridge understanding the language of dogs


‘I’ve connected with dogs by watching and observing them and they gave me a gift. I don’t know why I’ve got it and I don’t care: I’m just blessed and grateful for what I have.’ Peter Bainbridge

A unique opportunity to learn from a true dog whisperer. Peter Bainbridge is a mild-mannered man with a deep understanding of and connection to dogs—and an unwavering passion and commitment to saving their lives. A hard upbringing saw him gravitate to animals because, he says, ‘they don’t judge’. ‘I’ve been around horses and dogs all my life. I ran away from home often and always took both with me and, unknowingly, I just connected with them by observing and watching.’ The term ‘dog whisperer’ is now commonplace, but what does it really mean? Bainbridge explains it this way: ‘Dog training is sending your dog to school—dogs don’t teach each other to sit, drop, and stay. Humans do that so the dog can fit into our world. Behaviour, on the other hand, is when a dog gets out of control at home. That’s when I get called in because that’s what I do—dog psychology (and some people psychology too)! ‘I teach people how to connect with their dog through body language and energy; that’s what dog whispering is. If you understand the dog’s world he’ll connect with you. If you come at a problem from a human point of view he won’t connect with you he’ll just get frustrated and then start some crazy behaviour because he doesn’t know what you want. ‘I don’t talk to a dog—it’s body language and connecting with my energy. You can’t feel energy from reading a book or watching someone on TV; you need to be physically with someone to show it to you. It’s simple: it’s about connecting to your dog with dog language.’ Bainbridge’s understanding of dogs comes from observing his own pack of eleven dogs, many of which were out of control and destined to be destroyed before they came to him. He says his goal is to transfer

his understanding of how dogs relate to each other to people. ‘I want people to connect with their animal, not to humanise it, but know how to read its body language and energy. There’s no need for yelling, screaming, hitting and kicking a dog—that’s punishment, not discipline. ‘The proof of what I do is the results I get. However, if the people don’t change the dog won’t change—bottom line. ‘If dogs could make the phone calls to me I’d be on the phone all day! Dogs would be asking me to get their handlers under control: “They don’t’ know what I want, they don’t know how to correct me. I’m out of control and I don’t want to be,” they’d say. The pack makes a dog balanced and they look after each other: dogs discipline each other, they don’t punish.

‘It really works, it’s not rocket science, it’s the dog world and I get results’ ‘Dogs aren’t throw away items. Ninety-nine percent of bad behaviour can be changed. Of the more than 300 dogs I’ve trained in Tamworth I’ve only lost five. And fifty percent of those dogs would have been put down; now they’re living happily at home.’ The Gold Coast seminar, being organised by Sofie Bainbridge (coincidence and no relation!) is for dog owners frustrated by their dog’s behaviour or potential dog owners that want to learn how to match their energy and lifestyle to the right type of dog to avoid problems later on. It’s a ‘leave the dogs at home and listen event’ as Bainbridge explained that having unruly dogs along, means people can’t pay attention to what’s being said. Anybody with a dog that pulls on the lead; shows aggression and dominance; jumps on people; barks; rushes at the door when visitors come; and won’t come when it’s called, among other problems, will all

necting ‘it’s about con ith dog to your dog w language’

learn something and take away valuable insights into their dog’s world. Peter Bainbridge is bringing his border collie along to demonstrate the body language and energy level techniques and there will be a comprehensive question time after the presentation. The bonus to Gold Coast dog owners is that he’ll stay around for a week for one-on-one in-home consultations with your dog and other members of the household.

Seminar with Peter Bainbridge Dog Whisperer Date: 29 September 2012 Venue: TBC Cost: $40 per person and a home visit is $70 per hour. Bookings for the seminar and in-home consultations are essential. Contact: Sofia Bainbridge on 0423 838 706 or (07) 5530 2053 or For more information about Peter Bainbridge or





It was just three weeks before Christmas 2011 when the Healing Hooves Foundation team of Shannon Murdoch, Tia Rose Wilson, Lexie Johnnyston, Molly Howell ‘a scruffy foal and I arrived at the Laidley Horse Sale. of in the corner

A story of love and trust restored Words: Jodie Alderton, Healing Hooves Foundation We had a hard task ahead of us: only a few hundred dollars in our pocket; more than one hundred horses in the yards; and a desire to save some of them from becoming dog meat or being exported for human consumption. As we walked through ankle-deep mud waiting for a horse to ‘choose’ us—that special feeling you get when you know a horse needs you—Tia wandered off to the dogger section and discovered a scruffy, bedraggled Clydesdale foal with grossly overgrown hooves standing in the corner of a pen quivering with fear. As she arrived, a man jumped into the pen and moved the terrorised foal around declaring that the animal was ‘shot’—the hooves were too far gone to be fixed and the horse was ‘only good for dog food’. As he left, the foal looked at Tia with sad eyes full of hopeless futility. As their eyes met there was an instant connection that only an animal lover will understand. She rushed back and dragged us over to check the foal out. I looked at the poor, pathetic beast and thought Tia was truly bonkers if she believed that wretched thing was coming home with us. But then it gave me the ‘love’ look too and I was smitten: we decided we weren’t leaving without him. We were bidding with one hand and on the phone to the farrier with the other to make sure he could offer some hope of restoring the foal’s feet to good health. A mere ten dollar bid on our behalf over the dogger saved him from death. Our delight at winning the foal was short-lived as he proved impossible to catch and even kicked Shannon as we tried. Someone walking past was cocky enough to yell out: ‘… that one’ll kill ya’!

stood g a pen quiverin with fear ’

offered to truck the foal to Healing Hooves Foundation HQ for us. When the foal arrived the next day we were overwhelmed at the prospect of the job ahead of us—we simply had no idea where to start. So we began with something easy—his name! Christmas was just around the corner; the foal had a beard like Santa, so he became Santa Clyde. Eight months has now gone by and Santa Clyde is 18-months old. Our dedicated farrier donated his valuable time and repaired the foal’s hooves and we repaired his trust. Now, he’s happy walking around the property with a bunch of geese, lambs, chickens, goats, dogs, a pig and his girlfriend, Cara. A lot of work and TLC has gone into turning this frightened, pitiful creature into a magnificent young horse. After only a month in training he now bows on command; he’s participating in therapy work with people and is much loved by everyone.

The Foundation has a dual purpose: to rescue horses from slaughter and neglect and to provide quality connections between horses and humans, supporting personal growth and educational opportunities for children and adults. Based at Nerang, the organisation relies on support and assistance from volunteers, other community organisations, sponsorship, local schools and council.

more information Healing Hooves Foundation Phone: 0418 147 399

About Healing Hooves

The Healing Hooves Foundation, which became a registered charity in June 2012, was started by Jodie Alderton in 2008 as the not-for-profit Harmony Hooves—Healing Hearts organisation.

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Defeated, it seemed an impossible situation until at the final hour a guardian angel appeared in the form of a rough bushman who, on seeing our predicament,


forever friends




‘coming from e left a broken hom me Ziggy with so s’ problem

Readers’ tribute to their beloved pets.

The Amazing Ziggy Words: Carol Wregg My daughter answered an ad on a notice board at the local shop: ‘Free to a good home, 2-year old staffy’. At the time I wondered why they were giving her away. Did she eat the lounge chairs or demolish the gardens? However, it turned out that she came from a broken home and neither side could keep her.

We went to have a look at her and she was one of the most unattractive dogs I’d seen. She hopped straight into the car as if it was already agreed we’d take her. She had one pink eye and one black eye, which gave the illusion that one was a lot bigger than the other, but in true staffy fashion she had the biggest smile that said, ‘I’m yours!’ Being a child from a broken home left her with some problems: any raised voices, even cheering the footy on TV, sent her racing to the nearest shower recess where she would slide the door open and hide inside.


Ziggy loved everything and everybody; adopting all new additions to the family, be they animal or human. She would put up with puppies chewing on her ears and tail and toddlers pulling the same without a grumble—even giving kisses to all tormenting parties. However, it wasn’t long after she came home that we discovered she had some vices that couldn’t be cured. One was squeaky toys—quite normal for dogs and the other was dressing up! Ziggy would parade around in all sorts of outfits, from fairies to hula girls, yodel at you until she got your attention and then strut around as proud as a peacock. Language was not a problem for her as she made many different sounds for different things. A little whine while lifting her front paw meant it’s getting cool and I want my pyjamas on. My daughter moved back home to save money for her own home and Miss Ziggy came too, along with her wardrobe and a large bucket of squeaky toys. The bucket would be upended and searched for a particular toy leaving the rest strewn around the floor. I complained that it was worse than having a toddler and she should learn to pick up after herself. A few days later I came home and my daughter told me to watch. ‘Ziggy, pick up all your toys and put them in the bucket,’ she ordered. And Ziggy did it without faltering until they were all picked up! Then she did the little, ‘I’m a good girl’ chortle as she ran to each of us

for approval. She was middle-aged when she learnt this and many other tricks—you can’t teach an old dog new tricks did not apply to our girl.

I nicknamed her Pooh after Pooh bear as she had the same round figure, which she would park on any part of you that was available. This ‘princess’ expected gifts when anyone else got them and if none were forthcoming she would sneak one away to another room and open it. It was about this time Ziggy started to get a lot of cancers that needed to be removed. She became good friends with the vet and bore him no ill will for what he had to do. In fact, she painted him a picture (another of her talents done by holding a brush in her mouth) which he still has. Unfortunately, at nearly 14 years of age, arthritis and incontinence caught up with our little girl. Nothing more could be done to ease her pain, so the heartbreaking decision to let her go was made. She came free of charge, but she had a heart of solid gold and to us she was priceless and irreplaceable.

There will never be another Ziggy, she was one of a kind and we were so lucky to have had her share our lives.

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